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.