This is it. I’m done for the year. And the year just started too.
I originally planned for this post before the end of last year, but it seems shipping and postage was not in my favour, so a few items showed up late. And by a few I mean one item, showed up this week. But they have arrived at last! Sorry for the silence over the past few weeks! While I’m very excited about all these new and shiny things, it’s been a ridiculous few months of spending on my super expensive hobby. I don’t regret these purchases, but I have come to the realization that I probably cannot afford to keep this up. But before I get all reflective and reminiscent about this past 3/4 of a year since starting this bloggy, I thought I’d name drop in my over excitement and anticipation to try them all, my holiday haul of 2017. (woohoo!)
A. Ensso UNO Titanium // Titanium pen casing for the pilot Hi-Tec-C refill
I jumped on this crowd funded kickstarter-only release of Ensso’s UNO pen in machined titanium the moment they announced it. Mostly because I really liked the Piuma, and also wanted to support the company. I also ended up getting the add-on parts to turn the pen into a mechanical pencil. I am excited for this one because it uses one of my favourite and go-to pen refills, the hi-tec-c 0.4mm. The mechanical pencil upgrade I was pretty intrigued to try, but am doubtful that it can rival my graphgear1000. I will put it to the test. The only downside to my excitement for this, is that it took the longest to arrive and was the first I ordered.
B. Tactile Turn Mover AND Shaker // Machine CNC Brass and Aluminum clicky pens
Yep, I got both. The blanket statement is that I couldn’t decide between the two versions, but the reality is that I just wanted both to add to my collection. I chose a brass Mover (the longer one) and a pink aluminum Shaker (the shorter one). From some prior experience with using the included refill in the Shaker (Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 Medium), I determined I was not a fan. So I ordered a pack of Schmidt P9126 roller balls in advance — these should be the same smooth rollers that came with my Baron Fig Squire (I hope). The clickys are quite awesome just on first impressions, and I’m excited to use them on a regular basis in parallel with my fountain pens. The aluminum is getting a little more mileage at the moment, mostly l because it is lighter and easier to carry around.
C. Pelikan Souverän M805 Ocean Swirl // Limited Edition 2017 Piston fill 18k gold nib fountain pen
What the what. I know. I think it’s going to be really hard for me to explain myself on this one. I think I will go more into the thoughts and tribulations that went into this large investment, as well as a full review in another post — I do intend to ink it at least once before putting it on a pedestal display like it’s a piece of fancy jewelry. (It really is something I would equate to a fancy piece of jewerly I’d only wear once in a blue moon)
D. Taccia Kimono Pen Roll // Pastel Bunny and Sakura Vines Silk 4-slot pen roll
Not a pen! But still part of my stationaries haul. I’ve been dreaming of getting a really nice pen roll for a while now, particularly one that had individual slots for pens to keep them from crashing into each other. My global arts case right now is excellent for carrying my daily use pens, pencils, etc., but when I put my nicer pens in here, they end up banging into each other or scratching against one another. Not great. Enter fancy pen roll! It’s only a 4-slot roll, but it is great quality; 100% silk and will protect 4 nice pens. It’s also got a really cute kimono pattern of bunnies and sakura flowers on it. I’m actually weary of carrying it around in my bag because it will get beaten up. It is sitting peacefully on my desk at the moment.
E. Pilot Vanishing Point Mandarin Yellow // Retractable clicky fountain pen w/ 18k gold nib
The last get before I put my foot down. I have had this one on my list for a long long time, it’s almost a no-brainer at this point, that I knew I would want one of these. First of all, it’s unique and a great addition to my collection. It was also the first gold nib pen I told myself I would invest in because I’ve heard so many great things about it. The bonus being that I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And finally it’s yellow! The best part is, that I have been camping this pen on amazon for a good month, watching the price drop, and finally caved and got it at $122CAD (apparently the lowest it’s been thus far). Quite a steal.
F. Sailor Bungubox Bottled Ink // Sweet Potato Purple
And what’s a stationary haul without some ink to go with it. The only gift/non-personal purchase on the list, a cute little bottle (but actually 50mL full which is a LOT) of Sweet Potato Purple from my boyfren. It’s a really nice ink, with wonderful shading variations and flows really well. More on this the next time it gets reviewed with a pen!
So that’s it!
Wow…I outdid my own expectations there. Phew. I’d be terrified if the list were any longer than 5 (6 including the gift). And the real crazy is of course, the Pelikan alone probably outshines my budget for all my pens combined thus far, and then some. To be perfectly honest, I don’t believe I’m that kind of collector, and don’t really have any intention to be either. I started this bloggy opting to review my existing collection and any other beginner to mid-tier pens that catch my eye and are relatively affordable. But I imagine as with many pen enthusiasts and collectors, they’re bound to make a leap at some point and go all out on something — I never thought I’d own as much as two gold nib pens before the end of last year yet here I am.
As I may muse about later in a full review, I have considered the idea of a ‘grail pen’ for some time now. I spent a week contemplating the purchase (that’s totally not enough time to justify), whether it can be that grail pen or not, whether it will be worth it, whether I could even afford it, whether I would even use it. Suffice to say, the answer to all those questions ended up being yes. I really could not stop thinking about this one since the moment I saw the video release of the shimmering resin body. Ocean swirly indeed.
I didn’t straight up throw money at the pen though, there was some mild thought into procurement process haha. Luckily I hopped on a small holiday discount on the nibsmith site, and it came with a free nib adjustment too! I want to expand a little more on it when I do a full review, but basically to save a little bit extra, I had my super friend mule the pen back for me from the states since she was back in town for the holidays. YAY.
But not to give all my attention to the birdy pen, the other ones in the list are still quite the money drop and involved some equivalent amount of thought and patience before deciding to get. I may expand a little more on each, if I ever get to reviewing them all, but for starters, I think I’ve given a nice short-form summary above.
Now for the more gummy stuff.
I started this hobby initially as a stingy student, occasionally picking up a new cheap pen or two between studio model expenses and printing fees. And when I finally started the bloggy a year after graduation, I vouched to focus on the more beginner/medium-tier ‘affordable’ pens, quality at a decent price point. I think I got the hang of it, even thoroughly enjoyed my collection of entry-level fountain pens, reviewing them, and also using a lot of them on a daily basis for doodles, note taking, etc. And then look what happened. I spiraled out of control, went on a splurge fest over the summer and picked up both a lot of new (not cheap) pens, notebooks and misc. stationary, and have concluded the year with my biggest purchase yet.
I have come to some revelations over the course of the few months of buying, reviewing and using. I know that I’m definitely more a quality over quantity collector, and having fewer but pristine and quality use pens is a lot more valuable to me than having multitude of crappier quality semi-useful pens. At the same time, I’ve observed that there are a few pens that I will always end up keeping in my pencil case, and suffice to say, a lot of them are my mid-level/beginner grabs. The part that gets harder to come to terms with, is the fact that I get hesitant to throw my nicer pens, because I don’t want to damage or scratch them. In the end, the pens I paid less for end up getting way more use than my expensive, quality pens. I wonder if there’s a value proposition here about equating pricier and higher end pens with more usage. Or is it that they are meant to be on display…?
Anyway, the point is, now I’m rolling in my bed of pens (I mean, I don’t even have that many…), and wondering whether I’m at a tipping point between crazy collector and avid user. I have found myself with a little too many pens in my collection that I feel are likely un-used/not good enough, that I would like to pass off or sell. I am unsure how to go about doing it, because 1) they are too cheap or 2) I may have used some of the value out of them and didn’t take care of them well. ie. scratched or banged up or fading.
Still thinking about what to do about that one.
Between the weeks I’ve spent constructing this post on and off while waiting for my haul, I’ve chanced upon some more nice things I already want to add to my collection. Such is the hobby collector life. Let’s see if I can survive the resistance.
Ironically enough, I actually started writing and editing this post about my holiday haul before I even physically had any of the items. It’s given me quite a bit of anxiety though, writing about things I’ve put money into but have yet to actually own. The feeling of ownership and physical touch is important for me, particularly because 1) Owning something that I really like and picked out, that I also paid for with my own money gives me satisfaction and even a sense of pride, and 2) As an architect and doodler, I work with my hands a lot, and being able to hold something makes a big difference. None of this digital objects with digital money. (<– that’s a complete lie, I love opening in-game lootboxes. Maybe more on this in another muse) But now that I have them in hand, have given them a good twirl, I am happy to say I am satisfied with all my purchases. The quality is as expected if not better, which is always a plus. The plan is that they are all going to get used sufficiently and put to good use.
So what now?
Rolling into the new year is always a whirlwind for me because I don’t really sit down and put some serious thought into resolutions. I kind of think about it for a little bit, then the new year gets so busy that I soon forget to go back to actually noting things down. I did sit down and write some things down this year though, since I have started up my new passion planner, so I have some short-term goals in mind. I don’t have any particular major milestones in mind to accomplish further down past a year. The goal is mostly just to make that steady climb to stability. Too boring? Well, I also want to get licensed, start some more art projects, build another keyboard, maybe try making my own ink, and keep up my planner weekly posts. There!
A look back in reflection, the bloggy is not even a year old, but I’ve published 25 posts, this being the 26th. I’ve gained more traffic than I thought I would get, and made some very nice pen enthusiast blog friends too. Looking forward to weirdoforestPen‘s first birthday, (which, if I’m not mistaken, was started on my own birthday) and hopefully I’ll have something special to post then! Some of my greatest hits include:
- The Bullet // Ensso Piuma Minimalist Fountain Pen
- The Twins // Pilot Penmanship
- Something New // Nemosine Singularity
- Twizbee I // TWSBI Diamond 580
- Spectrecle // Baron Fig Squire and Confidant
So thank you to everyone who’s been dropping by and reading or scrolling through my posts! Stay tuned for the first review of 2018. Currently undetermined yet. =) Also, I will try to use the eggy a little less in the next batch of photos. It really was way too over-easy to through gude in every shot (=