Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pen and Ink. . . . . . .

This photo was taken from our table by the window on the upper floor of the little 
Dublin corner pub. It looked out toward the charming antiquated shop front. 
The rain had stopped, the early evening sun peeped out as it often does in Ireland, 
and, as we dined on very good fish 'n chips, I thought about writing.  
Writing with a very good fountain pen as I used to. 

On leaving the pub we crossed the street and peered in the windows at the 
displays. Beautiful writing instruments, boxes of note cards, papers and
 envelopes, I had to go back next morning when the shop was open.
The shop was quaint, pens and such upstairs with two knowledgeable 
young ladies behind the counter. Downstairs, a wonderful selection of 
greeting cards, writing papers, wrapping papers, note cards, notebooks
 and journals.
I could have spent an entire morning there just looking.
I picked out two boxes of exquisite note cards. Perhaps some day
you'll find one in your mailbox - would you like that?

I shared my fountain pen price point, not the cheapest but definitely not
the thousand Euros or more beauties! The clerk showed me several, dipped 
the ones I wanted to test, and showed me how modern pens are filled, 
cleaned etc. I chose a Parker fountain pen, very classic in design and
a brand I used for many years in a different time and place.

There are so many inks available now in every color imaginable.
I decided on a warm brown, choosing an ink from the French company
Herbin (depuis 1670) in Lie De Thé which translates to 'tea dregs'.

Marilyn, you will love that one!
Marilyn is my dear Oregon 'tea lady' friend and, if you want to 
know anything about that particular beverage, be sure to visit 
her always delightful blog, aptly named DELIGHTS OF THE HEART.
We met in person a few years back and shared some lovely cups
of tea together in special Portland places, including her lovely home.

My new pen and ink.
All photos via iPhone

Do you use a fountain pen?  If so, what color is your ink?
Are you interested in sharing the written word via snail mail - a note, 
a postcard with a stamp, handwritten of course - a surprise in your mailbox?
Let me know.


  1. How lovely to find a shop thta promotes 'proper' writing with pens, ink and paper! I'm always happy to write.

  2. Just look at that fabulous pen and ink. Makes me jealous and so sad that so many people don't do that fine writing, staying in touch with paper and pen like they used to.

  3. That looks like such a wonderful shop! I hardly write any more. My rheumatoid arthritis makes it painful. I am also up for receiving a beautiful note card.

  4. What a lovely shop, I would have definitely gone in and purchased stationary. Your new pen and ink are gorgeous. I have a couple pen pals who I love dearly and whom I met blogging.

  5. I love stationery and could browse such shops for hours - actually, for a few years, my first husband and I were seriously thinking about running a shop in my home town where the owners had retired, but it didn't come about and in hindsight I am glad we didn't do it.
    At school, we used normal ink pens (with plastic cartouches you simply popped inside the pen) and we were NOT allowed colours other than blue or black for our ink.
    Nowadays, I find writing by hand very tiresome, as my eyes are bad and my writing is difficult to read; it takes sooo long to write even just a Christmas card when I am used to very fast typing. But I love sending and receiving snail mail and make a great effort every year with my Christmas cards, and during the year with some birthdays and other special occasions.

  6. Very enjoyable post...I am sure that your Parker pen and the lovely brown ink are two exquisite choices. Who would not love to find a note card from you? Blessed person I’d say.

  7. Thanks for the mention. I was already drooling over the thought of visiting that shop. I love, love fountain pens, but haven't used one for a long time. That first picture particularly is just gorgeous! Stunning! I think it should win some award, a blue ribbon for sure. The brown ink on a beautiful card sounds most delightful.

  8. Great pics, Mary! I remember having a Parker Calligraphy set many years ago. Parker is still a well-respected brand in fountain pens. If you get a chance, check out Goulet Pens or Jet Pens online. They also have YouTube channels with very helpful information on them.

    As far back as my teens, I have adored all things to do with stationery! I can spend ages in pen and stationery shops — and I also LOVE fountain pens! I only have cheaper ones at the moment as I mainly use them for sketching but, one day, I plan on getting a medium range one. They can be very expensive, that's for sure. To date, I have a Platinum Carbon Fountain Pen and a few LAMY Safari Fountain pens with various nibs. OH, and also a Platinum Preppy fountain pen and a Sailor Fude Fountain pen. The Sailor pen has a bent nib to allow for line variations which is great for sketching too. I use mostly black, blue, and brown inks. So far, I've only used the LAMY, Carbon and DeAtramentis inks in them — some are water-soluble, some permanent. I do have a dip pen which I use on occasion too. I LOVE writing letters the old way. I have a dear friend of over ten years who I met online and lives in the States. Rita and I have written snail mail for all those years too as we both love snail mail. Rita is a fountain pen connoisseur and has tons of fountain pens and inks. :)

  9. I would spend hours in that shop perusing all the wonderful papers, note cards, pens and inks!
    We have a lovely little shop in Parnell called ‘Passion for Paper’ which I frequently visit. She imports papers, note books etc from Italy and France - you would love it Mary!
    I checked her website and she has the J Herbin pens and inks. I’m going to try the Poussiere de Lune ink, it’s a muted lavender/brown ink which should look lovely on grey paper!
    You’ve sparked my love of all things paper - you know how I love writing and creating too!
    Of course I would love to find a little handwritten envelope in my letterbox from you dear Mary!
    I imagine you are home by now - it’s always lovely to sleep in one’s own bed after travelling.
    How are your beautiful blue hydrangeas?
    Love and hugs

  10. How beautiful Mary. It has been many, many years since I wrote with a Fountain pen, and how wonderful that you have bought a new Parker pen. I remember them well. What a treat that will be to the recipients of your exquisite note paper. Thank you for showing this sweet little shop. We are going to be in London for a day in September - I wonder if I will spot such a shop there?

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  12. When I first saw the name of the shop, it immediately grabbed my attention! Now that is one type of shop I could spend a lot of time in, too. I love different pens (though I've never written with a fountain pen), note cards, journals, etc. When I was young and used to write many snail mail letters, I had all kinds of different stationery.

    My friends that live in both England (Bristol) and France (Brittany) sent me a box of the most beautiful notecards last year. They're so pretty, I haven't even used them yet.

    Thus all said, I would *love* to receive a handwritten note from you in the mail! There is no better surprise these days when the usual communication is text, email and FB Messenger.


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