Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Wow, just wow…over a year since my last post – that’s a record. Shout-out to the reader who reminded me I actually have inks that need reviewing! Hopefully the annual break won’t be repeated.

Does anyone even read blog post anymore? With youTube so readily available, and Instagram being a mini film mecca, the moving pictures of  Hogwarts seem to have become a reality. Nonetheless, ponderings for a different day > to the ink!

Diamine 1864 Blue Black was part of an anniversary collection released to celebrate Diamines 150th year, the bottle is one of 8 wedge shapes that come together forming a perfect circle.  I did not purchase the bottle, as my love of blue and black inks tends to be very limited. But it defiantly is the most blue-black, blue black ink I have tried.

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

The colour reminds me of something James Bond would use to sign a document. Formal enough to be accepted on any legal document, but on closer inspection, not all is as it seems. Although that may not be the best idea, because any water would make the inked document null and void.

Diamine1864 Blue Black

Diamine1864 Blue Black

I would describe the colour as Navy Black, and uniquely enough, the wetter/broader the pen – the more navy the colour appears.

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

This ink did not feather or bleed through in normal writing, but when using the Pilot parallel I did notice feathering. As this is fairly rare on Rhodia Paper, i’m guessing this may not be an ink that fares well on standard pad and copier paper.

Below are a few ink drop comparisons, and I stand by my statement – a lot of blue-black inks that I try immediately get classified as navy blue in my head, this one really does have me asking the question… Is it blue or black?

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

As  always, this ink can be purchased at Write Gear

Pens: Lamy Safari, Flex Dip Pen, Pilot Parallel 6mm

Paper: Rhodia Grid Pad

Word Of the Day: Verisimilitude

Shameless Plug: Instagram

M.

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Diamine Pumpkin

I’ve had this colour in my pens for the whole month of October cause you know Halloween and pumpkins, it was a no brainer. Although I don’t care much for Halloween, and have no interest in pumpkin pie – it was a nice colour theme for the whole month.

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This colour is beautiful – super vibrant and summery. Has good smooth flow, water resistance is non-existent – as is expected, and the shading is minimal. This ink doesn’t have a really visible sheen to it, more like a definite shading line.

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I know this ink is called pumpkin, but this colour makes me think of summer days, juicy oranges and melting snow cones. Oh and Orange is the new Black – that series name is so catchy is ridiculous! Every time I hear the word Orange my mind automatically adds “is the new black”.

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The closest colour comparisons I had in my collection were: Diamine Peach Haze, Noodlers Dragons Napalm, Diamine Autumn Oak and Lamy Red. As you can see below none of them are a perfect dupes.

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This ink was bit more work to clean out, but that could simply be because it was in my pen for such a long period of time.

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There was also some bleed through, but none in normal writing, and only when going over the same spot multiple times – and even then it as minimal.

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I also took a few macro shots so below you can see a close up of the ink splat, and the transition in shading.

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As always I purchased my bottle here: Diamine Pumpkin

Now I just need to decide on a colour scheme for Christmas…

M.

Rohrer and Klingner Smaragdgrün

This is another one of those inks that I personally find addictive. I ink up a pen, and end up constantly using it,until i can convince myself to stop re-inking in the same colour and start rotating inks again.

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Calligraphy

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Calligraphy

The name Smaragdgrün means emerald and as you can see in the images it’s a pretty accurate description of the colour. Colombian emeralds to be even more specific, and somehow they’ve also managed to add some of the same glowy depth. Then again I really love this colour so take this review with a pinch or two of salt.

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You’ll also see that I spelt Smaragdgrün wrong:( I left out the d. What can I say – spelling has never been my strong suit. I’m pretty sure auto-correct was invented because of people like me.

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun

Like all Rohrer and Klingner inks, this one is beautifully behaved. No feathering, bleed-through, dries relatively quickly and the shading in my 6mm Pilot Parallel is just so prettttty, and the sheen – look at that red black sheen… K i’ll stop now.

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Sheen

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Sheen

And I don’t know why this happens, but its the second ink I’ve tried where that the shading line looks very different to the shading in the calligraphy. Any ideas?

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun

 

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Water resistance is non-existent but this also meant that cleanup was super easy. Decided to do some colour chromatography with this one –  and was immediately reminded of a Nebula.

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Calligraphy

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Calligraphy

It comes in the standard Rohrer and Klingner 50ml bottle, you can read more about the bottle in this review: Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Bottle

Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdrun Bottle

And as always it can be purchased here: Write Gear

M.

Diamine Shimmertastic – Golden Sands

Golden Sands is one of ten colours that form part of the Diamine Shimmertastic collection. Initially I had no intention of actually buying a full bottle of this colour. I mean after all, it’s yellow – and I already had two yellowish colours that have seen very little real world use. But then I got a sample…

Diamine Golden Sands

Diamine Golden Sands

This colour is the exact colour of a gold glitter gel pen. Not the metallic gel pens, the glitter ones. Granted, this is most probably not what most people envision their writing or formal documents to look like, but that’s what birthdays are for. 🙂

Diamine Golden Sands

Diamine Golden Sands

Even though I positively enjoy using this colour,  and I find the label and box pretty I am not fan of the bottle at all.

Diamine Golden Sands Box

Diamine Golden Sands Box

Diamine Golden Sands Box

Diamine Golden Sands Box

In fact I may even be willing to say I dislike it. The J.Herbin bottles are downright stunning though not very practical but this bottle is simply medicinal looking, with the addition of being impractical. (I know this is strange since I like to Rhorer & Klingner bottles just fine – and you could argue the look and feel of those isn’t all that different.)

Diamine Golden Sands Bottle

Diamine Golden Sands Bottle

Its a 50ml bottle and in my personal opinion I find the normal Diamine 80ml bottles much more appealing, and at least the Diamine 150 Anniversary bottle is interesting. The only thing I like about the bottle is that the cap matches the shimmer colour in the ink.

Diamine Golden Sands Bottle Opening

Diamine Golden Sands Bottle Opening

Then again, how important is the bottle, when the ink is pure gold right?

Diamine Golden Sands Shimmer

Diamine Golden Sands Shimmer

When looking at the page straight on, the shimmer isn’t that pronounced – the colour is more of a medium to dark yellow with highlights.

Writing Sample Full Page

Writing Sample Full Page

The minute you tilt the page it turns into over the top shimmery goodness.

Diamine Golden Sands Close Up

Diamine Golden Sands Close Up

As with all shimmer containing inks:

  • You always need to shake the bottle before filling.
  • While writing you need to routinely rotate the pen, and turn it upside down a few times to prevent the shimmer from settling.
  • Extra Fine and Fine nibs tend to give hard starts – stopped the flow completely in my EF nib. This type of ink is defiantly best used in M nibs and up.
  • Clean up requires a bit more dedication then normal. If you are hell bent on removing every single trace of shimmer then it requires commitment and a pen you can easily disassemble.
Writing Sample Top Close-Up

Writing Sample Top Close-Up

For me, none of the above is a deal breaker – and personally I like the bit of shimmer residue that finds its way onto the page from a new ink fill.

Writing Sample Bottom Close-Up

Writing Sample Bottom Close-Up

Water resistance is non-existent as expected, and the shading seems to show itself much better in the calligraphy letters, then in the actual shade swatch.

AU Close-Up

AU Close-Up

Golden Sands Shading

Golden Sands Shading

It’s just so sparkly. 🙂

Up close and personal.

Up close and personal.

This ink provides loads of entertainment if you start experimenting by mixing it with the normal Diamine ink range. You can really get some interesting and unique colours – just mix in small amounts and don’t cross contaminate your inks…

As always, this ink can be found here: Diamine Golden Sands

M

 

Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu

I’m becoming a huge fan of sailor inks. They seem to have this perfect balance of unique colours with surprising sheen and excellent flow. At least that’s my experience with them. One the one hand they seem pricey when you just look at the packaging and bottle. I mean look at Pelikan Edelstein and Montegrappa bottles – they absolutely beautiful, and it kind of makes you feel a little better about the price. But at the same time, I have yet to come across a more functional and pleasant to use bottle. (You can read more about the bottle here: bottle overview)

overview

ink overview

So I got a sample of this colour and the only thing that adequately describes it, is the emoji with the heart eyes and pure, awesome weirdness. In the vial, and when you begin writing it looks like a dark forest green.

Close up top

Close up top

But as it dries it changes colour to a kind of dark olive green, and if using a wet nib develops a red sheen with borderline black shading.

Look at that sheen

Look at that sheen

In this case I had it already inked in my TWSBI EF so I went with that, but I think this ink will really outdo itself in my Jinhao. It is considerably darker then Rhorer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun, and the few other yellow green inks I had. But Noodlers Sequinoa Green is a relatively good match – it is a touch darker though. Sequinoa Green also lacks the sheen, and doesn’t shade nearly as expressively.

Close up bottom

Close up bottom

And just look at the shading that’s possible with this colour…

Shading and Sheen

Shading and Sheen

The flow is excellent – i’m under the impression that it is a lubricated ink, but i’m not sure about this. Water resistance isn’t good, but then again that’s not really surprising.

Water resistance

Water resistance

Iv’e been entertaining myself this whole week with the colour change that happens as the ink dries. It really is a pleasure to use, and as an added bonus the cleanup is a breeze.

Ohhh and on a completely different but related topic… if any stationary lovers plan on going to Japan anytime soon – this store is insanely epic: Itoya

M

Rhodia Paper

Rhodia has become available in South Africa! Whoop:) Whoop:) (don’t judge my happiness). If you’ve ever found yourself on the the FPN you know about Rhodia paper, there is no way around it. Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Tomoe River are constantly discussed, and I have yet to come across a single post, that I was reading – where the paper quality doesn’t come up. Yes i’m sure that there are posts that may not mention paper at all, I just haven’t come across one yet. But I digress.

Rhodia A5 Pad Front

Rhodia A5 Pad Front

The Rhodia pad i have follows a standard pad format, but the front and back is covered by a cover that is thicker offering slightly better protection and feels like a plastic/paper hybrid. The front also has three scored lines that give you the option of preserving some header space should you so desire. Although it could just be there for decoration… It has the Rhodia logo on the front, while the back gives you information about the paper, and an overview of their other paper sizes, colours and formats available.

Rhodia A5 Pad Back

Rhodia A5 Pad Back

So in this case its: 80gsm paper, 80 sheets of paper, graph format, N16/A5/14.8cm x 21cm, white paper, black cover and lastly made in France.

Rhodia Grid Close-up

Rhodia Grid Close-up

The paper is divided into 5mm blocks without any margin lines, and perforated at the top. No margins is going to be subjective preference but I like it. I sometimes find margins to be a waste of space, and this allows me to customize my margin size. The colour of the graph is lilac, instead of the traditional blue that we see here, but the intensity is about the same.

The paper is easily one of the best I have tried. Its just so smooth – it writes kind of how Moleskine feels to the touch, if that makes any sense? My understanding is that its coated, so the dry time is a touch longer then normal. The way I decided to demonstrate this paper was to write in both cursive and print using different inks and nibs, I though that this would test the paper quality best.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample

From top to bottom I used:

TWSBI EF Nib and Sailor – this ink still showed sheen and slight colour change, pretty awesome considering the thinness of the nib!
Pilot Parellel 1.5mm and Noodlers X-Feather
Lamy F Nib and Diamine Bilberry – Also had some gunmetal coloured sheen.
Lamy M Nib and Diamine Silver Fox
Noodlers Konrad Broad/Flex and Diamine Magical Forest
Rhorer and Klingner Glass Pen and Diamine Damson
Pilot Parellel 6mm and Diamine Blue Pearl – The sheen, the shading, the shimmer its all just so pretty.

Back of page.

Back of page.

And this is the other side of the page, not a drop of bleed-through, no show-through and only very light ghosting. I’ll be honest, I was not expecting the other side of this paper to be completely usable.

If you would like to give this paper a try, it can be purchased here: Rhodia

M

The Cuttlebug ;)

WARNING: This post is incredible long….

For those of you that don’t know what a Cuttlebug is, it’s essentially a small manual powered roller pressure press. The pressure that this little machine provides allows you to emboss, deboss, letterpress and die cut.

Cuttlebug

Cuttlebug

It is compact so I can store it easily, and when opening it on a flat table it automatically suctions the cuttlebug down. This prevents the machine from moving around when rolling the plates through.

Cuttlebug Open

Cuttlebug Open

There is no front/back end so the machine can be used easily by both lefties and righties. And if you ever need more pressure or some buffer you can easily add a few shims as required.

Please don’t use any excessive force to push the plates through the machine. If they aren’t going through you need to change your sandwich up.

Cons: Anything bigger then A5 in portrait mode wont fit through the opening. So any dies, printing plates, embossing folders, paper etc… Need to be slightly smaller then this. So you just need to be conscientious about checking the measurements when buying accessories from different brands.

Some clarity (heaven knows I needed it when I first started…)

Emboss: Provides a raised image on the paper.*
Deboss: Provides a sinked image on the paper.*
Letterpress: Inked debossed image, traditionally with an oil/rubber based ink on thick cotton paper.
Die Cut: Normally a thin, fancy shaped piece of metal with a cutting edge.
Shim: Pieces of card stock or paper used to buffer any extra space in the plate sandwich, or if you want slightly more pressure.

* Most embossing folders that are sold provide both an embossed and debossed side on the same piece of paper. It is up to you to choose which side you would like to use for your project. (Pictures with demo further down**)

The cuttlebug by default comes with the following:

1 x Cuttlebug Machine
1 x User Manual
1 x A Plate (Thick white one)
2 x B Plates(Clear thinner ones)
1 x Embossing/Debossing Folder – I got simple flowers.

Plates that come with the machine.

Plates that come with the machine.

Please Note:

If you would like to use dies with the cuttlebug you will need to buy thicker ‘C’ Plate.

C Plate and Dies

C Plate and Dies

If you would like to use deboss your die cuts with the cuttlebug you will need to buy a rubber mat. The rubber mat will also allow you to use stencils as embossing/debossing tools.

Rubber Mat & Stencils

Rubber Mat & Stencils

If you would like to make your letterpress life easier I would suggest buying the L Letterpress platform, there is a hack for this using the base plates already provided, and just buying a few additional items and printing plate – but it doesn’t always come out looking perfect.

All additional dies, embossing folders and letterpress plates need to be purchased separately.

So what can be done straight out of the box? Embossing and debossing, yip that’s it… everything else requires additional purchases. So in my case I received a simple flower embossing/debossing folder. Your required sandwich for embossing/debossing is: A plate, B plate, embossing folder with paper inside, B plate.

Normal emboss/deboss sandwich.

Normal emboss/deboss sandwich.

And roll it through the machine.

Rolling through the machine.

Rolling through the machine.

This is the result:

Embossed Side

Embossed Side

Debossed Side

Debossed Side

You can also ink the inside of the embossing folder, thereby getting a very rustic letterpress effect(not the hack). Like so:

Using an ink pad to colour the folder on one side.

Using an ink pad to colour the folder on one side.

Run it through the cuttlebug using the same sandwich formula as before and tada. 🙂

Inked folder result.

Inked folder result.

If you would like to cut out paper into intricate shapes easily you will need to buy dies and a ‘C’ Plate. In my case I purchased these two sets.

Dies

Dies

The sandwich for using dies is as follows: A plate, B plate, Die with sharp side in contact with the paper, C plate.

Dies Sandwich

Dies Sandwich

and roll through the machine. Now just pop the paper out and voila, so cute right?

 

The machine cuts the shapes right out.

The machine cuts the shapes right out.

*Please note that you will hear ominous cracks and your plate will come out scared… The sound is the die cutting through the paper and into the plastic plate. I have found, that it doesn’t matter, if the sharp side of the die is facing up or down. I just prefer to limit the damage to the ‘C’ plate, mostly because it is thicker then the ‘B’ plate, so in my mind should be able to take the abuse better.

Pop them shapes out.

Pop them shapes out.

*Now if you would like to deboss the cut out you have just made, you will need the rubber mat. This basically just makes your cut out pop a bit more. First off, you need to keep your paper in the die template. Take the A plate, B plate, die with the paper still in place – cutting side facing the rubber, rubber mat,  B plate.

Embossing the die cuts sandwich formula.

Embossing the die cuts sandwich formula.

Run the sandwich through the machine and pop the dies out.

Embossed/Debossed Dies.

Embossed/Debossed Dies.

Before and after:

Embossed Die Cut Vs Normal Die Cut

Embossed Die Cut Vs Normal Die Cut

*You can also use stencils, and thinner cardstock this way to lightly emboss the stencil onto the paper. Your sandwich would be the same as above, just instead of the die you would have the stencil. A plate, B plate, a stencil with paper on top, rubber mat,  B plate.

Stencil Emboss/Deboss Sandwich.

Stencil Emboss/Deboss Sandwich.

Running the sandwich through the machine result in the following:

Debossed Stencil Result

Debossed Stencil Result

Embossed Stencil Result

Embossed Stencil Result

As you can see some crinkling of the paper has happened. In this case it is because the stencil was so much bigger then the paper.

And lastly my personal favorite… Letterpress, but really anything with ink and good paper tends to make me happy – so totally biased. Letterpress paper is thicker and softer then normal paper, therby allowing you to create a nice deep impression. You won’t get the same effect using normal paper, thick and soft is key here.

Letterpress tools

Letterpress tools

Letterpress ink is tacky, has a similar consistancy to toothpaste. It needs to be worked out on a block and thinly applied using a rubber roller. It also stays tacky for a very long time, unless it is pressed into the cotton paper, then it reacts with the paper and dries insantly.

Don’t even think about writing a message in fountain pen ink on this paper though, sadly with any waterbased inks it acts like a sponge.

The plates for letterpress are also diffrent to the embossing folders. You can use one side of the embossing folder as a letterpress, and it does work – but you will also get an impression of the folders border. So unless you want to letterpress the whole card in the design, the effect is ruined. Letterpress plates dont realy have borders, and are slightly deaper cut. So the impression is created cleanly.

Letterpress Plates Vs Embossing Folders

Letterpress Printing Plates Vs Embossing Folders

As I said, the kit for me is the best way to get started. But if you can’t go the kit route then you need the following: A rubber brayer, piece of plastic to work the ink, letterpress ink, letterpress paper, double sided tape and either a printing plate or an embossing folder. In this case i’ll be using small designs of both a embossing folder and a printing plate, so you can see the diffrence.

Flower Letterpress Printing Plate

Flower Letterpress Printing Plate

Sizzix Embossing Folder

Sizzix Embossing Folder

So doing letterpress using the cuttlebug plates requires you to be slightly more pedantic then normal. On the one ‘B’ plate you need to attach your printing plate/embossing folder(raised side facing down) using double sided tape. Your other ‘B’ plate will have a piece of letterpress paper facing up.

Setting up the plates to letterpress.

Setting up the plates to letterpress.

These two plates need to be aligned so that your design and paper are aligned correctly on both plates.

Aligning the plates together.

Aligning the plates together.

Once you happy with the alignment, you need to ink the design. Make sure you clean up any stray ink.

Inking the design

Inking the design

And here is where the tricky part comes in, once you touch the ink to the paper – so placing the two B plates together. You cannot move the design until you have rolled it through the machine. Well you can, but then you will have additional ink smudges all over your design. I’ve mentioned i’m not ocd right? Seriously i’m not, but letterpress paper is seriously expensive in my opinion.

Inked and ready to roll through the cuttlebug.

Inked and ready to roll through the cuttlebug.

Your plate sequence is as follows: A plate, B plate with the letterpress paper, B plate with the embossing folder/printing plate. Run it through and hopefully you should have a pretty letterpress design.

Letterpress Printing Plate Flower

Letterpress Printing Plate Flower

You can see the some extra ink lines where I slightly moved the design. You will use the embossing folder in exactly the same way as the printing plate. The only difference is that the folder needs to be left flat.

Letterpress using an embossing folder.

Letterpress using an embossing folder.

As you can see below, the design came out nicely, and if I hadn’t moved the plate so much – it wouldn’t have smudged. The thing I don’t like about it is that it creates a ‘folder’ line.

Folder Letterpress Results

Folder Letterpress Results

If the whole paper fits into the folder then you wont have this line, but that limits you to only creating full backgrounds textures.

Letterpress with cuttlebug plates and embossing folder, Letterpress with cuttlebug plates printing plates, Letterpress with letterpress kit plates.

Letterpress with cuttlebug plates and embossing folder, Letterpress with cuttlebug plates printing plates, Letterpress with letterpress kit plates.

All in all I find my cuttlebug to be really useful. But i’m not a super user or anything – i’m sure people who do scrap booking and arts and crafts regularly would prefer a machine that can at least handle A4 paper and larger dies. For me this one is more then adequate.

You can find almost all of these products here: Scrap-a-doodles

M.