Lamy LX

2018: My Favourite Tools.

I’ve reviewed my 2018 planners and explained what I have lined up for 2019 in my recent posts and this got me thinking about all the tools I have used this year. 2018 feels like a year of consolidation. I’ve acquired less stationery and tried to focus on using what I have stored in my drawers and cupboards. Today’s post is reflective and about sharing my year in stationery.

My paper use.

I use a lot of paper and I always feel like I have too much paper on the go. I enjoy trying out new notebooks and paper stock but I also like what I like.

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Baron Fig notebooks have become a staple in 2018. I use one Baron Fig Confidant as a journal, at the moment this happens to be the big Fig, or the Baron Fig Plus (small side note, I really wish Baron Fig had called this the big Fig). I also use one of the Confidants or the Vanguards for work because the paper works so well with pencils, ballpoint or rollerballs as well as fountain pens. I like that I don't have to consider my writing tools at work.

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I thoroughly enjoy using the Travelers Company notebooks. Their paper is high quality and is perfect for pairing with fountain pens. I enjoy the cream paper, which is not to everyone's taste.

That is supposed to look like an ‘18’.

That is supposed to look like an ‘18’.

I have used a lot of Field Notes notebooks this year but this is because I have a lot to get through and not because I am a super fan. My love of Field Notes has waned over recent years. I buy what I like, the Coastal edition was a favourite of mine this year, but I am no longer concerned with acquiring any notebook that they release.

Finally my exploration into sketchbooks has expanded my experience with paper. Finding what I like to sketch on, what paper works best with watercolour and coloured pencils has all been part of the journey. Currently I am using a pocket Baron Fig Confidant as I am mainly sketching with pencil and black pen and I was interested to see how I fared with a small sketchbook. I think as I go into 2019 I will only increase my knowledge in my sketching materials and really find what works well for me.

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2018, the year of pencils?

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My pencil use has increased a lot in recent months. I use these mostly with my pocket notebooks for daily note taking but there is also sketching use in there too. I tend to use one pencil for a while and then rotate when I fancy a change. Lately I have been really enjoying the Tombow Mono 100 2B. The softer graphite is not usually a pencil I am drawn to but this pencil is so smooth to write with.

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I have loved using the Blackwing 54 in part because of the colour choices with this pencil and the hard graphite that makes it a great note taking pencil.

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The Craft Design Technology pencil has been another favourite. The mint coloured barrel is just beautiful. And finally the Staedtler Mars Lumograph in H, I love this pencil for its simplicity and its ability to hold a point. It’s an old reliable.

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Fountain Pens and Ink.

This is one category where I’m happy with what I’m using. Unusually, I don't feel a pull to acquire more pens or inks and find joy in using the pens I have.

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The Lamy LX with Sailor Blue Black is my go to fountain pen. I have been using this combination for most of the year, it just works.

The Pelikan M400 and Sailor Wagu-Uguisu is a great match. The gold nib, and the softness when writing means I get a good view of the green Sailor ink and can appreciate the shading. It’s so much fun writing with this pen and I usually admire my scrawl once complete.

Finally the Kaweco ART Sport inked with Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho. I love this combination as the colours work so well together.

Drawing Pens.

The final category that I felt was worth a mention was drawing pens. In my effort to learn how to draw, drawing pens have been vital tool that I now use more than I ever have. They are so versatile and useful to have as part of any stationery nerds toolkit, but for drawing they are a dream. I have used fine tip drawing pens and brush pens to experiment. The Tombow brush pen has been a personal favourite and the Faber-Castell PITT Artist pen continues to be my preferred sketching pen. Recently I have tried a Pentel marker and the Pilot Finerliner to experiment with line width.

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Overall thoughts.

My tools of choice have changed a bit this year which is down to a shift in the way I use my analogue tools. I used to be fully immersed in fountain pens and ink and couldn't get enough, but now I happily use other tools alongside my fountain pens. They all have a certain purpose. I’ve been most surprised by how much I have used pencils and that’s in part as I am sketching more now, but also because they’re so easy to use with a pocket notebook. It makes my daily carry easy.

2018 has been less about acquiring new things, although I have done a bit of that, but more about finding what I like and using it more and more. In 2019 I want to continue this and really hone down the tools I enjoy using.

Finally I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who reads, shares, likes and comments on my posts. I really enjoy sharing my thoughts on stationery and hope you enjoy the content. I'm looking forward to sharing even more in 2019!

Travel Kit: Edinburgh

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I am heading off to Edinburgh for a long weekend of relaxation, whiskey drinking, eating lots of tasty food and soaking up the sights of this city. Part of any trip gets me thinking about what stationery items I want to take...and then trying to take only what I need, a task I am always awful at. In this post I will share my stationery travel kit for this trip.

Travelers Notebook + inserts.

I will be taking my trusty black TN with my weekly refill + memo insert.

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I have also thrown in a mishmash Travelers notebook refill which is an extended journaling notebook for those times I want to be creative or have more to say.

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I have a Baum Kuchen + Superior Labor pouch which hold some stickers, washi tape, postage stamps and other bits and bobs that all help me with my journaling.

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Nock Co Sinclair + Field Notes.

My Nock Co Sinclair has become a staple carry. In here I have the Haxley sketchbook where I have been playing around and experimenting with my doodles. The small size of this sketchbook somehow frees my mind and I am less concerned with trying to get things right. The additional pages are also good.

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I also have a East coast Coastal Field Notes for general note taking. I have some itinerary plans included in here for the trip.

Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook + watercolour palette.

I want to try and draw while I am in Edinburgh. I am taking my relatively new and untouched A5 Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook. To go with this I will be using my new(ish) watercolour Winsor and Newton palette. I have a Pentel waterbrush which will more than likely be my main paintbrush due to its convenience. I want the focus to be on just painting and not have any obstacles in my way.

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Field Notes Signature Ruled Notebook.

This has been my journal lately. The paper quality in this notebook is better than the standard Field Notes which means I can use lots of different writing tools. The slightly larger size, different binding and additional pages makes it a really convenient notebook.

Writing Tools.

This felt like one area where I could limit what I was taking with me on this trip and carry only the essentials. I have the Baron Fig Key Squire, a Zebra Sarassa Clip in grey-blue and 2 pencils that always sit in my Sinclair, so nothing changes here.

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On top of this I will have the Caran d’Ache mechanical pencil and the Worther Shorty which will be useful for sketching. I will also have my Lamy AL Star and a couple of Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens for the inking.

I will also take with me my Lamy LX fountain pen inked up with Sailor Blue Black because I love this pairing and enjoy writing with it.

Other Tools.

The final things I will be bringing with me is the Penco big clip which is always handy for holding open notebooks. I will also have a couple of smaller Tools to Liveby clips for my Field Notes. I will be bringing an eraser, the Carta Pura which I really enjoy using and I find doesn’t leave a lot of residue.

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I will be taking a standard sharpener with me. I don’t have anything better at the moment but will need to have something with me for obvious reasons.

I will have my Sudio Neat Glif for my iPhone in case I need to prop up my phone for reference doodling.

These extras will all be thrown in my Hightide Pen Roll. And then all of these things will be carried in my new Baron Fig backpack. The compartments, pockets and open fully system make this a really interesting travel item kit. I think this could work really well, but time and testing will tell.

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Overall Thoughts.

This doesn’t look minimal in any way, this is still a lot of things to bring on a short trip but I am a stationery addict and this is me being restrained. I love to have things with me and not fall short. I like to record things and draw at times so I need lots of different tools to do this.

Why I love Lamys entry level fountain pens.

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I have come to notice in recent months how much I use Lamy fountain pens and how much I am drawn to use them. The Safari, AL Star and LX are pens I reach for every day because of how well they write and how versatile they are meaning there is something for everyone. You can choose from a range of colours, you can add/change/swap out nibs to your hearts content and you can use cartridge, or convertors and really open up the world of ink. I’m an advocate for the Lamy entry level fountain pens and wanted to share with you how I use mine.

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I use my Lamy AL Star in Copper Orange as my sketching fountain pen which I have inked up with Noodlers Black ink. I love using this bright and vibrant pen for sketching. The size and weight is comfortable especially when sketching for long periods of time. The nib is sturdy and gives good line variation with different pressures.

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My Lamy LX in Rose Gold has become a daily use fountain pen. I have this inked up with the lovely Sailor Blue Black. I love this pairing, its simple and feels classy. The LX has an aluminium body like the AL Star and comes with a black steel nib.

I have several Safari fountain pens and usually have one inked up. The Safari is the plastic barrel fountain pen that comes in a whole host of colours that have a matte look finish. I tend to swap out my Safaris a lot more but I always have one in use.

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There are so many plus points for the entry series of Lamy fountain pens. Over the years I have acquired a small collection without realising it. I don’t have a preference between any of these ranges, I am driven by colour and finding something that works for me. Because of their materials and durability I always recommend and gift these pens to people.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Toolkit

Over the years I have wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo but there were numerous reasons I wasn’t able to, one of the big ones being poor planning. This year however I am a bit more prepared and have a plan to take part in my first NaNoWriMo.

Obviously being a stationery addict an important part of NaNoWriMo is deciding what stationery items I will use to write my story. This kind of falls into the category of #preptober, where you use the month before NaNoWriMo (October) to plan your story so you are raring to go on the 1st November.

I have a small, but I think, good toolkit to help me through the challenge. I think writing out the full story using pen and paper will be tough so I will more than likely lean on my digital tools.

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Analogue tools

I have created a mini bullet journal for NaNoWriMo where I have been noting down ideas on characters and plot. I have also included a word count tracker with the aim of staying focused and a calendar view to decide what to tackle when. I haven't planned out the full month, but the first ten days have a loose outline. This extremely important information is in my Baron Fig Black Box limited edition Vanguard notebook.

To write my bestselling novel I am using the latest Baron Fig Vanguard limited edition release, the School Set. The lined ruling is ideal and I like a slimmer notebook when you are writing for longer periods of time, less ledge ache. To actually write I will be using my Archer pencil that came with this limited edition release, the new Baron Fig Squire, The Insightful Spectre and my Lamy LX fountain pen inked up with Sailor Blue Black. Any editing I may do along the way will probably be done with my Artline Magenta pen so that it stands out on the page clearly.

Digital tools

I will be using my iPad to write using a markdown editor, either iAWriter or Ulysses. I also have my Apple keyboard to make typing that little bit easier.

Feeling nervous

I am already less than confidant that I will be able to call myself a NaNoWriMo finisher. I am sure my story will run out of steam, or I will, leaving me with part of a story. But I really wanted to take part this year and use the encouragement of the community to drive me on and get 1667 words down each day. It'll also be really nice to see some used, beat up, scribbled in notebooks, but that's the geek in me.

Wish me luck.