Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Zebra Regal Arrow 0.7mm Liquid Ink Pen - Orange

These pretty pens were sent by a friend for me to test out, after she saw my absurd orange-themed Shades of Tuesday. Obviously I was lacking orange pens. I am very glad she sent these pens for me though because they turned out to be totally awesome.
Zebra Regal Arrow
Oh you are a saucy minx!
First, they look awesome. Beautiful, pearlescent white bodies that are ever so slightly translucent so you can see faint orange underneath. I love this effect! The ink window has a cute cross-hatch pattern over it but you can see the ink level through it. The end plug and cap plug are orange to match the color of the ink, and while I usually hate chrome colored clips, I think it looks perfect on this pen. The shape of the clip is also surprisingly desirable.
Zebra Regal Arrow
Zebra Regal Arrow
Close up of that grip AND ink window!
The ink is a fantastic orange color - vibrant, solid, and bold, especially combined with the great rollerball tip. The ink dries very quickly, especially on this Staples sugarcane-based paper notebook, so it doesn't smudge like a lot of liquid ink pens do. I love how the ink rolls out of the pen and onto the page. It's very satisfying!
Zebra Regal Arrow Writing Sample
Lovely pen to write with.
Aside from the great ink, my favorite part of the pen is the grip. It is a matte clear grip with raised rings around it. But I love the way it feels for some reason. Oh, and the cap clicks with such reckless abandon that you'll fall head over heels for it. The click is perfect. And it posts.

As for water resistance, I was surprised to find the words remained visible and legible after being soaked with water, and then brushed with a waterbrush. The ink does lift off the page and tint the water, but for a liquid ink, it holds up well.
Zebra Regal Arrow Writing Sample Close Up
A true 0.7mm!
Zebra Regal Arrow Water Resistance
Some water resistance detail...impressive, right?
Take a Peek
The Pen Addict (0.5mm review)
JetPens - $1.80
Do you like liquid ink pens? I highly recommend this pen, unless you need professional boring colors for work or some other sad thing like that. This is definitely one of my favorite liquid ink pens - up there with the Pilot Precise V5. Isn't it an honor to be among those ranks?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mailbox Goodies: Goulet Pens, eBay, Stickers & Field Notes

I had been thinking about adding a few more Lamy nibs to my arsenal for ink review purposes - I figure a lot of people have seen or own a Lamy, so they'd be familiar with the nib sizes. I know, there are also many people who don't have Lamys, but I already had a few so I figured, meh, may as well get them all. In the end, I didn't get a broad nib, but I now have a nice range - both for ink reviews, and for calligraphy practice. I also bit the bullet on a TWSBI.
Goulet Pens Biodegradable Wrap
FYI this stuff makes a great cat toy, supervised use only though. This green packaging material went into the recycling after the cats investigated it.
Goulet Pens Wrap
Classic. I save this for my own parcels.
Ink Vials and Rack
Here we have 20 ink vials, and 2 ink racks (yes, because I have that many tubes that need a home).
I only bought the yellow one! It has a 1.9mm calligraphy nib. The others are just here to hang out and look pretty. Still missing the orange though, aren't I?
Err... I guess I bit the bullet on two TWSBIs...
TWSBI & Lamy
I had HIGH expectations for the TWSBIs.
The amber TWSBI has an EF nib and is from Goulet Pens. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the clear 540 + 1.1mm nib so I had to get that from eBay. Because I couldn't decide between the amber and the clear. Eventually I just drove Kevin crazy and he was like JUSTGETBOTH!
TWSBI & Lamy
The amber is inked with Noodler's Navy, and the clear is inked with Irosizuku Kon-Peki, which, by the way, looks absolutely gorgeous in the barrel. Especially in sunlight. The Lamy is inked with Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrun. 
I also got some Obama stickers in the mail. Not that I can vote here, but a gal can show some support, right?
Obama Stickers
I suppose by showing this, I have given away my political views.

Last but not least, this surprised showed up a little later than the others. Kevin was the one who had to convince me that it made sense to get a Field Notes Colors subscription, because it would be "regular surprises" in the mail, and I'd have so many that I'd HAVE to use them up, and not hoard them in panic. And that's how I ended up with this first shipment from Field Notes. Not only did I receive the National Crop Edition (and the red-blooded 3-pack I got as well), they sent along a pen, pencil, calendar, and TWO other 3-packs. Ok so this will keep me occupied for awhile. Field Notes are my new "purse notebook". I absolutely adore using these in my purse - they're tiny, adorable, and they crinkle when I fill them up.
Field Notes
Field Notes

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29. 2012 - Sunday Reads

Just for the record, I don't always make and eat all these things I blab about...

  • I didn't even know pygmy bunnies existed! And they're endangered...This is sadness.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Whiskers & Paws: July 2012 Edition

Tyco the Ragdoll
Head tilt.
Tyco the Ragdoll
Not photoshopped. His eyes really looked like that.
Tyco the Ragdoll
Taken on a different day. He loves this shelf!
Tyco the Ragdoll
His brain is about to pop here. This crazed look is usually followed by an explosive "MEOWEEYOW?!"
Peaches the Bengal
Whatcha listening to? You claiming a box?
Peaches the Bengal
Bug watching.
Peaches the Bengal
Ok now I'm not sure what she's looking at... maybe me?
Peaches the Bengal
Your whisker pads are so cute. 
Ellie the Havana Brown
Ahh my special, strange little cat. She's a nutter.
Ellie the Havana Brown
Cigar muzzle.
Ellie the Havana Brown
Looking wise.
Ellie the Havana Brown
Not wise. Just nuts.
Koa the Bengal
Posing handsome.
Koa the Bengal
Soaking up some sun, and being in the way of my chair. This is why I never get anything done.
Koa the Bengal
*flies buzzing in empty space*
Koa the Bengal
Looks a little stoned, doesn't he?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Organics Studio Mercury Red Ink

The mercury red fountain pen ink is another one of the bottles I ordered from Organics Studio. I had been looking for a red ink to replace my Noodler's Fox Red. While this one isn't the same shade of red, it's still a nice red to have in my collection... And then I realized I have many red-type colors in my hoard collection hoard.
Organics Studio Mercury Red Writing
Just the intro...
This is the second bottle of ink I purchased from Organics Studio, in addition to the uranium green I recently reviewed. The mercury shares a lot of characteristics and qualities with the uranium green, which isn't too surprising. My favorite is that it is a wet ink - I love wet, flowing inks, even though I sometimes make a mess with them.
Organics Studio Mercury Red Bottle
A pretty jam-like bottle. Actually, it totally looks like jam based on the color and shape. DO NOT EAT. In large quantities. Do not feed to your children and/or pets and/or annoying neighbors.
I love the hand labelling except it's rubbing off so I'll have to touch it up myself.
I did note there were little crystals in the bottle, even after swirling the bottle around to mix up any settled pigment. I was concerned this would affect the flow or come out of the nib and leave behind crystals on the page but this didn't happen with any fountain pens. I assume the little crystals were just left behind on parts of the glass where the ink had sloshed around. Again, this reminds me of J. Herbin's anniversary ink. This has not affected the ink's performance and when I roll my converter, the ink moves freely, without any globs or chunks in it, so all looks well!
Organics Studio Mercury Red Bottle
Note the crystals on the mouth of the bottle.
The ink is well behaved - no bleed through or show through on the Maruman Lifetime Notebook paper (75 gsm), and very little bleed through in a Staples sugarcane based notebook, despite the very thin paper! No feathering, and very good flow. The ink is only somewhat saturated. 

Organics Studio Mercury Red

Organics Studio Mercury Red Samples
My swab sucks. I've been trying to save the Earth and not use Q-Tips but my paintbrush appears to be a failure of sorts.
The drying time is a good 30 seconds here because it's both a very wet ink, and the Maruman Lifetime Notebook paper is very smooth. Water resistance in this notebook is very low.
Organics Studio Mercury Red Dry and Water
I was surprised to note the ink is more water resistant on "cheaper" paper - in this case, the Staples sugarcane based notebook, which I absolutely love - rather than smooth/coated paper of Maruman's Lifetime Notebook.
Organics Studio Mercury Red
Water resistance seems much higher in the Staples sugarcane notebook!
Organics Studio Mercury Red
I thought it was an interesting statement. And I believe very true! However, more importantly, notice how great the ink looks on the page - no feathering, no blobs or anything. Very pretty, and this is again on the thin Staples sugarcane based paper. 
OS Mercury Ink Comparisons
Ugh. My apologies for my atrocious writing. Sore wrist this day and I was lazily trying to write to avoid further discomfort. This was done with a J. Herbin glass dip pen. The first sample of mercury red is written with a Lamy Safari EF nib, and the last with the same glass dip pen, to show the color difference with wetness.
Follow Organics Studio!

Organics Studio - $12.50 for 55 ml - the first four colors are available!
Sample - $2.50 for ~ 5ml
Goulet Pens - $12.00

This Mercury Red ink is a really nice deep red - not light and bright red - but a darker, more elemental red. Get it? Elemental? ZING. As I mentioned, I love wet flowing fountain pen ink so this one is very suitable for me. It behaves wonderfully on both premium and regular paper, and in some cases, even better on regular paper. This ink is very easy to clean out of pens and not fussy to handle! A great red ink for when you want to use red but don't want it to look like a bunch of corrections! Plus, Organics Studio is a pleasure to deal with. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kickstarter: The Perfect Pen Case

Alicia Klein has created The Perfect Pen Case to store your most prized possessions - and tote them around safely, too! The pen case is 100% Italian cowhide leather and comes in several colors and prints. There are three pockets, which can hold a few pens, depending on their size.
It looks pretty handy for keeping in your purse, or on your desk, if you hate clutter and like to have things organized and tidy! Given that I have about six pen cups on my desk though, I'd need MANY of these.
A $30 pledge will get you a pen case, though there are a limited amount of $25 pen cases left - for early backers.  You can pledge up to $325 for the All-Star Travel package.

I'm really curious about the Writer's Package myself - I've got my eye on this 'Techfolio".
**I was not compensated for this post, I just thought someone out there might be interested in the product!

Giveaway at All Things Paper

All Things Paper is having a really cute giveaway - two winners will get to pick a set of a personalized Brookeshore Designer Stationery! It's super easy to enter, so check it out here!

Power to the Pen Doodles

Pilot has a new Power to the Pen movement going on and it's about self-expression through the pen as a medium! Whether you're jotting down recipes, sketches, or creating masterpieces, you're using a pen to do it.
You can go to Pilot's page and submit photos of your own self-expression by clicking on the pen you used to create it - currently the options are the G-2, Precise, FriXion, or the B2P. I submitted a few pictures yesterday, as seen below! You may have seen two of them on the blog before but I really like them so I thought I'd share them again.
Pilot G2 Doodle

Pilot B2P Doodle

Pilot G2 Doodle

Pilot G2 Doodle
I think it's really fun and cool. Surely you all have doodles and masterpieces you'd like to share - I personally love seeing the work of other people!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Pentel EnerGel-X Gel Ink Pens - 0.7mm

I was honored (and super excited) to receive a parcel from Pentel, pretty much one of the most drool worthy pen manufacturers ever and magical like a liger. I had no idea what would be inside, so opening it up was truly a pleasure. I mean, I knew there would be Pentel goodies inside, and you can't go wrong with that.
Pentel EnerGelX
Unbelievably pretty. Note there's a 0.5mm, and 1.0mm, along with all the 0.7s!
Pentel EnerGelX Basic Colors
The basic set!
And go wrong, they did not. The most exciting thing was the eight pack of EnerGel-X gel pens that I have been searching for as if my life depended on it. What's so amazing about this eight pack? THE COLORS. It has the new pink, orange, and sky blue that I desperately coveted. Since they are so delicious, I thought it most appropriate to review the 0.7mm EnerGel-Xs first.

Features (from Pentel):

  • Medium point, 0.7 mm
  • Assorted includes 1 each Black, Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Light Blue, Purple, Pink
  • Soft latex-free grip for comfort and control
  • Attractive color-tinted barrels with curved clip design match ink color
  • Quick drying ink formulation is ideal for lefties
  • Made of 84% recycled plastic
The Pentel EnerGel-X pens are good looking, hands down. Honestly, when I walk down the stationery aisle at Staples, they're always one of the gel pens that catch my eye. Vivid, intense, brightly-colored barrels, with perfectly color matched clips and grips. 

These gel pens write very, very smoothly, with solid tips, and great-flowing, wet ink. The 0.7mm tips put down solid, consistent lines. Even on cheap paper, the ink does not feather and spread - therefore, the lines always look crisp and precise.

I can't even accurately describe how comfortable the EnerGel-X pens are to hold. The grip is perfect. It's not too squishy, and not too firm. It has ridges in it to add texture, but they don't cut into your thumb if you're gripping the pen tightly. And the other thing - you don't even need to grip the pen tightly to write, because the ink is so smooth, it practically glides off the tip. I absolutely love writing with these pens!!
Pentel EnerGelX Basic Colors
Just a little writing sample.
Pentel EnerGelX Basic Colors
Ok I tried to be creative.
Having the whole set is awesome. I'm so happy that Pentel actually makes a whole variety of colors, not unlike the Pilot Hi-Tec-C (whose range is of course far greater) but cannot be found easily unless you're online. I mean, if you're in the mood for an EnerGel, you can just stroll to Staples. Which is great for when you need an immediate stationery fix. 
Pentel EnerGelX Doodle Dots
Dots with the 8 pack of colors! I love dots. It's one of the few things I can draw.
Pentel EnerGelX Doodle
Eghhh this I'm a little ashamed of. Please don't judge me based on this writing. I was just messing around. The point was that these pens are GREAT for doodling because of the smooth, crisp lines, low smudging, and fabulous ink coverage.
Pentel EnerGelX Doodle
Apparently I can draw hearts too.
Another thing I love about these pens is that they're made of 84% recycled plastic, and they are part of Pentel's Recycology program. While I believe the next step is to make these pens refillable with ALL the colors - because the bodies are solid and durable - having 84% recycled material in its parts is a great start, and having the main colors as refills is great. So unless you're only interested in the main colors - black, blue, red, purple, and green They are one of the best looking recycled plastic gel pens on the market.

The Pentel EnerGels also come in 0.5mm needle tips and 1.0mm tips. A whole spectrum of tip sizes! How perfect.
Pentel EnerGel 0.5, 0.7, 1.0
Just so you can see what the other tip sizes are like.
Pentel EnerGel 0.5, 0.7, 1.0
Pentel EnerGel 0.5, 0.7, 1.0
If you are looking for another gel pen to compare the Pentel EnerGel-X pens to, think the Uni-ball Signo 0.7mm. Pentel has produced a great quality pen here, and a great writer.

Pentel EnerGelX vs Signo RT 0.7
Pentel EnerGelX vs Signo RT 0.7
Sitting next to a Uni-ball Signo RT 0.7mm in blue. 
Pentel EnerGelX vs Signo RT 0.7
Not to toot Pentel's horn or anything but the grip is pretty good looking, isn't it?

Be aware though, these pens are NOT water resistant! In my opinion, it's more important that they don't smudge. You can avoid water more easily than you can avoid smudging.
Pentel EnerGelX Basic Colors Water Test
Staples - $11.99 for the 8-pack
JetPens - $1.25
Refills at JetPens - $1.00

Highly recommended. In my humble opinion, these are one of the best looking, best writing gel pens on the market, so long as you aren't looking for a micro tip pen. Solid, bold colors, and comfortable bodies are a great combination. If you have not yet tried the Pentel EnerGel-X, well, not only is that an atrocity, it is complete insanity. We must remedy that immediately.

See my review on Pentel's blog!

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