Pen Love: Pagan Omega Fountain Pen.

I recently won an award and I wanted to do something nice with the prize money, something that I could cherish for a good few years and get joy out of every time I use it. I decided on a fountain pen, but not just any fountain pen, I got a handmade, wooden, beautiful work of art which is absolutely stunning and a joy to use. David, the owner of Pagan Pens was kind enough to take a couple of pictures of my pen being made so I could share them on this post.


The first step is to select the wood. On the website there is a useful guide of woods based on the Ogham Calendar. The Ogham Alphabet is one of the earliest forms of written communication and was found largely within Ireland, but also in parts of Wales as well. Later medieval documents suggest that the letters of the alphabet were named after trees. The Ogham Calendar is based on a 13, 28 day cycles each represented by a tree. This lends itself quite nicely to having birth woods, in a similar fashion to the having a Zodiac star sign. My birth wood is Alder (18th March – 14th April), which is represented by the letter Ogham letter F (Old Irish: Fearn, although originally in Primiative Irish this symbol was a W for Wernā). Each wood has it’s own unique characteristics and properties. Alder is said to be the magical tree of Bran, the King or God of the Celts (who was said to be a paternal and maternal ancestor of King Arthur). Alder gives protection, courage and eases fear and doubt. It is also a pioneer tree, often being one of the first to claim wet,treeless ground and improves the soil to allow for other trees to grow there as well. As a result it is often see near water, which connects the tree to the element of water. However, it is also connected to air, with ancient legends suggesting the wood was used to make wind instruments. Furthermore, it’s bark once cut turns to a fiery orange, which gave rise to the belief there was a flame within the Alder, as a result the charcoal was used in forges to make Celtic weaponry. So I thought it was a pretty perfect and unique wood for me to choose!

IMAG2574Once I had selected my wood and placed my order it was David’s turn to select the actual piece of Alder. David picked a piece of spalted wood, which means the wood has gone through a colouration process caused by Fungi and can produce some beautiful interest on the wood. It is typically found on dead wood and is the stage before the wood begins to rot. The first process is to cut the wood to size and then to drill and glue the brass parts of the pen into place. IMAG2572

IMAG2575Next the pen wood is  mounted onto a lathe and using a heavy gouge chisel the wood is turned and begins to become rounded. IMAG2578Once the basic shape of the pen is reached a skew chisel is used to produce finer shavings and give the wood a smoother finish. IMAG2579The final stage of the pen making process is to sand the pen down to make it smooth and then apply three different waxes, each wax is applied four times given a total of twelve coats of wax.IMAG2582.jpgAnd here is the finished:IMAG2583The pen is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and it feels soft and smooth in my hand. It’s more light weight than I expected (but then again I do have a very heavy wooden locket which I was comparing it to, so I expected it to be a lot heavier than it is). It’s a good weight and the pen itself is very comfortable to write with. The nib itself is smooth and had a good flow from the start, it doesn’t skip and it really nice to write with. IMAG2584As you can see at the end of the pen, there is a knot visible. This is common within wood and was not visible at first when David cut the wood. It has sanded smooth and there is no visible ridge to the pen. David did contact me and say that if i was not happy with the knot he would make a new pen for me as some customers prefer to have the pen knot free. For me I was completely in love with the pen and thought the markings were truly beautiful. I did not see the knot as a flaw but a wonderful unique feature to an already beautiful pen.The craftsmanship and beauty of this pen far exceeds anything I was expecting and I am truly blown away from the quality of this pen. Considering I paid £32 (plus £5 shipping), I really got one hell of a pen for my money. I am completely in love with it and it fits in so wonderfully with my letter writing case. The only downside is that I do not have enough letters to write. I am hoping my pen pals will speed up a little bit and give me some letters over the coming days.

Waiting time was very reasonable, I ordered the pen at 2:38am on the 5th August. It was posted on the 24th August and I received it the following day. The pen was presented in a lovely purple velvet pouch and came with a standard size ink cartridge and an ink converter. There is also the possibility to get other nibs and you can use this pen for all your calligraphy needs.

So if you are interested in a unique gift at a great price I recommend checking out Pagan Pens, and if you are not a fountain pen lover there are other pen options available. To see more photos of David’s beautiful pens check out his Facebook page as well.

pagan pens

Pen Love: Staedtler permanent Lumocolour in Fine

I have to give this pen a big thumbs up. I bought it to use it as part of my reusuable sticky notes and I love it. It was about £1.98 off ebay. It allows me to write on my reuseable sticky notes and once it’s on there it’s not coming off unless with a rubber or nail varnish remover.

I got the fine one, which is great however it can produce a bit too much ink on the sticky note for my liking – think fine tip felt tip pen. When this runs out I will probably go for the super fine, which I am hoping will be more like those handwriting pens you got in school…more like a traditional pen. I love it and it fits nicely in my filofax and saves me a fortune in replacement sticky notes!



Pencil Love: Zebra Mini P-TS-3 Mechanical Pencil

In my previous post I wrote about my pen I use for my malden and I mentioned that I also use a pencil. This is a review of that pencil.

It’s made by the same company, Zebra, as my mini pen. I also got it from Amazon. It was slightly more expensive than the pen at £3.60, but as it is a mechanical pencil it does have the option to refill it. And indeed the end of the pencil is unscrewable. I couldn’t see an option to do this with the pen, you might be able too but I am really prone to breaking things, so I didn’t want to risk it.

The pencil itself is 10cm tall and it is much thinner than the pen. It is ok to write with but it is slightly more difficult to write with and it is not as nice to write with as the pen. I would have preferred the pencil to have been a little more thicker.


The problem with the stiff clip on the pen is not present in the pencil, which is great I would be happier to clip this to the pen loop, except it when you do so the end of the pen pops out of the end of the malden. So like the pen I store it in the zipped compartment. They both fit in there great and it doesn’t add and bulk to the malden. It does not come with a rubber like some mechanical pencils do, but to be honest if it did, it would only really be a token rubber – I imagine any more than two attempts to rub something out would cause the rubber to disintegrate or break.


I use the pencil more than the pen as my malden has a word of the day written into the diary sections – I write these in pencil so I use it every day. The pen more infrequently. I don’t think this set is the probably the best solution for pens in the malden. Ideally I would like the pen loop to be a bit bigger so I could just use a Bic pen, but they work well enough and I am happy to keep using them without feeling the need to rush or even look for a replacement.

Pen Love: Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen


If you own a Mini Filofax you will know they are small, very small. It’s just over 12cm in height, which makes it smaller than a passport. Whilst that is great for carrying – I love that I can fit it into my pocket – most pens won’t fit in the pen loop. One pen that would be absolutely perfect is the mini version of the BIC Four Way Pens, which I reviewed here. The mini is the right height for the Mini planner – it’s just too fit to fit in the pen loop, and you can’t clip it onto the pen loop and carry it that way which is a same. My Faber-Castell pen measures at 14cm, can too big and too chunky for the pen loop.

So I was looking for some alternatives for a mini pen and came across the Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint pen, it’s a bit of a mouthful but the size is tiny. When it is fully extended and the position you would use to write with it measures at just over 10.5cm. It’s a nice weight and it’s a slim line pen but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to write with –  that being said I have slender hands with quite long fingers. Larger hands may not like it as much. It cost £3.03 from Amazon. Considering the Filofax pens cost £10, I thought this was quite reasonable. Saying that, I don’t think there is the option to refill this pen and given it’s size I imagine the ink within it may give it a limited lifespan – yet it is very rare for me to use a pen until it runs out. The ink itself is black, it’s a good and it feels very smooth and effortless to write with. I don’t feel a resistance or a scratchiness on the paper as I write. It’s a very comfortable pen to write with – but as my mini is only used for quick notes I have not really used this pen for extended writing.


I do have a couple of grips with this pen, the first is that it is an extendible pen meaning to close the pen you compact it. When you close the pen it loses 2cm in height, which is fine but I think it looks a bit silly sat within a malden mini when it is closed. I would have liked it to be more of a twist or a click pen.


The next grip I have with it is the clip. It’s a very strong firm one which is great…but I felt a bit uncomfortable clipping it onto my malden pen loop because I felt it would just cause too much wear and tear every time I took it off. When it is within the pen loop, it is too thin to be able to fit in there securely without the use of the clip. To get around this problem, after nearly losing it a couple of time, I now store it in the zipped compartment on the left hand side of the malden. I also have a pencil from the same company which gets stored within this zipped compartment and together they cover my needs for writing in my malden.


Pen love: Bic Four Way Pens

I have a limited amount of space in a personal filofax, so one way I can maximise the effectiveness of my planner is to use different colours to mark out different things. That way if i want a particular set of information across my week (say what I ate) I can just focus on that one colour. I’m not really too precious on it though. It can be quite difficult though to have a colour coding system and then having to lug around a ton of pens wherever you go – just in case you need one. Bic four way pens are a great alternative, because it is just one pen…but allows you the opportunity to have four different colours.image


When I got my Faber Castell pen and put Turquoise ink in it…I discovered it was exactly the same colour as the turquoise in my green BIC fashion pen (It has four colours: Purple, Pink, Light Green and Turquoise). I was left with a bit of decision making to do. I really liked the idea of using the Petrol Faber Castell pen in my main planner (my personal one) but I also use the fashion pen in my planner. Which meant I would be without a black pen but carrying around two pens of the same colour.

What I love about the BIC pens is that you can actually pop out the pen cartridge…in a similar to the Coleto pen. I’ve never used a Coleto pen but they seem to look really thick, which has put me off trying them. What I ended up doing was taking all eight of the inks out of my two BIC Pens and rearranging them. Three of the colours from the fashion pens (Purple, Pink and Light Green) were rehoused into the blue barrel pen, along with a black ink. The Green Barrel ended up with Red, Blue, Turquoise and Green. I really like this set up. Now I can get my Petrol Blue Faber Castell pen with my blue BIC pen. Then my Green Faber Castell pen can have the green BIC pen as a partner. That way I get 5 colours in two pens.

I don’t actually rate this pen on the whole for length writing. I just find it too big and chunky and as it doesn’t have a grip or a triangular body like the Faber Castell pen, it find it more difficult to write with. I prefer it for short sharp bursts of writing. That being said, they have also come out with a mini version of the BIC pen, which I have only seen available in the tradition blue version (which comes with Red, Blue, Black and Green inks). I find the mini pen much easier to write with. It also is the perfect size for the Mini Malden – however the pen loop is much to small to accommodate the pen which is annoying.

I managed to pick up the BIC blue versions in Mini and Regular size for the bargain price of £1 each at Wilkos the other week. WH Smith normally have a 3 for 2 on these types of pens too, particularly around September time when the schools are going back.

Pen Love: Faber-Castell Grip 2011 Ballpoint Pen

What probably hasn’t come across too much in my blog at the moment (but please give it time!) is my obsession for all things German. I love German history, German Films, I love the German language (even if I’m not very good at it!).


So of course I was going to like German pens…it had to be a given. I had my eye on these Faber-Castell pens, and I really liked the look of them. However at just under £10 a pop, I was reluctant to buy them without at least seeing them in person. Did the fine city of Birmingham, England have them in any shop though?! No they didn’t. You can get a ton of Faber-Castell pencils no problem. They don’t have a problem with selling you pencils; just pens. So I kinda put them on the back burner – until Cult Pens had a sale on some colours. I really wanted the Petrol blue pen colour, I thought it would work really well with my Filofax (I like it when I am right), but I also wanted the black one…which sadly wasn’t in the sale. My original idea was to have a turquoise colour in the petrol and black in the black pen…but I thought the half price offer was such a good deal I decided to get the green pen and just put black ink in it.

Sadly, Faber-Castell don’t do turquoise ink but the pens themselves hold a standard Parker-style G2 Refill…and cult pens have a lot of choice on refills. To continue the theme I went for German ink and got the Schmidt refill – they do the best range of more ‘wilder’ colours and they are VERY good value at a £1 each.

The pens arrived very quickly and I couldn’t fault the service of Cult Pens. At first I thought they were a bit on the fat side. I have slim fingers and hands. I just thought they were too fat for me. If I had been in a shop I would have put the pen down and walked away, however because I had bought them I was kinda stuck with them. So I thought I might as well give them a go. I tried the original Faber-Castell ink which comes in blue and it’s a really lovely ink. I have kept them and may consider swapping this ink back in on occasion. I love the Schmidt ink – the turquoise is very fun and the black is a nice quality. I apologise for the spelling mistake in my photo below…I missed the t off Schmidt. This is my first blog post in which I take photos of ink though…so I can be forgiven!


The pen themselves. I am in love. I’m actually a bit scared to use them in scare someone borrows my pen and never returns it…I would hunt them down and kill them. Despite their thickness they are a firm pen, it feels solid. The grip – which supposedly Faber-Castell designed first and build the pen around it is excellent. I am left handed and hold my pen in an awkward way, which over many years has caused a blistered raised bump on my finger. Usually writing causes friction and eventually pain. I love these pens, when I am writing it feels like I am not holding a pen at all. They are light-weight and comfortable. I like the triangular body of the pen too because it seems to rest better in my awkward pen position. I think they are incredibly well made and are value for money.

I am quite I got them at half price, but if I wanted to buy a pen for someone – or get a new colour I wouldn’t hesitate to pay full price for them. They are incredibly lovely. I am in love with these pens, they hard part is deciding whether to use the blue or the green….luckily the ink helps sway me.