I’m Still Here


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I wanted to write a quick message: I am still here! I am sorry for the empty field that is my posting of late. I have lots of ideas and little time it seems. But I am working on it. I know I’ve been saying that for months (!) but it’s true. I am just finishing up one of my journals – the Franklin Christoph Notebook – and I am trying to decide which journal to move into next, as my daily journal. I started the Stone Journal for the ink display with the glass pen but I’m not sure about it being a daily journal. Is the time right to jump into the William Hannah Notebook? I’m intimidated by it’s beauty but drawn to it every day. Or maybe into a rough and tumble Eccolo? Or a cheaper (so less pressure) Staples special? Or my beautiful dragonfly journal? Wow I’ve had that one for two years now and haven’t written in it yet. So many to choose from.

I need something to write in tonight so I will open myself to my journals and one will choose me. This weekend I will let you know which one. Happy journaling everyone.

A Glass Pen and Ocean Ink to be Thankful for


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Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I wanted to share a new pen I recently acquired. A friend was in town and we went to a local shop called Into the Mystic Folklore. It’s a beautiful space in Dartmouth that sells crystals, jewelry, tarot cards, tea, etc., along with psychic readings and singing water bowls. It’s a magical place and I am thrilled my friend introduced me to it.

Nestled between healing bracelets and gargoyle bookends were glass dip pens. A local artisan, Janelle Tyler, makes and sells them through her company Gypsy Road Glass, Silver & Stone. To my delight she also makes ink in the cutest bottles, so I grabbed a couple of those too.


There were multi-coloured pens with different types of nibs, from broad to fine. I chose a clear one with a medium-fine nib.



The pen comes with a pamphlet that talks about the history of glass pens. I did not know that in the 17th century there was a shortage of feather quills for writing. The average London banker would use up to 20 feather quills a day – can you imagine?! And the average goose was only capable of producing 8 to 10 good feathers for quills. Through trial and error German glass blowers perfected the spiral nib seen on glass pens today. The original ones would have been brittle and fragile but the pens made by contemporary glass artisans like Janelle Tyler are made from a harder material, the same glass that modern cookware is made from.

I also bought two bottles of ink, both with the colour Deep Ocean. I do not know if she offers any other colours. The appeal of the glass pen to me is the fearlessness you can have with new inks – there is no chance that a questionable ink could muck up the mechanism, because there is no mechanism to muck up! And you could write a letter with a different ink for each sentence. The nib wipes clean quickly with water and a paper towel. And you are not limited to fountain pen ink – any ink will do. So much fun!


Here you can see both the ink colour and the nib. I wrote in my Things Remembered Engraved Journal with stone paper. I love this journal but have read with misgiving the fibres can sometimes clog up the works in traditional fountain pens. So the glass pen was perfect for this writing session.


I love the ink colour. It’s a rich blue green perfectly named. The actual writing experience was a little challenging. The paper is a little toothy and on the upstroke the nib would sometimes catch and stop moving. But you can see there was no skipping and one dip would last for almost three sentences.


This little ledge is the perfect resting spot for my glass pen. I haven’t photographed this desk before but as I unpack my office there are only so many clear spots available to shoot! I will do a proper room tour when I am all set up.

So if you are wondering about glass pens I would recommend one, for their beauty and versatility with ink. I can’t believe I have waited this long to buy one. And if you are in the Dartmouth area check out Into the Mystic Folklore. You will find something that catches your eye, I guarantee it!

Avery Mini Binder and Accessories


Hello! On a beautiful fall Sunday I am putting a new system together to keep track of my work tasks. In my August 14 post I talked about enlisting a notebook to help me keep track of work tasks. And it has worked somewhat but not perfectly. I find I have tasks that have many stages to them, if that makes sense, and I need to know what stage each task has achieved. So I found myself thinking of a binder system, like my ARC notebooks or my William Hannah notebook, so that I could organize the pages and move things around as needed. Currently I cannot find my ARC notebooks (still buried in a box somewhere) and my William Hannah notebook is not going out of the house. I am obsessed with keeping it pristine and beautiful for my personal journaling. So I resigned myself to the hunt for my ARC notebooks. But before I could find them I came across an Avery Mini Binder in green, with some accessories, that I purchased at WalMart a few weeks ago and forgot about. And I think it will work perfectly!!

I had heard about these mini binders first from the Pen Pixie on YouTube but only saw them in real life recently. I can’t remember the exact price I paid but you can find them on Amazon, Staples and WalMart.


I bought the green binder; on Staples’ website it is “chartreuse”. It is 1″ thick, with 1″ rings, of which there are 3. It measures 5.5″ x 8.5″. I’ve seen black, white, blue and purple binders on the Staples site.


One of the great features of these binders is how flat they lay when open. Very comfortable to write on either side of the paper, despite the rings.


Lots of accessories with these binders. I bought, from right, Sheet Protectors, Filler Paper, Insertable Dividers and Binder Pockets. On Amazon there are A-Z dividers and calendar pages available as well. This system could give Filofax a run for their money as a planner system! Speaking of Filofax, these pages do not fit into my current planner, my Finsbury. But I could not check them in my Franklin Covey planner, as it is still packed away.


Helpful printing instructions are included with the tabbed dividers. I just wrote on mine but it’s nice that they included these.


I think this will work better for my needs, as I can organize my notes and keep my tasks separate. Right now they are all jumbled together. So I will spend the next couple of hours going through my faithful notebook and transferring tasks and notes to this new binder. I must go put the kettle on. Happy planning!

Grateful for the Wonder


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This weekend we moved into our new, permanent home. And our things have been delivered from their storage. So many boxes! I have a small mountain of them in my new office. I am beyond excited to unpack and say hello to notebooks, inks, books and desk friends that I haven’t seen since April. It seems like a lifetime ago that I packed up my office in Calgary. And in some ways it is.

Moving to Halifax has been amazing and terrible at the same time. Any of you who have made a great move, or indeed pulled off any great change, will know what I mean. We are so happy here and know deep within that this is where we need to be, spiritually, physically and mentally. But the process of “getting back to normal” has been a minefield of emotion. My job has been wonderful but frustrating in that it demands so much of my time; there is so much that needs to be done the only solution I can find is to work lots of evenings and weekends. The process of buying and furnishing a home has been daunting and time consuming. All of that takes away from “me” time, where I find myself unable to keep up with my previous schedule on this blog. I lose time for journaling and reading too, which makes me sad and fractious. To add to this my back conditions (scoliosis and sciatica) have been acting up ALOT of late. I am without my usual network of chiropractors and massage therapists but I’m slowly building a new team. I am blessed with a wonderful husband, family and friends who have helped enormously on this journey. You know who you are and I sincerely thank you.

The great lesson of this move and my life for the last few months has been to be grateful for the wonder. I am aware of the magical more than ever before. Positive forces are at work in my life that I acknowledge and honour. This next chapter will be the best yet. And I intend to share as much as possible here, with you.

So end my musings for another Sunday. I am sorry for my absence and I am working on that. I hope to resume normal operations on this blog before the end of this month. I’ve said that before but I feel better able to accomplish it now, with my old familiars jumping out of every box I open.



Bookblock Original Journal Giveaway Winner



I have the results of the Journal Giveaway! This giveaway generated the most comments to date! Thank you so much for the support and love shown to this blog, even during this difficult time for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect with my current much-reduced posting schedule. I’m honoured by you, my phenomenally supportive community, and am thrilled to be giving back in this small way. Thank you!!

Thirty-one people commented on the blog post, within the timeframe set by the rules of the giveaway. Each unique userid received one entry. I entered the list into the Random List Generator at random.org and below are screenshots of the results after I pressed Go! The list was so long I had to do two screenshots! In the second one you can see the date and time stamp.

Top Screenshot 2016-08-28 at 9

Bottom Screenshot 2016-08-28 at 9

And as you can see the winner is:

Sharon Goemaere

Congratulations Sharon Goemaere! You have until Sunday, Septmber 4, 2016 to contact me with your mailing details, using the Contact Me button at the top of the page, next to the About button. If I don’t hear from you by midnight on Sunday, September 4, 2016 I will pick another winner and announce it on Monday, September 5, 2016.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and watch this space for more giveaways! Happy journaling!

Journal Giveaway Almost Here!


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I just wanted to remind everyone that I’m giving away a custom inlovewithjournals journal this weekend. I realize now I got the dates wrong in my original post; this Saturday is August 27 and the contest closes at midnight Atlantic Standard Time on that day. I will announce the winner the following day, Sunday, August 28. Read all about it in this post.

Thanks to everyone who has already entered. And for those who haven’t please do! Best of luck!

A New Colour for my Jinhao 159s


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I really enjoy writing with my Jinhao 159 pens. I first wrote about them in May 2015, and then it was chosen as my Pen of the Month for November 2015. I popped it into my beloved Franklin Christoph notebook and then included it as part of the prize for my 500 Subscriber Giveaway. I have had it continuously inked since the day it arrived from China through an eBay purchase. I often use it in pen tests for new notebooks. It’s a thick pen but I love writing with it. It’s inexpensive but always writes immediately, right out of the box or after a long sit in my pen case. I even bought a second one for myself as a backup!

For the longest time the only place I could find them was eBay. And then Goulet Pens started carrying them. Both of mine were black. I sort of liked the other colours on the Goulet Pens website but never ordered one. I guess I thought two in basic black were enough.

Well that all changed when I saw a PURPLE one on eBay!! And yes it’s just as gorgeous as it sounds.

three capped

The picture is not picking up the true purplishness; it looks more pink than it actually is. But still beautiful! I keep waiting for Goulet Pens or other retailers to carry it but so far I have not seen it. If you want to purchase one let me know in the comments and I will track down the seller I bought it from.

nib closeup

A closer look at the glorious nib. It looks like a hair is stuck to the end but it’s not; I tried removing it but just ended up with purple ink all over my fingers.

I’ve read elsewhere how some folks are disappointed with the Jinhao 159s, how they have to replace the nib, or the converter they come with is crappy. I must say I’ve never had a problem. They write instantly and never skip (so far so good and I’ve been using them for over a year now). And even though I said in my May 2015 review that I wouldn’t recommend it for long writing sessions due to the weight, I guess I’ve become accustomed to it because I can write long letters and long journal entries with it, with no problems.

And speaking of writing, I inked it up with Waterman Tender Purple (of course) and wrote in my journal.


I think my limit for this pen is three. I think. Until the next groovy colour comes out 🙂

Happy journal writing everyone!


Back to Basics and a Look Book


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Hello my friends! This week I was reminded of some basic truths about being organized and focused: write stuff down. As I’ve mentioned my new job is challenging; there are a lot more things to keep track of and I have at least three times the amount of email to wade through. I tried using the Task feature in Outlook but I found that when I got super busy I ignored it. Then I tried creating an Excel spreadsheet but found the same thing: when busy I felt I didn’t have time to type up the task. And too often I was missing critical things in my email. So I grabbed one of my journals (the alphabet notebook discussed in this post) and on the bus on the way to work did a brain dump of all the things I could think of that needed to be done in the office. I didn’t stop until the bottom of page 2. And once I was done it felt great! So much lighter. And throughout the work day I could focus on one thing on the list at a time. I highlighted the ones that needed to be done right away. And marking them off as they were completed was awesome! Such a simple concept but so powerful. We have blank books at work for notes and such but I thought using one of my own would make me more invested and it seems to be working. Hurray!

Another area where I needed focus and organization was picking out furniture for our new house. We sold or gave away most of our furniture before the move. Seems pretty straightforward but we have a limited budget and I wanted to make sure we spent the money wisely. So we started looking at furniture in different places: Pier 1, Wicker Emporium, Structube, Bombay Company. I took pictures of pieces that appealed to us. I made notes of what we agreed upon, what we loved, hated, were indifferent to. I had lots of photos on my phone and wanted to transfer them to a notebook where I could make notes. So I created what I call a Look Book.

furniture idea book 2

I chose one of the Bookblock Original notebooks (blank pages) and got my LG Pocket Photo Printer out. Remember that gadget? It still works great. I love how small but clear the pictures are. Perfect for my journal. In the picture above I’ve created a simple index on the left and pasted my pictures on the right. I can then put model numbers and dimensions next to the photo, as well as where we found it and how much it was. A great way to compare prices and the photos really jog the memory.

furniture idea book 1

Here you can see in closer detail the notes I’ve made about a certain piece. After viewing the piece in person I would look it up on the internet for the specifications, as well as any other pieces available in that line. I like furniture that matches!

I used a black Staples OPtiFlow pen.

furniture idea book 3

Here’s a bunch of photos from another store, ready to place in my Look Book. I even printed a couple of photos of the cats, which will go in my regular journal. Love that little pocket printer!

You don’t have to start a separate journal for a project such as this; I could have added these pages to my regular daily journal. But I wanted to keep these separate because I don’t know how long it will take us to a) find all the furniture we need and b) agree on what to purchase! It’s also a nice keepsake of one of the many house projects David and I will undertake together. How wonderful to be able to look back on the process a year from now, or 10 years from now.

Update: we went shopping in yet another furniture store yesterday (Ashley Furniture) and bought furniture for the TV room, kitchen and dining room. Because we had already done some research I think it was easier for us to pick a style we liked and to know that the price we paid was a fair one. Of course we had to order everything so having the Look Book will help us greatly as we continue the search for furniture and accessories for other rooms, so we can keep the general style consistent throughout each room.

Just one more great use for your journal!

A Journal Giveaway


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On July 3 I reviewed these custom notebooks made for me by Bookblock Original. I’ve been using one of them and I must say the paper is great and I love writing in them. Because of moving I have more copies than originally planned so I wanted to give one of them away to one of you!

Up for grabs is one of the black notebooks, with a black elastic and “inlovewithjournals” written in white on the front.


Image from Bookblock Original.

It will look like the one in the picture above, except it will be blank pages. Rules are below. Please note: as I now live in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, that will be the time zone that dictates when the contest closes.

The rules to enter are as follows:

  1. You must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to enter.
  2. Be a subscriber to this blog.
  3. Leave a comment on this post.
  4. One entry per username.

The giveaway is open internationally. It runs from today, Sunday, July 31, 2016, to midnight Atlantic Standard Time on Saturday, August 28, 2016. I will use random.org to choose the winner. I will announce the winner on Sunday, August 29, 2016, on this blog. The notebook the winner will receive is from BookBlock Original. The winner will have until Sunday, September 4, 2016 to contact me with their mailing details, using the Contact Me button at the top of the page, next to the About button. If I don’t hear from the winner by midnight on Sunday, September 4, 2016 I will pick another winner and announce it on Monday, September 5, 2016.

Please contact me with any questions. If you find you can’t comment on this post send me an email using the Contact Me button and I will investigate.

Good luck everyone! Thanks so much for your continued support!


My Waterman Family



In June I saw a review of the Waterman Kultur on YouTube by Jennifer of Best Fountain Pen. She was so enthusiastic about it I had to check Amazon and sure enough it was available in Canada too. So I picked up two: the blue and the red.

kultur horiz

I have a Waterman pen already; you might remember my vintage Waterman Junior. But as a vintage pen it’s delicate and I always worry when I use it. I wanted a Waterman I could use every day and throw into my bag. And I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. So when I saw this beauty and Jennifer’s excellent review I knew I had to have one. Or two.

waterman nib

The nib is advertised as a fine but it writes more like a medium. Very smooth writer right out of the packaging. These pens do not come wit a converter but the cartridge supplied with the pen has a bigger ink capacity than any converter anyway. These are demonstrator pens, meaning most of the pen is transparent so you can see the inner workings. The section is especially fascinating as the ink comes in. The plastic body makes it light in the hand, perfect for long writing sessions. The cap is a pull and snap cap so no threads on the fingers. There is a tiny step down on the section but I didn’t find it bothering me as I wrote. I’m very happy with this pen.

I haven’t opened the red one yet; I recently bought some Waterman Audacious Red and once I have an empty cartridge when the blue one runs out I will fill it with the red. Audacious Red is the last colour of Waterman ink that I needed to complete the set. Love it! Love them all!

blue and red and pens

Audacious Red and Serenity Blue.

purple and turquoise

Tender Purple and Inspired Blue. You can tell I use these two the most. I have a bottle of Inspired Blue at my desk at work too!

black blue green brown

Intense Black, Mysterious Blue, Harmonious Green and Absolute Brown. Great inks for your pens. Amazon still has a few of these pens at great prices. I understand Waterman has discontinued the model which is a shame. If you have a chance to check out the Kultur, do so!