Field Notes XOXO 2014 “Glitch” Edition

Field Notes XOXO Edition

A few weeks back, Field Notes announced that they had a small quantity of the XOXO 2014 “Glitch” edition of Field Notes leftover after the conference available for sale. They had a strict one-pack policy for them but it was a chance for non-conference goers to get their hands on a pack of these rare, limited edition Field Notes. And this set is truly unique.

Field Notes XOXO Edition

The aesthetic of the XOXO set is basically a misprinted look of the classic Kraft edition Field Notes. What makes these so eye-catching is that the graphics are askew, off-center and misaligned. The registration key, which would normally appear along the edge of a press sheet for the purpose of color accuracy and registration, is printed across two of the books in plain sight! One cover has the “Field Notes” logo so off-center it is split across the spine. On the back of one book is the designer “sign-off” on the press run “OK BB CP” and the date which means, in press speak, Mr. Bryan Bedell was at the press check on 8/14 and approved the press run. Its right there on the back cover! This whole print run must have given the pressmen twitches.

Inside, the graph paper lines are wavy and the inside covers are just plain wonky.

Field Notes XOXO Edition

As someone who works in the print industry, we often use the misprints, the screw-ups and the scarp bits for notes and other uses so we don’t waste paper. This series of Field Notes captures the feel of that world in a slightly controlled way. And all the little designer-y marks like the registration and color key and sign-off all make me kind of happy. They are all industry insider details. Super nerdy.

Field Notes XOXO Edition

I’m so glad I was able to get a set of these. I will probably happily use them as well because I just find the quirks too fun.

I never thought I’d go nuts collecting Field Notes but here I am with several sets of special editions and a ton of Colors editions. Though, I still maintain a solid stance that Field Notes are meant to be used and, to me, they will still have their air of specialness even after they are dented, dinged, creased and filled with notes and doodles.

Giveaway: Kaweco Liliput Brass Fountain Pen from Fontoplumo

kaweco liliput fountain pen in brass

The fine folks at Fontoplumo would like to give you a brand new Kaweco Liliput Brass fountain pen. Yep. In the spirit of the holidays, Fontoplumo wants to share with you, the joy of the Kaweco Liliput Brass pocket fountain pen. That’s it.

I have an aluminum version of this pen and I just love it. I know the brass adds some good weight and, if you win, you can gloat that you have a pen I don’t have.

Happy holidays from Fontoplumo and The Well-Appointed Desk!

Giveaway: One Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen in Brass from Fontoplumo, winner chooses the nib size (EF, F, M, B, BB). To enter, leave a message in the comments and tell us what kindness you’ll pay forward if you win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, December 5, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. 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. Open to all readers, US and international!

Review: Pentel i+ 3 Multi-Pen

Pentel i+ 3 multi-pen

I’ve got a soft spot for multi-pens. Especially Japanese gel multi-pens. While the Pilot Hi-Tec C multi-pens are often the most talked-about, followed by the Uni Style Fit line, I still find a little space in my multi-pen universe for Pentel and their Sliccie line of gel pens. The individual Sliccie pens are not much to write about with a plain, narrow, hex-shaped plastic barrel but the actual gel refill is quite good. The Sliccie refills don’t clog or dry out like the Hi-Tec Cs do. The colors available in the Sliccie line are good, they go down smoothly and dry pretty quickly so smudging is not often an issue.

When I heard about the new Pentel i+ series of multi-pens, I was very excited. The plain two-tone plastic bodies are wider and more comfortable to hold than a standard single Sliccie. Aesthetically, the i+ body is clean, simple and unobtrusive. Would a soft rubber grip be an pleasant added feature? Sure, but every Pilot Hi-Tec C multi-pen I’ve purchased has shed the rubber grip in less than a year leaving a bumpy plastic grip. Maybe it’s better to do without the rubber grip?

Each i+ pen body holds three refills and you’re not limited to just the Sliccie-style gel refills. The i+ system also offers the Vicuna, the Energel and a mechanical pencil refill. I test drove my first i+ with three 0.4mm Sliccie refills in coordinating colors of blue black, sky blue and lime to go with the Emerald Green body (which is actually more aqua mint than emerald) but it was hard to decide just which refills to use in the i+.

Pentel i+ 3 multi-pen writing sample

The Sliccie refills (despite their difficult-to-determine pronunciation) are so ridiculously smooth to use. The Sliccie refills come in three widths: 0.3, 0.4, 0.5mm in about a 10 different colors. I find the Sliccie gel inks to be pretty reliable and they stay wet in the pen more often than comparable Pilot Hi-Tec C refills, at least in my experience.

The mechanical pencil component is available in 0.3mm or 0.5mm. Both the Vicuna and the Energel refills are available in 0.5mm in red, blue or black. All the refills cost a $1.35 to $1.65 each and the mechanical pencil component is about $3. The pen bodies are $2.55 and available in ten different body colors. So for about $10, you can have a completely customized multi-pen.

Pentel i+ 3 multi-pen

I plan on adding a second i+ to my arsenal. This time I’ll get a black body with an Energel refill, a pencil and a black Sliccie refill. How would you trick one of these out?


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.

Hands On: Field Notes Colors Edition Ambition

Field Notes Ambition

I finally received my Field Notes Colors Subscription Ambition edition. I’ve been super excited about this set. I like the different paper formats and the inclusion of the planner is a great chance to launch into 2015 more organized than ever.

Field Notes Ambition edging

The embossed logos in gold over the jeweled French Speckletone cardstock covers feels vintage and fresh, all at once. The gilded edging is a beautiful detail and looks so good with the deep jewel tones of the covers. Such a  treat!

I’m probably one of the few people who will probably never use the graph paper book. If anyone wants to swap their ledger paper for my graph paper, drop me an email.

Field Notes Ambition paper

I haven’t done any writing tests with the new Cougar 50# natural white featured in the Ambition edition. Yet.

At least not knowing what the paper is. I did get to test drive an assortment of papers over the summer for Field Notes but it was a blind test so I’m not sure which stock was finally chosen.  I returned my test writings to Field Notes HQ in July so I don’t know which paper was what. Hopefully, it will live up to me expectations. I tried some very nice options in those blind tests.

Field Notes Ambition comparison

The Traveling Salesman edition is one of my favorites so I was excited about the ledger format too. The photo above is the new Ambition ledger paper (back) next to the Traveling Salesman. I still love the green tinted paper (of course) but the light brown lines of the Ambition ledger paper is easy on the eyes and so classic.

If you’ve ever wanted to introduce a friend or family member to the joys of Field Notes, this edition is a great place to start. Grab as many sets as you can before they run out. $9.99 for a set of three. Colors Subscriptions start at $97.

See other great Field Notes Ambition write-ups from:


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Field Notes and Coudal Partners for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Society 6 Phone Cases

With the purchase of my new phone this week, I am on the hunt to accessorize it with great cases. I love all the options from Society 6 which lets independent artists sell their artwork on not just phone cases and skins but also prints, shirts and more. These are the cases on my short, each is $35 and is a hard shell case. The cases are also available in sizes to fit other comnon phone types.

Do you prefer plain cases, arty cases or no case at all on your phone? Do you match your phone wallpaper to your case?

Fashionable Friday: Black Friday

Fashionable Friday: Black Friday

I had to do it. Nothing is more stylish than black and how appropriate to feature black on Black Friday — with discounts and coupons galore! Act fast, a lot of these shops are offering discounts, free shipping coupons and more today!

  • Black Soft Cover Folio $14 (via Poppin)
  • Black Tape Dispenser $12 (via Poppin)

Poppin is having a 20% off sale for Black Friday so get all those coordinating black accessories today

  • Bloomsbury Bookbag Stocked with Tools $69 (via Levenger)

Levenger is having a 25% off sale so the canvas tote filled with products and everything else in their store is on sale today.

  • Lamy Safari umbra fountain pen (matt black) 18,90 € (via Fontoplumo)
  • Pilot Namiki Black (60ml) $12 (via Goulet Pens)
  • The Daily Times Planner by Seeso Graphics £5.95 (via Fox & Star)
  • Blackwing Slate Journal $22.95 (via Pencils.com)

Pencils.com is offering free stickers, Blackwing Pencils (for orders over $20) and Blackwing t-shirts (with orders over $100) with every order as wellas free shipping for orders over $25 and other great offers.

  • Tombow Mono 100 Pencil HB $2.35 (via Jet Pens)
  • Uni Boxy Eraser Black $1.40 (via Jet Pens)
  • Rotring 600 0.5mm mechanical pencil $33 (via Jet Pens)
  • Midori Aluminum Multi Ruler $17.75 (via Jet Pens)
  • Pentel Hi-Polymer Ain Eraser Small Black Pack of 2 for $2 (via Jet Pens)

The Rotring 600, the Boxy eraser and several other items are available as Buy One Get One Free with orders totally $70 or more through 12/1. See details here.

  • Papermate Black Pearl eraser 2-pack for $2.39 (via Amazon)
  • Matte Black Journal Notebook, 6×6 $9.95 (via Productive Luddite)

Happy Black Friday!

OOPS! I forgot to include Pen Chalet’s 15% off sale, including already reduced price items, through Monday, Dec 1. Use the coupon code BLACK15 to get the discount. More info can be found here.

Maybe I’ll try the Pelikan M205 again… in black, of course. $97.50 + 15% off and free shipping!

Pelikan M205 in black

Link Love: All The Fixin’s

link-pilgrimLinks of the Week:

The links of the week MUST be all the great start-of-the-holiday season offers from our favorite pen retailers. There will be more offers tomorrow and on Monday so check back with all your favorites for good deals. Here are a few I found that are good today as well.

  • Pen Chalet’s sale starts on Friday including specials deals, a special coupon and free shipping for orders over $50.
  • Scout Books 30% your order with the code “BLACKBOOK” (thru 11/30, restrictions apply)
  • Pen Boutique 10% off whole order with the code “THANKSGIVING14″ (good today only 11/27)
  • Levenger 25% off whole order and free shipping (thru 11/29)
  • Knock Knock is offering free shipping with the code “EARLYBIRD”
  • Uppercase Magazine stock-up sale. Back issues $10 each. If you join her email newsletter, more special offers will be coming on Friday and Monday, as well as a steady stream of art and inspiration.
  • $10 and $20 discount coupons on European Paper (through 12/2)

Note: If you haven’t already, be sure to join the email newsletters from all your favorite retailers. There are often special offers for email subscribers and you’ll be the first to hear about other holiday-related special deals.

Pens:

Inks:

Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:

Other important stuff:

Review: Pentel Energel 0.35 Needle Point

Pentel Energel 0.35 Needle Point

The Pentel Energel 0.35 Needle Point ($2.50) is a pen I can’t believe I had never tried or owned before last week. I’ve heard others talk about them but I’d never tried one. It was about time!

In the past, I’d only ever seen the larger point sizes (0.5, 0.7 and 1.0) and I knew they would not be well-suited to my left-handed tendency to smear. So, I wasn’t compelled to try them until I found the Needle Point version at 0.35mm.

Pentel Energel 0.35 Needle Point

The tip immediately reminded me of the Pilot Precise V5 or the Morning Glory Mach 3 0.38 pens — with the needle point tip and rollerball feel.

The body of the pen has a rubberized grip area which makes it quite comfortable to hold. The rest of the aesthetics of the pen are as non-descript as most “supply cabinet” pens. While not offensive, the looks are not unique or interesting.

Pentel Energel 0.35 Needle Point Writing Sample

When writing, the experience vastly exceeds its humdrum looks. Its practically glassy on Rhodia paper which means on your average office photocopy, it will write smoothly with minimum friction.

Even on the high-quality Rhodia paper, the ink dries quickly so I had no embarrassing lefty smears or smudges.

When compared to the Morning Glory Mach 3 and the Pilot Precise V5, the Energel was the smoothest on paper. The Morning Glory Mach 3 felt a little toothier on the paper, especially on slick paper, but the Pilot Precise V5 took longer to dry and caused some smudges.The Precise V5 also tends to get a little gloppy on the tip over time which I didn’t notice with the Energel Needle Point at all.

Aesthetically, the Energel is the least appealing but the writing experience more than makes up for its looks. One can hope that its so ugly no one will try to steal it off your desk.

Pentel Energel 0.35 Needle Point Comparison


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.

Hands On: Karas Kustoms Cube

Karas Kustoms Cube

Just yesterday, I was talking about the latest Kickstarter project by Karas Kustoms and Mike Dudek, The Cube and, lo-and-behold, look what showed up on my doorstep!

The Cube is absolutely stunning to look at. It really is perfectly machined and the Delrin inserts fit cleanly giving a finished, professional look to the stand that honestly cannot be rivaled. There are rubber feet on the bottom that makes it look like its floating while keeping it from sliding around when adding or removing pens from the Cube.

Karas Kustoms Cube

I filled it with an assortment of aluminum, chrome and classic pens found scattered across my desk. From a small Kaweco Liliput to a large Lamy Studio, everything fit beautifully into the Cube.

Karas Kustoms Cube weight

As for the weight, it truly is a solid block of aluminum weighing in at just under two pounds.

Karas Kustoms Cube

There are still two weeks left to back this project. Funding levels start at $75 for one Cube, $140 for two and $205 for three. There are four vivid, anodized colors as well as silver. How do you ever pick just one?

Uppercase Magazine 23: Calligraphy & Lettering Issue

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Cover

I’ve always loved how much detail and thought goes into each issue of Uppercase magazine. Issue 23 holds a special place in my heart though. For one, the issue is all about calligraphy and lettering so every page is a treat.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Tag Team Tompkins

Also, my dear friends Tag Team Tompkins are featured in the issue in a two-page spread. And finally, I got the photo credit for their feature since I got to visit their studio and capture these two amazing ladies in their natural habitat.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Feature

If you’ve never checked out an issue of this beautifully crafted, independent magazine before, issue 23 is a perfect place to start.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Letraset

Right now, Uppercase is holding a “Stock Up Sale” and back issues are just $10 CAD each through Monday, Dec. 2 so this is the perfect time to grab an issue or two. Issue 17, the Stationery Issue, would also be a great first foray into the beautiful world of Uppercase.


Subscriptions make a great gift too!
In a wonderful act of kismet, I wrote this post days before Uppercase became a sponsor of this blog. Thanks to Uppercase for supporting The Well-Appointed Desk and thanks to all you fine readers who support our sponsors!

Eraser-off

Eraser comparison

One of the most awesome things about pencils is the ability to erase what you’ve written or drawn and change it. But which eraser works best?

I decided to put a few different types of erasers head-to-head and see which one works best. Its not the brand of eraser that is the key attribute but rather the type of material used to create the eraser. There are two common types of erasers for everyday use: plastic/vinyl erasers (usually white and almost all are now latex-free) and compound rubber (a bit gritty with a pumice-like material embedded in rubber).

There are also more task-specific erasers like kneaded erasers for artists, “pen-erasers” which have metal pumice to basically sand off a layer of paper and dozens of different shapes and sizes to meet whatever specific purpose you might have. There are lots of type of erasers encased in plastic cases, electric erasers and more. Too many to cover in one post so I’ll stick to the traditional block erasers. Most of which can be purchased at any shop that sells stationery products, from a drugstore to Target, the office big box in your area or your local art supply shop for $2 or less.

I pulled out the most commonly available erasers in my stash including the full range of Pearl erasers from Papermate: the classic Pink Pearl, the Black Pearl and the White Pearl. I also wanted to test my go-to eraser, the Staedtler Mars Plastic against these. I threw in a Koh-i-noor MAGIC (while not the easiest to acquire, its a compound rubber eraser and features fabulously unique looks). The Sanford Magic Rub is a plastic eraser like the Staedtler Mars and, finally,  the Mercur i-eraser is a translucent PVC, latex-free eraser which I recently picked up at the local art supply shop to round out the mix.

Lots of pencils come with an eraser cap and these block erasers are often made of similar material. I would compare the look and feel of the Black Pearl to the black eraser cap found on a Palomino Blackwing 602. The Ticondergoga has a pink eraser cap similar to the the Pink Pearl. I find however that the small eraser caps on pencils often just collect lint in my pencil case and, due to their smaller size, dry out quickly. The drier the eraser, the more likely it will be to smear or crumble making a bigger mess than necessary. This is why I tend to prefer block erasers. Since they are larger, they don’t dry out as quickly and if a bit of it does dry out or get too dirty to use, I can trim off the end with a utility knife and have, not only a clean bit of eraser but a crisp sharp corner as well. WIN.

eraser testing 1

I chose three pencils to test: a Mirado Black Warrior HB, a Palomino Blackwing 602 and a Faber-Castell Grip 2001 2B. I did a scribble for each eraser.

eraser testing 2

I erased each scribble but I left the eraser dust in place to show how much dust each eraser created. Each eraser left about the same amount of eraser dust.

eraser testing 3

What surprised me was that different pencils erased differently. The Mercur i-eraser didn’t erase the the Mirado Black Warrior hardly at all but erased the Faber-Castell Grip 2001 almost completely. And, as I would have expected, the Staedtler Mars Plastic erased better across the board than any of the others. The Black Pearl worked pretty well across all three pencils. I would definitely pair the Mercur i-eraser with my Grip 2001s from now on. It erased very cleanly with both the Blackwing 602 and the Grip 2001. So strange.

My expectation, when I tested these, was that one eraser would be a clear winner, and if I had to pick one, then I would choose the Staedtler Mars Plastic. But each of these erasers performed better with some pencils than others.

There’s one other aspect of erasers that I really like. Its the feel of it in my hand. One of the gentlemen on Erasable (I think it was Andy but I can’t remember at the moment) mentioned the Black Pearl as a “worry stone” — an object to hold in your hand while thinking and that is why I love the Black Pearl. I often find that I press it into the palm of my hand like a little river stone while I’m writing. Its strangely soothing. They can also be used to weight down the corner of your notebook or keep your pencil (or pen) from rolling off the table. Even if you’re not inclined to use it to erase pencil marks, erasers are quite handy and a must-have for any well-appointed desk.

In the end, erasers will be a preference for each user but any one of these would be a good place to start.

More about erasers:

Pen Addict Podcast 130: Stop Spending My Money – Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

For the second year running, Brad and Myke have kindly let me join them on The Pen Addict podcast to make my gift guide picks.

These are most of my picks. If you want to see the full list including all of Brad and Myke’s picks (and hear me ramble and one of my cats meow), check out Episode 130 of the Pen Addict Podcast.

Review: Tombow Airpress

Tombow Airpress Comparison

The Tombow Airpress is another contender in the “extreme conditions” pressurized ballpoint pen race. Other tools in this category are the Fisher Space Pen, the Uni Power Tank, Pilot Down Force and Rite in the Rain All-Weather Pens. The Airpress body design is pretty unusual. The length of the pen is relatively short but quite wide. The Airpress is just a little longer than a Kaweco Sport capped but the width is comparable to a large capacity multi-pen.

The body creates a pretty comfortable grip, despite the short length, thanks to the ridged windows on the grip section.

The clip is a large hinged clip that will attach to just about any notebook or binder cover. On the opposite side from the clip is a loop that could be used to attach the pen to a lanyard.

Tombow Airpress disassembled

Inside the pen is a small refill that would be easy to replace when the need arises. I test drove the pen on appropriately-tough Rite in the Rain notecards. Deeper in the pen body is a pressurizing chamber. By pressing the button on the end, the ink is pressurized to write upside down for up to about 500 feet.

Tombow Airpress

For the price point (about $10), the Tombow Airpress is about the middle of the price range for pressurized pens with the Fisher Space Pen being at the upper end ($20 or so) of the price spectrum and the Uni Power Tank being the lowest, starting at $3.30.

The writing experience was good for a ballpoint. I didn’t have any real issues with it and the point was pretty fine. I like the Airpress better than a lot of ballpoint pens, pressurized or otherwise though I find the body shape to be a bit too wide for my hands.

Giveaway: Would you like to try out a Tombow Airpress? I have TWO to giveaway. Leave a message in the comments and tell me what extreme writing you would do with a Tombow Airpress to be entered to win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, November 29, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. 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. US readers only this time, thanks!

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

What I did today and what’s in my bag

What's in my bag: iphone 6

Today didn’t really go according to plan. I had planned to spend all day working on the blog, prepping for the Thanksgiving week. However, a couple errands took us out of the house, which lead to the AT&T store, and we  finally upgraded our phones and VOILA! I am now the proud owner of a new iPhone 6. In gold, if you can believe it. Surprisingly, the gold color is quite pale and not nearly as bling-y as I thought it would be.

iphone 6 and Pentel i+ pen

I picked out a ridiculously girly, floral hardshell case for my new treasure, a Lenntek Sonix Inlay case with a Rifle Paper Co. floral design which just happens to match the new Pentel i+ 3 multi-pen I got. It all matched nicely with my EDC bag, a pink Coach leather clutch, my Pantone lime business card case and my Miro pocket notebook with pink edge painting.

iphone 6 and Pentel i+ pen

Lots of people have reviewed and re-reviewed the new iPhone 6 so I’ll spare you suffering any additional commentary. Suffice it to say, its not uncomfortably large, even with my munchkin hands, and its nice to have a bigger drive, faster service, better camera and better battery life. So its all good. And damned girly.

Fashionable Friday: Colors of the Season

Fashionable Friday colors-of-autumn
Inspired by the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and the last fleeting glimpses of the fall foliage, I thought I’d focus this week’s Fashionable Friday on the colors of Autumn. Gold, orange, russets and browns that make me excited for pumpkin pie and hot cocoa.

  • Conklin Duragraph Fountain Pen – Amber  $44 (via Goulet Pens)
  • J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Fountain Pen Ink – 50 ml Bottle – Rouge Hematite $27 (via Jet Pens)
  • Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen Dark Brown Special Edition £19.99 (via Cult Pens)
  • Gold Dots Washi Tape by Masté £2.30 (via Fox & Star Stationery)
  • Gold Ideas Gilded Journal £11.99 (via Fox & Star Stationery)
  • Aurora Style Fountain Pens in Paprika $60 (via Pen Chalet)
  • RETRAKT in Copper $95 (via Karas Kustoms)
  • Fancy Fronds Wall Decor Set $14.99 (via ModCloth)
  • Rhodia N°12 Pad (via Rhodia)
  • Noodler’s Habanero (3oz) $12.50 (via Goulet Pens)
  • The Display $65 (via Clicky Post)
  • Leuchtturm1917 Pocket Hard Cover Ruled Notebook (3.5 x 6) $12.30 (via European Papers)
  • Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils $2.90 per dozen (via Dick Blick)
  • Mobius & Ruppert Brass Pencil Sharpeners $4.46 (via Dick Blick)
  • Midori Brass Template Bookmark Alphabet $18 (via JetPens)
  • Midori Brass Bullet Pencil Holder – Gold $21 (via Jet Pens)

Kickstarter: Spark Notebook

Just launched today is the Spark Notebook Kickstarter project. The idea behind this notebook is to provide one place for all your planning, ideas and projects in a sophisticated package. The book seems to embody a desire to help get you organized and focused on your project and goals above everything else. And in a really clean, appealing package in the process.

Between the simple black covers are 200 pages that feature:

  • Yearly Goals & Mission pages
  • Yearly Theme page
  • Monthly Overview (6 months)
  • Monthly Goals (one for each month)
  • 30 Day Challenge (one for each month)
  • Weekly Inspiration
  • Weekly Goals to prioritze goals
  • Weekly Overview
  • Project Planner
  • Meeting Notes
  • Lined pages for notes
  • 20-Blank, perforated pages
  • Two-page markers
  • Date-free calendars

Spark Notebook page view

The books are 5.75×8.25″ (145 x 210 mm) in size, comparable to a standard Moleskine Large notebook or a Leuchtturm1917 large notebook. The paper inside is 70# white, enough to keep most pens from showing through or bleeding to the reverse side.

Anyone who backs the project will receive access to downloadable PDFs of the page layouts to start using the moment the funding campaign ends, so you can start using the system right away.

For a  $25 pledge, you can reserve one notebook. Its a little pricier than the average lined or grid notebook but a lot of additional content is provided within the covers. A pledge of $79 will get you four notebooks to stockpile or share with co-workers, family or friends and reduces the per unit price to be quite competitive with the average Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917 notebook.

Spark Notebook Info

I was just thinking it was time to pull all my note taking and project management between two covers. Maybe this is THE solution for me.

Will you back this project?

Link Love: All Caught Up

Link Love Link MascotPosts of the Week:
I just received my Field Notes Colors Edition: Ambition and was looking forward to writing and photographing my own review until I saw these two. So, kudos to Josh and Andy for setting the bar REALLY high for reviewing the latest edition.

Pens:

Inks and Refills:

Notebooks and Paper:

Other cool stuff:

Book Review: Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter-Writing

Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter-Writing

While I’ve been under the weather, I’ve been catching up on my back log of reading, including Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter-Writing by Liz Williams. Its a pretty book with short pieces about the history of letter writing as well as common references, quotes, books and movies where letters feature prominently and other tidbits about our favorite paper missives.

“Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.” – Lord Byron

This book is definitely for the letter enthusiast though it will not probing new information on the subject. As a gift to a young person, it might spur them to start writing but does not necessarily provide compelling analysis or deep investigation about the topic. Kind Regards is written in short blubs, often less than a page, which makes it easy to thumb through or read an entry or two over coffee in the morning.

Williams clearly loves the written word and provides enough interesting facts to inspire me to tackle that pile of incoming correspondence again. If you’re looking for a little something to nudge you back on to your letter-writing path, then Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter-Writing might be the ticket.

Ask The Desk: Pocket Telephone Books

rp_askthedesk_hdr2.png

Looking for 2 7/8  x 4 1/8 pocket address book [ little black book]
Where can I get some ??
Sincerely, Howard

At-A-Glance Pocket Telephone Address Book

The closest I could find is from Mead or At-A-Glance. The At-A-Glance Pocket Telephone Address Book pages measure 2 1/8″ x 3 1/4″ and retail for $4.09 each. There is a larger At-A-Glance Small Designer Telephone/Address Book that’s page size measures 2 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ and retails for $8.69 each. This book also has tabbed pages with alphabetical tabs for quick look-up.

The Mead Telephone/Address book has pages that measure 2 3/8″ x 3 1/4″ and retail for $2.19 each. Mead also has a slightly larger 3×4″ version of the Mead Telephone Address Book which might be closer to your specifications for $2.49 each.

You might also check with your local office supply store or big box retailer to see if they stock these products. Best of luck on your search.

Mead Telelphone Address Book

Link Love: Better Late Than Never

Link Love Link MascotSorry for the delay in this week’s Link Love. I came down with a nasty cold this week and missed a couple of prime blogging days as a result. I hope to get all caught up as soon as the NyQuil hangover wears off.

This week’s pen reviews run the gamut from office supply cabinet staples, ballpoints and some higher end fountain pens so there’s something for every price point.  Enjoy!

Pens:

Inks:

Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:

Other Interesting Stuff:

Diamine 150th Anniversary Ink Collection

Diamine 150 years ink

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Diamine, eight new ink colors have been announced. The 1864 “Anniversary Collection” features new, triangular-shaped 40ml bottles. All the inks will be available for individual purchase and this collection will not be a limited release. For a full listing of the colors and written samples, check out this post from The Good Captain on the FPGeeks forum. I’m particularly keen on the Regency Blue, Blue-Black, Safari and Silver Fox.

Hopefully theses inks will start shipping in time for holiday stocking stuffing.

Diamine 150th Anniversary Ink Bottles

(via FP Geeks)

Ka-Week-O! Review: 14K Gold BB Nib

Kaweco 14K Gold BB Nib

Have you heard about the new 14K gold nibs available from Kaweco? Ooh la la! I got the chance to try out the BB, double broad nib. By eye, it looked like a stub nib, wide and flat but when I put it to paper, it created a wide soft line. Not hard edged at all.

Kaweco 14K Gold BB Nib

The ink just poured out of this nib. It really was quite wet and super smooth. There’s a little bit of a spring to the nib but as you can see from the writing sample, it doesn’t actually flex. I suspect it has as more to do with the overall broadness of the nib than how flexible the gold nib is. I’ve never used a BB nib before. It was a lot of fun but with my small writing, it might be a bit too much nib for me.

Kaweco nib size sampler

As I was testing all these Kaweco pens this week, I was able to compare the line widths of all the various Kaweco nibs I had on hand. I have almost the full gamut available (just missing a B and the calligraphy nibs). I’ve often commented that there is very little difference that I can see between the Kaweco steel EF and F nibs and, from the sampler page, I think that stands true. It also makes it abundantly clear how much wider and darker the BB 14K nib is.

The BB nib I received is a full unit, not just the nib so, out of the box, its designed to fit onto the higher-end Kaweco fountain pens like the AL-Sport, Luxe Sport, Special, Allrounder, Elegance, Student or the Dia2. It could probably be wiggled out of the housing to fit into a standard Sport but since its a nib that will retail for around $100, is it really something you’ll add to your $25 Sport?

The 14K nib is available in the full range of sizes: EF, F, M, B and BB. There is a two-tone version available in M only.

Overall its a gorgeous nib and speaks to Kaweco’s commitment to advancing their pen line, staying true to its historical roots and listening to the numerous requests of its loyal users. And that makes me very happy.


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

Field Notes: Ambition (Winter Colors Edition is OUT!)

Field Notes Ambition cover

Field Notes is not resting on its laurels. The Winter 2014/15 Colors Edition “Ambition” is certainly an ambitious edition. The three books are stunning in rich autumny tones with gold embossed logo lettering on the cover and gold foil edges. Each notebook serves a different function: the olive cover features ledger lines (the same as what was featured in the Traveling Salesman edition – one of my favorite editions), and the wine-colored cover covers a book of graph paper, and the chocolate colored cover hides 56 pages of weekly planner pages. Get a jump start on 2015!

The paper inside each book is Cougar Opaque 50# Natural White text weight vellum and, of course, there are matching gold tone staples biding the books together.

Field Notes Ambition gold edges

No better time to start a Colors subscription ($97 for a year of quarterly offers plus a 3-pack of the classic Kraft editions) than with this edition. Or purchase individual sets for $9.95 per set.

Field Notes Ambition inside lines

I don’t have mine in  hand yet but I cannot wait for this edition and I’ll definitely have to order additional sets. It would make a good stocking stuffer too.

Ka-Week-O! Review: Kaweco Skyline Rollerball in Grey

Kaweco Sport Skyline Grey Rollerball hack

With pens, I tend to choose silver and grey as my go-to colors since there are seldom options in green. With the new Skyline series for the Kaweco Sport line, I went straight for the Mint color. I did not pass GO, I did not collect $200 – or a grey pen.

Most people are excited about the Skyline series because they feature silver-toned nibs and chrome silver hardware instead of the traditional Sport series’ gold-toned nib and hardware. So when the Skyline series was released, lots of folks were just pleased to purchase the black or grey Skyline model with silver hardware.

Its only now that I see the appeal of the neutral grey color of the Skyline series. In an effort to expand my horizons, this time, I’m test-driving the rollerball version.

Unfortunately, the Kaweco refill was not the least bit left-handed friendly – at least not on the Rhodia paper I use for most of my testing. The Skyline rollerball refill is probably about a 0.7mm in black and I smudged for the word “go.”

So, it was time for a hack. I found a Uni-Ball Sign RT 0.38 refill which looked to be the right length in the point section but the barrel was a little too long. I used scissors to trim the end and then put the spring on the tip and loaded it back into the Skyline body. Voila!

No smudges and a great new pen!

Kaweco Sport Skyline Grey Rollerball hack


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

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