Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kokuyo Campus Notebook


Okay, super really sorry about going missing every couple of weeks. [insert excuse here, really it's just procrastination and homework]

In biology class, I need to take all my notes in the Cornell Note format. I had, at first, printed out the format on sheets of paper, but I got tired of doing this, mostly because my printer paper is two-ply toilet paper packaged as Something to Write On. Corporate lies, I say.

So with my trusty debit card in hand, I wandered on over to JetPens and bought myself this notebook (and a billion other things simply because I can't stop myself, how dare they give me free shipping at $25, what do they want, for me to go broke), because it has a nice paper format that I could easily convert into the Cornell format. Hooray, Japanese products!

Anyways, on the left over there you can see a sample of my atrocious handwriting and the notes I take. The paper is pretty thick. I'd say it's about 80 or 90 grams. It handles all kinds of ink pretty well, but it does take quite a while to dry, so just keep that in mind. I learned this the hard way, because I'm left-handed and BLUERP BLAKRN I forget that ink doesn't dry in half a second like it does on dumb, dumb printer paper.

You're supposed to use this in the Kokuyo Systemic Cover, but I feel like it is useless because I don't need a cover for a single notebook, and also the colors are dumb.

The Curves of Fate, 2011
As well, the notebook doesn't always open flat. The way it's bound is pretty strange. You'll have two facing pages in which the left page does not open flat, and then you turn the page and it's fine. It does, however, lie flat. If you don't understand a single word of what I've just said, that's okay. I don't understand myself. Here's a picture of the not-open flat business. The alternating open-flat-not-open-flat business doesn't bother me enough to consider throwing this notebook into the Desk Drawer of Immediate Death, but some people really dislike it. It's all up to you! It's like an adventure.

Would I recommend this notebook? I don't know. Do you want this notebook? Stop asking me questions that I can't answer!

You can purchase the Kokuyo Campus Notebook for $13.50 at JetPens.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Uni-ball Jetstream

A little while ago I made a purchase at JetPens: four Jetstreams and a Kokuyo Campus notebook. I'll be putting up a review of the notebook as soon as I get it back (it's my notebook for my biology notes, and I had to turn it in).

Note that there are only three Jetstreams...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sorry, everybody, for being gone for so long! I've been insanely busy with schoolwork and all other kinds of nonsense. I have an ink review to go up on Friday, and a review on the Jetstream and Kokuyo Campus notebook to come up soon! Thanks for being patient.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


My birthday was on the 15th, and my dad (who is currently on a business trip) asked me what I wanted. I had had my eye on a few pens as of late - all of which are piston fillers - but I finally chose the TWSBI 540. My reasoning for this is that it's fifty dollars.

Wait, I need to let that sink in.

Fifty. Dollars.

For a piston filler.

At this time, I suspect any person who knows what a piston filler to be on the floor and crying with happiness.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

game of thrones house stark crest, completed using a hero extra-fine nib and noodler's bulletproof black. yes, i am a masochist. three hours.

sorry for skipping this weekend! let's just say i've been a little busy.

happy birthday, maria.

portal-themed cupcakes

(i hope you had a great labor day weekend, you silly americans. i'll see you on the weekend.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's that time of the year again

When children and adolescents alike pull themselves out of a warm, comfy bed at a time that shouldn't exist on a good day and trudge to a classroom with some thirty other people who are just as tired and just as grumpy to learn, for goodness sake.

It's not an exciting process. I suppose it's better than doing the exact same thing except going into a cubicle to work a nine to five, but I think I should be allowed to have a moment to mourn the passing of my summer vacation.

(One day I won't ever have summer vacation again. I keep this in mind.)

I start class again on Monday. This does mean that reviews will be slower than they are. I'll do my best to post at least once a week, but I won't promise anything.

I literally just got a fresh package of ink samples from The Goulet Pen Company. So that's some fresh fodder!

A couple more ink reviews to come in shortly. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Black n' Red and Strathmore Drawing Paper

Let me tell you something about being a student.

If you don't remember what it's like, there's not a lot of money in being a student. There really isn't. First, you have to reach a certain age before you can actually get a paying job, and even then you're not guaranteed to have any sort of occupation.

So for me, quality products are not really within my budget. I don't like asking my parents to buy things for me. I just don't. Which is why quality products for affordable prices is incredibly important to me.

Enter: Black n' Red notebooks and Strathmore drawing paper.

Everyone already knows about Black n' Red notebooks, I suspect. I got the wire-bound one, which has a double spiral that makes it feel very sturdy. The cover is hard and only flexes slightly.

I opened the notebook and ran my fingers over the paper and - wow. I was amazed. The paper inside these notebooks is incredibly smooth. I have never touched a baby's bottom, but if I had to compare it to something, I would go ahead and say it's like a baby's bottom.

It's incredibly smooth paper. At 140 pages (70 sheets), it's thinner than any notebook I've used before. The ruling is 8mm, which is slightly larger than I'm used to; my writing is rather small. College ruling is 7mm.

Look at this paper. I wanna take this paper out to dinner.
If you follow No Pen Intended, you'll know that they recently spoke highly of the paper in the Strathmore drawing pads. And I wholeheartedly agree.

I purchased four of the 4x6" pads. Each pad contains 24 sheets of 80 lb. paper. No ink feathers or bleeds on this paper. It might actually be... perfect.

I cut a sheet of 7mm-lined paper to size and use it in the pads. I can't write straight, and you can just see the lining through the paper.

The paper is slightly textured, but only slightly. There's no scratchiness with fine nibs (of which almost all my pens are). I love this paper. I really do.

The very first thing I did was make a chart for all the inks I have reviewed/will be reviewing. I just really quickly scrawled the name of the ink in order because... I'm somewhat organized.

I've reviewed all my inked pens and am waiting on a few pens to run out in the coming days so I can do a few more. Hopefully I'll be able to update twice a week. School starts in about a month and posts will thin.

So let's hope everything goes smoothly! (It won't.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

I ordered some fountain pen-friendly paper (Strathmore drawing pads). When they arrive, I'll do a fresh review and re-do the written one for Apache Sunset. No idea when Ebony Blue will get re-done; I just ran out after finishing a character study.

So, um, look forward to that?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Pens

Here, have a picture of my pens.

They're like children. Nibby children.

Pilot Petit1 (x2), Hero 329, Haolilai (?), Wing Sung (?), Baoer 100, and Pilot Varsity.

Not included, my Lanbitou 329.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Private Reserve Ebony Blue

Ah, the wonders of color-correction.

Private Reserve's Ebony Blue is a pretty difficult color to explain. It's a dark teal, but a lot of the time (especially in wet pens) it ends up being almost black. If you hold it up to a light, though, it has a red sheen around the edges of your letters, especially in places with more ink.

I put this in my Haolilai 850 - which is supposed to have a fine or medium-fine nib, but I accidentally pressed down on the nib while cleaning and it turned into a medium - and it really does not like to feather. You can probably find it feather sometimes, especially on cheap-o printer paper, but otherwise, you should be fine.

The ink is only somewhat waterproof. When I conducted my test, a majority of the ink lifted, but you can still see green-gray remains. It's still mildly legible. However, when I conducted a drip test followed by a soak test, the letters are almost gone; still there, yes, but you're going to be hard-pressed trying to read it.

I doodled with this color a lot. It's just incredibly fun to play with, for whatever reason. I like how it's dark, yet it has that tinge of color to it. Sometimes you want a dark color to play with, and black is too boring after you use it for a while.

You can purchase 50 ml. bottles of Ebony Blue at The Goulet Pen Company for $8.00.

Friday, July 1, 2011

JetPens Haul: J. Herbin Vert Empire and Vert Pre

A couple weeks ago I placed an order at JetPens. If you've never heard of JetPens, I openly weep for you. JetPens' warehouse is based in the Bay Area of California, with free shipping to non-international shoppers for orders over $25. They stock all kinds of goodies. Sometimes I spend an hour just browsing through everything. This tells you how much time I have on my hands.

Why do I mention they're based in California? Because I'm based in California. Orders usually arrive the day after they're shipped. I can't tell you how awesome this is.

So, what did I order?

Look at this lighting! Photoshop and sunlight are the best.

J. Herbin Vert Empire and Vert Pre, and two Pilot Petit1s.

Moooom, tell him to stop hitting me!

 Can I just tell you something about these two inks? They smell good. I took a big ol' whiff of the ink and was so happy. Noodler's sometimes has a strong chemical scent, not to mention Private Reserve. Diamine is usually just okay. But J. Herbin? It's like taking a breath of delicious. Seriously, a breath of delicious.

Reviews forthcoming. Until then, do a little exercise. If you have any J. Herbin with you, smell it. If you don't, imagine what it could smell like.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Noodler's Apache Sunset

Ooh, color swatches!

Ink Samples!

Ink is expensive. You would think it would be cheap because, for all intents and purposes, it's colored water. But I digress.

There's a lot of ink in the world. From the refreshingly cheap Noodler's to the jaw-dropping Iroshizuku, you probably won't run out of ink choices - unless you're looking for some sort of vomit-inducing sparklemess of pain and destruction. In that case, I wish you the best of luck.

Luckily, we have a magical creature known only as Brian Goulet of the Goulet Pen Company. We have a unicorn on our hands, folks.

I'll stop lavishing praise on him. It'll all be for the better, I think. We'll turn to the real star of this post (sorry, Brian).

Ink samples. They are the best thing since sliced bread. And no, I'm not just saying this because it's three in the morning. Ink samples will save your life - metaphorically. I'm not saying they'll jump up and become your Life Alert. I'm saying they're like little 2 ml. vials of water when you're in the desert.

We accept you, one of us.

Brian packaged the ink bottles like he expected them to be flung from the orbit of Jupiter. They came in these little sandwich baggies with bubble wrap, plus this big ol' honking FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE stickers. This could not have been delivered better if they had been brought down from the heavens by angels.

The sample bottles have conic bottoms, which sounds silly at first until you pull out a fountain pen and stare at it. Triangular nib plus conic bottom equals every last drop of ink is sucked into your pen like it's a greedy monster. And when you get 2 ml. to work with, that's a good thing.

So what did I get? Hold onto your eye sockets, my friends, this is a big one.

Diamine Indigo, Marine, Sherwood Green; Noodler's Air Corp Blue-Black, Apache Sunset, Kung Te-Cheng, Purple Wampum, Squeteague; Private Reserve Avacado (I shudder every time I need to type it like this), Black Cherry, Ebony Blue; and Sailor Jentle Grenade.

It was a very exciting experience, let me tell you that.

I currently have Ebony Blue in my Haolilai 850, and Apache Sunset in my Baoer 100. They've been excellent so far. I can't stop doodling.

But this brings me to my doodle...

It's a big issue.

(Sorry about the subpar photography. It's very late. And because it's late, there's no sun. Also, my desk is not a very good lightbox. This will be fixed soon... with an actual lightbox.)

On the Pen Triangle

The problem with liking stationery is that a lot of things can hit you while you're still reeling.

See, most enthusiasts know that fountain pen usage is kind of like the fire triangle. You need three things that coexist perfectly before a flame can start. For us, though, what we do not need are equal amounts of oxygen, fuel, and heat (I mean, generally).

We like our fire triangle to consist of a lot less fire and a lot more pen, paper, and ink.

Which brings me back to my first point.

When you start falling into the addiction of pens, you're gazing so intently on them that you don't see Ink coming at you with a baseball bat named Love Me, Please. And before you know it you're looking at pens and ink. Don't get me started on paper. Paper is a damsel in distress that waves at you from her high tower while you grit your teeth.

What I'm trying to say is, one minute you're looking at pens, the next you're looking at ink, and before long you're sobbing into your keyboard while you put one more notebook into your shopping cart.

It's disconcerting. It's terrible. And I am okay with that.

(I don't do the sobbing part. Usually.)

But there we go. This is the conundrum that plagues us enthusiasts.

Funnily enough, we've all pretty much accepted it.