Kaweco Sport Skyline in Mint Review

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I don’t think I’ve really used a fountain pen since school. I’m not sure why, I’ve just never really felt like I HAD to get one. I think a lot of my stationery choices are design led, and to be honest, I think fountain pens often look quite dated and “luxury” and just not very me. That is until I saw reviews of this pen by The Well-Appointed Desk AND From The Pen Cup, and I had to order one!

I’m afraid I don’t know a huge amount about fountain pens, so I can’t give too much of a technical review, but here’s my attempt.

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I ordered it in a fine nib. I always go for as fine a pen as possible, but I didn’t want to go for extra fine as I know I’m a newbie and I feared it would be scratchy. I also chose not to have a clip, as I wouldn’t use it and I think it looks nicer without.

Firstly, it looks amazing. I love the 1930s design and it comes in my favourite colour, mint. So much of what I own is this colour (kitchen cupboards, bedroom blinds, bed quilt, bathroom walls, the mug on my desk right now… I could go on – in fact, in our house it’s called “Tessa colour”) so that alone makes it a winner in my book. But further than that the design is beautiful, simple, and classic (but not dated!). I especially love the typography on the packaging of the pen and cartridges. I think I especially like the pen box as it looks like it could be make-up packaging!

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Next, to using it. It feels good. I mean, I don’t have much to compare it to as yet… But I know that it’s smooth and I like it. The line comes out a little wider than I was expecting so perhaps I should have gone for extra fine. But I like that it makes me write carefully and neatly. I think I’m being overly aware of it at the moment so I have been holding the pen quite hard, so I’m hoping I’ll relax into it. I think it slows me down a little so it’s probably not a pen for every day use – more for special occasions like writing in greetings cards. It’s small, so great for carrying around, and incredibly light. In fact, so light that I prefer to use it with the cap posted on the end.

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I chose the blue-black Kaweko ink. It has grey and purple tones and I really like the colour. It didn’t bleed through the page, even though I gather ink often does in Moleskine notebooks, which I have been using. 

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For something so good looking, so well designed AND functional, it’s at a relatively low price point. I got it from Fontoplumo for €16.95 (and FYI if you check out The Well Appointed Desk review, there may just be a discount code on there). 

For a first go at fountain pens – I think I’ve chosen well. I look forward to showing this one off on my desk!P1040746

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My last birthday present and a reason to visit Paris

This is my last birthday present I’ll be writing about – promise! (this year anyway…)

This time from my friend Annie who found a couple of items for me when she went to Paris. Apologies in advance for the photos – a thunderstorm rolled in just as I set up so the lighting is terrible!

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I’ve seen these pens “Color On You” pens from Korean brand LiveWork before, and although they look great (the different colours they come in are listed on the packaging above – not sure about the one called “mayonnaise” though…), I’ve never been that interested as they just seem like a normal ballpoint pen. However, after writing with it, I absolutely love it!P1040702
I assumed that a 0.7mm would be really thick but this has a pleasingly thin line and feels really nice to write with.

She also got me this card:P1040705
It’s by Papier Tigre, who I now am totally in love with… It’s a great geometric design – I’m not sure if it’s a French things but I noticed that Season Paper Collection also leave a blank space on the front of cards, to allow you to write “Happy Birthday” or ‘Congrats!” or whatever the occasion on them. Which is a nice idea.  I really like to logo on the envelope too.
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Papier Tigre have a shop in Paris. I have been to France probably at least 20 times but have somehow still never been to Paris!

This shop gives me even more reason to make it happen! Now, excuse me while I go and look at Eurostar tickets…

A Proper Pencil Sharpener

Yet ANOTHER birthday present I’m afraid (I might even have one more to post about…), this time from my boyfriend, Harry. He got me a Boston 200 desktop sharpener from the 70s.

It’s not the prettiest of items, but there’s something I really like about it. It’s totally just made to be fit for purpose, no frills. And has a 70s colour scheme.

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(It could actually use a good clean)

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The little tray for sharpenings is quite loose, but I think this is only an issue if you’re moving it around. I desperately want to actually attach it to my desk as at the moment, you have to hold it really hard in order to sharpen a pencil… This would be much easier if a table top was take that pressure.

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And it makes a decent point. As I say though, I need to try it properly when it’s attached to my desk.

It was made in England by Joseph Gillott & Sons LTD, apparently. So that’s cool.

I love it – thanks Harry!

Maybe the New York Times love pens & pencils after all…?

There’s been quite a few posts in the stationery blogging world over the last few days about the demise (or not, as the case may be) of the pen/pencil, instigated by this post in the New York Times.  I think this Pen Addict article pretty much tore the NYT one apart and I didn’t think much more needed to be said on the matter…

Until I saw this on It’s Nice That and couldn’t not share it! A brilliant feature – from none other than the New York Times! (albeit in their style magazine) – celebrating famous designers’ and artists’ favourite writing instruments.

Each artist was asked to do an illustration showing their favourite pen/pencil/paint brush etc. My favourite one was by designer Milton Glaser:


This is his ode to the Koh-I-Noor multi-coloured Magic Pencil. He says: “When you use one, it makes even a simple drawing look complex and difficult, so the client thinks you spent more time on it than you did.”

Another one I like is jewellery designer Maria Black’s:

Her choice is the Staedtler 0.5mm mechanical pencil, which she explains works for her “crisper, sharper, more geometric” drawings.

The others include Manolo Blahnik, Peter Ragonetti and Kulapat Yantrasast – do check out their illustrations on the NYT article.

I find it funny that 2 so contradictory features came for the same publication within a couple of days…But anyway, it’s just nice to see some positivity!

All pictures courtesy of nytimes.com

Mini MUJI Haul

I popped into MUJI on Thursday without any intention of buying stationery. I was queuing up to pay for my pyjamas and before I knew it I was paying for a load of stationery too (they cleverly put the stationery right in front of the till)…

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Here’s what I got: B5 Lined Notepad, £1.25, Lined A5 kraft notebook, £0.95, Wooden Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm, £3.95, Gel Ink Pen – Green 0.38mm, £1.00

So there you go, I am weak willed person. But a happy stationery addict.

Smythson Pocket Notebook: Want list no more

Well, my want list series is proving as a bit of a gift list!

I received a late birthday present from my boyfriend’s lovely parents. It arrived in the post like this:smythson

Which opened to this:
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A beautiful Smythson Pocket Notebook, with a lambskin cover, à la my recent WANT LIST post.

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It’s pretty lovely eh? The paper is light blue/grey and featherweight. The only real negative about this notebook is that I don’t think anything I ever need to write down will be worth of it’s luxury… But I’ll have to get over that and think of a special purpose for it.

Thanks Bish and Steve!

How do you use your notebooks?

Until a few days ago, I’d never really thought about this before, but I noticed I have a very definite way in which I use notebooks. I’m going to name it the Mullet technique, i.e. business in the front, party in the back. When I say party though, I kind of just mean messy…

I have 2 main notebooks on the go at the moment and it’s exactly the same for both.

My Moleskine, which I keep at home

Front (neat):
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Back (messy):
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And my Field Notes, which I carry in my bag

Front (neat):
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Back (messy):
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I clearly make a subconscious decision as to whether what I’m writing is deemed “important” or not, before starting the front or back… Although looking through them, some of my decisions seem quite random!

I’m curious – does anyone else do this? Do you set yourself weird criteria? Or do you have different notebooks for different things; to do lists, messy work etc. Let me know!