Monday, 28 December 2009

This is embarassing

This is embarassing

The state of my bed right before tidying up and going to sleep.
I was trying to sort of some colours in my big watercolour box and making charts.

Taken with my mobile sorry for the quality of photo.
Now I really should go to sleep!

Friday, 18 December 2009

a matter of cleaning

In my opinion you shouldn't mail pens filled with ink, but last week I received in the mail a pen still filled with Waterman Blue-Black, it wasn't a big deal so I cleaned the leaks and started writing with it straight away.

Yesterday I finally ran out of ink so I started my cleaning routine (which basically means flushing for with lukewarm water until the water comes out clean) and I was surprised to see some dried ink particles coming out. As I kept cleaning the pen I saw more and bigger flakes of ink and it was pretty disgusting.
Maybe I'm a neat freak but I was highly disappointed, I've never seen that much dirt in a pen, not even in pens found at flea markets. It's just a matter of common sense, a clean pen works better than one filled with muck, there is no point at flossing nibs or lamenting poor flow when bits of ink clog everything.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

my old ladies

my old ladies

I took this photo for a fellow pen-addict in a rush and only later I noticed I made a few mistakes. Actually the correct age order is 1, 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 7 .

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

watercolour sets

watercolour sets

I love to take and look at pictures of art supplies so I couldn't wait to take pictures when a friend on LJ asked me a question about watercolours :)

My watercolour sets:
- studio set artist quality Windsor & Newton Artists half pans and some Schmincke Horadam. It started a lot less full than now, some colours are old, some newer, and it keeps growing, I can't help because they are like candy!
- for travelling light and cheap student grade W&N Cotman set, best £9,95 spent ever. It's light and has three tiers of mixing surfaces. Switched Cobalt Blue with Prussian Blue, I really don't get why they included it if there was already Ultramarine (and Prussian is prettier), and threw away China White for Mauve.
- the tiny box is an empty candy tin with Neutral Tint, Payne Grey and Sepia useful if I want to work in monocrome or darken mixes from the sketch kit (you won't see black or white in any of my sets).

A folding 4 round brush and shortened 10 to fit in my pencil case (cut to size with pruning shears!)

And handmade sketchbook of course!

Monday, 21 September 2009



Crappy sketchbook I made with Fabriano Studio Watercolour 200gsm paper.

I needed a pocket sketchbook to carry on vacation, couldn't find a regular one to my liking so I made it using paper from a big pad I had lying around that wasn't much used anyway.

Can you believe it? There wasn't a single pocket sized sketchbook in my town! And I didn't have time to order it on the internet, it took me less time and pain to make my own and it was fun!

The cover is packing paper, binding tape and prints of stamps, I meant to use real stamps (I have tons) but when in need I couldn't find my stash. And sprayed with a couple of layers of matte acrylic transparent paint to avoid stains :)

Look inside

Sunday, 6 September 2009



Page from my first grade notebook, 1984, sample of the cursive I was taught at school.

On the right self-portrait with grandma :)

Monday, 31 August 2009

Decimo - continued

I’ve received the Decimo on Saturday, I haven’t talked about it yet because I’m somewhat disappointed because the seller said it was an F nib while it sports a M nib. I contacted the seller and he offered a refund if I sent the pen back but I decided to keep it as I know I'll never find another this cheap!

The finish is called pearly white, I’d call it sparkly white though, looks like they mixed mother of pearl with the paint, very sleek and stylish all right,  it would only be better if it had a "raden" finish but it isn't available for Decimos.

The Decimo has the right weight and width, it’s not too heavy though I still have to get used to it.
As an M nib it still writes finer than Aurora’s M but it’s still a little too wide for my taste. I’m trying to decide if I want to keep it as it is or if I should find a replacement nib unit, I’ve already put an ad on the FPN forum but nobody answered so far and a fine nib was sold just a few days before, my usual luck.

I’ve loaded it with Noodlers Prime of the Commons which is a nice blue-black and it lays down a quite wet line, I should try El Lawrence next which is usually much drier and see how it behaves in such nib.

Do I like the pen? Yes, but not as much as my Myu, perhaps the disappointment about the nib tainted my opinion about the pen.
Would I purchase another? No, one is more than enough, and I won't find another for the price I paid, though if they made Decimos in sparkly raden finish I'd try to sell this one to finance buying it.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Let's start with the Decimo's story

I fell in love with Pilot Capless pens reading reviews all over the web. I already love Pilot pens because I own a lovely 1974 Myu and two little Birdie(s), but the sleekness of the Capless really intrigues me, only sour note the price.
Capless (or Vanishing Point in the US) are very expensive here, the cheaper I saw in shops in Milan are well over 200 euros, buying online won't help much, especially ordering overseas where they are a lot cheaper because of high import duties. So I decided to wait and see if one popped up on FPN market or eBay.

Last week I found on eBay a white Decimo mislabed as a simple Capless (Decimos are lighter, slimmer, and cost a lot more than Capless), and I won the auction for a very fair price, only problem the pen is in Switzerland and between Italian postal services and customs I fear not receiving it for ages (and so begins the agony of waiting).

Please Mr. Postman, hurry up and bring me my pen!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

broken snorkel

broken snorkel

How bad is this? Very very bad!
My poor Sheaffer Statesman suffered an untimely death last night.

It was handled by my darling but totally unsafe father, unscrewing the barrel he must have twisted something off and he also lost the inner spring. It lasted for more than 50 years but not 5 minutes in my father's hands, never leave a pen in a mechanic's hands without supervision!
The metal sac protector broke exactly near the ring, it's not supposed to open there and show the sac :(


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