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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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

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Mystery Box

I love me a mystery box! They give you something to look forward to and get excited about. You never know what you going to get, you may love it – you may hate it – or you may already own some of it. But you will always get a chance to try something different and new, that’s what makes it fun.

Write Gear launched their first one this month, last month for this month – and I couldn’t wait to open it up! For those of you who may have ordered theirs and not received it yet – STOP, STOP READING NOW. If you still waiting for your box, this is basically a post of SPOILERS.

And fair warning, this is a looooong post, with lots of pictures.

Ohhh look at the pretty…

Mystery Box

Mystery Box

And even more prrreeeettttyyyy…K i’ll stop now.

Look at the sparkly - this is  Diamine Golden Sands

Look at the sparkly – this is Diamine Golden Sands

The box comes wrapped in heavy duty brown paper, with a hand written note from the founders. Once you open the box the first thing you see is a “Mystery Box User Guide”. I promptly put this aside so that I could get into the contents of the box, not a very good idea if you new to the eyedropper conversion process. You may stare at the eyedropper and silicon grease and wonder what in the world – and refer straight back to the handy user manual. 🙂

Mystery Box Unwrapped

Mystery Box Unwrapped

Everything in the box comes wrapped in colourful tissue paper, and underneath the tissue paper everything comes wrapped in the addictive stress reliever also known as bubble wrap.

Open Box

Open Box

Bubble Wrapped

Bubble Wrapped

The box contents out of the box.

Out the box.

Out the box.

Followed by the box contents out of its protective bubbles.

Box Contents

Box Contents – One sample vial is missing from this image. ;(

In summary in no particular order, the box contains the following:

a) 1 x A5 Paper Pad
b) 1 x A6 Paper Pad
c) 1 x A6 Notebook
d) 5 x Diamine Shimmer Ink Sample Vials
e) 1 x Dip Pen Holder
f) 6 x Dip Nibs
g) 1 X 80ml Bottle Of Diamine Ink
h) 1 x Platinum Preppy F Nib
i) 1 x Platinum Preppy M Nib
j) 2 x O Rings
k) 1 x Tub Silicone Grease
l) 1 x Box Of Carbon Platinum Cartridges
m) 1 x Eyedropper
n) 10 X 300gsm Swatch Cards
o) 10 X Earbuds
p) Vouchers

The shimmer ink samples provided are simply mesmerizing! My two favourites are hands down Night Sky, which is basically the silver version on J.Herbin Stormy Sea and Blue Lightning. This one is also a silver shimmer with a base very similar to Lamy Turquoise. Then there is Purple Pazzazz, this one has a dark purple base with gold shimmer while Brandy Dazzle is a red brown with gold shimmer. Lastly there is Golden Sands, I would say this is defiantly the one with the most sparkle – and could easily be mistaken for a gel pen. They really excelled at making this one captivating and the name is perfect, but it is a yellow gold and even though I love the colour, i’d have a hard time finding any practical use for it unless I had a specific project in mind. But hey, if I could buy them all this would take third place.

Inks

Inks

Now for those who feel that shimmer should not belong in an ink[who hurt you? :p], there is also a full bottle of Diamine Sapphire Blue, a cartridge of ink in both preppy pens and a box of carbon black cartridges to keep you satisfied.

Swabs

Swabs

These swabs where done using the Swatch cards provided, which I cut into smaller pieces using my cuttlebug and a cutting die. I would assume this paper is either a mixed media 300gsm paper or a watercolour 300gsm paper available in most art shops. If you interested in the specific brand i’m sure you could contact write gear directly and they’d be happy to tell you. Swabs in order of appearance, from left to right are: Purple Pazzazz, Brandy Dazzle, Golden Sands, Blue Lightning, Sapphire Blue and Night Sky.

Now for the DIY portion of the box. Converting the classic preppy into the iconic eyedropper, dum, dum, dum. The process is very simple actually.

Preppy Conversion Kit

Preppy Conversion Kit

1)Pick the preppy you would like to modify, remove the cartridge – you wont be needing it.
2)Slip the O ring onto the treads of the top half of the pen(nib side).
3)Rub silicone grease on both the inner and outer thread sections.
4)Take the eyedropper and your favorite bottle of ink and simply fill the barrel up three fourths of the way.
5)DO NOT FILL MORE ABOVE THE THREAD LINE.
6)Screw the two halves together and viola!

Eyedropper Preppy

Eyedropper Preppy

Now please note that this is a very summarized version of the process without the relevant burp warnings – all this was provided in much more detail with the user manual that come with the box. If you would like to find out even more you can check this video out: Preppy Eyedropper Conversion

The Paper

The Paper

The box also comes with three different types of paper. I am in love love love with the small A6 pad. The paper is extremely thin and lightweight – as in thinner then normal printer paper, I would even say a hair thinner then tracing paper. You can even see the pattern on the table through the paper in the image below. But wow can it handle ink, and I mean a seriously large amount of ink. It will buckle with the excessive amount of ink, but not a drop of bleed through. I have a feeling this may be something similar to yuzo paper, but there is no way to be sure as this paper has been discontinued, and is not branded in any way. So if you missed this box you missed out – sorry.

Fire and ice balance out nice.

Fire and ice balance out nice.

The larger A5 pad is also interesting, it has a very smooth tactile feel to it and my EF TWSBI gives even less feedback then normal. It pretty much glides over this paper. I do get bleed through when using lots of ink, but it doesn’t ruin the page underneath. This paper is perfect for customized type stationary and personal correspondence. This is called Munken Paper.

Personal Stationary DIY

Personal Stationary DIY

With stamped image.

With stamped image.

Note on Munken

Note on Munken

The A6 Hahnemuehle notebook. I’m a fan of these types of notebooks in general – great pocket size, slim, flexible and thread sewn spines. This paper is thicker, and slightly textured. Almost like a hot pressed mixed media pad. Great for doodling.

Fish Doodle

Fish Doodle

And then there was the calligraphy dip pen. It’s a pretty generic dip pen that can be found in most art shops. This particular one comes with six different nibs. The pointy one is a flex nib normally used for copperplate style calligraphy while the other five are normally used for roundhand and gothic style script. If you find that you would like to get more proficient with this pen, I recommend getting a speedball nib as it already has a built in reservoir. When I first started out with these I also found the following websites extremely helpful and informative. calligraphypen and iampeth

Dip Pen

Dip Pen

Lastly there are vouchers! These discount vouchers only apply to the people who have purchased the mystery box, and valid until the new one is released. This box came with two vouchers, one for 20% off a shimmer ink and one for 20% off a clear Kaweco.

Write Gear says that they plan for this to be a quarterly box, which personally, I am glad for as it retails for R500-00. While you defiantly get your moneys worth, spending R500 on something you may, or may not like, or perhaps even already own, every month would be a bit much for me. Additionally making it quarterly also gives you enough time to play around with everything properly, and just when it start to lose its novelty – bam, new box. But again that’s just my opinion.

For a first mystery box I think Write Gear knocked it out of the park, all while managing to keep a good balance of novelty and practicality, and also between things available on their website, and things not in the country as of yet.

All in all can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves for the next one.

PS: You need to sign up for their newsletter to be notified when the next box becomes available. They also run some awesome undercover deals from time to time which you will only hear about if you read the newsletter. You can sign up here: Newsletter

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Moleskine Cashier Notebook Review

This is considered a high quality or exclusive paper if you’d prefer in SA. It costs about R90 for a set of three, and that to me is costly. Specially when I take into consideration that I can get three A5 notebooks, with better quality paper (in my opinion) and more pages from Typo for R120. Even though I have mentioned Typo, I wont be comparing the paper in this review – I will be focusing solely on the Moleskine.

Cashier notebooks are about 1/4th in size of a standard A4 piece of paper. They get sold in packs of three, and you normally have the option of lined or blank paper.

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Closed

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Closed

I use fountain pens whenever possible, and quite honestly – I would never pay so much for a notebook if all I wanted to do was write down my shopping lists. With that in mind, I expect the Moleskine paper to perform better with my fountain pens then normal schoolbook or copier paper. It doesn’t – in all cases there is ghosting, when drawing there is bleed through and somehow certain fibers seem to suck ink more then others, causing vein like threads – but it’s not feathering.

Original Felt Pen Image

Original Felt Pen Image

Felt Pen Ghosting

Felt Pen Ghosting (No Flash)

Worse Case Of Bleed Through

Worse Case Of Bleed Through

That being said, it has never been advertised as fountain pen friendly – so maybe i’m being a tad judgmental. If I take fountain pen ink or liquid type ink out of the equation, then there is nothing that I dislike about the paper.

In general I love the usefulness of the design. Its thin and small enough to carry around in your pocket, the cardboard cover is flexible but not flimsy and comes in an array of colours. It opens flat and has a super useful back pocket. Additionally it has 16 pages at the back that are perforated, so you can actually tear the page out neatly should you need to. The paper has a specific feeling that I can’t explain – you have to feel it to understand, and using it is a pleasure. Additionally it is sewn bound, which gives it that little bit of old school that’s generally missing in today’s mass productions.

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Open

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Open

As much as my above statement about price and expectation is true, something about this particular Moleskine model is addictive. I don’t know if its the great marketing, the feel of the paper or the size. I just always find myself doodling in them, even though I know the result wont be perfect. And that I guess, is a review in itself.

Fountain Pen Vs Felt Pen Doodle

Fountain Pen Vs Felt Pen Doodle

You can find Moleskine from any of the below retailers:

Superbalist: http://superbalist.com/search?q=moleskine

Skoobs: http://www.montecasino.co.za/storedirectory/Pages/Skoobs.aspx

Write Gear: http://writegear.co.za/product-category/notebooks/moleskine/

Exclusive Books: http://www.exclus1ves.co.za/search/?logSearch=true&q=moleskine

 

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