Ink Swab: Rohrer & Klingner Sketch Ink Lotte

Rohrer & Klingner Lotte Drawing Ink

Here’s something I bought a few weeks back, it’s a bottle of Rohrer & Klingner Sketch Ink Lotte. It’s a waterproof black ink that I bought specifically so I can use it for drawing. I got it from a friend’s group buy, and I initially thought it would be very dark blue black, but turns out it’s a deep, inky black. I like the bottle that it came in, the opening is wide and comfortable to dip into. I like that little quirky drawing of a girl on the label.

Rohrer & Klingner Lotte Drawing Ink

I’ve been playing with this ink for several weeks already, and my initial impression is that it flows really wet. I used it with one of my wet medium nibs and it just gushed like a wet broad nib. So I went out and bought a Platinum Plaisir with a fine nib and that was a perfect fit for my drawing needs. If you need it for drawing fine lines, I suggest an xf or f nib. The color (in person) is a thick, rich black that has brown undertones. Compared with my favorite waterproof ink, Platinum Carbon, this one looks pretty flat or matte when dry. Platinum Carbon Black looks shiny when dry, so it pops on the page. This one looks more subdued. It is waterproof, I’ve tried layering watercolor washes on it. It also dries up pretty fast, about 10-15 seconds. Photos of the writing sample after the jump. Continue reading “Ink Swab: Rohrer & Klingner Sketch Ink Lotte”

A Treasure Trove of Stories

Baybayin, a pre-colonial form of writing in the Philipppines

These past few weeks have  been the busiest weeks I’ve had at work, and as such I am often too tired to make art. Instead, I indulged in catching up on my journal writing and curling up with a good book. There’s nothing so relaxing than hearing my husband puttering around the house while I curl up in bed, listening to my cat’s ridiculously cute snore while I lose myself in a book.

When I read Corrie Ten Boom’s book “The Hiding Place”, it made me want to read books about history. The lives of people who made a difference during their time, books about wars, even historical fiction. To say that this is surprising is an understatement. I have never enjoyed studying history. In fact, it’s my second worst subject, a close runner-up to Math. I have a very poor memory and understanding when it comes to numbers and dates. The only time I enjoyed any sort of Math was in my Physics class on our senior year in high school, under Mrs. Genota. Our teacher had a very visual way of explaining numbers. My parents were dumbfounded at my excellent grade in Physics that year, but that feat was never repeated. Alas, I would not come across another Math teacher like Mrs. Genota, nor an equivalent for any of my history classes in high school or college.

History classes focused mostly on dates. The teachers I had focused mainly on whether we can get the dates right or not. I sorely missed the insight of history itself. It became a really long calendar of events, rather than an unfolding of a grand, continuing story. Our exams and recitations focused on dates. Dates! My memory on dates is so poor, the only dates I can remember are the birthdays of my immediate family members. If Facebook didn’t have birthday reminders, a lot of my friends and extended family members would feel neglected. My history classes focused more on the chronology of events, rather than helping students see these events as pieces of a bigger puzzle. So my knowledge about history has always been rudimentary, at best. Enough to get me a passing grade of 3.0 in every single history class I attended.

Now that I’m reading more about the story of the world, I find it completely engrossing. I wish my mom was still here so we can talk about it.

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place
Published: 1/1/1971
During the World War II, Corrie Ten Boom and her family helped many Jews escape Nazi Germany. They were eventually captured and sent to concentration camps. The books isn't about the horrific conditions inside the camps though (even if it gives a very graphic account of it), it's about the grace of God that has enabled her to survive, live without bitterness, and find the strength to forgive.

I bought a copy of this book through my Kindle a few weeks ago. I haven't heard of Corrie Ten Boom until Philip Yancey mentioned her in one of his books that I read a few years ago, but I had forgotten all about her until now. I bought the ebook because it popped up in my recommended books, I wasn't prepared for the emotional journey it was going to take me on from the first page to the last.

The book's first scene opened on the 100th anniversary of their family business, Ten Boom Horlogerie. The first few pages made a great impact on me because Corrie was able to describe the warmth and light that pervaded her community before the holocaust, and at the same time, inserted little glimpses of the near future that awaited her, her family and friends, like thin slivers of shadows in a beautifully-lit scene. I loved the way that she narrated the story of her life and described people. I found myself laughing out loud at her descriptions sometimes. She had this wholesome, delightful humor that wasn't trying hard to be funny. In fact her story telling technique was so fluid; she wasn't trying to be profound, she was just trying to tell her story. She had me both laughing and crying while reading the book.

She picked an interesting time to start her narration, because it described very well how that hateful darkness had begun take root. It shows how something can start out as a tiny dark cloud in the horizon, catching people unaware until it's upon them. Corrie's family is amazing. Their devotion to God, their desire to live in a way that pleases Him, their humility in surrendering their lives as a tool for His good work, everything about their testimony as individuals and as a family left an indelible mark on me.

This book details how the horror of the Holocaust unfolded around them, first as an angry voice on the radio from another country, until it crept into their home. The thread that weaves the chapters together is God's grace, and the journey through the book from start to end was life-changing. Though the book tells of the heartbreaking experiences inside the concentration camps, when viewed in the light of God's love, the family's baffling, grace-filled reaction to an unspeakably horrible experience becomes easier to understand.

It's definitely a must-read.

My New Cyberhome

It’s been years since I last maintained my own domain. It’s also been years since I started my old blogs, The Serial Doodler and My Quiet Place in WordPress. What was once my hobby blog about pens has become a hobby blog about journal art, leather craft, reading, etc. I thought I’d make my life simpler and just turn my hobby blog into a personal blog, a catchall for the things I want to post online because, quite honestly, I don’t have the time to maintain two blogs anymore.

Speaking of hobbies, I feel bad that I haven’t had the time recently to focus on my usual hobbies. I’m going through a very busy season at work (or at least busier than usual), and recently I’ve been focusing on just my personal writings and I’ve been reading a lot. So I thought I would include book reviews in this blog soon. That ought to be fun. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by, if you came from my old blogs. Welcome to my new home in the world wide web. 🙂

Write Until You Meet Yourself


I was very young when I started writing in journals. My mother, being an introvert herself, bought me my first diary, and I took to it quite naturally. I was extremely uncommunicative with people, very rarely raising my voice to talk or make conversation, but I was expressive in my writings. On paper, my thoughts were easy to pour out.

Much of writing is unpacking ourselves from the tightly-wound package of public perception and social pressures. The deliberate act of putting words on paper requires a certain measure of introspection and openness.

Perhaps more importantly, when I write, I am brave. I open doors that I never opened before. I confront my ignorance and willingly accept self-correction. I ask myself those very difficult questions, and I am able to write down and face the answers, painstakingly thought out and laid down, letter by letter. I write honestly, without trying to cover anything up, without trying to make me look better. Without judgment.

In writing, I meet a version of myself. One that’s inaccessible outside the pages of my journals. Through the years, it has  been my safe space, helping me understand and love the person I meet through introspection and quiet meditation.

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” – Natalie Goldberg