Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Reads - June 30. 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Set of 3 Handy Bookmarks

Handy Bookmarks
These bookmarks were a gift from my sweet neighbors at home in Winnipeg! I've had them in the review queue but couldn't find this particular set for sale online. There is a set of Handy Bookmarks in different colors to this set available at Crate & Barrel though, and they're cute. One, two, three...
Handy Bookmarks
These are metal bookmarks coated in a plastic-type material so the bookmarks are smooth and slide easily on paper. You know how bookmarks like this work. They slide on to your paper. They stick out. Easy peasy. They're fun. That's about it! I read a lot and I use bookmarks all the time because I hate to bend my pages, so these come in very...handy.

I couldn't resist.
Handy Bookmarks
Where To Buy: Crate & Barrel
Price: $4.95

Friday, June 28, 2013

Whiskers & Paws: June 2013 Edition

Ellie
Ellie
Ellie Napping on me
Ellie
Koa Napping on dad
Koa Napping
Peaches weird paw
Peaches Tucked Up
Peaches
Tyco Close
April 21. 2013 - iPhone 049
Tyco Tuck
Tyco's Ears

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: @PaperMillStore Onion Skin Paper

This rather intoxicating paper was sent to me to try out by Rachel - thank you so very much Rachel! Naturally, I'm now hooked. But I'm glad, because I can now share my affections across more crinkly papers!
Onion Skin Paper - Writing Samples
ABOUT

Size: 8 1/2" x 11"
Color: White
Ruling: Blank
Weight: 9lb
Sheet Count: Buy in sample packs of seven sheets, reams of 500 sheets, or cartons of 5,000 sheets.
Price: $24.97 for 500 sheets
Where to buy: The Paper Mill Store

APPEARANCE

This onion skin paper at first glance appears to be regular paper. If you get close and look at an individual sheet, you quickly realize it's a lot thinner than regular copier paper is. Its translucency makes you think of onion skin, there's no doubt about that. 

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

Oh my god. This stuff is... just... oh man. You already know how I feel about Tomoe River paper. And if you don't, I'll tell you: I love it. I'm crazy about it because I looooove crinkly paper. I love all things crinkly. I love to pull sheets of this onion skin paper out of the folder I store it in and listen to it crinkle. Then I love to lie it flat on my desk and run my fingers along it. This is getting kinky. You get the picture. I love its crinkle. It crinkles even when it hasn't been written on. It also flops around a lot, and bends and folds easily, so you must be careful with it and treat it kindly, and be gentle with it. Listen to that crinkle...

As for its ink performance? Spectacular. It is definitely fountain pen friendly. I think show through is a given. If you weren't expecting show through on something called onion skin paper, you're a crazy person. (But then, you're reading a stationery blog, so you might be a crazy person anyway.)
Onion Skin Paper - Show Through
It was hard to figure out what was bleed through and what was show through but I think I managed - bleed through was very minimal and only happened in the spots where ink had pooled quite a bit or was very wet. Feathering? Nada. And I tested a lot of pens and a lot of inks on here. Overall? Definitely fountain pen friendly.
Onion Skin Paper - Writing Sample
Onion Skin Paper - Back of Page
Onion Skin Paper Broad Nib and Flex Nib
Onion Skin Paper - Back of Page
Dry times are a little longer than average for wetter inks and nibs because there isn't much paper absorbency - as in, there's nowhere for the ink to go. Dry inks and broad nibs that spread the ink out dried pretty quickly though.
Onion Skin Paper - Drying Times
The one thing I always check for when I'm reviewing paper is whether or not it shows off an ink's sheen. I'm happy to report the sheen can be seen on this paper! Whew. 
Onion Skin Paper - Sheen
Onion Skin Paper - Paper Mill Store - Sheen
You can only write on one side of each page, but the paper is so thin that it doesn't really feel like you're using much paper. Ink looks awesome on this paper - sharp, crisp, and it pops off the page. It's really awesome. Nibs with baby butt will be annoying on this paper because it's fairly smooth - although not like Rhodia/Clairefontaine - and it takes some work to get them going.
This isn't "real" onion skin paper - like the vintage type. It doesn't have that textured vintage look that the real stuff has, but it's pretty darned awesome. And this is pretty affordable and behaves very nicely, so I cannot complain. It is not watermarked. 

PROS
  • Fountain pen friendly - no feathering!
  • Crinkly, lovely writing experience.
  • Feels like tracing paper.
CONS  
  • Can be bent/dog eared easily.
OVERALL 

YES. If you are at all interested in crinkly paper, if you like a full journal because of the way it feels and sounds (in other words, the crinkles), if you are curious about onion skin paper, I highly recommend you try this onion skin paper! It's so much fun to use! Crack out those fountain pens and inks and go to town - it's a BLAST. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: @FieldNotesBrand Night Sky Edition Notebooks

Field Notes Night Sky Shipment & Pencil
ABOUT

Size: 3.5 x 5.5 inches
Color: White
Ruling: Reticle Graph
Page Count: 48-page
Price: $9.95 (individuals sold out, subscriptions still available)
Where to buy: Field Notes
Field Notes Night Sky Front
APPEARANCE
Field Notes Night Sky Paper
Field Notes Night Sky
These are the 19th Field Notes COLORS edition, featuring black covers with white paper inside and very cool ruling - not quite dots, not quite grids. The ruling is a light grey reticle graph that makes me think of a star. The back of each of the three notebooks has different clusters of constellations seen in the early, mid, and late summer sky in holo-foil.
Field Notes Night Sky Back
This awesomeness is topped off with glossy black staples, because silver staples would be ridiculous, of course.
Field Notes Night Sky Paper
Field Notes Night Sky
PERFORMANCE & FEEL

I am a Field Notes COLORS subscriber because I love these notebooks, and I love getting them in the mail. I use them for just about everything on-the-go, and around the house. The paper has a neat feeling to it - like it wants to be used. It borders on sounding and feeling like it's thin and crinkly, but it's not really thin. It wants to be written on. Which is hard to do because it's really cool.

The paper is good with ballpoints, pencils, and gel pens. They're not really meant for fountain pens, but I have plenty of nice gel pens that I enjoy still.
Field Notes Night Sky Writing Sample
The point is this: gel pens? Yes. Fountain pens? Not really. Unless it's a dry, fine nib. Or a dry wide nib that distributes an even amount of ink (such as the Pilot Parallel 6.0mm swab as seen here). Otherwise, you'll get bleed through.
Field Notes Night Sky Writing Sample Back of Page
PROS
  • Gorgeous, unique notebooks.
  • Isn't that enough?
  • Pocket-sized.
Field Notes Night Sky Insides
CONS  
  • If fountain pens are what you want to use these with, you'll be very limited.
OVERALL 

A few retailers may still have individual packs of the Night Sky notebooks, or you can sign up for a yearly COLORS subscription to get them (um... I'd do it for these). Otherwise, you can just enjoy the pictures of how cool they are. If you get a chance to pick up a set, do it. 

Wordless Wednesday

Angel Likes Warm Laptops

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Giveaway at @RësorShop

The lovely Rësor Shop is having a give-away! Your options are: a Traveler’s Notebook or $55 worth of accessories if you already have one! Click here for details! Winner will be announced July 15th, 2013.

Review: @PaperPastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp

This review is long overdue, and many pen pals may be wondering, why the heck haven't I seen this stamped on my letters before? Because I'm a moron, that's why. Moving on...
Paper Pastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp Packaging
This cool stamp was a prize I won from Paper Pastries who I've been a fan of and a follower of for awhile now. It just so happened that around Valentine's Day, Margaret had a giveaway and had a few different ways to enter. I was the Instagram winner. (In other words, follow her on Instagram). I got to pick a stamp of my choice from her shop and given my obsession with cats, the choice was clear. I selected the custom pet return address stamp, one of the stamps that just happens to be designed after a ragdoll! It couldn't have been more perfect.
Paper Pastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp PackagingMargaret sent me proofs to make sure everything was spelled correctly and that I liked the design. Within days. I don't know how this girl worked so fast. And then before I knew it, a little box was in my mail. Inside was some of the most beautiful tissue paper I've ever seen (I saved it, of course), along with the stamp, and an ink pad with the color that I selected. 
 Paper Pastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp
I adore it. The stamp looks like Tyco.
 Paper Pastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp Stamped
At $70.00USD, it's not an inexpensive stamp, but it is custom made and would be a fabulous gift - housewarming, wedding, birthday for a lucky pen pal - it's just so cute. Especially because you can send a photo of your own pet. Plus, Margaret is really sweet and a pleasure to deal with.
Paper Pastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp Stamped
If you don't like cats (how did you end up here...?) you can have a look at the other custom stamps at Paper Pastries!
Paper Pastries Custom Pet Return Address Stamp Stamped

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kickstarter: @KarasKustoms RETRAKT

This gorgeous prototype of the Karas Kustoms RETRAKT pen was sent over by Dan for me to examine and try out prior to the launch of the Kickstarter funding. I already have a Render K in aluminum and I love it - it's a very cool piece and it stays with me almost always, so I was pretty eager to give this one a go.
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper

Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper
This new pen is a “click” style pen that uses a near-silent mechanism to expose and retract the tip of the refill in use. The RETRAKT features a German-made, all metal, knock mechanism, the signature heavy duty stainless clip, and will come in three different materials.
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper with Render K Aluminum
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper with Render K Aluminum
With the Render K aluminum machined pen.
In addition to aluminum and brass, Karas Kustoms are introducing a version in copper. The aluminum version will be anodized and the copper and brass versions will be hand-finished and left raw.
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper
The copper RETRAKT is very, very cool. I have taken it apart, observed it, written with it, and taken pictures of it. It's really just gorgeous. It's a warm copper with that knurled top that I'm crazy about. Nice, snug clip that won't snap off. Pure goodness.

Each RETRAKT is ready to accept the Pilot G2 refill, just use the provided spring, and you're ready to go. If you want to run a Parker compatible refill instead, just drop the provided machined spacer into the upper half of the barrel (the part with the clip) and assemble as usual. Now you can easily find a refill at any office supply store if you run out of your favorite ink and can't wait. 
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper
I'm surprised at how comfortable it is to write with, given its weight. Well done on that one. The combination of the gel ink refill with the weight of the pen came together very well - the pen's weight puts the pressure on the gel's tip which requires almost no effort on the user's part to get the pen to write. Very cool. And not something I was expecting either.
Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Copper with Render K Aluminum
Have a look at the other pens by Karas Kustoms - there's a delicious selection. Check out the Kickstarter project! Pledges start at $30.00USD.
 
 

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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.