Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pencil Crayon Art

... I totally want to do this. A good reason to go stationery shopping. "It's for my art project!"
You Jelly?
Update: in light of all the Pinterest stuff going on, I wanted to make sure all my images were properly sourced and, despite my best intentions, found that this one wasn't! I spent about half an hour trying to track down the 'original' and I think I found the first place it was posted (hopefully). I hope I have not offended anyone in the meantime! I am truly making an effort to make sure all images are properly sourced! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inspiration Pad

Marc Thomasset has created this very fun and unique notebook! You can get it here!

© 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
 © 2011 Marc Thomasset and Marcel Veelo
Pictures by Marcel Veelo. All credit to these guys for this cool notebook and the great pictures.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Legacy of Letters

I wish I could do this! Looks like he's using a red Copic...? But I'm not too sure what the black marker is... Does anyone recognize it?

Legacy of Letters from Luca Barcellona on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How Ink Is Made

This isn't a video about how fountain pen ink is made - it's regular ink for printers and things like that. The combination of the music and the video was mesmerizing. I would totally love to do this all day. Or at the very least, swim in the buckets of ink.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Working Ink Stock

Ink might as well be running in my veins. Although I guess my blood cells would be very unhappy. And whatever other junk hangs out in blood vessels.

My order from Goulet Pens arrived and I proceeded to set up my working stock of inks. This way, I could tuck away all the bottles I have (my desk was running out of space). Plus, they're safer from the cats this way. And, less risk of contaminating the bottles when I refill my pens.
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While I wish I could say the entire rack is full of a working stock of ink, there's only 21 working tubes. Ha. "Only" 21. As though that's a small number. My current inks are as follows:


I'm a little embarrassed by this, given how spoiled I obviously am and how so many people and critters are suffering in the world while I flounce around playing with pens and inks.

Sakura Ink

It sure was difficult to capture these inks properly. Most of my pens came from Japan so I've linked to JetPens who do offer them for sale. The rest are available in America, apparently!

Sakura Tiara
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Sakura Souffle
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Sakura Glaze
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Sakura Aqualip
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Sakura Stardust
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Sakura Luxue (Apparently the same thing as "Gold Shadow" in America)
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Pilot G2 Navy Blue Zentangles

Hey, Jose! This is what I've been doing with the G2s you sent! :D They're awesome for this. The color is perfect.
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I'm very much enjoying making these!  When I get a bit better at it, I'll start incorporating some different colors for more variation.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: Pilot Dr. Grip Pure White Dual Layer Grip Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - Soft Green Accent Body

This is a review of the Pilot Dr. Grip Pure White Dual Layer Grip Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - Soft Green Accent Body.

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I was one of the lucky winners of JetPens’s 11 hours 11 giveaways that took place on November 11, 2011! I enjoy ballpoint pens for day-to-day writing because I know they all generally behave the same - it won’t bleed through the paper or take too long to dry. It’s hard to justify adding more ballpoints to a collection because...well... they’re ballpoints! You really only get variation in the body of the pen. Obviously I am one of those people who have quite a few ballpoints (you know...because I'm a pen freak). I honestly could never have justified to myself buying another one so I was really excited to win this one in a giveaway! And not just because I won a giveaway (exciting in and of itself), but it was a great one to win! Thank you, JetPens!

The “Pure White” series of Dr. Grips are a pearly white color (which I think is very pretty) on the body/tip and have a chrome-colored metal clip. I don’t care much for the clip... I don't think the harshness of the chrome matches the other soft colors of the body. A brushed metal would have looked better, and would be easier on the eyes. It's a shame because the pen is really pretty, despite the clip.

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I love the color of the green accents! It reminds me of green candy or something. Lately, I have been quite taken with green stationery items and this one suits my tastes well. Other than the soft green accents, this pen is also available in blue, white, and pink! They are all as softly colored and quite nice to look at. 
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The appearance of this pen reminds me fluffy clouds and green grass of summer. Who can argue with the pleasantry of that?!

The barrel is thicker than a typical ballpoint pen, making it easier to hold comfortably for most people, especially if you’re writing extensively. I'd say I have average-sized female hands and I had to adjust to the larger barrel. However, once I found the pen's sweet spot for being held, I was very happy with it and was able to write much more neatly.

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Compared to the Zebra Z-Grip Ballpoint pen
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Once you've grown accustomed to the barrel size, writing is a cinch with this pen. It has a good weight to it for being plastic and is nicely and comfortably weighted for longer writing sessions. The ink is smooth and never skips! You don't have to press hard on the paper like with a lot of ballpoint pens. So far, this pen has not started blobbing ink and I hope it doesn't. Because it is so smooth though, it does tend to be fairly wet so be careful with smudging, especially if you're left-handed. I was a little disappointed with the smudging but because I'm right-handed, it's not a big problem for me. I also found the ink does get used up quickly but given its smooth/wet nature, this is not surprising.
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Note the smudging where I colored in the design.
The pièce de résistance of this pen, of course, is the grip! The grip is smooth but firm enough that it doesn’t feel soggy or sticky. It’s actually two layers of silicone rubber - the inner layer is softer and is covered by the harder layer for firmness, stability, and durability. There may be concerns about the color of the grip and the possibility of it discoloring... I have an older model, similar pen - the Pilot Dr. Grip CL Skytime Deco Ballpoint Pen. If you observe the grip, it’s not exactly the same thing but has a very similar texture and color. I’ve had it and have been using it for three years now and it still looks brand new! I’m not too worried about the grip of the Pure White series getting dirty. I think it'll look like a fluffy cloud forever!

Price

JetPens - $13.50 

JetPens Refills - $1.65

Overall


The design of this pen lends itself to a pleasant, comfortable writing experience. It is aesthetically appealing and fortunately, is refillable. I say fortunately because it’s $13.50! Not something you want to be replacing all the time. Refills are reasonably priced though so if you are looking for a nice but affordable and unique ballpoint pen, the Dr. Grip Pure White series is a good choice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ink Art

Happy Friday everyone! Today's post will be a little different from the usual love letters to pens and journals. I wanted to share some of my (feeble) attempts at art with you! You may not know this, but I have zero creative talent. I try to draw things, they turn out terribly, and I become too disheartened to continue trying. Yes. I realize this is a terrible way to develop a skill. I still have no talent.

Back in 2008, I was hospitalized for a few months and while there, I had to find a way to pass time and keep myself occupied. I needed and wanted to try to express myself through art! I wish I could remember how I decided to do this but I imagine I must have seen something similar before. It is simple to do! I'd drip some India ink on Strathmore paper (watercolor/linen/acrylic), and blow the ink around with a straw in the general "shape" of what I wanted. Then I'd paint the ground with acrylic paint and use a thin brush to dot "flowers" on the tree branches. I think they're tree branches.

Here is an example of some of what I made! Sorry for the crappy pictures and weird angles.
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They're pretty simple to make, even for someone with no artistic talent like me! Has anyone done anything similar? I'd love to see them!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Uni-ball Vision Exact 0.7mm Fine Blue

This is a review of the Uni-ball Vision Exact Fine pen in blue.
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Features (from Uni-ball)
    Needle point for precise writing
    Comfortable grip
    uni Super Ink™ specially formulated to prevent check fraud

Comes in a range of colours: blue, purple, orange, red, green, blue, purple, pink, and black.
Point sizes: 0.7mm (fine) and 0.5mm (micro)

During another one of my bored-with-my-life-pen-hunting-trips at the Paper Place, I found a pen I had never tried before (hard to believe, right?). In fact, I’d never even seen it before. I popped the cap off to try it out and fell in love instantly. That’s right folks. Right there in public, in the store, I fell inappropriately in love with this pen, so it went home with me that afternoon.

The body is aesthetically appealing. From cap to end, it’s divided into sections of pattern or solid colour that’s quite complementary to one another. The cap is rather small and is a more solid, intense version of the color of the blue ink. The tip of the cap has clear plastic with a hole in the middle. The end is a matching color to the cap.

Some may object to the small size of the cap but I think it’s quite cute and snaps on comfortably. When the cap is on the back of the pen, it doesn’t change the weight much when writing because it’s so small but it’s just the right amount to lean some weight on the back. Great for pen spinning.
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The clip is a generic metal clip but it bends easily and can hold on to quite a bit of papers. The grip is rubberized and surrounds the ink feed inside. It has little dots in a pattern that helps make it more interesting! I like this grip - I usually prefer softer grips and this one is quite firm. It looks really cool though and is comfortable to hold. The rest of the body is uniformly dotted with little silver squares. It’s not labelled with a sticker so it can’t peel off over time of us. It’s a pen that will look nice for a long time, possibly even until it’s empty! This section is also translucent so you can see your ink level (something I love).
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The needle-point is awesome. It’s never skipped. Lines always come out rich and clean but not very fine as the pen suggests, regardless of what paper I’m writing on (yes, even crappy paper). And, it's not so sharp that it scratches paper and collects fibers.
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Obviously it looks way better on premium paper, but for office work, it’ll be great. Doesn’t bleed on premium paper but because it’s liquid ink, it would be wise to test cheaper paper for bleed through if you’re worried about it. I didn’t have any bleed through on Moleskine paper (yes... I am calling Moleskine cheaper paper) when I wrote quickly. Once I started doubling over my lines or colouring in spots, the ink soaked through a bit.
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In Rhodia Reverse book
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In Quo Vadis Habana with bright white Clairefontaine paper
I love the ink. Not only is it Super Ink™ (which is supposed to become trapped in the paper to help prevent check washing and document alteration. Good for signing checks and stuff like that), it’s a unique blue. It’s almost a dark powdery blue and I loved it when I first tried it. It’s not “just another blue pen”, it’s one that you can justify because it’s a unique blue!
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Unfortunately, this pen is a little bit pricy and isn’t refillable so of course you have to replace the entire thing when it runs out. That’s a shame though I guess I can’t imagine how it would be easily refillable anyway. If your office supplies them, lucky you!!

Other reviews that may roast your toast:

The Pen Bin

Price

Paper Place - $3.15
Office Depot - $25.99 for 12

Overall

Yet another great pen by Uni-ball, though a wee bit pricy. I absolutely recommend this pen to anyone who wants a nice looking pen for work, school, or just for fun. It's a great ink color, and is comfortable to hold and write with. Do not lend it out. It will be stolen. And you may be forced to commit a crime to recover it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jenni Bick Moleskine Giveaway at Notebook Stories

Hey. Yes. ANOTHER giveaway! This time, Jenni Bick has embossed two Moleskines for Notebook Stories: one large ruled black notebook and one large ruled red notebook! Head over to Notebook Stories to enter now!

Giveaway ends Monday November 21 at 11:59PM, EST. I'd wish you luck but I don't want you to win because it means I probably won't so... please don't judge me for that.

Sha-Sha-Sha-Sharpie!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me there. I have a large range of Sharpie colors. I'm not really sure what to do with this many though. I used to use them for labeling tubes in the lab but now I'm not there anymore. These Sharpies are so lost without a purpose.
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What do you lovely people do with your Sharpies? Doodle and draw? Label things? ... Sniff? They do smell good. Solventy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: MontBlanc Carlo Collodi Special Edition Brown Ink

This is a review of the MontBlanc Carlo Collodi Special Edition Brown Ink (chestnut).
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MB C.Collodi Ink Bottle Stitch
When I first began noticing fountain pens and ink, I was mostly attracted to inks because of, well... “oooo pretty...” and not for any real appreciation of the ink. I’m still a beginner in the world of inks and as I was thinking about how to do my first ink review, I wanted to be able to offer useful information for inkers who know what they’re doing (well... at least try to be useful...) and to provide a few pictures and various writing samples to give everyone an idea of what the ink actually looks like under different conditions (different pens, layers, papers). If you find something you disagree with or is incorrect, please tell me (without being horribly mean). Unfortunately, a lot of this stuff can be subjective and can vary so take it with a grain of salt! Okay, "disclaimer" aside, I hope you enjoy and/or benefit from my review!
Review Written Black n Red Stitch
On Black n' Red premium writing pad (white paper)
Scroll to bottom of review for typed version of this!
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A close up of that color! (white paper)
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In Rhodia "R" Pad - Clairefontaine paper (ivory paper)
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Check out that gorgeous shading and color! (ivory paper)
What is really incredible is how three different nibs result in such a big difference in the ink's appearance on paper. Some people prefer completely uniform inks and others really enjoy the variation. Personally, I LOVE flex nibs so I really enjoy experimenting with inks and seeing what happens with them using different nibs.
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(White paper)
The three fountain pens used in this review are as follows:
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Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium - medium
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Waterman 52V + 14K Waterman Ideal #2 wet noodle
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Pilot Cavalier - fine
Other reviews that may pop your top:

Sam Capote via Fountain Pen Network

Price

Pen Boutique - $16.00
Paradise Pen - $21.00 (not listed online for some reason)

Overall

I think this is a really nice looking ink! Wonderful range of color, from orange-copper to chestnut brown, but can even be as dark as a dark brown if you're using a wet noodle! It behaves quite nicely on 'normal' paper such as the Black n' Red pad but is even more lush on Clairefontaine paper. I would recommend this ink because it's pretty and performs very well in every way.

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Flex pen tree


Review of Ink: MontBlanc Carlo Collodi Brown Ink
Description: - 35 ml Special edition bottle
                     - Carlo Collodi's signature on bottle
                     - Portrait of Pinocchio on bottle
                     - Part of MontBlanc's 2011 Limited Writer's Edition Collection
Pen: Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium - medium nib
Paper: Black n' Red Premium writing pad - 24 lb
Drying time                                         Swab
    5 seconds
   10 seconds
   20 seconds
   30 seconds
   60 seconds
Water resistance - none
    Drip test                                          Smear test
Shading
  - Medium nib - Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium
  - Fine nib - Pilot Cavalier
  - Flex nib - Waterman 52V + 14K Waterman Ideal #2 wet noodle nib
- gorgeous shading - ranging from orange/copper brown to brown
Bleeding
   - none
Lubrication
  - good, smooth
Flow
  - medium nib - very good, wet
  - flex nib - very good, very wet
  - fine nib - good, not wet but not dry
Feathering
  - none on this paper
  - none with medium/flex/fine nib
Writing Sample
Well, this is my first ink review and I've only recently (well...a few years...) developed a love for fountain pens and inks. I've been contemplating how to review inks and this is what I came up with! I hope it is satisfactory! In time, as I learn more about inks and their properties, I can hopefully offer some more technical details and stuff. Or this might work just fine.
Conclusion
A beautiful, well-designed ink. Performs well with all the nib sizes/types I tried. Great range of shading and a very gorgeous, unique brown. I highly recommend this ink! :)

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.gourmetpens.com.