Posts Tagged ‘exacompta’


Putting Old Junk To Good Use


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 Fine folks all.


These Links Are For You


Just a few but they are good ones…


Links to Brighten a Winter Weekend


There is a mishmash here but definitely themed for the coffee drinking writer…


Inkophile’s Favorites for 2010


Some new, some old, here are a few of my favorite things…

  • Rohrer & Klingner Ink – Two colors have been in my cabinet for years so this was not a brand new find. However, when Pear Tree Pens began to offer it this year, I started to expand my collection and am happy to report R&K has earned several places in my regular rotation. Solferino, Verdigris, Alt-Goldgrün, and Magenta are my current favorites but Morinda and Blau Permanent are not far behind. The palette is a well-round offering with something for every need. At $12.50 for 50ml the cost is in my acceptable range especially considering the quality.
  • Iroshizuku remains the ink that tops my guilty pleasures list. For color and performance this one is hard to beat. Ku-jaku joined my collection this year and instantly won a place on my favorites list displacing several turquoise and aqua inks.
  • J. Herbin Ink continues to be my mainstay. There isn’t a dud in the bunch plus they are exceptionally easy to clean from a pen. Lie de Thé is my favorite and most-used brown with Poussière de Lune in my rotation nearly as often.
  • A sample of the Rhodia dotPad (courtesy of Karen at Exaclair) quickly earned a place in my paper arsenal along with anything from G. Lalo now that I’ve tried various weave samples from Jean Elie at Pen and Co.
  • For calligraphy or flex nib practice, Clairefontaine French-ruled paper rules here. Thick, juicy ink lines dry slowly but it is definitely worth the wait.
  • This was a lean year for me when it comes to new pens but a Noodler’s Fountain Pen was a nice addition to my collection. I am fond of ebonite so that added to its appeal.
  • Courtesy of the generous Peggy Love (who also insured I have a lifetime supply of Apica Journals), I got my hands on a trio of Levenger True Writer Rollerballs with Fiber Tip refills. They won’t replace my fountain pens but they certainly are convenient and very easy on my hand. These pens are useful for writing situations that include frequent stops and starts since they do not have to be capped as quickly as a fountain pen. I have enjoyed filling pages with doodles and even managed a bit of line variation by playing with the angle at which the nib contacts the paper. A girl’s gotta have fun, you know?
  • An old favorite has taken up residence in the number one position in my rotation and it isn’t a fountain pen. Shocked? Well, sometimes you’ve just got to go with what’s convenient and a mechanical pencil is hard to beat. No uncapping, no flow issues, no muss, no fuss. While I only use it for notes to myself, that is what I write most often so why not use the best tool for the job? Besides anything that works on a Post-It gets high marks from me. After trying several mechanical pencils, I’ve concluded that my old Autopoint Jumbo All-American Pencil, with a 0.9mm HB lead, is just right. Because the wide lead does not dig into paper, it erases easily. Unlike my other MPs, the lead has never broken. Not once! While that is in part attributable to the chunky lead, it is also a result of the design of the pencil. Years ago I bought the ivory and the red. The former blends in while the latter stands out. Both are winners in my book.


Inkophile's Favorite Products for 2010

Inkophile's Favorite Products for 2010


So that’s my list of new or rediscovered items for 2010. Unlike in years past my regular rotation remained the same led by a Sailor Sapporo, a 1911 and a couple of Pilot Pocket Pens. The Pilot 742FA and Montblanc 220 OB are off for repair so we shall see how they work out on their return in January. There is one Lamy Safari with a custom cursive italic nib that is always inked with Montblanc Racing Green. It remains my #1 writer though I wish the nib had a snazzier body. Two Namiki Falcons with soft fine nibs are always close at hand and a Levenger True Writer is usually inked as well. That makes my core rotation total seven pens, give or take a True Writer or two.

Inks come and go but I am consistently pleased with Waterman Blue Black in my vintage pens especially those with flexible nibs. At the price point and with its easy availability, WBBk is an excellent match for pens that go through a volume of ink. It is also a good one to include with a gift pen. It won’t cause damage and it writes well from any nib. If the recipient loves it, a new bottle can readily be found.

Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis Habana, and Apica continue to be my favorite brands of paper. Triomphe and G. Lalo are excellent stationery though often I use a lined Rhodia pad for casual letters. For variety I have a few pads of Japanese paper that are lovely with even the roughest nibs. Lastly my stock of the long discontinued Exacompta Black Block is waning so I don’t use it as often as I would like though it has a softness that suits me perfectly. If you run across this one, do let me know. I would love to add a few tablets to my reserves.

So that’s my list of favorite things. Rumor has it that Santa just might have on his sleigh one of the new Noodler’s flex nib pens with a bottle of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. Yeah, I know. That’s a mouthful but can you picture that pair? The demonstrator (clear) model with plum ink should be lovely. Hopefully, it gets delivered to the right home. I don’t think any of my neighbors would appreciate this dynamic duo but I could be mistaken…maybe…


Top Ten Posts at Inkophile


Ranking is based on WordPress tracking of page views over the last twelve months.

  1. Field Notes Journals or Moleskine Cahier
  2. Favorite Fountain Pens
  3. The Rhodia Webnotebook vs Moleskine Journal
  4. Moleskine Meets J. Herbin Vert Empire
  5. Favorite Inks
  6. Italic Handwriting with Fountain Pens
  7. Iroshizuku Ink Swatches
  8. Pen, Paper and Ink Finds for 2009
  9. Favorite Stationery
  10. Exacompta “Basics” Sketch Book

My lists of favorite pens, inks, and stationery received some overdue updates today so those are current. Lots of new products on hand to test though so those lists are subject to change any day. Yes, I am a very fortunate inkophile.


Pen, Paper and Ink Finds for 2009


It only takes a brief glance around my office to see that I have tons of great products to enjoy. Many were new to me this year though a few sat around far too long before getting a chance to play.  All of this turned out well in the long run, as I am enjoying them immensely now.

So here is a list of some of the best things that became Inkophile favorites in 2009.

  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen – Whether used with pigment ink or J. Herbin Lie de Thé, this pen is great fun.
  • Pilot Elite Pocket Pen with a soft fine nib – For everyday writing with a little variation, this is my ideal pen.
  • Waterman Deluxe Carene Stub – A sturdy, well-balanced pen that lends an italic flair to my writing.
  • De Atramentis Sepiabraun – In my Namiki Falcon it produces both shading and outlining.
  • De Atramentis Stihlblau – A bright medium blue with a little green in it. It’s a happy color.
  • Diamine Vermillion – A watercolor-like orange-red that isn’t shy.
  • Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo – An almost dark blue ink with a hint of green and great flow.
  • J. Herbin Perle Noire – I am not a fan of black ink but this one won me over.
  • Montblanc Racing Green – Every time I use this ink it looks made for me. My new signature color.
  • Noodler’s Red-Black – Defies description but does resemble aged brick, sort of.
  • Private Reserve Orange Crush – Deep red-orange that can produce writing that is orange at the top of each letter but red at the bottom.
  • Sailor/Pen Gallery Uranari Green – This is a limited edition that is easily my favorite green ink for 2009.

Even with all this expansion to my collection, there remain two holes that I hope to fill in 2010: a light-weight stub nib and a full flex nib, preferably 14k with converter fillers and long enough to use without posting. The maker matters less than the quality of the nib. There may come an ink or paper that catches my eye as new product is released during the year but the pens are what I would use most.

So those are my new favorites and my wish list for next year. How about you? Any standout favorites from 2009? What will you look for in 2010?

(Note that more than a few items on my list were gifts from Karen Doherty at Exaclair, Inc., U. S. distributor of J. Herbin, Exacompta, G. Lalo, and Clairefontaine. De Atramentis Stihlblau was a gift from Ryan Roossinck of The Pear Tree Pen Company. Several inks were gifts from friends who had no connection to any retailer or product line at the time the gift was sent. A very big thank you to all of my generous friends. You have introduced me to products that will be favorites forever.)


Planners – What Works for You?


Are your thoughts turning to a 2010 planner or calendar? Yesterday I made it to the local art store for a Day Runner calendar that attaches to the fridge and suffices for a family planner. Simple and easy even for the Luddites amongst us but that isn’t enough for me. I need portable tools as well.

Long before I heard of Exaclair, I purchased a red leatherette covered planner “made in France for Barnes & Noble” hoping it would play nice with my fountain pens. Of course, the Exacompta Daily Pocket Diary delivered to perfection. The 3 1/2 x 5 1/4″ size was a good introduction to keeping a daily journal when I no longer need it as a planner. It still looks pristine and someday I will find a new use for it now that I need something larger for daily use.

Then a few years ago I adopted a 2 3/4 x 4 3/8″ red (again) leather Scully Personal Planner as my go-everywhere tool to keep track of appointments on the fly. The five lines per day format suits my needs nicely. The diminutive size adds zero weight to my handbag and fits in a pocket when needed. An Apica CD5 is tucked in the front flap for notes. Hardly an elegant solution but it works perfectly with all those little appointment cards doctors’ offices hand out. Sadly, the paper quality is inconsistent from year to year but I use a pencil in it so it doesn’t really matter to me.

My favorite though is the Exacompta Journal 21. I had one for 2009 courtesy of Karen at Exaclair and the paper quality makes it a joy to use with fountain pens. The page-per-day format is great for everything from keeping track of appointments to use as a daily journal. If one journal would do the job for me, this is the one.

A planner I’ve only tested is the Quo Vadis Equology Minister. Check out Laurie’s review at Plannerisms for all you need to know about the Minister then read my comment at the end of her review. The bleed-through would make it less than ideal though I do love the form factor and the texture of the paper. I like to use a pencil in my planner so the incompatibility with fountain pen ink wouldn’t deter me.

Now you know what works for me. How about you? What fits your lifestyle? Does a planner have to be best friends with your fountain pen? Or do you need a paper that holds up well to frequent erasing? What works for you?

Note: There are two versions of the Minister and my comments are about the Equology version that has recycled paper. The 90g version of the Minister has fountain pen friendly paper.

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