Friday, August 31, 2012

Whiskers & Paws: August 2012 Edition

Out here, by his lonesome. Excuse the dirty carpet.
I found a sunbeam.
Tyco Profile
I look funny from the side.
Nifty eyes.
Dum de dum...
My paw needs grooming.
I kicked Tyco off and took his spot!!!
I am magnificent! I'll shake a paw. For a treat. Feed me.
Koa Stretched
This is all he'd do for me. Just stretch out for rubs.
Peaches and Koa
They were attacking each other under the door. Note Koa's creepy eyeball watching me.
Peaches and Koa
Hey. Whatcha doin' back there?
Kitten Snuggles
Tuckered out after a playing session. 
Ellie's Paw on Koa
Close up of snuggle cuteness.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Midori Animal Paperclips - Elephant

I have a thing for animal-shaped things. I'm a sucker for all things animal in fact. Erasers, paperclips...Ok, the erasers, I have a hard time using because I don't want to soil them. Paperclips? That I can use. And treasure. And reuse. CoolPencilCase generously sent a set of Midori Animal Paperclips in "elephant" for me to play with!
Midori Paperclips
Who couldn't love this already?
Midori Paperclips
Um, I think it would be stating the obvious when I say these are adorable. Tiny paperclips in the shape of elephants? Yes, please. Do they work? You bet! Just because they're super cute doesn't mean they don't work just as well (if not better) than regular paperclips. Why do I say better? The metal is quite thick and is not indented, so they can handle a bit of bending where those indented, thin paperclips would tend to snap.
Midori Paperclips
This is seriously so much cuter than a regular paperclip.
Midori Paperclips
Hard at work.
CoolPencilCase also carries rabbits, ducks, alligators, butterflies, penguins, and special strawberries, if elephants aren't your favorite! ... Or you can just get one of each.
So. Cute. I am a huge sucker.
CoolPencilCase - $8.95
JetPens - $7.25

Paperclips are one of those things that most people use and don't care about when they're no longer needed. And that's a sad waste of material. These sweet little elephant paperclips will be a good reminder to you to use and reuse your paperclips instead of wasting them. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle! Therefore, in the interest of saving the earth, you MUST own adorable paperclips.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Angel on the Stairs

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm Gel Ink Pen - Mauve, Venet, Yellow Ochre & Khaki Brown

This is a pen that is long overdue for review. Given how many I own and how popular it is, I'm not sure why I haven't already reviewed it! In this post, I'll be reviewing the Pilot Hi-Tec-C in 0.3 mm.
IMG_5174 Resized
Top to bottom: Mauve, yellow ochre, venet, khaki brown.  A simply designed pen.
This pen is one that a lot of Japanese stationery lovers (in other words, JetPens fans) are familiar with already. What others (and haters) probably wonder is, what's so great about this pen?
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm
Easy color identification.
IMG_5174 Resized
And easy tip size identification!
The pen's design is very simple and straight forward. It has a hexagonal clear plastic barrel and a clear cap. The pen can be posted and the cap is very snug both posted and closed. The tip of the cap and the end plug are color matched to the ink, a feature I find very useful. Especially when one has many Hi-Tec-Cs...The color plug in the cap also is labelled with the nib size, which is very convenient, given that you can get multiple nib sizes in the same color! I love the clear barrel because I can see how much ink is left in the pen. I don't care much for the body besides it being clear. It's not outstanding and it's not that comfortable to hold.

There is no real grip to speak of. The area where a grip would normally be placed is ridged in rings. Some people love this, some people hate it, some are indifferent. To me, I think it's more useful than no grip at all, so I won't complain much. It could certainly be softer though.

The part about the pen that I enjoy is the ink and the writing experience. Even the micro tip 0.3mm can write smoothly and consistently. It is certainly a sharper writing experience than when you pull out a gel pen with a 0.7mm tip (like a Uni-ball Signo RT 0.7mm, for example). But surely, you don't purchase a 0.3mm pen with the expectations of a butter tip!
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm
That's a tiny tip, yessir.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm
Top to bottom: a 0.3mm tip, a 0.4mm tip, and a 0.5mm tip. 
The 0.3mm micro tips are fabulous for intricate details, tiny lines, and crisp, precise writing. I prefer writing on normal paper, not glossy/coated papers or papers that are fibrous/textured. This is because the tip is so thin that it can scratch up fibers, and stop ink flow. Normal paper works best for me - like the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. I have found the Pilot Hi-Tec-C in 0.3 mm is less scratchy than the Pentel Slicci in 0.25mm but that's just my opinion.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm Writing Sample and Doodle
Seriously. Look at the detail on that.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm Doodle
I have had some of my 0.3 mm Hi-Tec-Cs in my pen cup since 2010. Some have been sitting horizontally, some vertically, some a combination of the two over time. I began to worry that they would dry out and stop writing sometime last year. Surprisingly, they all still write. For the ones that have never been used, it only takes a few scribbles to get them going, and then they write as though they're brand new. For the ones who have been used before but were then shelved for a little while - same thing - they write perfectly once I scribble a wee bit. And having to "get the ink going" is not abnormal. And the fact that these pens have been shelved for two years but still write like they're new is pretty awesome and impressive. And a relief for me, because I have like...thirty Hi-Tec-Cs. At least. And the ink lasts a good long while for normal use.

Things To Think About
Obviously, the tip is tiny. If you are a heavy handed writer, you will have to be careful and make conscious effort not to write too hard or press too hard because you can certainly bend the tip. The tip is a thin needlepoint type (still a rollerball, just very skinny), not a tapered rollerball type like that of the Uni-ball Signo DX micro tips (which tend to be sturdier).
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm vs Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38mm
Top: a Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38mm, and a Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm (just for looks). 
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm vs Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38mm
Top: a Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38mm, and a Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm (yes, not 0.3mm because I just wanted to show the different in tip shape).
Some people have raised the issue of getting the pen to start writing. I don't doubt that this could be a problem but it's never happened to me. A few scribbles and mine always work. I bought these pens expecting I would need to get them started for writing and this doesn't bother me.

Other Great Reviews
A Penchant for Paper
The Pen Addict
Gourmet Pens compares Uni-ball Signo DX to Pilot-Hi-Tec-C

JetPens - $3.30

The Pilot Hi-Tec-C in 0.3 mm is a pretty classic pen. If you are totally unfamiliar with micro tips, or you are a heavy handed writer, you may want to think about a different micro tip pen (for example, the Uni-ball Signo DX micro tips). If you only like really smooth, wet, buttery pens, this pen is not for you. If you are comfortable with writing with fine tips, or you want outstanding precision lines, or you just love the array of colors, I highly recommend the Pilot Hi-Tec-C in 0.3 mm. In fact, what initially won me over and made me order these was the array of colors because no other micro tips come close to this rainbow!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Giveaway at JetPens

Umm... it may be obvious that I love Field Notes already, so I had to share this with you. The JetPens blog has some Field Notes up today! You can learn about the recent packs that were made, and enter to win a set of red-blooded Field Notes for yourself! Obviously, this is something you can't pass up. So go enter.

Mailbox Goodies: Pens, Paper, Stickers & Ink

A classic set of mailbox goodies. I have to keep this short as I am in the middle of getting ready for a big crazy wedding! Surely you're all dying to know what reached my mailbox before I left, right?
Daycraft Diaries
More superb-ness that will be reviewed soon! I can't get over the Animaland Diary. How adorable.
I have finally completed (for now anyway) my Lamy Safari collection! The orange was a wicked deal...*drool*
Lamy Festival!
Pen p0rn.
Lamy Safari Orange
Le stickers.
I like stickers. No matter what's on them!
Le ink stone for le grinding of le ink stick thingies.
Ink Stone

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26. 2012 - Sunday Reads

This one is going to be shorter because by the time this is posted, I'll have been in Toronto for a few days, and today (Sunday), I'm on my way back to Winnipeg!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bengal Glitter

Ever heard of Bengals being glittery? Well, they are. It's hard to capture on camera sometimes, because the camera always dulls it. This time, I managed to capture a few pictures of Peaches. Unfortunately, her face was in only like two of them.
Peaches the Bengal
She stole my chair.
Peaches the Bengal
Trying to get to the desk to investigate my pens! I don't think so, Peaches.
Peaches the Bengal

Peaches the Bengal

Peaches the Bengal
Yes, your legs are very pretty.
Peaches the Bengal
No, your butt does not look big. 

Friday, August 24, 2012 Review: Zebra Z-Mulsion EX & Z-Grip MAX Ballpoint Pens

Ooooh lucky me! This round of products are Zebra pens! p Zebra actually sent a wicked binder (and cute little plush zebra) with an assortment of items, but Shoplet has requested we only do the following two items - probably because they are the newest and coolest.
Zebra Pen Shipment
Zebra Pen Binder
Zebra Pen Binder
Zebra Z-Mulsion EX Ballpoint Pen - $22.45/dozen
Zebra ZMulsion EX
  • Z-Mulsion writing instruments feature emulsion ink.
  • It's a revolutionary combination of oil, water and pigment that delivers an unbelivably smooth writing experience.
  • The Z-Mulsion is set in a trendy, solid contoured barrel designed for a comfortable writing experience.
Zebra ZMulsion EX
The Z-Mulsion EX pen is a retractable ballpoint pen with emulsion-type ink. The pen has a wider barrel than most ballpoint pens, and it is widest at the grip section. The grip is quite nice and has ridges for added hold. The barrel is black and the top is red to match the ink. The tip is a 1.0mm which is a medium according to Zebra. 

What do I like?
I am a fan of the appearance of this pen - it's a pretty cool looking design. When I took it for a test run - WOW! That Z-Mulsion is some seriously smooth ink. Like, extraordinarily smooth. So it certainly doesn't disappoint in that department. No hard starting, just a good, reliable writer.

The red ink is intense and vivid, much like a red gel ink pen would be. I think it's quite nice, especially because most ballpoint-type pens have boring red ink. I also love that this awesome red ink is not the only color available in the Z-Mulsion EX. There is a pretty pleasing variety - including orange and green! I love when really nice pens have colors available besides blue, black, and red. Thank you, Zebra!

It really offers an effortless writing experience. All you have to do is know what you want to write!
Zebra ZMulsion EX Writing Sample
Zebra ZMulsion EX Writing Sample Pens
Zebra ZMulsion EX Writing Sample
What don't I like?
Of course, with very smooth ink comes factors such as drying time and smudging that must be considered. The wetness of the ink results in a longer drying time than ballpoint pens (which are known for drying instantly and, assuming no blobs, for not smudging). If you are a lefty, you'll have to be careful with this pen, or avoid it altogether, because the extreme smooth ink means you're probably going to smear this ink as you write. Righties, you're good to go.

I also found that writing at certain angles (smaller angle to the page) resulted in blobby ink - much like the PaperMate InkJoy 700RT ballpoint pens. This can be a let down, depending how you write. I can write comfortably both ways, but I know others may not be able to or want to. So, be warned.

Zebra Z-Grip MAX Ballpoint Retractable Pen - $7.74/dozen
Zebra Z-Grip MAX
  • Extra-large, soft rubber grip and wide-barrel design provide superior writing comfort and control.
  • Retractable pen means no more caps to lose.
  • Pen Style: Retractable Ink Colors: Blue.
Zebra Z-Grip MAX
The Z-Grip MAX is a little thicker than your average Zebra pen. It is retractable, and has grip that is color-matched to the ink for easy selection. The body itself is silvery and the big clip is chrome colored. The barrel widens at the grip section, which is firm but comfortable. It is somewhat rubbery but not squishy nor sticky. Zebra describes the 1.0mm as a medium tip though this usually qualifies as "bold" to me.

What do I like?
The rounded body and grip actually makes for a very comfortable hold and writing experience. I was surprised at how much I liked the rounded body. The ink is practical and consistent - no blobbing, no skipping, no hard starting, and no smudging.
Zebra Z-Grip MAX Writing Sample
Zebra Z-Grip MAX Writing Sample Pens
Zebra Z-Grip MAX Writing Sample
What don't I like?
Nothing, really. It's "just a ballpoint" but it's pretty decent.

In terms of design, I prefer the Z-Mulsion EX - it's sleek and cool. It also has more color options available than the Z-Grip MAX. I'm not thrilled about the Z-Mulsion EX for doodling, because the ink is just too inconsistent with blobbing and as a result, smudging. The Z-Grip MAX pen is pretty good for writing purposes, though not terribly exciting beyond this.

Full disclosure: These office supplies were sent for review by Shoplet. I was not paid to write this review, but I do get to keep these cool goodies!
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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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