Link Love: Still Thinking of Atlanta

rp_link-ana11111.jpgPens:

Ink:

Notebooks and Paper:

Planning and Organization:

Other Cool Stuff:

More Atlanta Pen Show Recaps:

Review: Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5 Cartridge System

Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5

My gateway pen was the Pilot Precise V5. I’ve always had good results with it and found it to be one of my favorite big box store pens. Sadly, they are disposable plastic pens. I had always hoped there would be a way to refill them. And now there is! The V5 Hi-Tecpoint 0.5 Cartridge System (Way to come up with a confusing naming convention there, Pilot!) is the answer.

The V5 Hi-Tecpoint uses the same Pilot cartridges as Pilot’s fountain pens which means the pen could be fit with a converter as well. I believe either the Con-20 or the Con-50 should fit but you could also syringe fill the cartridge the came with the pen.

Aesthetically, the pen is the same round, straight barrel as the original V5 Precise. The clip is plastic rather than metal though. There’s new branding graphics which I’m lukewarm about but giant graphics on pens seem to be standard operating procedure for pens under $25 so I can’t fault them for going with the trend.

Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5

On my first test run, I removed the stock black ink cartridge and replaced it with a colored ink cartridge from the Pilot Mixable Color set for the Parallel Pens. I chose the violet cartridge. I was not sure how effective running water through it would be for removing the previous ink color so I just swapped out the cartridges and scribbled for about a half a page until the ink color shifted from black to purple.

Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5

The Parallel ink cartridge seems to work fine in the V5 Hi-Techpoint. I had no issues with flow or feathering so I feel pretty confident that I can jump to standard fountain pen inks next. Can I tell you how excited I am about this?

If you’re looking for a refillable rollerball that can take fountain pen ink, for $3.20 this is as good an option as the J. Herbin and gives a considerably finer line. The Hi-Tecpoint is also available in the V7 0.7mm version if you perfer a bolder line.


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.

Kickstarter: Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal Notebook

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

When I heard about the Bullet Journal Kickstarter campaign last fall, I jumped in with both feet. First and foremost, to support a project that has benefited a lot of people. But secondly, in hopes of getting a grasp on the concept of Bullet Journaling. I am starting to wonder if I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t quite understood how Bullet Journaling works. I hoped that by backing the project, I’d receive enough documentation and instruction to make the system make sense to me. I received the backer-only documentation earlier in the Kickstarter campaign and I printed it out but just reading through the material didn’t make it all gel in my brain.

So today, I watched the original introductory video to the Bullet Journal system again in hopes that the whole Bullet Method might finally stick into my head. I’m  think I need to just jump in and try the methods outlined on the video and on the web site and then hope that the details fill themselves in for me.

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

I just received my special edition Bullet Journal notebook created by Leuchtturm 1917 for the Bullet Journal Kickstarter and it has a lot of really nice features included. There are three ribbon bookmarks to mark multiple spots in the book as you work as well as pre-printed pages for the index, page numbers (which is a feature of all the Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks) and a guide to using the Bullet Journal system printed in the book. The remainder of the pages of the book feature page numbers and a light dot grid for maximum flexibility.

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

The notebook is a standard Leuchtturm 1917 Medium size (145 x 210 mm) with 80 gsm “ink-proof” paper and 240 pages. The paper is the warm white used in standard Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks. Its a pleasing creamy color that is not stark white but not some yellow-y as to alter ink colors dramatically. In the back of the book is the standard Leuchtturm 1917 pocket and the notebook has a vertical elastic to keep it closed.

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

The dot grid appears in light grey dots and is pretty unobtrusive which is how guides should be. The spacing is 5mm between the dots.

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

There are three bookmarks in the book – a white, black and grey – all from a textured grosgrain ribbon. I don’t think there’s quite enough color contrast between the grey and the black but I appreciate that they’ve added additional bookmarks to mark varying places throughout the notebook.

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

Hopefully the “unlimited” edition will soon be available for sale to folks who did not get the opportunity to back the Kickstarter campaign but are interested in trying the Bullet Journal system in this custom-designed notebook.

If you want to try the system for yourself, visit the Bullet Journal web site to learn how to turn any notebook into a Bullet Journal.

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal

Put Those Refills to Good Use

I like to liberate refills from the assorted plastic pens I have accumulated over the years. These are all those gel pens I’ve purchased over the years from Jet Pens. While I love the flow of the refills, the lackluster plastic barrels leave me wanting.

I started opening each plastic pen and discovering that they are almost always a standard sized refill like a Pilot G2-sized or Hi-Tec C-sized. There are also far more colors and point sizes available in the full pens than in most refill-only options. Red, blue and black are fine for many folks but I want to be able to choose orange, evergreen, turquoise or purple, if the mood strikes.

By hacking the refills out of plastic pens, I created  an almost unlimited supply of potential refills for my favorite pen bodies. And by using these fine gel refills, I have catapulted certain pens into EDC pens because now they are not only beautiful and comfortable but can contain the exact right refill for me.

Render K pen hack

This habit started with Karas Kustoms and the Render K and RETRAKT pens. The lengthy list of possible refills led me to create the Refill Guide and really start experimenting with trying different refills with different pens.

Render K pen hack

I even save the springs in a plastic retractable to help stabilize a refill in a machined pen. If the refill fits but is too long, trim it down with a pair of sharp scissors. Empty refills can be trimmed to add length to a too-short refill to fit into a different pen as well. With each plastic pen costing less than a couple bucks, its not a tragedy if you make a mistake.

Happy hacking!

DIY Envelopes & Liners

(photo by the Hallmark Photo Studio)

(photo by the Hallmark Photo Studio)

Today, the Hallmark.com featured a tutorial and free printables designed by me! Visit the site to find out how to make an envelope liner for your Mother’s Day card or even make your own envelope using found papers like gift bags and wrapping paper.

(via Hallmark.com)

On a Personal Note…

Milo

Since returning from the Atlanta Pen Show, the health of our beloved cat Milo continued to decline to the point where we had to say goodbye to him yesterday. Nine months ago he had an accident that had left his back half paralyzed and this lead to further complications in his overall health and well-being. We were hoping and praying that he might recover from his injuries but in the end, age and infirmity made him more and more uncomfortable. Even the vet said we had done more for him than most people would have and he lived a much longer, happier life as a result of our vigilant care.

That said, I was beside myself with sadness yesterday and today. Hopefully, regular pen, ink and paper-related posts will resume tomorrow and your patience and understanding in the delay is greatly appreciated.

New Sponsor: Anderson Pens

AP-logo-black

Please join me in welcoming Anderson Pens to the Well-Appointed Desk family! Anderson Pens was founded in 2010 by two wonderful pen collectors, Brian and Lisa Anderson, who fell in love with each and pens before founding their own shop. There is a brick and mortar store that you can visit in Appleton, WI. If you drop by, send them my love.

You can also order from them online and they have a fabulous collection of pens, ink and paper to choose from. They offer great customer service and you can meet the Andersons in person at anyone of the big pen shows across the country.

Some of the latest additions to their inventory are:

  • Paperblanks Journals
  • the new Monteverde Mountains of the World, Limonada, Invincia Deluxe in Stainless Steel,
  • De Atramentis ink

Some of other reasons to love Anderson Pens:

  • They stock Sailor ink and pens
  • They are the first pen store to get a Montblanc account in seven years!
  • They sell 3ml ink samples at 3ml. That’s larger than anyone else, at the same prices, and the offer more than 600 colors to choose from.
  • They are the exclusive US retailer of  the Australian Toucan ink (sold in pouches)

Check out a virtual tour of their store on Google maps.

Thanks again to Anderson Pens for sponsoring The Well-Appointed Desk. If you visit the store or place on online order, let them know you heard about them here. Thanks!

Giveaway: $1500 in prizes from Pen Chalet

National Stationery Week 2015

To celebrate National Stationery Week, the fine folks at Pen Chalet are hosting a giant giveaway of products totally over $1500. There are five different prize packages that include a fountain pen plus additional stationery goodies. Pens include a Platinum 3776, a Conklin Crescent, Lamy Safari and a Kaweco AC Sport.

There will also be special coupon on World Stationery Day on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 so be sure to check back for deals then.

Hop on over to the giveaway page for details about the prize packages and to enter.

Fashionable Friday: Aqua is the new Black

Fashionable Friday: Aqua ins the new black

I’m looking forward to warm, summer days and nothing embodies that more than ocean blues, aqua, and turquoise. I think of swimming pools, sea glass and blue skies.

  • Maida Vale Bag $205.20 (via Boden USA)
  • Printed Desk Accessories in Solid Pool with White Interior $39 (via PBTeen)
  • Wahl-Eversharp Skyliner 50’s in green menthol $159 (via Wahl-Eversharp)
  • Diamine Aqua Lagoon ink 30ml 3,50 € (via Fontoplumo)
  • Caran D’ache Chromatics Hypnotic Turquoise Ink $35.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • Florence Skirt approx. $75 (via Boden USA)
  • Omas Bologna Collection Rollerball Pen in L’Aqua di Bologna $247 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Ogami Professional Hardcover Notebook 5″ x 8.25″ Plain in Aqua Green $20 (via Jet Pens)
  • Rhodia Rhodiarama Blank Notebook 3×5″ in Turqouise $18 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • Pilot Iroshizuku Ink in Ku-jaku Peacock $28 (via Jet Pens)
  • Lamy AL-star ocean blue fountain pen 26,90 € (via Fontoplumo)
  • Monteverde Prima Fountain Pen in Turquoise Swirl with Broad Nib $60 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Filofax Saffiano Aquamarine Pocket Organizer $43 (via Goldspot Pens)

Link Love: Pen Show Recap Overload

rp_link-ana.jpgSorry for the two-in-a-row Link Love but I wanted to get back on schedule so enjoy a double dose of Link Love and lots of recaps at the end from the Atlanta Pen Show.

Pens:

Ink:

Notebooks & Paper:

Pencils:

Letter Writing:

Atlanta Pen Show Reports:

Link Love: Atlanta Snafu Edition

rp_link-ana111.jpgIt turns out, with the time changes and everything, I didn’t get Link Love posted last week and I just now noticed. Many apologies!!! Bonus: You’ll get another Link Love tomorrow!

Pens:

Ink:

Paper & Notebooks:

Tools:

Pencils:

Other Interesting Things:

Atlanta Pen Show: Day Three

(Photo reposted from Pen Compass)

(Photo reposted from Pen Compass)

Recapping the last day of the pen show is done with melancholy. The whole weekend has been so amazing, so epic, that its hard to say goodbye. Many people had to head home on Sunday and our group got smaller as the hours ticked by.  It kind of reminds me of the closing scene of Ocean’s 11, which probably makes me the little contortionist.

Now, to the true report.

The doors opened at 9am again for 3-day pass holders and at 10am for single day attendees. The show floor weren’t nearly as crowded as they were on Friday and Saturday but some hot items’ stock was starting to dwindle.

Pen testing with Thomas and Leigh

Pen testing with Thomas and Leigh

I had an appointment to get some nib work done by Mike Masuyama on Sunday morning. The kind enablers, Thomas Hall and Leigh Reyes, spent the better part of Saturday night letting me test drive every single nib in their pen cases to help give me some idea of what I might want to get done from micro needlepoints to italics. In the end, I decided to have two of the nibs on pens I purchased tuned rather than reground. Since it was my first time getting professional nib work, I wanted to see how he could make a good nib better before I started making serious alterations. Next year, I’ll come with a better plan.

At noon, I attended Deborah Basil’s Cursive Handwriting class which was a great history of handwriting class and a refresher on cursive writing. The class materials were from Michael Sull’s American Cursive Handwriting. Sull is best known for all this work with Spencerian script but the handwriting system he created is a good blend of other styles with a more sophisticated look than some of systems taught to children. It made it quite appropriate for adults looking to improve their writing. Deborah was awesome and the class had at least four lefties in it, not counting Deboarh, so it was great to be able to work with someone who understood our struggles.

Brian Anderson with his pocket overflow, Mike Masuyama working on my nibs and Deborah Basil teaching the cursive writing class.

Brian Anderson with his pocket overflow, Mike Masuyama working on my nibs and Deborah Basil teaching the cursive writing class.

Then there was last-minute shopping and a couple laments that “for the sake of my wallet, these vendors need to start packing up!”

By about 4pm, a few of us took over an empty table next to the Karas Kustoms booth and sampled a few bottles of ink and a couple new pens. Every time one of us pulled out a new pen, it gets passed around for inspection and testing by every person within a ten yard vicinity. And no one ever seems to mind. Its pride in their good purchase, their new nib or their ink choice and the thrill of sharing the experience with people who understand the excitement. Its really magical. And there’s as much enthusiasm around a good, everydy TWSBI as their is with a rare, ridiculously expensive Nakaya — and each pen is passed around with equal enthusiasm and gushing. If someone passed around a Pilot Varsity, we’d be jut as interested.

Then their were dinners and drinks and hugs and farewells as folks departed for their beds and early flights.

I’d like to thank everyone who backed the Kickstarter and made it possible for me to be a part of this amazing adventure. I will be eterntally grateful to each and everyone of you. I will cherish the memories and friendships I made and look forward to sharing each of my purchases in reviews in the coming weeks.

See you all next year!

Atlanta Pen Show: Day Two

Atlanta Pen Show: Day Two

Day Two of the Atlanta Pen Show was full of just as much fun and adventure as the first day. Saturdays at pen shows are generally busier than Friday or Sunday so the rooms were full-to-brimming with pen collectors from far and wide. It was great fun that by Saturday, both collectors and vendors were starting to become familiar faces and everyone was friendly and talkative. As an introvert, that usually makes me feel a little awkward but here the conversation feels easy. Folks will ask about what you’ve bought and what you’re looking for and the next thing you know, you’ll have pulled up a chair and gotten to hear how a vendor found their first pen, their best score or the most unusual thing that’s happened at a pen show.

In the late afternoon, Casey (AKA Punkey) organized a pen and ink play time that lasted until past midnight as people cycled in and out. Everyone pulled their unique, rare or just favorite pens out and let everyone try them out. This gave everyone an opportunity to try any nib style or custom grind they’ve ever wondered about as well as getting a chance to handle a huge variety of pens in a more comfortable setting. Not to mention getting to hear acquisition stories!

Atlanta Pen Show: Day Two

The photos above were all liberated from the Pen Addict Slack channel and were taken by Leigh, Brad and Thomas.

Pen play lasted right through the recording of the 150th episode of the Pen Addict podcast which I was kindly invited to be a part of. And it was video recorded for the Kickstarter backers so that you’all can see just how many silly faces and wild hand gestures are used when we get excited about pens. Brad even took the Visionaire for a test drive.

Atlanta Pen Show: Day Two

I’m looking forward to Day Three which will include getting a nib tuned by Mike Masiyama and hopefully having time to take a calligraphy class with Deborah Basil. What a weekend!

To see all the photos in their full glory, please see my Flickr Album: Atlanta Pen Show 2015.

Atlanta Pen Show Report: Day One

Atlanta Pen Show Day One

The first day of the Atlanta Pen Show was amazing. The atmosphere was friendly and party-like and everyone was excited to see what vendors had to offer and meet new people. Sometimes looking at tray after tray of pens spread out across a vendor’s table was hugely overwhelming but everything was so beautiful that my eye would be attracted to a particular color or clip and I’d have to zoom in for a closer look.

I met Lisa Anderson from Anderson Pens and she was just as friendly and charming as I expected. I even got a hug which totally made my day.

The Nock Co booth was frequently swarmed by pen collectors young and old. Rumor has it Brad got an earful from the legendary Susan Wirth and it was all enthusiastic praise about the products. How cool is that?

Everyone who witnessed me pulling my stash of vintage Esterbrooks out of a rolled-up shop towel gave me grief that “I know a guy who makes these pen cases” so I finally bought a Nock Co Brasstown in Mandarin Mango. Problem solved!

Atlanta Pen Show Day One

I spent a lot of time at the Franklin-Christoph testing station with my friend Amanda. We pretty much tried every nib they had in stock which was loads of fun and is why, after thinking things over, I will be at the F-C booth first thing this morning to buy my first Franklin-Christoph. Very excited and grateful to Lori from F-C who has been my own personal enabler.

I visited the Van Ness booth and drooled at the tower of P. W. Akkerman inks. I bought one bottle but will probably be back for more today.

The big social event, of course, was the Nock Co. Sassafrass Spring Fling which was a wonderful get-together with beer, pizza, raffle and lots and lots of pen talk. You can find other folks’ photos on Instagram with the hash tag #sassafling15.

Atlanta Pen Show Day One

To see all the photos in their full glory, please see my Flickr Album: Atlanta Pen Show 2015.

Fashionable Friday: Orange You A Pen Addict?

FF-orange

Inspired by an abundance of orange love last night amongst the pen-erati, today is all about the love of orange.

It all started with a bright orange Magpul phone case, a Sailor Professional Gear fountain pen and a Franklin Christoph 66 Stabilis eyedropper filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki ink.

  • Lamy AL-star copperorange fountain pen (special edition 2015) 26,90 € (via Fontoplumo)
  • Karas Kustoms RETRAKT in orange $45 (via Karas Kustoms)
  • Acme Business Card Case in Karim Rashid orange $39 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • Pocketful of sunshine iPhone 6 case $35 (via Society6)
  • Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Orange Ink Ball Rollerball Pen $35.95 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • Seed Ruflat Eraser in orange $2.50 (via Jet Pens)
  • Pentel Graph 600 0.5 mm Drafting Pencil in Orange $10 (via Jet Pens)
  • Palomino Graphite Drawing Pencils $11.95 per dozen (via Pencils.com)
  • Sonic Ratchetta Pencil Sharpener with Notification in Orange $3.30 (via Jet Pens)
  • Diamine Orange Ink $14.95 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Notebook Orange with Lined Paper $18.95 (via Goulet Pens)

And, in place of pride is the now-retired Mandarin Mango colorway for pen cases from Nock Co. Mandarin with Blue Jay are still available but I thought I’d show this vibrant colorway that could only come from the folks at Nock Co.

What News? Atlanta Pen Show

Atlanta Pen Show 2015

If you’ve been following along by way of The Pen Addict podcast, you’ll know that we are just days away from the Atlanta Pen Show and the video filming of episode 150 of the podcast. Along with Brad and Myke (live and in-person) there will be lots of guests on the show. Guests will include Dan from Karas Kustoms, Stephen Hackett from Relay.fm and me, to name a few!

Not to mention all the folks coming from all over the country (and all over the world!) to attend the pen show and to meet, greet and swap pens, inks and stories with fellow pen addicts.

My question to you, what do you want to see from the show? I’ll be blogging, tweeting and posting to instagram while there but I want to know from you what you most want to know?

Will you be at the show? If so, please find me and say hello!

Kickstarter: Pencil Shaving Desk Tidy

The Pencil Shaving Desk Tidy is the brainchild of Clive Roddy from Bath UK. It is a handmade birch plywood spiral cup capable of holding up to 75 pens, pencils or brushes. Its available with either red, yellow or black painted edges, all reminiscent of the paint colors on favorite pencils.

A pledge of £25 will get you one pencil shaving cup, £48 will get you two cups and £70 will get you all three. The campaign ends on May 6, 2015 so there’s still time to pledge.

Review: Monsieur Notebook Soft Classics Leather A5

monsieur notebook

Monsieur Notebook has continued to improve and expand their product line. I can’t believe its been four year since I reviewed their first batch of notebooks. Since then, I’d like to think that my reviews have improved as much as their products have.

monsieur notebook

The latest product release is called the Soft Classics leather notebook. The leather cover is glued to cardstock end papers to give the leather a bit of stability but the book has some flexibility. I love the visible leather edge.

The book I received is the medium A5 sized (approx. 5.875″ x 8.25″) in Royal Blue. The book includes a matching vertical elastic and ribbon bookmark. I’d like it clearly stated that the ribbon bookmark is sealed at the end to prevent fraying. This is a little detail that means a lot to me. There is not pocket in the back cover.

The only branding in the book is on the front end paper at the bottom of the page. I appreciate the minimal branding and no logo on the cover of the book which I find presumptuous.

monsieur notebook

Inside the paper is 90 gsm, acid-free, ivory paper. I received a lined notebook but they are also available in plain and dot grid. The paper is described as ivory but I would call it “soft white”. Its not as yellow-y as Moleskine paper. I find it creamy enough not to feel stark white but not so tinted as to interfere with ink colors.

The ruled line spacing is approximately 6mm, comparable to US “college-ruled” in fine grey lines. While ruled paper is not to everyone’s taste, this is very easy on the eyes and fine enough to not be intrusive when writing. I’d be curious to see the dot grid to see if its as light and unobtrusive as well.

To round out their product line, Monsieur also sells a 120 GSM sketch paper, 200GSM watercolour paper and 100GSM bright white specifically for fountain pens.

monsieur notebook

Knowing that Monsieur also makes a notebook with paper specific to fountain pen use, I was a little concerned that the stock paper might not stand up to fountain pens. Turns out, I didn’t have all that much to worry about.

monsieur notebook

I tested a full array of fountain, rollerball, gel and felt tip pens and had no visible issues with feathering or dry time. I tested fountain pens with daily use nibs: EF, F, M and a 0.6mm stub and a 1.1mm stub. On the narrow ruling, I wouldn’t really be inclined to use a fountain pen with a nib much broader than that. My results were very good.

monsieur notebook

Close-up you can see the ink behaved nicely on the page and the ruling sort of vanishes once there’s something else to look at on the page.

monsieur notebook

From the reverse side of the paper there’s a tiny bit of showthrough but no bleed through at all.

The Soft Classic notebooks will be available in the US in August at a retailer near you or through Amazon. The list price on Amazon for the A5 is $25.95. The price puts the Soft Classics notebook in the “premium” category but I think the combination of quality leather and above average paper makes it a pretty competitive price for it. The original hardcover notebooks are a little less expensive and appear to use the same paper. They are listed on Amazon below the MSRP of $19.95 by a few dollars. And the original hardcover notebooks are available now if you can’t wait until August.

Overall, I really like this notebook. Its gotten all the things right that I normally complain about. Good paper, unobtrusive ruling, finished bookmark and a quality cover without enormous branding all over it. The Soft Classics will also be available in an array of cover colors (three shades of blue, two shades of red, British Racing Green, black and brown) that should satisfy most preferences.


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

Reminder: LWA Book Club Live Video Event TODAY!

Just wanted to remind everyone that today (Sunday April 12th) is the first ever Letter Writers Allinace Book Club. We are meeting online so everyone can join in. The book to be discussed is 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. The live feed discussion begins at 3pm CST. For more information, visit the Good Reads group page or come to the chat at the live feed page.

Did I mention I will be one of the guests on the chat?

If you miss this event, the book club will be meeting quarterly online to discuss books that may be of interest to letter writers and mail lovers. The discussion will be done as a live video chat. Come join us!

Fashionable Friday: Purple Rainy Day

FF-aprilshowers

April showers bring May flowers. And color too.

  • Hunter Original Wellies in Lavender $158 (via Hunter US)
  • Uni Style Fit 5 Color Multi Pen Body in Metallic Pink $4.25 (via Jet Pens)
  • Uni-ball Signo 0.38 mm Black Ink Light Pink Body (via Jet Pens)
  • Exotic Pencils of Caran d’Ache: Fourth Edition $30 (via Pencils.com)
  • Filofax Finsbury Raspberry Pocket Organizer $65 (via Goldspot)
  • Parker IM Vacumatic Pink Pearl Medium Point Fountain Pen $50.95 (via Goldspot)
  • Lamy Safari yellow fountain pen 19,50 € (via Fontoplumo)
  • Pilot Metal Falcon Soft Fine in Burgundy $240 (via Pen Chalet)
  • The Pencil Factory Nashville Pencil Box Set of Six $12 (via European Paper)
  • Sailor Professional Gear Yellow 21K Gold Rhodium Plated Medium Point Fountain Pen $247.95 (via Goldspot)
  • Monteverde Limonada Fountain Pen Tivoli Yellow $28 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Monteverde Artista Fountain Pen in Pink $22.50 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux Bottle Ink $12 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Kyokuto French Classic B5 Ruled Notebook in Pink (via Jet Pens)
  • Rhodia Rhodiarama Yellow Blank Notebook $18 (via Goldspot)

(photo via Hunter US blog)

Link Love: Notebooks Galore & Brush Pen Love

rp_link-ana111.jpgPost of the week:

Lots of love this week for the Uni-Ball Signo Pens:

Fountain Pens:

Brush Pens:

Ink:

Notebooks:

Pencils:

Planners & Organizers:

April is National Letter Writing Month

rp_april-letterwriting-month.jpg

Has your letter writing slacked off since the big push in February during InCoWriMo and A Month of Letters? Are you ready to get re-invograted and reply to that stack of letters sitting in your in box? Well, let April be your inspiration since its National Letter Writing Month. And ther are lots of things to help inspire you.

From Me to You Forever Stamps

First, the USPS just released the new From Me To You Forever stamps designed by Michael Osborne. Around the postage are useable stickers with designs and messages to embellish your letters, cards or envelopes.

Laura from Suburban Pen Pal created a video on how she makes mail art. Jazz up your letters with some of her techniques. (link via Letter Writers Alliance)

Paper Crave collected ten great cards to use to write your April missives.

And finally, Egg Press created their own 30 day letter writing challenge called Write_On and offered others free cards to inspire them to connect with others through letters. (link also via Letter Writers Alliance)

There’s still plenty of time to write some letters this month. Send a thank you to a friend for just being there, mail some birthday cards instead of just saying “happy birthday” on Facebook, or send a love note to your significant other.

Review: Pilot Frixion “Color-Pencil-Like” Pen Set

pilot-frixion-4

Pilot has made so many different variations of the Frixion line of erasable pens. Its a little bit confusing. There are highlighters, needlepoint “Point”, gel pens, markers and the “Color-Pencil-Like” pens. For you, my fine readers, I was willing to try these Frixion markers with the very weird description.

pilot-frixion-2

I purchased the 6-color assortment pack of the Pilot Frixion Color-Pencil-Like 0.7mm erasable gel pens ($13). The pens are plastic and have a faceted body to appear and feel a bit like a hexagonal pencil. The caps do not have clips, just a little nub to make it easier to remove the cap. The erasers for each pen are mounted on the end of the cap so that, when posted, the eraser is still accessible. The set came with yellow, red, blue, green, tea brown and black pens.

My first mistake was probably buying a pre-selected set of six since several of these colors I never would have purchased individually. Nine times out of ten, a yellow pen is useless for writing of any sort and the yellow Frixion is no exception. Because its a 0.7mm rollerball gel pen, its doubly true. The yellow is not wide enough to be used as a highlighter so it really is not particularly useable.

I would have much preferred trying an orange, purple, or one of the more unusual colors likt the gray, ultramarine blue or purplish red pens over this uninspired assortment.

pilot-frixion-1

If what you’re looking for with these pens is a pretty smooth, pretty quick-drying  0.7mm rollerball pen that erases, then these might be perfect. If you were genuinely hoping to have a uniquely “pencll-like” experience, then you will be disappointed.The pens did not seem to lend themselves to coloring large areas like I might do with a colored pencil so I’m not sure what Pilot was hoping people would do with these pens?

The product is described as “vibrant colors” but this particular assortment is very dark and solemn in tone. The red is the most vivid color in the set. The green is an evergreen color and even the blue is more blue-black than a bright royal or true blue. And the yellow is a total waste.

pilot-frixion-3

All of the pens in the set erased as well as any of the other Frixion products I’ve tried. The erasing is far superior to any other erasable pens I’ve ever used so if that’s a key feature for you, then these might prove useful.

In the end, I may have been more disappointed by the color assortment in this set than the actual writing experience. These are quite smooth and, even for a lefty, I had no smudging issues or false starts. Also, the writing experience was not “color-pencil-like” so I was disappointed by the sales pitch. They are just gel pens.

There is no cost benefit to buying a set of these pens rather than buying the pens individually ($2.15 each) so if you’re interested in trying these, I’d recommend building your own color assortment and avoiding the yellow altogether. There are other yellowish hues like the mountain yellow and yellow ochre available that might be a darker shade and more useable color than the yellow.

If you’re interested in trying some of the Frixion line, I prefer the Frixion Point 04 line and the Soft Color Highlighters. See my full review here.


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.

Winner: Brush Pen Giveaway

Brush Pen Sampler

Thanks to everyone who entered the Brush Pen OCD assortment giveaway. And thanks to Jet Pens for providing the pens.

Onwards, to the winner:

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Sarah, I’ll be contacting you by email to make arrangements to send you your brush pen sampler kit. Congrats and thanks to all!

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