Archive for the ‘Paper’ Category

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Monologue Notebooks And Paper Quality

11/03/2014

Monologue offers a variety of notebooks and was kind enough to send several for review. Their generosity provided ample opportunity to test two grades of natural white paper, the 80 gsm ruled and the 140 gsm blank version. There are pluses and minuses to each.

The form is very well executed for all of Monologue’s notebooks. Details are available elsewhere and there was nothing disappointing in my use of their products. Okami covers the subject very well so head over there for info on those attributes.

Monologue Platinum

Notebooks in this line include elastic closures, ribbon bookmarks, pen loops, and inner pockets. Some have paper with gilded edges for those who like a little bling. The handsome bronze covered notebook above is pictured with a Platinum #3776 Century Nice fountain pen, an eye-catching couple to be sure. All of the notebooks have unadorned covers with the Monologue imprint placed low on the back cover. My favorite is the green Contrast Ruled Notebook with its orange elastic closure that is perfect with orange ink and an orange fountain pen. (Don’t mind me. It’s a seasonal affliction.)

My experience with the paper is slightly different from Julie’s. My acid-free, 80 gsm Platinum notebook showed less bleed-through and show-through though performance was inconsistent. Finer nibs produced the best results and Noodler’s Black with a Lamy EF was perfect. Other inks and pens were almost as good displaying faint marks on the reverse. Diamine Royal Blue, Violet and Aqua Blue as well as Sailor Nioi-sumire are worth recommending. Unfortunately, there was mild feathering with a few inks from wide or free-flowing nibs.

All other writing instruments tested had no issues though they did produce very faint show-through at a level that would not interfere with writing on the reverse. I wouldn’t call it even a whisper and for writing purposes it would be insufficient to bother me.

Monologue Basics

Monologue Basics paper is great for fountain pen ink as well as art tools including light washes of watercolor. The acid-free, 140 gsm Italian paper is heavy enough to tolerate a decent amount of abuse. The texture claims to be rough but I found it quite smooth. The binding is sewn and the book will lay flat, an important feature for the artist. The paper did buckle with paint from a traditional brush, though it did not buckle when using a waterbrush. It really gets down to how much water is applied to the paper. Dry media like charcoal and graphite won’t trigger that effect. Even crayons will do nicely. Journals are made for having fun, no?

A notable difference between Monologue Basics sketchbooks and most other brands, is that the paper is perforated. Detach a sheet and it won’t affect other pages. That makes it easy to remove a drawing that turns out especially well or to hand a sketch or notes to a companion. So much better than a napkin or the back of an envelope and the paper has no issues with fountain pen ink.

Both grades of paper have lots of applications. The variety of sizes and forms is another plus. Monologue should appeal to both those who journal as well as those who make a journal an art form.

More at Pens, Paper, Inks…Whatever! and On Fountain Pens and Life Imitates Doodles.

 

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Links From Trinkets To Birdfeeders To Handwriting

11/02/2014

Fountain Pen Day is November 7. Are your pens ready?

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Assorted Links For A Breezy Sunday

10/19/2014

Need a break from raking those leaves? Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and read on…

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Naming Names And Giving Credit Where Due

10/12/2014

There are a lot of fine people in the pen community. That we know. Then there are those manufacturers, distributors and retailers who contribute to keeping blogs alive by offering their products for review and sometimes sending gifts just because they are nice people. For the record, I would like to acknowledge those who have sent items in the past few months.

If you are in need of supplies, please consider rewarding my enablers with a purchase or two. Thanks, fellow inkophiles, pen aficionados, and paper hoarders. At least it’s a clean addiction, but if you need an intervention, don’t call me. I’m having way too much fun indulging in it!

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Noodler’s, Clairefontaine And A Lamy

09/30/2014

They didn’t walk into a bar together, but they did join forces at my desk. Noodler’s Black, a Clairefontaine notebook and a Lamy AL-Star EF make a delightful trio that is suitable for use anywhere including that bar. Unlike my fancy, schmancy pens, $40 bottles of ink, and leather-bound journals, this set-up could get lost or destroyed and then easily replaced without busting my budget.

What makes these three tools so special? The Lamy may not be the most comfortable pen, but for the smooth nib, a little discomfort can be tolerated. Noodler’s Black makes every fountain pen a winner and gets my unqualified vote of confidence. Clairefontaine paper is good with any ink and available at a wide variety of retailers including Writers Bloc from whence mine came. Put the three together and this is what you get.

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Airmail Stationery Via Amazon

09/29/2014

Do you have a fondness for airmail stationery? That thin, crinkly, onion skin paper has cachet to spare and usually works beautifully with fountain pen ink. A few years ago there was scant supply in the U.S. and I counted myself lucky to have found a tiny quantity that I have hoarded ever since. Today I was delighted to discover several products at Amazon. Are you interested?

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The Stamford Notebook

09/21/2014

The Stamford Notebook Company offered me the opportunity to test the paper used in their handsome notebooks. How could I refuse?

Paul Sloggett, one of the partners, had this to say about their choice of paper:

It is what we use in all our main range featuring around 70 colours and textures of notebook cover, in four different sizes. The paper is a 100 gsm off-white wove. It is so smooth because it is calendered during manufacture.

We also personalise notebooks with an individual’s initials using original letterpress type and bind many different special editions for retailers and visitor attractions.

Despite the blue slant of my photos, the paper has a slight warmth to it that is easy on the eyes and quite neutral under fountain pen ink. The lines are faint and offer a guide, but not a distraction. The surface is smooth posing no obstacle to the flow of ink and nib. Even the finest Japanese nib should glide across it. In my test the paper accommodated a variety of pen widths from extra-fine to medium with aplomb. However, my flex nibs laid down too much ink showing mild feathering and bleed-through. The ink dried well enough with finer nibs, but was slow with the wide and free-flowing ones.  Still it handily puts Moleskine to shame.

So if you like fine or dry-writing nibs, this paper should work well. The notebooks come in a variety of colors with good attention to detail based on images from the website. Free shipping if you live in the U.K. Lucky you!

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