Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Daycraft Juicy A6 Notebook

A little while ago, Mr. Lee at Daycraft generously sent us two notebooks and an executive planner for review! I tried the executive planner, reviewed it, and loved it. Here is the entire package of goodies received:

I live in Texas, where currently, pretty much everything is dry and brown and miserable looking. I'm still adjusting to this drought, okay? In the meantime, I have a bit of green in my life...
Of course, I kept this sticker! It peeled off perfectly from the wrapper.
Juicy Notebook A6

Watermelon - Dark green
128 pages
6.5 mm lined cream color paper
Case bound
Fine Italian Polyurethane
Suede bookmark
Watermelon Daycraft Front Back
Ok... so it's a little bright. Blame the sunlight. But it TOTALLY looks like a watermelon sitting in the garden!
Daycraft Package
The back is elegantly stamped with "Daycraft"
I cracked up when I read the description of this notebook on the paper that bound it. It says "distinctive fruit design" - I think that's so cute and so funny! It indeed is a distinctive and very unique design - the outside resembles a watermelon rind! As soon as I saw it on Daycraft's website ages ago, I fell in love and I thought to myself, why aren't there more notebooks like this?! The inside cover looks like the inside of watermelon with seeds and everything, and yes, the little felt book mark looks like a watermelon sprig. It's SO CUTE.

Fruit Outside
Sweet little sprig, you warm my heart.
The pages are lined with dark grey ruling - not harsh on the eyes at all. They are also not so dark that letters disappear when written over them. I like lines that provide guidance, but do not force me to write only between them.
Watermelon Daycraft Inside
It makes me think of watermelon Jolly Ranchers! *drool*
The Juicy notebook is 106 mm x 150 mm. It's a perfect portable, pockety-ish size. Speaking of pockets and portability, the whole notebook is flexible, and has an easy to clean cover. That said, I think this notebook would be outstanding in a larger size!! Please, Daycraft, hear my plea!
Juicy Vs Habana
Juicy Daycraft notebook next to a small Quo Vadis Habana in anise green. 

There are little fruit drawings on the corners of the pages as well, which I think is an adorable touch added by Daycraft. There are melons, and cherries, and more!
Fruity Insides
Like a stamp!
I was very impressed with the paper's performance. I sampled a few fountain pens, gel ink pens, ballpoints, and a pencil, as well as a Sharpie. I did not see any feathering with fountain pens tested. Nothing bled through except the Sharpie, and even that was minimal compared to what Sharpies usually do. The fountain pen ink shows through but it's also minimal. The paper is smooth but not coated nor glossy, so this is great paper for those who like a little bit of feedback, and for those fountain pens that seem to skip on glossy paper (like my Vanishing Point). Overall, I am a fan of this paper. It's perfect for any use (besides coloring the pages with Sharpies)!
Watermelon Inside
Well, this was taken at night, hence the color difference. The paper isn't this yellow, it's just my terrible lighting. 
What I really want to use this for is my daily scribbles and notes. I always keep a small, portable notebook in my purse and my current one is almost done and I have been wondering what to use next. I had briefly considered just using my Blackberry for keeping track of all notes but I end up preferring to write things down instead. That's a good thing, right? :) A flexible notebook is ideal for my purse because it can bend as I throw it around, and won't become battered and ruined.
Juicy Bendy
Certified purse safe.
So I have been using this little one in my purse for a few weeks now, and it's holding up wonderfully. The round edges protects it from looking dog-eared, and I love when people eye it when I pull it out! Clearly, they are envious. I cannot blame them.

A wonderful review you must read:
Rants of the Archer

PigsPaperClip - $17.99
Vera Chan - $8.00 - 12.00 (20% off with code 'plannerisms' - a treat! - thanks to Laurie at Plannerisms!)

I am really impressed with both of the products I have reviewed from Daycraft (this, and the Executive Pocket Diary). These are really nice notebooks. They are very cute, they have great paper that takes fountain pen ink, and is all around a high quality notebook. I very much enjoy unique notebooks as well, and this one definitely falls into that category.  I also think these notebooks would make great gifts! If you don't care for the watermelon (although I'd have to say you're insane if that's the case), there's also a pineapple, strawberry, honeydew melon, and orange Juicy notebook!

**I was provided one or more of these products for review, but all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tyco Facing a Corner As Usual

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shades of Tuesday

This week's theme is ORANGE. If you think I'm kidding, see below. 
Behind: small Clairefontaine side wirebound rainbow notebook, Fisher brand tape. 
Pencil case: Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case - Book Style - Orange. Read a review, or get one like it here!
Right side - from left to right: an unidentified orange celluloid fountain pen, a Straffen SG2400, Sharpie liquid highlighter, Pentel WOW! gel pen, Pentel Slicci 0.25 mm (review here and here), Pentel HyperG, Zebra Sarasa Clip, PaperMate Flair medium.  
Left - Post-It flags
Right - from left to right - Kokuyo AiroFit Non Stick scissors, Uni-ball Signo Scented pen, Pilot Hi-Tec-C in orange, Sakura Souffle, Pentel Hybrid Gel Roller, Zebra Z-Grip Daisies, Sakura Gelly Roll pen, Uni-ball Signo 207, PaperMate Inkjoy 300RT, and another Pilot Hi-Tec-C.

Giveaway at JetPens

DOT CRAYONS?! Where was this amazingness when I was a kid? Heck, I may have to get some now anyway. Check out JetPens's blog for a chance to win some for yourself!

Review: Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen - Medium

One of the items I acquired during my sponsorship from JetPens was a Kaweco Liliput Al fountain pen with a medium nib. This is one of those pens that was on my wish list for awhile (I know... I say that about everything I get, but it's true!!) and I was thrilled to finally be able to get it! My hopes were high and I was not let down. Please scroll to the very bottom for a super cute Liliput picture!
Kaweco Liliput
Capped and posted. Smooth and sleek in both cases.
Features of this baby pen:

Body Material: Aluminum
Trim: None
Origins: Made in Germany
Length (capped): 3.8"
Length (posted): 4.92"
Barrel diameter: 5/16" (I can't believe I just wrote that tiny number as a measurement of something)
Weight: 9 grams (with a half full ink cartridge)
Nib type: Medium
Nib material: Stainless steel
Barrel design: Silky smooth, round, and seamless
Fill type: Takes international short cartridges

The packaging is pretty straightforward - a nice little metal tin with the Liliput in a plastic sleeve, nestled into a felt tray, along with an ink cartridge. For $55, I didn't expect a big fancy set of packaging and there wasn't, and to be honest, I don't foresee putting this pen back in the package anyway, so it works fine for me. This pen is treasured in my Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case, dedicated to fountain pens.
Kaweco Liliput + cartridge
Teeny tiny cartridge is all that can fit in this little barrel!
This sweet little pen is captivating in its absurd cuteness! It has a very simple design - a smooth, rounded barrel that is virtually uninterrupted. All the writing on pen, although not very much, is tastefully laser engraved; the top of the lid has "Kaweco" on it, along with "Kaweco Liliput Germany" on side of the cap, in itty bitty, Liliput-sized writing. The writing looks great against the silky smooth black aluminum body. As for the body - it has yet to be scratched or nicked by my doings with it. I treat my pens well but I know accidents can happen.
Kaweco Liliput Top
Kaweco Liliput Writing
If that ADORABLE little writing doesn't melt your heart...
The cap is threaded on and can be posted on the back of the pen by threads as well. I find this to be a little tedious - screwing the cap on to the back to post, and then unscrewing it only to have to screw it back on again to cap it. For longer periods of writing, I have to have it posted, but for jotting notes, it's not necessary. Nevertheless, it's a lot of screwing/unscrewing of the cap. I think it would have been easier for users to just have a magnetic cap or just a friction cap. Although I find it tedious sometimes, it always looks beyond awesome when capped and posted, so I appreciate the design.

Many people wonder, is this pen too small for me? Here it is lined up with a few other fountain pens, to give you an idea of its size. It is without a doubt a tiny pen!
Liliput and Other Fountain Pens
Top to bottom: Pilot Plumix, Lamy Al-Star, Lamy Studio, Kaweco Liliput.
Kaweco Liliput and Pelikan M1005 Demonstrator
Kaweco Liliput with a monster pen, the Pelikan M1005
Kaweco Liliput and Fisher Space Pen
Kaweco Liliput and a Fisher Space pen
Kaweco Liliput and Fisher Space Pen
Kaweco Liliput and a Fisher Space pen
It's thin and light, and I suspect would be dwarfed by average male hands. I have pretty normal girl hands (I think...) and even for me, it feels small in my grip. This does not cause me hand fatigue or result in a strange grip, it's just an observation. So if it's small for me, it'll probably be tiny for bigger hands.
Kaweco Liliput in Hand
I guess there's no scale to suggest my hands are not monstrous. Please take my word for it. 
Kaweco Liliput in Grip
Just an idea of what it looks like in an average female hand. It steals your heart a little, doesn't it?
I think, judging by Twitter anyway, most people prefer extra fine/fine nibs on their fountain pens so I may be an oddball in picking a medium. Personally, I like all my nibs to be non-scratchy and nice and thick with good ink flow. Of course, you can get this in an extra-fine or fine nib, but since I'm still fairly new to fountain pens, I hedge my bets and pick medium nibs. I happen to like medium lines anyway! I am very pleased with this nib choice. It is small to suit the pen, and is truly adorable to look at and write with. 
Kaweco Liliput
Uncapped. Note the threading on the back end for posting the cap.
Kaweco Liliput and Noodler's Ahab nibs
Left: Noodler's Ahab. Right: Kaweco Liliput
Kaweco Liliput Nib
A medium Kaweco Liliput nib close up. 
It lays down a line that is, in my mind, an ideal medium. I did notice it does not write very easily on coated paper (i.e. in a Rhodia Webnotebook) - it seemed as though the coating on the paper prevented the ink from gliding off the nib. After switching to non-coated paper - such as in my Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, this little one wrote with no problems whatsoever. This isn't a unique problem - it seems some fountain pens just don't like coated paper, like the Namiki Vanishing Point I recently reviewed - Gentian suggested I try using different paper and it worked like a charm.
Kaweco Liliput Writing
Well, this is self explanatory. Also in the Leuctturm 1917 notebook.
I have read that a few other people had to flush their pen to get the ink to flow properly. I popped the cartridge in right away, no flushing, and I didn't have any problems (aside from the paper problem mentioned above). But if yours is drying up, try flushing it with water!

I am travelling for three weeks at the end of August and I have already been planning what to take with me, and this is on the list to go. I'll take it with a few extra cartridges. It'll slip into my pocket, purse, travel bags no problemmo, and I won't worry about it leaking or having to bring a bottle of ink. Lucky for me, it doesn't hurt my hands to write with so it may just be the only pen I bring with me... we'll see though because that's a daunting thought.
Kaweco Liliput Taken Apart
Cutie patootie.
Kaweco Liliput and Rhodia
Look how ridiculously sweet these two are paired up: a Kaweco Liliput and a Rhodia No. 11 pad!
Things to Thing About
Although I really love the design of this cutie patootie, the fact that it has no clip or any sort of change in its smooth shape means it's a roller. Yes. It will try to escape at every chance it gets. So be careful when and where you put it down because it WILL roll! It even rolls off the couch cushions. And because it's so tiny and sleek, it can easily be lost from eyesight. Certain felines seem to think it's fun to bat around as well, because it rolls so wonderfully...

Another thing to think about is that only cartridges will fit in this tiny body. There's no room for even the smallest converter. I personally refill cartridges when I'm at home and on the go, I'll just keep a few extra cartridges with me.

Ivan's review suggests a loop or clip of some kind which I think could be very convenient. In the case of the clip, it could be like with the Kaweco Classic fountain pens where you buy the clip as an add on, and if you don't want one, you don't have to use it. Or, perhaps at the price tag of $55USD, a clip should come with it anyway.

More Kittens Please
KrazyIvan via FPN
WayTooManyHobbies via FPN
Ben Dahl - Guest Review on The Pen Addict
From The Pen Cup

JetPens - $55.00
JetPens - Cartridges - $2.30 for six

I am a big fan of this pen. Despite its few drawbacks, I think its great quality and utter cuteness wins easily. I think if you are in the market for a cute, reliable, tough, portable LITTLE fountain pen, you should look no further because this one is for you. If you don't like the black, there is also a silver aluminum Liliput available as well, and it's just as cute and sneaky. If you don't like medium, you can also get extra-fine, fine, and broad nibs. Despite its wee baby size, the quality of this fabulous pen is not compromised, and you really have to see this pen in person and hold it in your hand to truly know its delightfulness. As this is my first Kaweco fountain pen, I am so happy with my choice. Did I mention it's fabulous?
Kaweco Liliput Fruity
What's cuter than a baby fountain pen hanging out with a peach and a lemon?
Thank you JetPens for facilitating my acquisition!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Ti2 Titanium Pen Body for Pilot Hi-Tec-Cs

Mike Bond has designed a newer, better body for the famous Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel ink pen. I'm sure you have all heard of and are very familiar with the Pilot Hi-Tec-C but if you haven't, check out JetPens's great post about them here.
Photos taken by Andrew Magpoc for Ti2 Pen
Photos taken by Andrew Magpoc for Ti2 Pen
The Ti2 pen is made of grade 2 titanium, chosen for its resistance to corrosion, natural color hue, weight, and amazing strength characteristics. There are four parts to the Ti2 pen: the cap, the main body tube/barrel, a threaded end cap, and a dual threaded front. The four color coordinated O-rings are placed to provide slight tension to hold the cap in place (whether capped or posted), and they also offer a wonderful tactical feel.
Photos taken by Andrew Magpoc for Ti2 Pen
Photos taken by Andrew Magpoc for Ti2 Pen

Body material: grade 2 titanium
Length (capped): 5.875"
Body Width: 0.375"
Cap Width: 0.4375"
Weight: 30 grams
Finish: Bead blasted and sealed with mineral oil

You can pledge according to the levels provided on the Kickstarter page, which range from $1 to $200 or more. You can select your choice of color - black, blue, red, or green, and size - 0.25 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, or 0.5 mm. The O-rings will coordinate with your choice of Pilot Hi-Tec-C color.

It's a very nice looking, well designed, solid pen. If you ask me, it's a much better looking body for the Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel ink pens. Go check out the Kickstarter page here! Funding closes June 18, 2012 so don't miss your chance!

Mailbox Goodies: Super Stickers

You may have noticed stickers has been rather popular around here lately. I think it's a phenomenon of, once the flood gates are open...

Last week, a Twitter pal must have realized my healthy interest obsession with stickers, and generously offered to send me some random stickers through the mail! Seriously, pen folks are the best people ever. You guys are the most thoughtful people ever! So here I am now, with this beautiful card fetched from my mailbox:
Mail from Storm
And these AMAZING stickers! SERIOUSLY. These are the kinds of stickers you'd never find in store - they are absolutely one of a kind and I am honored to be in possession of them!
Mail from Storm
A big fuzzy hug and thanks to Storm for these wonderful goodies! And snuggles for Michael :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 27. 2012 - Sunday Reads

  • Chocolate beet cake - I actually love beets in their normal form...I also love chocolate cake. This seems like a divine combination. 
  • Ok. Don't judge me for this section. I don't actually make and eat all these... I just like to look at pictures of food. ... Mini peanut butter cups in a jar.
  • I SERIOUSLY cannot even think straight when looking at these pictures from the Well-Appointed Desk. It... it makes me crazy. I'm salivating. 
  • You've probably seen this already... but it's Dan Smith's daily carry - and I can say that I would totally steal every single one of these pens if I could. In the kindest way possible.
  • This is sort of stationery... I am flabbergasted by the planning and organization that must have gone into this
  • I love Office Space, and thus, Peter, and I also love cats. Therefore... this amuses me.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Zebra G-301 Gel Ink Pen

This is a review of the Zebra G-301 gel ink pen with black ink.
Zebra G-301 Gel Ink Pen
The body of this pen is stainless steel and rather slender, with a black grip on it. I don't really like the grip very much. It's hard and just feels like ridged plastic, so it doesn't make writing that much more comfortable. The body is slender and comfortably weighted, and the ink is so smooth that you don't really need to hold the pen tightly. But the grip is useless. I suppose it provides some texture to hold on to. It has a slim design that fits nicely into the completely not stretchy loops included with many daily planners (i.e Filofax). The clip is just a solid metal piece. It's very snug so it won't slip off papers, but I think it's very hideous. However, it matches the pen well.

The ink is smooth and a rich, deep black. I experienced no skipping with this 0.7 mm nib and in fact, the gel ink is very wet. It is also an acid free ink so it's good for archiving or keeping your drawings forever. Dry time is a good ten seconds, but keep in mind, it's a very wet gel. So at least the ink is nice. And these pens are refillable and because the body is quite durable, it will likely last you a very long time!
Zebra G-301 Gel Ink Pen Writing Sample
Complaints? Some nice soft grip would be awesome. And a nicer clip. It's very... blah looking. The ink, because it is so wet, does not last very long - so bigger ink refills would be a good thing. Furthermore, the ink refill rattles in the barrel when I write, which can be annoying (especially if you're writing an exam in a big, silent hall).

Other reviews
Pocket Blonde
Pen Addict

JetPens - $2.50
Staples - $5.29 per pair
Office Depot - $2.99 plus refill

This is a decent pen. It is not very "pretty", but it is durable and will last. I am not particularly thrilled by the colors either (black, blue, red - so boring!). It's cheap for a stainless steel gel pen, and if you don't mind the color choices, it is a pretty reliable writer, but it's not outstanding in any way.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Feline Friday: Bengal Cats Wrestling

I love watching cats wrestle and fight, it's hilarious and they always surprise me with their strength and agility. Watching bengals wrestle is a great deal of fun because they are POWERFUL!
Cat Comic

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giveaway at JetPens

I know. You can hardly believe your eyeballs. Go check out the JetPens blog for another giveaway, and learn a little about pen nibs!

Review: Uni-ball Vision RT 0.8 mm Rollerball Pen

I think this is the first pen I've tried from Uni-ball where I think they dropped the ball. In the past, I've reviewed several Uni-ball pens and I've loved them all (my favorites: Vision Exact, Signo DX, Signo RT 0.38, Scented, and Signo RT 0.7).
Review: Uni-ball Vision RT 0.8 mm Rollerball Pen
Pretty badass at first glance, isn't it?
It's a pretty neat looking pen and obviously there was a lot of thought put into its design. The pen has grip, matching accents, a comfortable, well-weighted design, and a rather outstanding clip and clicker. The clip also has a safety mechanism that if it is lifted, the tip retracts. These are some pretty awesome features.

The ink is pretty decent overall: it dries quickly, doesn't smudge or smear, and doesn't bleed through, even on this thin sugarcane paper.  The ink is a decent color. The black is solid and deep, the blue is solid and classic. As I mention in the writing sample, the problem comes with the ink. I suspect it may be from the shape of the tip. When the pen is straight up and down, the line comes out smooth and thick (0.8 mm) and wet. If it's at an angle, the line peters out and skips. In the case of the black pen, it didn't even write. This inconsistency is unlike Uni-ball's usual quality. Overall, the ink flow feels very dry and skippy and is not what I'd want in a reliable, dependable pen!
Review: Uni-ball Vision RT 0.8 mm Rollerball Pen
A crazy clip and nice looking pen!
Review: Uni-ball Vision RT 0.8 mm Rollerball Pen
It's really too bad it's such an average writer. 
The body is designed to be practically leak-proof, but that doesn't really matter if the pen's performance is sub par. The ink is also Uni Super ink which is used to prevent document alteration. And it has some fancy schmancy ink system, as seen here:
Uni-ball Vision RT Refills
The pen is available in black, blue, and purple, and refills are available in black and blue. Does this seem weird to you? Because it does to me. Why make three colors but not have refills for all of them? Anyway. It wouldn't be a pen I'd want to refill anyway.

I'm not the only one...
A Penchant for Paper
The Pen Addict

JetPens - $2.12 (on sale!)
Shoplet - $2.67 - $2.95 for this model

I'm hesitant to recommend this to others. At this price, there are other options that I think are way better. The Uni-ball Vision RT is not particularly unique in any way, except for its appearance. Given that the ink is Super ink, perhaps this pen can be utilized for signing checks and documents, but I wouldn't give it much more thought than that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tyco + Tummy Fur Trim

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shades of Tuesday

Pelle Burnt Cognac
A large Pelle leather journal in burnt cognac, a vintage Waterman 52V, two Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto multicolor pen in the 5-component and 4-component models.

You can find the leather journal here, and the Hi-Tec-C Coleto 4-body here, and 5-body here!

Giveaway at JetPens

The lovely folks over at JetPens are having ANOTHER giveaway (this is insanity, there's a giveaway almost every week!). This time, the blog features the Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil and you can enter to win your own five pencil set! Check it out here!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mailbox Goodies & Associated Addictions

This is going to be a very random post. Remember I posted not too long ago about stickers? Well, recently we went to Home Goods to browse for mirrors and obviously I had to go down the kid aisle because there's always way more interesting stuff there than anywhere else. AND TA-DA! Check out the awesome goods I scored: three sticker books that were dirt cheap! They had such peculiar and random stickers that I couldn't resist them. I know, it seems like a waste, but we all have to have a hedonistic treat or two, right? At least that's what I tell myself anyway.
1000 stickers
Have I mentioned I love random stickers? These qualify as pretty random, wouldn't you say?
Lego City Stickers
Lego! I realize these are useless. But they were cheap. And cute. 
Lego Star Wars Stickers
After Home Goods, we went over to Michael's even though Kevin hates it there. I'm not hugely fond of it either anymore but it was a nice day out and I didn't feel like going home just yet. Kevin poked through the 75% off bin and found a set of Speedball calligraphy nibs on sale from $20 to $5! We went and compared it to the full-priced package and the only different was there was new packaging and the clearance one was ripped open and stapled shut. There was an empty slot so we figured one missing nib for a $15 saving is pretty worth it. Turns out, the nib was stuck under one of the other ones so there was nothing missing after all! Muahahaha!
Speedball Calligraphy
Good deal. I thought there was that missing nib... but...
Dip Pen Set
All nibs present and accounted for!!
Pretty fun stuff. I love sales.

Also, a JetPens order, although you already know about the pen case because there's a GIVEAWAY going on for it...and a jealousy-inducing postcard that came along, too. Real mail is the best.
Miffy Pen
Close up - pretty colors! Review is coming :) And perhaps a mini giveaway...
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