:Lamy Al-Star:

So, here she is in all her glory. I’m pretty sure long-time fountain pen aficionados are laughing at me gushing over a starter pen. I don’t care. I love her. After leaving Maido I went to one of my local Starbucks, and did my morning pages using the Lamy. (That’s where I took all these photos. I’m sure everyone there was looking at me like I was daft.)


I found the weight of the pen to be a real factor in how I hold it. It actually makes it easier to hold it in the “proper” grip with the barrel resting in front of the knuckle of my index finger. I believe this is called the calligrapher’s grip. It is the grip described in the Spencerian theory book.

That extra fine nib also lends itself to my natural writing style. I write very small, and most gel pens are too thick to make the writing legible. You can also see why I’m attempting to learn better form for cursive. My n, m, u, i, and even r all look the same. If I wrote the word minimum, all you would see is a bunch of Us strung together.

I have not yet used it in my penmanship practice, as I am just enjoying it and getting to know it. Unfortunately, the cartridge in the pen was blue ink. The salesperson in Maido thought it was black. So, I am trying to use it up as quickly as I can, because I am definitely a black ink kinda girl. I’m sure there is a way to take it out and switch to the  converter and black ink I bought, but I need to do some more research before I do that, and I just have not had the time. The last thing I want is to be covered in blue ink.

:first trip to Maido:

img_6014

Over the weekend, I got some me time and I made a trip to Maido in San Jose. Doug gifted me with my first real fountain pen for my birthday this month, and I wanted to actually try some before I bought one.

Being the obsessive researcher that I am I had narrowed it down to the Lamy Al-Star. I could have ordered one online, but I wanted to actually feel the pen in my hand, so off I went to the only place in town where I could try one.

I had never been to Maido, but I’ve been wanting to go for a while.

Oh. My.

I geeked out over everything in that store. It’s not very big, but it is packed wall-to-wall with anything the stationary obsessed could want. There were stickers, journals, planners, notebooks, brush pens, gel pens, everything! I was in heaven.

img_6017img_6018img_6019img_6015

I could have spent hours in that store.

I got to see the Traveler’s Notebooks from the original Traveler’s Company. There were so classy and tempting. Unfortunately, I have a new bujo, so I am not willing to make that kind of an investment until I’m near the end of my current notebook.

One of the store employees helped me try the different nib sizes on the Lamy pens. I had to dip them since they do not keep any cartridges in the tester pens. I had never dipped a pen and my experience writing with any fountain pens is limited, so I found dipping awkward. Even so, the Lamy felt really good in my hand, and my tiny writing definitely called for the extra fine nib. I ended up picking a purple pen.

I went ahead and bought a converter and a bottle of black ink instead of more cartridges. I get the feeling this pen and I are going to get to know each other very, very well.

img_6020

I’ll show her off in another post.

:my mornings:

Mornings are my favorite time of day. I love when I can be up before anyone else. Just a cup of coffee, a pen and my journal. I spill my heart onto those pages. Dreams, desires, hopes, fears. Everything comes out through the tip of my pen. There is no censure, no judgement, no fears allowed in this space.

At first, with my brain still groggy from sleep, the words don’t come easily. They are stubbornly out of reach. Still, I put pen to paper and write.

Some mornings it only takes half a page for the words to start coming to me. Others, I’ll be well into the second page before I feel myself relax into the writing. I don’t think I’m ever aware of the moment when I stop hunting for the words and they just come to me.

Solitary mornings are rare for me, since my husband also tends to wake early, but I cherish the ones I do get.

:january 2018 zentangle challenge

In the past my drawing efforts have been sporadic at best. I’ll do a big piece and then I won’t touch my pens for months. So, to go with my word for the year, I am doing a daily drawing challenge in my bullet journal this year. this is my first effort. Unfortunately, I did not start it until I came back from my trip to Florida, thus the crossed out days.

This month I am going to try a more free-form format. I may not always do zentangles, as I want to start doodling and drawing in other styles as well.

We’ll see how that works out.

:TEDx Talks: Why Write? Penmanship for the 21st Century:

Due to my fascination with pens and paper, and having been a life-long journal keeper, I have always been interested in handwriting.

Right now I am helping my son with his penmanship. Due to some of the issues I mentioned him having from when he went to school, he has hated writing.

He avoids it like the plague.

Now, he is ready and interested in learning cursive. Mostly because he wants to read my writing. So, I spent the weekend surfing the web, looking for the best way for us to approach this. In my surfing I watched a whole bunch of videos.

Videos on how to, on methods, on curriculum reviews.

And I came across this gem:

Now, I want to go practice my own handwriting.