Archive for the ‘Paraphernalia’ Category

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Zebra Mini Ballpoint Pen

07/17/2016

When space is scarce and tiny tools are in order, the Zebra Mini Ballpoint could be the perfect fit.

At 3.25 inches closed, this pen can fit in the smallest of spaces. It extends to a useful length of 4.25 inches when it is time to go to work. Pair it with a mini journal for a truly pocket-sized traveling companion.

Zebra Mini Ballpoint (BA55):

  • Sturdy metal barrel – no plastic parts
  • Rated as fine but writes extra fine
  • Ink dries quickly
  • No cap to lose
  • Very little pressure needed to write a consistent line
  • Narrow barrel isn’t the most comfortable, but okay for lists or short passages
  • Pen available in black, gray, white, silver, pink, light blue, mint green and navy
  • Ink refills available in black, blue, red and green
  • Close the barrel and twist off the tip to install a refill
  • Small enough to fit in some wallets

Sometimes really small is just right.

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A Good Deal On Washi Tape And A Pentel Touch Pen

07/13/2016

Washi tape is a quick and easy way to add a decorative element to a journal, but much of it is wide and can overpower small pages. When I found three rolls of narrow tape from MT for under $5, resistance was futile. Then I was offered a Pentel Touch felt tip pen (SES15N) that flexes from extra fine to very broad and is ideal for whimsical or calligraphic lettering. For about $10, hours of entertainment was assured.

A Midori Traveler’s Notebook #013 with Tomoe River paper offered to provide a playground. Now washi, pen and paper are fast friends. Sometimes the pen sits out a round which allows a vintage Pilot Elite ‘Isaac Newton’ pocket pen loaded with Noodler’s Black to take a turn. The black and silver theme is rather deco-looking and I am smitten.

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Links From Ice Cream To Spaghetti

07/03/2016

Avoiding the pit of politics wasn’t easy this week, but there were a few bright spots on other subjects…

Playing with your food ain’t what it used to be:

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Paper Mate Liquid Flair Pens

06/24/2016

Recently, Ed Jelley wrote about Paper Mate Liquid Flair Felt Tip Pens and that was enough to persuade me to purchase a set of eight colors. They won’t replace fountain pens, but they are a handy way to put ink on paper.

The pens are plastic and lightweight, but with enough girth to feel comfortable in my hand. The top snaps on rather loudly and firmly and can be posted without overbalancing the pen. The nib produces clean lines and glides easily with just a hint of feedback. In fact it quite nearly skated over the Midori #013 Tomoe River paper. Adjusting the speed at which I wrote improved control. The smooth, juicy flow produces strong coverage, but dries a little slowly with the medium nib on Tomoe. A more absorbent paper speeds the drying time to a second or two.

The reusable pouch states that the colors are vivid and with that I would agree. The blue has a lot of red in it and dries with a sheen you might expect of fountain pen ink. It wasn’t evident  except where ink puddled, but still impressive when it did happen.

Turquoise, green, orange and pink are reflective catching the light at some angles. However, those colors aren’t as strong as the other four. Black, purple and deep red are very saturated and matte in comparison.

The black will likely find a regular home in the pen box on my desk. The dark red is a rich color and good contrast for the black, so it is headed for the box as well. Turquoise is usually an easy sell for me, but this one is a bit more pale than my preference. However, for the convenience of a felt tip, it will have its opportunities.

None of my fountain pens felt displaced or jealous. Big yawns mostly. However, Paper Mate has done a creditable job of bringing a useful felt tip to market with the Liquid Flair. Besides the attractive colors and comfortable form, these pens should weather the summer heat without fuss. Don’t tell my fountain pens, but that will keep the Flair pens on my desk for months to come. Instant starts and no dried out nibs sound very appealing after last week’s hundred degree days.

My kit of Liquid Flair pens came from Amazon along with the Traveler’s Notebook #013 used for testing. But here’s an idea worth considering. These pens would write very well in those notebooks that can’t handle fountain pen ink. Finally, that stack of Moleskines might get put to use. My FPs certainly won’t mind since they know inferior paper is beneath them. Who can argue with such clever little devils?

 

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Pencil Board As Part Of My Summer Kit

06/14/2016

Oops. Forgot to include the Taroko pencil board in the list of resources for my summer kit. It’s a helpful tool for use with the Midori Traveler’s Notebook #013 or any Tomoe River paper journal where thin paper lets the grid show through. The board is flexible so it won’t make a floppy journal rigid, but it will add a little firmness. Sometimes I use small colorful binder clips to keep it in place. Taroko boards come in several sizes and are one of the few such products tailored to Traveler’s Notebook dimensions.

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Paper, Pens And Summer

06/13/2016

It only took a couple of 90 °F days to signal summer is on its way and it is time to reduce my writing tools to an uncomplicated few for the season. This is a simple feat I attempt every year with varying degrees of success. Annual modifications are often suggested by new products, but also by rediscovering good things from past summer kits. It is a mix of both this time.

This year it will be two Midori Traveler’s #013 Notebooks with Tomoe River paper, one as a journal and the other for ink and watercolor experiments. A grid pencil board will help with writing level and drawing squares for color swatches. I haven’t settled on a cover yet though a lightweight leather or a colorful fabric hold the most appeal. Last year I purchased a fabric cover from DesignsbyRamona107 on Etsy, but I’d like something different for the next few months.

For long term, keep forever notes, a journal from Paper for Fountain Pens will get pressed into service. The bound format is perfect for the purpose and it was a gift which makes it extra special.

My rotation will dwindle to five or so as the currently inked pens empty. However, testing new colors will fill several pens and no doubt the crew will return to a dozen by summer’s end. Incoming inks from Noodler’s will keep things lively and fresh along with several from last year that have yet to be reviewed.

The Platinum Century pens with the Slip & Seal caps endured the heat last year better than other pens and will see duty throughout the summer. A medium and a broad nib will provide variety. Though not in the same class, the TWSBI 580 and the Conklin Duragraph 1.1mm will represent the italic nib range along with the Platinum #3776 music nib just because it is my favorite.

Although they aren’t in the right pens yet, the inks most likely to be in the rotation are

  • J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis
  • Sailor Peach Pink
  • Stipula Calamo Sapphron
  • Diamine Meadow
  • Diamine Aqua Blue
  • J. Herbin Vert Reseda

All are evocative of summer’s sun bleached hues, but a deeper blue might be needed for business. Noodler’s General of the Armies, Diamine Mediterranean Blue or Pilot Blue-Black are likely candidates. Platinum Pigment Blue in the Platinum Century Chartres Blue or Waterman Florida Blue in the Pelikan M400 would be more conservative duos should the need arise.

To mix things up a bit, I’m going to order a set of Papermate Liquid Flair pens on Ed Jelley’s recommendation. Fountain pens may dry out in the summer heat, but these porous tip pens shouldn’t. Add to that an Autopoint mechanical pencil and a medium Sharpie Pen and my tool kit will be more than adequate for the months ahead.

Do you reorganize for summer? If so, how do you do it?

Resources mostly through my Amazon Affiliate link:

Macy interrupted the photo shoot to see what I was up to that did not include her.

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What Do Ink Samples And Shotgun Shells Have In Common?

05/26/2016

They both fit in a 25-round multi-gauge ammo box from MTM Case-Gard. There are other configurations and sizes, but this box has a removable grate that keeps the vials from wiggling around. It comes in green and clear smoke with model number #S25D or #S-25-12D.

I learned about ammo boxes on FPN and ordered a few from Amazon at $4.50 a piece. Now my samples are sorted by brand though I might switch to color in future. My test tube racks have been retired as the ammo box is much more useful for storage purposes. Kudos to whoever discovered this find and posted about it on FPN.

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