Posts Tagged ‘moleskine’

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Noodler’s General Of The Armies Ink

10/18/2014

Noodler’s Ink has a new release with a split personality. General of the Armies is dark green when wet, but blue when dry. If your pen has an inkvue window or it is a demonstrator, this ink will confuse your senses. For an audience, it looks like a magic trick so make the most of it. Thank the ink wizard, Nathan Tardif, for the admiration you will receive.

As for other inky qualities, it is well-behaved on a variety of papers. No shading with the Noodler’s Dixie #10 Methuselah Ebonite on absorbent paper, but it did shade nicely on Rhodia.  No feathering, show-through or bleed-through on any paper except to a mild degree on Moleskine. The color is green-blue when dry and not highly saturated. Like many inks from Noodler’s, it does not budge when smeared with water. Frankly, what more could you ask from an ink?

Thank you, Carol, for the ink and pen. Luxury Brands U.S.A. has been a good and supportive friend to this blog. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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More Of Those Eclectic Links

06/01/2014

It was a very weird week, but I did find some good stuff to share…

Flashmob Extraordinaire!

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Markings Journals Meet Fountain Pen Ink

04/22/2014

Three C.R. Gibson Markings journals have been on a shelf waiting review for more than a year. To be sure they are attractive which could be the reason they never got properly filled. My used journals are destined for the recycle bin and Markings are just too nice for that fate. But since you guys like paper so much, putting them to the test made a good project for this month.

The first is a Markings sketchbook (MASA-2) with a Monet Waterlily Pond cover. It contains 130 pages lightly ruled on one side and blank on the reverse. The paper is 6.8″ x 8.9″ and held together with large double rings. Line spacing is 7.5 mm and pale blue so it doesn’t interfere with writing. The paper is soft white and has no tooth but does have a somewhat velvety texture. It’s a comfortable surface for fountain pen nibs and good with other writing instruments as well.

Ink did not show through or bleed through so double-sided use is assured. This is a very nice notebook I will enjoy filling.

The two bound Markings journals are the same style though sporting different covers, one leather (MJ5A-1) and the other embossed metallic (MJ5A-3). Each has 240 pages, a storage pocket, elastic band closure, ribbon marker and lays remarkably flat. Both journals look great and are well made for the price though the 6 mm line spacing might prove too narrow for wide nibs.

The paper color is slightly more yellow than Moleskine though the lines are identical in spacing and color. The weight is similar to Moleskine, but the paper seems to be lightly coated which causes fountain pen ink to suffer inconsistent coverage. Some inks feathered significantly and all of those tested bled through except Noodler’s Black. A Sharpie Pen in black performed well, so other writing instruments ought to get along fine with these journals.

These Markings journals are readily available, attractive and well-made, but unreliable for fountain pen use. Since the feathering and bleed-through are evidence of ink incompatibility, a narrow nib won’t improve performance enough to get a recommendation. However, the right ink will write well enough even with a o.7 mm nib.

What’s the takeaway from these pen tests? Don’t expect uniform paper performance from a manufacturer. Frustrating? You bet. Waste of money? Yep. Add to that the variability of ink performance and it’s hard to recommend any brand without reservation though there are exceptions.

Not for the first time this year only Noodler’s Black performed well. It’s reassuring that there is at least one pen on my desk that should write on most anything. However, it is not fun when my other pens are loaded with pretty inks that won’t work with the journal at hand. Better to stick with what has earned the approval of my inks and pens. That makes me more productive and my pens much happier. Go team!

 

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Links To Enliven A Quiet Day

04/19/2014

Just in case you have some free time today…

 

You write the caption…

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A Bargain Journal That Beats Moleskine Paper

01/16/2014

Get your hard-earned cash ready, but it won’t take much of it to buy this Swinton journal. The medium-sized one I bought today beats the pants off Moleskine paper and the photo proves it.

The Chinese paper is heavier than Moleskine and feels lightly coated. No feathering and only the Rohrer & Klingner produced very mild bleed-through. No show-through or bleed-through with the other inks. Even the notorious Noodler’s Blue Nose Bear performed well. Without filling the journal, I won’t know if other pages will perform similarly, but they feel the same. So I am hopeful.

The binding is stitched and the journal I purchased lays flat easily. It has a slim white ribbon bookmark. I like the width of it as it does not interfere with writing like wide ribbons can.

There are four sizes including small, slim, medium, and large. The medium is 4.7″ x 6.6″ and comes in a variety of covers and closures with a pocket in the back. Line spacing is 6 mm, the same as Moleskine, and it has 160 pages lined on both sides. The paper color is identical to Moleskine, but the lines might be slightly more gray though not darker than Moleskine.

I bought my Fashion Journal in an Office Depot and it appears that Swinton Avenue Trading Ltd. is an exclusive supplier though the journals are not available online. They were displayed in an exclusive kiosk next to the pen and pencils. It was fully stocked so this might be a new product, and if so, could wind up on the website in future.

The label is easily removed leaving a clean back cover.

Now here is another reason to give these journals a try. The small and the slim are $3.99, the medium is $5.99 and the large is $7.99. I like the size of the slim very much, but my handwriting is too large for it. The medium comes with either no closure, an elastic band, or a flap with a concealed magnet. I opted for the latter to protect the pages when traveling in my handbag.

My standards are high if my expectations are low and finding an inexpensive product that takes so well to fountain pen ink was a real surprise. The Fashion Journal from Swinton certainly made my day. Yeah, I’m easy.

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