Notebook Review: Kokuyo Me Field Notebook

I was browsing Vanness last week, like you do, and I found some cute notebooks that I wanted to try. I ordered the Kokuyo Me Field Notebook ($6.50) in Purple (also known as Chic Plum) and a matching gel pen ($4.50).

The Field Notebook is designed to be a slim, compact notebook to go with you everywhere. The notebook is hard cover, featuring a glossy patterned print in several different colors. Inside the notebook is full of 3mm grid paper, 40 sheets to be exact. The paper is white, and the grid is light blue. The notebook comes in at 3.75″ x 6.5″ (9.5cm x 16.5cm) making it non-standard for “pocket size,” but still small enough to fit most places.

The paper was actually quite surprising. When the notebook arrived and I got a good look at it, I figured that the paper was just fine for ballpoints and gels, but wouldn’t stand up to fountain pen ink. That’s where I was wrong – it did beautifully!

I went ahead and ordered the matching gel pen, the Kokuyo Me Ballpoint .5mm Gel. There’s also an option to order a matching mechanical pencil ($10.00). The gel pen wrote smoothly and the two make quite a nice little set. My only disappointment in the gel pen is that the ink cartridge is actually black, not purple!

Writing in the notebook is a pretty easy experience. As I said, the paper stands up to gel and fountain pen ink. It’s very smooth with no extra texture. The gridlines do show through the ink, particularly the fountain pen ink, if that’s something that bothers you. The notebook also doesn’t lie 100% flat unless held open. I expect that with some breaking in and wear it might, but I did have to hold it flat for the photos.

Overall I can see myself tucking this cute little set into my purse, or keeping it desktop for jotting down notes and ideas. The bonus of the graph for me is that it might hold knitting design sketches as well!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided to us free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Fountain Pen Review: Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black Body Medium Nib)

Fountain Pen Review: Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black Body Medium Nib)

The Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen ($13.50) was a total impulse purchase a few weeks ago. With an Under-$20 price point, it was hard to resist.

The pen shipped in a blister pack which I destroyed getting the pen out of the package. Delightfully, the pen shipped with a converter. Quite generous at the $13.50 price point.

Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black, Medium Nib)

The Meister by Point Slim Liner is only available with a medium nib but at quick glance, the nib looks like it’s the same size as the nibs in the Pilot Vanishing Point and Decimo but does not have any of the hallmarks of the Pilot nib.

Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black, Medium Nib)

nib comparison

When compared directly with the Pilot VP/Decimo nib, it’s easy to see that the Meister nib is rounder while the Pilot nib is more flat across the front. The Meister nib, on second glance, reminds me of the mapping dip nibs which are smaller than most regular dip nibs and much more cylindrical in shape.

Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black, Medium Nib)

I think because the nib is so small, there is a little bounce and flex to it –not flex-nib flex but a little spring. I found the medium nib to be surprisingly broad and wet for the overall size of the pen. I wish there had been an option for a fine or extra fine nib, especially with how tiny the pen is. It seems ironic to need to write big with a pen that’s so small.

My biggest complaint with the pen is the short grip area and distinct step down between body and grip section. The placement created an awkward grip for me so I had to either grip higher or lower than I normally do. If you have a tendency to grip higher on the pen, then this probably won’t bother you.

Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black, Medium Nib)

When compared with other smaller, slimmer pens, it’s easy to see just how slender and petite the Meister is. From left to right in the photo above: Kaweco Special FP, the Meister, YStudio Brassing FP, Caran d’Ache 849 FP and Pilot Decimo.

Meister by Point Slim Liner Fountain Pen (Black, Medium Nib)

With the caps removed, the Meister is also a fairly short pen. The cap does NOT post at all so that’s something to consider. Also, the pen barrel is completely cylindrical with no clip or roll stop so it will quickly roll away given half the chance.

  • Length: 5″ (127mm) capped, 4.625″ uncapped
  • Weight: 12gms capped, 9gms uncapped

Pen Weights

The matte black paint on metal gives the pen a sophisticated but minimal look. The size of the pen makes the Meister by Point Slim Liner fountain pen something that only a select few people might be interested in buying but, for the price, it’s not a huge commitment.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Brush Pen Review: Pentel Extra-Fine Pigment Ink

Brush Pen Review: Pentel Extra-Fine Pigment Ink

Review by Tina Koyama

Last Inktober, I got a new brush pen (previewed here) – the Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen with extra-fine tip ($7; many similar brush pens are available; this one has the model number XFP5F). Although I’d be the first to admit that yet another brush pen is the last thing I need, I still had fun with it then – and I’m still having fun with it now!

The black pigment ink is nearly completely waterproof (heavy applications of ink might require waiting several minutes). The test scribble shown below, made on a Col-o-Ring Oversize page, was swiped with a wet brush after about 10 minutes. Only a trace of washed ink is visible. (Refills are available in other colors, but only the pigment option is waterproof.)

To push ink in the reservoir toward the brush, simply squeeze the center of the plastic barrel. Ink advances fairly fast, so don’t hold the brush over your work as you squeeze in case it drips.

Pentel waterproof ink

Similar to most reservoir brush pens of this type, it has nylon bristles that taper to a point. The extra-fine Pentel, however, has a point that is about one hair width wide – making it the finest-tip brush pen I own. 

Pentel extra-fine tip

I enjoy using this Pentel to see how minimal I can make my daily hand sketches while still evoking a hand. (My mom was a sumi-e painter, so I like to think I am channeling her with these attempts.) You can see that by using the very tippy-tip hairs, I can make a darn fine mark. I also like the dry-brush look I get just before the barrel needs a squeeze. 

Pentel with sketch

This Pentel is a worthy addition to my (admittedly vast) collection for its exceptionally fine point. The waterproof ink is a bonus.

Pentel with sketch 2

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.

Ink Review: Scribo Inks

Ink Review: Scribo Inks

Scribo inks are fairly new to the fountain pen scene and have started to get some attention. While Scribo makes some amazing pens, I was a bit hesitant to try these inks. I mean, who really needs 90mL of one ink?

I purchased samples of a few colors from Vanness, but only a few. The line-up wasn’t particularly impressive – black, gray, burgundy, red, turquoise, blue-black… No sheen, no amazing shading qualities. Boring, safe colors. However, when I received the samples, I was in for a treat.

Verde Prato and Nero Nero were two of the samples I had purchased (along with Rosso Chianti and Verde Mediterraneo) and the two I decided to purchase first (yes, I said first). I purchased a bottle of each from Pen Chalet.

Verde Prato (forgive the spelling error above) turned out to be a vivid late-spring green. Inks that try for this color often suffer from illegibility and eye-searing brightness. Verde Prato flirts with that line but never crosses it. The ink is bright but not distractingly so. It is also dark enough to be quite legible.

Swatching the cards, I found rich colors that behaved beautifully, as if they were made only to compliment fountain pens. Huh. Of course they were. It says so right on the box. Fountain Pen Ink.

As a warning, if you purchase more than one or two bottles at a time, you may earn a mean look from your mail carrier. These bottles are HEAVY.

Nero Nero is a rich and wonderfully dark black. Shouldn’t black ink always be dark? Yes. But not all are. Is it waterproof? You can see a few of my water drops on the card. Don’t worry! They were not tears. Thank you for being so concerned, though! Even after my non-tears test, the ink is still legible although loses the dark color. I would call the ink slightly water resistant. I appreciate non-waterproof black inks since they are typically easy to clean out.

The swatch card of Platinum Carbon Black here is a bit misleading. My swatch of PCB photographs terribly – the ink is actually very dark and rich. I’ve wondered if the carbon particles (lampblack) interfere with the photography.

Nurebairo is another of my favorite black inks, but is actually an extremely dark blue as you can see from the swatch above. This is another impressive point with Nero Nero – black dye (non-waterproof, no particulates) is made of a mixture of very dark primary colors. Many black inks lean towards one color or another but Nero Nero is a neutral black.

Aurora Black is known for its extreme wetness in flow – it can get even extremely dry-flowing pens to write smoothly. The Scribo ink is the same in color but the flow is just a touch on the wet side of average.

When I first swatched Verde Prato, my thought was that Ana (the owner of this blog) would love this color. Bright green is one color (along with almost neon pink) that follows her in life.

I recently purchased my first Benu pen. It sparkles, has tinsel, glows in the dark, looks like an ordinary pen turned inside-out. You know, a pen that makes me feel 10 years old. Well, Verde Prato is the perfect ink for this pen. Verde Prato and the Benu pen have been inseparable since the beginning. With a standard Schmidt nib, I have yet to see a dry nib (it’s a fine nib).

A review of the Scribo inks cannot be complete without talking about these bottles. 90mL of ink alone is 90 grams (3.2 ounces) of ink. But the bottle surrounding the ink is solid glass and brings the overall weight to a full pound before counting in the packaging weight. Luckily, this packaging is designed to support the weight, but don’t drop this bottle on a toe. However, if you do drop the bottle on anything other than concrete, it will most likely survive. Not that I would know.

The stacking feature of these bottles is my favorite part. The base of each bottle contains a notch perfectly sized to fit over the neck of another bottle without touching the cap of the bottle bottle. This creates a stable stack that not even my cats have been able to topple and looks great sitting on my desk. Now the top of the Verde Prato is calling to me to add another bottle…

These two inks will not be my last Scribo inks. I have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the ink and the attention to the bottle design. The only problem I have so far is the inks selling out!

DISCLAIMER:  All of the items in this review were purchased by me.  Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: A Very Dotty Day

Link Love: A Very Dotty Day

I am completely losing track of what day of the week it is. I could blame this on the pandemic but, honestly, I think I’m just suffering from a combination of the winter doldrums and overwork. My day is filled with lots of little jobs and I jump from one project to another. I am sure its like this for everyone working from home. I go from housework like loading the dishwasher to answering email to packing orders to working on a freelance project to making Col-o-ring back to housework and the cycle continues… all day long. Somehow, in all these little jobs, I forgot it was Wednesday.

Luckily, all the blogs I cull for links didn’t forget what day it was and there is lots of fun content this week. The New Parker 51 is available and there are two posts about it. Mountain of Ink has passed 1400 ink reviews.

Lucy decided to help me with making Col-o-ring today and would not be dissuaded until cuddles were given, scritches delivered and attentions paid. This means even my cat is a little dotty today.




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

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Eye Candy: Kaweco x Hello Kitty AL Sport Fountain Pen – Limited Edition

I’m not quite sure why I got bitten by the Kaweco x Hello Kitty AL Sport Limited Edition bug ($158 at Pen & Tool). It was most likely FOMO, but this one was so well done!

This version is a frosted cherry blossom color (“Sakura Pink”), with gold hardware. The nib has an imprint of Hello Kitty’s face and the barrel has both logos and Hello Kitty’s bow. Add a gold clip and this is a sweet little pen.

The pen arrived with a blue cartridge, but I’ve ordered a converter so I can fill it with what I feel like is the perfect complementary pink: KWZ Raspberry.

The limited edition is still available so if this one appeals to you, don’t miss out!

Disclaimer: This pen was purchased with my own funds and all reviews and opinions are my own.

Pen Review: Sakura Ballsign Knock Gel Pen (0.6 mm 5-Color Metallic Set)

Pen Review: Sakura Ballsign Knock Gel Pen (0.6 mm  5-Color Metallic Set)

Of all the gel pens currently available, the Sakura Ballsign Knock gel pens are not frequently mentioned. However, there is no good reason that these pens are not mentioned more frequently. Pentel, Uni, and Pilot are all regularly discussed but Sakura is only mentioned in regards to their Gelly Roll collection. So, let me remind you about the Sakura Ballsign pens. They are Knock-style gel pens with a slightly bulbous grip area and tapers to the short military clip and knock.

Sakura Ball Sign Metallic 0.6mm Set of 5

They are simple, transparent gel pens and they are reasonably priced. Sure, they are a little silly looking but aren’t we all?

Sakura Ball Sign Metallic 0.6mm Set of 5

Sakura Ball Sign Metallic 0.6mm Set of 5

Sakura Ball Sign Metallic 0.6mm Set of 5

This 5-color set of metallic gel pens ($12.50) was of particular interest to me. Most metallic gel pens are wider than their non-metallic brethren, starting at 0.75mm or larger. The Sakura Ballsign Metallic gel pens start at 0.6mm. Metallic gel pens can often take a bit longer to dry so the finer the tip, for this lefty, the better. The colors in the set are standard but a good variety for metallics: gold, silver, pink, blue and green.

Sakura Ball Sign Metallic 0.6mm Set of 5

On white paper, the metallic quality of the inks is not particularly noticeable in photos but is more visible in person. The silver gel pen is a bit light on white paper. However, the great thing about metallic gel pens is that they are often somewhat opaque and work really well on dark papers.

Sakura Ball Sign Metallic 0.6mm Set of 5

On black paper, the silver really pops and all the other colors are equally vivid.

The writing quality of the Ballsign pens write well and are smooth and the knock is easy to use. The price is very reasonable. If you like a little bling in your daily doodles or writing, it would be hard to pass these up. And if you haven’t diverged from the more popular gel pen brands, its time to consider the Sakura Ballsign Knock pens.


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.