fountain pens

Eye Dropper Challenge 3/5 Lamy Vista


Challenge number three is the one I was dreading the most…not because I don’t like the pen. Quite contrary. I love Lamys and I simply didn’t want to destroy a perfectly good pen. Bureau sells Vista Rollerball barrel replacements on daily basis (hint, hint)…Jo got me and Faisal one each, so we could do this. Thanks Jo! 🙂

Lamy Vista isn’t the easiest pen to convert, but it is possible. Vista fountain pens have two ink windows (ink would leak out). Vista roller-ball pen looks similar. It doesn’t have an ink window, but it does have breather holes at the top. Here is where Epoxy comes in. I have used 2-part clear epoxy resin glue. There are many threads on FPN and YouTube videos. People have used all sorts of super glues, plastic glues, but I wanted something clear and ‘invisible’. Long story short: I have swapped the barrels and sealed the holes. Now let’s have a look how I’ve done it.

Materials needed:

Lamy Vista rollerball barrell (available here)
Silicon Grease (clear 100% that you can find in hardware stores)
O-ring (7mm in, 9mm out, 1mm thick)
Epoxy Resin Glue (Devcon 5-minute Epoxy)
Square tea mug and scotch tape
Food zip-lock bag (just in case)

Instructions – just a friendly warning, this will take a day or two 😉

  • prepare Epoxy. Squeeze some epoxy in the mixing bowl (you will need a pea size drop) and quickly stir with the stick into small puddle (both included in the package I bought)
  • grab Vista Rollerball barrel and dunk it in the epoxy. Just the end bit of course 😉 I think that this is the most important step of them all. Using a Q-tip or brush would not give same result!
  • turn the barrel upside down and slowly rotate in hand (this will help the glue to get everywhere)
  • inspect the end bit to make sure that it is completely covered with epoxy (you will notice that the glue will start to set very quickly. Don’t panic, this is a good thing!)
  • let it set for good 5 minutes and inspect again. Mine was set by now and I was very happy with the way it turned out. Glue was almost invisible and it was nice and round. No sharp corners, no residue. Epoxy went inside the holes and not on the outside. Yeey!epoxy on Vista
  • leave the barrel for 24-hours to make sure epoxy has dried completely
  • use the syringe and plain water to test if the end of the barrel is completely sealed
  • if it is, the you can get rid of the water and let the barrel dry
  • once dried, secure the barrel to something so it will stay up ( I have used square tea mug and some scotch tape)
  • fill syringe with ink, for testing purposes I have only used 3ml of ink (2x more than Lamy cartridge capacity)
  • empty the ink into barrell
  • get Vista section and push O ring to the end of threads
  • apply silicone grease to the section threads using Q-tip
  • screw section onto barrel which has been filled with ink. Wipe excess silicone (if any)
  • you are good to go!!!!
  • pen will prime itself and should write almost immediately
  • last step – even tho I had no leaks I put the pen into a zip-lock bag when I wasn’t using it

And here is what my eye-dropper Vista looks like:

vista_MG_9733 vista_MG_9741 vista_MG_9732

Gorgeous!!!!! I have inked my pen with Private Reserve Blue Suede (teal inks are super cool).

Faisal has pointed out, that Neonlime ink would look great inside, so I am on a hunt to get a bottle 😉 Fluorescent highlighter ink looks great under UV light. So it happens, we have UV torch in the office 😉

Mishka (^_~)
Lamy Vista converted into an Eye Dropper

fountain pens

Eye – Dropper challenge 2/5 Platinum Preppy Highlighter

Second pen in the series is notoriously well known eye-dropper: Platinum Preppy.

It’s cheap, easy to do and it works. J Herbin Diabolo Menthe InkPreppys come as fountain pens or highlighters. I had some spare ink cartridges at home, so I have decided to turn the highlighter. There are couple of good highlighting inks out there: Lamy Neonlime (T52 bottles only available in US), Pelikan Duo, Noodler’s, Private Reserve….but I have opted out for one ink that I had no use for.J Herbin Diabolo Menthe. Light minty colour is not legible for writing, but works quite nicely for this purpose. If you would like a sample of this ink, just let me know 😉 Ink is made for sharing, and there is no way I will finish this bottle in 2 lifetimes.

Material needed: syringe, silicon grease, rubber O ring (7.5mm inside diameter and 9.2mm outside diameter).

Instructions – again, very easy to do:

  • unscrew the barrel
  • remove the cartridge (if present)
  • secure the barrel in upright position
  • fill the barrel with ink using syringe
  • apply silicon grease on section threads
  • place the O ring on the section where threads end
  • screw the section onto the barrel
  • done!

Preppy sealed with silicone grease and O-ring

Here is what Platinum Preppy Highlighter looks like 🙂 Nice and clean conversion, plenty of ink capacity…

Preppy on J Herbin bottle

Mishka  (^_~)

fountain pens

Eye – Dropper challenge 1/5 Kaweco Classic

diagonalHi folks,

Bank holiday is here & we finally get some time off. If you have read about my Stationery show endeavours, then you know, that I have been challenged by Manuscript people to turn their pen into an eye dropper.

Eye-dropper project is something that every fountain pen enthusiast will do at least once in their life. It’s one of those bucket list essential tasks 🙂 For normal people this means filling the entire body of the pen with ink. The usual go for pens will have a plastic body and are transparent. Benefits are: huge ink capacity and zen like effect of ink sloshing around. To put this in numbers ink capacity can increase up to 9 times!!! 9 cartridges vs one filling. Now you now why I have to do it…

First one is Kaweco Classic Sport. It requires the least effort. All you need is silicon grease and syringe. My pen was already a demonstrator (see through), so it’s a perfect contender. It will get inked with sparkly J Herbin ink for obvious aesthetic reasons 🙂

Instructions are very easy:

  • unscrew the barrel
  • remove the cartridge (if present)
  • secure the barrel in upright position
  • fill the barrel with ink using syringe
  • apply silicon grease on section threads
  • screw the section onto the barrel
  • done!

Here is what the finished product looks like 🙂

Beautiful Kaweco Sport Classic converted into an eye-dropper and inked with J Herbin Rouge Hematite

Beautiful Kaweco Sport Classic converted into an eye-dropper and inked with J Herbin Rouge Hematite

I have been travelling with this converted pen in zip-lock bag for good two weeks. It hasn’t leaked once… People put silicon grease on nib unit threads too, but I don’t find that necessary. I have to say I am rather pleased with the way this looks 😉

ziplockkaweco on lid

What do you think?

Mishka  (^_~)


The Time of My Life

We kicked off National Stationery Week with the poll on the pen combos we use here at the office….readers vote here.

It’s turned out to be a great week, as not only did I start my handwriting course, I also got to visit The Stationery Show!!

I’ve wanted to go to one of those since I was a kid, a wish come true.
My love of stationery goes way back 🙂 I had many penpals, including lovely people at 3M who were kind enough to send me office tester packs even though I didn’t have an office or a company.
In fact, I loved stationery so much that I wrote them a long letter about how much I love the smell of fresh post it notes (and still do).

So yes, please indulge the madness, keep calm and buy stationery!

Big thanks to Dominic and Jo, you’re both awesome!

For those of you who didn’t make it to the show, I was your eyes and ears so follow my twitter feed @mishka5050 and #natstatweek to get the latest news 🙂

Mishka (^_~)

ps: the vote on our blog is now closed, guess who won?! 🙂


J Herbin Anniversary 1670 ink Rouge Hematite in pictures…

Hello again!

Talking to one of our Bureau friends made me realise that there aren’t many Rouge Hematite pictures on our social media sites. This ink craves attention 🙂 Here are few quick snaps, so you can get the idea…

By the look of it, Rouge Hematite has a lot of gold! A lot… It needs more maintenance than others. Regular pen flushes are absolutely necessary. Is it worth it? Yes! Just look at that sheen 🙂

ps: the paper in the pictures is from Soft Cover Notebook by Rhodia. I am trying to do as much ‘damage’ to it as I can in a month…





paper, stationery

Field Notes Two Rivers is here!!!

Field Notes Two Rivers

Field Notes - USA coverChristmas came early this year! I am not trying to fool you because it’s 1st of April 🙂

Two Rivers is something else…every single book is unique, yet they want to be used. Strange combination, I know…

The collector in me jumps with happiness because I found USA cover and the note taker in me opened the pack and started scribbling!

Warren Ellis – writer of Transmetropolitan has posted a picture of his Field Notes Two Rivers on Twitter which has totally made my day!

More info about Two Rivers here:

Field Notes Two Rivers - pink and blue cover
Field Notes collection

fountain pens, ink, paper

Top Fountain Pens, Inks and Papers of 2014

2014 is over, so I thought it would be a good time to highlight my favourite purchases.

Top5 Fountain Pens

1.Lamy 2000 (M 14k gold nib turned to M stub)-my pride&joy.
Given to me as a birthday present, so I cherish this pen more than others. It has been an average Medium nib out of the box, so I have decided to get some work done 😉 It got turned by nibmeister just before Stormy Grey came out.
If I could only have one pen, this will be my choice. For personal, aesthetic and practical reasons along with the fact that it is now my (without a doubt) best writer.

2.TWSBI 580RB (1.1mm steel nib)-wet wet wet.
I got so excited when I first saw this pen….so I bought it on the day it came out. Love the way it writes, love the look of it. This pen has been paired with Iroshizuku ink – for demonstration purposes 😉 and it flows seamlessly. It’s such a joy to watch how this pen leaves wet line of ink on the paper.
1.1mm stub seems to be on a broader side. Line is definitely wider than Lamy’s 1.1mm.

3.Lamy Safari Neon Coral (B steel nib)-fantastic colour!
I am a huge Lamy fan and collector.
Their Special edition Safari colours are absolutely amazing (and no, I don’t have the full set yet;) ). I understand that this Neon theme might not be for everyone, but it sure does work for me 😉 This pen has been paired with black broad nib and matching ink colour. It’s the only way to go 🙂

4.Noodler’s Ahab (steel flex nib)-easier to flex than others.
This pen does flex…it flexes like crazy 🙂 I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing, but I do love to play with it. The amount of ink that it goes through is shocking! Noodler’s make ink especially for flex pens, so I have paired it with Black Swan in Australian Roses. One thing worth mentioning is that many Noodler’s pens need tinkering (awesome), so get ready for regular cleaning&setting sessions if you want one.

5.Parker Duofold (14k gold 585 10nib)-so soft.
This is my first vintage pen. Bought it on ebay for a few quid. Who doesn’t love a bargain?
Colour of the pen with Visconti’s Burgundy is a match made in heaven and it will stay like this forever 🙂 This pen looks rather plain, but it has such a soft nib…writing is an absolute pleasure. This is probably my top3 writer. Vacumatic Filling system requires a lot of love. If this pen doesn’t get used regularly then it needs to be flushed, but it’s worth it, oh it it so worth it 😉

Top5 Inks
1.J Herbin-Stormy grey-revolution!
We have all expected miracles and J Herbin has delivered 😉 This ink looks great, shades well, is slightly waterproof and has a gold sheen. That’s it! Everyone must have a bottle 😉 Don’t forget to shake it before you wake it 😉

2.Iroshizuku-Yama budo-oh that colour and sheen!
What I love about this colour is how easily recognisable it is. You cannot miss Yama-Budo. Colour is super juicy and saturated. One of very few inks that are currently inked in multiple pens-and trust me, that says a lot!

3.Noodler’s-Apache Sunset-all time favourite.
Is it worth mentioning that is one of my favourite colours? This ink is a mad shader. Noodler’s ink is very hard to get in UK which imo makes it even more desirable…

4.Iroshizuku-Ku-Jaku-good behaviour.
Is it snobbish to adore Iroshizuku inks? Is it too much to pay £30 for Japanese ink? Well if you like something, you will pay for it-especially if you can import this amazing ink for half price directly from Japan. No ink flows better than this. Colours are amazing. Not washed out, not watered down. They don’t stain pens. Often come with gold sheen and they shade. Ku-Jaku is green-blue-teal and it changes colour as you write. Modern alchemy!

5.Noodler’s- Black Swan in Australian Roses aka BSIAR-best for flexing.
This ink offers an amazing colour spectrum. It was made for flex pens and looks ace on both white and ivory paper.

Top5 Paper
1. Tomoe River-out of this world!
Words cannot describe how this paper shows ink. There is absolutely zero feathering. They break the rules of physics.

2. Leuchtturm1917-daily paper.
German off-white paper and of course it’s fountain pen friendly. Handy dots for handwriting practice. Numbered pages are such a great idea! I am on my third book since July 2014. Plenty of colours to choose from 😉

3. Rhodia colour R-perfect for snail mail.
Mix beautiful cover with awesome ivory paper and you have a winner. Love this new range, gave a lot of them out as presents. This paper only comes in lined or blank version.

4. Rhodia dotpad-trusted white paper (I sense a dot theme here).
This was my first fountain pen friendly paper. Rhodia does not dissapoint.

5. Field notes Ambition-top design.
These notebook are not in my top5 for the paper. I’m totally in love with the way it looks – I forgive you for feathering and bleeding through 😉


The Bureau 2014 Stationery Awards

Great read 🙂

Bureau Direct Blog

These are now the 3rd Bureau Stationery Awards – you can see the winners from 2013 here.

How did we judge the awards? Each of us (that’s me, Jo, Kathy, Kate, Faisal and Mishka) voted for our top 5 products, and points were awarded (10 for 1st choice, 7 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 3 for 4th and 1 point for our 5th placed choice). The scores were totted up and the results verified (actually the last bit isn’t true, but my maths is quite good). And so without further ado, the results are:

The Winner

Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey Anniversary Ink


Maybe it’s no surprise, but it was actually a close-run thing and it took one point to win the award in the end. It’s only fair that it did win though since it was by far the biggest success we had all year – each new delivery…

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