If one were to backtrack on my Holiday Haul 2021 & resolution post, you’ll learn of my ultimate demise of a resolution to buy fewer pens in the year 2022. Not only is buying fewer pens a very difficult task for a fountain pen hobbyist, but I went and tacked on a nice restriction to do my best and only buy black pens. Then again, one might say – well black pens are probably the easiest restriction to give yourself, there are so many out there!!
I’m going to ignore that fact.
Now to jump straight to my resolution results and yearly recap of 2022. My resolution ultimately crumbled to dust around August, with a select few limited edition grabs, but if I were to be honest, I’d say I did pretty well!
Let’s start with 1) my 2022 Haul of Black pens and finish off with some reflections of the year 2) Some minor holiday hauls and 2) New resolutions for 2023~ Also, Eggy is back to help with the Holiday display!
I bought two pens this month, a Pilot Metropolitan (link) in Black (surprise surprise) and a Spark Fountain pen from Tom’s Studio.
The Metropolitan is no longer with me and hence not present in the group shot because I gifted it to a friend. Woohoo. But it was a great pen and I hope its new owner is happy with it as well. The Spark pen hasn’t gotten too much usage this year, unfortunately. It’s not a bad pen but probably not high enough on the priority list to get cycled in too often. Perhaps it’s because I have gotten over the pure metal machined look and feel, and also because it doesn’t run quite as smoothly as I’d prefer for regular use. The unique thing about the pen though is the flex nib! It’s quite neat, but since I opted not for the ‘pro’ version of the pen which comes with a much flexier nib, I found I couldn’t enjoy it as much. It will perhaps find itself into the monthly inked rotation for 2023 – we’ll see!
In February, I didn’t pick up any fountain pens, however I was having a bit of an infatuation with glass dip pens. Partially because I have broken or cracked most of mine…but then again, wouldn’t that be a reason to stay away from them? I was, in particular, interested in an all clear one which was surprisingly hard to find. In the end I opted for a black barrel one to stick with the theme. It’s usually on display now and doesn’t get much use.
This was the month I picked up my first Leonardo pen, more specifically, the Momento Zero in Matte Black with Ruthenium trim. You may have read about it since it was in my latest and last review of 2022! It’s a wonderful pen, and I will be using it regularly for many times to come. I should also note that it was around here that I put in the pre-order for the Supernova as well – but we’re only talking about black pens here right? 🙂
I restricted myself to black pens. The key being, I wasn’t holding myself only to fountain pens. I’ve been eyeing this one for a long long time. I really love the way the Caran D’ache 849 ballpoint pens work and feel. They’re perfect for carrying around or throwing in a bag because they’re so lightweight yet sturdy. They also write like a dream everytime without fail. So when I saw that there was an all black version, Black Code, it was so hard to pass despite the higher price point. The month after, I also picked up the Grovemade Black anodized aluminum rollerball pen. I actually really wanted to brass one, but was able to stick to the resolution and settle for the black one. It’s a beauty on the desk even though it doesn’t get as much use.
This was probably one of the largest purchases save for the Supernova. I probably debated this one for quite a bit and was finding it so hard to justify the price point for this limited edition piece. I love the pen, but it’s double the cost of a regular Century 3776 and I’m still really torn about it. In any case, the Platinum Century 3776 Shape of Heart edition is now in my possession – crystals, stamped hearts and rose gold accents in its entirety.
I made an impulsive purchase, encapsulated by the ‘limited edition’ tag once again. This time, a Lamy Vista – which I surprisingly do not own yet – but with black accents. It’s a demonstrator pen, but I thought it would count. I ended up sending this to a friend in the states to save a bit on shipping since I would be visiting her a couple months from time of purchase. I don’t know if I will ever use the pen. It’s a weird thing to do, buying a pen but not using it. I claim to be more of a user than a collector, but I think there is some part of me that enjoys the enjoyment of saying I have something that is in mint condition and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Someone prove me wrong – should I use the pen?
July – September
As I mentioned, the resolution took a bit of nosedive around August. I was on a trip to LA and some announcement was made that the F-C Model 02 in Antique glass had won an award and was being re-released again. It was a pen I had wanted to get before, so seeing the opportunity come up again was hard to pass up. You can read about it in my review! I also went on a bit of a Kaweco craze, picking up not one but three Kaweco Sport pens in the month of September. These included an AL Sport in Rose Gold, an SS Sport and the one and only Iridescent LE regular Sport (another pen I may never use)
Finally, I wrapped up my Kaweco craze with a Kaweco Special 2mm lead pencil. I really like this pencil! And I use it regularly for sketching. Oddly satisfying doodling floor plans with this one. It doesn’t come with an eraser or a sharpener at the back which is a bit disappointing. But I also realized this is advertised as a lead pencil and not a lead holder, so I will forgive the lack of sharpener. But no eraser?
I made no pen purchases in November or December – Wow! But also because I was in the middle of upgrading my desk space and almost all my ‘disposable income’ meant for pens went towards other life things. As it does, right?
I did make one final stationery-esque purchase in November, and that was this beautiful white oak pen tray. I saw it featured on one of Pen Addict’s newsletters and I just fell in love. It took a bit of convincing myself to purchase something fancy for display purposes. Usually I stick to the usual budget antics – Ikea Skadis boards, Muji plastic drawers, etc. So this was something different and I am not disapopinted whatsoever. It looks great! I am currently using it to show off my highly sharpened Irojiten Pencil Crayons. It makes me happy so here are a few more photos. This is a Wav Desk Organizer by Design Craft Workshop.
That probably wraps up the actual ‘Holiday Haul’, since the rest of my purchases, again, went to my desk upgrade. I’m not fully satisfied with where it’s at now, but perhaps I will do a workspace reveal someday.
Reflections and Resolutions
2022 was a slower year for the blog. I have found myself knee-deep in so many other engagements, and finding time to just sit down to doodle and write has been tough. Even routine studio mornings on the weekends get interrupted by things that are higher on the priority list. I should give the hobby a bit more priority – after all, it is something that does still give me joy. So why is it, that we often give way to other things over things that give us enjoyment? I’m sure there are lots of deep and also practical answers to that question.
I think perhaps the hobby of fountain pens, and doodling reviews may not always give enjoyment. They often take a long time to complete. I have to spend time with my pens, think about how I feel (usually, I write on impulse and first impressions), doodle, photograph, edit and write. I often break down each of those steps across multiple days just to feel like I can manage it. And as it stands, I managed 6 throughout the year of 2022. Significantly less than previous years. I think that’s okay. The point is that I am still around and that the blog still exists. And whenever I want to spend some time and write about my stationery obsession, I can! So thank you, Dear Readers for following along. Thank you to Brad Dowdy, The Pen Addict who has been featuring me on the links list every now and then. And thank you to those of you who just peep in now and then or pass by. I appreciate each and every one of you!
Resolutions though? As of now, January 2nd, 2023, I’m drawing a bit of a blank. The core resolution is, as always, to spend less on pens and stationery. I already have so much and am quite content with my collection. I own just over 100 bottles of ink/samples and I have a cherished collection of pens that I have been cycling through monthly. I also still have plenty of pens I have yet to write reviews on, so I’m not hurting for content either.
I did think of a couple options in addition.
- Only Yellow Pens – I like yellow. And my quality yellow pen collection is quite dismal currently. It’s also not a very common colour, so it may assist with the resolution
- Only buy pens over a certain price point (a high one) – This is a strange one, but it also can help with filtering and preventing myself from jumping on random impulse buys. What would be the limit though – maybe $200? $300? It seems outrageous, but I have reached that point. The pens I have been enjoying the most do happen to be the pens with higher price points. The Montblanc was a gift, but it’s just so darn excellent to use and it makes me happy. I would trade a good number of my current pens to get another classic.
- Only Fountain Pens – I have so many roller ball and ballpoint pens already, all of them excellent. There’s no need for more.
Should I go all three or bust? I don’t know! Do you have any ideas for resolutions – what are yours?
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!!
Thank you for your thoughtful recap of your year in pens. It does sound like you have had a busy year but it’s good that you have the blog, as an outlet and relaxation whenever you feel like posting.
I struggle to keep to my resolutions about not buying more pens, despite always starting the year with good intentions. I am also awash in bottles of ink and notebooks!
Buying fewer pens but of better quality is one answer. Then again, I often get great satisfaction from cheap pens when they perform well.
Good luck and enjoy yourself, in whatever direction the hobby takes you!
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Thanks for reading! And good luck with your resolutions as well for 2023 :’)