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Dogs, Colors, And An Emerald

07/26/2015

An odd mix of stories and videos, but these are the ones that caught my interest this past week.

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TWSBI Eco Review

07/23/2015

If you haven’t ordered a TWSBI Eco, this review might make your decision easier. Dan Smith does a great job of presenting the pen’s attributes along with his impressions. Would I be giving something away if I said the Lamy Safari finally has a true competitor?

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Another DIY Notebook For Fountain Pens

07/22/2015

Re-purposing binders and notebooks was covered recently, but a new idea has emerged in the last couple of days that deserves mentioning.

For some reason, pretty paper sneaks its way into my shopping cart whenever I hit one of the crafts stores or stationery shops. Recently, this very attractive pad of scrapbook paper managed to follow me home. I had no use for it at the time, but realized this morning that folding the sheets in half would make them fit perfectly into a checkbook cover. But would fountain pen ink work on the coated stock? Remarkably well to my surprise. The paper is textured which allowed some of the ink to appear to feather, but a smoother scrapbook paper might not. I wasn’t offended by it regardless. Even a Sharpie worked beautifully and there was no bleed-through whatsoever. So you can write on both sides of the paper and even over the printed designs. Does that not open all sorts of possibilities?

This is how I put it together. The package of Jodie Lee Designs Nature Garden Collection 6″ x 6″ Paper Stack contains 48 sheets and retails for $5.99. Sales and discounts can reduce that to much less. Since both sides are usable and they get folded to create four pages each, that’s 96 blank pages and 96 decorated pages on which to write. All it takes is a checkbook cover to protect it and a rubber band or 1-2mm elastic string to hold the pages in place. Make sure there is a little tension when the band is placed in the crease. If not, the paper will fall out too easily. A second band around the outside will hold it together and even secure a slender pen or pencil just inside the edge of the cover.

Another way this can be assembled is with vellum between the pages for a very fountain pen friendly paper and more room to write. The decorated pages will show through as a soft background to your musings. Torn edges might be especially nice and vellum does that very well.

Has your checkbook cover seen better days? Use washi tape to strengthen edges and cover worn areas. it’s all part of personalizing your notebook.

If you like the scrapbook paper idea, but are a Midori fan, the 12″ x 12″ pages can be cut to fit the Traveler’s version. The elastic band will hold the pages together without having to bind them together. Simply adding a few pages here and there inside a Midori would add a little color and interest.

For less than $5, I put together a new journal with some very pretty paper that works with wide nibs and fountain pen ink. I’d say today was a day well spent.

 

 

 

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Links About Using Pens

07/19/2015

So much in the news wasn’t worth linking to this week. Fortunately, there were a few good bits about writing that are worth passing along.

Macy Strikes A Pose

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TWSBI ECO Now Available

07/14/2015

This is not a recommendation for TWSBI products, but if you were waiting to weigh in with an entry-level model, the new ECO might be for you. There has been discussion about it for months and it finally became available today. I will say that the price of $28.99 for a 1.1 stub is very reasonable. There are no reviews yet so you are on your own. Interested?

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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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Stipula Verde Muschiato Is On My List

07/09/2015

Sometimes a favorite ink gets overlooked for the sexy new bottle on the shelf. With hundreds of inks on hand, it happens all too often here. Fifteen are inked at the moment and many are getting far too little use. Not good for the pens when evaporation uses more ink than putting pen to paper.

Recently while scouring my collection for the best of the old-timers, Stipula Calamo Verde Muschiato earned a slot in my rotation and wound up in two pens. That’s something that never happens, but in this case, it was a valuable reminder of how well Verde Muschiato performs and that it belongs on my list of top twenty inks.

Actually it fell into disuse when its best mate, a Pilot Elite Manifold Pocket Pen, got sold and its second best mate, a True Writer Masuyama Stub, broke. Both were wet writers so it was a surprise to see the even better performance and shading with a dry cursive italic nib, also a  Mink (brown) True Writer modified by Mike Masuyama. This TW has made a lot of friends in the brown family of inks, but Verde Muschiato is the best of the lot though it is more green than brown. No matter. Not every ink and pen need be matchy-matchy. It counts more that the writing looks good which is certainly the case here.

 

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