Gav and Sav Pen Rolls and Journal Covers

I wasn’t able to go to the Manila Pen Show last Month because I had some schedule conflicts. I was pretty bummed out so imagine how delighted I was when one of my friends from the Fountain Pen Network Philippines sent me some stuff she got for me from the pen show. These items are from Gav and Sav. I love how these sets are really tailor-made for penthusiasts. I got three different sets (well, two actually, one’s for my husband) and my friend picked a color profile that she knew I absolutely loved–greens and browns.

I like that the fabric on the pen rolls are not too soft. This is great because it gives pens that extra protection while they’re in your bag. I’m currently using these two rolls. Aren’t they pretty? I love the fabric they used on these rolls, especially the one with the sketches of bugs and botanical illustrations.

I think they pick really nice fabric designs. The green and  brown wrap has this rigid outer cover, the shorter wrap doesn’t. I’ve always preferred using leather cases for my pens, but you need to be careful when using or making your own leather cases because it can sometimes cause discoloration on the metal parts of your pen. That’s not a problem with fabric pen rolls.

Here’s what it looks like inside. It can hold six pens, and the fabric’s texture is stiff enough so that you can easily slip the clip through the fabric.

I prefer the design of the pen roll below, though. This one houses 8 pens but it has no flap, so I can easily draw the pens if I need them. Just don’t put thin pens or those with a smooth lacquer finish because it can slip out. It’s best to store this wrap vertically in your bag just to make sure the pens don’t slip out. I know it’s less secure than the design above, but I still like how accessible the pens are.

There’s also a two-pen case, which I think is cute. It has another pocket at the back of the two slots where you can store a third pen or a ruler. There’s no divider in the third slot.

This one’s pretty cute:

It’s a pen kimono. You can fit a single pen in it. I close it this way…

I think that’s really cute.

Here are the notebook covers below. They fit A5 journals. I know pen and paper lovers will absolutely love this. I think that color-coordinated notebook covers and pen cases are awfully cute.

These are lovingly made and I really appreciate that the people behind Gav and Sav gave such effort to make these for the fountain pen community.

If you’re interested in getting these sets, check out their IG account: @gavandsav.

A Timeless Gem

My journal entry today is about Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which I’m rereading for a book club I joined. I’ve read this book several times when I was younger but the last time I read it was many years ago. I decided to refresh my memory and read it again, and instantly I was swept away to a different time and place. It’s so wonderful. I remember again why I loved this novel when I was young, it’s so pure and wholesome, and everything about it warms my heart. This sketch in particular is about one of my favorite parts of the book, when they were just beginning to make friends with Laurie. Jo went to visit him while he was sick and brought some blancmange that Meg made, and of course Beth sent the most sensible gift of all, her kittens.

I am halfway through the book and I’m reading slower so I can savor it longer. Of course I’ll need to reread Little Men and Jo’s Boys after this. Reading about Marmee made me miss my mom, though. She’s the same beacon of warmth and light, and her presence is sorely missed. I’m glad she instilled in me the love for books, and especially picked out Louisa May Alcott’s works to introduce me to the wonderful world of the March sisters.

Ink Swab: Vinta Nakar 1934 (Mother of Pearl)

The wonderful people of Vinta Inks sent over a sample of their ink for the Manila Pen Show. It’s called Nakar 1934 (Mother of Pearl). I am today years old when I learned that the Filipino word for mother of pearl is actually “nakar”, probably based from the word nacre. It’s a beautiful shimmery grey ink and it’s unfortunate that it’s a bit hard to photograph the beauty of this ink. It has a purplish tint to it, and it appears to be on the warmer side when viewed in artificial light, but on the cooler side when viewed in natural light.

It has expressive shading on both the medium and 1.5mm nibs that I tried it on. The color does remind me of mother of pearl, especially when you apply water on it. Those who like to use fountain pen ink for art will find this ink color very interesting. Here’s a chromatography of the ink:

The ink has silver shimmer, but for me the shimmer appears pearlescent. Perhaps it’s reflecting the different color components of the ink? Here are some close ups of the writing sample:

I’ve been using it for a few days on two pens (Lamy Studio 1.5mm nib, Tactile Turn Gist Medium nib) and so far both pens still flow well. But, as always, I would advise to only use shimmer inks in pens that are easy to clean, and don’t leave them unused too long in order to avoid clogging. There are only a few bottles of this ink available in the Manila Pen Show this coming weekend.

Overall, it’s a very interesting color. It looks like dark graphite when used with a medium nib, but I suggest using it with a wide nib to really see and appreciate the unique characteristics of the ink.

The Most Intimate Form of Abuse

Today’s journal entry is about how infidelity is also abuse. How many times have I encountered women who say that their husbands have cheated on them repeatedly but “at least he never abused me”. I feel punched in the gut every time because I see the family unraveling before my eyes. Men and women who cheat on their spouses inflict a very intimate form of violence on their family. It takes a very calloused heart to be able to look at the people one supposedly loves and not be moved by the hurt he/she has inflicted on them.

“Do not look for healing
At the feet of those
Who broke you.”
Rupi Kaur

Fun with the FPR Himalaya

Lettering is not my cup of tea, but I really enjoy looking at people’s outputs especially on Instagram. It’s not so easy as it looks, apparently. I’ve resolved to try and push myself out of my comfort zone in my art journal and include practicing lettering. The quote in the photo of this entry was written with an ultraflex FPR Himalaya (ebonite). It doesn’t make very thin hairlines, but the flex if very pleasant to play with. If you’ve bought one of these before, you probably already know that it can be a little temperamental, and you might need to heat set the nib and make sure the nib and feed are properly positioned so that you get consistent ink flow, but once you get it going, it’s a lot of fun to use. I’m looking forward to more lettering experiments in the future.

Manila Pen Show 2019


It’s so exciting that the pen community in the Philippines has grown so much in the past years. I joined Fountain Pen Network Philippines in 2014 and at that time, I can already see the beginnings of a bustling community and the influx of vendors that support the hobby. Today, we even have locally-made pens and inks! How awesome is that?

This year’s pen show will be on November 16 and 17, at the Holiday Inn Makati. Local vendors who will take part in the pen show include: Calibre, Cross, Everything Calligraphy, Faber-Castell, Gav ‘n Sav, Guia’s Vintage Pens, Inks by Vinta, Kasama Pens, Lamy, Noteworthy, Pengrafik, Peter Bangayan, Scribe, Shibui, and Troublemaker Inks. There are also nibmeisters onsite to help members with pen tuning and repair needs–JP’s Pen Spa and John Lim. There will also be vendors from other countries like Aesthetic Bay (Singapore, ooh I wonder if they’ll bring Nakaya pens with them), Atelier Musubi (Singapore), Newton Pens (USA), Pengallery (Malaysia), Pierre Cardin (Hong Kong), Regalia Writing Labs (USA) and Straits Pen (Singapore). We’re very happy that they will travel all the way here for us. It’s going to be a lot of fun! If you’re a fountain pen enthusiast, or if you have a loved one who is, this is the event to attend this year.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the pen show because I’m spending time with my family that weekend (it’s an important weekend for us), but I’m encouraging pen lovers to go because it truly is the highlight of the year. There will be pens (vintage and new, of different brands), inks, paper, accessories, and you’ll get to spend time with people who love the hobby. It’s gonna be a blast!

Prosperity for Prosperity’s Sake

Today’s journal entry is about greed and how the world is filled with dragons of all sizes, jealously guarding caches of gold, big and small, for the sake of possessing. Many churches in particular have focused on appearing “blessed” or prosperous in lieu of actively taking care of the poor and vulnerable while fulfilling the Great Commission. Too many pretty buildings, too few charitable acts. Too far removed from the example of Jesus.

Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. ~Horace Mann

Ink Swab: Vinta Bodabil (Harlequin)

I recently received a sample vial of Vinta’s new ink called Bodabil or Harlequin. Apparently it’s not part of a new collection, which I heard is already in the works (yaaaay!). Anyway, Bodabil is a fun purple ink with green sheen. I used a Lamy Safari Dark Lilac with an F nib for the writing sample above and at first it looked really dark, almost black. The purple color shows up more prominently after it dries. Like their popular sheening inks (Dugong Bughaw, Sandugo, etc), this one has a very pronounced sheen. I really like the combination of purple and green.

The flow of the ink is a little bit wetter than moderate. I’d say it has a good flow and has no problems with clogging up even my fine nibbed Lamy. There’s minimal shading, though you can see that the darker parts are almost black in color. Some of the red component of the ink can also be more pronounced in some spots. I used it with my Lamy Studio with a 1.5mm nib and the shading and sheen is even more beautiful. It’s pretty on photos but I think it’s even prettier in person.

Using a fine nib, it dries up after about 20 seconds, which isn’t bad for a sheening ink. It’s also not waterproof. People who like using fountain pen ink with water will find this ink quite delightful because it washes to a generous purple while leaving a bit of outline on the paper.

Overall, it’s a rich purple ink that’s flows well and is easy to read. Suitable for daily use or for art journal entries. I think it’s a great addition to the Vinta Inks family. Here are more close up photos of the writing sample: Continue reading “Ink Swab: Vinta Bodabil (Harlequin)”

40th Birthday Journal Entry

I turn 40 tomorrow. Yesterday, I spent the whole day with my family, sharing a simple celebration. I felt that the way we celebrate my birthday was exactly how I wanted it because it’s so me. Simple and no-frills. Honestly, as long as I’m surrounded  by the people I love, I’d be happy with anything. I have much to write about turning 40, so I kept my art page to also a simple food doodle (foodle?) about all the unhealthy things we ate haha.

Children of Crisis

Today’s journal entry is about this book that I just recently started reading, Children of Crisis. This series of books is a social study of children in the United States written by child psychiatrist Robert Coles. The first few chapters focus on Ruby Bridges and talks about how children adapt to extreme changes in their environment. He wrote about Ruby’s drawings and his conversations with her and  her parents. Ruby Bridges, at the age of 6, was the first child to desegragate the all-white  William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana. Her parents did not expect such opposition towards a little girl going to school, and certainly did not expect that she would be alone in there due to the boycott.

I’ve only read a few chapters but it’s a very interesting and insightful read. I can’t wait to read more.

Each and every one of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn – and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start. ~Ruby Bridges