Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Reads - March 31. 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Misc-Store.com Has The Midori STAR Edition!

Miscellaneous Store 4.3 0 STAR EDITION
Image by Misc-store.com
Miscellaneous Store LogoTo celebrate the 5th year existence of the passport size TRAVELER'S notebook, Midori teamed up with Hong Kong based STAR ferry company and launches its STAR EDITION limited edition. The range's gem is the camel color leather cover with an emerald elastic band, the same as the limited edition for the regular size TRAVELER'S notebook two year back. The range further includes a BRASS pen, BRASS clips, stamps, masking tapes and other accessories to customize your TRAVELER'S notebook.

Miscellaneous Store 4.3 2 STAR EDITION
Image by Misc-store.com
Midori TRAVELER'S notebook is a hand cut leather cover with an extensive range of refills and supplements to create your own personalized notebook. From different paper refills (plain, lined, grid, drawing), to card holders and zipper files, the content can be adjusted and replaced easily and any time, whereas the leather cover is build to last decades, aging well and thus tells the story of the user and his/hers daily travel endeavors.
Miscellaneous Store 4.3 3 STAR EDITION
Image by Misc-store.com
Miscellaneous Store 4.3 5 STAR EDITION
Image by Misc-store.com
STAR ferry company is a Hong Kong based ferry company that still operates the Victoria Harbour today. With the STAR edition TRAVELER'S notebook and the paper refill, a ticket for this ferry ride is included (valid until December 31st 2013). The limited edition series is heavily inspired by the details of the ferry company, like the deep green hues, brass details and marina artifacts.

Across stores in Europe from March 25, 2013. The STAR edition will retail at €44,90, whilst the
accessories will range from €6,90-€27,90.

Check out Misc-Store for all your Midori STAR edition needs!

Miscellaneous Store 4.3 4 STAR EDITION
Image by Misc-store.com

Miscellaneous Store 4.3 6 STAR EDITION.
Image by Misc-store.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

Whiskers & Paws: March 2013 Edition

Just a short Whiskers & Paws this month. Why? Because I don't want to bore you all to death.
Peaches the Bengal 
 
Tyco the Ragdll
Pre haircut.
Tyco the Ragdoll
Isn't he disgusting? Truly. That's his chest fur that he tried to groom. Then it got soggy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set

Karen at Exaclair graciously sent this J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set to me for review. Thank you, Karen. I was fairly new to dip nibs not too long ago and I have quickly fallen in love with the, (story of my life, right?). I have amassed a small collection of them that have been perfect for use with these pretty inks.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set
PACKAGING

The J. Herbin Pearlescent ink sampler set comes packaged in a thin plastic container. Inside at the bottom is a thin piece of foam to protect the glass bottles from hitting the surfaces they sit on. The label is loose inside the container and held in place by the bottles. The plastic container feels flimsy and does not do anything to protect the glass bottles from breaking. I feel it is flimsy, but then it is a sampler set and not for permanent keeping, so I guess I should overlook this.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set Packaging
APPEARANCE

The tiny, adorable little 10 ml glass bottles with aluminum caps inside make up for the plastic container. They're just so cute to look at. The bottles are completely clear so you can see the gorgeous pearlescent inks inside. In this case, the colours are: green, blue, peach, yellow, and pink. The ink is made up of the coloured pigments and the liquid solvent. The pigments are very sparkly and pretty! 
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set
PERFORMANCE & USE

After sitting for awhile, the pigments will separate from the other parts of the ink, resulting in a clear liquid and the settled pigment at the bottom. It's very nifty to look at and there is nothing wrong with this. A good swirl of the bottle will reconstitute everything and it will be as good as new. I always give the bottle a little swirl in between dips anyway, just to keep it fully mixed.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Writing Sample
Note page crinkling a little where "J. Herbin" has been written.
It took me a few uses to figure out I had to shake the bottles longer than I thought to get the pigments to mix properly. There were coming out a little bit chunky and while the darker inks still looked smooth on paper, the lighter ones were obviously chunky. Easy fix - just mix the inks more! So I did that and that cleared up my chunk issue. That sounds weird.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set Swab
Clearly I did not mix some of these well enough. Applied very chunky!
While they appear just fine on light paper, the light inks would look really good on dark paper. Unfortunately I had none (GASP! I know.) so I couldn't show you, but I think it's pretty obvious it would look great.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Writing Sample
It is quite easy to coat a dip nib with these inks as they are fairly thick. A decent amount of ink stays on the nib as well, but because I am not very experienced with dip nibs, I still re-dip often. Once the ink is properly mixed, they can be smoothly applied to paper via nib or brush or whatever means you choose. I used both a Brause Blue Pumpkin nib, as well as a wide Speedball nib for the thicker lines - both were easy to use. 
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Writing Sample Close Up
When thickly applied, I had to remember to let it dry properly before touching it. Also when thickly applied, this caused some of my papers to crinkle. I personally loved crinkled paper but if you are using these inks for professional work, crinkled paper is probably not something you want, therefore you may want to work with thicker paper, or make sure the ink is not too wet when you apply it to paper.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Close Up
Very pretty! Shimmery and colourful!
I wouldn't say this ink is water proof but it won't completely wash away if water drips on it. If a wet brush were to smear all over it repeatedly, it will smear and your writing will likely become illegible, but water drops won't wash away your words. Or lines. On the bright side, it's cool because you can use wet ink as watercolour!
J. Herbin Pearlescent Water Test
Left: wet brush smearing dried ink. If you look really closely at the blue line in the center, there is an area of dried water, where I dripped water on the dried line. Nothing happened. Above - the yellow line does smear but remains visible. The pigment is thick enough that it can be used like paint!
PROS
  • 10 ml bottles are great to try out all the colours.
  • Gorgeous colours.
  • Mixes well and has a nice, easy to use consistency for dip nibs.  
  • Has some water resistance.
  • Can be used like watercolour. 
  • Very fun to use in many ways.
CONS
  • Bottles are difficult to get large dip nib holders into.
  • Some colours are hard to see on white paper.
WHERE TO BUY

$14.00 at Writer's Bloc

OVERALL

A lovely set of pearlescent, shimmery dip pen inks. These inks are a lot thicker than fountain pen inks so they are easier to work with, especially if you are new to dip nibs (like me).  I think more colour options would be really awesome, and it would be nice to mix and match. The inks are quite versatile though, and have nice properties. They are also quite versatile. Very fun to use!

These inks were provided to me free of charge for reviewing purposes. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. All opinions remain 100% my own!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tyco the Ragdoll in an American Apparel Hoodie

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shoplet.com Review: Officemate Recycled Rotary Organizer & Dry Erase Clipboard Case

These office supplies were sent by Shoplet for review. These nifties are right up my alley because I like organizing my...er...many...pens and pencils, and papers! Thank you to Shoplet for this review opportunity.

 Officemate Recycled Rotary Organizer - $13.33 each

This recycled rotary organizer is quite self descriptive. It is a circular, black recycled plastic organizer with several stacked layers, with various sizes of cups and holders to hold miscellaneous office supplies - paper clips, erasers, pens, pencils, scissors, etc. 

Features:
  • Round organizer provides the most efficient means to store your supplies in one place.
  • Holds writing instruments, clips, notes, rulers, scissors, etc.
  • Easy supplies access at your fingertips.
Officemate Rotary Organizer
You can probably guess what I love about this already. Well... okay. I love that it helps me organize things. I love having things in compartments and all that. (No, I'm not OCD, why do you ask?) I love that it consists of recycled plastic! Sure, it's only 30%, but that's better than nothing. What's the point of everyone recycling if we never make use of all that recycled material, and if no one ever buys it? So good stuff, Officemate for making this handy organizer, and thanks to Shoplet for carrying it. Also cool? Officemate is a woman-owned business.  It's a sturdy, not hideous organizer, and it rotates which is cool.
Officemate Rotary Organizer
This organizer has everything - a place for sticky notes, a tape dispenser, and a bajillion little compartments.  I wish there were more pen compartments though, because that's what I have most of and that's what I need most storage for. Perhaps I am unusual here, and perhaps most people need more compartments for smaller things! But for me, more pen holders would be ideal.  

Officemate Portable Dry Erase Clipboard Case - $15.82 each

This portable dry erase clipboard case is like a mini, solid briefcase. The front has a clip, as well as a white dry erase board. The whole case opens up to reveal a briefcase-like inside, with compartments for your various office supplies.

 Features:
  • Has so many functions, it can serve as a briefcase.
  • Dry erase board on cover for notes, diagrams, etc.
  • Large capacity for papers, forms, files and notepads.
I like the little organization bins inside the clipboard case and it's pretty cool to be able to carry my papers and pens and erasers around with me all at once. I like to use this for toting around letters and pens for replying to my pen pals. It's very handy and keeps all my letters together and I love it for organizing my junk.
Officemate Portable Dry Erase Clipboard
In concept, this portable clipboard case is pretty great. Overall, it's still pretty great, but each of its details aren't as exciting for me. The dry erase board is technically "behind" the clipboard and my writing rubbed off a few times after I placed a bunch of papers on top and wrote on them. Maybe I move my papers around too much. Furthermore, the surface is a little soft so I had a hard time writing sometimes. I was writing with ballpoints, which I use a lot of pressure with. I suspect this would not be an issue with fountain pens because generally, I use a lot less pressure when I'm writing with fountain pens. It's not the prettiest thing ever though. I don't like having to store a dry erase eraser in here either. It gets dirty. A special tidy compartment for that would be awesome.
Officemate Portable Dry Erase Clipboard Insides
I don't have anything like this though, so this is a quite unique item in my large collection of stationery items. It shall remain my handy dandy pen pal & letter writing organizer!

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!

Outgoing Mail - March 26. 2013

Not as big a stack as I'd like. Still slowly making my way through my InCoWriMo responses! Sorry if I haven't responded to you yet!! I'm getting there, I promise!
Outgoing Mail - March 26. 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mailbox Goodies: Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Pens?

I lied. There are pens. And oranges have nothing to do with it. In addition to the TWSBI Diamond 580, which is equipped with a 1.5 mm stub nib, the Levenger True Writer Kyoto has a broad nib, and the Faber-Castell Pearwood has a fine nib. Lovely pens that I look forward to reviewing.
TWSBI Diamond 580 & Faber-Castell Ambition & Levenger True Writer Kyoto
I also acquired some other paper goodies at Anderson Pens, as well as a bunch of mesh that I had already put away and was far too lazy to reacquire. I know you just want to see the pen anyway.
Anderson Pens - Pens and Paper!
The awesome notecards on the right belong to Kevin. But I'm going to steal one or two because they're pretty awesome.
And not to be outdone, stickers are also here, to prove they are just as awesome as pens. And they are, especially when they are extra special unique stickers from overseas that are one of a kind (hence unique) and have animals on them. Thank you Storm!! It's no surprise I love these!
Awesome Stickers from Storm

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Staples Promo Products EconoRama Pens

Staples Promotional Products recently sent me some of their EconoRama retractable ballpoint pens to try out. They are also having a sale on these pens, in case you wanted to get some for yourself or for your blog or business! You can get 500 pens for $75, until the end of March (I realize this isn't far away, but they're always having awesome deals so don't worry too much).
Staples Promotional Products EconoRama Pens
There are a whole ton of colours to choose from - I mean 20+ colours, and your logo or design is screen printed on to the pens. The pens are black ink and are all plastic. They are disposable pens
If you're interested in the deal, you can use coupon code provided on their page!
Staples Promotional Products EconoRama Pens
I was not asked to write this post or paid to blog about this sale. Staples Promo Products simply shared these clicky pens with me so I was just passing along their kindness with you!

Sunday Reads - March 24. 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Peaches & Koa

Peaches & Koa in a Cat Bed

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sailor Jentle Sky High Close Up

If you follow me on Instagram, you've likely seen this picture already. But here it is again because it's just so pretty. This is Sailor Jentle Sky High ink, in my favourite pen - a vintage Waterman 12 eyedropper with an Ideal #2 nib!
Sailor Jentle Sky High

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Sailor Jentle Grenade Ink

I had a sample of Sailor Jentle Grenade and as I came near the end of it, I knew I had to get a bottle of it. I picked up this bottle at Goldspot Pens with a blogger discount that I very much appreciate! Thank you Goldspot!
Sailor Grenade Ink Review Packaging
ABOUT

Color: Red
Bottle: 50 ml
Price: $12.50
Price/ml: $0.25/ml

Sailor Grenade Ink Review Bottle
Sailor Grenade Ink Review
Sailor Grenade Ink Review Back of Paper
Sailor Grenade Ink Review
Sailor Grenade Ink Review
PROS
  • Small internal reservoir allows you to use every last drop of ink!
  • Shades well. 
  • Gorgeous green sheen.
  • Smells awesome.
  • Fast drying time.
  • Low show through.
  • No feathering. 
  • No bleed through. 
Sailor Jentle Grenade - Sheen
Green sheen visible in a scribble.
Sailor Jentle Grenade - Sheen
Sheen visible with a wet noodle nib.
    CONS
    • Not water resistant.
    OVERALL

    Sailor's Jentle Grenade fountain pen ink is a great red ink - it's not bright red nor is it too dark to recognize as red. It has an incredible sheen and great properties otherwise. Very decent price. Highly recommended. 

    Although I received a small blogger discount to purchase this ink, I was not paid for my opinion or to write this review. These opinions are 100% my own!

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Outgoing Mail

    A little stack of outgoing mail! Slowly I am catching up on letters!
    Outgoing Mail

    Wordless Wednesday

    Angel's Dinner Plate Eyes

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Review: BIGiDESIGN XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus - Black

    I'm back with another awesome pen + stylus combination from BIGiDESIGN! Here's another big thank you to Chadwick of Big Idea Design for sending this pint-sized pen for me to review. This XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus is in bead-blasted black and is the pocket-sized version of the solid titanium pen + stylus. This beauty, like its bigger sibling, came from a successful Kickstarter project - so a big thank you to all you wonderful backers that made this magic possible.
    XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus Sleeve
    SPECS - from Big Idea Design

    Weight: 1.13 oz/30 g
    Dimensions: 3.93" × 0.43" × 0.43"
    Colours: Bead-blasted black, bead-blasted silver & high polished chrome
    Materials: TA4 Grade 4 Titanium, Conductive silicone (Stylus tip)
    XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus Capped

    XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus Posted
    APPEARANCE & FEEL

    The XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus is slightly shorter than the solid titanium pen + stylus at 3.93 " compared to 5.35" respectively. This makes the XTS pen an obviously cuter (obviously to me anyway), pocket-sized version that otherwise shares the same appearance as the larger version. Once again, I'm thrilled with the bead-blasted black color of this mini pen. Despite its "cute" size, the overall appearance of this pen is very cool, very sleek, and again, very stealthy. 

    This pocket version is only a few grams lighter than than the full version, so I would say it's fairly heavy for its size, but not at all "too heavy". It has great balance when capped, and is the perfect length and weight when posted. It feels fantastic in hand. The finish is also wonderful to the touch. In the solid titanium pen + stylus review, I noted the attention to detail. The same attention has been paid here to this little pen.

    DETAILS & USE
    XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus Taken Apart
    Bits.
    The XTS pen has all the same great features as the bigger solid titanium pen + stylus. It comes with a great little protective microfiber black felt sleeve, a sturdy clip, a flat back plug in the event you want to remove your stylus, anti-slip finger grooves on the barrel, nice, clean threads for the cap that threads on to cap and post. The stylus tip is really good - very responsive, and can be removed should you wish to. It's also replaceable so you can basically keep your pen + stylus forever.
    XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus
    While I love the body and stylus part of this pen just as much as the larger version, in comparison to the solid titanium pen + stylus, it just does not match up in terms of refills. Because it's a compact pen, it is only compatible with compact pen refills, such as the Pilot G-2 mini refill that it came with. The intent of this pen is for it to be used as a travel-type pen and for jotting quick notes on the go, so the wide range of available refills may not be necessary. Personally though, I think the smaller version is "cuter" so I'm more likely to use this one more often than the solid titanium pen + stylus. If I could have a plethora of refills available to fit, I would be ecstatic!

    On the other hand, this pen can be more comfortably posted than its larger counterpart. In fact, it is easy to write with extensively both posted and unposted.

    CONS

    The only downside here the limited refills you can use. I'm sure you can hack full length refills to work with this compact pen, but if you're not into that, you'll have fewer to pick from than with the solid titanium pen + stylus.

    PRICE

    $55 at BIGiDESIGN

    CHECK BIGIDESIGN OUT

    BIGiDESIGN
    Twitter
    Facebook

    OVERALL

    Despite the downside of fewer available refills, I'm still in love with this pen. Very well made, great quality, awesome stylus, and it looks so badass, doesn't it? And again, free worldwide shipping.
    Full Disclosure: Unfortunately, I had missed this Kickstarter project so this XTS titanium pen + stylus was sent to me by Chadwick for me to test and then review. I was not compensated monetarily. All these opinions are 100% my own. I swear on all four of my cats's lives.

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    Creative Commons License
    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.