Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: Sailor 1911 Large Fresca Fountain Pen - Music Nib @PenChalet

A review of the Sailor 1911 Large in Fresca Blue was in order because I couldn't ignore the darned pretty color.
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Body material: Plastic
Trim: Rhodium-plated
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Filling: Sailor proprietary cartridge/converter
Nib material: 21kt rhodium-plated gold
Length (capped): 141.0 mm/5.55"
Length (uncapped): 123.1 mm/4.84"
Length (posted): 153.5 mm/6.05"
Length (section): 16.8 mm/0.66"
Diameter (barrel): 11.2 - 13.3 mm/0.44" - 0.52"
Diameter (section): 10.5 - 11.7 mm/0.41" - 0.46"
Weight (all): 26 g
Weight (cap): 9 g
Weight (body): 17 g
Price: $288.00USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet
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The Sailor 1911 fountain pen has straightforward packaging. There is the classic blue hard case box with the Sailor logo printed on the top in gold lettering. 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. It's plain packaging, but I don't feel bad about not keeping it. It also doesn't seem (depending on how you feel about packaging at all) too wasteful.
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The Sailor 1911 Large fountain pen is not a huge pen, but it is the larger of the two 1911 sizes. It is a torpedo shaped pen with rhodium-plated trim. The center band is wide and is engraved with Sailor Japan Founded 1911. The finial is unmarked. The clip is plain, coming to a rounded off end. It has no branding on it, so it isn't particularly unique.
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Near the end of the cap, there is a raised center band and a thinner, flat band just a small space above it. The larger band is engraved with: Sailor Japan Founded 1911. The section is round and tapers ever so slightly towards the nib, and ends in a flared ridge. The cap threads at the back of the section are the same color as the pen so they blend in.
Review Sailor 1911 Large Fresca Fountain Pen - Music Nib @PenChalet 5
I really was interested in this pen because, sadly, the Fresca Blue color was so appealing! The pen is a light blue that was exclusive to North America. Complemented by the cool trim, I couldn't ignore it. I tried to resist. I don't even need more pens and I just couldn't. Pathetic, I know.
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The resin does pick up micro scratches over time, but if you don't let it rub on other pens and keep it in a sleeve when you tote it around, it'll look pretty good.


The music nib is a single tone 21kt nib. It has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with: 1911, 21K, 875, Sailor and M on the side, the Sailor anchor and some flourishes. Sailor is the only company that produces a modern music stub nib with only one slit and two tines. Platinum and Nakaya, for example, produce a music nib with two slits and three tines, which you see more of in vintage music nibs. Sailor explains they were able to produce a music nib with a single slit that still delivers a wet, stubby line. 
Review Sailor 1911 Large Fresca Fountain Pen - Music Nib @PenChalet 6
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The nib is smooth, medium wet, and is a pleasant writer. The stub is not so large that it cannot be used daily, but it is a more generous size than your typical daily writer. The nib is firm, so there is not much in the way of line variation (unlike vintage music nibs), but it does offer line variation because of the shape of the nib. You will get wide down strokes and thinner cross strokes. It has a little feedback but does not feel scratchy or unpleasant. 
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Of the standard nib selection, my favorite nibs are the Music and Zoom nib - they offer the most variation and feel the best for my writing preferences. 


The clip has moderate tension - it can be lifted but it is snug - quite practical. It has a reasonable length so it will clip on safely to papers/pockets.

The section is small but comfortable - no sharp ridges or anything. The cap threads themselves are a bit sharp but they are well out of my grip space. If you have large fingers, they might get in your way, but even so, it's not too sharp. They're not so bad that I wouldn't want to use the pen.
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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. If you have larger hands, you'll likely prefer the 1911 Large size as it can be used unposted as well as posted. If you prefer the 1911 Standard, then using it posted might be ideal. I prefer the Large size. 
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Sailor pens are solid. I love them and think they produce some great stuff. Some people have objections about the little converters but to be honest, I kind of like it because it means I get to change my inks around more. They're simple but comfortable pens with really nice nibs, available in a heck of a lot of colors and a couple models - there's surely something to please everyone. I love them. The music nib is just so fun, and although the Fresca is a little more expensive than the standard colors, it was worth it for me because it's so bright and happy. Who doesn't want bright and happy??

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

August 30. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 1
August 30. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 2
August 30. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 3

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ink Shot Review: Diamine Music Chopin @AppelboomLaren

Thanks to Appelboom for sending this ink for review!
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Color: Grey
Bottle: 30 ml
Price: $54.01 USD for the set (without tax) for the full set!
Where to buy: Appelboom
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Discount code for 10% off: friend
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  • A gorgeous grey with a hint of blue/purple undertones.
  • Legible even with fine nibs.
  • Adorable little bottle.
  • Bottle is easy to fill from when it's full.
  • Comes in a cute set with a storage box.
  • Shades beautifully.
  • Easy to clean.
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  • When your bottle gets low on ink, it's hard to fill from. 


I think this is one of the prettiest greys I've ever used! It's a darker grey that still offers some shading, and it has some bluer undertones that come out with wet, wide nibs. Quite lovely. It's also quite well behaved.

I received this item/these items free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Reads: August 27. 2017

Sunday Reads

Stuff I Looked At Elsewhere
Stuff I Apparently Did This Week

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Whiskers & Paws: August 2017 Edition

Whiskers & Paws August 2017 Edition 1
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: @SatchelandPage Modular Leather Tech Portfolio - Daily Carry Mobile Office

Thank you to Satchel and Page for sending this truly gorgeous piece of work over for testing and review! I've spent quite some time getting to know it, toting it around, sniffing it, petting it, and generally being madly in love with it. The Modular Leather Tech Portfolios (aka Port Series) is on Kickstarter now! Check it out my peeps.

Satchel & Page hand crafts heirloom quality leather pieces, inspired by the founder's grandfather and his Map Case from WWII! Obviously, that map case holds a lot of history and is full of stories. Satchel & Page's designs are inspired by the designs of the 1940s, with added touches for today's technology.

Satchel & Page launched on Kickstarter back in 2013, and I have been following them ever since, as my very close friend ended up backing and became a huge fan when he got his bag. He then got another piece because he loved them so much, so I've been an avid follower for some time. And envying his bags and wishing they were mine.
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Size: 13" 
Shoulder Strap: Yes
Carry Handle: Yes
Zippers: YKK
Thread: Waxed polyester 277 (UV and mildew resistant)
Leather: Italian, full grain vegetable-tanned
Vegan friendly: No
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Your Mobile Office - We do our best thinking when things are clean and organized. The Port series comes in 4 sizes and combines a smart layout with a slim profile. No clutter = increased productivity. 
Refuel Your Devices - When we designed this collection of tech portfolios, we focused on your productivity. Smartly designed layout charges both your phone and tablet while you’re on the go. Never run out of battery again. 
Modular - Removable outside pocket for battery pack along with interior insert options for a truly customizable carry. 
Heirloom Quality - Italian, full-grain veg tan leather, Japanese YKK Excella zippers, solid copper rivets.
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The Satchel & Page Portfolio was sent in a large black dust bag with a leather thong drawstring. The bag has the Satchel & Page logo printed on it. These are nice for storing your leather goods. I appreciate the clean yet useful and simple presentation. I really don't need or want a box or anything.
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The Leather Tech Portfolio is a cross between leather work, a mobile office/daily carry set up, and a briefcase. It does all these things with sheer class and style. Even if you don't really need it, you're probably going to want it simply because it looks so darned awesome. I'm a sucker for this kind of thing.
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My Portfolio is a larger size, ready to accommodate a 13" laptop and more. It has a padded carry handle, a padded and adjustable shoulder strap, two zippers around the whole thing, an add-on battery pocket that snaps on to the front and several loops and pockets of various sizes inside. I also have a magnetic Artist insert, as seen in the images. The inside spine has magnets under the leather to make it super easy and quick to attach or remove the insert.

The leather is absolutely gorgeous. It is a rich brown with yellow and red tones. The leather picks up scuffs and marks with use, and it pulls up in the areas that are softer. I think it is just beautiful: the entire package looks high quality, classy, and super elegant. The inner lining is a lighter tan, providing great contrast to the darker, richer leather. The stitching is dark brown to match the main color and the edges are darkly burnished as well.
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The final product will be a little less red than the one you see in my pictures. Final zippers will be Japanese YKK Excella, instead of the stock YKK seen on my Portfolio.


The Portfolio feels good. The quality of the leather is apparent, it smells great, it looks great, everything is clean and well done. It just feels good in hand. The flaps are firm and not floppy and saggy, so the Port has always kept its shape whether it's empty or full. The shoulder strap is thick but not bulky, the clasps and rivets are smooth and placed properly (not half stuck in). The handle is smooth and rounded off so carrying the Port feels comfortable. I have used bags that had sharp edges on the carry handle, and it would dig into my palm, making it painful and uncomfortable to carry. The Port ensures that carrying by hand is not a pain. The zippers operate smoothly and even when it's open, the teeth of the zippers don't scratch me when I touch them.

I loaded up the Port with all the mobile office-y/daily carry things I could think I would need. What kind of things would go into my set up? House key, lip balm, earphones, mouse, a pocket notebook or two, phone charger, lightning cable, iPad charger and iPad (if I want to watch Netflix), laptop, relevant cards - debit, credit card, Starbucks gift card, etc. What do I do when I am in mobile office mode? I typically spend time with notebooks, inks, and pens that are in the review queue. I carry them around, test them out in all sorts of environments (i.e. if I uncap a pen right when I am about to take a few notes in a bookstore, does it write?). Yes, I actually do weird things like this. I try to spend time with all sorts of items in the most realistic and also the weirdest ways possible, to see what it's like to live with.
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I actually don't like to carry my laptop around, so when I didn't have to, I had this loaded up with power for my phone, a bunch of pens, a whole bunch of notebooks that I use for various purposes, and letters. One thing I found particularly useful in motivating myself to write letters was to actually carry letters sent from friends/pen pals/during InCoWriMo, and some stationery. And stamps. And clearly I carried pens. The part I struggle with when replying to letters, or writing letters, is I never actually get myself to sit down and reply to them. By carrying them with me - and I'm not saying this is the only way to carry letters with you, it's just one of the ways that really worked for me - I was able to jot down replies on the go. I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms, so I made good use of my time instead of playing on my phone (not that that is a bad thing either). It was just an efficient use of my time, and it was productive. I enjoyed it. 
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What if I had something larger to carry? I either would not carry it in the Port and would do so by hand or in another tote, or I would carry it in my purse. It depends on the item. This didn't happen often. The Port is a slim profile case with limited space because of that slim profile, so it's not the kind of bag you can just throw everything and a banana into. In fact, do not throw a banana in there because it will get squished and your Port will reek of banana forever.

Stephen agreed to have a few photos taken - thanks for modeling! He's much taller than I am, but clearly, I am not pictured here to compare. The 13" Portfolio works well in his hand. I will say I did not find the 13" Portfolio too large to comfortably carry myself. It is a comfortable size and did not get too heavy - it limits itself in what it can carry, so it does not get overloaded. I love that this is something I felt comfortable carrying. It's not just for men.
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Without the shoulder strap. 


  • Products backed by a lifetime warranty.
  • Elegant, subtle branding.
  • Leather is sourced from Tuscany, Italy, from a third generation, family-owned vegetable tannery in Ponte a Egola. The family is one of the founding members of The Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium, a group of Tuscan vegetable tanneries who follow strict quality standards and regulations. This means Satchel and Page's leather will be labeled with the official Quality Trademark certified by the Consortium.
  • Excellent workmanship - no scrummy bits or edges. It's all very clean, well made, and robust.
  • Leather pulls up and develops character so beautifully. I love it.
  • The firm shape ensures your goods inside are protected.
  • Zippers are high quality - they work smoothly and do not catch.
  • Padded and adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Great for business use.
  • Great for personal use as well.
  • Comfortable to carry in hand, or over the shoulder for longer carry. 
  • If you have a slim battery pack and a regular sized phone, you can charge your phone using your power pack and the provided snaps (to house your cables in a tidy manner) while your Port is zipped closed. 
  • The shoulder strap clasps are strong and can take a lot of weight. 
  • A variety of loop sizes to accommodate different writing instruments.
  • One thing I really like is that I often carry my items in pouches and cases to protect them when I shove them in a backpack. The Port Series allows me to carry my items (phone, laptop, iPad) naked, because they're protected by the leather sleeves and the security of the zipped up mobile office. This also means less weight overall, and it's more efficient. 
  • Keep your cables sorted and detangled. No one likes tangled headphones. 
  • Some loops can hold ink sample vials for you fountain pen users!
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  • The loops and slots can accommodate a variety of sizes but are best suited for slimmer items.
  • Different sized pen loops mean you'll have to check and see which of your writing instruments fit.
  • If you fill up the left flap and have a pen loop magnetic add on in the middle, as with my set up, the left side can hit your pens when the lid is closed.
  • If you have really thick electronics - laptop, phone, power pack, etc - the slots may not hold your item. I have a giant power pack that was way too thick to fit in the designated power pack slot, but it did fit in other slots. It just required some selecting and rearranging. I also have a slimmer power pack that did fit. 
  • The removable battery pack pocket on the outside is a great idea, but could be a little larger for larger adapters. I couldn't fit a non-Apple adapter in there. 
  • The downside to the variety of loop sizes is it's hard to know what will fit - trial and error. 
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Here's one of the downsides of stuffing the Portfolio with everything you've got: things can hit each other. This one has a hardcover A5 notebook, my laptop, iPad, iPhone, charging pack, two charging bricks, my laptop's charger, and miscellaneous pens, pocket notebooks, pens, etc. That was way too full. 


First of all, I think this is a beautiful, amazing item. I love having my daily carry/essentials organized, and to have it organized with such a lovely mobile office makes it all the more fun. The Modular Leather Tech Portfolio is really well made (and the final products will be even nicer than the review unit here). The zippers are smooth and don't catch, it has firm covers so you can actually use the surface to write on/put your laptop on, and the shoulder strap is soft and padded to handle the weight of a full unit.

I find having everything where I need it very comforting, and it means I don't have a bunch of things just stuffed in a pouch, stuffed in a bag. This forces me to keep things organized and clean - in a good way. It makes me more efficient because everything I need can be carried - a few pens, my phone, a power brick, a charger, my laptop, and a notebook. I can also carry a few miscellaneous items - cards, pocket notebook, my mouse.

The Portfolio has a lot going for it, but it could also use some work. I am an Apple user, so a lot of my stuff fit without issue - the adapter, the laptop, my phone, iPad, etc. If you have a larger phone (with a case), a larger power pack or adapter, or a thicker laptop, not everything will fit so easily. The key will be picking the right items for your mobile office, and ensuring you select the correct Port for your own needs. I would love to see an expansion zipper for those days you just stuff way too much stuff in, but that would also take away from the slim profile and clean look.

The fact is, I don't need this, but I really enjoy using it and carrying this when I leave the house to get some work done. It makes carrying all my things that I use for reviews and work much easier, more organized, and I get strange satisfaction out of having this all sorted. It's really a handy mobile office that allows me to also work on my lap, not just on a table. Great for commuting and working from spaces other than your own office. It's not perfect, but it's really, really nice and useful.

Want to know more? Check it out on Kickstarter! For many of the things I complained about, Satchel & Page have included those items in their Kickstarter - cables that fit perfectly and slim battery packs!

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.
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