Yenderings Toronto YYZAM01 Pen Roll

August of 2017 I had the unbelievable opportunity to visit the DC Fountain Pen Super Show, which was an amazing experience. Apart from being overwhelmed by all the stunning pens, the best thing about the show was meeting the wonderful pen people and seeing online friends in real life. One of them is Yen Yen, also known as @2Yens on Instagram. We talked pens and small business and she told me about her dream plan of selling the pen rolls she made herself. I loved the roll she was carrying with her and she asked if I would be interested in doing a review of one as soon as she was ready to launch her shop. I happily said yes and a couple of months after DC when Yen Yen was on the brink of launching Yenderings I had the opportunity to test drive the site, together with a couple of other insta pen friends. Her website is a joy to visit, beautiful pictures, clear, concise item descriptions and a lovely choice of fabrics. I chose a Toronto AM pen roll to try out and review because I love monochrome base colors with a good red pop of color to dress it up a little. I have had a good few months to try it out and I love it! So, let me tell you a little bit about it…



The Yenderings Toronto YYZAM01 Ride the Rocket pen roll is a fabric fold-over pen roll to hold six or more pens or other stationery necessities that fit in the pen pockets. The back pocket holds at least two A6/Field Notes sized notebooks and has room for even more pens. The pen roll folds open to six pen slots, three on each side of the “spine”. The back has a slanted notebook slot. The stitching is very neatly done and the spine is stitched so that it provides a good support when the roll is folded. The fold-over flap is made with a nice contrasting leather. The inner material is a soft ultrasuede that will not be abrasive to your pens. The pen roll closes with a hand-sewn wrapping chord.

Apart from the Toronto model, Renderings also offers the London models which will hold an A5 sized notebook and more stationery supplies.



Yen Yen gives nice comprehensive lists of the materials she uses for each of her models and choice options. The Toronto AM01 Ride the Rocket is made of a grey herringbone cotton/linen blend on the outside. The lining is of red ultra suede, a soft ultrasuede that will be very kind to your pens. A hand-sewn cotton chord is attached to close the pen roll when folded over. The feature fabric -as Yen Yen calls it- is the material used for the pen slots, a grey fabric with a graphic silver skulls pattern. The material used for the fold-over flap is a pressed leather. It gives the suit-like herringbone a nice little edgy oomph. I love the combination of materials, a neutral base with plenty of attention-grabbing elements. An EDC roll that is something quite different from what’s available from large-scale producers.



Because the Toronto in this color scheme fits perfectly with the A5 red leather diary I use for family matters, I have been carrying my diary and journaling supplies in it. Left to right above: a Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth 5.6mm lead holder aka mechanical pencil (a Dutch Pen Club gift from Dries), a Pilot Kaküno Clear and a Caliarts Ego that fit snugly together in the next pocket, four Faber-Castell colour grip pencils, an Aurora Optima, a Centroped Shark (kindly gifted to me by the lovely Mishka) and two Blackwing pencils. In the back pocket is an Ed the Cat Notebook, which is Field Notes sized. I have also carried small rulers and correction fluid pens in the pockets.

For watercolorists, I imagine the back pocket will easily hold a small pallet of pans and a small watercolor art book. Super nice for nature hikes or urban sketching!


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As I have been using the pen roll for my daily family diary, I have used it intensively over a couple of months and the one thing that I noticed is how nicely the materials have settled pretty quickly. It is like a pair of jeans, it warms up with wear and use and holds your stationery items with style and comfort. I was worried that I might find the roll too soft, being used to hard shell and leather covers and pen cases, but the double material layers and lining helps to give this pen roll sturdiness. The hardwearing stitching and having a notebook in the back pocket all add to the backbone of this pen roll. That’s what I enjoy about it: it is pettable practicality! It’s ideal for carrying your school, uni or office essentials with care and style. I love the combination of fabrics, colors and materials. I did have to get the hang of using the wrapping chord, but that is just me being clumsy. The chord is long enough for a wrap and tie. Sometimes I fold the chord one turn extra and tuck it in the back pocket for “quick release”.


For sure! I love supporting small businesses and owning original things. Yen Yen will also take custom orders for special fabric combinations. The attention to design, use of fabric and color combinations make these rolls stand out from other pen rolls and journal covers. So a huge thank you to Yen Yen for reaching out to me and trusting me to try her design! Wishing you every bit of success Yen Yen and so hope to see you again one day!


Yen Yen is kindly offering a discount code for my blog readers. Use the coupon code Janine10 to get a 10% discount at check-out. Thank you, Yen yen for this gracious discount! Visit her webshop at


I received this item for test and review purposes. I paid for shipping myself. I was not otherwise rewarded for this review. All views, opinions and pictures are my own. This blog post does not contain affiliate links.

The year calendar lay-out in the top photo is designed by Laura Krenk of @nerdy.teacher.  I purchased her diary lay-outs through her Etsy shop.


Ink comparison: Akkerman 15 Voorhout Violet and Montblanc Lavender Purple

At the end of the first Dutch Pen Meet-up, when we had besieged Akkerman The Hague, we were graciously given a wonderful goodie bag plus an Akkerman ink of our choice. I went back and forth between Voorhout Violet and Groenmarkt Smaragd, but finally opted for Voorhout Violet, Akkerman ink no. 15. One of my fountain pen friends from that meet-up, Neseli, asked if I could do a comparison between this ink and Montblanc Lavender Purple and I hereby happily oblige.

fullsizeoutput_42f.jpegBoth inks are of very good quality, decently behaved, easily cleaned and both are not waterproof. Both come in a 60 ml bottle. The bottles are very distinctive and good looking bottles in their own right. Dry times on this Leuchtturm paper was about the same for both inks. On Tomoe River the Montblanc dries more quickly. In the Netherlands, the price of both inks fall in the same 15-20 Euros category, the Montblanc being about 3 Euros more expensive for 60 ml.

Seen from above in natural light, the inks both are dark purples. So let’s take a closer look at them. Pens used, by the way, are a fine Preppy for the faux brand calligraphy and a Kaweco BB with an architect grind for the alphabets, squiggles and scribbles.


The Voorhout Violet is a dusky violet purple on the blueish scheme. It is actually pretty close to the darker shades in the pansy after which it was named. Voorhout is a chic avenue in The Hague and the ink reminds me of Eline Vere, a novel named after its main character by Dutch fin-de-siecle novelist Louis Couperus. Eline Vere was quite a hysteric character, misled by her day dreams and misplaced romantic illusions, fed by her male equivalent cousin. A beautiful novel that portrays the ennui of the upper classes in The Hague at that time pretty impressively. This ink fits the atmosphere in that novel very well. Ill-lit rooms, crammed with dusty expensive furniture and people stifled by their bourgeois rules. Chic, but gloomy. I love the novel and I love this ink. Great for letter writing on good quality paper, journaling and I would consider it office appropriate.


The Lavender Purple is a much pinker, redder purple than the Voorhout Violet. It reminds me of the dark purple that was fashionable in the 70s, but a little more subdued and fit for everyday use. To me it is much more purple than lavender. Lavender in bloom tends to lean more to the blueish spectrum. Nevertheless, a beautiful ink. I love using it as an office ink in my Hobonichi office planner, because it dries pretty quickly, even in a broad nib. I would qualify the Lavender Purple as a bit more cheerful than the Voorhout Violet, without jumping off the page in screaming purpleness.

A closer look side-by-side, in natural light:


This picture shows equal qualities in shading. No sheen to speak of on this Leuchtturm paper, but both do sheen on even more ink resistant paper. Both lovely inks in their own right and I am happy to have both as a full bottle. These dark, decent purples will surely get good daily use because I consider both office appropriate.

Now for my crude chromatography, picture taken in natural light:


To the left the Voorhout Violet, to the right the Lavender Purple. Both show dark blue at the base, lavender hues in the middle coming up to still dark purple with a light pink halo in the Voorhout Violet. The Lavender Purple shows a bright nearly hot pink halo.

As said, I am happy to have both the inks at my disposal, and both will get a good deal of written mileage. Now that leaves just one thing… one day I will still have to go for that bottle of Groenmarkt Smaragd… The struggles of an inkaholic!

One final picture, just for the heck of it. Let me know what your purple ink of choice is. And as ever, thank you for reading!



Bullet journaling, will I ever get the hang of it…

Saturday February 18 2017, at the first Dutch Pen Meet, I was reminded of the joys of bullet journaling by a few other ladies there. I frankly stated that the elaborate tracking and journaling wasn’t for me. With three kids, a job and a handful of online shenanigans going on, I simply do not have the time to color in the glasses of water I drink each day (one, to be exact, in the morning after rising, lukewarm preferably, and perhaps one at night if the food was salty) or track my level of happiness. I already keep a gratitude log, and that works pretty well for me.

But I have tried the bujo thing on and off and just never sat down to think of a very minimalistic system that would allow for some embellishment when I felt like it. So this morning, my head still slightly spinning with all the impressions from the Pen Meet, I decided that I just wanted two places to make entries: a monthly spread to have a full overview of the most important activities and plans for that month, plus the classic bullet journal daily entries. I took a sheet of copy paper and made a rough draft of what I wanted to go for regarding the monthly spread.


After a bit of tweaking with the line spacing and the subjects I wanted to incorporate, I came to the above spread. Some thoughts on that layout:

  • I like the balanced look of this layout;
  • I have no idea if all of the items in the right banner will remain there. Time and experience will tell;
  • I might still find a space to add week numbers. I’m thinking the left border would be a good space for that;
  • The empty fields at the start and end of the month can be used to transfer activities from one month to another;
  • I like the basic frame and text to be black and in print. That way the entries can be done in any ink color and in any style.

I will keep you posted on how this spread is working for me and the tweaks I will incorporate.

Now for the daily entries. I have no idea if I will continuously use the look I chose for the first entries. The nice thing about bujo is that that doesn’t matter. If you want to shake up the look of your daily entries, you can do so on a whim. In previous bujo attempts I got fed up with hourly trackers and elaborate weather doodles. For the new daily, I’ve deleted the hourly tracker. I like a quick doodle, so a very simple weather doodle has survived. I love to do faux calligraphy, so I decided to use my regular style for writing down days and dates.



A couple of thoughts on the daily entry:

  • The spacing between the day and month needs to be a bit wider, but so be it for these entries;
  • I feel the space in between the grid is a bit restrictive, so I might just write in my natural letter height from Monday on;
  • I feel uncomfortable using elaborate decorations, washi tape, stickers, stamps… I love seeing those in other people’s bujos, but I still have to feel my way around with them. Even thought I have loads! If it turns out I’m simply not using them, I’ll do a giveaway at some point, because I don’t like not seeing them used. So I put the doggie post-it in on purpose, to see if those will work for me. If not, I will just have to record future tasks in the dailies and check those regularly for items not yet crossed off. Or put them on the monthly spread;
  • I like the thick lettering of the headers, that way I don’t have to draw separate dividers. I am comfortable with this faux calligraphy style, so that will not take up too much time.

As a little extra, to show you how I do this style, here are some process pictures:


I start by simply writing out the full text with a liner or marker such as this wonderful Artline 0.3. On this Rhodia paper, it doesn’t bleed or show through. I might give the 0.2 width a try, to force myself to write a bit smaller to fit in Wednesdays and such.


Step 2 is adding the embellishment lines. I actually like the letters like this as well. It allows for another color to be used to add in if I feel fancy and have time to spare, or to make a special day stand out from the other entries.


Step 3 is coloring in the railroad lines to give the false flex effect. You can add this effect to any writing style to give your writing a bit of an umpf.

Well, fingers crossed for finding the stamina to keep this style up. (Crunching face into quizzical expression…..) I’ll keep you posted on this. Not every Sunday, because on Sundays I have allowed myself to post on whatever takes my fancy or for whatever I actually do have time.

Hope you enjoyed this and do let me know if you have tips or tricks on how you keep up bullet journaling!