Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wild Strawberry - Diamine Ink Review

 The related picture of the day is that of (according to Trees of Texas plant identifier, this is) yaupon.  (How in the world can I manage to take enough good pictures of strawberries, without gulping them all right away?)
 Diamine Wild Strawberry is a rich and succulent orange-red that gears towards the intense side. The color is very much like fresh strawberry that's not yet ripe (when they ripe, you get more of a purple red) and the color is bright, spring-like without being obnoxious.

Flow wise, it's quite typical of Diamine - Watery (not lubricating in anyway but it neither feathers nor bleeds) but not thin and writes smoothly with a Lamy fine steel nib. In a way, it feels a little squishy like biting into a fresh tomato (does it even make sense?).
When you are dealing with a bright and intense ink, it's best not to expect too much shading, I get a little of it anyway (that's only when I actively look for it). As for water-resistance, there is none. I was drinking ice tea while taking notes (on the other side of this, the DNA and restriction enzyme was for an exam cram a week earlier) and the whole writing the dissolved completely.   

Overall: A fresh note-taking (used alone or as an accent) color and a delight to use during the sunny Texans spring (when summer hits it would be all hot and sticky, and I will roll out my aqua blue...)
One more picture of the fruity tree


Writing sample is Rihwa's Last Love (the lyrics doesn't make too much sense but at least the melody was nice)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prussian Blue - Diamine Ink Review

Long time no ink review (well, the sun hasn't been out that often this year). Diamine Prussian Blue is a medium slate blue with a mildly watery consistency. I picked the color because it looks just like the color of the German music publisher G. Henle Verlag (One would always gets some glance of approval from professors/TAs if you carry the blue book around the practice room ). Even without the connection with that prestigious publisher, it still seems like an interesting subdued shade for everyday uses. 
Prussian blue - as with may gray-toned color, is watery, smooth on the paper (Daolin/writes-like-Rhodia refills that fits the bigger Midori traveller's, which btw mine is not...) and shades very well with a Lamy medium steel nib. There is very minimal feathering (on the start of writing which tend to be wetter) and no bleed-through but I guess it would be different on more porous paper. The dry time was ok, maybe within 15 second and the ink withstand like spill of water, just not smear/soak.
Writing sample was Edith Piaf's Under the Parisian Sky (if you Google Parisian sky, most pictures are in this kind of slate blue...and that MAC eyeshadow of the same shade). 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sky High - Sailor Jentle Ink Review

Stationery wise, my year of 2014 is off to a lousy start (I bought a Midori traveler's notebook, so I can act all hipster and stuff, then lost it near school before having written/drawn anything on it = =...Oy, FML, FML...). To ease my pain and sorrow, I ordered some Clairefontaine notebooks to use as my art/doodle journals as well as some ink samples. Sailor Jentle in Sky High is one of the five vials I purchased, since nothing lights up my day like a bright blue sky (a whole bucket of ice cream all to myself also helps, so does some cheesy boy band songs from Johnny's).

Sky High is exactly what the name suggested : a gorgeous cerulean with some see-through quality that reminds me of the perfect sky on a perfect day. It's noticeably more subdued and dimmer than my go-to blue (Lamy Turquoise) and makes an interesting yet formal everyday writer.

 On a Lamy Safari Extra Fine nib (I use the one with 2011 Aquamarine body) the flow is excellent (you know how finicky Lamy EF can get) and the shading is apparent. There must bit a tad bit of lubrication, more so than what Diamine ink provides, because the writing didn't seem all that toothy to me. Water resistance is partial as it stay put with a few second of wet rubbing...
There is already a little red-fuchsia sheen to it, imagine it with a dip nib...Anyway, You can get it at Isellpens, Jetpens and some third party Amazon sellers (price around the same once you factor in shipping cost). I might get a bottle as my everyday blue (and use Lamy Turquoise as a summer refreshment) once my sample vial run out.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Moleskine Cahier Pocket Notebook

Since I am predominately a fountain pen user, Moleskine isn't exactly my first choice when it comes to daily-use paper. Over the break, a dear friend sent me one of these Moleskine Cahier pocket notebooks as holiday gift so I decided to make it as my new daily memo book (since the Rhodia pad I have is running low).
That's immersion oil (for high power lens on microcope) by the spine...

  The cahiers come in blank design with beige/black cover and matching stitch binding, it's supposed to be simple and no-frill that you can take it anywhere with you (apparently not near water, since I dropped it in a lake later when I tried to do an elaborated glamour shot, oy). 
There is a back pocket for note cards, receipt and things like that. The corner are rounded so the cover handles wear better. There are 30 sheets of off-white, textured and seemly fibrous paper with medium (as in non-faint) gray rule.

These artwork of Russian cityscape (drawn by Zhenya Vassiliev...) is transferred onto the notebook by my friend (don't know how) since she knows I am mildly obsessed with all thing Russian (mainly pianists, ballerinas and poets). Hmmm, I wonder if she would get in some copyright issue since it's a one off item and not for profit...
The first 15 pages are normal pages while the second half are all micro-perforated. 
I have heard plenty of stories about Moleskine's encounter with water-based ink so I am not surprised to see how the ink (De Atramentis J. S. Bach, a watery ink that bleeds more than others) feathers and bleeds through (do I even need to include the picture?) like a mofo. Anyway, since the paper texture is quite different from the other Moleskine I own (the green lego notebook), I suppose the quality isn't uniform across the whole brand. 

Overall: Meh...I guess I can still use it to jot down the location of metaphases (the number in the above pictures)?