Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper

All Write paper is made without trees. It is composed of 80% natural minerals and 20% non-toxic resin. The result is a strong, durable paper that is waterproof and tear resistant. The production process is more environmentally friendly than that of normal pulp paper. For more details, check out All Write. Thank you to All Write for sending these for review (and upcoming giveaway so stay tuned).
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (10)
ABOUT

Size: 14.5 cm x 9 cm
Color: White
Ruling: Grid
Sheet Count: 50
Paper Weight 120 gsm
Cover Weight: 420 gsm
Price: € 4,76
Where to buy: All Write

APPEARANCE

The All Write waterproof notepad is a pretty plain notepad. It is wire bound at the top with double metal coils. The cover is thin and flexible, blue, with AllWrite.com on it. The back cover is also blue and explains what AllWrite paper is. Right inside the back cover, there is another wide page that has details about the Fisher Space Pen, along with a slot to accommodate the clip of the pen. It's interesting and is basically a built in pen loop. The pages are white with sharp edges, a bold frame around the page, solid lines, and dashed columns.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (11)
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (12)
PERFORMANCE & FEEL

The notebook is a soft, flexible notebook. I like the size of it and how compact it is. It flips up, reporter style. Since the paper is so soft and flexible, it's difficult to turn the pages quickly over the coils - the page holes can snag on the coils. The pages slide around and stick out from the covers quite easily, but since they're flexible and tear-resistant, they don't get dog-eared and bent.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (4)
Gel pens were difficult to use, especially if they had finer tips - the sharp metal tips dug into the soft paper and it was hard to write (i.e Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4 mm). The Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm was easier to use. The Pilot Choose 0.7 mm was so inky it smeared even after I thought it was dry. Marker/felt tip pens were okay, but felt like they were snagging on the paper. It felt like there was too much friction between the tip and the paper.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (6)
Markers were better tolerated but suffered from the same sensation of too much friction. Rollerballs were nice to use because they were so inky and felt like they were gliding on to the page, but they were smudgy.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (2)
Some inks faded and I couldn't figure out the pattern. The ink just disappeared (nope, not the Pilot FriXion either).
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (7)
Fountain pens that weren't too find were very smooth, and brush pens worked as well. The issue came up a few days later when I went back to the notebook and found almost all the inks had faded or soaked into the paper. Strange, and some inks were not affected.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (3)
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (8)
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (9)
I think it's best to just stick to ballpoints and pencils, which were the most fun to use on this paper, and stuck around the best. Ballpoints that were otherwise dull really stood out on this paper, probably because it was so smooth, the ink just seemed to pour out of the pen.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (1)
It's waterproof paper anyway, so an all weather ballpoint/pencil makes the most sense! I love how smooth this paper feels, and it's definitely tough. It stretches when pulled, instead of tearing. I found the grid a little dark but with a bold ballpoint, it worked.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (5)
PROS

  • Smells fascinating.
  • Waterproof.
  • Super smooth paper.
  • Tear-resistant.
  • Pairs perfectly with the Fisher Space Pen. 
  • Eco-conscious: chlorine-free, acid-free, recyclable, no toxic emissions during production processes, no water/other chemicals added during production processes.

CONS  

  • As the pages are so soft, it can be difficult to turn the pages over the coils.
  • The smell of the paper might turn some people off. I love it.
  • Not fountain pen friendly - tolerates ink, but changes the color and behavior of it in strange, unpredictable ways. 
  • In fact, most liquid inks behave strangely on this paper.

OVERALL 

The idea of no-tree paper is very intriguing and I do love the eco-aspects of this paper. It smells fantastic, it's super smooth, it's waterproof. Perfect with ballpoints and pencils. If you need waterproof paper, this works! Even if you don't need something water/oil-repellent, and you just use pocket notebooks, it's nice to support one that is eco-conscious.
Review All Write Waterproof Notepads @AllWritePaper (13)
I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. No affiliate links.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren

Thank you to Appelboom for sending this pen for review!
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (11)
ABOUT

Body Material: Lacquer
Trim: Chrome
Length (capped): 137.1 mm/5.39''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 120.0 mm/4.72''
Length (posted): 149.8 mm/5.89''
Barrel Diameter: 8.1 - 10.5 mm/0.31'' - 0.41''
Section Diameter: 7.9 - 9.3 mm/0.31'' - 0.36''
Nib material: Steel
Weight (all): 22 g
Weight (cap): 8 g
Weight (body): 16 g
Fill type: Cartridge/Converter
Price: € 84,00 (excl. VAT € 69,42)
Where to buy: Appelboom Pennen (click banner for info on a 10% discount!)
Appleboom Banner
PACKAGING
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (1)
The outer sleeve for this box matches the pen - it has the same black and white motif seen on the pen. The box i a hard case in a silky smooth blue, with a ribbon across the middle. Inside, the pen sits on a beige felt bed. Underneath the bed is the warranty and pen information papers.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (2)
I actually really like the look and feel of this box - it's almost not over packaged, it's tidy, and it's clean.

APPEARANCE

This Hémisphère is a thin pen compared to most of the others I own. It has a flat, blunt back end in chrome. The finial is also shiny chrome but is blunt and angled towards the clip. The clip is attached externally - it is slim, with the Waterman 'W' logo at the top, and a slit running down the middle.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (3)
The center band is wide, composed of a thin unmarked band on the end of the cap, and a wider one on the barrel. The wide band is engraved with Waterman Paris, France. The section is black plastic, tapering towards the nib smoothly, and ending in a flared lip before the nib. The two seams on the sides of the section are visible as thin thin white lines.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (8)
The body and finish is cute. The cap is black, and it extends halfway up the barrel before turning into a black dot gradient on a matte white background. Ombres et lumières is an appropriate, chic name. The finish won't appeal to everyone though, I'm sure.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The medium steel nib has a single slit and no breather hole. It is engraved with Waterman Paris, M, the Waterman logo, and simple linear flourishes.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (7)
This nib offered a very strange writing experience. The nib performed, for the most part, like it was well-adjusted. It was a consistent writer, it did not skip or hard start. The ink flow was steady and it had a good level of wetness. It even produced a little line variation with pressure.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (12)
The very strange thing was the nib felt scratchy, and upon observing the tip with a loup, there was a burr visible in the tipping  material. I cannot imagine how this made it through Waterman's quality control. Even with the burr, the pen wrote pretty well, but the burr scratched paper and would pick up paper fibers. I expect this is a rare occurrence with Waterman nibs though, as I understand they are pretty dependable, reliable pens otherwise. The burr did not affect the line width, at least. It was still a tidy medium.

Some simple smoothing removed the burr and now the nib is rather lovely - smooth, wet, and pretty exquisite.

IN HAND

The clip is nice, springy, and easy to operate. I like how it feels. The section shape was comfortable enough but in action, I found it somewhat slippery during extended writing sessions.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (4)
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (5)
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (6)
Unposted, the pen was wel-balanced and comfortable. I preferred to use the pen unposted. The cap did post deeply and securely by friction, for those who like posting. For my hands and my low grip, I found the pen unbalanced and top heavy when posted.
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (10)
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (9)
PROS & CONS
Review Waterman Hémisphère Ombres et Lumières Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (13)
OVERALL

This is a pretty pen that isn't extraordinary in any way, but feels robust and solid in hand. I have used other Hémisphères before and all the nibs were flawless, so I thin this is an unusual occurrence to have a burr in the tipping. I'm a bit disappointed to have found this, but it was an easy fix. You could also return it to the place of purchase and have it exchanged, should this happen to you. I think if you really like the model/appearance, you'll probably be luckier than me and your nib will be fine!

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. No affiliate links.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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