Monday, 6 August 2012

The "penultimate" pen guide!

Like most of the Filophiles out there, I'm have more obsessions than just Filofaxes. Some of my others include:

Journals/paper products
Scrapbooking supplies (I don't really "scrapbook" in the formal sense, I use the supplies to decorate my journals and Filos)
Make-up (especially lip gloss)
Horse-related products for me and my horse (saddle pads, halters, riding boots, horsey accessories like rings and bracelets, etc)

I have made an effort to reign in my obsessions, mostly because I really have more than I need of pretty much everything. But one of my main obsessions besides my Filofax collection is my Cross Fountain pen collection.

It all started a couple of years ago, when I was shopping at one of my favourite discount stores, a Canadian store called "Winners". This is also the place where my passion for Filofaxes was re-awakened-I had a Filofax years ago and loved it, but had never seen one again, and then suddenly they had tons of them in Winners marked way down! I started buying at least one a year-for a while I was favouring the pocket size and had many of those-I'll do a post on those soon.

For many years I have also had a passion for Fountain pens. I am a person who bears down hard on pens, and I often end up with a painful welt on my middle finger. I am also a prolific "journaler", and have been a freelance writer for years. I could never use an electric organizer, because I love the process of writing things down-I find it very therapeuticic.

Good fountain pens, ones that don't cost a fortune, are very hard to find. For a while Parker made a nice one you could buy at any department store, and I used to hoard these in the fear that they would be discontinued, which, of course, they were. I don't want fancy, silver, diamond encrusted, $200.00 pens, because then they are too precious to use, and I would be afraid to lose them. I want pens I can carry with me and take out and use.

When I came upon the Cross Fountain pens at Winners I bought one, took it home, and tried it out. I was in heaven! These are really the ultimate in Fountain pens. They have a nice weight to them, the ink comes out in a perfectly, smooth flow (I'll talk more about that later) and they have never, ever leaked (I used to have to gingerly open the Parker pen, then swivel up a piece of tissue and push it inside the pen cap to soak up all the ink that had leaked into it before I could use it!). Once I saw how amazing the pens were, I immediately rushed back to the store and bought two more. I was perfectly happy with these, but then experienced a "false alarm" where I thought I had lost two of them (there was a hole in the lining of my purse, and they slipped through the hole-I literally looked high and low for them for weeks, and they were in my purse the whole time!!!) I went on e-bay and bought a couple more, and now I have a pretty complete collection. I have a couple I take
with me, and others I really like that stay here at home, because I don't want to lose them. 

Probably my favourites are a basic, plastic model, that I featured in my previous post about my "horsey" Filofax. I have them in black and pink (I used to have a red one, but I lost it). They come in fun colours, and are true Cross pens, without all the fancy hardware. There is also a rather slim model I like, I originally got in in a salmon colour at Winners all those years ago, and now have a black one that stays here at the house. 

The top three in the above picture are the original ones I bought. They are, from the top, purple, sage green, and salmon. The second from the bottom is one of those great, utilitarian plastic ones I like so much, and the bottom one is my favourite-it is the same type as the third from the top.

This is the pink version of the plastic cross pen-here's how it came in the mail from an e-bay seller. E-bay is the best place to get Cross fountain pens at a reasonable price.

This is a picture of my four faves! The bottom two are the ones that go out of the house with me. The reason I'm not overly fond of the purple and sage ones is they have a shiny silver section where your fingers go, and I don't find it as comfortable as the ones above, which all have nicer "grips" on them.

You can sort of get an idea in the picture above. The real secret of the wonderfulness of the Cross pens, however, lies in the ink cartridges. They have a little ball in them, almost like a ball bearing, if you will, which must be for controlling the ink flow. I tried to take a picture after the cartridge was empty, but it's still hard to see...


That dark shadow in the middle of the cartridge is the magical little ball!

Above is a Cross pen cartridge package. I always use black, I have checked into other colours, but they are hard to find. Packages of black or blue cartridges are readily available at Staples. I prefer black ink, anyway. I'm sort of old-school about that. I NEVER use blue ink. I have an aversion to it!

I love using my pens, and get asked about them all the time. People think it's quirky, but neat! My favourite non-fountain pens to put inside my Filos can be seen below. If only there were a Filofax with pen loops big enough to accommodate my Cross pens!


  1. I do want a diamond encrusted pen :) LOL

    1. Hee, hee, I know, wouldn't it be great if there were an affordable, posh, wonderfully working fountain pen that fit into those stupid little Filofax pen loops!?!? And one that came with all sorts of beautiful ink colours? Ahhh....but then we would have to have, like, 20 of them, right?!

  2. Those pretty colors are making me want a Cross myself.

    And I'm with you on buying scrapbooking supplies but not using them whatsoever for scrapbooking at all....

  3. Over here you can get teal, pink and purple fountain pen cartridges. :) x

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