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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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!

Review: Le Pen by Marvy Uchida

As mentioned in this post (it didn’t stay a wanted item for very long), I came across Le Pen in the US and managed to order some from eBay. They actually arrived really quickly. I got two, four packs; one was the “primary” set – 2 black, 1 blue, 1 red, and the other was the “bright” set – 1 lavender, 1 light blue, 1 pink and 1 orange. I got both packs for $11 (about £6.50).

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I think the thing that most attracts me to these pens is the simplicity of the design, and the fact that they’re narrow. I don’t like an unnecessarily bulky pen.

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Here’s how they write, on my trusty old Moleskin.P1040633

A nice fine 0.3mm nib.
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It writes really smoothly, and is really satisfying to use. The blue, black and red bleed through the page ever so slightly but as I say, only lightly, and the lighter colours don’t at all.

My usual every day pen is the Muji gel pen, which a roller ball, so when using the Le Pen I am aware that I can’t push as hard, as the nib may break. But that’s not a problem, as much as something I need to be careful about.

I think it’s definitely going to become one of my standards – big thumbs up from me!

WANT LIST: Le Pen

When we were in NYC I remember being handed one of these pens to sign for the bill in a restaurant. I’d never heard of it before and made a mental note. It’s a simple design but it wrote really well and had a very fine tip (I do like a fine tip).

I only just remembered now and looked them up.

They’re made by Marvy Uchida, an American company, and as I’m learning, they don’t ship internationally, and nor do they seem to have any UK stockists.

However, just to prove how bad I am at this “wanting” thing, I may have ordered some on US eBay. Oops! So, I won’t go into too much detail on them now and will do a proper post when they arrive. I’ll be wanting them for a little while at least…

Great Ideas #2: MUJI Erasable Pen

So here’s one of my pencil case staples, MUJI’s erasable Pen, £2.50:

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As you can see, it’s 0.5mm. And the rubber is in the tip of the lid.

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How does it work? Nobody knows… Ok, that’s a lie. According to MUJI’s website: “The frictional heat generated by the eraser at the end of the pen erases the ink immediately” so there you go. But I prefer to think it’s magic.

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And here it in in action (sorry for the different lighting, I took these later). It erases well, as you can see. You can still see it a bit on the paper, but no more than you would if you were using a pencil.

So why is it better than using a pencil, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not that different I suppose but a few of the things I can think of are:

  • It doesn’t wear down and you don’t have to sharpen it, so it’s a good one to keep in your bag
  • It doesn’t smudge like a pencil would
  • Personally, I use them most for knitting patterns. This is because patterns are usually printed on shiny paper, which you can’t write on with pencil. This pen allows you to tick off where you’ve got to, but then rub it out when you’re finished so the pattern is good as new!

So there you go, this is definitely one of my top products. I know there are plenty of other erasable pens out there but MUJI just somehow make it cooler than the rest.

WANT LIST: Smythson Pocket Notebook

I’m starting a new series, the WANT LIST. My problem at the moment is that I keep buying all the stationery things I want, rather than just covet them. So in the interest of not being bankrupt, I will be posting about lovely things I have seen but don’t necessarily NEED to own.

So, my first one is a Smythson Pocket Notebook:

I walked home today (4 miles in a very tight pencil skirt, in 25 degrees…), through London City, with it’s luxury shops, and it was the Smythson shop caught my eye.

Their pocket notebooks really are a thing of simplistic beauty, with their leather covers and lightweight paper.

Some of them have embossed titles, such as ‘Blondes, Brunettes, and Redheads’, ‘Dare to Dream’, and ‘The Boss’, but I prefer to keep it simple, either plain, or ‘Notes’ are the classiest ones I think.

Anyway, after seeing the price – £45!!!!! – I think this’ll be staying firmly on the ‘want’ list. I can’t ever imagine thinking anything I had to write down is quite that important!

What stationery items are on your want list?

The School of Life: Mood Notebooks

A friend was showing me the sights in Stoke Newington a couple of weeks ago and we wandered into a really sweet shop called Search & Rescue. It has loads of great stuff, but of course I was drawn straight to the stationery section.

I was looking for a present for my soon-to-be-qualified-as-a-teacher best friend, and I found what I thought was the perfect lesson planning notebook from The School of Life:

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I really should have taken a better picture, sorry,  I only remembered at the very last minute before I gave it away. That note on the front is something I added too – not part of it (for those wondering it says ‘For an organised Miss Moore/Mrs Stebbings’  – she’s getting married this year too!).

It’s from a series of 3 Mood Books; Productive, Daring and Sceptical. Here’s some better pictures of the details:

Really nice exposed binding down the spine.

Bright, fun illustrations in the inside covers (that apparently provoke the appropriate mood).

The paper is plain, and the top of each page prompts you to write the date, time and your mood, which is a nice touch.

Price: £15

BTW, in case anyone is wondering, yes, this is the Alain de Botton School of Life, who, well… I don’t know how to explain what they do… Luckily they do though: ‘The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture.’  They also have a few other thoughtfully designed (naturally) stationery that I really like, such as these:

School of thought notebooks, £15 for 3

And these:

Keyword pencil set, £12