You guys!!!

I had no idea they were going to, but Goulet Pens mentioned me in The Goulet Communique today!

I am thrilled. And honored!  In fact, I texted Mr. Pentulant with something like the following:

omg omg omg
omg omg omg 
I’m Internet Famous!
Gotta go. Bye!

Their shout-out is sending a bit of traffic this way (so appreciative!) and I thought it would be fun to post a little something about who I am and what I do here.

Let’s see . . . my name is Christine and I love all things pen-related. 

I think that sums it up!  I hope you poke around a little, like what you see, and stick around.


P.S. Follow me on Instagram – you won’t be disappointed.

P.P.S. The Goulets were kind enough to send me the following items in exchange for my honest opinion.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Summer Edition (swooon!)

Apica Premium C.D. Notebook (loved it!)

Monteverde 36-Pen Case (mixed feelings)

P.P.P.S.  What? You don’t know about The Goulet Pen Company?  I’ll do a full post about them sometime soon, but really, go buy some ink samples, ok?

PEN ACCESSORIES REVIEW: Monteverde 36 Slot Pen Case

Monteverde 36 Slot Pen Case Review

Let’s dive right in . . .

  • holds 36 pens (18 on each side)
  • padded nylon cover with faux leather accents
  • velour interior
  • stiff partition to keep the pens on either side of the case from rubbing together
  • zipper close (single pull)

There are some good things about this case . . .

  • padded nylon cover seems durable
  • rounded corners help prevent wear and tear
  • exterior looks good – nice even, tight stitching, and I like the half-moon “grip” area of the case 
  • velour interior is super-soft
Before we get to the rest of this review, I should let you know that I received this item from Goulet Pens in exchange for my honest review of it.

There is one ungood (it’s a word, autocorrect!) thing about this Monteverde Pen Case . . .

The elastic seems a bit too loose for slimmer pens, and most better cases have two pieces of elastic holding each pen.
Here are some more pictures . . . 
See how the pens above lean against each other? It just took a tiny nudge.
If you think I’m showing off my Lamy collection, you’re right.

At just $40, this case is a good deal. If they exist, I couldn’t find other pen cases that hold as many pens in this same price range. Because of the situation with the elastics, I wouldn’t use this for my best and most expensive pens – call me paranoid – but I would use it for every day pens. In fact, after I took these photos, I loaded it right up with a bunch of my vintage pens and feel that they are well-protected.

Your turn – how do you store your pens? And..uh…exactly how many pens do you have to store? (I should do a nib count here someday!)


PS..after I had this review written, but not yet published, Brian Goulet took a quick look at this Monteverde Case. He shakes the heck out that thing and says he uses this case himself. Check it out.

PAPER REVIEW and COMPARISONS: Apica Premium C. D. A5 Notebook

Apica Premium C. D. A5 Notebook Review and Comparison to Clairefontaine
There is a plastic protective cover that doesn’t seem like it’s meant to stay on the book. You could leave it on there with no trouble, but taking it off (to remove the paper insert, for example) and replacing it later could cause the cover to tear because it’s super-thin. The book looks better without the plastic, too. 
The cover is heavyweight slightly textured paper.  The title is embossed and the word “premium” is stamped in gold foil.  
The pages are squared (rather than rounded) and binding is sewn (rather than stapled).  
Some people prefer rounded corners because they may show less wear and tear over time. I like the look of square corners, especially in thicker books. Sewn binding is more expensive to produce than other types of binding – it looks better and it helps the book lay-flat.
Choose the paper like you would a good pen.
This A5 notebook came to me via Goulet Pens.  They sent it to me in exchange for my honest review. Goulet has this notebook listed at $16.20. Apica makes other notebooks, too – they are not all made with the same “A. Silky 865 Premium” paper.
The Apica A5 has 96 sheets of paper. That’s 192 pages to write on if you write on the fronts and backs of pages.
The first page of the book is a gray title/index page. Definitely a premium touch that most other notebooks don’t have.
Nearly lay-flat binding.

But what you really want to know about is the paper itself, right?

The paper feels so smooth. It’s buttery, luxurious, and definitely, absolutely premium. The color is a very light ivory and the lines are gray. Very easy on the eyes. Ahhhh.
I compare it below to my everyday use paper – Clairefontaine 80gsm.

Apica . . .

Clairefontaine . . .

Apica . . .

Clairefontaine . . .

 Because the paper is so smooth and almost (but not quite) feels glossy, I was concerned that smearing would be a Major Issue. Here’s a comparison . . .

Apica . . . 

Clairefontaine . . .

Apica . . .

 Clairefontaine . . .

The Apica paper in this notebook feels better (more silky smoothness) than Clairefontaine and that made the writing experience better than on Clairefontaine. I love it and will definitely use the notebook I received.

Inks look brighter on the white white paper of Clairefontaine, but they look richer on Apica. 

There was very little ghosting and no bleed through with either paper. 

Dry times seem comparable, too.

Here’s the complete Apica test sheet.  Click here for the huge full-size image . . .

And here is the complete Clairefontaine test sheet.  Click here for the huge full-size image . . . 

Clairefontaine in the A-5 clothbound version comes in at $9.50 for the same number of pages. The cover isn’t as fancy, and the paper may not feel quite as smooth, but if you’re looking for bang for your buck, I’d tell you to get Clairefontaine.

If you’re looking for a very special notebook, though, get the Apica Premium. You really and truly will not be disappointed. The silky paper is like no other paper I’ve used.

Last week, I asked on Instagram which papers people love – and which they use.  If I’ve managed to embed this link correctly, you should be able to clicky click and be taken directly to that post to see the responses. (And if I didn’t embed it correctly, you’ll know that I’m not a perfect person.)


And finally, let me ask you . . . which paper do you most love? which paper do you use most? Do you prefer clothbound or wire binding?

I’ll be back on Wednesday with a Giveaway. Stay tuned . . .


PEN REVIEW: Edison Nouveau Premiere – Summer 2014

As soon as the mail carrier knocked quietly on the door (she doesn’t want to disturb the dogs…haha), I jumped up because I knew what was going to be on the porch waiting for me.

Days before, I’d seen the preview and knew I was going to own this pen – the Edison Nouveau Premiere – Caribbean Sea (Summer Edition 2014).

I have its Cherry Blossom – Spring 2014 sister. And I practically squealed when I saw the color of the Caribbean Sea.

Anyway . . . what I didn’t know was that within a few days of learning about this pen (a Goulet Pens exclusive from Edison Pen Co.), I’d have a note from Rachel Goulet – yes, the Rachel Goulet!!! – asking if I’d review some items for them from time to time and in exchange I’d get to keep the items. Are you kidding? Of course I will! I love what they’re doing over at Goulet Pens and how they’re doing it. I’m a frequent customer and huge fan. I’m seriously honored that they would ask me (just don’t tell them that I probably would have bought this pen anyway, ok?)

So..that’s the disclaimer, I received this pen at no charge to me and I’m being totally honest about what I think of it.

I love it.

The name of this pen is perfect – Caribbean Sea. The color is a gorgeous blue-green with lots of depth, swirls, and sheens. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it from different angles, in different light, on different surfaces. If you like the way it looks in my (very amateur) pictures, you’ll love the way it looks in person – seriously.

The shape of the Premiere is . . . interesting. It has the pointiest cap ever. In fact, I challenge you to find a pen with a more pointy cap.

I love that the section (the part you grip) is contoured and there is no steep drop-off between it and the body of the pen. It’s very comfortable in the hand.

The cap can be posted, but I’m finding that I like writing with it unposted better. It’s definitely not a weight issue – more that the pen is longer than average when posted and that may take some getting used to.

Of course, looks are only part of the equation when it comes to fountain pens.  How does it write?

I’m going to pat myself on the back for choosing the perfect color to go with this pen: Toucan Bright Blue. (More on Toucan inks coming soon.)

Here are some scanned handwriting samples. Click here to see the full-sized handwritten review.

Someone on Instagram asked me how the nib compared with the nib of a Lamy Safari. My answer is that the Edison Nouveau is more buttery smooth than the Lamy Safari. Some people like a little feedback when writing and others like a super duper smooth experience.

I’d say that the flow is a bit wet – but I like that. This nib is a medium, by the way.

I just checked and the Carribean Sea is sold out.  I’m pretty sure it will be back in stock, though – summer has just begun!

OK, that’s that. What do you think?  Did you order this one as soon as it came out? Will you be waiting for it to come back into stock?  And…do you match your ink to your pen colors?

I’ll be back later this week with an ink review!


Edited to Add:  It’s in stock – get it here!

INK DROP: April 2013

I received my Goulet Pens Ink Drop delivery a couple of days ago.

What a great group of colors, yes?

If I had to choose one that didn’t fit with the others, it would be the De Atramentis Indigo Blue – it’s a little dusky compared with the other clear clean colors, but I’d definitely write with it.

Between the two turquoise colors, I would choose the Lamy. Though the colors are very similar, the Lamy is definitely more saturated and I like that.

The Namiki blue has a bit of red in it – defnitely still blue, but leans more toward the purple end of things to my eye.

I’ve heard some great things about Diamine Soft Mint (which ended up a little funky in the scanned image above) and hope to have time to take a closer look at it in the very near future.  Here’s a picture from my iPhone – the color is a bit better here….

Kudos to the person at Goulet Pens who chose this assortment! Well done.

Oh..and here’s the image I posted over on Instagram. I’m @christinewitt there.

PEN PREVIEW: Edison Nouveau LE Encore Tortoise Fleck

Oooh…lookie at what I got!

It’s what happens when Edison Pen Co and Goulet Pens get together – the Edison Nouveau LE Encore Tortoise Fleck.

Is that the cat’s meow? The translucency. Dude, it practically glows.  These pictures were taken last week – early morning, low light.

I like the trim. Perhaps a bit deco? The top ring of the clip is concealed – giving the entire piece a more expensive feel.

The pen is super-comfy to hold. It’s a bit lighter than expected. I wonder what a man with bigger hands would think of it. It’s definitely well-balanced. A real joy to hold. (That sounds a bit corny, but I mean it!)

I have a problem. Totally a first world problem. I have too many pens and inks and not enough time to pay them all of the attention they deserve.

If there’s one small negative about the Encore, it’s that the section doesn’t fit completely flush with the barrel. It’s not a big deal – though my fingers to repeatedly search out this perceived imperfection each time I hold the pen. I wonder if it will be a bigger deal over time.

I paid $185. This is a crazy-good price for a run of 70 pens. CrAZy-GoOd!

Here’s the full description from Goulet Pens. Mine is a medium nib. I swear, I always regret going medium. I find myself wishing I’d gone with a fine nib – and this before I even ink it up. How crazy is that?

I posted my very first impressions over on FPN last week.

Which limited edition pens do you own?