Archive for the ‘Paraphernalia’ Category

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Pen Rolls, Wraps, Kimonos And Pouches

07/29/2015

Anything made with fabric would be my preference for storing pens, especially something soft and silky. My first wrap came from HisNibs.com and I’ve been hooked ever since. Check out this FPN thread for some beautiful examples.

Interested in an elegant wardrobe for your pens? Fahrney’s has several attractive wraps if those from Chan’s Handmade are a little too pricey. There are unadorned, simple wraps available from other retailers if that is your preference. Your pens might not know the difference, but the charm of unwrapping beautiful fabric to retrieve a favorite pen makes it worth finding just the right one or two or three or…

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Putting Old Junk To Good Use

07/13/2015

It took some trial and error, but several old cases and notebook covers are now fitted with new journals.  Some of the paper will take a light wash of watercolor so those notebooks will see double duty.

Leather Checkbook Cover

This leather checkbook cover must be at least thirty years old and hasn’t seen anything but the inside of a drawer for at least twenty of those years. Now it has a notebook all its own.

Passport Case

The passport case worked with a number of journals including those pictured from Rhodia, Exacompta and paper-oh though using Midori inserts transforms it into a Fauxdori. Midori bands hold the journals in place and keep it closed. The lock charm adds a whimsical touch as it floats across the equator.

Leather Diary Cover

This well-used notebook contained a diary from 1986 and a blank pad on the left. The leather still feels soft and inviting, but even more so now with a Rhodia pad and Canson art paper.

Shaver Case

This case was from my son’s first Braun shaver. I think concealing a journal is a much better use for it.

Travel Clock Case

This case is so tiny, it can fit anywhere. Discovering a similarly sized pad with paper that makes nice with fountain pen ink was a stoke of luck.

Not every journal needs a protective cover. Decorate a plain exterior with with washi tape (addiction warning), scrapbook paper, or decopatch. That will strengthen the cover as well as make it more attractive.

Whether it’s called recycling or re-purposing, matching old junk with fountain pen friendly paper creates new tools and makes each item useful again. No slackers in this lot now.

Platinum pens courtesy of Luxury Brands USA. Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Exacompta notebooks courtesy of Exaclair. Paper-oh courtesy of paper-oh.com. Fine folks all.

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A Paperchase Notebook Makes Some Inky Friends

07/05/2015

When it works well with fountain pen ink, Paperchase is just right. When it doesn’t, it fares no worse than Moleskine and with less bleed-through. At the price point, it is a viable alternative and with many inks, it is a better paper for clean, clear writing.

For testing purposes, I purchased the Purple Metallic Notebook (7.5 x 5.75″). It has a textured softcover, rounded corners, and sewn binding that holds 128 pages/64 sheets. This is a no-frills cahier style notebook with only a small, discrete logo printed on the back. Count me a fan of its minimalist but colorful design.

The off-white paper has a smooth finish and pale gray lines, a good combination for fountain pen use. Line width and line color are identical to Moleskine while the paper is slightly less yellow. Half the inks tested produced clean lines and an unusual degree of shading. The other half experienced some uneven outlines though little feathering along the fibers that paper like Moleskine can produce. Bleed-through was evident with some inks, though for the most part only the occasional dot.

Worthy of note is that most inks dried slowly so lefties beware.

Show-through or ghosting depended on ink flow and was evident with all inks tested. Some inks produced too little to be offensive especially when paired with a fine nib. With thin paper, this is common and frankly I don’t mind the look of it. Wide, wet nibs deposited too much ink making the backs of pages less useful. Free-flowing inks may produce the same result. To demonstrate how unpredictable I found this problem, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu and Iroshizuku tsuki-yo in Pelikan italics exhibited more show-through than Diamine Dark Brown in a Platinum #3776 Music Nib. Platinum Pigment Ink showed through the least even with a very wet broad nib. That does not hold true on Moleskine where the same pen and ink made a mess with both feathering and bleed-through.

Confusing? This is one of those situations where matching ink, pen and paper could make Paperchase work well for you. Or you can take a more relaxed perspective and just write with whatever is at hand. Most of my journaling will never get read so it doesn’t matter whether a page has marks from the other side that show through. As long as I am writing, all is well.

For convenience I often carry a green metallic Lamy EF loaded with Noodler’s Black. The duo performed perfectly in the Paperchase journal. The ink did not bleed through so both sides of the paper were usable and since black is highly visible even in low light conditions, I could write anywhere. Thus all of my off-site requirements were met. In addition, the Lamy barrel is a pleasing contrast to the purple notebook cover. Attractive tools do tend to trigger my creative urges and that is a significant plus.

Along with the notebook, I picked up a packet of three larger cahiers (8.5 x 5.75″), one blank, one lined and one printed with a pattern. I couldn’t resist the foldaway bag in the Secret Garden pattern and put it to work immediately. It travels in a diminutive carrying case with a clip that will make it a steady companion for shopping excursions or a carryall for my doodle kit and journals. I managed to stuff it with purchases from two shops plus my daily notebook and writing instruments. Not too shabby at all.

Despite the iffy performance with a few inks, I will continue to purchase Paperchase notebooks. The form suits me very well and the ease of buying it at a local store along with the reasonable price, makes it a worthwhile addition to my paper wardrobe.

All of the Paperchase items were purchased at Staples and are available in several patterns. The metallic notebook was $4 and the 3-pack of larger notebooks was $8. Even my frugal budget monitor cannot frown at those prices, and if he does, he will get laughed at to be sure.

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Goodies From Jet Pens

02/14/2015

Received some goodies from Jet Pens this week.

The Midori MD Notebook paper is very promising with no show-through, bleed-through or feathering from nine inks tested so far. There is a small degree of ghosting on the back of the paper, but it’s very acceptable, even attractive. The plain cover begs for decoration and I have washi tape and Decopatch waiting in the wings. The simple grid allows for any use. More on this no frills journal in future. However, of the three grid format journals I’ve tested this year, the Midori MD Notebook is the most fountain pen friendly of the lot.

The Midori stickers are tiny and about twice the height of my handwriting or one to two 5mm grid blocks in the MD Notebook. Cute for putting a little charm to a journal entry. I purchased a small Kuretake Waterbrush to try my hand at some lettering and for small doodles in my daily journal. The Kyoei Orions Shitajiki Writing Board will be used to protect underlying pages when I use any sort of brush in a journal. This is the A5 size which should work in most of my notebooks. For larger formats, it can be turned sideways to cover half a page at a time. I would have preferred a grid style, but was unable to find one in suitable dimensions.

A small order to be sure, but one that hit all the right notes to encourage writing with a fountain pen.

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Mnemosyne Word Cards And Fountain Pen Ink

02/07/2015

More cataloging of fountain pen inks…

Writing from a fountain pen makes the color much darker in most cases, but for comparison purposes, the swatches are just fine.

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My Core Four Plus One

01/09/2014

My desk is always a disheveled mess except for my fountain pens. Those I keep tidy and at the ready for whenever the muse strikes. However, with product testing, the number of inked pens can grow well beyond anything manageable, so I’m separating the lot into two groups with my Core Four Plus One the most accessible. Others employed mostly for testing purposes have a tray in which to snooze until needed.

Core Four Plus One is a name for four of my most used fountain pens plus one mechanical pencil. The four pens are the mostly likely to get used either for the ink or the fun factor of using that particular pen. The Platinum #3776 music nib is the anchor. For now the other three pens are the Noodler’s Standard Flex, the Pilot Prera Italic and the Sheaffer Taranis Medium. Those four provide a good variety of nibs and pen sizes and changing between them is good for my hand. The inks are Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Black and Diamine Steel Blue. Again this is a good variety for maximum appeal though all of it is subject to change on a whim.

The Autopoint mechanical pencil is the Plus One. It gets more use than any fountain pen since it doesn’t need to be uncapped, can write on any paper, and is erasable, an important benefit for a fickle writer.

When I head out with pens in tow, I have a two-pen case for an intrepid duo or a four-pen case for the whole lot. An Autopoint MP is always in my handbag along with a black Sharpie Pen so I am never caught out without writing tools. A small Rhodia pad completes the ensemble. An inkophile should be prepared, yes?

Do you have something like my Core Four Plus One? If so, what’s in your primary rotation?

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Links From Moleskine To Neil Gaiman To Doctor Who

11/17/2013

If ever there was an eclectic group of links, this is it.

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