Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Piccadilly Journal Review

Finally! The review I have been wanting to do but putting off for so long. Piccadilly Journal/paper review. I have been writing for a couple weeks now in this journal (with various inks) and have finally decided to showcase it off.

I used quiet a few inks and pens that were already loaded and ready to go. Here is what was used in this test:

  • Diamine Oxblood - Lamy Safari 'F' Nib
  • Noodler's Blue Nose Bear - Ohto Dude (Fine to Medium Nib?)
  • De Atramentis WIlliam Shakespeare - Lamy Al-Star 'F' Nib
  • Noodler's Burma Road Brown - Lamy Safari 'F' Nib
  • Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses - Lamy Al-Star 'F' Nib
  • "Supposed to be" Diamine Rustic Brown (Got mixed accidentally with another ink) - Baoer   Fountain Pen (Fine-Medium Nib)
  • Pelikan Black Ink - Lamy Vista 'EF' Nib
  • Pilot G-2  0.7 Black ink
  • Staples Optiflow Pen Black ink
  • Aluminum metal barrel Pentel Energel 
  • Metallic Sharpie Pen
Here are the results...

Front View
 I am extremely impressed with this journal. However, I think this may be one of their higher quality journals. When I purchased it, I remember it saying on the back something like "high quality 90gsm paper" or something along those lines. Don't quote me 100% though.

Rear View
The only thing that showed through was the Metallic Sharpie. There was some very, very light ghosting from the Noodler's Blue Nose Bear in the Ohto Dude. It came out pretty wet, and I believe that to be the pen, since I have done reviews on this ink in other pens. It never came out as dark or wet as it did in the other pens I used.

The Journal is a nice soft faux leather with beautiful stitching on the edges. It holds together nicely. However, it will not lie flat when writing. You would have to add some pressure and bend it a little to get it to lie flat. Very flexible journal though. It appears you can pick this up at Barnes and Noble (as I did on clearance) fairly reasonable. I got mine cheaper than any Moleskine and the paper quality is much better than Moleskine.

I would highly suggest these journals for anyone who is an avid writer or just needs a place to jot down those notes or favorite songs that you hear on the radio. The paper quality is great. The line spacing is medium (not too large, not too thin). However, I will pre-warn you...This is one of their "higher quality" type of journals. If you pick up their pack of pocket journals (like 3 in a package) the line spacing is a bit smaller and narrower. Just an FYI.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Red Trio Ink Review: Diamine Oxblood, De Atramentis William Shakespeare, & Noodlers Black Swan in English Roses

So I decided to do a trio red ink review/comparison. However, with as dim and gloomy as it has been the past couple days, good lighting has been hard to come by for my photos. I suppose I will have to look into a better way to getting as close to the exact ink colors as I can.

Anyhow, continuing onward.

I figure I will show you some photos first, and then break down each ink color.
In each photo, the first ink will always be Diamine Oxblood. Followed by De Atramentis, and so on.

** Each ink is in a Lamy Pen with a Fine Point Nib (that way tests are fair)**

  1. Diamine Oxblood - Lamy Safari Black with F point nib
  2. De Atramentis William Shakespeare - Lamy Al-Star with F point nib
  3. Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses - Lamy Al-star with F point nib

The three red inks. In order. Diamine Oxblood, De Atramentis William Shakespeare,
& Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses


Diamine Oxblood:

Diamine Oxblood. This ink has beautiful coloring and wonderful flow in my Lamy Safari F point Pen. I notice that this ink tends to be more of a red with very little shadowing. Almost a dark Maroon.

  • Beautiful ink.
  • Wet
  • Flows nicely
  • Not much for shadowing (unlike the other two inks)
 Below is an actual swab from Goulet Pen Company.

As you can see, the color varies a bit differently than what I have pictured. I believe this is due to the light and camera used while taking pictures. What Goulet is showing is pretty accurate, except maybe a tad bit darker than what I am actually seeing when I wrote with it.

De Atramentis William Shakespeare:

This ink is a beautiful ink. Not quiet as wet as the other two. It does go on lighter and when it dries comes out a bit darker. This ink has nice shadowing with almost a hint of black in it. It reminds me of Wine, the color does.

Top line is 1 second, middle line 5 seconds, and bottom line is 10 seconds.

  • Medium in wetness
  • Flows smoothly
  • Can get some scratchiness now and then
  • Goes on lighter; dries darker
  • Hints of dark maroon or even possibly black in it.
Below is a swatch from Goulet Pen Company on the ink:

As you can see, again, two different colors. I believe that the swatch Goulet gives is much darker than what you actually get. You cannot see the light coloring or black shadowing in this swatch, as you can with mine.

Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses:

This ink also seems to shadow nicely. A very wet flowing ink (so watch the possible smudging & smearing) A tad bit darker than William Shakespeare. Also has black points in it as well. A deep, rich, dark almost maroon with black shadowing. This ink has been a favorite of mine to write with and still currently is.

  • Wet (maybe somewhat too wet, but that could be how it is flowing from the nib in my pen)
  • Rich, dark red with black shadowing
  • Seems to take a bit longer to dry
  • Beautiful ink, could possibly be used in a professional setting (that allows reds)

Below is a swatch from Goulet Pen Company of the ink.

 I feel that this is a pretty accurate swatch. In the writing above, you can see the black points. Although, I think color wise, it is a tad bit darker. Might just be the lighting in my house. This ink is one that I currently use on a regular basis and is a favorite.

Overall Thoughts:

Diamine Oxblood is a good ink, however little shadowing and character. Nice red ink.
De Atramentis is a decent ink for those who like lighter inks. May have an affect on appearance if it fades over time.
Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses is my pick out of them all for inks. Nice deep red/burgundy with black shadowing. Beautiful.
All inks have just about equal dry time.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Finds (unburials)

Do you know how amazing it is when you find all of your fountain pens that you were not sure the location of? It is an amazing feeling, to say the least. I was happy to have "recovered" 6 fountain pens that I bought years ago! Guess what I did next....

Yup. I cleaned them. I think I spent over an hour, cleaning the pens (flushing) and rinsing out converters and cartridges which I plan to re-use. There are two pens in which the ink had sat in them for so long (way too long for a fountain pen) and the ink had dried 10x over on them! So rinsing was just not an option. They are currently soaking in some rinse. Hopefully that helps get the ink off of them.

However, I worked hard enough to get two of them clean enough and refilled with ink. I am looking forward to doing some writing tonight and seeing how they do. Either they will write great or they will need more cleaning and fine tuning.

Baoer Fountain Pen
 This is one of the pens I cleaned and refilled (with Noodler's Antietam). The picture quality stunk since my cell phone (nor my camera) wanted to perform well for me tonight. Must have been the lighting. I am not sure of the nib size on this, however, and I am not sure how to tell. This was an eBay buy years ago.

Ohto Dude - Japanese
This one is my Ohto Dude fountain pen. Again, I am not sure of the nib size of this pen, but I would assume it is a Fine or Medium. This was purchased a couple years ago on Jet Pens. I remember when I first wrote with it. I must have been, because the ink cartridge that was in it was completely empty! Now it is time to get this beauty up and writing again.

These old finds mean....REVIEWS! Yes I will be doing reviews in the near future of not only these pens I have cleaned and found, but some of the inks that they currently are inked up with. Here is what you can look forward to in the near future....

  • Ohto Dude Review
  • Baoer Fountain Pen Review
  • Baoer Comparison Fountain Pen review (may combine with the previous one)
  • Diamine Oxblood Ink Review
  • De Atramentis William Shakespeare Ink Review
  • Diamine Rustic Brown Ink Review
  • Noodler's Army Green Ink Review

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Importance of Handwriting

Handwriting is something that I greatly enjoy. There is just something about putting the pen to the paper and filling it up with thoughts, events, memories, and such that is so...nostalgic. Brings back memories of when I was in elementary school. The teachers spent so much time focusing on teaching us how to write (by hand) and we even learned cursive! I do not even think they teach children cursive anymore in school.

Whether it is filling out applications, writing in my journal, writing letters with photos attached to my Grandma down in Oregon, handwriting is bliss...happiness...relaxing.

I would like to thank a fellow blogger for posting about this as well and sharing the link to "What's Lost as Handwriting Fades". This article is an interesting read. I find it informative that, "Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information". (Konnikova, Maria June 02, 2014).
In a world were technology is so prevalent and mainstream, it is easy to forget how things first started....with a pen, a piece of paper, and some ink. According to research that is out there, handwriting also keeps the brain in tip-top working order, sharper than ever. Not only that, but handwriting helps the brain to remember and retain information better than the screen and keyboard does.
Here is another article that you may find interesting. "4 Benefits of Writing by Hand" - Chris Gayomali. This article also comes with some references to research studies, and information that you might find interesting.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sheaffer 100

This review is a couple years over-due! LOL. Well, that is, I bought this pen several years ago and have only just recently (within the last 6 months) been doing pen, ink, and journal reviews. Honestly, I love it too! Hand writing is something that has faded since my generation has grown into adulthood. I remember when in elementary school they taught you to write in cursive. Your paper's had to be hand-written first, and then typed up for the final draft. Oh the good ol' days.

Yes, I forgot to "polish" my pen before taking pictures, so finger prints are visible

Anyhow, back to current day reality! So, my Sheaffer 100 pen in chrome. I must say, this is a great pen to write with. I used to write with it a lot, before I got hooked on some nice gel pens (G2 Limited Editions) and then it only got use once in a while in my journal. So now that it has had a good flush and is inked up with some Noodler's Antietam, it is ready to write!

The first think I noticed right off the bat was that the Sheaffer produced a smaller (thiner) line than my Lamy's. It writes smoothly. Ink flows evenly and almost better than it does with my Lamy fountain pens.

The difference is not significantly noticeable (at least not at a distance) however you can see in the picture above, the difference in lines that the Sheaffer fine nib (Left) and the Lamy Safari fine nib (Right) produce.

Please excuse any improper grammar. LOL

  • Smooth writing
  • Ink flows evenly
  • Nice, thin line for a 'Fine'
  • Heavy weight pen
  • Easy to fill.

  • A pain in the butt to clean & flush
  • Is not extremely ergonomic, so writing for long periods can make hands/fingers sore
  • Clip is pretty stiff, so putting on a shirt pocket, may be tricky.
  • Cap posts "OK", however makes it a bit heavier at that end.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Upcoming: Sheaffer 100

What a happy day for me! I finally pulled out (ok, 'found') my ol' Sheaffer 100 fountain pen  that I had purchased several years ago. This was back before I was really knowledgeable in fountain pens. Sure enough I also located the Sheaffer gift box that not only holds my standard ink cartridges, but also held the cartridge converter for my Sheaffer pen (Glorious day!).

Since it has been at least, two-three months since I last wrote with my Sheaffer, it still had the old empty cartridge in it (which I am saving) and lots of purple ink in it. I must have flushed 80ml AT LEAST of water through that pen to clean it. My Lamy's have not required such a hefty flush (yet). My intentions were to ink it up with Noodler's Antietam (since It is the ink I have the most left of in my collection of sample vials). However, since this pen required such a heavy flush, I am going to let it sit over night to dry and ink it up tomorrow morning.

I will have a review of that pen and some pictures hopefully in the next few days! Look forward to it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A future 'New' journal.

I have to give thanks to Mr. J Robert Lennon for doing a review on this notebook on the Seven Seas Writer Notebook. This may very well be my new journal of choice. I may have to purchase one in the near future. I decided to share this with you all incase anyone else wants to see what is "new" out there for journals!