Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Reads: December 30. 2018

Sunday Reads


Stuff I Looked At Elsewhere & Read

If you're doing any browsing and shopping, please do check out my sponsors in the sidebar, because they help make all this possible. Some of these links are affiliate links, which provides me with a small commission but does not add any extra cost to your purchase. Some links are just referral links, but there is no obligation to purchase through any of these links. Your purchases through my links help support this blog and allows me to fulfill review requests. Either way, I appreciate your readership and your support so much, so thank you!
Patreon

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Popov Leather A5 Chocolate Brown Journal Cover Unboxing

Unboxing the Popov Leather A5 chocolate journal cover! Chocolatey delicious goodness. Supple, smooth... it gives me all sorts of inappropriate thoughts and feelings.⁣ Please enjoy this video and sniff along with me!

If you liked this, I'd love it if you would like and subscribe on YouTube. Muchas smoochas!
Thank you to Popov Leather for sending this for a review. This is not a paid post.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib

I have not reviewed many Conklin pens, nor do I really purchase them for myself. Why? Although I find the materials very pretty, I have not been thrilled by the writing experience - it's just not the type of writing I enjoy. I usually like super juicy, soft, bouncy writing experiences and the stiff steel nibs do not offer that. In addition, I am always skeptical of "flex" nibs, therefore I am very grateful to Goulet Pens for providing this pen so I could review it and share my thoughts with you. Read on for my thoughts, a discount code, and free ink! This expires SOON.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 16
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 23
ABOUT

Body material: Resin
Trim: Metal, silver-colored
Cap: Magnetic
Posts: Yes, friction
Filling: Standard international cartridge/converter
Nib material: Steel
Length (capped): 142.8 mm/5.62"
Length (uncapped): 130.0 mm/5.11"
Length (posted): 174.3 mm/6.86"
Length (section): 22.19 mm/0.87"
Diameter (barrel): 10.47 - 14.11 mm/0.41" - 0.55"
Diameter (section): 10.16 - 11.6 mm/0.40" - 0.45"
Weight (all): 32 g
Weight (cap): 13 g
Weight (body): 19 g
Price: $148.00 USD
Where to buy: Goulet Pens
Discount code for 10% off GOURMETPENS18
Get a free 90 ml bottle of Monteverde ink in a color of your choice! Just add to both to your cart and it'll adjust from there. Both the discount code and free ink deal will expire at the end of the year so get crackin'.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 1
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 22
I selected Monteverde California Teal for my free ink.
PACKAGING

I disliked Conklin's old style of packaging - the clamshell box was large, clumsy, and unattractive to my eye. Much like Sailor's plain boxes... the new (more recent) boxes are much nicer, though they are still on the large side. This box is presented in a matte, dark blue sleeve with a Conklin Omniflex sticker on it. The box is a solid clamshell style with a matte navy blue pleather and yellow stitched trim. The top has the Conklin logo printed in gold foil. I think it looks more elegant than the previous box. The inside is a soft, cream-colored velvet. There are two ink cartridges in a small plastic baggie, and the pen is accompanied by little cards with filling instructions, Conklin warranty details, and information on the OmniFlex nib. A converter is included as well. The presentation is decent overall.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 3
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 4
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 5
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 6
APPEARANCE

The Empire is pretty cute. It "mixes vintage appeal and a modern bold style", according to Conklin. It is a torpedo-shaped pen with a fluted cap and body design and is created from a shimmering deep blue acrylic resin. I actually really like the design and how it looks. It's fun and different but is not too unusual. The finial comes to a rounded point from the four facets of the top of the cap. The clip is attached by a small metal flange in the cap. The shape of the clip looks blocky to me on the other models but suites the Empire well. The 'Conklin' logo is hand lacquered on the clip and it looks tidy. I did not know it was hand lacquered but it is tidy.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 7
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 8
The center band is located at the end of the cap. It is silver-colored and has a red-lacquered band in the middle. The section is pinched, smooth, and metal. There are no cap threads as the cap is magnetic. The metal complements the sparkles in the body but I would definitely prefer a matching acrylic section. There are notches on the section to align the cap when capping.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 17
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 18
My favorite part, aside from the pretty material, is the sculpting on the body. It's hard to show in pictures but it stands out enough to make the pen not just another round pen.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The Empire is available with a #7 steel Bock nib in extra-fine, fine, and medium. I opted for Conklin's OmniFlex nib option as I know Bock nibs perform well (in my experience). I wanted to try the OmniFlex as I had never used it before, have received many review requests for it, and I was just curious how it would stack up as a flex nib!
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 12
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 13
The nib is long and slender with wings cut out in both shoulders, a single slit, and a heart-shaped breather hole. It is engraved with the Conklin logo, 'TOLEDO USA', and 'FLEX'. Yours may be unmarked as I have had a few people inform me theirs is a plain nib. I flushed the pen with dilute dish soap followed by clean water - standard practice on all new pens around here.

First, how it performs without flex: the nib is a firm writer without pressure and I found it pretty decent but not perfect - I experienced a few skips and hard starts while writing. It was less finicky on paper that had a bit more tooth/was more absorbent but I like smooth papers like Tomoe River. After flexing the nib, it was clear the feed was a bit starved as the skipping became worse. Drying times were average without pressure and ink flow is a low to medium. The writing experience itself was fairly smooth but I did not find it to be an outstanding writer without pressure. I assume the fun of this nib comes in the flex so using it as a normal writer is not its highlight.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 19
The nib is designed to accommodate pressure - it is long, slender, and the cut outs make it easier to achieve line variation with pressure. It is not a soft flex nib whatsoever and I needed to apply moderate pressure to achieve line variation. This is a little tiring for me for extended flex writing sessions because my right elbow and shoulder are injured. The nib writes from a Western fine to a wet broad, maybe double-broad if your feed is primed. I found performance to be average when I was flexing. When the feed was primed - for example, just after inking it or after actually priming with a cartridge or converter - the flex experience was FUN. Ink flow was wet, and I could definitely squeeze out some line variation that made ink shade beautifully and sheen pop (where applicable). It looked great and felt good. Unfortunately, when the feed is not primed - either it's been sitting around, or you have flexed it to its max - ink flow was sub-par and I experienced railroading and lots of skipping and hard starting.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib  1
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib  2
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib  3
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib  4
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 24
I really enjoyed the flexy writing experience when the feed was primed. It is it not sharp or scratchy, however, it's clear the feed is just not adequate for anything more than light, sporadic pressure. It sort of defeats the purpose of the flex nib. The only exceptions would be if you don't intend to flex the nib (but in that case, I'd say go for the Bock nib instead), or if you do short bursts of writing and you don't mind priming the feed to keep up. Conklin just needs a better feed for this.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 2
When the feed is not primed, the nib railroads easily.
Conclusion: great for short quotes in your journals or for sharing on social media, but definitely not reliable for an extended flex session. Personally, I do enjoy writing with this nib in short bursts - I prime the feed, squeeze out some line variation - and it's fun, the ink looks good, but I am disappointed that the feed is just another regular feed. The nib obviously has thought put into it but the feed is just an afterthought.

IN HAND

The clip is snug and must be lifted to use on pockets, pages, and in pouches. The pen cannot slide on because it's too tight and the cap will go flying off its magnetic closure. The metal section has a comfortable shape but I do find it a little slippery. It is flared at the end before the nib so that does help keep my fingers off the nib and feed but if you are sensitive to metal, this may bother you.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 9
Top to bottom: Conklin Empire, Montblanc 146, Pelikan Souverän M600.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 10
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 11
Unposted, the pen is balanced heavily towards the front as the section is metal and the rest of the pen is just acrylic. The cap posts snugly by friction but I find it too long, top heavy, and kind of funny looking when posted. As such, I prefer to use the pen unposted, even though it feels unbalanced. I like the shape of the pen as it does not roll away.
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 14
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 15
PROS & CONS
Conklin Empire Stardust Blue Fountain Pen with OmniFlex Nib 20
OVERALL

Whew. This was an interesting one to review. Of all the Conklin models I have used, this one is my favorite so far because I love the fun sparkles and the design elements. The nib is fun but it's not perfect. If you are looking for a serious flex nib, the OmniFlex is just not an option. Its performance is limited by the feed. If you write in short bursts and don't mind priming and you just want a fun writer, it may be well worth it as it is fun and forgiving. If you like the model and want a no-fuss writer, opt for the Bock nib. Conklin needs to change the feed for the OmniFlex because it is just not good enough.

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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

December 26. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 1
December 26. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 2
December 26. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 3
December 26. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 4
December 26. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 6
December 26. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 7

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday Reads: December 23. 2018

Sunday Reads


Stuff I Looked At Elsewhere & Read

If you're doing any browsing and shopping, please do check out my sponsors in the sidebar, because they help make all this possible. Some of these links are affiliate links, which provides me with a small commission but does not add any extra cost to your purchase. Some links are just referral links, but there is no obligation to purchase through any of these links. Your purchases through my links help support this blog and allows me to fulfill review requests. Either way, I appreciate your readership and your support so much, so thank you!
Patreon

Saturday, December 22, 2018

First Impressions Phidon Pens Robert Oster Campfire Ink

This Robert Oster ink is exclusive to Phidon Pens in Cambridge, Ontario. This ink was commissioned to celebrate ten years since opening the store! Quite the exciting event! I shot a little unboxing and first impressions video of it when it first arrived and while I have shared pictures of it in use since then, I thought you might like to see some video fun! If you enjoyed, please give it a like and I'd love if you subscribed.

You can place orders at Phidon Pens by phoning or visiting the store.
This ink was sent for a review by Phidon Pens. This is not a paid post.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink

Looking for a souvenir from The Netherlands? P.W. Akkerman Delfts Blauw may be the perfect gift. 
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 9
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 7
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 1
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 6
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 5
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 4
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 3
P.W. Akkerman Den Haag Delfts Blauw Ink 2

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

December 19. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 1
December 19. 2018 - Wordless Wednesday 2

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren

Thank you to Appelboom for sending this ink for a review!
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 5
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 4
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 10
ABOUT
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 3
Color: Brown
Bottle: 30 ml
Price: $8.68 USD
Where to buy: Appelboom

Discount Code for 10% off: friend
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 6
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 7
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 8
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 9
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 2
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 1
PROS
  • Very legible, even with finer writers.
  • The bottle is easy to fill from.
  • Reusable ink bottle.
  • Easy to store/stack on your shelf.
  • Portable.
  • Beautiful shading.
  • Has some water resistance.
  • A pretty, warm brown.
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 12
Blackstone Brown Boronia Ink Review @AppelboomLaren 11
CONS
  • Messy to open the bottle with the foil seal.
  • So saturated that if you get it into the threads, it can crust up and cause leakage.
  • A little tough to clean from certain pens.
  • I don't like the scent.

OVERALL

Another really nice color from the Blackstone scented series - this time a warm, golden brown with lovely shading. Like the others, this one has been a pain. Messy to open, messy around the mouth when the ink crusts, and I don't like the scent. Fabulous color. I'd love to see this unscented and with a bottle that cooperates a bit more.




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.

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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.