Friday Read

Happy belated new year! I hope the new year has treated you well. While perusing the news, I have stumbled upon a photo essay on one of the last pencil factories in America in The New York Times Magazine. Even though pencils are not often featured on this blog, it is an indispensable and constant presence in daily life. A seemingly humble pencil is a silent yet organic giant with many hidden intricacies.



2018 Hobonichi Pre-release Announcement

How is everyone's progress on the choice planner this year? In case you are jumping on the wagon for a Hobonichi in 2018 or just curious of which covers would be part of the line-up, check out this link (sorry for the late notice on my part!). Hobonichi will unveil one cover a day until August 12th. The full line-up will be announced on the 18th.

Are you looking forward to your future planner?

Original Sailor Jentle colors

When the original Sailor Jentle colors were discontinued several years back, I could literally hear the shattering noise of all ink lovers’ hearts. Perhaps now it is time to mend that wound. I just read an announcement from Goldspot Pens that the original Sailor ink line will return. As to whether this release is limited or permanent, it is still in the wind. If you have a hankering for Apricot, Grenade, Epinard, Ultramarine, Pêche, or Sky High, you may want to consider signing up for the notification email from Goldspot, as the ink will be available in early May. However, if you have purchased Sailor ink from its second release back in around 2013 or 2014, you may want to check out this post, for some colors in this line up are very similar to the original line.

*I am not affiliated with Goldspot Pens nor was I compensated for writing this post. Just want to give a friendship shoutout to those who may have missed the opportunity several years back 🙂

Happy New Year!

Happy belated New Year and Handwriting Day!

Even though this blog has been quiet, the pens in my rotation are ever increasing.  Toward the end of the year, I took advantage of various promotions and purchased some fountain pen ink I have longed for.  As you may have guessed, too many pens are inked!  I have since then cleaned out several pens, but still have 7 of them in rotation.

currently inked
Written on Maruman B5 Report pad

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Pelikan Edelstein Ink of 2018

Perhaps some of you have heard, Pelikan is hosting a color contest for Pelikan Edelstein 2018, with lots of great opportunities to win some goodies.  If it is up to you, what color would it be?  For the full details, check out Edelstein Ink of the Year page.  Want to mix up your own unique color?  Start your experiment here!

Nomadic Easy Classification Pencil Case



Selecting a suitable pencil case is close to a shoe fitting for Cinderella for me, probably because I am such an indecisive person who has a hard time deciding what to bring.  Most of the time, I only transport my selected stationery goods between home and work; thus, there is no urgent need for me to look for an adequate pencil case until I had to travel back home earlier this year.  Though the selected arsenal would be in my messenger bag with me in the cabin at all time, it was still better to be safe than sorry since I have planned to take a few fountain pen with me.  The prerequisites for this ideal pencil case are medium capacity (I prefer not to take too many items with me, as it does become harder to locate an item in the midst of pens) and some protections for fountain pens.  With these elements me mind, I thought a combination of a book style and a zippered compartment would do nicely, and after some perusal sessions, I settled on Nomadic Easy Classification Pencil Case in Blue.


  • Length:  21.7 cm (approx. 8.54 in)
  • Width:  9.2 cm (approx. 3.62 in)
  • Depth:  5.5 cm (approx. 2.17 in)
  • Material:  Nylon
  • Exterior color:  Blue with light gray trims (in this review), also available in black, gray, navy, red, and yellow.
  • Interior color:  orange (similar to the hue of Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-gaki)
  • Closure:  zipper
  • Numbers of compartment:  3
Nomadic logo hiding behind the mesh part

Nomadic Easy Classification is large for me only because I am so accustomed to using pencil rolls.  With its dimension, it is a medium pencil case that is great for organization, daily carry, as well as traveling.  My very first impression of it was its lightweight.  Some pencil cases can be very hefty that discourage users from putting more items in it.  However, do not be fooled by its featherweight because all compartments have a thin padded layer to protect the enclosed goods.  The color combination is also eye-catching and gives a unisex appeal.  The one that is under reviewed here has hyacinth blue exterior and orange-red interior.

YKK zippers


double stitches all around

The nylon material is textured which gives a bit of grip to the pencil case that facilitates the overall retrieval of the case, and the standard YKK zippers ensure the ease of use and longevity.  I speculate that the driving force behind the design of this case is utility since there is no feature or compartment on the case that appears to be “extra.”  Though the quality of a product can be determined by the material or design alone, for me, details are indicative of the overall quality and concept of the product.  In the case of Nomadic Easy Classification, all the edgings have matching color double stitching to improve durability and to appeal aesthetically.

tray compartment with mesh pockets
The design of case intrigued me because half of the case is similar to a book-style pencil case in that the upper half has a pouch that allows vertical storage of pens, which is ideal for fountain pens, while the bottom half opens to a small compartment that is great for post-it and other smaller items.  The other half of the pencil case is tray style with two mesh pockets on the sides, with plenty of room for pens and gadgets and added a sense of organization for commonly retrieved items, such as lead and bar style eraser.


book-style-like side


longer portion
smaller compartment

Notice that I said Nomadic Easy Classification has a similar to book-style pencil case because the two compartments on one side unzipped into two flaps and do not completely open like a book.  One side is long enough to accommodate an average size fountain pen, such as a Pilot Kaküno.  Also because how long the compartment is, mini size fountain pens, such as Kaweco Liliput, might “disappear” in the pocket.  Interestingly, this is one of the times when I found pen clip handy since fountain pens can be easily secured in the pocket by clipping onto the edge.  The tray style side can fit quite a bit of pens; currently, I have 8 pens, a white-out pen, and a 15-cm (approx. 6 inches) ruler without the pen case looks overly bulging (that is with 6 fountain pens on the other side).  Though I place fountain pens in Nomadic Easy Classification as my daily carry, I would not suggest placing grail pens in them for the reasons that the case only offers light protection; however, it is suitable for any pens you would not mind or have a heartache if they have some signs of usage.

Nomadic in action!  Tray compartment
All fountain pens nicely stowed


Storing page markers and post-it in the smaller compartment

For the one month I have used this case, I have not found any feature that I dislike.  It is a durable, lightweight, and utilitarian.  The space allowance that this case provides does not translate into the weight.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a nicely and streamline designed case for the daily carry.

Resurfacing and update

Apologies for my long absence!  School definitely occupies most of my time, in addition to work and family.  The good news is that pen and paper still have significant presence in my life, no matter what.

Recently, I have gone back to Taiwan to visit my family, and you can almost expect me to have a set of stationery with me.  (Yes, yes, travel kit again).  I have to confess that I am particular when it comes to writing utensils, so one thing I would do first (yes, before I packed the luggage) is select stationery items I would like to have with me.


Given that this is a longer trip (it is approximately a 16-hour flight outbound), instead of bringing the trustworthy Saki Collection pen roll, Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case was purchased to fulfill this particular purpose.  I needed a pen case that offers a bit more protection and a bit more compartment to contain my choices of pens and gadget, as well as my OCD.

Lihit Lab Teffa pen case definitely answers the need of organization; there is a compartment for almost everything I have brought along with me.  Here is a breakdown of what I have inside of the pen case:

  • Pilot Kakuno Fine nib with Diamine Mint
  • Pilot Vanishing Point Fine nib with Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa (not pictured)
  • Lamy Al-Star in Matte Black EF nib with De Atramentis Gingerbread
  • Zebra Surari (a ballpoint pen is handy when it comes to custom form!)
  • Pentel Ain Clic eraser
  • Pilot Furefure Corone mechanical pencil in .3mm
  • Zebra Optex EZ highlighter in purple
  • Pilot Neox Eno HB lead in .3mm
  • Pilot Coleto Multipen
  • Pilot Hi-Tec-C


Ink that has been filled in these three pens have not been in the rotation for awhile; the revisit reminded me of how much I like them.  It is clear that most of the writing utensils are in fine or extra fine nibs.  In retrospect, I would bring Pilot Falcon instead of Lamy so there is more variety in nib sizes.  It is also obvious that all the writing instruments are quite colorful, partly because they are handy when it comes to note taking, and equally effective to stay awake while studying.  If it was an ordinary vacation, you might think I have gone to Lala land with a mini stationery store in my messenger bag.  Unfortunately, school work awaited while I was abroad, so nice stationery brought some solace to this task.
In addition, I also have the Hobonichi planner with me, not as much as a planner, but as a travelogue. It just happened that at the metro stations in Taipei, commemorative stamps were available at each metro station to collect.  Probably the most inexpensive and memorable souvenir.  🙂