Noteworthy OFP #3

Greetings from Vietnam – yes, I am on a business trip again. And yes, it gets tiring, and not as fun as people would normally imagine. Am I lucky to have opportunities to travel for business? Yes. Am I happy about it? It depends – when the travel gets really frequent, or if the destination isn’t very pleasant, then not really. Sometimes during such trips, I need to be stuck in jams for ages. That’s really not great, and not productive, as I am usually not able to work on the car without feeling dizzy.

Bullet Journals – to beautify or not?

In any case, I’d still like to do a quick Noteworthy post for y’all today. The first feature is about a problem I can identify with regarding journaling. Remember how I have been looking for an ideal planner for 2018? The need has been driven from my own envy of beautiful journals that I see all over the place. I mean, just look at the #bulletjournal hashtag on Instagram! How is it possible to achieve such ethereal-looking bullet journals?! It is like a normal person with a less-than-perfect body shape, looking at all the runway models, and hoping to look like them immediately. I have tried, and failed, either because my artwork was absolutely nothing to be proud of (if not cringe-worthy), or I haven’t had the discipline and time to make them look so immaculate.

So here I found a guest post on Pretty Prints and Paper, where writer Katie describes her struggles of making her bullet journal look pretty. It speaks my mind. I can relate to it. In the end, I’d conclude that I still want my bullet journal to look nice. But fundamentally, it needs to be functional – else it would defeat the purpose of bullet journaling. A journal is something very personal, even if it’s just full of to-do list. It’s supposed to help us get our lives in order, so why allow it to trouble you that it does not look “as nice as the others”?

For more information on the original bullet journaling idea, have a look at I am not affiliated to them, just sharing a wonderful journaling idea that I feel should be used by as many people as possible!

Back to pens – nib grinding

Nib grinding is a topic that is very little-talked on my blog. Reason? I am left-handed. Not enough reason? Well, I’d further explain that as a leftie, I have always had to “get used to” everything else in this world catered to right-handers. I’m not complaining here, it’s just a habit and a way of life that I’ve gotten used to. So, if I get a pen with a nib that does not suit me, I’d tend to adapt my writing posture to the pen, rather than modify the pen to suit my leftiness. Many modified nibs result in stubs, italics, or varying degrees of flex. Most of those end up feeling awkward, just because I am a left-hander. Any fellow left-handed people out there agrees? Raise your left paw, buddy!

Also, nib grinding services are expensive.

The only times I’ve ever tried modifying my fountain pen nibs would be when I find the nib too scratchy. I would draw circles or figure eight’s on kraft paper or a mesh. That really isn’t considered nib grinding, just some smoothing out. Sometimes these don’t lead to any good, because many, many fountain pen nibs out there naturally give quite a bit of feedback for the way I write (side pusher or overwriter). I end up over-smoothing them, the line becomes less fine. I end up with a nib that is not quite so smooth, possibly one that is less fine, and a feeling that I’ve just ruined everything.

But this is why it is important to get a nibmeister to do it properly for you, even if it is expensive. Mike from The Clicky Post shared about nib grinds by Dan Smith (The Nibsmith). There are 4 nib types reviewed in the article, some of which you might find interesting. I like the idea of having an architect grind, as it might suit my leftiness better – would love to try that one. It might actually end up writing as a proper stub/italic style, because of the way it’s ground!

One thing to note about nib grinding – if you think you’ve had it all figured out, that’s great. If you would rather someone else do it for you, be careful who you pick! I’ve heard of unfortunate nib modification failures on really expensive pens before. If you’ve spent a bomb on the pen, and going to spend even more on nib mods, do choose wisely. Anyway, the fountain pen community is small, and reviews are abundant. It is not difficult to find a good nib modder for your pen in the industry.

A quick shoutout

I’ve added a new entry to my Pen Blogs list – Luxe Vulpennen, a relatively new blog from the Netherlands, which currently has a few articles, but are looking to grow via Youtube and more features in future. What caught my attention was that they mentioned a Dutch pen show – and it’s the 29th this year?! Wonderful. I believe that every country should have their own pen show, and raise awareness about the writing community and writing in general. I’m hoping to see more articles and videos from Luxe Vulpennen in the near future!


Alright, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Noteworthy post, and that you’ve learnt something new from it. That’s my main aim of my Noteworthy series! Gotta prep myself for bedtime now, as I’ll have to fly to another Vietnamese city tomorrow for business!

1 Response

  1. Mike Grove 3 October 2017 / 12:17 AM

    Nice post, Maybelline!

    If anybody in my neck of the woods (UK) needs a good nib-tuner I’d recommend a chap called John Sorowka. I’ve let him loose on some of my best pens, either because they were just a bit dry, or because I fancied a custom oblique grind for a change, and he’s always done a real good job.

    Good luck in your next Vietnamese assignment!

I would love to hear your thoughts!