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  1. Hello! I felt the need to create this post since I can't find anyone else talking about it and maybe it's just me that I happened to contaminate two (maybe three?) different ink bottles of the same color. I hope the pictures I took serves as good reference to demonstrate what happened over the course of a year. I've been using Cream Of Earl for the past year until recently, because I thought I had contaminated my bottle of ink (fig. 3) since I sometimes use it to paint with brushes. Lucky me I had a second opened bottle at work (fig. 5), I cleaned every single piece of my pen before refilling it, to my surprise the color on that bottle also had lost its pinkish appearance. I thought maybe I had convinced myself the ink had some pink hues, so I went through my notebook to find the very first time I used the ink and it looked just as I remembered it, also found the swatch I made that year on Tomoe River's white paper (fig. 2) and compared them. As I put the ink on paper, it looks kind of green until it fully dries looks like a grey-beige-sand color, i'm not mad about it but I'm very intrigued, also Ferris Wheel Press has no info about the ink changing its color over time and people haven't talked about it, maybe everyone owning this ink think they messed it up and are too embarassed to speak about it? I also checked my other pinkish inks from Ferris Wheel Press to see if they lost their true color (Strawberry Macaron, Lady Rose & Definetely Peachy) and they look just as the first time I opened them. Anyone else has had this happened to them before with this or any other low saturated ink? fig 1. First swatch from when I first filled my pen with CoE back in 2021 fig 2. Left one is on Tomoe River's white paper, swatched back in 2021. Right ones on Leuchtturm1917 paper. fig 3. Bottle opened January 21st on 2021. fig 4. I received this ink bottle the same day as the other two, except this one I'm sure it has never been opened before nor seen daylight until past week that I opened it to compare the rest. It appears to be slightly lighter than the other two. fig 5. Can't remember the day I opened this bottle but it was around the same week I first opened A) fig 6. Swatch from FWP's page. Thanks for reading! Have a great week xx
  2. I just thought I'd share the ‘opportunity’ with others who'd want to squeeze the last bit out of the changing landscape. Milligram in Australia is having a 30%-off sale for selected products, including several Sakae Technical Paper Tomoe River FP (paper pad, and 50- and 100-sheet packs of loose sheets) products. I didn't see any low stock warnings for any (white or cream, 52gsm or 68gsm, A4 or A5, etc.) product variant when I looked just now. (Yes, I think these are all made from the ‘old’ paper produced by Tomoegawa's paper milling machine no.7.) The ‘Friends For Life’ discount supposedly do not apply to these sale products, but in fact it does in the checkout process. I was prompted by an email from Milligram yesterday (with the subject "$40 gift from us to you - that's what friends are for!”) advising inconsistently that “we're changing our loyalty program” and “We've changed our loyalty program”. (It looks like the change has been implemented, and “For Life” and ”Forever” no longer mean what the average person would think the marketing expressions mean.) The voucher code can be applied to further bring down the total value of the order. Free shipping applies if the discounted total value of an order (i.e. payment due in real money) exceeds the relevant threshold. Given that Kobe INK Story has been taken off Milligram's catalogue, Robert Oster inks in selected colours are seldom individually discounted any more, and the shop's prices of Pilot Iroshizuku inks have gone up significantly all in the last year or so, there just isn't a whole lot to buy from Milligram at some cost-saving (compared to ordering from Amazon AU or overseas retailers) any more. Most of the heavily discounted clearance products are now shifted over to Milligram Outlet by default, where the loyalty programme discounts and free shipping offer do not apply. So, as much as I'm not a fan of Tomoe River FP paper, to take advantage of dying loyalty benefits before they are extinguished, I foolishly bought a few packs with no clear application in mind, and will probably end up giving away to kiddies on which to draw.
  3. Buying from Daiso these days is trickier than it used to be. Some items are no longer sold at the headline (and baseline) price that serves as the primary drawcard to get prospective customers browsing, and I'd hazard a guess that most of the items in the store are not made in Japan. Nevertheless, when I have some time to kill, I pop in and look for products that are made in Japan and offered at the brand's baseline price. I picked up one of the B7-sized, 7mm-ruled memo pad in the D-98 series — which, if I'm not mistaken, covers different sizes of the same make — the other day to give it a whirl. This product series has the sort of styling that is seen in numerous Japanese notebooks, including some of the Apica ones; but, unlike the Apica notebooks I have, the colour of the paper in Daiso's D-98 series is cream instead of white. These memo pads are offered with blank pages (and a white top cover) and 5mm line grid paper (with a crimson top cover) as well. The paper weight is not specified, but at a rough guess it's no less than 80g/m². The pad contains 100 sheets and is about 12mm thick including the covers. Binding is by glue at the top edge in portrait orientation, so the entire surface area of each sheet is available on which to be written; that's a plus, with the caveat that the pages can come loose if you tug on it the 'wrong' way, stick a thick-enough backing sheet between pages, or bend a sheet backwards across the spine. The lines are only printed on the recto side, and they are narrow enough and light enough (in a bluish grey colour) so as not to be obtrusive. The verso side of each page is blank; that's another feature I personally like in smaller notepads such as this. Size-wise, it's far more usable than A7 notepads I've tried recently, and at 100 pages per pad I'd argue this product offers better practical value (for the same price) than, say, the 'Smart Working' A7 dot grid notepad which is another Daiso-branded product. But what about performance when used with fountain pen and inks? Sheen: You can get sheen from some inks on the paper in this memo pad, but nowhere near the monster sheen from the 'Smart Working' notepad; and, Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor souboku pigment inks do not exhibit sheen on the Daiso D-98 series as far as I've observed. That might be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences, especially when it comes to the use of 'sombre' (and waterproof!) black and blue-black inks. (Check out the difference in performance of Diamine Iridescink Robert on those two products, though.) Bleed-through: In spite of having thicker paper than in the Daiso 'Smart Working' notepad or Maruman m.memo notepad, I observed more bleed-through with the paper in the D-98 series. However, I'm really talking about a few tiny spots, and only with Platinum Carbon Black (from a Fine nib) and Sailor Shikiori yodaki (from a Stub nib, which I don't imagine would be the common choice of pen/nib to use on a small A7- or B7-sized notepad). Ghosting or show-through: This paper is more resistant to show-through of writing on the other side of the page than either the 'Smart Working' or m.memo pads, by virtue of being significantly thicker in each sheet. Feathering: There is a tiny bit of feathering observed with some inks, when I look closely enough, but I haven't tested this thoroughly enough to conclude whether that's the result of the coating being compromised by skin oils and such in certain spots on the page. On the whole, there is little or no feathering with a variety of fountain pen inks. The coating on this paper seems to pick up (and be observably affected by) oils and grease rather readily. Even though my eyes couldn't pick up the spots of grease on the paper while I was looking at it, my camera had no problem capturing them in photos that weren't specifically focused on doing so. Overall, I'd say the paper quality and coating resilience is best in the Maruman m.memo notepad, then the Daiso 'Smart Working' notepad, and only then this Daiso D-98 series memo pad. However, for the thickness of paper and larger surface area that the latter offers, it is arguably better value than the first two, especially if you prefer cream-coloured paper to bright white or a coolish 'off-white' grey. Would I buy more of these? Probably, but only because the 'Smart Working' notepad is not available in B7 or A6 size (with few pages if need be), as far as I'm aware.
  4. I came across this thin, nondescript A5 notebook with cream-coloured paper in Muji the other day: The product label, as you can see, doesn't tell me much. The cardboard covers are a charcoal colour and very stiff (which suggest to me good physical protection of the pages). I had to manually count the number of thread-bound sheets there are thirty sheets, so sixty pages in all and the paper weight is (still) unknown. The 5mm line grid is printed in a very faint grey, and I don't find it in-your-face or distracting at all. This notebook isn't even listed on Muji's Australian web site; searching by the 13-digit barcoded product code pulled up no matches, and manually injecting the product code into the URL doesn't work either. However, the item can be found on Muji's Singapore web site listed among the products in its catalogue of notebook products. According to its product listing on Muji's US web site, the material is 100% recycled paper. However, I don't know how much I trust the accuracy of the information on that page, given that the dimensions stated in the details are correct in measurement units but incorrectly stated as being B6 sized (in direct contradiction to the product heading of "Recycled Paper Bind Notebook A5 Grid Dark Gray" on the same page.) I've been slightly disappointed with similar-looking, made-in-Japan Muji notebooks with equally smooth-to-the-touch paper before; however, for the asking price printed on the label, and maybe it was just the mood I was in at the time, I was prepared to take a punt. Then I was quite (pleasantly) surprised when I was asked to pay less for the notebook at checkout, which scanned as if it was priced at a 30% discount. Instantly, this product leapfrogged to the front of the queue of things I wanted or 'needed' to test, in case it's good enough to be 'worth' buying a fair few more at the scanned price. I was even more surprised by how incredibly fountain pen friendly the paper proved to be. Writing all over the first page with different pens and inks: resulted in no observable feathering, no show-through (even though you can discern that the other side of the sheet was written on and not unused) and no bleed-through with any of the inks. I then wrote densely on the recto side with pigment inks and iron-gall inks that I have seen cause trouble with other types of paper: and there was still effectively no show-through and bleed-through. Oh, and the 'sheening' inks do sheen on this paper, although perhaps not at Tomoe River levels: My conclusion is that, for A$1.25 for every 60-page A5 notebook, one couldn't reasonably expect better performance for use with fountain pens than that. Writing on this paper is a far more pleasant kinaesthetic experience, compared to that with the coated paper in the Muji 裏うつりしにくいノート B5 Notebook Set I bought on the same visit. I went back to my local Muji store the following day and cleared out every last one of its stock of this SKU; I've been back three times since, and it doesn't look as if it has any more stock "in the back". Update: It seems Muji US has delisted the product since last weekend, when I successfully searched for and found it by the 13-digit product code. Even though you can still retrieve the product listing by using the direct URL, the 'Add To Cart' button no longer appears on the page.
  5. I'm offering to give away a pack of three of these incredibly fountain pen friendly Muji A5 notebooks I reviewed, with domestic postage (by letter post not Parcel Post, so it won't be trackable online, sorry) at my expense, to one fellow community member in Australia who wants it, selected from those who respond in this thread by Sunday, 26 May 2019. To be considered, please express your interest in this thread, and optionally state the following: The State of your delivery address Whether you intend to share the notebooks with other fountain pen users (and I'll just take your word for it; there's no need to explain how or who)To what use you want to put the notebooks (especially if not intending to share) Selection process: Selection will not be at random. These notebooks were quite cheap to acquire in the first place, in spite of being so damn good for use with fountain pens, but with Muji stores only being in Sydney (2), Canberra (1) and Melbourne (2) as far as I'm aware, those who live outside of NSW-ACT-VIC would nominally have had the least opportunity of buying them in the first place (since Muji doesn't take online orders in Australia). Then, because I think I cleared out most of the current stock in Muji's NSW stores, and this item may or may not be restocked, those who are in NSW will most likely have less opportunity to acquire them in-store themselves, compared to those in ACT and VIC, but of course I have no visibility of how much stock each interstate store still has. Also, since I believe Muji still sells the 'twin' of this product that has kraft covers instead of dark grey covers (for the price on the label, and not the perhaps erroneously discounted price), I'll assume those in NSW-ACT-VIC can try picking up one of those in-store and take a punt for A$1.75$1.25 (Edit: I bought one, and it also scanned at less than the price shown on the product label; it's the B5 size with the slightly more articulate product label that scans at $1.75), if they want to get this type and quality of paper from Muji. So, in principle, all else being equal I'll favour interested parties from WA, NT, TAS, SA and QLD ahead of those in NSW, and then ACT and VIC. Also, because it is not economical for me to send each notebook in the post separately (postage > unit price!) to different recipients, those who are of a mind to share the pack of three notebooks with others – however they arrange it – would then take priority in my selection process. The default 'answers', where information is not proffered (and I can totally respect that), would be taken as: VIC No, not sharing Kitty litter box liner Note: I will be sending this by letter post using a 500g postage-prepaid envelope I have sitting in a drawer. That practically excludes Australia Post Parcel Locker and Australia Post Parcel Collect addresses as delivery addresses, but PO Boxes are okay.

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