Thursday, June 21, 2018

Review: @ManuscriptShop Journals - Large & Pocket

Thanks to Manuscript for sending these notebooks for a review! I've had them for awhile as they were switching their paper from the older (fountain pen-friendly) version to the new version I have here.
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ABOUT

Large - Pride & Prejudice, Le Petit Print
Price: $11.00USD
Size: 5.5" x 8.2"  |  A5
Textured cover stock
Page count: 86
Binding: Sewn
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Pocket - 3 or 6 packs - Moby Dick, Alexandre Dumas, Alive in Wonderland
Price for 3: $11.00USD
Price for 6: $21.00USD
Size: 3.5" x 5.5"
Page count: 48
Textured cover stock
Binding: Sewn
Where to buy: Manuscript Shop
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PACKAGING

I like the no-waste packaging Manuscript Shop used - the large journal was not wrapped in plastic or anything unnecessary of the sort. The pack of pocket notebooks had a Manuscript-branded belly band holding them together.

APPEARANCE

The notebooks share the same design - textured, semi-flexible cardstock covers, thread sewn bindings, sharp edges, and cream paper inside. The only one with rounded corners is the pocket Alice in Wonderland notebook. Each notebook has the Manuscript logo and a quote on the back cover. The inside of each front cover has a table of contents with no ruling. This is an interesting choice as the pages are not numbered yet. This could be convenient so you can number accordingly, or it could be a pain if you must number them all yourself. The paper is cream colored, blank, and fairly light.
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The notebooks are quite pretty, especially with the detailed covers. These look great as textured cardstock. They are well made and I appreciate the attention to detail - smooth cuts, clean binding, nice and tidy.

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

I love the sizes of both notebooks - A5 and pocket - and the flat, slim profiles. I love the sewn bindings as it makes the notebooks easy to open fully, write in, and stay flat. Perfectly portable. The textured covers not only look great, they feel great, too. They keep the pages inside nice and safe, unless you bash the corners roughly in a bag, for example. I found the large notebooks a little more flexible than the pocket notebooks.
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The paper is slightly toothy and is somewhat thin to the touch. Pencils do well and are pleasant to write with. The tooth gave the lead something to hold on to - lots of fun for hand lettering and sketching because of the tooth. Ballpoints, roller balls, and gel pens write well but wet inks feathered and bled through to varying degrees. Markers wrote well and feathered less than I expected but there was definitely bleed through. I didn't mind ballpoints because it made the pages feel crinkly and tactile!
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Last but not least: fountain pens. Nope. The paper is not at all fountain pen friendly, not even for fine or dry nibs. I experienced feathering, bleed through, and show through with all fountain pens I tested. This is definitely pencil and ballpoint paper - ideal for on the go.
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PROS & CONS
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OVERALL

These are very pretty, well-made notebooks, great for those who favor ballpoint pens and pencils. I personally tend to use ballpoint pens in my pocket notebooks so that is okay for me. If you are looking for fountain pen friendly notebooks, these are not for you. The prices are not unreasonable but the paper feels pretty thin and is not particularly outstanding. I usually expect around $10USD for a three pack of non fountain pen friendly paper. The extra dollar may be worth it if you like the themes and covers. Given the prices and the non fountain pen friendly paper in the large notebooks, I would probably not buy those.







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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: Laban Kaiser Antique Ivory & Silver Fountain Pen @GoldspotPens

Thanks to Goldspot Pens for sending the Laban Kaiser for a review!

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Review Laban Kaiser Antique Ivory & Silver Fountain Pen @GoldspotPens 8
ABOUT
Body material: Italian resin
Trim: Chrome
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: #6 two-tone steel
Filling system: Standard international cartridge/converter
Converter included: Yes
Cartridge included: Yes, one
Length (capped): 149.22 mm/5.87"
Length (uncapped): 132.91 mm/5.23"
Length (posted): 159.99 m/6.27"
Length (section): 20.62 mm/0.81"
Diameter (barrel): 12.56 - 15.76 mm/0.49" - 0.62"
Diameter (section): 11.32 - 13.71 mm/0.44" - 0.54"
Weight (all): 34 g
Weight (cap): 15 g
Weight (body): 19 g
Price: $95.95USD ON SALE (regular $111.95USD)
Where to buy: Goldspot Pens
gourmet-sbre-100x100-shipping_larger

PACKAGING

The Laban is presented in a black box with a Laban-branded black sleeve. The clamshell box inside is matte black with a soft-touch finish and is branded with "Laban" printed on the top. The inside is grey felt with the Laban logo on the inner lid, the pen on a felt bed, and a single ink cartridge. There is a Laban tag on the pen, a guarantee card, and an instruction book along with the pen. It is attractive but does not seem excessive. I did not find it interesting enough to want to keep it, though.

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APPEARANCE

The Laban Kaiser is a large, pretty pen. It has a round cap and barrel that tapers to the blunt, flat ends. The finial is something to write home about! It's a silver-colored emblem with a dotted base and the Laban "L" logo with leaves in a smooth finish. I think it's beautiful. The clip is attached to a metal flange through a very snug, clean cut out in the cap. It tapers towards a squared-off end and is decorated with some flourishes that really suit the style of the pen. There is a wide metal center band at the end of the cap that is engraved with Laban. The only other piece of trim is a metal ring near the end of the barrel.
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The section is smooth, round, and tapers towards a flared ridge before the nib. The cap, section, and barrel are created from a silky, creamy ivory resin. It is an ivory base with striations that look more clear, making for a very interesting finish that looks way more interesting than just a solid ivory-colored pen!

Although this pen is also available with gold trim, I prefer the cool look of the chrome trim with the ivory color. I don't have many pens of this shape and design, but I like the color a lot.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The #6 two-tone nib is a steel medium. It has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with some flourishes, the Laban logo, Laban, iridium, and an M. It is a pretty nib. Mine had slightly misaligned tines so I was expecting it to be scratchy. I was wrong - it is a smooth, medium wet writer that is definitely on the firm side. It does not skip or hard start. Despite the visibly misaligned tines, it performs very well and offers a pleasant writing experience. My guess is that as soon as the tip hits the page, the weight of the pen realigns the tines automatically and it writes smoothly. The nib is interchangeable with other #6 nibs you may have at home, making the pen versatile for those who enjoy swapping nibs around.
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The cartridge/converter system is easy to use and maintain.

IN HAND

The clip is quite firm but can be lifted. It slides on and off pouches and papers pretty well. It is quite snug so I would be careful with shirt pockets. The section is smooth and the cap threads are not sharp and it is not slippery at all. It is comfortable, just a little on the wide side for me.

Capping the pen feels a little rough. The threads are so fine that they can cross thread. It can be easily undone but it isn't a smooth capping procedure every time.
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Unposted, the pen is large but not too heavy and it is well-balanced. I do not feel the need to post it but the cap can be posted snugly by friction. It feels top heavy and tires my hand quickly.
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Top to bottom: Laban Kaiser, Lamy Safari, Duke Sapphire.
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PROS & CONS

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OVERALL

For $100USD, you could do worse. In fact, I find resin pens with a cartridge/converter filling system and steel nib is usually around $140USD and up. Therefore it's pretty cool to get a large, pretty, well-made pen that performs well at this price. I have not experienced any staining of the material but I do clean it well every time I get ink on it (inking, cleaning). I love the finial and the creamy material! I'd suggest taking a look at this pen if you're looking for a slightly larger than an average pen in particular! If this pen costed over $120USD, I wouldn't consider it but I am happy with it at this price, especially the sale price.




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.
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