Penventory

Growing up, my pen purchasing abilities were limited to my allowance. I don’t remember how much money I used to get, but I’m sure it didn’t all go to pens because I know I used to buy books and other useless junk. Once I started making my own money, however, the possibilities were endless (as you’ll see).

Here are all the pens I own. Seeing them all together in front of me at the same time kind of put my crazy addiction in perspective – I have a lot of pens.

First up are the Staedtler triplus fineliners. A Christmas present and currently my favourite pens (the 6 neon pens were free!). I really like the case it comes in because it turns into a nifty stand and also makes it a lot easier to carry around or travel with.

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Stabilo Pen 68 (on the left) and point 88 (on the right). These were slowly accumulated over the span of two years from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

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Brush pens. I’ve got the Tombow Dual Brush Pens (from my dad) and Koi Coloring Brush Pens (from Malaysia).

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Whiteboard markers – a must have for teachers (or so I tell myself). The Expo markers are from my dad in the U.S. and the Pilot markers are from Malaysia. The Expos are super light (to carry) and come in lots of pretty colours. The Pilots are cool because they’re refillable. I like both brands because they’re easy to erase from the whiteboard unlike some other pens that leave marks on the board even after considerable effort. I also like the chisel tips because you can write thicker lines which makes it easy to see even from far away (good for the students sitting at the back).

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Highlighters. The Zebra Zazzle pens (top left) are nice and bright. The Pilot Frixion pens (bottom left) are pastel and erasable. Then there’s the lone orange Paper Mate one (right) which I have because the Zebra set didn’t have orange.

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Sharpies. I’ve got ultra fine points (top left), regular fine points (right), and mini fine points (bottom left). I’ve also got Sharpie Paint pens, but I forgot to take a photo.

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Then there are the Crayola markers (left) and Paper Mate Ink Joy pens (right). I prefer click pens because you never have to worry about misplacing the cover.

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On the left, more Pilot Frixion pens – 2 Frixion Colors and 2 Frixion Clickers – all erasable. On the right, my mechanical pencils. My favourite is the blue Pilot Rexgrip 0.7 pencil. The purple one is a Paper Mate Quick Flip 0.5 and the green one was a gift from Japan from a friend. It comes with coloured lead.

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Then I’ve got the solo pens. My only Muji pen (top left) used for marking test papers (though my favourite eraser of all time is from Muji), a Micron 0.2 pen (top middle), and another Pilot that I like to use on coloured paper (top right). At the bottom are some Uniball pens (left) that I’ve had for over a decade and Creams milky gel pens from Malaysia (right).

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Lastly, I’ve got the pens I bought in Vietnam. Nice, clicky, 0.8 pens and some 0.38 gel pens.

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And that’s it! 170 pens (if my math isn’t wrong) + 7 Sharpie Paint pens (not pictured). This doesn’t include the stray pens that I happen to pick up or get free from workshops or elsewhere.

It’s definitely an addiction.

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Brush Pens

While I was browsing through Pinterest discovering the art of brush lettering, the most recommended pens were the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. There were pictures of the pens in the posts, but I had no idea how big they were until I actually saw one.

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The people who do the tutorial videos online make it look super easy. I’m still practising. 🙂

New Year, New Hobby

I’ve always had a thing for stationery for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why. I remember being in grade school and spending my allowance on things like pencils with smiley faces on them or erasers shaped like fruits. They didn’t erase particularly well, but they were nice to look at.

Before I moved to Malaysia a few years ago, my addiction to Post-Its slowly crept in until it reached ridiculous heights. While I was in Malaysia, the pen hoarding began. I think it started with the Sharpies. My time in Vietnam created some kind of monster. I think it was because I felt very stationery deprived there that when I was able to set foot into a properly stocked stationery section, I just wanted everything. And I bought it all.

I reasoned that I could put these to use in the classroom. But who was I kidding, there was absolutely no way I was going to let the kids have them after I’d seen what they were capable of doing to whiteboard markers and pencils I’d lent them. So my pens sat mostly unused.

Late last year, I discovered bullet journaling and brush lettering on Pinterest. I was initially drawn to brush lettering because the addict in me saw new pens that could be acquired for my collection. Also, I’d always been interested in calligraphy but had never quite gotten into it (regrettably). Bullet journaling, on the other hand, gave me a way to be creative – something that I’ve never really thought of myself as. The two of them together equals a use for my pens.

So this year, I’m trying to explore my creative side – whether or not I have one, and if I do, how much of it do I have? I’m trying to do something creative every day, even if it’s something as simple as lettering practice (because that stuff is not easy). I don’t think I’m completely terrible at it and I actually find it relaxing and enjoyable. Plus, my pens are getting used like they’re meant to be.

I’m really good at starting things and not sticking with it, but I’m hoping this will be different. I’ve just started so I’m not confident enough to post any of my work yet, but at some point, hopefully, I will.

Also – disclaimer – I’m not using this new hobby as an excuse to buy more pens.