Elias Pen and Ink Journal


Here is something pen and ink fans will find truly interesting and delightful. I used to keep a software database of pens, but I haven’t been very good with keeping it updated, until I eventually just forgot about it. Here’s a truly analog way to document an analog hobby.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

Everything Calligraphy came up with its very own pen and ink journal! It’s soft-bound and uses their own 90GSM ivory colored paper that’s fountain pen, brush pen, and pointed pen friendly. Hardcore, man.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

The theme of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo is the thread that runs through the different sections of the notebook, from cover to cover. When I first held the journal in my hand, it really felt like something that you can keep as a “pen memoir”, and I felt sorry I wasn’t able to document the old pens that I had already sold, or the inks that I already used up.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

There is a simple Elias logo on the binding, and the spine feels nice and tight. It’s bound securely, though it’s not going to lay flat by itself. It’s not difficult to write in or leaf through, though. The journal is bound by plain white, textured card paper, and there’s a translucent, waxy paper that wraps around it. I really like the illustration used in that decorative wrap. It’s printed neatly and is really like a slice of a story.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

It also smells good. Mmmmm. Yum. The journal has several sections. I’ll show each section in this review.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

The first section is the Pen Journal section. It has space for every kind of information useful in a pen. Like brand, model, nib size, rating systems, etc. The opposite page is dedicated entirely to writing samples, or (like what I did) a review of the pen. You can put anything! How you got the pen, its little back story, anything that helps you either catalog the pen’s specifications or document its history. You can even stick a printed photo of the pen, if you like. You can get as creative as you want, there’s space for it!

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

The next section is the Ink Journal. It has all the pertinent information you need to catalog your ink. From the cost, to the properties (shading, sheen drying time, flow), a portion for swabs and water resistance tests, and your comments. Here’s a photo of my first ink journal page, documenting one of my new favorite inks, Kyo Iro Moonlight of Higashiyama. It’s a straightforward way to catalog your ink collection. The paper being Elias paper, it shows off any shading and sheen so well. The paper also holds up very well to my water resistance test.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

I had to chuckle a little at the next section, the Future Pen and Inks. It’s like a wishlist. You can note down pens and inks that caught your attention and would like to purchase in the future. This is a list you can really have fun ticking items off of.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

The next section contains coloring sheets. Line drawings of scenes and excerpts from Noli and El Fili. It adds a really Pinoy flair to the entire thing. I like how the line drawings are made. They have a folk-artsy feel to them. The pages remind me of these traditional Japanese line drawings before anime became popular. There’s a story going on in each drawing and it really captured that overall theme of the journal. The person who drew them is Julz Riddle (a Filipino teacher and artist). Her Instagram account is @hulyariddle. Here are a couple of samples from the journal.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

Those who are into practicing calligraphy will love the next section.

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

Elias Pen and Ink Journal

These pages with guide lines can help you achieve consistent strokes. Even if you only want to improve your handwriting by practicing writing in script, this can be really helpful.

The remaining pages are blank sheets, doodle pages. If you look at the back of every single journal I have, the last pages are basically doodle pages. Figure eights, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, baybayin scribbles, anything! A blank space to doodle and free the mind. How wonderful that there’s a space in this journal for doodling.

Overall, I don’t think I’ve come across a journal that’s exactly like this, and with a very Filipino flair. It’s really a great way to celebrate your fascination with pens and inks (and doodling!). I’m glad that Everything Calligraphy came up with something so special for pen fans like us, and I’m planning to fill up my journal soon. It would be a great way to keep record of each pen and ink color that I have. Maybe someday when it’s time to pass on my pens to my nephews and nieces, they can have this journal as a companion of sorts, to help them appreciate the pens not just as writing instruments but as little things that brought me joy at some point in my life.

The Elias Pen and Ink Journal is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Kaweco Sport Cognac


Ah, these little pocket pens. Sure, you end up inking them more frequently than full-sized pens but what the heck. They’re cute. I got this from Stationer Extraordinaire as a birthday gift to myself last September. I also ordered a bottle of Akkerman Hopjesbruin a few weeks after, without realizing that they’re the perfect pair in terms of color.

The package arrived earlier this week, it was carefully packed and included a really nice note. I always appreciate efforts like this, it adds a very personal touch to the service.

Kaweco Sport Cognac

The pen comes in a tin box, with a blue cartridge and 5 brown cartridges. It also included the clip.

Kaweco Sport Cognac

Since I also got the Akkerman ink on the same day, I decided to use that to try out the pen. Isn’t the pairing perfect? I think it is. 🙂 The ink flows really well with this pen, and it worked right out of the box. No baby bottom to smooth out this time, which is a relief.

Kaweco Sport Cognac

I loved the ink so much that I turned this pen into an eyedropper afterwards. I’m gonna have it in rotation for a while. 🙂 These pocket pens are just so cute. I’m gonna need another mini leather slip soon.

Kaweco Sport Cognac

Review: J. Herbin Tempest


The nice people at Everything Calligraphy sent over this pen for me to try out and review. It’s called the J. Herbin Tempête or Tempest. Nice name, don’t you think? You can at least say that you’re writing up a storm with Tempest in your hand. It came in a nice velvety-black box, some literature on how to use it, and a little dropper.

J. Herbin Tempest

I would suggest skipping the dropper completely and just using a syringe because the dropper only holds a bit of ink at a time. It looks kinda pretty, though. My first impression of the whole thing was that I liked the shape of the pen. It reminded me of desk pens because of the pointy end. It’s certainly a looker.

J. Herbin Tempest

It’s not a small pen, by any means. It’s a comfortably-sized pen. Uncapped and unposted, it’s about 5.25 inches more or less. Capped, it’s about six inches. It’s not super long, I can post it comfortably enough.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think it’s a pretty handsome pen, and it’s eyecatching because of the shape and because of that clear barrel with the frosted-looking interiors. It was clearly made to be an eyedropper, but I was initially concerned about inking it up and staining it. I’m a little OC about my clear-barreled pens and one of my biggest regrets is turning my Frankling Christoph into an eyedropper (and filling it with Emerald of Chivor). After that fiasco, I decided to only turn opaque-barreled pens to eyedroppers and spare myself the heartache of seeing all that pristine acrylic horribly stained by ink. Other people certainly don’t mind it, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference.

J. Herbin Tempest

Well, I had to ink up the pen so that I could test it. So I half-filled it up with Diamine Wagner. The end of the section threads has this little o-ring in it that I suppose helps with making sure the ink doesn’t leak out. Just be careful when cleaning out the pen that the o-ring doesn’t slip out. Surprisingly, the interior of the pen had this texture that made it resistant to staining.

J. Herbin Tempest

The ink just slides off the surface, making it really easy to wash off. When I cleaned the pen afterwards, I couldn’t see traces of the ink that I used. I guess it may still stain with frequent use and depending on the ink brand and color, but it’s nice to see that it is stain resistant. In any case, I would think that if you buy a pen designed to be an eyedropper, you shouldn’t mind some stains on the barrel.

J. Herbin Tempest

Overall, I did like the look and feel of the pen. It’s a bit too light for my taste, but some people will actually like that. It’s also shiny in all the right places. 🙂 The section is comfortable, but there’s a small gap where the o-ring is. I guess that can’t be helped. I especially liked the design on the nib.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think that’s just pretty. Here are a few more close up shots of other parts of the pen.

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

The ink that I used is a dry ink, but it looked really nice when I tried to write with the pen. I had primed it properly prior to use so it didn’t have a hard time starting. The pen had a pretty nice flow going, despite the fact that I used a dry ink.

J. Herbin Tempest

Here is a video of my writing sample.


I must say that I enjoyed writing with it. Because it’s really light, I wrote several pages without tiring out my hand. It’s a comfortable pen. The nib was smooth enough but could use a bit more tuning. Not something terribly off-putting, though.

Check out Everything Calligraphy for the Tempest.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

The Start of My Art Journal Journey


I’ve always loved writing journals. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always preferred to pouring out my thoughts on paper rather than speaking. Integrating art in my journal entry is something I’ve only recently discovered, though. I liked sketching when I was younger, but it’s an interest that I did not nurture. It was only when I joined Fountain Pen Network Philippines and became social media friends with many talented artists that my love for drawing resurfaced. Of course, you lose what you don’t use, so it feels like I’m starting from nothing again. That’s alright. 🙂 I don’t mind it.

A lot of people I know are so intimidated by the talent of great artists that they don’t even act on the desire of starting an art journal. I personally believe in not resenting your own progress, no matter how slow it is. With the overabundance of ugliness in the world (especially on the internet), contributing your voice in the form of art and other hobbies is not a bad thing.

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I learned that I like to combine words and pictures. The photo above is a rough sketch about the great protest march at Selma. I wrote my thoughts down about the movie after we watched it. It takes longer to finish a journal entry, but it’s so worth it afterwards.

Calligraphy is also something that I just recently discovered. Integrating calligraphy with art is so much fun. My journal is a hodge podge of pure text, text and drawings, alibata brushwork, drawings and calligraphy, photos, clippings, etcetera etcetera. It’s not a neat catalog of watercolor paintings or pen and ink sketches. It’s imperfect and ink-stained, crumpled and cramped, and it brings me so much happiness.

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After all, isn’t that the whole point? Each day in our life is different, anyway. I’d like my art journals to reflect that. Each day is a new adventure, a blank page waiting to be filled.

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If you’re thinking about starting your own art journal, I hope this nudges you to the right direction. 🙂 Do it. Do it today, with whatever art supplies you have and make your pages even more vibrant and meaningful to you than they already are. Art is ❤

Same old show.


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I really thought that all the hate and poo-slinging will slow down and grind to a halt after the elections. I was wrong. It looks like it will be noisy for a while. Actually, I’m coming to terms with the possibility that this is  the new normal. To care about the sanctity of human life, to care about due process and how the loss of it is a reckless way to go about a “crusade” that has good intentions, to have a balanced view instead of an idol-worshiping attitude for the new president… all that has become very unpopular. All of a sudden, we’re surrounded with people who “want change” and are less bothered by loss of human lives. Like sharks driven crazy by the smell of blood. All of a sudden we’re surrounded  by family and friends who feel strongly about rallying around the ideal. I sometimes wonder if these people shout louder and are more offensive and boisterous about their newfound “cause” because deep in their bones they know something’s wrong about all this.

I’m not one for debates, and I think it’s foolish and self-destructive to alienate my family and friends for the sake of pushing your brand of politics (of all things) in such an aggressive and offensive way. I’ve resorted to not looking through my Facebook feed (which, with my decidedly introverted personality, was once a favorite way of keeping tabs on family and friends) because of all the ugliness in it. It’s not just the news that is ugly, it’s the attitude of people. Somehow, things have grown much worse. Filipinos have become even more divided. Many of us have lost our civility and it’s like we don’t know how to balance our views and emotions anymore. There’s a reason the terms “Dutertard” and “Yellowtard” and all the other -tards were coined (makes me cringe to even read it now), and the evidence for that is all over social media.

In the narrow-mindedness that is prevailing these days, there’s no room for reason. If addicts and pushers are brutally killed, then they got justice. If one is given due process, it means justice was not done. If you’re anti-Marcos, then you’re automatically pro-LP. If you’re not red, you’re yellow. If you’re critical of Duterte, then you’re anti-Duterte and you and your family need to die violent, inhuman deaths. If you’re against the all-out-war on drugs, then you’re in cahoots with these druggies. If you clamor for due process for these druggies, then you’re condoning the violence they have done or will do in the future. If you want some checks and balances to be placed to keep the government from exploiting their power, then you’re against the drug war. If this…then that. The one with the loudest mouth, the one who can scoop up the biggest mound of shit and sling it around without care or second thought is the winner. Winner of what, exactly? No one knows.

At the end of the day, people have pulled so violently on the already tense connections that we have with each other, and boy, it’s exhausting. Humanity is exhausting. I’m all peopled-out, honestly.

Review: Knox Galileo


Knox Galileo

To cap off my series of reviews on Knox pens, I tried out the Galileo from Everything Calligraphy. To be honest, it looked a lot like the Avicenna that I had to see them side by side to see the difference. There were a few. The Galileo is smaller, has a more streamlined design. The trims are thinner and flush against the barrel. The body is also metal, like the Avicenna and the Aristotle, although it’s lighter and smaller than either pens.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the two pens (Galileo on top, Avicenna on the bottom). The form factor is very similar. The clip on the Galileo is pretty nice, it has this shape that makes it easier to clip it through your pocket or pen case. Like the Avicenna and Aristotle, the clip on the Galileo is functional and feels sturdy.

Knox Galileo

After playing with two pen models that have very conservative colors, I’m kinda happy for the pop of colors on the Galileo pens sent to me.

Knox Galileo

That’s pretty refreshing. 🙂 Like the other two models, this pen has a very comfortably-sized section. Why can’t all pens have sections this comfortable and practical? Also…two-toned nibs! ^_^ Yaaas. It makes a difference for me, aesthetically speaking. Here’s another look at that nib.

Knox Galileo

I noticed that the medium nib isn’t two-toned, though. I guess it’s random? I dunno. Anyway, in terms of performance, it’s also basically identical with the Avicenna (click here to watch the writing sample). It’s a basic, iridium-point steel nib. I like that it’s smooth and writes wet out of the box, although it has a small sweet spot and slightly rotating your grip can cause the pen to skip a little.

Overall, at P799, it’s a pretty decent writer. Those who want to get their feet wet with writing with a fountain pen would enjoy this. Affordable, no-frills, and works right out of the box.

The Knox Galileo is available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Aristotle


Knox Aristotle

Here’s another pen from Everything Calligraphy, the Knox Aristotle. It’s at the same price point of the Knox Avicenna, another budget-friendly pen. I kinda like the form factor of this pen. The torpedo shape is pretty nice. I’m not sure if there are other colors but the ones sent to me are pretty conservative.

Knox Aristotle

I believe the nib is practically the same across all the three Knox pens. The color, etching, and writing experience are pretty much the same. I hope someday they come up with two-toned nibs so that it fits the aesthetics of the pen better. I like that the trims of the pen are simple and, like the Avicenna, it’s a very conservative-looking pen. It can sit on a desk in an office or in a student’s pen case; it looks nice.

Knox Aristotle

I really love that these Knox pens have comfortably-sized sections. Small sections can be quite bothersome for long writing because you’re practically feeling the threads while you write. This one’s pretty comfortable to hold. The metal body gives it some heft but it’s not uncomfortable or tiring. The cap can be posted, but it’s top-heavy when you do so. Also, I’m uncomfortable with posting it because it might scratch the finish of the barrel.

The clip is squarish and functional. You can actually use it to clip the pen, it’s not too stiff and it feels securely attached to the cap.

Like the Avicenna, I’m glad that this one also wrote well right out of the box. Don’t you love it when affordable pens write without hard-starting, skipping, or scratchiness? I know I do. ^_^ I noticed these steel nibbed pens can be quite unforgiving to my hand rotations, though. Slight rotations can make it skip.

All in all, it’s good value for money. These German iridium point nibs have always performed well for me, and I’m pretty happy with my current pens that use them.

Knox Aristotle is available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.