Friday, November 30, 2012

Winner of the Cross Click Rollerball Pen

andthewinneris
The winner of the Cross Click Rollerball Pen is Karen Y.! The winner has been emailed!

Thank you as always for entering and sharing! You are a great bunch :)

Whiskers & Paws: November 2012 Edition

This edition of Whiskers & Paws is just a few short series of photos. I hope you enjoy though!

Tyco In Transit 1
Something catches his attention.
Tyco In Transit 2
He stops to think about it (puts paw down).
Tyco In Transit 3
Assessing.
Tyco In Transit 4
Preparing for The Great Leap. Ears back to increase speed and improve aerodynamics.
Tyco in Transit 5
AND JUMP!
Peaches
Standing by her opponent.
Peaches Takes on the Wheel
Touches opponent tentatively.
Peaches Takes on the Wheel
Accepts challenge.
Peaches Takes on the Wheel
Peaches Takes on the Wheel
Does not use back feet. (Weirdo.)
Peaches Takes on the Wheel
RUN!
Tyco Takes on a Box
He has found a box. Big surprise.
Ellie is Insane.
I have no idea what she was doing but we came home and she was just sitting there like this.
Koa In a Bed In a Box.
Bed in a box. Which was a big hit. Box has since been recycled. Trying to tidy up cat paraphernalia around house.
Peaches Blanket
Little Peach pile.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Bound Custom Memo & Bound Vegan Leather Journals

Yes, you've heard of custom journals before. Where you get to pick between lined, graph, or blank paper. Thrillsville. Ta-Da! In swoops Bound Custom Journals! These are truly customizable journals, but I'll get to that in a minute. I selected these two items to review, with the help of a gift certificate from Joel (thanks Joel!!).
Bound Custom Journals
Nice earth tones.
Bound has (at least) three great things going for them, aside from being awesomely customizable:
  • The paper is 100% post-consumer
  • The paper is acid-free, so it will last you a lifetime. 
  • Journals are made in Durham, North Carolina. 
How are these journals made? Bound has a really great, thorough FAQ you can peek through if you want more detail, but here's what they tell us:
Bound custom journals are manufactured by hand using a three step process. First, the content you have selected is printed digitally on 100% post consumer recycled paper. Second, the printed pages are cut and prepared for binding as what we call in the industry a “book block.” Finally, the book block is hand-bound in the cover you have selected using a proprietary binding technique.
Bound Memo - ($10) - 3.5" x 5.5"

The Bound Memo journal is a small, pocket sized notebook. The cover is cardboard-style and flexible - the front cover can fold back completely. I selected the kraft color (I've really been into kraft lately) but there are four other colors you can select. The Bound Memo has 48 pages that you can customize.
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content - Austin Map
You can get city center maps of a few places. Since I live in Austin, I thought it would be neat, and it is! Not too jumbled, easy to read. Did I mention the paper smells good?
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content
The isometric grid (lined) is so much fun. It's perfect for random doodling.
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content
The isometric grid (dot) is just as awesome but gives you a little more freedom!
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content
Well, I'm clearly not an artist. But I had to put something in the storyboard page to demonstrate it. Right? This is supposed to be Tyco...
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content
Music staff, to-do list. Note to self on the back side.
Bound Vegan Leather Bound Journal - ($50) - 4" x 6"

I was most curious about the vegan leather (available in brown and black). I was trying to figure out what the material could be! For some reason I was expecting a more leather-like material so I was a little surprised to find the material is polyurethane. However, it's nice, soft, and very smooth, with the Bound logo tastefully placed on the front. There are 140 pages to customize in this journal.
Bound Vegan Leather Journal
I love the covers of this journal. Both the Vegan Leather Bound journal and the Original Bound journal have a cover described as "Flexi-bull" - it looks like and feels a bit like a hard cover, except it's still relatively soft and bendy! It's like the best of both worlds.
Bound Vegan Leather Journal Cover
There are so many different page types to include in any of these journals. Once you select a journal and move to the content customization section, you can select different page types, select ruling spaces (i.e the spaces between your dots), you can select how many of that page you want included, and you can rearrange your content to suit the order you want. You can get lines on one side, dots on the other, a story board on the next page, notes to self on the next page, etc.
Stack of Journals Paper Comparison
For paper color comparison purposes!
Top to bottom: Writer's Blok lined notebook, Moleskine blank notebook, Banditapple Carnet PeeWee blank notebook, Field Notes lined memo book, Bound memo book + dot grid.
You all must be curious about the paper by now. Well, fountain pen users,  there's some good news and bad news. Good news is, the paper is decent. There was no feathering with the pen/ink combinations I tested, and I hate feathering. I'd take bleed through over feathering any day. The paper is smooth and the ink dries quickly on it because it's not coated. Unfortunately, there is bleed through, especially with wet nibs. The paper takes pencils, gel pens, and ballpoints without problem. There was minor show through with marker pens (i.e Sharpie pen).
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content
I like the feedback from the paper a lot.
Bound Custom Journals - Custom Content
Major bleed through, clearly.
The best comparison I can think of to the Bound Memo ($10 each) would be the Field Notes memo books ($10 for three), both of which are made in the U.S.A, though Field Notes are not printed on recycled paper.
Stack of Journals
Pocket sized!
Stack of Journals
The Vegan Leather Bound journal could be compared to Daycraft's journals, whose covers are Italian polyurethane, and the paper is decent though not entirely fountain pen friendly.
Stack of Journals - Bound Vegan Leather Comaprison
My only complaint is the price, and I can't really complain about that either, because I try to shop locally and support small businesses when I can. I firmly believe in supporting companies that use recycled materials, because what's the point of recycling things if no one buys recycled products? They are also made in the USA which means less shipping to get it to me, thus less resources consumed.

Another Bound Review
Whatever! 
East...West...Everywhere

Prices
Memo Book - $10
Original - $35
Vegan Leather - $50

Overall 
Bound custom journals come at a premium price so perhaps they're not ideal for your everyday, scribble-all-sorts-of-junk in journal - though there's no reason you can't do that. But you can customize them to your almost every whim - I love that these journals are customizable - cover color, content, order. And, they are made in the USA, on 100% recycled paper. Bound custom journals fall into the "green" category for me. They are pricy so if you are going to get some, you best make use of the customizing. These are good quality journals and quite environmentally- and animal-friendly.

Bound also offers gift cards or bulk orders which would be totally awesome for something like a wedding favor or a very thoughtful gift for that stationery freak addict connoisseur in your life!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tyco's FlapJack on a Tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Pentel Libretto Pen & Pencil Gift Set

This intriguing new pen & pencil gift set is the Pentel Libretto gift set. Pentel contacted me to see if I'd be interested in reviewing this newest holiday set. Silly Pentel, of course I want to touch your utensils.
Pentel Libretto Gift Set
Pentel says:
The Libretto matching pen and pencil set features a sleek metal barrel accented in elegant silver trim. These classic writing instruments are designed with quality and style in mind. A perfect gift for the sophisticated professional and the conscientious student alike, these writing utensils will perform well for years to come.
Features (from Pentel)
  • Chic and elegant design
  • Available with Black, Cream or Silver barrels
  • Stunning silver accents
  • The set includes a 0.7mm roller gel pen (black ink) and a 0.5 mm pencil.
  • Pencil is preloaded with five (5) Super Hi-Polymer leads
  • Refillable with any color EnerGel LR7 or KFR7 refill
  • Enclosed in a felt lined case; ideal for gift giving
Honestly, I am usually a little skeptical about pen & pencil gift sets. I always felt they were just prettied up but not necessarily good quality pens. I am truly pleased to say I am impressed by the Libretto set here.

The packaging is simple but clean. The pen and pencil arrive nestled in little "holders" in a felt-lined case with a clear, easy open top. Have you ever tried to gift wrap an individual pen? Well, it's pretty tough without making it look like a pen The little box here is handy, or you can just wrap a cute ribbon around it and present it as is (saves on wrapping paper too!).

The pencil is a 0.5 mm retractable mechanical pencil with an eraser under the cap of the clicker. Like all Pentel Super Hi-Polymer lead, the pencil writes smoothly and without a problem. Nice, dark lines that are not too soft and smudgy, nor too hard and crisp. It's a comfortable pencil to hold, and it's easy to advance the lead. It does the job and looks good while doing it!

The rollerball pen is filled with a black gel ink cartridge. I'm pretty taken with this pen, I will admit. It writes like the famous Pentel EnerGel-X pens do, of which I am a huge fan. This means it is 0.7 mm and smooth, consistent, and vivid. Of course, it is refillable, with two options - the regular EnerGel refills, or with a permanent black ink refill. Permanent ink refills as an option is pretty convenient, especially if you intend to use this pen as your everyday carry - good for signing checks and such.
Pentel Libretto Gift Set Writing Sample
The grip section is tapered and is a smooth black plastic. The cap has some weight to it so when the pen is capped, it feels front heavy and when posted - oh yeah, it posts! - it feels slightly top heavy. However, it is not uncomfortable to write with and the weight is not something negative. I rather like the weight because it makes the pen feel more substantial and makes me think quality. It feels nice in hand and the overall design is very appealing.
Pentel Libretto Gift Set
At least one of the three colors available is bound to appeal to everyone and it's hard to go wrong with these classics. The silver trim is a nice touch that gives the pen and pencil a bit more of an expensive look. Pentel will be giving away a few sets of the Libretto Pen & Pencil gift set on their blog!
Pentel Libretto Gift Set
I really like how the pen posts.
Stay tuned - I'll be giving away a set of these soon!
Pentel Libretto Gift Set Doodle
Follow Pentel
Blog
Facebook
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Price
Pentel - $39.95 

Overall 
This lovely pen and pencil gift set has quite impressed me. This really is a good-looking gift set that performs to the standard I expect from Pentel. And you can also think of the good you'll be doing for the environment by using refillable rather than disposable pens. I do feel they're a little pricy at $39.95, but the set makes a good gift that your recipients (or you) are bound to enjoy and it will last for years to come. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mailbox Goodies: Paint, Stickers & RAH

First, this totally awesome watercolor painting of Tyco comes from Mia (@mabeloos). I'm so honored that she sent the original piece to me, and so happy to have it! We are going to frame it and put it up, of course! Thank you so much, Mia. We love it!
Watercolor of Tyco by Mia
Also note her awesome business card, and her beautiful handwriting peeking out from behind Mr. Pants.
This month's Rad and Hungry STMT kit is from Puerto Rico. I won this bad boy during RAH's "Hunt" (you really should follow on Facebook and Twitter to be privy to this goodness). You'll have to wait for the real post to see what's inside!
RAH Puerto Rico Kit
Picked me up some stickers at Sticker Mule as well! You know how I feel about stickers.
Sticker Mule Stickers

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Reads - November 25. 2012

Don't forget to enter to win a Cross Click rollerball pen right here on my blog!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Made A Terrible Pattern.

This terrible pattern was made with Pilot Hi-Tec-Cs. During the making of this pattern, I learned that Hi-Tec-Cs, when used in inky quantities, have a nice, solventy-smelling ink. That should not be inhaled intensely for the forever it takes to color in stars.
Star Pattern with Pilot Hi-Tec-Cs

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Cross Click Rollerball Pen


Give Away Banner
Details at the bottom of the post!
Cross Click Pen Packaging
Nice packaging.
The Cross Click rollerball pen is new - the click part that is! I won this Cross Click at the Staples Promotional Products blog. Cross says:
Just when we thought our iconic Cross pen couldn't be improved upon, we added a quick, retractable click. The Cross Click offers the same smooth lines and slender grip you've come to expect from Cross, without the twist. Instead, just click and express yourself.
The Cross Click is a nice, sturdy, slender rollerball pen. I think the pen is really slick and cool looking. This pen is matte chrome and it looks really good! The color is solid and doesn't chip off (at least not in my experience), and the black clicker and clip is a nice color choice. It looks great together. I love the little "Cross" branding written on the clip. By the way, if matte chrome isn't your thing, there is also carbon black, white, and teal finishes available. I am rather attracted to the teal as well...
Cross Click Pen
Slick!
For me, the pen is quite comfortable to write with. I suspect people with large hands would have trouble writing for a long period of time because of the pen's diameter (it's fairly small). It's well-weighted, even though it's so slender so the only issue could be if you have really big hands! It would be hard to grip extensively.
Cross Click Pen
Just a few pieces - and easy to take apart.
The refill is a rollerball gel ink refill - this particular one from Cross. It's a nice, solid ink that flows consistently and has some water resistance. The highlight of the ink is how fast it dries. It was dry practically in zero seconds - that is, in no time at all. So I feel safe to say a left-handed user could write with this comfortably.
Cross Click Pen Writing Sample
I LOVE THE CLICKER. It is a very appropriately named pen.
However, my favorite part of this pen is the CLICKER. It's just SO satisfying and wonderful. I like to just sit at my desk and click it repeatedly.

Price
Cross - $25.00


Overall
A high quality pen that would make a great gift for a family member or friend, or for yourself, preferably. If you have large hands, I would suggest you steer clear of this thin little pen. If not, you're good to go. Oh, and it's refillable as well, and it's safe for lefties! If anything, buy it for the clicker. I love the clicker.


Give Away 
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Staples Promotional Products blog would like to offer another one of these awesome Cross Click rollerball pen to one of you lucky peeps!! Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win one for yourself! (Good timing for Christmas, no?)

Staples Promotional Products will be included in all communications with the winner and the prize will be sent directly Staples Promotional Products. US residents only please.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Winner of the Printcopia Canvas Print!

andthewinneris
The winner of the Printcopia Canvas Print is Ivan R.!! The winner has been emailed!

Thank you as always for entering and sharing! If you didn't win, don't worry. There will be more giveaways (as in... very, very soon)!!

CoolPencilCase Black Friday & Cyber Monday Weekend Sale

Remember CoolPencilCase.com? I reviewed several adorable items that are so cute - but also totally practical. Your heart will hurt. It really is cute overload.Well, heads up my happy chap readers!
BlackFriday_Graphic_A
CoolPencilCase is having one of its biggest sales of the year from Black Friday to Cyber Monday - all weekend! So, from Friday, November 23 (12:00 a.m) to Monday, November 26 (11:59 p.m), CoolPencilCase is offering up to 50% off during this four day sale on items such as:

- All gift sets

- All iPhone Cases

- Select Pencil Cases, such as:

 
No codes needed for this sale! And, as always, CoolPencilCase has free shipping in the U.S. and Canada with any $10 purchase (which is crazy awesome), as well as a $4.95 flat rate for international orders with any $10 purchase.
Should you fancy keeping up with CoolPencilCase (which you SHOULD fancy), follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter, and keep up with their blog!

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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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