Scriptus came and went quickly. It was SO FULL and CROWDED! I picked up a Nolty notebook since I had never tried that paper. The staff at Paper Plus Cloth said it was their new favourite paper. I also grabbed 017 monthly undated inserts from Traveler's Company for my 2023 journal. I like Traveler's Company's design work for their 2023 cafe theme, but don't drink coffee! Too bad they didn't stay more general to include tea drinkers.

Afterwards we had Egg Club and then a few hours of pen/paper tasting. I always enjoy introducing folks to the different kinds of experiences that they can get through FP world!

Shortly after, it was Fountain Pen Day on Nov 4. I took these fountain pen prompts from Maiji (Pillowfort) about fountain pens.

Intro

Tell us how you got into fountain pens/inks.

I didn't necessarily "get" into fountain pens as much as I thought of the pen as another kind of tool that could be used. Sort of like how you just try different art tools/stationery when you see it. I have brush pens, pigment liners, ballpoints, gel, rollers, etc. A Pilot Metropolitan followed after, but I wouldn't say that I had the fever yet. A few years later, I got my third pen, a TSWBI Eco, and more inks. Then it was downhill from there...I wanted to try all sorts of different pens and papers!

What's your collection like? How do you organize your collection or information related to your collection?

For a while I was tracking my collection in a spreadsheet. Since I was blogging about my stationery, I made a page on my blog, but moved them over here!

You're given a fountain pen to test out. What would you typically write or doodle? Show us!

I usually write Hello Hello in print/cursive, some swirlies, and horizontal and vertical lines. I would probably draw Pinkey (see below).

Pens

Your first pen

Lamy Safari, yellow, fine nib

Your newest pen

Sailor PGS mini, black, broad nib

A pen you're currently using

I'm using most/all of my pens in rotation for daily journaling.

Your "essential" pen (e.g., everyday carry/EDC, favourite pen, etc.)

I am very fond of the nib on my Pelikan 400NN. I haven't been carrying EDC pens because of COVID-19.

Your "fanciest" pen

Jebs Pens Manaslu to be my most special one, since I commissioned it at a turning point in my life.

What tends to catch your interest when it comes to pens? e.g., drawn to particular colours, features, types or sizes of nibs, brands, etc.

Flatter ends, golden hardware, clips, and more vintage looks. I would get pens that I don't already have (in colour or nib size). At this point I've gotten most of what I want—a full suite of pens ranging from EF to BB and fude, modern and vintage, steel and gold, rounds and stubs, different filling mechanisms, coloured bodies, etc. Now I know how important it is to have a good cap seal, since my writing rotation is so long...

Inks

An ink you're currently using

I'm using all my ink except Noodler's red cactus eel for now, since I'm trying to get through all my ink samples.

An ink you love

Sailor Kobe Taisanji yellow!!

An ink name that stands out to you

Diamine Oxblood. Makes me wonder if different species/animals have different tone of blood. How did they name this one oxblood, and the other ones other things? Did this person know what blood of oxes look like, or was it simply based on the common name of a dark red that's often used in fashion/boots?

What tends to catch your interest when it comes to inks? e.g., drawn to particular colours, features/characteristics, brands, etc.

Super shading is my preference! Don't have strong feelings towards sheen or shimmer. I've tried to get 1 colour from ROYGBIV rainbow, but I have 3 browns and 3 olives, perhaps because those tend to shade more? I'm not that excited about blues and blacks unless they look very different from ballpoint ink, but then again, I have at least 3-4 different bottles of blue...

Bonus

Share a fountain pen/ink related tidbit. (Examples: a show or local shop that you love; something you made with fountain pens/inks; a personal memory or story related to pens/inks.)

I was at Wonder Pens with a friend in October and the staff were very nice. My friend doesn't own a fountain pen and is a leftie, so they were trying Sailor, TWSBI, Kaweco, Pilots, etc. (after trying my colleciton at home). Eventually my friend and I were chatting about Kaweco Sports that were metal, and my friend seemed very jazzed about a heavier pen.

Another customer was nearby and offered to my friend (if they were comfortable) to hold their Kaweco Sport brass to see how it feels. It was a very kind gesture! Then the Wonder Pen staff helping us also pulled out their brass Kaweco Sport. A meeting of enthusiatics with similar tastes, sharing their joy with each other.

Photo collage of drawings done with fountain pen ink, on a square grid ruled paper. A penguin, shrimp, and puffy sheep are drawn in blue ink that is feathering/bleeding. In the background surrounding the animals are some splotches of other ink colours that are predominantly blue/green/yellow/pink-toned. There is also random handwriting in cursive, on the paper (Rhodia).


Social media is exploding/imploding. Mastodon has been really busy since I follow the mastodon.art instance's Curator! It feels like I'm seeing the same thing over and over again re: people fleeing birdsite, coming to masto for 1 week, and then going back to birdsite. I hope people find a nice place to land—whereever they wind up.

I ended my lease, my toilet and light are fixed, and soon there will be a mad rush to pack, give away furniture, throw away books, and move. I'm toying with the idea of starting a casual stationery and sticker store. Flat stuff that fits lettermail.

I uploaded Hideout (2015, printed in Cry to the Moon) and Deadline (2016 printed in Human Plantation) onto my website. Usually I put things up when they're going to go out of print! These two comics are old and kind of scrappy, but I remember Hideout being one of my longer short stories that didn't end all peachy. Deadline was modeled off my old bachelor apartment unit and mirrored some aspects of my life when reaching a deadline to write/draw about a Deadline.

Both back in the days when I drew all the core artwork traditionally! Though I did the sketches digitally, printed them, and then finalized on paper with a lightbox.

Some WIP from Hideout, where I did the final linework in pencil. Image description

Image description

Some WIP from Deadline, where I did the final linework with pigment liners. Image descrip Image description

My biggest regrets are how big my screentone patterns were, relative to the size of my linework.

I have a giant back log of reading/writing/drawing to do ಥ_ಥ

Comments are broken/gone...

I updated this CMS and the commenting system broke—thank you to the few of you that were commenting on/off! If you want to contact me, there is always masto/email, even for quick notes/thoughts (no need to be formal). One day I'll find a private-leaning commenting system...

Moving

I'm doing an intra-Toronto move at the end of this year, then an out-of-province move next summer. I'm going to be pre-occupied with sorting, packing, and house hunting. This is also why LLH's store is down for a while.

Judgment / Lost Judgment

I just finished playing Judgment yesterday and started on Lost Judgment! It's interesting to play a main character in a Yakuza-adjacent series who actually has brain cells.

Stationery and fountain pen stuff

Hoping to drop by Scriptus for the first/last time on October 30 2022. I signed up my first/last Toronto's Pelikan Hub on November 18. I heard from the hubmaster that over 80 people signed up for the Toronto event. Pelikan is a fountain pen brand that I have a good handful of, but my heart lives with their vintage pens—such great nibs. I'm not sure what to do at these pen events? Strangers galore. I'm both very social and anti-social at the same time—also paranoid about COVID still!

Other happenings

What weird things can I hit up in Toronto while I'm still here?! I should probably go to Niagara falls? I can feel the clock ticking down to the end of my time here.

  • October 8: Casual sketching on UoT St. George campus
  • November 12: Mysterious Gem Expo then casual sketching in the Distillery district. I don't know much about gems but am curious to know what's up at these events (sort of for research / expanding my knowledge)

Sep 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & Orange Shirt Day

  • Keynote by Brenda Wastasecoot through University of Toronto
  • Learn, listen, and figure out how you personally want to take action on reconciliation
  • Donate to and/or support first nations and indigenous folks and causes

Range and taste

Thinking too deeply about OC EDC

I like to believe that I'm a person with a wide range of tastes. Or at least a person who can accept when things aren't necessarily for me, but great for others. Some days, I enjoy a look that's minimal stealth, cozy/patterned/rugged/utilitarian, highly accessorized architectural baggy, or straight up child-like. I like to experiment and not be limited. I'm trying to venture more into super patterned looks, but I'm probably the most timid about that. There's so much to try, but I also admire people who are super consistent with their look. I probably own too much stuff because of my inability to settle down.

I'm interested in fashion, but wouldn't consider myself fashion-forward, but rather, just informed, and appreciative of fashion as another form of self-expression. It's interesting how even a single item can turn a whole outfit from uncoordinated to coordinated, casual to formal, and vice versa!

Been thinking a lot about my own every day carry (EDC). If I'm just going out nearby or a quick trip, I may just bring a credit card and my phone. I switch my bag depending on what I'm going to do outside or what I have to carry. I have a wallet that is very nice and small! Most of my favourite wardrobe items and accessories have earned their fav status because of their acceptable sized pockets.

The current Here We Are mains (Jake, Austin, Sabina) all derived their accessories/fashion sense from me. That's may seem obvious, given I am their creator, and I'm just making up their EDC based on what I know of them, but I also own a lot of their stuff (or variations of).

Photo of an open notebook with drawings of Here We Are characters' everyday carry. This spread includes Jake and Austin.

Jake carries a lot and is quite organized about it even with a compact carry. He's a bag in bag in bag kinda guy. He's ready for a variety of scenarios—like limiting theft attempts. He has a lot of great stationery. Things that seem off-style are usually from his mom.

Austin doesn't carry a bag unless he's going to school. His EDC is more utilitarian, rugged, sporty, and leathery. Not shown here, but he packs differently for field work or camping. Ultralight packing-mode Austin is a different beast.

Photo of an open notebook with drawings of Here We Are characters' everyday carry. This spread includes Sabina and Fake.

Sabina's bag is dual purpose groceries and EDC, so it's more of a big black hole. Things get lost and found in it. Not much internal organization. There are fun found objects, trinkets, tokens, and artefacts in her bag—like a miniature treasure museum.

Fake mainly carries a bag for work. He's has a different look as a professional, which is in contrast with his more laid back/casual look on a regular day. He tends to be running all over the city and eats out a lot, thus, has gotten into carrying his own cutlery and beverage holders.


I've been enjoying Yoseka Stationery's Casually Catching Up videos where they just talk about whatever happenings in their stationery store—it's like stationery free talk. They're so charming! I wonder if I'll be able to visit before I leave for the west.

2023 planners are dropping! I might try Take a Note's Record system next year. It looks so well designed and flexible—RANGE! Also shooting myself in the foot with all these different sized notebooks (A5, A5 slim, A6, B6...etc).

Took a brief jaunt into leathercrafting. Anything to distract me from my inevitable future where I must draw brick buildings for HWA hahaha.

Photo of several natural vegetable tanned leather goods on a surface of a white chair

Because of my pending move and my uncertainty about whether this would be something that I'd enjoy, I tried to keep my supplies at minimum. That meant I chose the Path of Pain™ (aka EXTRA manual labour) instead of buying tools—I had some tools from bookbinding. Was that smart? Probably not, but since when I have been smart and efficient about anything I make ~gestures at comics life~? Never.

Wallet / card case

I started with a wallet kit from SpringBokCraftCo! This was nice because I got some simple supplies (needle and thread) and everything was pre-punched and cut. I was amazed at the strength of saddlestitch and mystery (probably polyester?) thread. This is NOT my preferred style of wallet but rather just an exercise in seeing what hand stitching would be like. This wallet is currently stuffed with old cards in attempt to stretch it out so that it's more usable...someday...

Photo of a multi-card slot vegetable tanned natural leather wallet

Fail A6 cover

Aesthetic: chaos

The next thing I did was a chaotic A6 book cover, but then it was a bit of a fail because I think the scrap leather that I bought years ago wasn't full grain, but rather, "genuine" leather, which in analogy, is like the particle board of leather. The back fibres were weird and loose and probably glued on. It was also way too soft of temper! And I measured the spine wrong and it's too long. I hand measured and punched these (painfully) with a lightweight awl I have from bookbinding. It wasn't strong enough HAHA. Then handstitched with leftover thread from wallet kit above.

Eventually I grabbed some metallic Sta markers and drew whatever came to mind first.

photo collage of a gray leather A6 notebook cover with a drawing of a possum on it done with golden metallic marker. Sandwiched inside are some zines, Poss Boss and Shrimp Goss.

But it matches so well with my latest genius zines...POSS BOSS and SHRIMP GOSS (with Powerswithin). Could this be, unnecessarily elaborate zine storage?


I decided to get some scrap 2-3oz natural veg tan leather, which to me felt seemed like an appropriate and affordable blank canvas.

Watercolour tool wrap

Aesthetic: planner minimalist

I've been thinking about doing more plein art sketching around the city before I move away. I did a bunch of research—I learned a lot about the synthetic vs natural fibre debate. There's really no winning. Invested in Escoda travel brushes (synthetic) after becoming sad over how many of my current brushes' bristles were getting stuck in my painting/paints after my last (non-plein air) painting (below).

Photo of a negative watercolour painting of pomegranates and leaves

I edited the wrap design as I made it. One side holds the travel watercolour palette tin/case, the other side holds pens/whatever else.

Photo collage of a watercolour tool wrap, made out of natural vegetable tanned leather

I like the flexibility of using the flaps tucked in/not, and folding the wrap inwards/outwards, and the simple inclusion of a "T" end on the strap to hold it in place (or remove it). If I were to do this again, I wouldn't have made the center fold's hole as big as I did, because pens can fall through, hahahaha. The stitching holes I made with an un-threaded sewing machine (manually cranking the needle/foot forward) and then hand sewn with leftover thread from the wallet kit above.

A6 cover

Aesthetic: leather patina appreciation

It was time to attempt A6 cover again. Holes manually punched (why?) with a not thick-enough awl. By this time I ran out of thread (from the wallet kit above) so I gave waxed linen thread a try. It works OK for now, but definitely not as simple to "end" the thread cause you can't just burn them down in the same way. To save myself the pain of doing a full length of stitches, I only did a few to keep the flap in place, and tied them off on the inside of the cover. These are not my best stitches. Leaving some space in the flap also means I can thread an elastic through that space and eventually create a closure if I want to.

Photo collage of an A6 notebook cover made out of natural vegetable tanned leather, with bee wax melted on the surface to give it some texture

To finish it off I melted bees wax onto the top surface to stiffen it a bit and give it a bit of age/patina effect. The scrap leather already had a lot of marks on it, so this helps it blend in a bit more.

Laced pouch

Aesthetic: unearthed from the ground

After doing the projects above, I had a long narrow strip of leather left and I wondered what I could do with it. I wanted to know how the surface of this particular leather would take stamps, so I dragged out every linocut stamp I had ever made and went to town with a pigment ink stamp pad. It was a big failure! No ink really stayed and it just looked stained now. OH WELL, this is all about experimentation right? You can faintly see Kuchipatchi...a secret...

Photo collage of a leather pouch with lacing and flap closure, made out of natural vegetable tanned leather

I'm not sure what possessed me to do a design with leather lacing, but it's here. It was painful. The lacing is made from the same leather and it was so much effort to try to thread floppy ends through manually cut slits. I also eyeballed and made the design on the fly, so I'm impressed that it's all holding up with just laces tucked and wrapped way. This one also has bees wax melted on top and probably needs to be reconditioned after being blasted with a hairdryer.


Verdict

Cool. Leather is very interesting, versatile, and powerful material. I like not needing to worry as much about finishing or closing frayed edges and seams as you do with regular fabric sewing. It's an interesting craft! Leather is also very hard to photograph well...

I learned a lot through researching and want to share a few links to non-amazon Canadian (!) suppliers or DIY kit-makers, if anyone ever wanted them—I haven't tried all of these places!


Today's music post: แค่เธอ/Why Don't you Stay by Jeff Satur, which I have been obsessed with since finishing KinnPorsche the series!!! There's also an English version.