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From The Archives: Pelikan Violet Ink

07/07/2016

Recently I was reminded of the quality of Pelikan fountain pen ink. Here is a link to my review from January, 2015, and below is a photo that was taken at sunset last night. Once in a while, a little drama is in order.

The paper is from a Clairefontaine notebook that loves fountain pen ink.

I checked around and found the one ounce and two ounce sizes reasonably priced at Amazon. Pelikan ink is good in any fountain pen and this is lovely stuff if violet is on your wish list.

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A Bamboo TWSBI? Yes!

07/07/2016

A bamboo TWSBI fountain pen is in the works, but you’ll have to click through to Instagram to see the prototype. It is very cool. Would you want one?

 

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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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World Watercolor Month And Supplies To Get You Started

07/02/2016

Yesterday was the first day of the very first World Watercolor Month. It might not be on your calendar, but don’t let that stop the celebration. Angela Fehr sent an invitation to participate and I’m game. Check out Doodlewash for inspiration and use the #worldwatercolormonth hashtag when you post your watercolor sketches.

If you are new to watercolor painting, Angela has a YouTube channel that can help you get started. Her style is to let the paint do the talking without using pen or pencil to draw a scene first. It’s very loose and exciting to see the colors mix together on the paper.

Another method is to draw a subject and use paint to fill in the color. It reminds me of a coloring book and works very well in a journal. Teoh is an urban sketcher who does it that way.

Want to give it a go? All that’s needed is paint, brush, a container for water, and of course water. Here are some products from Amazon.com to get you started.

If you want to minimize your investment, Cotman is as good as it gets for student grade paint and it is much better than the stuff sold for kids. Student grade can have more fillers and be less lightfast than artist grade, but it’s good enough to get acquainted with watercolor painting. The box can be refilled with artist grade colors as needed.

Just as important as the paint is the quality of the paper. Crummy paper will yield unsatisfactory results even with top quality paint. Buy the best you can or you may never know how much fun painting can be.

For a newbie, a synthetic brush can offer more control than natural hair and provide a good transition from writing and drawing to painting with watercolor. If you are only investing in one brush, buy one with a good point for lines and details. You can always paint with the side of the brush when more coverage is needed.

So there you go. World Watercolor Month and the few tools needed to participate. Are you on board?

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Two Pens For The Price Of One

06/27/2016

For a limited time, Noodler’s is offering two pens for the price of one. It’s a great deal that includes my favorite Noodler’s fountain pen, the Konrad #10 Dixie. The second pen is the Charlie along with a glass eyedropper to fill it.

Carol of Luxury Brands USA sent a #10 Dixie Rebellion Red with a Charlie pen tucked in the Dixie’s box to introduce me to the special. Carol didn’t know the #10 Dixie Methuselah is my most oft used Noodler’s pen so a second Dixie is a real treat.

My opinion of the ebonite #10 Dixie hasn’t changed since I reviewed it in 2014 though the pen has enjoyed more frequent use than I originally anticipated. It continues to be wedded to General of the Armies ink thanks to excellent flow and a degree of lubrication that is perfect for the nib. No reason to stray from such a satisfying pairing.

The resin Charlie was ably reviewed by catbert a year ago and that will suffice for now since I don’t want to delay letting you know about this deal. If you’ve never tried an eyedropper filler, the free Charlie would be a great opportunity to do so. It holds more ink than other filling systems though it has been known to burp a drop of ink from time to time. The Charlie’s clear barrel with no obstructing filler mechanism shows an ink’s color to best advantage. Noodler’s Apache Sunset or Turquoise would be very eye-catching, but so would a lot of other inks. No two Charlie caps are the same according to the insert making each one unique.

The pen models are completely different and so are the nibs. The #10 Dixie has a #6 flex nib while the Charlie has the smaller #5 with a bit of spring to it. The tines don’t open as they would for a flex nib. However, with a little tinkering, that nib can be swapped with a flex nib from a Noodler’s Creaper.

While the Charlie pen has the typical Noodler’s aroma, if less so than some models, the #10 does not. Exposure to air helps with the resin odor, but I’ve read that storing the pen for a few days in a plastic bag filled with baking soda can be quite effective as well. As with all new pens, a light cleaning to remove any residual oil or debris from the manufacturing process is recommended.

Check with your favorite Noodler’s retailer for the two pen plus eyedropper deal. It retails for $40, but it’s a limited offer so grab one while you can.

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Links From Roadkill To Satellites To A Flexi Pen

06/26/2016

An odd mix of links overseen by a skeptical Macy…

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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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