Three Questions With Junee Lim

One of the coolest things about writing The Pen Addict is talking to people from all over the world. Junee Lim from Alt. Haven hails from Singapore and writes some of the best stationery reviews on the internet. She is also as nice and as helpful as they come. My thanks to Junee for answering Three Questions.

What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?

I very much enjoy using my tech products. I love buying apps and playing with my iPhone and MacBook Pro. However, I’ve made a conscious choice to use my pens and paper every day. It’s not something I have to use but it’s what I enjoy using. I use them as a respite in our increasingly digital lifestyle.

I use my pens and paper for work notes, daily bullet journal and letters to pen pals. This doesn’t include the notes I take for my reviews. My pens and paper go where I go, the same way my iPhone does. Just because the mobile phone is something I am dependent on doesn’t mean I have to give up my analog tools. I believe my pens and paper will always be the bridge that connects me to the physical world.

What are your favorite products you are currently using?

My Lamy 2000 has recently returned from a 4 month round trip to Germany to get its piston knob tighten. It’s a long time to be away from a favourite pen but now that its back in my procession all is well with the world again.

My favourite ink of the year so far has got to the Sailor Bung Box L’Amant. The pink - purple colour is really eye catching and the shading is really one of a kind. I got my feet wet in the world of inks being a die hard fan of Pilot Iroshizuku inks but Sailor inks are fast taking over their position.

What post are you the most proud of on your blog?

I am particularly proud of my recent review of the Visconti Van Gogh Starry Night. I love the photos that I took of the Visconti. It’s the first time I ever put a disclaimer on the photographs of a pen. The research also took me to places that I didn’t expect. I found out more than I thought there was to know about that particular pen.

Posted on November 21, 2015 and filed under Three Questions.

The Squire By Baron Fig

With almost $90,000 pledged at the time of writing, The Squire by Baron Fig is well on its way to being one of the most popular pens released on Kickstarter.

The design of The Squire revolves around a smooth, tapered aluminum barrel with a twist-retract mechanism, and a Schmidt P8126 refill under the hood. Silver and Charcoal are the barrel color choices, both of which pair nicely with the Limited Edition Squire Logo Confidant also available during this campaign.

You have 19 days left to get in on the action so head over to Kickstarter and back The Squire.

My thanks to Baron Fig for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.

Posted on November 20, 2015 .

Cross Century II in Royal Blue: A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

I've never owned a Cross fountain pen. So, I was excited to try out the Cross Century II when Goulet Pens sent it to the Pen Addict for review. I love blue pens.

The Cross Century II is a small, thin pen. It is 5.35 inches capped, 6.06 inches posted, and 4.84 inches unposted. The barrel diameter is 0.38 inches and the pen weighs only 23 grams. The cap and barrel seem to be made of lightweight metal, (aluminum, perhaps?), coated with a pearlescent blue finish. The color of this pen is fantastic.

The grip is black plastic with vertical ribs that make it easier to hold than a metal grip.

I haven't had much luck lately with stainless steel nibs (see here and here), but the Century's is smooth and trouble-free. I've had no hard starts or skipping with this nib. I really like how it writes.

The pen requires Cross cartridges or the Cross screw-in converter. The converter works well.

This is a minimalistic pen design. The Cross name is engraved on the clip and on the barrel (but you have to look closely to see it there).

The cap has a chrome ring and an elegant finial.

The barrel is smooth and unadorned except for the chrome ring where the barrel meets the grip. Another ring provides a grip stop near the nib.

The cap pulls on and off and can be posted. I rarely post my pens, and when I tried writing with the Century II posted, it felt off balance. It's such a small pen, however, some may find they need to post it.

My main criticism of this pen is how thin it is. The grip is only 0.31 inches. Even though I have small hands, I like thicker grips, otherwise my hand tends to cramp while writing.

Still, I think that the Cross Century II is a great mid-priced fountain pen. You can purchase it from Goulet Pens for $110.00 (converter and two black cartridges are included). This pen would be best for people with small hands who prefer slender, lightweight pens.


  • Light, well-balanced pen (unposted).
  • Beautiful finish.
  • A reasonably inexpensive pen.
  • Excellent steel nib.


  • The pen is thin and lightweight, so it may be unsuitable for people who have larger hands or for people, like me, who need wider grips to avoid hand-cramping.
  • You need a proprietary Cross converter for this pen (or cartridges).

(Thank you to Goulet Pens for providing this pen to Pen Addict for review at no charge.)

Posted on November 20, 2015 and filed under Cross, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Lihit Labs Teffa Bag in Bag Review

(This is a guest post by Nick Folz. You can find more of Nick and his work on his blog, Smallberry Drive, Twitter, and Instagram.)

I like to carry stuff. Back before EDC was an acronym and the internet had a subculture for everyone, I was just a weirdo who carried a bag with me everywhere. My first love was backpacks. I played a lot of videogames growing up, one of my favorites was a game called Earthbound, it was a modern day RPG and your backpack was your inventory system. That idea really stuck in my head. I made sure when I left my house I would be prepared for adventure, even though most days all I would use was a bottle of water (+1 hydration!).

In college I moved to messenger bags, for lots of reasons but what it really boiled down to is that I thought they looked cooler. My videogame style inventory went from adventure items to more practical items. I was an art student, so I carried my art supplies around (+2 paper, +1 ink!). Lots of people at my school were painters and sculptors, but I was the only illustrator in my graduating class. One of the reasons I picked illustration, besides enjoying it, was that everything I could possibly need to do my job could be carried in my bag.

Now that I am a grown up working in the field, I stuck with the sling bag look. My current bag is The J. Peterman Counterfeit Mailbag (full disclosure, I work for The J. Peterman company). It is my studio. It is not overburdened with compartments: one large main inside, one zippered outside.

I needed something to keep the main pocket organized. So I thought I would try out the Lihit Lab Teffa Bag-in-Bag, A4 size. It does its job in spades. This is mandatory equipment if you have a large compartment bag, it worked equally well in my older Chrome Citizen. I keep a medium sketchbook, a large pad of Bristol board, a ruler and a multitude of pens, pencils, markers, aqua brushes and erasers in this thing. My bag would be chaos without it.

The whole bag-in-bag system is a large rectangle, on the outside are three pen slots and two large flap pockets. These are all sewn into two slit pockets that fit narrower items, pocket notebooks or even a wallet. The edge of the rectangle is zippered to open up a pocket the size of the whole rectangle. The brand calls this A4 size (8.27in by 11.7in, what the world calls “letter” and America calls “almost letter”) don’t let this turn you off if you are stateside, I can fit my 9in by 12in Bristol board with room to spare for a magazine or two.

I have had bags in the past that had built-in sections for all of these things, but here is where the bag in bag system excels over built-in compartments: When I go to grab my paper or pens, I can pull the whole thing out. All of my paper and utensils are right there. I usually have some other non-drawing items in my bag (laptop, book, harmonica, etc.) and this way I don’t have to lug that on to what ever flat surface I have deemed as my desk at the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I have grabbed the Teffa out and felt comforted that no matter where I was, on the road for business or at my coffee table at home, everything is right there organized and ready.

I chose a bright yellow model because I thought any brightness to help find things would be helpful. It looks sunny and friendly in my bag, eager to be pulled out and used. I am the kind of person who likes to be able to draw wherever I am, and not just sketch, I like to have the ability to start and finish a project in one spot. If I'm going to stop mid-stride while walking down the road to draw comics, often enough my mind is telling me dumb things like “Draw a robot ghost!” I like to draw cartoons, I’m not making high art over here. Regardless, I find comfort in having my tools nearby and at the ready, even if I go a few days without touching them.

You can find the Lihit Lab Teffa Bag-in-Bag in two sizes at These two things, the Mailbag and the Teffa bag-in-bag, are comforting to have around. They travel well and I take them everywhere: One part security blanket, one part library, one part studio, one part briefcase. It’s my inventory system, and the Teffa levels it up (+5 organization!).

(Disclaimer: This product was provided for me free of cost but I am not otherwise being compensated for this review. The opinions contained are my own.)

Posted on November 19, 2015 and filed under Lihit Labs, Pen Case.