Getting Back To It


I am a firm believer that just because something didn’t work once, that doesn’t mean it will never work. Of course, that sounds like Einstein’s definition of insanity: you continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Ever the optimist, I am going to try my hand at blogging one more time. And the thing that has made me really want to try to do it is a little company in Michigan called Cocoa Daisy.

After about two years of fighting planner wars and journal wars, I came across this subscription based service sometime in April, 2017. Once a month they ship their subscribers a box of peace and happiness. I am currently subscribing to their planner pages and a couple different sizes of traveler’s notebooks. Each month has a different theme, design, and color scheme. They have literally brought beauty into my everyday life. It is wonderful! I have even started using of their standard size traveler’s notebooks to do memory keeping. I have never been a scrapbooker, and we have family photos scattered everywhere. By using their supplies, I already have four full months of lovely notebooks filled with photos, gratitude and the highlights of each month. It has been fun to put them together and even more fun to look back at them. I can’t wait to do more!


The One Pen to Rule Them All

Montblanc Alexander DumasMontblanc Alexander Dumas

A close up of the Dumas nib.
A close up of the Dumas nib.

I did it again. Last year when I went to the Ohio Pen Show, I broke one of the cardinal rules of pen shows by buying one of the first pens I looked at, a Conway Stewart 100 in Amethyst. This year, I bought the very first pen I came across, the Montblanc Alexander Dumas Limited Edition from their writers series in 1996. I wasn’t really looking for it, mainly because I never thought I would even get to see it in person. When we stopped at the first big table in the main showroom I noticed that the exhibitor had several Limited Edition pens and so asked him about the Dumas. Again, even at a pen show I didn’t think I would find one, but he looked through one of his large leather pen cases behind his table and came up with the “one pen” I had always wanted. It still has the “m” sticker on it, showing it is a medium nib. It doesn’t have a box or papers, which is fine with me as I was hoping to find one I could actually write with, not just put on a shelf as a collectors item. It is the most beautiful pen I have ever seen. It is, in itself, a work of art. My favorite nibmeister, Richard Binder, was also at the show. He was adjusting and smoothing nibs for people and so I brought the pen to him to set up and adjust the nib just the way I like it. It writes perfectly.

MB Dumas Writing Sample, Diamine Amaranth Ink

We were at the pen show for four days, and I only bought one other pen. I’ll write about that one later. It is also something very special, and as such deserves its own post. However, nothing can surpass this pen in my collection. It really is “the one pen to rule them all.”

Newest Best Journal

I have been keeping a journal for over 20 years. I just seem to be able to think better when I have a pen in my hands. To my mind, a good pen is one that doesn’t get in the way of writing. A great pen actually inspires it. The same can be said for good paper and good ink. I think I have tried just about every notebook out there, but the one I have been using for the past two weeks just might be the best I’ve ever encountered. It is made with Tomoe River Paper, a very thin paper that takes fountain pen ink very well. There is no bleed-through or feathering, and it has a velvety feel to it.

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This journal is available at:

The One That Started it All

Conway Stewart 58 in Amethyst
Conway Stewart 58 in Amethyst

The first fountain pen I really loved writing with is my Conway Stewart 58 in Amethyst. In June, 2004, my husband and I took a very fun trip to Washington DC with some friends. In order to commemorate such an occasion, I decided I would look for a very nice pen at Fahrney’s Pens. This one fit the bill perfectly. It was not my first fountain pen, but it was the first one where I managed to hit upon the perfect pen+ink+paper combination. Along with the pen, I also bought a bottle of Private Reserve Ink in Plum. I wish I could remember the paper I was using at the time, but I don’t. I do know that I finally understood what the fuss about fountain pens was all about. There is something about a good fountain pen gliding across a sheet of paper that is magical. Some people describe the experience as butter on glass.

Writing in butter on a glass plate - very smooth.
Writing in butter on a glass plate – very smooth.

Thankfully, fountain pens are much neater. After finding this magical formula, I started reading  every issue of Pen World magazine and joined the message boards at It opened up a whole new world. I discovered that not only are there others out there who love writing instruments, there is an entire pen community. It was a real eye-opener. Through Pentrace I started learning how to take care of fountain pens, what the best brands are, and that pen people are cool. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Beauty of the Written Word


There is something very beautiful about writing with a fountain pen. While I have always loved writing and writing instruments, it wasn’t until I found fountain pens about 10 years ago that my pen collecting really took off. Now, I own over 250 fountain pens and have become much too knowledgeable about all things pen, ink and paper. Certainly, there are people who know much more than I do, but in the large scheme of things I know plenty. I think it is time I started writing some of it down in one spot. I am hoping to catalog my pens and keep records of the inks I have used. I am also planning on doing some reviews of pens, inks and papers. I suppose this blog is mainly for me, an online pen journal as it were. However, since others might find some of this information interesting as well, I decided to do my reviews and cataloging online.

Welcome to my blog!