Holiday Haul 2021 // Year in Review

Happy New Year!

Another year, another yearly review. It was a very quiet 2021, I think? After going through and cataloguing, I am not so sure I stayed away from buying either. More on that later!

As with many things, the ebbs and flows of life is never really that consistent. What is consistent though, is acquiring new pens and stationery goodies towards the end of the year, some out of impulse and some with legitimate and pensive thought. 🙂 So without further ado, time to dig right in, along with a little reflective summary of 2021 to wrap it up.

FOUNTAIN PENS

A. Scriptorium Pens – Idyll Custom Resin fountain pen // White Abalone

I ordered this pen a year and a half ago! It showed up just before the end of the year and it’s a gem. It has yet to be inked as I’m probably going to cycle it into the monthly inked rotation along with a review, but wowwww. I knew I wanted a pen in White Abalone resin blank from Carolina Pen Company ever since I saw it, but I didn’t know where, when, how, etc. on acquiring it. After a bunch of browsing, I finally decided on Scriptorium Pens. And even threw in some requests for the notches and flat top which Renee was more than happy to include. I’m very excited to try it out, and also happy to finally say I own my first official custom pen.

B. Benu Talisman & Euphoria // Edelweiss & Vodka on the Rocks

Alright, well the cats out of the bag since I couldn’t wait and reviewed one of these pens over the break. But here they are with Eggy. I finally jumped on the bandwagon of trying a Benu after hearing so much about them. Read more in the review for some backstory to my purchases. These high-end resins are rad. I enjoy the sparkles quite a bit, as much as I love all black everything.

C. Pelikan Classic M200 // SE Golden Beryl Ink & Pen set

What can I say, this was a last minute grab that I can’t say I regret. I haven’t had my favourite experiences with Pelikan pens in the past (link & link), despite really appreciating the quality and look of the pens. I even thought I was too late to jump on this SE set and was actually on the fence about picking it up. But by chance, I was browsing Pen Chalet post-Benu purchase and this one was available with a 10% discount. So it became my last surprise haul for the holidays. Looking forward to trying it! (when it arrives :>)

INK

D. Ferris Wheel Press Fountain Pen Ink 38ml // Stroke of Midnight

Can’t be a Holiday Haul without some ink! Newest addition to my collection of FWP inks. I picked up SO many this year – as will be evidenced in my Ink Log 2021 coming up – and this was a very nice conclusion to the collection. It reminds me a lot of Proxima B from Colorverse with added shimmer. It’s a very nice ink, and I’ve generally enjoyed using all FWP inks in terms of their level of flow and consistency. They’re also wonderful to paint with.

PENCILS & OTHER STATIONERY

E. Leonardt Principal Nib & Tom’s Studio Brass Pen Stand // EF Calligrapher nib

I’ve had a Nikko G nib for a while now, though infrequently used. Since I was ordering a couple things already (more below!) from the same store, I thought I’d try my hand at a new nib style. This one looked the most scripty from the writing samples with plenty of flex and line variation. It fits perfectly in my little cheap nib holder (pictured, pink) and it’s been fun to use so far, even though only on occasion!

The brass pen stand, also pictured here, is one of those unique desk artefacts you don’t see too often (at least in my opinion). I took one look and knew it would be something I’d want to see on my desk every day. Made from solid brass and available (I think) only at Tom’s Studio, this little gem is wonderful, weighty and useful for holding up my pens.

F. Caran D’Ache 2mm Fixpencil // Klein Blue Edition

I actually bought this probably over a year ago. I can’t even recall! But since I had sent it to my friend in the states, she wasn’t back in town until recently to deliver it. Now that it’s finally in my hands, I suppose it isn’t a bad thing to tack it onto the Holiday Haul. I’ve been using my Staedtler lead holders since first year university and while I have no problems with them at all, it was hard to resist picking up another one, especially one with such a label as Limited Edition. In any case, it’s a great pencil and even comes with some spare Klein Blue lead.

G. Fintec Coliro Watercolours // Galaxy

Not my first time trying Fintec Coliro pigmented glitter pans, and I have nothing but good things to say about these sparkly, shiny and very nice ‘inks’ to use with my new calligraphy nib. I’m still not quite used to the mixing ratio of water to get the best results, but with more time and experimentation I think they’re easy to use and look oh so shimmery great.

OTHER

H. Finalmouse Starlight Mouse // Phantom Small

I realized in past holiday hauls I sometimes threw in other goodies I pick up over the break. For this year’s feature, an excessively expensive but very good wireless mouse I picked up – the Finalmouse Starlight Phantom. I actually got two…but the other one (sized Medium) remains unopened and still sealed. I had the chance to buy up to two, and was convinced that they can be quite sought after. I got both sizes and determined small was a better fit for my hands. Pretty happy with the mouse! It’s even lighter than you might think just from the looks, and the shell is made completely of metal! Magnesium to be exact. It doesn’t quite match my pink set-up, but I’m happy with it in any case.

2021 Summary
No notebooks??
Well, I’ve picked up a few throughout the year but none so close to the holidays and hence they didn’t make the cut. But I can’t not share about some of my favourite grabs from the year. One of them being the Midori MD notebook. My first time trying it and I’ve already gone through one whole Frame A5 book! The paper is great, the low-key cover and overall use is perfect for everyday doodling, sketches, planning. This will be one on my list of top 5 sketchbooks post which is still in the works and awaiting some final drawings to be completed.

Another new pick-up this year was the FWP Sketchbook Enveloped in Rattan in A5 size as well. Can you tell this is my sketchbook size of choice? This one’s also going on the list, so stay tuned!

A lot can happen in a year, as I have realized since reflecting back on my pen records for 2021. Last year, I bought 7 fountain pens and 5 pens, a lot more than I thought. Perhaps the year felt like it dragged on more than most, or time just flew by as new alluring products kept popping up, or I simply was focused too much on collecting rather than using.

I started the year picking up a Sailor 1977 in Anchor Grey, a pen I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to pick up due to the cost and the NA edition adding to the rarity. But I caught the tail end of a sale and the rest is history. It was so long ago (a year!) that I forgot I even purchased it in 2021. It was on the list to get a review but I ended up starting the year with a review of the Kaweco AL Sport Hello Kitty edition, my second purchase of the year. This was followed by an impulsive pick-up of an Ensso XS pocket fountain pen in copper. Staying on that copper train, I sunk in and got the YStudio Classic Portable Fountain Pen, a pen that I’ve become quite fond of an looking forward to reviewing properly. Following this was a pre-order of Ferris Wheel Press’ latest fountain pen, a budget-friendly Carousel (and Roundabout roller ball) pen but mine cracked after having a lot of trouble opening the tight cap and it has hence been shelved and nearly forgotten. The rest of the year’s purchases are listed above in the Haul and that sums up fountain pens!

On the pen front, I started early with the Baron Fig Good Luck Squire, my third Squire, a pen that I enjoy collecting on occasion but have not used as often. Following this was Ferris Wheel Press’ entry into the ball pen world with The Scribe. I like the look of the pen and it’s relatively smooth once it gets going, but as with much of my dissatisfaction with pens like this, it’s hard to get the pen going compared to a good fountain pen. Unless I’m reaching to take a quick note, I don’t use this one much anymore. FWP’s other pen, the Roundabout mentioned earlier was another pick-up, and while the prospect of using any ink sounds great, I found there were too many start/stop issues with the roller ball and after one ink, have found myself also dissatisfied with the use. A new one on the list is the Leuchturm1917 Drehgriffel Nr. 1. I got a pink one with gel ink (currently paired with my marble keyboard) and a Monocle yellow version with ball point ink. Finally I couldn’t resist the glamourous Caran D’Ache 849 classic ball point pen in Rose Gold edition to cap off the year.

It’s way more than I can use, that is for certain. And unfortunately, not every piece is a hit. But sometimes that’s what it takes to find the right fit and fill the desires of the collection. I’m not one for ‘resolutions’ in the new year persey, but I think I’m going to challenge myself not to get any pens this year until I’m done with my reviews of outstanding goodies that I already own (I’ve already failed this as I write, because I’ve decided to pick up another pilot penmanship because, if you’ve read anything about my twins, you’ll know I absolutely love this cheapo pen and use it for everything). I think monthly inked (Check out 2021’s lineup) will also keep me busy. If I do have to pick up a pen, however, how about only picking up black ones? We’ll see how that goes.

That was pretty long but thanks for following along if you got to the end! Happy New Year again and cheerio till the next post.

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