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  1. This is a review of the 6x9-inch UCreate Sketchbook available at U.S. Dollar Tree stores and elsewhere. I did not have a battalion of different fountain pens inked up with different inks; only one fountain pen participated in the test. I did use, however, a variety of felt-tip markers and rollerball pens I had on hand to give an idea of this paper's bleed-through and show-through performance. As you can see, bleed-through was only a problem with the Ultrafine Sharpie Permanent Marker. While the other inks showed through to varying degrees (most notably the Papermate Flair and Uniball Roller), even the Parker Medium Fountain Pen with Quink Ink exhibited minimal show-through. This paper is made in India, although the sketchpad's manufacturer is the U.S.-based Carolina Pad. The paper has a smooth finish. I began using this as a substitute for a more expensive blank Moleskine notebook, and liked the results of my first foray into blank paper.
  2. Hello! Does anyone have any experience using the Anorak notebooks (such as these: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=anorak+notenook) with fountain pens? I see that they're made by Moleskine, which gives me pause right there, but wondered if their paper might be fountain-pen friendly nonetheless. I have been unable to find reviews that cover this topic; if I've missed something here on FPN and someone would like to point me toward it, I would be grateful. Thank you in advance for any input! Best to all, Susan/ArtPen
  3. I recently bought a Taroko Enigma A5 journal, featuring 68gsm dot grid Tomoe paper. At the same time I bought a similar journal from Taroko featuring their 80gsm Orchid paper. I thought it would be worth trying it out as it is half the price of their Tomoe version, at US$15 + shipping. Delivery from Taiwan to Australia was under a week. I am vey impressed indeed with the customer service from Steven Chang at Taroko, his comunications, the care with which he packs and ships his products and with quality of the journal. All these factors are excellent. Summary from their web-site. My comments in italics * 400-page of Taroko Orchid Paper (80gsm of fountain pen friendly paper with most nib/ink combinations. Wet nibs, flex nibs, and certain inks will occasionally bleed. Not suitable for watercolor) The paper is great with all the inks I've tried so far. There is minimal show-through, especially when compared to Tomoe 52gsm. There has been no bleed-through or feathering. * Sewn bound journal reinforced with glue at the spine (in essence, like a case bound book without the hard cover), and when opened, will lie completely flat. If you are familiar with Nanami Seven Seas journals, the construction of the Mystique is very similar. I actually think the page alignment and sewing is better than Nanami's, which I've found a little inconsistent. The cover is an attractive dark red, with a textured finish. It is a soft cover, same as Nanami. It does lie almost completely flat with very little central gutter to impede hand position when writing. No pressure is required to make the pages lie flat - they fall into place easily. * Layout in 5mm dot grids I really like the dot grid print. It is a soft grey, not too dark, so doesn't impede writing and could be easily used for sketching. Yet the dots are visible enough to provide a good guide. * Comes with 3 index pages at the beginning.The index is useful. The pages aren't numbered so you'll have to number them yourself to take advantage of this useful addition. There are also Keyword/tag list pages at the back for your use and a 2016 and 2017 calendar. The calendar page also has the top and bottom edges marked with an imperial and metric ruler respectively. * Perfect for bullet journaling. Lots and lots of pages to write with, if you write at length, and feel like you should have all your writings in one place. I don't bullet journal but I think it would be ideal for those who do. There are indeed plenty of pages - 400 in fact. I've put mine in a Mircofibre slip cover from Belle & Sofa, but it could be used without. Being a standard international/ISO A5, covers are very easy to find. It doesn't come with a page marker/ribbon (but my Belle & Sofa cover has one already so that addresses the omission). Shipping from Taroko Shop in Taiwan, to me in Australia, was US $10 - about a third of the shipping charged by Nanami. Overall, I'm delighted with this journal. It's good quality and a fair price. (NB Taroko Design Enigma A5 68gsm Tomoe journal is the same construction, with a dark blue cover, the same dot grid print and other features, but with 420 pages. It costs US$30 + shipping) Finally, here are some photos. Apologies that some are rather blurred, I tried to keep the sizes down. I hope this overview of the Taroko Mystique Journal is helpful. STURDY CARDBOARD WRAPAROUND PROECTION, SHIPPED INSIDE AN OUTER CARDBOARD BOX THE JOURNAL COVER THE INDEX PAGES THE KEYWORD/TAG AND CALENDAR PAGES AT THE BACK LAYFLAT PAGES - THIS IS APPROX THE MIDDLE OF THE 400 PAGES TAKES INKS WELL - NO FEATHERING LITTLE SHOW-THROUGH AND ZERO BLEED-THROUGH MYSTIQUE JOURNAL ON TOP OF NANAMI SEVEN SEAS (TOMOE) WRITERS JOURNAL, TO SHOW COMPARABLE THICKNESS (BOTH INSIDE BELLE & SOFA MICROFIBRE COVERS)





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