Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year 2017 from the Vancouver Pen Club!

(click to enlarge photo)

Santa with the lovely ivory Delta Matte Journal fountain pen I got from Frank at Federalist Pens, with some Christmas money I received from my generous in-laws :)

January 2017 meeting info----new date & venue info!

January 2017 meeting details:

Date: Friday January 13th, 2017

Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm (we have to leave the room by 8:30pm sharp, so we can't stay late). The start time isn't set in stone---we will probably start closer to 6:30pm, but I wanted some extra time to move tables and chairs in the meeting room.

Topic: "OLD FRIENDS"--- fountain pens that you haven't used in a very long time, but "rediscovered" (I got the idea from Paul of the Calgary Pen Club, who used the topic in August 2015). Secondary topic: Newest Acquisitions.

Place: The Community Room (Meeting Room) of the Vancouver Public Library's Oakridge branch (at the back of Oakridge Mall), 650 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC (ie. the same room in which we had our November meeting).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November meeting info----important! (Venue & Date change)

Our November meeting will NOT be held at Perks on November 17. Instead, it will be held on Thursday November 24th (ie. one week later) at the Oakridge branch of the Vancouver Public Library in a meeting room I booked for us to use. Please see details below.

November VPC meeting details:
Date: Thursday November 24th, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm (we have to leave the room by 8:30pm, so we can't stay late....the library closes at 9:00pm though)
Topic: BLACK FOUNTAIN PENS & our twice-yearly INK SWAP (bring any ink you want to trade with other members. Ink cartridges are OK and ink bottles do not have to be full). Our secondary topic is always Newest Acquisitions.
Place: The Community Room (Meeting Room) of the Vancouver Public Library's Oakridge branch (at the back of Oakridge Mall), 650 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

The library entrance is near the Oakridge Fish Market, on the west side of Oakridge Mall. The library is below ground level, so take the stairs (or elevator) down to the library level. Please note: we're not allowed to eat or drink in the meeting room, so if you're hungry before the meeting, Oakridge Mall has a nice food fair and the Safeway inside the mall has hot dinner items that you can get "to go" & eat at the food fair.

We don't have December meetings, so the one on Thursday November 24th will be the last of 2016, but we will be back with regular meetings in January 2017 (Thursday January 19). Meeting place (venue): to be announced. The topic for January 2017 will be "OLD FRIENDS"---fountain pens that you haven't used in a very long time, but "rediscovered" (I got the idea from Paul of the Calgary Pen Club, who used the topic in August 2015---thanks, Paul! :)

No need to RSVP for the meeting on the 24th at the library, but I hope you can make it! The Ink Swap is totally voluntary, by the way, and if you don't have any black fountain pens, don't worry----just come and see what other members have brought. If you have any new acquisitions (pen-related)---e.g. new pens, new inks, new pen accessories---please bring them along for us to see. Hope to see you there!

My new Lamy

A quick shot of my new Lamy LX in the Rose Gold colour.
(click on image to enlarge)
My photo doesn't do it justice but I wanted to post it here because I bought it with some birthday money given to me by my wonderful aunt in Europe :)

October meeting---"Paper View" (a special presentation on paper)

Twenty-two Vancouver Pen Club members were on hand at our October 20th meeting to hear an informative and very entertaining talk about paper by Tracey Pitt of Veritiv Corporation, a Fortune 500® company that is "a leading provider of packaging, print and paper, publishing, facility solutions and logistics" (from their LinkedIn page).

That's Tracey in the middle of the photo during her talk (~ Click on images to enlarge ~):

The talk began with a brief history of the making of (what we'd call) "modern paper". I was surprised to learn that many modern paper-making machines still use the principles of the Fourdrinier system (patented in 1806) which uses a moving wire mesh belt to create large paper rolls. I was also surprised by the vast variety of paper made, and the specificity of its uses by some large companies (e.g. The Gap and Tiffany & Co). We then learned about the recycling of paper (apparently Canada does quite well in that regard, achieving around a 80-86% recycling rate) and the reuse of this recycled material in papers of various grades.

Each member who attended the meeting was given a complimentary notepad from Veritiv. These "PaperPal" pads were made by Domtar, a company that is heavily (and cleverly) promoting the educational and cognitive benefits of handwriting (check out this page on their website about this topic---it's fascinating----and this one too).
(this was the image on the back of the "PaperPal" notepads we were given; image borrowed from Domtar's website----you can find an enlarged image of it on the first link above)

Tracey's talk ended with a short video about the work of Dr. David Eagleman (official website here ), an American neuroscientist and author and his study of haptics. Fascinating stuff!

In addition to her excellent audio-visual presentation, Tracey brought along samples of fine writing paper from various companies for us to try and compare (it's not pictured but my favourite was the Astrolite PC 100 paper made by Monadnock, which is made of 100% recycled material...amazing). Here's a quick shot of some Neenah paper, specifically their 70-lb "Royal Sundance" paper:
Members trying out paper samples:
A flurry of activity!
Many thanks to Tracey for taking the time to prepare and present such a fun and educational talk, as well as for the paper samples and notepads! Thanks also go out to Christopher, who put me in touch with Tracey a few weeks ago to arrange her talk with our pen club. Christopher brought in a very old German advertisement for ladies' hats that was printed on paper (I believe it's from the 1400s). My blurry photo (apologies!) of this paper treasure below:

Some more September meeting photos

Some more September meeting photos, this time all ones of our members (all pics by Christopher---thanks, Christopher!):
(~ Click on images to enlarge ~)
(Above) Long-time pen collector and VPC member Dave M trying out a fountain pen.
Harry brought in a bunch of fountain inks for us to try---thanks, Harry!
That's Harry with me and June (in the middle). June's lovely new Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope pen case is on the table in front of her (photos of it on the company's official website can be found here ). Bart brought in his cool Franklin-Christoph 6-pen Penvelope to the August meeting to show us, and it got me thinking---they're really nice pen cases and have been on my wish list for quite a perhaps a Christmas self-gift ??? ;)
Jerred taking a water break (it was fairly warm in the store that night) and Leo.
Mark H. hard at work repairing pens
That's newer member Marzieh (on the right) with me (Bill M is in the background). We always welcome new members, whether you are new to the fountain pen hobby or a long-time collector or fountain pen user. Have questions about our club? Send us an email at

September meeting photos---Blue Fountain Pens!

We had good attendance for our September meeting (18 members) for our topic---Blue Fountain Pens. Many thanks to Jerred for the theme idea!

Some photos below...
(~ Click on images to enlarge ~)
Photo above showing some really nice blue fountain pens brought in by Jerred (from left to right): Platinum 3776, Monteverde Catalina (in a uniquely blue colour...just gorgeous!), Delta Vintage, Levenger True Writer Select, Delta Journal, Retro 51 Tornado, Delta Indigenous People's Hawaii model and his Pilot Legance.
A couple of cool-but-inexpensive blue Jinhao fountain pens in the photo above---the light blue clear pen is Harry's Kaweco Jinhao '599' fitted with a Kaweco nib he bought separately, and the darker pen below it is Justin's Jinhao X450. Justin also brought in his newest acquisition, the beautiful Platinum Moon & Rabbit maki-e fountain pen (not pictured).
Leo's colourful blue-marbled Laban Sceptre fountain pen and his Cross Verve, a discontinued model with an interesting nib design.
Some really nice vintage fountain pens brought in by Christopher R--from L to R: Parker Burgundy Pearl Marble Vacumatic, a couple of Parker '51' Vacumatics, a Parker Vacumatic (in Azure Blue Pearl, I believe), a Sheaffer flat top model in Jadeite plastic, a blue Sheaffer Cadet, a Parker '61' in Vista Blue colour, and last but not least, a lovely Parker Vacumatic in the desirable "Golden Web" design!
Some of Dave M's amazing blue fountain pen collection--from L to R: Waterman 'Hundred Year' Pen in transparent blue Lucite, a Parker Duofold replica, masterfully-made by Chris Thompson, and a boxed Parker '51' set. Dave also brought in a few other wonderful blue pens (a vintage Parker Duofold in Lapis colour, a Waterman Edson and an OMAS 360) that are not in the photos.
Two modern German classics---a clear blue Pelikan "Pelikano" and a Lamy Safari in the hard-to-find light blue with red clip colour combination (nicknamed the "Smurf" Safari). I'm trying to remember who brought them in but I can't recall!
New member Terry brought in some of his pens, including (from L to R) a blue marbled Waterman Laureat for our theme, a Parker '51' and an attractive Waterford Beaumont.
Longtime VPC member Stuart always brings in lots of pens for our themes, so in the photo above you can some blue pens (jumping from L to R)-- a Kaweco Student fountain pen, a Sheaffer Imperial, a Waterman C/F, a Sheaffer Admiral, a Sheaffer Crest, a Sheaffer Sentinel, and a Sheaffer Tuckaway model.
Some more of Stuart's blue fountain pens (jumping from L to R)--a blue Pentel Tradio, a blue vintage Ever-Ready fountain pen, a blue Pilot Prera and a Sheaffer Intensity in the striped Cornflower design.
We always have "New Acquisitions" as our secondary topic, so I snapped a quick photo of two exceptional ones brought in by June---her vintage Wahl-Eversharp in Jet Black, and Visconti Ragtime.
A photo of Bart and June's newest acquisitions----their "his and hers" Ragtime Visconti models. Bart's is the bluish marbled one and June's is the brown marbled version. My photos cannot do them justice, but they are gorgeous writing instruments!

I try my best to capture all the examples brought in by our members for our topics, but our meetings often get verrrrry busy, so in addition to not photographing my own blue pens, I also forgot to snap a photo of Mark's British Parker Duofold, Andrew's blue Pelikan Technixx & modern Parker Duofold in blue, as well as Bruce's amazing collection of blue Italian fountain pens (an old-style OMAS Paragon, an OMAS Novelli limited edition, a Visconti Van Gogh, a Visconti Aida, a Visconti Homo Sapiens in blue crystal swirl, and Visconti Voyagers from three different generations: a Lapis model, the Anniversary model, and a Kaleidoscope) as well as a cool TWSBI Vac 700 in clear blue and a Pelikan M805. Great collection, Bruce!

Many thanks to all who brought examples of blue fountain pens and to everyone who showed up for our meeting! Even if you don't have something that fits the theme (or don't have any new stuff to show), please come anyway to have fun, listen and learn :)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 2016 meeting info & more!

October VPC meeting details:

Date: Thursday October 20, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm (members may arrive a little bit early---at 6:00pm---to chat beforehand)
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC (ie. the usual meeting place)
Topic: "PAPER VIEW"---a special talk on writing paper by Tracey Pitt of Unisource Canada
Please bring your own favourite "fountain pen-friendly writing paper
; Tracey will bring some samples of paper sold by Unisource for us to try and compare.

The topics discussed in Tracey's talk will include:
  • A quick overview on how paper is made
  • What to look for when selecting paper
  • Some interesting info about writing on paper
  • Questions
  • The best way to obtain these papers

Many thanks in advance to Tracey for volunteering her time to be our special speaker for the October meeting, and to Christopher R. for putting me in touch with her. I think it'll be a very fun and interesting evening!
Our secondary topic is always Newest Acquisitions, so if you've received any new pen-related items, please bring them for us to see.

Pelikan Hub in Vancouver : The 2016 Pelikan Hub in Vancouver held on September 16th was a smashing success with 18 attendees, including Sienca's adorable daughter, April :)
Ralph was kind enough to take photos during our city's Hub (which was held at Steamworks Restaurant in downtown Vancouver) and I posted the photos here on my Instagram account (no need to join Instagram to see them)

Seattle Pen Club meeting in Bellingham-October 15th: The SPC will be having their October meeting in Bellingham, Washington, USA on Saturday October 15 at the Bellingham Public Market's conference room from 10am to 2pm (they do this twice a year to make it easier for pen folks in northern WA and Vancouver to attend). It's free to attend, the SPC folks are super-friendly and they usually bring some interesting pens to show. No topic for this meeting----just a casual get-together around a big table.
There's a small food fair at the Market but I think it's cash only so bring some U.S. cash with you if you plan to buy food/drink there. I usually have breakfast at the Daisy Cafe as it opens at 7:30am and is just 2 blocks from the Market. The food is really good and it's got the atmosphere of an old-time diner (which I like :)

Hope you can make it to our own pen club meeting this month! No need to RSVP for any meeting held at Perks. I'll post photos from our September meeting in the next few days here on our club's website. Cheers ~Maja

Monday, September 12, 2016

August meeting photos!

We had good turnout for our meeting held on August 18, 2016 at Perks pen store on Cambie Street in Vancouver----17 members (including three newcomers---Marzieh, Justin and Terry) showed up, as well as one out-of-town guest (Bill S. from the Seattle Pen Club).
Special thanks to David R for his generous donation of a Kaweco "Liliput" fountain pen for our door prize; the lucky winner was Christopher R!

The evening's topic was "Your Favourite Lesser-Known Fountain Pen Brands".
I snapped a few photos of the pens our members brought in for the theme, but first....these group photos, taken by our pen club host, Richard:

Back row (L to R): Glenn M, Terry, David R, Bill S (from Seattle), me (Maja), Justin, Barry K, Bethany, Ralph (in green shirt).
Middle row (L to R): Jerred, June, Bart, Louise.
Front row (L to R): Christopher R, Stuart, Marzieh, Norm.
The theme for August's meeting was Jerred's idea, so I'll start with a quick shot of the fountain pens he brought in. Pictured below (from left to right): Online Campus Red Dragon, Online Academy Soft Pink, Ohto Rook, Ohto Dude, Muji Round Aluminum, Online Vision Nature Rosewood, Online Icone Midnight and Ohto Tasche.
In the photo below, you can see Stuart's examples of his favourite lesser-known fountain pen brands---a couple of Heiko fountain pens (including a model '442') on the far left, a brown marbled Penco fountain pen next to the Heikos, two Ingersoll metal fountain pens in the middle of the photo, and two Esterbrook 'J' pens on the far right. The Wahl "All-Metal fountain pen to the right of the Penco, the Sheaffer "Balance" next to it and the Pelikan MK10 next to the Balance are all new acquisitions of Stuart's.
A shot of the pens Bill brought in for our theme:
From top to bottom: Nettuno "Barracuda", Paper Mate fountain pen (nib made by Montblanc!), Giuliano Mazzuoli fountain pen, Parafernalia "Revolution" fountain pen:
My (Maja's) three favourite lesser-known fountain pen brands--from L-R: two Levenger "True Writer" fountain pens, two ThINK fountain pens (one in the "Confetti" pattern and one in the brown "Gatsby" pattern) and two Retro 51 fountain pens (a "Postmaster", made with real used postage stamps, and the "Double Eight" model in a limited edition brown marble colour):
I often marvel at the enthusiasm of our members. One of our members (Harry) who couldn't attend the August meeting sent in these photos of a Penol 'Ambassador Jr' as one of his favourite lesser-known fountain pen brands. As Harry writes: "I thought I'd share a few photos of one of my pens for the uncommon brands topic. The pen I'd like to share is from the Copenhagen based brand Penol. The name comes from the combination of "Penn" and "Olson", and was made by the Christian Olson factory. Olson was the Parker distributor for Scandinavia from before WW1 until late in the century. The pen model is Ambassador Jr, and was made in November, 1942. I found it in a vintage shop in Denmark. It writes like a dream!".
Thanks for sharing this with us, Harry!
Our secondary topic is always "Newest Acquisitions". Louise and Norm brought in this older-model Delta fountain pen that Louise found (she also found a nice vintage Mabie-Todd "Swan" fountain pen, but I didn't snap a photo of it):
June's lovely collection of modern and vintage fountain pens, including her newest acquisitions, the three vintage Eversharp 'Doric' fountain pens (the 6, 7 & 8th pens from the left) and a Visconti 'Opera' (the last pen on the right-hand side).
In addition to his cool new Franklin-Christoph 6-pen "Penvelope" pen case, Bart brought in his Pelikan M800 in Burnt Orange (a newer acquisition, which he brought to the June meeting, but I forgot to photograph):
The brass Kaweco "Liliput" fountain pen that David R donated as a door prize. You can see how small the pen is, based on the size of the coin next to it.
Bill S was kind enough to bring his amazing collection of rare and hard-to-find Targa fountain fountain pens all the way from Seattle. They're on the left-hand side of the pen case below. His limited edition Sheaffers are on the right-hand side:
My apologies for the quality of the pics---the store's lights were turned off in order to keep the temperature down, as it was a very warm evening. The photo below shows Bill's "daily user" fountain pens. Many thanks, Bill, for bringing your collections for us to see!

One of our brand-new members, Terry, brought in his collection for us to see. It included several nice Waterman fountain pens (a "Laureat", a vintage hard rubber mdoel "94" in the rare blue ripple, and a gorgeous vintage all-sterling-silver model), a Waterford fountain pen, and a fountain pen that doubled as a Holy Water dispenser! Terry left a bit early so I didn't get a chance to photograph his fountain pens. I also meant to photograph Glenn Marcus' newest fountain pen inks, his two bottles of kyo-no-oto ink, but the photographs on his website are infinitely better than anything I could take :) You can find Glenn's review of this ink on this page .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't forget about our September meeting this week! It's on Thursday September 15, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm (members may arrive a little bit early---at 6:00pm---to chat beforehand) at Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC (the usual meeting place). The topic will be BLUE FOUNTAIN PENS! No RSVP's required for meetings held at Perks pen store. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September meeting info!

Date: Thursday September 15, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm (members may arrive a little bit early---at 6:00pm---to chat beforehand)
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC (the usual meeting place)

Believe it or not, we've never done this topic before (we've had Colourful Pens, Autumn Pens, Green Pens-twice!-and Orange Pens, but never Blue Pens) so many thanks to Jerred for suggesting it!

Our secondary topic is always Newest Acquisitions, so if you've received any new pen-related items, please bring them for us to see.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Vancouver Pen Club Summer Dinner 2016!

Many thanks to those 19 VPC members that attended our annual VPC Summer Dinner on July 21st at the Oakridge White Spot restaurant. Unlike a traditional VPC meeting, this casual dinner is just our small way of thanking Richard for his generous and ongoing support for our pen club by hosting our meetings at his great pen store on Cambie Street since November 2007.

There is no theme for these Summer Dinners, but if members have new pens to show, I always ask them to bring them along. The pen on the left is a new acquisition of mine, a Campo Marzio "Celluloid" model fountain pen (although the material is actually resin/acrylic ;) in a lively blue and yellow pattern. Next to it is another CM model, the Ambassador, a nice larger fountain pen in a tortoiseshell-type pattern

~ Click on photos to enlarge ~
White Spot has always been good at accommodating the size of our parties, and for allowing us to book their indoor "patio" for our annual dinner. A view from one end of the table:
...and a view from the other end:
Richard and myself with Barry looking in:
Many thanks to longtime VPC member Ralph for taking the next set of photos! Here's a shot of VPC newcomers June and Bart:
Clockwise: June, Bart, Jerred, Charles, Bruce and Marey.
That's me (Maja) talking to Charles:
VPC member and camera aficionado Barry K:
A pensive shot of VPCer Tony:
Clockwise from far left: my good friend Brian, Leo, Tony, new member Sophia, Stuart and Norm.
That's longtime VPC member Bruce talking to Marey:
That's me seated next to our Guest of Honour, Richard:
Me giving a little speech, thanking Richard for his generous support for our pen club. Richard has hosting our meetings for almost 9 years at no cost to the VPC, and has been an enthusiastic supporter and gracious host throughout the entire time.
That's Stuart on the far left talking to Norm and Louise (to Louise's left is Alejandra):
Lastly, I couldn't resist taking a selfie with Richard :)

Our next meeting will be held at our usual meeting location--Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street in Vancouver, BC on Thursday August 18th at 6:30pm, and the topic/theme will be "Your Favourite Lesser-Known Fountain Pen Brands" (for time reasons, please limit it to 3 brands maximum, and 1-2 examples per max 6 pens total). No RSVP necessary for meetings held at Perks. Hope to see you there!