Fashionable Friday: Match Your Tools to Your Polish

FF-PurplePolish

I’ve been joking around for a couple weeks about matching my inks to my nail polish colors and I thought it would make an amusing Fashionable Friday post. All my friends are dizzy over the reddish purple sparkle of polishes like Darling Diva Ringer and Cirque Coronation so I thought I might find some coordinating supplies.

Do you match your inks to your pen? Your pen to your notebook? All of the above to your outfit or nail polish?

Review: Kaweco Leather Pen Holder

Kaweco Cognac Leather 2-Pen Holder

I recently acquired the Kaweco Eco Leather Cognac Brown 2-pen case ($21). I was excited to finally have a case for my little favorite pens. The cognac brown leather seemed like a nice option to the classic leather 2-pen pouch ($20). It’s designed to hold two Kaweso Sport pens or pencils.

Kaweco Cognac Leather 2-Pen Holder

The case is a soft, warm brown leather. Its quite flexible and feels nice in my hand. The case seems to be designed to hold two pens without clips. I put my Art Sport which does not have a clip and my Skyline Mint which has a clip and it was a snug fit. I think I could squeeze two pens with clips into the case but it would likely stretch the leather or damage it over the long term.

Kaweco Cognac Leather 2-Pen Holder  Kaweco Cognac Leather 2-Pen Holder

You can see its a bit of a tight squeeze with one clip in the case.

Kaweco Cognac Leather 2-Pen Holder

If I insert one pen upside down the two pens fit better, even with one clip attached, so I think this will be my solution for the time being. I love having a clip on some of my Kaweco Sports and not on others so this will have to work.

Since the leather is soft and just a cut slit to access the pens (the stitching is only around the edges), the slit opening might tear or pull. I’m curious to see how the leather looks after I use it for a few weeks. If the color will change and if there is any wear to the slit opening.

I have enough Kaweco Sport pens that I might get the Kaweco Classic Leather 2-Pen Pouch just to compare them and I love the little gold Kaweco medallion included with the black molded leather case.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Includes a Visit to P.W. Akkerman

Link Love Link MascotPost of The Week:

News:

Pens & Ink:

Pencils:

Notebooks:

Misc:

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton (via The Cramped)

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton (via The Cramped)

Rite in the Rain #99 Mechanical Pencil

Rite in the Rain just launched its own line of super-durable mechanical pencils. The resin barrel holds sturdy, durable 1.1mm lead and capped with a gray rubber eraser.  The barrel can hold an extra 6 leads so you’ll always have graphite when you need it.  Each pencil ships with a couple extra erasers as well so you won’t run out. Additional leads in red or graphite are available for purchase.

The Rite in the Rain pencils look like Autopoint All-American jumbo pencils with custom branding which is a good fit with the Rite in the Rain brand. They are both classic and known for their quality so its a good fit. If you’d prefer this style pencil without he branding, you can order directly from Autopoint.

$10.95 each in black or yellow resin, red barrel ships with red lead.

Rite in the Rain 1.1mm mechanical pencil

Review: Pocketable Pens from Zebra, Pilot and Pentel

Zebra Mini Ballpoint Pentel Slicci Mini and Pilot Hi-Tec C Slim Knock

I was in the market for a few small pens to tuck into my wallet, purse, bag, etc. So I used the need as an opportunity to compare several different mini pen options from Jet Pens. The purpose of these pens is to be able to have a pen handy at all times. These are not necessarily the tools I would choose for long letter-writing sessions or for taking notes in a long meeting. I suspect they’ll be used to jot down a quick note, a pone number or email address, a grocery list or an ah-ha moment. Even for those “I just need to jot something down moments” I still want a pen that writes well and hopefully is appealing to use and look at.

I purchased three different mini pens: Pilot Hi-Tec C Slim Knock 0.4 in blue black ($3.30), Pentel Slicci Techo Mini Gel Ink Pen 0.3 mm black ink with lime green brushed aluminum body ($8.25) and Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen 0.7 mm black ink with a “mint green” body (I put “mint green” in quotes because the color is much more turquoise edging to teal then mint) ($5).

The smallest is the Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint at 3.25″ when closed. To use, the cap section pulls away from the tip and grip to extend the pen to 4.25″ (about the same length as a Kaweco Sport with the cap on) like a telescope. This pen feels sturdy and solid like it could withstand tumbling around in the bottom of a bag or a pocket. The Zebra Mini Ballpoint was the only true ballpoint I purchased but it takes a standard D1 refill so I can swap out the ballpoint ink with a Sharbo X gel ink refill. I meant to order one when I placed my order but I accidentally ordered the wrong refill so its being reviewed as is but assume it will be rockin’ the same Sharbo gel refills I reviewed in my Sharbo X. There are eight different body colors to choose from and, since it takes a standard D1 refill, there are lots of options for the ink in both color and point size.

Zebra Mini Ballpoint vs. Kaweco Sport

Next up in size is the Pentel Slicci Techo at 4.5″. It uses a traditional retractable mechanism and features an aluminum barrel with a brushed finish. Generally speaking, I like the Slicci refills. They have a little more grip on the paper than Hi-Tec C ink and tend to need less priming if they’ve been unused for awhile. This particular model is only available in 0.3mm black ink but there are six body colors available.

The largest mini pen I purchased was the Pilot Hi-Tec C Slim Knock at 4.75″. It also features a rubberized grip area and felt like the widest barrel diameter of the three. This was the least expensive option and is available in both 0.3mm (only $3) and 0.4mm tip sizes ($3.30) and a large array of ink colors. Unfortunately, if you hope to refill this model, the only refills available are in red, blue or black.

Zebra Mini Ballpoint Pentel Slicci Mini and Pilot Hi-Tec C Slim Knock writing samples

Despite being the cheapest of the three, the Hi-Tec C Slim Knock is not my favorite pen in this review. Its not the smallest or most pocketable by far. And, for the same price (or cheaper), I could purchase a full-sized Hi-Tec C or Maica. It is the only option for a retractable Hi-Tec C.

The Pentel Slicci Techo has a durable aluminum barrel but its the priciest and very limited in refill options. But its lime green so it will definitely get a lot of use for me. The orange and navy body are also really appealing.

By far, the most flexible is the Zebra SL-F1. The D1 refills make it easy to refill anywhere, the color options for the body are broad enough to suit just about anyone and it has simple classic good looks. Not to mention a minimal $5 price tag.

If you’re looking for a small, pocketable fountain pen, check out my Kaweco Liliput review, the Monteverde Poquito or any of the Kaweco Sport reviews in my Fountain Pen Reviews page.

Tom Hanks’ Hanx Writer

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In the typewriter community, its fairly well-known fact that Tom Hanks is a collector. To extend his appreciation for typewriters to a wider audience, he put his name behind an iPad called HanxWriter. The app itself is free and gives you one typewriter and a clean sheet of paper. In-app purchases give access to other typewriters.

It looks like a nice little notetaker app or a place to start that great American novel I’ve been meaning to write. It even adds those modern conveniences like spell check, exporting to Evernote, email, etc. and copy-and-paste functionality, all while clickety-clicking like your favorite less-than-portable, portable typewriter.

(via TUAW)

Review: Letts of London Noteletts Notebook

 

Noteletts L6 Ruled cover

While visiting Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee, I picked up a Letts of London Noteletts notebook. The Noteletts line is available three sizes, ruled or blank and in four different cover colors. I got the “L6″,  the medium size, which is 116mm x 172mm (approx. 4.5″x 6.75″) and features lined paper.

Noteletts L6 Ruled

The cover of the book is a black book cloth which collects cat hair and dust easily (pardon my dust!) but feels nice in my hand and gives the cover a bit more flex than other notebooks with  leatherette covers.

 

Noteletts L6 Ruled page spread

Inside the paper is a warm creamy ivory color with fine, light grey lines. There are 192 pages which is comparable to other books of a similar size. The line spacing is 0.25″ (6mm)  and the paper quality is above average. It feels thicker than the average notebook. I’d compare it to the paper weight in Paperblanks notebooks but the Noteletts has a bit more tooth to the paper. That might make it a little more absorbent but it also means those slippery gel inks have something to hold onto.

Noteletts L6 Ruled dated rules

At the top of each page is a place to write the date to keep your notes organized. The Noteletts branding is at the bottom of each page — a bit overkill but not too obtrusive.

Noteletts L6 Ruled Planner Pages

In the back is a 2-page monthly planner  spread. Its not necessarily enough room to be a full-fledged planner but would be a good spot to write key dates or birthdays. In the back of the book, there’s also a map with time zones, calling code info and weights and measures. I find it charmingly anachronistic to include this info in the age of smartphones but I appreciate it nonetheless. It makes me feel worldly and cosmopolitan to have this info at hand.

There is also the requisite expandable pocket in the back cover, vertical elastic closure and a ribbon bookmark with finished end. All welcome and well done.

Noteletts L6 Ruled writing sample

In writing tests, the paper is a bit heavier than the average but I knew it would not be as fountain pen-worthy as Clairfontaine/Rhodia. The paper would probably fare best with fine line pens of any variety but the show through was not terrible with the couple fountain pens I had on me today — both loaded with a blue ink, both fine European nibs.

Noteletts L6 Ruled reverse of writing

From the reverse, a little show through is visible and I suspect that a medium or broad nibbed fountain pen with black ink with definitely get more show through and probably dots of bleed through. Its not the most fountain pen friendly paper but its far from the worst. Dry time was  quite reasonable so it seems like a fair trade-off.

The price point for the Noteletts (MSRP is $13.50 for this size notebook), from the tony Letts of London, is up there with Moleskine but it carries a slightly different kind of cache. Letts of London has been making paper products since 1812 and focuses on planners (AKA diaries) and hangs its hat on its English-ness, where Moleskine prefers to tap into it Italian European-ness. I am inclined to be more of an Anglophile so if I had to pick one or the other, I’m inclined to choose the English Noteletts in part for its own heritage but also the cloth covers, better paper and lighter lines. I find the lined paper in Moleskine notebooks much too dark.

Our new sponsors Pen Boutique stock the Noteletts line as well as purchasing them directly.

Fashionable Friday: Icy Grey

gey-aqua

It’s so hot this week that the cool icy tones in this grey and pastel “librarian chic” outfit from Darling Stuff totally inspired me and made me look forward to a crisp fall day that calls for wool skirts and tights. And what fun office accessories I found to go with it!

Review: Lamy Accent Fountain Pen

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen & Packaging

Thanks to Fontoplumo for  sending me the Lamy Accent for review recently. I had not seen this Lamy before so it was a treat to get a “first peek” at it. Its an aluminum body with a soft sheen finish and the center grip section in a dark grey stained wood. The pen is so light in the hand that I would assume the wood is bamboo.

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen box packaging

I’m not always inclined to talk about the packaging on a pen. There’s an expectation that the more expensive the pen, the better the packaging. As the Lamy Accent is in the lower mid-range fountain pen prices, I think its nice packaging. The box is a soft grey paper board with a window that peeks to a metal embossed logo that acts as the box lock. Once unfolded the pen rests on a flannel grey flocked  paperboard wedge. Its suitable for a gift and makes me feel like Lamy cared enough about the pen and the craftsmanship in making it to send it in in a pleasing package.

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen packaging

In the other groove in the package was a standard Lamy blue cartridge which is now installed in the pen for testing purposes. The pen did not include a cartridge converter but one can be purchased for an additional 4,75€ (about $6.50).

When capped, the pen is 5.625″ long. Uncapped and unposted, the pen is 4.875″. The cap screws on to close.

The clip is a shiny silver chrome and is slightly hinged to make it easy to clip to a pocket or notebook. The only branding on the exterior of the pen is on the cap, in line with the clip hinge. It reads “LAMY” in grey-black print. The branding is also etched on the nib but that’s it. It makes for a very elegant and understated look.

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen nib & grip section

I received the fine nib and it met all my standards for a Lamy nib. I installed the cartridge included with the pen immediately and started writing with no issues.

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen posted

The cap easily posts on the end of the pen thanks to a small black notch on the rear of the pen. This creates a well-balanced tool at a sizable length of about 6.5″ . I found it quite comfortable to use posted which I don’t normally do (not even with Kaweco Sports. Seriously!).

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen writing sample

In writing, the only potential issue is that the wood grip section is not particularly grippy. I prefer Lamy pens without the molded grip area but the added plastic at the nib pushes the grip area back from the nib a bit more than most pens I’ve used. It you tend to grip your tools further from the tip or nib, this might be a great pen to try as its really designed for a higher grip. If you tend to grip lower with your fingers touching the nib, you may need to noodle a bit. I found that I rested my knuckle (at the writer’s bump on my middle finger) and my first finger on the black section above the nib and my thumb on the wood grip. It ended up being surprisigingly comfortable but took a couple tries to find the best way to hold this pen.

Lamy Accent Fountain Pen

One oddity was the way in which the pen disassembled. The aluminum section below the wood loosens the nib unit but the pen separates above the wood section. It felt like I was doing something wrong but it seemed to work and reassemble with no issues. It’s just feels a little odd.

Overall, I really like this pen. Its nicely sized and aesthetically beautiful in a modern way. The sort of classic good looks that will age well over time. Which reminds me, I’m really curious to see how this pen ages — if the wood darkens or the aluminum barrel gets any dings or scratches and how that affects its looks. Since I do not tend to swaddle my pens, give me a few months of rough use and I’ll post some photos to see if it changes at all.

The Lamy Accent in Aluminum/ Grey Wood is 65€ (about $86US) and available in EF, F, M, B and Italic 1.1mm. Don’t forget: If you enter the code WAD2014 you get a 10% discount on anything you order from Fontoplumo. This offer is good through the end of 2014.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Fontoplumo for the purpose of review.  Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Inkapalooza & DC Pen Show

Link Love Link MascotLink(s) of the Week:

There are a couple great posts this week about experiences at the DC Pen Show. They are informative if you are curious about attending a pen show in the future but also include references to new products or brands you may not have seen before. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Inks:

Pens:

Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:

Other Awesome Stuff:

Eraser Gift Packaging

Eraser package

Using wrapping paper and a couple card stock wedges to create the beveled edge, Oh Happy Day created a back-to-school package in the classic shape of a Pink Pearl eraser to fill with goodies. I think this is the perfect gift packaging for any gift for your favorite pen-and-paper geek.

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Frankie Magazine Daily Journal 2015

Frankie Diary 2015 cover

The Frankie Magazine Diary pre-order announcement is one of those tell-tale signs that the year is wrapping up and its time to start thinking about next year.

Frankie Diary 2015

This year the book has a light blue linen cover but the inside is filled with another year of lovely pages and inspiring patterns and design elements. The designs were created by illustrator Sara Hingle.

Frankie Diary 2015 inside spread

Inside are 164 pages that include weekly planning pages, monthly planning pages and perforated notes, gift tags, stickers and a pocket in the back for loose ephemera.

Frankie Diary 2015 monthly calendar view

The book measures 210mm x 148mm (approx. 8.25″ x 6″). Pre-order the book for $26.95AU. They tend to sell out quickly so plan accordingly.

Kickstarter: Word. Notebook’s Writer’s Block

The folks over at Word. Notebooks have launched a Kickstarter project for a metal desktop pen/notebook base called The Writer’s Block. It is a machined piece to hold your favorite pen or pencil and either two Word. notebooks (or your notebook brand of choice) or your smartphone. The bases are available in brass, black steel or stainless steel.

Word Notebooks Writer's Block

The overall footprint of the Writer’s Block is 1.5″Wx2″Dx1″H so it will not overwhelm your desk with clutter. Its simple and elegant enough, I could see this as a great way to store pocketbooks, phone and my daily carry pen on the console table by the front door.

Early birds can get a Writer’s Block for $35 if you hurry. After the Kickstarter campaign, prices will go up significantly ($55-84 for the various materials) so if this sort of desk organizer appeals to you, I recommend buying in now.

Fashionable Friday: Black & Gold

Fashionable Desk black & gold

Trends affect the stationery and pen world just as much as the fashion and home decor world. I’ve been seeing a lot of black and metallic gold so I thought I’d create a styleboard that features this stunning combination.

Shown above:

Jet Pens Too Cool For School Giveaway

back-to-school-giveaway
Back -to-School time is my favorite holiday (big surprise). I love fall weather, sweaters and wool skirts and I especially love shopping for new notebooks, pens and fresh pencils. Though not all of us are headed back-to-school this month, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to celebrate this season of fresh starts and new ideas. I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate for Jet Pens to use for your favorite back-to-school goodies.

Just tell me what your favorite part of back-to-school is (or was) in the comments below to be entered. One entry per person. (Comments are moderated so if you’ve never commented before, your comment won’t appear until its approved. No need to resubmit).


FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Monday, August 18, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Tuesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Gift certificate is delivered electronically. Giveaway is open to all, US and international readers!

New Sponsor: Pen Boutique

Pen BoutiqueI’m delighted to introduce one of our new sponsors,  The Pen Boutique. Headquartered in Maryland, the stock pens, ink, paper and leather goods from lots of well-know manufacturers like Edison, Pelikan, Kaweco, Acme, Cross, J. Herbin, Noodlers, Parker, Retro 51, Rhodia, Rotring, Monteverde and so many more.

Pen Boutique also has two retail stores, one in Bethesda, MD and one in Columbia, MD, so if you live nearby, you should definitely plan a trip to visit.

Siign up for their newsletter and receive a $5 off coupon for your first order of $50 or more.

Please stop by their web site and check them out and let them know you heard about them here!

Ask The Desk: The Well-Appointed Desk on Podcasts

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Cecelia asked:

I know you’ve done some guest podcasts–can you post a list of them/links to (or point me to them if I’m missing it). Thanks :)

Thanks for the question, Cecelia! Here’s a list of my podcast appearances. There aren’t a lot but here they are:

  1. The Pen Addict Episode 54: The Chair Of The Desk
  2. The Pen Addict Podcast 62: Lefty Apologist
  3. The Pen Addict Episode 71: Sharpening Rainbows
  4. The Pen Addict Episode 81: You Stole My Wish List Item! – Gift Guide 2013
  5. The Pen Addict Episode 109: I Have Colors
  6. Erasable Episode 10: The Graphites of Wrath

I hope that’s more than enough of me for anyone!

Link Love: Inky Overload or is it Overlords?

Link Love Link MascotArticle(s) of the Week:

A shoutout to Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee for the tip. Tina creates gorgeous watercolor drawings with fountain pen ink. Definitely worth a peek!

And, in contrast to the recent “pens are dead” tirade,

Pens:

Inks:

Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:

Other Stuff:

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