Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Winners of @Gallery_Leather Journals!

andthewinneris
The winners of the Gallery Leather Journals are: Keith McCleary (@randomthinks) and Dan Goldman! The winners have been emailed! If I don't hear back from them within 48 hours, new winners will be drawn. 

Thank you as always for entering and sharing! Stay tuned for more giveaways!

Giveaway at @JetPens @Lamy @LamyUSA

JetPens is giving away a Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Limited Edition Blue Green Body, a Lamy T52 Fountain Pen Ink Bottle, and a Maruman Mnemosyne Notepad Holder with Notepad - A5. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Enter by May 7, 2014 at 5 p.m Pacific time. Click here for details!

Wordless Wednesday

Tyco

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pen, Ink & Paper P0rn

From my Instagram, here are two lovely pens I have reviewed!

The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Smoke & Ice with a broad nib.
Get one here

The Delta Titanio Galassia with a titanium semi-flex nib.
Get one here
Delta Titanio Galassia fountain pen. Titanium semi flex nib. @ThePenCompany  Ink by J. Herbin @exaclair

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Reads - April 27. 2014

And don't forget you can get 10% off at Pen Chalet until the end of the year on your purchases! (Not an affiliate link!)
Pen Chalet Coupon

Friday, April 25, 2014

Giveaway at @JetPens @Exaclair @Lamy @LamyUSA @Pen_Addict @FieldNotesBrand

Enter to win a Lamy Swift rollerball pen and a Rhodia meeting notebook at JetPens! Giveaway is open to US residents only. Enter by May 2, 2014 at midnight Pacific. Click here for details!

The Pen Addict is giving away a pack of Field Notes Shelterwood pocket notebooks to three winners. Giveaway is open to both US and international readers! Enter by April 26th, 2014 at 11:59 pm Eastern time. Click here for details!

Whiskers & Paws: April 2014 Edition

Peaches
Koa
Koa
Peaches
Tyco
Tyco
Ellie
Ellie
All Four Cats

Thursday, April 24, 2014

@Gallery_Leather Journals Giveaway!

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See both reviews:
Key West Desk Journal in Honeysuckle
Leather Desk Journal in Tan

Rules are simple:
1. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
2. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorry international folks. Prizes will be sent by Gallery Leather directly, not by me.
3. You are not obligated to use all the entry methods, but there are multiple methods to rack up entries!
4. Winners will be randomly selected and emailed - you'll have 24 hours to respond with your mailing address or I'll pick another winner.
5. Easy peasy, right?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Tyco

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan

Luke from Gallery Leather sent this leather desk journal in tan, handcrafted in Maine, right here in the USA. Thank you, Luke, for the opportunity to review this journal.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
ABOUT

Size: 8" x 5.5"
Color: Ivory
Ruling: Lined
Sheet Count: 192 pages
Price: $22.00USD
Where to buy: Gallery Leather

APPEARANCE
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Well now. If you have read my review of the Key West desk journal in honeysuckle, you'll know I found it attractive. This one? This is a leather desk journal in tan, and it's even better looking. It has the same features: rounded edges, satin bookmark in cream, ivory pages with non obstructive ruling, shiny golden page edgings, "Journal" is engraved into the leather, and the leather itself is a rich, warm brown. It's less tan, in my opinion, and more milk chocolatey brown, in the best way possible. I think it's a gorgeous journal that will appeal to most. Elegant, sophisticated, and professional.

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

First of all, the paper is smooth but not coated, and as their product page says, there is just a little bit of tooth to make the writing experience noteworthy. I must agree. The cover is soft flexible, which I also like. This journal is also a good size - portable, not too thick, not too small, but also a good enough size to leave at home on your desk if that's where you want it to sit at all times.

In my review of the Key West desk journal, I mentioned the paper smells really good. In this journal, the leather smells good and the paper smells good, too. Delicious. The whole journal is really nice. I love to sniff my journals. Yeah, I'm weird. I also write a blog about stationery and cats, go figure.

I tested the same pens, markers, pencils, etc, that I used in the Key West desk journal. I expected the paper to perform the same, and it did. What am I going to do here? Well, tell you the same thing I said about the Key West:

Sharpies, both the regular and brush tips, look great in this journal. No feathering, flows nicely on to the page. Of course, bleed through is likely, though I was surprised to find there was no bleed through with the metallic Sharpies, only some show through. Pencils, of course, had no issues on this paper.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Liquid inks and rollerballs were not too bad either - good flow on to the page, no feathering, but there is some bleed through as the paper appears to be absorbent. If you use a really fine tipped roller ball that is dry and if you write quickly, you will probably get away just with show through, otherwise, expect some bleed through.

Marker pens like the Sharpie premium penSakura Pigma Microns, and Copic Multiliners performed really well - no feathering, very little bleed through, and minimal show through. The marker tips were really nice to write with on this paper as well.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Gel pens also performed really well and were really nice to use - no feathering, bleed through, or show through with the pens I tested, including the Pentel SlicciPilot Hi-Tec-CZebra Sarasa SEDong-A MiffyPilot ChooseUni-ball Signo DX, and ST Dupont Jet 8. Of course, ballpoints had no issues either. And they were fun to use as well. Also, I can't spell "gel" either. Why did I spell it "jel"? I don't know.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
If you want to use fountain pens in this journal - it is possible. You can expect small amounts of feathering, depending on the nib you use. Oddly enough, I experienced feathering with an extra-fine Lamy Safari nib, as well as with a Namiki Falcon soft-fine nib, and more with those two nibs than with a Pelikan M400 BB Stub nib (broad and wet). Ink choice affects this - inks that have a sheen (that is, seem to pool with some sort of surface tension) seem to feather less because they sit on the paper instead of soaking in. It'll be a little bit of a trial and error to find the right combination or one that works for you. For a journal that doesn't claim to be fountain pen friendly, I was content with the results. There will be some feathering (but not extreme), and show through and bleed through will be frequent. If you can live with this, you can use fountain pens in this journal. I have been. It's not cut out for flex pens though. That's okay though. I know the limits of the notebook.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Looks good, doesn't it? Not too bad if you avoid flex pens.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Note there is more feathering and ghosting with this extra-fine nib than there is with the broad nib on the Edison below. 
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Lookin' good Edison. 
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Review: @Gallery_Leather Desk Ruled Journal - Tan
Again, flex is out. 
PROS
  • Made in the USA. 
  • Good looking journal.
  • Journal feels good in hand. Good size.
  • Pages are both glued and stitched.
  • Paper smells really good. Don't act like I'm the only one who smells paper and notebooks.
  • Does really well with gel pens and ballpoint pens. And pencils.
CONS  
  • There was extra glue visible from binding leftover on the spine and some squeezed out on to the outside of the pages, but much less than on the Key West Desk Journal
  • Not entirely fountain pen friendly, but it's not terribly unfriendly either. 
OVERALL 

I recommended the Key West desk journal based on the fact that it was attractive, made in the USA, had pretty good paper, and came in a variety of colours. At $2 more than the Key West ($20USD), this Leather desk journal ($22USD) is a little more of a luxury item, but it comes in six colours, and it's really nice. Smells great. It would be a lovely gift for a professional, a graduate, a stationery addict, or for yourself.

I was provided this notebook free of charge to sample, play with, get accustomed to, and review. I was not compensated monetarily to write this review. All opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links in this review.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle

Luke from Gallery Leather sent this leather Key West desk journal in bright honeysuckle, handcrafted in Maine, right here in the USA. Thank you, Luke, for the opportunity to review this journal.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
ABOUT

Size: 8" x 5.5"
Color: Ivory
Ruling: Lined
Sheet Count: 192 pages
Price: $20.00USD
Where to buy: Gallery Leather

APPEARANCE

The Key West desk journal is an attractive, nice sized journal. It stands out as a journal that would sit on a classy desk (or my desk...which is less than classy). It has a few touches that gives it that elegant appeal: satin bookmark in cream, rounded edges, "Journal" written on the front in gold, the beautiful pink of the honeysuckle cover, as well as the mild texture of the cover, and the shiny gold page edges. The binding has brown and cream threads that make it look hand bound - though there is also traces of glue on mine. The pages are very attractive and clean - they are ivory with a ruling that is easy to see but not obstructive to write on. Overall, this journal is very appealing, and if I had seen it in a store, it would certainly have been the kind of journal I'd stop and look at.

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

Can I just say this paper smells really good? I have an excellent sense of smell, so I can smell paper from a mile away (ok.. maybe I'm just a freak.) and this paper smells really good. Moving on. This journal feels great in hand - great size, portable enough but it's not too big that it's overwhelming to use and not so small that a page will be full after one line of writing.

I tested a variety of media in this notebook, and even though it's an elegant and professional type journal, a journal can be used with any kind of writing instrument, right? First of all, the paper is smooth but not coated, and as their product page says, there is just a little bit of tooth to make the writing experience noteworthy. I must agree. The cover is soft flexible, which I also like.

Sharpies look great in this journal, both the regular kinds and the brush tipped versions. No feathering, flows nicely on to the page. Of course, bleed through is likely, though I was surprised to find there was no bleed through with the metallic Sharpies, only some show through. Pretty good performance there.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
Liquid inks and rollerballs were not too bad either - good flow on to the page, no feathering, but there is some bleed through as the paper appears to be absorbent. If you use a really fine tipped roller ball that is dry and if you write quickly, you will probably get away just with show through, otherwise, expect some bleed through.

Marker pens like the Sharpie premium pen, Sakura Pigma Microns, and Copic Multiliners performed really well - no feathering, very little bleed through, and minimal show through. The marker tips were really nice to write with on this paper as well.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
Pencils, of course, had no issues on this paper.

Gel pens also performed really well and were really nice to use - no feathering, bleed through, or show through with the pens I tested, including the Pentel Slicci, Pilot Hi-Tec-C, Zebra Sarasa SE, Dong-A Miffy, Pilot Choose, Uni-ball Signo DX, and ST Dupont Jet 8. Of course, ballpoints had no issues either. And they were fun to use as well. Also, I can't spell "gel" either. Why did I spell it "jel"? I don't know.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
If you want to use fountain pens in this journal - it is possible. You can expect small amounts of feathering, depending on the nib you use. Oddly enough, I experienced feathering with an extra-fine Lamy Safari nib, as well as with a Namiki Falcon soft-fine nib, and more with those two nibs than with a Pelikan M400 BB Stub nib (broad and wet). Ink choice affects this - inks that have a sheen (that is, seem to pool with some sort of surface tension) seem to feather less because they sit on the paper instead of soaking in. It'll be a little bit of a trial and error to find the right combination or one that works for you. For a journal that doesn't claim to be fountain pen friendly, I was content with the results. There will be some feathering (but not extreme), and show through and bleed through will be frequent. If you can live with this, you can use fountain pens in this journal. I have been. It's not cut out for flex pens though. That's okay though. I know the limits of the notebook.
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
Doesn't look too bad with fountain pens. 
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
This particular fine nib exhibits some ghosting and feathering, whereas the double broad stub below feathers much less and doesn't ghost. Without zooming in, it's hardly noticeable. 
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
Review: @Gallery_Leather Key West Desk Ruled Journal - Honeysuckle
Not so good with flex pens though. 
PROS

  • Made in the USA. 
  • Good looking journal.
  • Journal feels good in hand. Good size.
  • Pages are both glued and stitched.
  • Paper smells really good. Don't act like I'm the only one who smells paper and notebooks.
  • Does really well with gel pens and ballpoint pens. And pencils.
CONS  
  • There was extra glue visible from binding leftover on the spine and some squeezed out on to the outside of the pages.
  • Not entirely fountain pen friendly, but it's not terribly unfriendly either. 
OVERALL 

This is a really nice journal - good paper performance, and if you aren't hoping to use this to replace your Rhodia/Clairefontaine fountain pen journals, you're good to go. Considering the price of a Moleskine, and that this journal is just a few dollars more, and that it's made in the USA, and that it comes in a variety of colours to choose from... well. It's fun to try out different journals, isn't it? Perhaps that chance will come to you soon... ooooh. Foreshadowing.

I was provided this notebook free of charge to sample, play with, get accustomed to, and review. I was not compensated monetarily to write this review. All opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links in this review.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Reads - April 20. 2014

And don't forget you can get 10% off at Pen Chalet until the end of the year on your purchases! (Not an affiliate link!)
Pen Chalet Coupon

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Giveaway at @ClickyPost @JetPens @ZebraPen

The Clicky Post is giving away a Zebra Sharbo ST3 multi pen body! Giveaway is open to US residents only. Closes April 24th, 2014 at midnight PST. Click here for details!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Giveaway at @JetPens @PenInkCillin @Exaclair

JetPens is giving away a wicked pack of goodies! You could win a Lihit Lab case stocked with stuff:
Giveaway is for US residents only. Click here for details!

PenInkCillin is giving away a bottle of J. Herbin's Bleu Ocean fountain pen ink, courtesy of JetPens. Giveaway closes April 23rd, 2014 at 11:59 PST. Open to US residents only. Click here for details!

Wordless Wednesday

Angel

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib

Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Ah! A modern music nib! Thank you Ron from the Pen Chalet for sending this lovely Sailor to me! Don't forget peeps - you can use discount code GourmetPens at Pen Chalet upon check out to receive 10% off your purchase from now until the end of the year!
Pen Chalet Coupon
ABOUT

Body Material: Resin
Trim: Gold
Length (capped): 5.25"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.62"
Length (posted): 6.125"
Barrel Diameter: 0.48"
Section Diameter: 0.379" - 0.415"
Nib material: 14K Gold
Weight: 14 g
Fill type: Cartridge/Converter
Price: $156.00USD (MSRP $195.00USD)
Where to buy: Pen Chalet

PACKAGING
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
The Sailor 1911 Standard fountain pen arrived packaged in a blue hard case box with the Sailor logo printed on the top in gold lettering. This box was inside a white cardboard sleeve. I don't really understand the purpose of the white sleeve... to keep the box closed? Feels like a waste though. I put it to recycle. Inside the blue box, the pen is held in place by an elastic and ribbon on a felt bed. The bed is removable. There is also a cartridge, a converter, as well as a little pamphlet about the Sailor Pen Co. and your pen. Little wasted space with this packaging. I find it simple, though unspectacular. I hate having to keep packaging though, because I don't have that much space, so I prefer not to have extra cost added into the price of the pen because of pretty packaging.

APPEARANCE
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
The Sailor 1911 Standard (also may be referred to as the Mid-Size) is a pen that is on the smaller side, with a torpedo shape. The trim - clip, center band, and ring at the end of the pen, is all gold and very shiny. The whole pen is clear, including the cap (where some clear pens *cough cough Pilot* have grey sleeves inside the cap). This Sailor has an inner sleeve in the cap but it's also clear. If you look, you can see it, but it does not disrupt the continuity of the pen negatively. The pen flares very slightly towards the center, and tapers again towards the end of the pen. The center band is thick and is engraved with Sailor Japan Founded 1911, hence Sailor 1911! The section is clear as well, so you can see the gold trim through it, as well as the nib collar, which is black. It is smooth, with just a ring around the base of it. The converter is a Sailor converter, with chrome trim. The nib is a beautiful 14K gold nib with lovely detailing on it, as well as the nib grade indicated on it.
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
NIB & PERFORMANCE
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Sorry about the lint. The horror...!
Again, this nib is beautiful. The detailing is lovely. I was expecting a double slit nib, being a music nib, as the Platinum #3776 Music has a double slit nib, and so does my vintage Waterman. However, the explanation is Sailor was able to produce a music nib with a single slit that still delivers a wet, stubby line. The first thing I wanted to know was whether there was any flex to this nib: there is not. There is indeed line variation as the nib is quite stubbed, but the nib itself does not flex. There is also a fair amount of feedback, but this is a type of feedback I have found typical of Sailor nibs (such as with the Zoom nib). It's not annoying, the nib doesn't catch on the paper, it just "announces" itself as you write.
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
I inked up with Sailor's Sei-Boku (pigmented blue-black), which is an ink that is on the dry side. Indeed, the nib puts down a really nice stubby line. I would have preferred a wetter line, personally, but maybe that's because I was expecting something like the vintage Waterman music nib I usually use, but even the Sailor Zoom nib I have is far juicier. I tried to open up the tines a little but boy are they snug! Upon some ink testing, the Sei-Boku affected the flow a little because it's so dry. Using an ink that is less dry improved the flow quite a bit.
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Either way, this music nib delivers a broad, stubby line, transforming my plain handwriting into something fun and unique,which I think is great for anyone to enjoy! You can expect to burn through a converter of ink pretty fast though.
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
The music nib brings out shading qualities of an ink in a wonderful way! Even in what I would generally call a boring blue!

IN HAND
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
I think this is a great pen in hand - it's extremely comfortable, great weight, great balance. It writes well unposted but it's perfected posted because it posts deeply and comfortably. Writing for extended sessions is no problem. The girth of the pen is ideal for my grip as well, which surprised me because I can adapt my grip to almost any size of pen without issue, but this one just struck me as great in grip. Make sense? Maybe not. The point is: it is really comfortable, and it's a pleasure to write with, both in terms of how it feels in hand, but also because of the joy of seeing what the nib produces.

The clip has good spring but is tight - quite practical. It has a good length so it will clip on safely to papers/pockets.

If you are wondering whether this Standard would be suitable, or if you would need to go up a size to the 1911 Large, here are the two:
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
Review: @PenChalet Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib
PROS 

  • Beautiful aesthetics - clear body with gold trim.
  • Very comfortable to write with (especially posted).
  • Posts well.
  • Gorgeous 14K gold nib (and you get a gold nib for this price!)
  • Produces great line variation with ease.
  • Makes ink look great because of shading.

CONS

  • Will be on the small side for those with larger hands.
  • I was hoping this nib would be really wet. I like my nibs to be a 9 out of 10 on the wetness scale. I think the Zoom nib is better for wetness. Some users prefer a moderately wet writer, in which case, the music nib is a much better choice!
  • With this clear version of the 1911 Standard, the chrome converter trim is very obvious when the rest of the pen's trim is gold. If you use a cartridge, this won't be an issue, and if your pen is a solid coloured body (black, yellow, etc), this also won't be an issue. If you like clear pens like I do, you will probably notice this. However, this is not a deal breaker for me.

OVERALL

Whether you want a music nib or not (and if you don't, there's a whole slew of other nib grades to pick from), the Sailor 1911 Standard series is a really nice series to look into, especially the clear version. The gold trim on clear body is gorgeous, and it's not a huge pen - ideal for we ladies and gents that don't have giant hands. Posts deeply, writes well, 14K gold nib... and 10% off at Pen Chalet?

Pen Chalet provided this pen for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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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.