Currently Loving: April

April is here, winter is finally over, and spring is blooming nicely here in Denver (when it’s not snowing). So far, April has been a pretty quiet month as far as events, and to be honest I quite like having time to relax and enjoy my routine for a while. As a result, I have found a few things this month that I really enjoy, and have ended up using on an almost daily basis.

Vagabond Notebook in Ashen by Franklin Christoph, co-designed by Catharine Misook

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I’m a huge fan of the Traveler’s Notebook system, especially the original Traveler’s Company leather covers and their MD paper inserts. I’ve been a lover of these books for years, and used several inserts for journals, class notes, and project books. When one of my favorite pen companies teamed up with one of my favorite people on Instagram, I knew I had to at least give it a try.

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The Vagabond Notebook (VN) is a fairly straightforward “Traveler’s Style” notebook cover with Franklin Christoph signature accents. I switched over my planner and journal into the VN cover as soon as I got it at the end of February and have carried it every day. I use the three pen insert – sometimes carrying it in the front pocket but often I just stick it under the band and go. I love the waxed canvas material, the pocket for my Field Notes book, and the Franklin Christoph blank insert. I’ve used it every day and I don’t see that changing soon.

Blackwing Volume 54 by Blackwing

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This pencil converted me into a Blackwing subscriber, and I am so happy it did. The pink was too good to pass up, the story behind the pencil and the “Exquisite Corpse” method of building the pencil was right up my alley in terms of combining my love and background in art history with my love of pencils and stationery. I mean, it’s PINK. With turquoise printing. And an extra-firm core. Everything I have ever needed in a pencil.

Lock & Key Brass Squire by Baron Fig

I saw the posts on Instagram of this beautiful dark green notebook and minimalist brass pen and was sold, and I am so glad I bought this set from Baron Fig. Unfortunately the brass Squire is sold out (forever), but the Confidant is still available.

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The rollerball refill that comes in the pen is really smooth and dark, the size is perfect for my hand, and the simple silhouette of this pen makes it a top choice for me to use for pretty much anything – journaling, planning, and writing letters. The brass material makes it a somewhat heavy pen, which I don’t mind. This is my first ever Squire, and I have my second one on the way (in Rose Quartz).

All of these items have continued on into heavy rotation in April, along with some new beauties that I can’t wait to share. What are you using so far in April?

Top Five Tuesday: Pens

Happy Top Five Tuesday! For this edition, I thought I would share my favorite pens (that aren’t fountain pens, as I will share those in another post). Much like my Top Five Pencils, my taste in pens tends to be pretty uniform: pens that are simple, have nice ink, are smooth or easy to use, and are durable.

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Muji Gel Pen – 05 with Black Ink

This pen is my favorite go-to pen. I always have at least one or two with me at all times. I used to buy them in packs when I lived near a Muji, and now that I don’t I always buy a ton whenever I am at a Muji. However, you can also order them on Amazon. If I had to choose one pen to use for the rest of my life, it would be this one.

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Pilot G2 – Purple

I describe myself as a prolific purple pen user, and the purple pen in question is this Pilot G2. The G2 is a pretty iconic pen, and one that is fairly ubiquitous. It comes in many colors and different tip sizes, but I am partial to this purple. I like this color because it’s more of a magenta-y purple, as opposed to a deep bluish purple that I see in a lot of pens. When I feel like using a colorful pen, I reach for this one.

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Pilot Precise V5

This is the smoothest roller ball pen I have ever used, and I love the needle tip. I use it for writing notes at work, journaling, doodling, drawing, and hand-lettering. The ink is really nice and dark, and it is so smooth. You can buy them pretty much anywhere – I tend to buy boxes of them from any office supply store.

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Tous les Jours Ballpoint Pen

Some situations just call for a ballpoint pen, and when those situations arise I reach for my Tous les Jours ballpoint. It’s slim, so it doesn’t take up much room in my pen case, the needle tip is smooth despite being so thin, and the french writing is just a really cute added bonus. These are more rare than the other pens on this list, but they do come in a variety of colors. Plus they kind of look like pencils, which is fun.

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Sakura Pigma Micron 03

I knew I needed to have a fineliner pen on this list, because they are by far my most used pen. The 03 tip size is the perfect width for me, as the 01 tends to break under my heavy hand, and the 05 looks too thick for me. I chose the Sakura Pigma Micron pen because it’s widely available – you can find them at art supply stores and hobby stores as well as online – the ink is waterproof, fade proof, and the ink is archival. The black ink is one of the most saturated I’ve used, and I enjoy using this pen for writing, drawing, and completing my #dailydoodlesquares that I share on Instagram.

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There are other pens that I would put on this list, like a Bic Crystal ballpoint pen (which I love to use for drawing!), or Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens, but for every day use these Top Five cover all my needs. What would be on your Top Five Pens list?