Sticky Note Day: Mofusand Sticky Notes Stand – Cat / Shark Dance

Sticky Note Day: Mofusand Sticky Notes Stand – Cat / Shark Dance

Did I once say “no kawaii” products? I lied.

I found the Mofusand characters a couple years back and scored a plush cat-in-a-costume critter from Enigma Stationery at a pen show last year so when I found the Dancing Shark sticky note pad ($9.99), I couldn’t resist. First, the Mofusand cat characters are a charming cross between Grumpy Cat and Sanrio with a dash of the ridiculous. This particular pad features a cat ina. shark costume doing a can-can dance. I mean, really! How can I resist?

The Mofusand Sticky Notes Stand (Cat/ Shark Dance $9.99) has a top flap cover to protect the paper inside. The cover also locks into the back slot to make it a stand-up table top pad and there is an additional diecut that can be folded up to show off can-can shark cat at the top.

As for the paper?… miraculously fountain pen friendly.

Yes, there’s a bit of bleed and show through on the back of the sheet using fountain pens but who really uses the back of a sticky note anyway? I seldom do. Overall though, there was no beading or ink resistance on the front of the paper stock which is a great sign.  Not to mention, can-can shark cats!

Don’t make Mofusand grumpier, grab a notepad and spread the love for fountain pen friendly sticky notes!

Link Love: Visiting the Supply Closet

Link Love: Visiting the Supply Closet

My pal and fellow stationery lover, Felicia Koloc, held the Grand Opening celebration of her itty bitty stationery shop, Supply Closet, on Saturday. Its in Kansas City, KS, just across the state line in a small residential neighborhood and tucked into a literal closet inside the Garden House Cafe. The shop is lovely and the opportunity to grab a delicious coffee surrounded by plants make the trip 100% worth it. The Supply Closet is open anytime the Garden House Cafe is open.

If you’re in the Kansas City area or passing through, its worth a trip to the shop. Don’t forget to grab a delicious coffee while you’re there.

The exterior of The Garden House Cafe
My pal Madeline agreed to be a model for scale. The shop really is a closet!
Beautifully organized and curated, The Supply Closet is a feast for the eyes and a ding to the wallet!
Owner Felicia ringing up a happy customer!




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

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Let’s talk guides!

If you’re a fan of blank notebooks, or beautiful unlined stationery, then you may be familiar with guide sheets or mats. These are sheets, typically printed with bold lines, grids or dots that you can place under the sheet upon which you’re writing, to allow you to write in straight lines or draw figures without needing a ruler.

Guide sheets or mats come in many forms and sizes. They can be as simple as a piece of graph paper (with darker lines) or can be printed on cardstock or plastic to be more durable. What led me to write this post today is that I purchased a Kyoei Orions Kiwami Shitajiki Writing Mat in A5 size from JetPens ($9.50).

I was intrigued by this particular mat because it was in black with white gridlines in both 10mm and 5mm measurements. The mat itself is decently thick and it weighs a bit (2.8oz/79g) and I thought it might be a sturdy companion to the few blank books I own (I confess I’m a sucker for dot grid and almost never order blank).

Over the years I’ve accumulated quite a few guide sheets. I got one when I bought my Musubi notebook, I’ve got one that is unbranded (don’t know where that came from) and I’ve got several from Ana who even makes a few of them free for you to print!

So how did this mat compare? I have to say that I liked the solid surface of the mat far better than the paper or cardstock models I already have. It gave me a firm, smooth writing surface so that I felt like my writing was even over the paper. On the vintage typewriter stock the grid showed through like a charm!

However I had a bit more trouble when I moved to a slightly denser notebook. I LOVE the Haiku notebook I reviewed years ago for it’s gorgeous gradient paper. However that dark pink just doesn’t want to play nicely with the black mat. You can see the lines faintly through the white section, but not otherwise. Whereas that plain no-name lined sheet actually showed up fairly well.

As it is so often in the stationery world, I think it comes down to preference. I like the feel of the mat and will likely use it when it works out, but I’m not tossing those cardstock ones yet. And you can’t beat Ana’s free ones either!

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

Notebook Review: Midori Grain Wirebound B6

Notebook Review: Midori Grain Wirebound B6

I purchased the Midori Grain Notebook ($15.50) is available in a B6 size (though it is also available in a reporter-style pocket notebook).

This lovely wirebound notebook includes 100 Sheets – 50 lined white sheets and 50 blank cream sheets and a vertical elastic to keep the book closed. The Grain notebook has two notable features that might be of interest.

The first feature are the covers that are made of recycled leather material. The covers are available in brown or black. When I see methods to reuse or repurpose materials, I am very interested. The cover is thin leather and flexible. There is an additional cardstock cover under the leather to provide additional structure and support. The back cover is kraft cardstock (AKA chipboard) and is the same color as the under-cover but a bit thicker.

the two layers of covers on the back of the Grain notebook

Th second feature of interest is the two different types of Midori MD paper: a natural white paper in the front with lines and an ivory blank paper in the back half of the notebook. For anyone whose days flip flop between sketches, doodles and other drawings to lists, meeting notes and other writing, having both options in one compact fountain pen-friendly notebook seems like a no-brainer.

There is also two back covers. The previously mentioned, stiff kraft cardstock with grommets and the elastic as well as a lighter weight kraft cover similar to the under-cover on the front of the book. I did have issues with the elastic creating a bit of a hump no matter how I tried to position it, move it out of the way or wrap it around the back cover

Writing Samples:

Writing samples aren’t entirely necessary as the paper is the same quality as many of Midori MD’s other products but in case you are unfamiliar with the paper, I thought I’d provide some samples.

Writing sample: lined white paper, front of stock

The paper is smooth and fairly lightweight. The lines are dotted and pleasantly light so as not to be distracting. After every five dotted lines there is a solid line to help divide up a week, a project, or a list.

Writing sample: lined white paper, back of stock

No pen bleed through the paper or feathered but the paper is quite thin so there is a bit of showthrough. If you’re inclined to use bold or broad pen nibs with jet black ink, this might be distracting to use both sides of the paper but even my bold brush pens did not create enough show through to be difficult to use the other side.

Writing sample: black cream paper, front of stock

The warm cream paper felt and performed exactly the same as the white lined paper. The cream color makes the blank sheets visually different but the performance was consistent to the white paper. It’s not designed for heavy ink or watercolor coverage but for day-to-day sketching, doodling and freeform work, it will handle the task.

Writing sample: blank cream paper, back of stock

Again, the show through on the back is noticeable but there’s no bleeding onto the back of the sheet.

Pens used in the writing tests

My One Quibble:

This notebook has one issue, in my eyes. The eleastic used to close the notebook is quite round and thick so when the notebook is open, there is no place to put the elastic that it does not create a bulge or lump under your writing surface.

It causes the notebook to bow a little as well where the rivets add additional bulk on each end. Regardless, the elastic is my one big annoyance. My inclination is to remove the back cover entirely and rely on the inner, under-cover to provide support for the back of the notebook. I might first try to remove the elastic and grommets to see if I can save the stiffer back cover before removing it entirely.

Overall, a notebook filled with two kinds of Midori MD paper for under $20 is a great deal and a solid notebook. If you have one or purchase one, let me know what you do with the elastic. I’m curious to find a good solution.

DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

In The Shop: New Products Released

In The Shop: New Products Released

I’m so excited to announce THREE new products in our shop this week. Some of these products have been in the works for months, and others were just developed in the last month. All the details are listed below, including a video that goes into excessive detail about each product.

Col-o-ring Dividers

Let’s start with the new prototype product: Col-o-ring Dividers! We went crazy for these here at The Desk. Why didn’t we do these sooner?!?! Colored card stock dividers to help organize your ink swatches. Each set of Dividers includes 20 cards. Prototype pricing is $5 per pack.

We have a small number of prototype samples. We want your feedback! We need your feedback. If these are well-received, we will put them into larger production and improve the packaging and nail down the colors of the stocks.

This product is so limited right now we are only listing it on Big Cartel.

Letter Writing Stationery Sampler Kit

This project took forever! The Letter Writing Stationery Sampler Kit is finally done and we are so happy to share it with you. We created a limited run set of 4 different writing papers bound into a notepad (40 sheets total) and matching envelopes (5 of each paper, 20 envelopes total). We, of course, letterpress printed a wraparound cover for the notepad and hand assembled the kits in my cat-filled studio so expect at least one stray cat hair.

The set includes a set of guide sheets. And there’s also a postcard to send back to us with your feedback. Letter Writing Kits will begin shipping out on Thursday, May 16, 2024. If you place an order between now and Thursday, order will ship on Thursday.

Side Quests Notepad

We all have them. Life Side Quests. The stuff that keeps us from clearing the next level, besting the boss level or leveling up our characters. Wow, if those are metaphors for life, I don’t know what is? But seriously, all those side quests to the grocery store, post office and deli just get in the way of our game time. So, use our handy-dandy Side Quests notepad to tame those quests so you can get back to your game.

Full details for these pads are in the shop but if you’ve purchased pads from us in the past, the Side Quests pads are the same size, same number of sheets and paper that doesn’t hate your fountain pen.

Oh, and because I’m feeling extra, there’s even a video that goes into more detail about each of the products. Because, why not?!?!

Reminder: Patrons get notified of new shop releases before anyone else so if you want to be first to be notified about new products, de-stashes or other special offers, consider becoming a Patron.

Ink Review: Sailor Manyo, Anniversary Set

Ink Review: Sailor Manyo, Anniversary Set

There’s a new release from Sailor Manyo inks – a 5th Anniversary limited edition! I find it hard to believe that nearly five years has passed since I reviewed the first round of Sailor Manyo inks. Since that time, Sailor has added to the Manyo lineup with a second full round and four dual shading inks (these dual shaders also come in a mini size!) and I have yet to resist a single bottle of these inks. A big thank you to the Dromgoole’s for sending these to the Well Appointed Desk team for review!

The newest additions to the Manyo line are Tsuyu, Ishi, Yu, Himeyuri, and Asagiri – each ink comes in a 50mL heavy glass bottle with a newly designed label for the 5th anniversary.

The five colors in this release contain a different theme. Previous releases covered a variety of flower and plant names – this group covers a nature-related theme.

First up is Tsuyu (Dew). A solid blue-black ink that has a slight green undertone.

Sailor Shimoyu is a bit greyer than Tsuyu and a bit lighter than Akkerman Party in the Back.

On Cosmo Air Light paper I was able to get a gorgeous green sheen.

Sailor Manyo Yu (Sunset) is my favorite of this bunch, an orange-y rust with great shading.

I didn’t realize how much orange was in Yu until I compared it with other swatches – Monteverde Copper Noir is a close match but Yu brings better shading.

Yu has a nice black halo/sheen on Midori MD paper.

On Cosmo Air Light paper, Yu’s halo/sheen seems more silvery with a base color that shows more orange.

Ishi (pebble) is the next ink – when I first heard the name I thought of the Japanese word for one, but I looked it up – it’s actually ichi. Close!

Ishi is a dusty mint green, only a bit darker than Vinta Karnival Summer Green – perfect for summer writing. I would probably say it’s a spearmint green.

Ishi doesn’t show much of a sheen or halo except in heavy puddles. On Midori MD is shows a bit of a reddish-black halo.

The lightest ink of this release is Asagiri (Morning Fog) – a pink with a hint of orange. I can imagine the color as the rising sun hits the fog first thing in the morning.

Asagiri isn’t quite as orange as Robert Oster Sushi – a bit closer to Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk.

Midori MD paper brought out a beautiful gold sheen on Asagiri, although it does need a bit of a heavier application to achieve it. Wonderful shading as well.

The final ink in the 5th Anniversary release is Himeyuri (Star Lily). This is a bright orange that isn’t so bright it will be tough on the eyes.

Diamine Inkvent Flame from the 2022 calendar is a good match for Himeyuri.

I was able to get a hint of silvery haloing on the heavier applications of Himeyuri. Again, wonderful shading.

The 5th Anniversary inks on Midori MD paper:

The 5th Anniversary inks on Cosmo Air Light paper:

The 5th Anniversary inks on Tomoe River 52gsm paper:

Sailor hasn’t raised the price on their Manyo line since introducing them five years ago – they are still offered at $24 for a 50mL bottle which comes out to less than $0.50 per mL (an amazing price for Sailor inks). The 5th Anniversary line is a limited edition but there has been no indication of how long they will be around.

While I do enjoy all five colors, Yu definitely wins in my eyes. Which of these inks is your favorite?

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