In the relatively new world of stationery blogging, Azizah from Gourmet Pens is one of the stalwarts of the community. Her reviews are thorough, beautiful, and always entertaining. My thanks to Azizah for taking the time out to answer Three Questions.
1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?
Currently, my life revolves around analog tools and I'm really enjoying that. I write three blogs, in addition to recording the "Serious Nibbage" series, and am building up a fourth (scientific) website. It takes a lot of coordinating, planning, and preparing. I have to log my time and make sure I'm posting in the right place, make sure I have drafts ready to go, and there is a lot of research and editing involved. I have a lot of potential ideas, comical quotes and sayings, words and other topics of interest I want to research out, often for a blog post but also out of curiosity, questions I want to ask, things I have to do, things I have to remember… it’s a long list in my head. If I don't write it all down, I'll forget something important, and I hate making lists on my phone. I carry four notebooks with me at all times and a case full of pens and other tidbits I might need. I write everything down, so I have to use analog tools or I wouldn't be able to stay organized!
2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?
My current favorites are a strange variety of things. I have a thing for machined pens, so I keep a Karas Kustoms Render K (aluminum, Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4 mm light blue), a Tactile Turn Shaker (copper, Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 blue), and a Karas Kustoms Bolt (hot pink, Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 blue). I also love my Uni-ball Jetstream Alpha Gel Grip pen (black, 0.7 mm blue refill). The notebooks I obsess over and keep with me constantly are Field Notes in a Mitchell Leather Deluxe Journal Cover, and I don’t care which ones they are. Since I use ballpoints with them, they all work for me, and I like changing it up because I get bored of the same thing after some time. They’re just fun.
Last but not least, there are fountain pens. I’ll do anything for a vintage flex, and the flexier, the better. I love my Waterman 94 with a #5 Waterman wet noodle music nib that is always inked, my Waterman 12 with an extra fine to double broad wet noodle, and my Waterman 52V with a fine to triple broad wet noodle. I’m all about that flex. I also like shiny things, so I keep my Pelikan Souverän M400 White Tortoise (Mottishaw BB Stub) inked (currently with J. Herbin Stormy Grey).
I carry everything in my Kivu, a wonderful leather bag made by Love41, the sister company of Saddleback Leather.
3. What post are you the most proud of on your blog?
A few months ago, I would have had no idea how to answer this. Fortunately, I wrote a post on music nibs not too long ago – Two Tines, Three Tines: A Symphony of Music Nibs. I spent hours and hours putting it together, doing research, taking pictures, preparing everything – namely by posting reviews of each individual pen prior to putting together the final post, and finally, I published it (nervously, to be honest). I'm actually really excited this was a question. As soon as I saw it, I knew right away this would be my answer. I worked very hard on it and I hope it helps people who read it.