Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Vinta Inks Blue Floss Perya Stole My Heart.

Vinta Inks are obsessively designed and meticulously mixed. Our inks are meant for fountain pen or calligraphy use. We promise that we use the finest ingredients to make the best ink that we can.
Vinta Inks are made in the Philippines and they have a pretty cool initiative that I didn't even know about until I started reading up more about them.
At Vinta, we believe that education is one of the most important paths towards poverty alleviation. That is why for every bottle of ink you purchase, we will donate P25.00 to Teach for the Philippines, Inc. in their goal to provide access to quality education for all Filipino children. Help us make the world a more colorful place, one bottle at a time. 
That's pretty cool. I always like supporting companies that are trying to do something for someone else. It's just nice to see they have a bigger picture in mind. Of course, I picked these colors long before I knew about their initiative. These are the four colors I went with, and I am telling you, it was hard to pick just four: Deep water Blue Lucia, Mermaid Green Sirena, Blue Floss Perya, and Violet Maskara. I did not know the background behind the names but I love the names and it's really interesting to learn about the Philippines and the inspirations. They are whimsical and fun, and educational! The boxes are adorable and classy and the round amber bottles are simple and easy to fill from.

  • Deepwater Blue - Lucia - this is a gorgeous medium blue with greenish undertones. It shades to a lighter blue but doesn't get too dark. It definitely does not feel like "just another blue" to me. 
Dyesebel is one of the most important Filipino comic book characters in Philippine history. It was originally created by the Filipino illustrator Mars Ravelo. Lucia is the name of Dyesebel's mother. She was obsessed with collecting and gazing at artistic depictions of mermaids while she was pregnant, so the baby (Dyesebel) was born with what looked like a fishtail instead of legs.  Dyesebel's first appearance in the comics was in 1952.
  • Mermaid Green - Sirena - what a mystical green! I love how the color changes as it shades - it's a very blueish mint green and there's definitely some grey in there. I don't see a whole lot of pink showing up but wow, is it ever pretty!
Sirena is an homage to Mars Ravelo's famous Filipino comics Dyesebel about a mermaid. It is one of the most popular local comics that was serialized in 1952. This beautiful mint green has undertones of grey and pink.
  • Blue Floss - Perya - You know how I feel about things named after food, right? Especially cotton candy, which is one of my favorite things. Sweet as heck, but I like how it looks and the color mixture is captivating, and the texture is soft and perfect. This is my favorite of the bunch. I love the yellow/peach and blue. I can see the cotton candy. I can taste the cotton candy.
One of the most beautiful parks in Manila is Luneta Park built in 1820. It is now known as Rizal Park, named after the national hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal. Very near the pier, many children and adults enjoy blue cotton candy as they stroll along the park. 
  • Violet - Maskara - What a pretty violet! You can see the blue in the shading and boy does it ever shade! It ranges from a light lavender to a violet-blue, and it matches the other three colors in its whimsicality. 
The maskara festival was conceived in part due to the sugarcane crisis in Negros. 1890 was the year the Spaniards split Negros region into two: Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. These regional divisions remain today. 
They're beautiful in clear pens because they're not super saturated. Inks that shade well usually look fabulous in a clear pen, so obviously these have to go in clear pens. I am discovering I don't have enough clear pens for all my shady inks.

I picked up my selection from Vanness Pens quite some time ago - in fact, I think it was at the DC Pen show in 2019?? WOW. Time has flown, how disturbing. Here's their current selection! No commission, I'm just happy to refer you to them. You can follow Vinta Inks on Facebook & Twitter - @inksbyvinta.
Vinta Inks Blue Floss Perya Stole My Heart. 1_RWM
Vinta Inks Blue Floss Perya Stole My Heart. 2_RWM
Close up swab of that Blue Floss Perya!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Aurora 88 Saturno Limited Edition Fountain Pen

I purchased this pen from Appelboom some time ago and because I special ordered the double-broad nib, it took a bit more time because they had to send it back to Aurora for a nib swap. I take the pen for a twirl in the video! Enjoy!

Remember you can use the discount code 'friend' for 10% off your purchase at Appelboom! No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented Ink

The Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented ink is the most recent addition to the James Purdey & Sons collection, following the exquisite and highly delectably scented Single Malt Whiskey. If you have not smelled that one, you must.

The Cigar Brown is a classy dark brown ink that shades moderately. It is not super saturated nor is it dilute - it is just somewhere in the middle. It does not really show any sheen - I find the saturated pools of ink end up appearing quite matte. The color is quite clean and pure as far as browns go - it doesn't really lean to the yellow side or red side. It is on the dry side and is quite well-behaved, and is surprisingly easy to clean. The scent is quite mild and leans to the sweeter side, and is inspired by cigars and influenced by the post-hunting ritual (which I know nothing about. I'm just sharing with Montblanc said). It doesn't linger much on the page or in the pen, but it is nice to the nostrils - at least, to mine. It's not overwhelming like many other scented inks are so if you're curious about inks that have something else to them, it's fun to check out. On the downside, at nearly $50USD a bottle, it's certainly a splurge.

As always, I grabbed my (small hoard) of Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented ink from Appelboom. In case you want something there, you can use the discount code 'friend' for 10% off your, unfortunately, non-Montblanc purchases because Montblanc doesn't allow it. I know, this is a Montblanc ink. There are many other things to shop for! Enjoy!
Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented Ink 1_RWM
Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented Ink 2_RWM
Montblanc James Purdey & Sons Cigar Brown Scented Ink 3_RWM

Friday, March 20, 2020

Franklin-Christoph Extra-Fine Steel Flex Nib

Thank you to Franklin-Christoph for sending the steel extra-fine flex nib for me to check out and share with you. It's a fun nib, especially for $25USD. Worth it to add to your collection to give you some more writing options. I really enjoy flexing it to create swirls and flourishes, and it easily works with no pressure to be a "regular" writer. Get yours here!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

KWZI Sheen Machine - Saturated but Flowy!

There was shimmer, there was shading, and there was sheen! Sheen is that shiny layer on an ink that comes from having a heavily saturated color. The downside to sheen is that, because the ink is so saturated, the flow can be hampered. It can get stuck in your feed and end up gumming up in there. KWZI wanted to create a sheeny ink that would be super saturated enough to give off that radiant glow but still flow well. How did they do? Pretty well. Sheen Machine is a beautiful, deeply saturated blue ink that glows red with ease. You don't really have to use special paper like Tomoe River, a known sheen-finder, and I can attest that it will sheen on almost anything (like my hair, which I one day inadvertently dragged through wet writing. See below!).

Drying times are pretty long, which one can expect with highly saturated inks. I left the ink in my Lamy Safari for weeks and it didn't dry out for quite some time, and it didn't have trouble starting up either, so that's great. Eventually, it will need cleaning and that is not fun. I gave my Safari to a friend to clean and he brought it back a day later with a really distressed look and asked me what the heck I had in the pen. Oops.

It's a really fun ink for popping highlights and writing with flair. I don't use it for writing letters and the such, I more so use it for doodling highlights, banners/flourishes, and fun stuff.

Grab a bottle at Vanness Pens for $15USD! No affiliation, just sending you somewhere to find it!
KWZI Sheen Machine - Saturated but Flowy!_RWM
KWZI Sheen Machine - Saturated but Flowy! 2_RWM
KWZI Sheen Machine - Saturated but Flowy! 3_RWM
KWZI Sheen Machine - Saturated but Flowy! 4_RWM

Friday, March 13, 2020

Waterman Carène Black Sea Fountain Pen

Thank you to Appelboom for loaning me this pretty pen for a review! It's a really nice writer and I really enjoyed it. Hated sending it on to the next reviewer! Check it out at Appelboom!
Use the code 'friend' for 10% off your purchase (excludes Montblanc). No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

I love the Carène model. They are classy, attractive, and write beautifully. Not a bad price, either.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Akkerman Gourmet Pens Pink Ink Looks Fab in the Esterbrook Estie Lilac (100% Unbiased.)

100%. I swear. I have no bias here except for the fact that I picked the ink and I love Akkerman and I love my Lilac and - well, I am biased. That's ok. Just because I'm biased doesn't mean I am wrong!

There's a lot of goodness going on here:
  • The sweet Superior Labor A5 Folio from Wonder Pens, which I bought several years ago and have used constantly ever since. Partially to justify the price to myself, but mostly because it's super convenient and robust. Also, it looks really good in pictures. 
  • The Atelier Musubi Cat notebook, which was gifted to me from the DC Pen Show this year. We literally got there, snagged this (and several others), and I treasure it. I've been making all sorts of plans for it, and whereas I used to be too afraid to use nice notebooks, now I am eager to get in there and enjoy every square inch of it. This particular cover was a special one so there are only a few out there! They're adorable. What's so special about Musubi? This is what they say and I am pretty happy to buy from them!
Built upon the twin pillars of obsessive craftsmanship and an enduring social mission, Musubi is an atelier devoted to the careful, ethical creation of small goods.
Our operations exemplify our philosophy of direct impact:
In Singapore, our bookbinding atelier employs only persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, providing them the employment stability and opportunities they previously lacked.
In Peru, Indonesia, and other countries across the globe, we work with indigenous communities threatened by violence, climate change and political upheaval.
By paying our artisans a fair price for their work, we establish proper infrastructure and employment, ensuring both that traditional craft is not lost to the ages, and that the most vulnerable amongst them — often women and children — have safe places to live and a future to strive for.
The end result: every Musubi creation directly and measurably benefits the least fortunate amongst us. Come along with us as we tell a story with meaning.
  • Live Notes Tomoe River notebook from Pen Gallery - I love Tomoe River. I usually prefer the 52gsm but this notebook is A5 - one of my favorite sizes - and it's so easy to carry around in the Superior Labor folio. Perfect for writing samples. 
  • Esterbrook Esties - you'll see three different ones here, from top to bottom: Estie Regular Lilac, Estie Regular Blueberry, and the Estie Violet Slim. The Slim has a #5 nib, unlike the #6 nib on the Regular and Oversize. I know I say this every time they release a new color, but the Lilac, Violet, and Blueberry are just delicious. 
  • Last but not least, and the most biased part of this is the pink ink. It's my collaboration ink with PW Akkerman in The Hague (the only Akkerman that makes and sells these inks). It comes in the awesome fluted bottle with the nifty marble and it's sexy and I picked the pink. You can get it straight from Akkerman,  Vanness Pens, Lemur Ink, Bookbinders Design, and Laywine's in Canada. 
    • Side note: PWA has have provided a discount code - 10% off using GOURMET10 ⁣⁣(excludes Montblanc, sadly, their Akkerman inks, discounted products, unfortunately)⁣⁣ However. There's a lot of other goodness:
Akkerman Gourmet Pens Pink Ink Looks Fab in the Esterbrook Estie Lilac (100% Unbiased.)_RWM

Friday, March 6, 2020

Waldmann Manager Silver Fountain Pen

Thank you to Luxury Brands for loaning me this pen for a review. I'm happy to share some more information about the Waldmann pens and show you how they perform.  Check out the Luxury Brands article where they introduced the line up!  No commission, just a sweet deal for you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio

I was never really the kind of person who used folios, mostly because I favored notebooks so the notepads never held a place. I'm usually quite organized but I am trying to be more professional and classy about it. Satchel & Page designed this exquisite Padfolio that is super classy so I feel super fancy and elegant when I tote this to events, shows, and meets.

The Padfolio is described as
The old-school executive Padfolio, modernized for today. Ideal for meetings and
light daily carry, the Padfolio has a slot for an A4 letter pad as well as a compartment for iPad Pro 12.9"
I don't have an iPad but I do use a Microsoft Surface Go, which fits more easily than a large iPad. I use the Rhodia notepad at workshops and events where I need to look a little more sensible than doodling in my crinkly Tomoe River A5 notebook. Satchel & Page kill it with their leather goods. The design, craftsmanship, and overall look is spot on.
  • Slot for A4 / letter pad (11.75" x 8.5") 
  • Suede lined compartment for iPad Pro 12.9" (2018/2019 version) with smart keyboard case. The tablet compartment fits any tablet with maximum dimensions of 11.7" height x 8.5" width x .5" depth.
  • British tan calfskin lining
  • 2 business card slots and 1 pen slot
  • Open pocket for loose papers or medium sized notebook
  • Fits inside any of our bags with the exception of the Map Case.
  • 12" x 9.5" x 1" / 1.5 lbs
  • Lifetime warranty
I never used to use business card slots until I started doing workshops and realized they were a handy dandy way to keep in touch with new friends (and pass notes). I used to carry around like ten notebooks at a time, I kid you not, and then I realized I was killing my shoulder by toting so much weight when I rarely used more than one notebook. Now I limit myself to ONE notebook and one notepad. I use the notebook for everything - notes, doodles, scribbles, work, world domination plots, and more. This means I actually use the notebook up quicker than having ten separate notebooks, which I find more enjoyable, and it also reduces the weight of what I am carrying. Sure, it's messy, but I like it.

This is not a piece of leather that softens with use. It maintains its form and shape, which is something you want in a writing folio. If this is your cup of tea, it's worth a look. It's not inexpensive at $195USD but what a gift it would be!
A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio 1_RWM
A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio 2_RWM
A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio 3_RWM
A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio 4_RWM
A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio 5_RWM
A Few Thoughts on the Satchel & Page Padfolio 6_RWM
I received this item free of charge for the purpose of sharing with you. All opinions are my own. This is not a paid post.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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