2014 Wrap-Up: The Feelings

Simple tree
Simple tree

I had planned to get a post up last week, but then I caught a cold (unexpected) and Christmas arrived (expected). One thing was fun, the other not so much. Slowly coming out of my sinus miseries and low-key Christmas celebrations to think about getting things back to normal. Well, normalish.

Baking cookies
Baking molasses cookies. Or as I call them, mole asses cookies.

I’m off from work for most of the week— just have to pop in on Friday for a little while— so every day feels like Saturday lately. Which is what I imagine heaven feels like.

Christmas colored Retro 51s
My festive Retro 51s

A couple of feelings routinely kick in this time of year, as one year ends and the other begins. The first is gratitude. Thanks for all of the good stuff and good people that I’ve encountered in the last year, much of it related to pens (and paper and ink and pencils) and the pen/pencil communities. These are the places where I feel most comfortable, where my introverted tendencies vanish, where I have a blast.

The Retrakt
Karas Kustoms Retrakt

Though not a complete list by any means, these are just some of the people and places who made 2014 a memorable year:

Podcasts/Videocasts
The Pen Addict with Brad and Myke (responsible for oh so many pen purchases and for an always entertaining commute)
The Erasable Podcast with Andy, Johnny, and Tim (Who would’ve thought I’d listen to a show about pencils? I do, and I love it.)
Anderson Pens (Oh, that chat! It’s like meeting with friends every time I tune in.)
SBREBrown & Gourmet Pens & the “I won’t be ignored” kitty (Great information with great humor. You guys rock.)

Pen, pencil, ink, notebook, and storage vendors
Anderson Pens
Dudek Modern Goods
Edison Pen Co.
Field Notes
Fontoplumo
The Goulet Pen Co.
JetPens
Karas Kustoms
Levenger
Nock Co.
Pen Chalet
The Pen Company
Retro 1951
Write Notepads & Co.

Thanks to some for supplying review items, to others for great customer service, and to all for great products and that extra-special personal touch.

My nib guy
Dan Smith @fpgeeks

Thanks for making less than stellar pens remarkable, quickly and affordably. Great work!

Penpals
Tracy Lee
Michelle

Thank you for understanding when I TAKE SO LONG TO REPLY. Your letters and cool envelopes are a source of delight in my mailbox. So glad we’re getting to know each other better while using our pens and inks.

Bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers
I won’t name names because I’ll leave someone out then feel bad, but you all entertain and educate me, amuse and enlighten. This is the BEST community.

Best hotel
The Sheraton at Tysons Corner for returning my “left behind” Akkerman ink after the DC Pen Show. Amazing customer service. So grateful.

Pencils at the ready
Pencil line-up

The other feeling that kicks in this time of year is “fresh start.” Old year out, new year in. Time to purge, reorganize, and start with a blank(ish) slate. Fred and I regularly purge and straighten out our pantry during our break between Christmas and New Year’s. Annual ritual. Afterwards, we vow to use what we have on hand before adding more stuff to the cupboards.

Conklin Stylograph
Conklin Stylograph (to be reviewed)

In that same vein, I plan to make 2015 a year where I buckle down and USE my pens, pencils, papers, and inks— switching my focus from acquisition to using. When you have a Staples Printer Paper box full of empty notebooks, it might be time to stop buying notebooks and start writing in them. Like every day. Don’t get me wrong, I use my stuff but I need to REALLY use my stuff. There’s plenty here to be written in and written with, plenty to be reviewed, plenty to have fun with. Plenty.

Machined goodness
Machined favorites

So I’m closing out 2014 and starting 2015 feeling grateful and blessed. And you— all of you— are the reason.

Peace and good health to you all.

Write Notepads & Co.
Write Notepads & Co. loot

The “Anti-Stealth” Edison Nouveau Premiere 2014 Spring Edition (Cherry Blossom)

A couple of weeks ago, I was blabbing about my love for all things stealth, like pens with black matte bodies and all-black nibs. I DO love those. I really do.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Cherry Blossom

But then I saw THIS pen on the Goulet Pens site and it’s obviously as “anti-stealth” as a pen can get. It’s pink and swirly and alive with depth and sheen. And it spoke to me. LOUDLY. Quite frankly, it would not shut up.

Pink & swirly!

Let’s set the groundwork— I’m not a pink person (she says, as she sits here wearing a pink shirt). Well, I did request a pink room when I was eight, but I chalk that up to falling for the “girl’s room = pink” stereotype of my youth. I’m much more drawn to earthy colors, and taupe. Lots of taupe. So me wanting this pink pen sort of came out of left field.

Sheen and depth and swirls!

It’s like how I LOVE the movie “The September Issue” despite being one of the least fashionable, comfort-trumps-all people I know. That movie, about the making of the September issue of Vogue magazine, is packed with moments of beauty, creative genius, and hard work. This pen, it seems to me, is packed with those as well.

Stabby ends

The Edison Nouveau Premiere model features a pointed body and cap, which makes it look a little “stabby.” That slightly tactical look, coupled with the luscious pink swirls, makes the pen that much more appealing to me. It’s like it’s tough and soft at the same time, which is a cool mix.

Translucent cap

One of my favorite things about the look of this pen is the translucency— how you can catch a glimpse of the nib and converter inside the pen. Coupled with the sheen and the swirls, this is, to me, the perfect look— full of interest and surprises.

Uncapped Cherry Blossom

The pen is a light one— 17g overall (10g body, 7g cap). This coupled with the nicely tapered grip makes it a great candidate for long writing sessions. The cap doesn’t post, but the uncapped body measures 5-1/8″ making it perfectly usable for just about everybody.

Edison nib

I ordered the pen with a medium steel nib, and after a bit of debate, filled the included converter with my beloved Levenger Shiraz ink. This is a “we were meant to be together” pairing, and writing letters and notes with this pen/ink is a true pleasure. The nib writes wonderfully. It’s juicy, with just a touch of feedback. No hard starts, no skipping. The ink always flows even if I’ve left the pen sitting for a couple of days.

Cherry Blossom

What’s really nice is that the #6 nibs are easily swappable. Just screw out one nib unit and screw in another. Because of this, I ordered a couple of spare nibs with my pen— a fine as well as a 1.1mm stub. It’s like having three pens in one for just a little more money.

Edison branding

As noted on the Goulet Pens website, “Edison Nouveau is a joint collaboration between Brian Gray of the Edison Pen Company, and Brian Goulet of the Goulet Pen Company. This is an exclusive line of Edison fountain pens available only through the Goulet Pen Company.” Branding is super subtle, and notes that this is the 2014 Spring Edition of the Edison Nouveau Premiere, meaning this version will only be available until mid/late June. It’s not a limited edition pen (i.e., there aren’t a limited number available), rather it’s available during a limited timeframe. I’m already anxious to see the 2014 Summer and Fall versions.

Oh, those swirls!

But for now, I love my pink Edison Nouveau Premiere, despite my professed love of black stealthy pens. (It’s our inconsistencies that make us interesting, right?) This pen positively POPS and sparkles and shines. It’s bright, it’s fun, it’s fresh and swirly.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Cherry Blossom

It is the Cherry Blossom.

Prized: Edison Extended Mina in Cinnamon Swirl Acrylic (EF nib)

On Saturday April 27th, the planets and stars aligned JUST right and I miraculously won an Edison pen during the FPGeek’s FPtv Episode 69 Live Broadcast. When Stephen pulled my name out of the hat (yes, an actual hat), I did that thing that football players do when they score the winning touchdown. (And if you know me, you know that’s TOTALLY out of character.) The win was particularly cool, because the first name Stephen drew belonged to someone in the chat, and they, apparently, hadn’t stuck around long enough to see if they’d won. So a second name was drawn, and it was mine.

Stunned. Serious stunnage. I was stunified.

As the winner of the Edison giveaway, I was allowed to select any cartridge/converter, steel nibbed pen from Brian Gray’s current inventory (up to $250 value). Now THAT was a daunting/fun/colorful decision. There were hundreds of pens to choose from (this was just prior to the Chicage Pen Show, luckily) and I flipped through the entire inventory a couple of times before narrowing things down. Ultimately I settled on the Extended Mina in Cinnamon Swirl Acylic, with my usual EF nib. The pen arrived a few days later, and wow…just wow. This thing is gorgeous.

Extended Mina

When browsing through Brian’s inventory slides, I was  quickly taken by the shape of the Extended Mina. The pen gently tapers to the center so the ends are a bit thicker than the middle of the capped pen. There’s no clip, and the pen cannot be posted, so if you require either of those features, this model is not for you. But it is definitely the one for me. The look is clean and smooth, and the Cinnamon Swirl Acrylic makes it truly jaw-dropping.

Extended Mina

This particular swirled acrylic has amazing depth and sheen and translucency. I like how you can catch a glimpse of the threads through the cap. And the colors are “my colors.” Rusty oranges and greens and golds and blacky blues all swirled in a mesmerizing pattern. You can’t not look at it.

Cinnamon Acrylic

The tapered section fits my hand perfectly. Holding this pen is like slipping on that perfect pair of sandals…the kind that make you exhale with comfort. (Obviously the Extended Mina and I were meant to be together.) And this EF nib is wonderfully fine, perfectly fine…somewhat finer than the EF nibs I have on a couple other Edison pens. Which suits me…well…fine. I couldn’t be happier with this pen.

Edison EF nibbage
Edison EF nibbage

What’s cool about Edison pens (like this one, and my Collier in Persimmon Swirl) is that they totally ruin you for other pens. My wishlist doesn’t tug at me nearly as hard now that I’m using my Mina. Which is kind of nice. To feel pen-satisfied.

Mesmerizing

“Prized,” as defined in the dictionary means:
1) Offered or given as a prize;
2) To value highly; esteem or treasure.

And so this is my prized pen. This is my Edison Extended Mina. Pinch me.

Uncapped Extended Mina

Nothing Compares 2 U: Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl

Apologies to Sinead O’Connor for stealing the song title to title this post, but I am dopey swoony over this pen. Like I miss it when I’m not around it. It has completely stolen my pen-loving heart. It has spoiled me for all other pens. This is serious, folks.

Behold the Edison Collier in Persimmon Swirl. Oh, my. There I go, swooning again. (Did I faint? Did I get the vapors?)


Use with cartridge or converter OR as an eyedropper pen

By listening to the Fountain Pen Geeks podcasts, I’m learning a lot about the fountain pen players, including Brian Gray (Edison Pen Company, the maker of this pen) and Brian Goulet (The Goulet Pen Company, the seller of the pen). The Collier is one of Brian Gray’s production pens and is sold by The Goulet Pen Company, as well as a few other sellers. I love poking around on The Goulet’s website, and let me tell you, when I spotted this pen, my eyes popped out of my head, just like a cartoon critter’s.


Yes, like this.

This is the biggest pen I own, but it’s wonderfully comfortable and fun to hold. The section is perfectly shaped for my grip, so writing with it is a dream. A DREAM. The #6 two-tone steel nib (fine) writes smoothly and without hesitation. The looks are truly killer. Photos don’t really do justice to the sheen and depth of the persimmon swirl pattern. The branding is simple and subtle. There is not one misstep with this pen. Not a one.

I could blabber on like a fool all day long, but I think I’ll just let the photos do the talking.


Persimmon Swirl. (Reminds me of Nemo!)


Oh so subtle branding


A view of the #6 nib


Edison Collier vs. Lamy Vista

Edison Collier, I’ll say it again. Nothing compares 2 u.

——-

AND here’s a super review from another fan: Stephen Brown’s video review.