There are a couple of brands of ink recently that I’ve developed a terrible case of FOMO about and a oddly, Montblanc is one of them. Generally speaking, I am not a big Montblanc pen fan in general because they are too expensive and fussy for me in regards to modern pens and the well for vintage pens is too deep and pricey to get into. But the inks… that’s a well shallow enough for me to play in and many of the colors are lovely and the themes are interesting – historical figures, music, literature and charitable organizations. It’s almost altruistic. So, after a dive into the new Lucky Orange, Golden Yellow and Miles Davis Jazz Blue which I will review soon, I was equally tempted by the UNICEF Turquoise ink.
KWZ Chicago Blue (60ml, $15) is an ink color exclusively created for the Chicago Pen Show 2017 but luckily for you, it did not sell out completely. There are still a few bottles left for sale through Vanness Pens. So, even if you weren’t able to make it to the show, you can still feel like you were a part of the event.
The bottle features a watercolor portrait of the skyline and the tagline “exclusively for Chicago Pen Show 2017” so its definitely a collector’s bottle. For those familiar with KWZ ink, it has the signature aroma of lightly menthol-honey that I’ve grown to love when you open the bottle.
Did you know that Sailor makes a ballpoint pen that matches the 1911 fountain pen line? I’m as surprised as you are! At first, I thought, why would I want a fancy-pants ballpoint pen? I’m not one known for being particularly fond of ballpoint pens in general. I am still in therapy after years of gloopy, smudgy budget-priced excuses for ballpoint pens that left smears on my school term papers and on my hand so it takes a lot of convincing for me to even consider a ballpoint pen. Ron at Pen Chalet promised I would love the refill in the Sailor 1911 Ballpoint ($48) so I was willing to take a chance.
Inside the familiar navy blue, spring-loaded Sailor pen box was the ivory colored (listed as white on the web site) ballpoint pen. The pen is a twist mechanism rather than a click or capped design but otherwise looks very similar to the 1911 fountain pen. The clip is the same, the top end has the same rounded shape and the length is comparable. The barrel at the grip is a little bit narrower since its not capped.
Review by Laura Cameron.
A few months ago I saw that Amazon was having a sale on the Ghost Paper Notebook. I forwarded the link to Ana, and she let me know she already had one on the way. Of course!
I wasn’t entirely surprised when she put the Ghost in my bag of goodies to try and asked me for a review.
The Ghost Paper Notebook is an A5, 6” x 8” (15.24cm x 20.32cm) notebook that has faintly embossed and debossed lines that you can just barely feel on the pages. In the right light, you can see the lines and use them as guides, but in many lights the pages appear blank.
The notebook itself comes with a faux leather cover in Steel Grey that is soft to the touch and quite flexible. It has 96 pages and an elastic pen loop and closure. The front and end pages are plain, but provide a clean start and finish to the book.There isn’t a back pocket in this version, but a little birdie told me that there might be in future version. The paper is wood-free and a weight 100lb, which means it is super absorbent and nice and thick. The notebook has a white ribbon bookmark, and the only thing I can find fault with is that it doesn’t seemed to be finished so it might fray with use.
The feature of the Ghost Paper Notebook that I was most intrigued with is the embossed/debossed lines on the paper.
I’ve been blogging about pens and ink for seven years and this is the first time I’ve tried a Montegrappa ink. Its safe to say, “Its about time!” So, my first bottle is the Montegrappa Violet (50ml $20).
Bottle rating? A+. Those Italians know a thing or two about making things look fabulous. The faceted glass bottle is elegant and classic and the matching facted top with gold coin logo is bellissima! The grippy gear at the bottom makes it possible to open and close the bottle even if your fingers are wet. Engineering points too!
I had fun using Montegrappa Violet as a watercolor. I was able to pull some of the pink out around the edges and get to see exactly how vivid and rich this ink is. Montegrappa Violet is a very saturated ink. In some ways it almost looks indigo its so rich.
Post of the Week:
I am touched and flattered that Rhodia took the time to read and respond to my Dot Grid Showdown post. In their reply, they mentioned my biggest complaint which is the ribbon length and said that they are hoping to lengthen it! Joy! They also explained why the dot colors are as dark as they are. And I know for some users, they prefer the color. So, despite my preference for lighter dots, the world has options for a reason. I also discovered, upon opening a different color Leuchtturm 1917 dot grid that not all editions have the same color dots so there may be some consistency issues with how dark the dots print from one volume of Leuchtturm to the other. Whichever notebook you choose, I think all the companies are thoughtful and upstanding and working hard to stand by their products. Thanks, Rhodia for listening to your customers!
- Bullet Journaling Dot-Grid Notebook Comparisons (via Rhodia Drive)
- The humble ballpoint pen has become a new symbol of China’s innovation economy — Quartz (via The Cramped)
- Video: Two of My Favorite Fountain Pens (via The Frugal Fountain Pen)
- Namisu Studio (via Inkdependence)
- Where Fountain Pens Are Saved and Sold (via NYTimes)
- Sailor 1911 Black Luster (via Gentleman Stationer)
- PW Akkerman Dutch Masters Series – Swatch Test (via Fountain Pens Inks & Bleach)
- Franklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald (via Gourmet Pens)
- Robert Oster Tangerine (via Pen Chalet Blog)
- Monteverde Canyon Rust (via Office Supply Geek)
- On Point (Nice nail polish, Caroline!) (via Flow Magazine)
- Les Crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Wooden Pencil Box Edition No. 1 (via Pencil Talk)
- The Point of a Pencil – 5 Reasons I Sharpen With A Knife (via Pencilism)
- A Moment in Pencil History: Japanese Pencil Designations (via C.W. Pencils Blog)
Paper & Notebooks:
- Getting Things Done, Deep Work and Bullet Journals (via Liz Steel)
- Col-o-ring Ink Testing Book (via Pen Addict)
- The Hobonichi Techo as a Bullet Journal (via The Finer Point)
- Leuchtturm1917 A5 Hardbound Notebook (via The Finer Point)
- Baron Fig Vanguard Infinity Edition (via The Finer Point)
- Baron Fig Mastermind and Nomad Sticky Notes (via Gentleman Stationer)
- Rhodia X Marc Jacobs (via Rhodia Drive)
- A Baron Fig Extravaganza! (via All Things Stationery)
- Story Supply Co X CW Pencil Enterprise Pencil Pusher Pocket Staple Notebook (via Comfortable Shoes Studio)
- ‘…back to the roots’ – testing small portable notebooks – Part 4. ‘Back to basics’ (via The Clumsy Penman’s Inkfusion Site)
- How I use notebooks (via Bleistift)
- Video: Mr Paper on Itoya Petite Journal (via Anderson Pens Blog)
Other Interesting Things:
- May Desktop Downloads (via Oh So Beautiful Paper)
- Studio Ink Wallpapers (via Think. Make. Share.)
- RSVP: Stationery Podcast Episode Zero (via RSVP)
- Common Calligraphy Ink Problems + Solutions (via The Postman’s Knock)
- Chicago Pen Show 2017 Journal Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 (via Pen Habit)
- Stationery Shop Map Update 2017 (via All Things Stationery)
- Thermochromic Eclipse Stamp (via Letter Writers Alliance)
- My (Liz Steel) Daniel Smith Dot Card (via Liz Steel)
*Editor’s Note: It appears that The Finer Point‘s RSS feed was out of commission for a few weeks so I’m doubling down on her content this week. If you don’t have Jenny in your favorites already, this would be a good time to add her to your list. She’s been reviewing a lot of notebooks recently and she’s one of my favorite reads.
The May ArtSnacks subscription box was my turn to review a box since Tina is traveling the Italian countryside. This box was probably a bit more to my taste than hers anyway so it probably all worked out. Acrylic paint isn’t exactly urban sketch-friendly.
This month featured a tube of Liquitex heavy body acrylic paint in Muted Pink. I fell in love with the limited edition inks that Liquitex did last year in the muted colors so I can see why they decided to try the formula with their acrylic paints.
I’m more inclined to mix colors with paints and I like fluid acrylics better than heavy body, especially for everyday use but I can see the appeal. And it’s pretty easy to thin these heavy body paints down with water or mediums into a thinner glaze for more mileage. Besides, the tube fits into the classic ArtSnacks box a lot easier than a Liquitex liquid acrylic bottle. I got the color Muted Pink which is very “dried blood” color or if you are more inclined “brick red”.