Dear Laura written in peacock blue ink with a fountain pen

Peacock Blue Ink & Trying New Things

Phyllis Inspiration 34 Comments

Happy New Year again!

Last time I wrote about things I wanted to accomplish in the new year, and I am sure your list is full, too. I do want to share a story with you, as this morning I did something that I have been wanting to do for years.

First let me give you the backstory. When I was in the 5th grade, we started cursive writing with a fountain pen. We had evidentially graduated from pencil to pen, and this was a dream come true. There were no felt-tips or rollerballs like there are today, just ballpoint pens. So, getting a fountain pen was heaven.

My first pen was a typical school pen. You inserted cartridges and wrote away. My ink was navy blue or black. I loved the sound of the pen moving across the paper and seeing flow of ink. I always managed to get the ink all over my fingers as I changed the cartridges.

One day, a sweet friend of mine walked in with her second fountain pen (not in the budget for me) and proceeded to write in peacock blue ink. I went weak and could hardly think. Peacock blue ink. She had just entered a status untouched by the rest of us. I watched with intense jealousy as she wrote her notes in her notebook with this glorious ink. That always stuck in my mind.

Years later I was shopping one day at a store that was having a moving sale. The closeout table contained items the owner had found in the back storage room. There it was! A box with a glass bottle of peacock blue ink. I grabbed that so quickly and just rejoiced at this find. My racing heart slowed down after I had paid for this and took it home. I tucked it away with my prized possessions. I never opened it. I just looked at it from time to time and thought of the day my friend premiered it.

Today I decided 2022 was the year of doing things I had put off, and using this ink was top of the list. I carefully went to the hiding place and retrieved this 35-year-old bottle of ink. Today was the day!

I got my fountain pen and drew up the ink into the cartridge and wrote my first card. The ink was perfect, as if it were brand new. Through this blog, you know of my love of fountain pens and colorful inks. I love all of them. But today was special. The old vintage ink had come to life and brought such joy as I wrote. My handwriting was even neater as each letter was formed. I do have a little ink stain on my fingers…why not?

Dear Laura written in peacock blue ink with a fountain pen

Let’s make 2022 a year of doing things we have placed on the back burner. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something that will delight you. When the ink is gone, I will smile and remember this time.

Today, do something fun!

Comments 34

  1. Oh my, I am so emotional from reading these, I thought I was only one who loved Peacock Blue,hand written notes are becoming thing of the past,I hate that!! I write songs & poetry, & wish I could find my favorite ink of all time !! Tks to you for these memories!!

  2. Back in college, I wrote with a fountain pen, but in the years since, I’ve forgotten the joy of it. Now, though, I’ll go on a search and find it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Hi Phylis,
    Let me join in too…My great introduction to the beloved fountain pen was in 6th grade and glory to God, I still HAVE it !!!! My dearest friend (STILL) and I loved our pens and wrote in our diaries together with luscious purple ink. I can still feel the thrill of those wonderful bygone days — life simplest pleasures indeed. Thanks for the memories, Joan (75yrs old)

  4. I remember 5th grade and the cartridge pen and ink. So special and fun. We started cursive in 2nd grade back then. We must be about the same age, to have this similar memory. Happy Writing. I love to write poetry and little stories in a special thin marker pen or sharpened pencils.

  5. What a lovely story. Here in Australia, I don’t remember Peacock Blue Ink but you have brought back memories of writing with a beautiful Fountain Pen I had been given for my Birthday. I loved writing with Purple Ink & still do but unfortunately my beautiful Pen is not around any more. These little things that can bring us so much pleasure are surely to be treasured. Thank You for the memories.

  6. I truly enjoyed this post as it brings back fond memories of how I loved peacock blue ink when I was also in 5 Th grade. I was also a victim of inked fingers. Yes, the nuns would always critique our penmanship, which we received a grade on our report card. What a wonderful idea to purchase a fountain pen and some ink again, along with some beautiful stationary!

  7. Phyllis, how I enjoyed your email. I too could not wait to leave my pencil behind and start writing with a straight pen. We all had ink wells on our desks and it was so exciting when we received our “straight pens” and could begin writing with them. Ball point pens just do not hold the same beauty for me. Your email has made me decide to get a fountain pen and start writing my notes with it (I don’t think I’ll go back to the straight pen!!). Thank you for appreciating the beauty of a handwritten note. Now if I could only find a bottle of that Peacock Blue ink!

  8. I love fountain pens, also. There is something so special about the “scratch” on the paper, & the flow of the letters when using a fountain pen. I use a fountain pen to write in my journal. I’m glad your ink was as good as new & hope you enjoy every word you write with it. Happy New Year to you.

  9. Phyllis,
    I loved your story about Peacock Blue ink.
    I can still remember the small bottle that my ink came in. It was beveled and my Dad let me use his marbled fountain pen to produce my loops and whorls. I still have that pen, and my dad would have been 105years old!
    I’ve always loved cursive writing and used to have a beautiful script. Alas, time has taken it’s toll and I’ve become sloppy in my lack of practice of handwriting. Texting is an entirely different story.
    Thank you for the lovely memory.

  10. I have a number of fountain pens and enjoy using them continually. For Christmas, I gave myself of box of 10 bottles of different colored inks … but I don’t think it includes peacock blue, which I also remember from grade school days.

    However, our family doctor ALWAYS used peacock blue in his pen! It was very distinctive … and as I think back, likely a wise move on his part … no question whose writing it was!

  11. Oh, how beautiful, Phyllis! I got my first ink pens (w “nibs”-that metal writing part, in a box w my correspondent art class things. It was for drawing in pen and ink! So much fun, if more than a little trick.
    My “peacock blue” story feature a fairly long coat ordered from Sears when I was in high school. I think I fell in love first w the descriptor, “peacock blue”. Oh, the memories!

  12. Phyllis….. you just took me back in time! I loved peacock blue ink! …Reminds me of days at Rocky Ridge School! I’m not sure Mrs. Poer? approved of colored ink Lol! Now, you’ve made me want to go find an ink pen….and colored ink! You a,ways inspire me…. joy

  13. I LOVE and collect fountain pens! I usually write my personal letter/notes with them. People think it is archaic, yet like to receive them.

  14. I am a huge fountain pen lover since the 1960’s–then the $1 ones! Now I am a collector and a user of these beautiful items! I also about 1962 or so discovered Lindy ballpoint pens that wrote in hot pink and turquoise–and those were my signature inks! I do share this passion! I was the only person I knew who hung out in the office supply store!

  15. Oh my! I do remember that peacock blue ink. We used cartridge pens & I remember needing tp purchase more because mine were almost empty. I stopped in the Woolworth’ 5&10 (I walked past it on my way home from school) and they had the cartridges in the peacock blue. So, I purchased one! All the oohs &ahhs the next day in school! My teacher requested the next time I get ink, I should purchase blue, black or blue/black but I could use the peacock blue till it was finished. But every once in a while, i just had to buy the peacock blue ones, just because it just made life more fun!!’

  16. Such a charming story! One many of us admire, identify with and are totally touched by! Thank you, Phyllis! You make us feel like we could all be close friends and or neighbors! kb

  17. Oh, for the discipline of cursive writing and learning to use “scratch” and then fountain pens that were filled with a small lever. Cartridges were available later on and so much more convenient. Our reasoning on why we needed peacock blue ink? So it would match the lines on notebook paper, of course!

  18. I love your posts.
    The story of your love of Peacock Blue Ink made me think back on my first use of pens using Fountain Pens and real ink.
    I made a huge mess on my uniform shirt the first time using it.
    I gradually learned how to use it properly and still love these pens to this day.
    Happy New Year to all of you there.

  19. Such a lovely post and thoughts of a more graceful time . Fountain pens and beautiful cursive with all the swirls and curls from one’s own hand becomes very personal – an art that technology can never replace .
    I would love to see your penmanship in the glorious peacock blue ink .
    Thank you for the memories and may all of our “Ribbon” friends be so inspired and touched by your sentimental words as I have been .
    Happy and healthy 2022 !❤️

    1. Christine, that is my handwriting in the photo at the top. I am trying to return to a neater handwriting. I love to read letters from years ago. It inspires me to really slow down and form each letter.

  20. Oh, Phyllis, I love your commentaries!
    I think one of the beautiful things about fountain pens is that it makes you slow down as you write. I have a friend with whom I correspond, via the written letter (although we use ball point pens). We sometimes call each other, and we both use email, but there is something so special about hand-written letters.
    I have found some nice ink (they even carry some scented inks) from the Victorian Trading Co. They even have some beautiful glass pens, as well.
    At one time, they started out as the Victorian Papers, with all the accoutrements for correspondence, and then branched out into many other areas of beauty. Now they carry so many other antique reproductions. I am sometimes convinced that I was born during the wrong era because I have such a love of the past!

  21. I love Peacock blue ink and have used in fountain pens. These were prefilled pens in this color…. Loved this story!!!

  22. How lovely! I love to write notes and have every color of the Le Pen that I can find. I have a wonderful shop I go to to purchase them. Also, love, love, love The Printery at Oyster Bay cards!

    Cheers to trying new things! Happy New Year!

  23. Even your story is delightful, Phyllis! And it brought back memories to me about my mother using a fountain pen to write grocery lists. Her handwriting was beautiful but the colorful inks she used made her lists seem artistic.
    I find painting with watercolor a delight. This new year, I’m hoping to practice more painting just for the fun of it. For years I’ve wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. Maybe 2022 will be the year I get some ideas on paper. Another delight for my husband and me is doing social ballroom dancing together. The Covid limitations have held us back some from dancing but we’re hoping to get more active this year. Dancing together is so much fun!

  24. Lovely!! And good for you, for following your heart!! I remember writing with fountain pens, and still have one or two. I loved the scritchy-scratchy noise they sometimes made as they moved across the paper. And yes, a fountain pen somehow lends itself to a flowing script . . . as if by magic! Nowadays, it’s my understanding that cursive writing is not being taught in certain school districts. I think it’s dangerous for us to rely so heavily on electronic devices and computerized / digital signatures. As unique as your fingerprints are to you, so is your personal signature. A handwritten note or card from someone I love is much more meaningful to me than a typed text message that looks like it could be from anyone.

    When your peacock blue ink is gone, you will have a personal and beautiful reminder of what that ink meant to you . . . . and to the lucky recipients of your peacock blue letters!

  25. Phyllis, I did a little research for you and on Amazon, you can get a set of 10 different colored inks, called “calligraphy ink” which I believe you would be able to use with a fountain pen! One of the 10 colors is listed as turquoise but looks quite like your peacock blue. What a good idea, in the plethora of organization and cleaning suggestions for the new year . While we all know a new year is good for organizing and cleaning, your suggestion of doing something more immediately comforting sound much more enjoyable! Best to you in 2022.

  26. Oh Phyllis!! This brings back memories for me also. My family owns a 104 year old printing business and before the days of the big box office supply stores, we carried some items like ink, paper clips, adding machine paper, etc. I remember the days at parochial school when we used fountain pens and the nuns would judge our penmanship. I always tried to use a different color of ink to make my letters more impressive but also had the problem of getting ink all over my fingers. Never won any prizes for great penmanship but still write thank you notes and cards to family and friends. What a wonderful thing to inspire a special note and that was my fun thing to do today – to remember those happier and innocent times!

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