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  1. Ink View: Garden District Azalea – A homage to the historic neighborhood of New Orleans Garden District Azalea (GDA) is the last installation of PP’s NOLA inspired limited edition inks. An ink evoking the colors of Azalea, commonly found on the Garden District, a Victorian style neighborhood in New Orleans and the subject of this view. Once again a big thanks to Papier Plume for sending me this sample, this is a nice pink, and despite not being a pink fan, it has enough of the red (and I like reds), that is legible and pleasant to use in my personal view. But I’m getting ahead, lets look at this ink and its name more in detail So what is this ink about? ----- The Garden District and the Azalea The Garden District(GD) is one of those neighborhoods in New Orleans that you would want to walk around, the old style Victorian homes, the well-kept garden and house are an appeal to both tourists and locals, and I know I sound like a travel agent now, but look at this picture!. Taken from : https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjnyOLg55HPAhUM0GMKHb_XB_EQjB0IBg&url=https%3A%2F%2Frdvernon.wordpress.com%2Fcategory%2Fnew-orleans-garden-district%2F&psig=AFQjCNFhjgBIOoO7oGQn-RMVpxeF3ek54A&ust=1474043941157159 And if the houses don’t attract you there is also the lower garden district where you can get original art, antiques, vintage clothing, and jewelry But GD was not originally part of New Orleans; in fact, it was part of the city of Lafayette until 1852 when it was incorporated to New Orleans. A neighborhood meant for wealthy Americans who didn’t want to mingle with the creole population that lived in the French quarter… ah history. Regardless the homes were built using Victorian and Greek revival style architecture, where the large houses in constant renovations and upgrades allowed the owners to host large parties and celebrations, especially during local festivities. The houses’ generous lots allowed the cultivation of the gardens, for which the area is named after, and both the gardens could compete to see which one stands out the most, but the fact is that both are now staples of the area. Its residents are known for being proud of their homes and maintaining them in pristine shape (they are also 4th/5th generation New Orleanians ) The Azalea - a spring showoff! . I’m way over my head when it comes to gardening, there has not been a single plant that has survived under my care, and the ones I have alive are all because of my SO, so I’ll probably trample on this part and deepest apologies to those knowledgeable with the art of gardening. Azaleas are a flower shrub, blooms on the spring and the flowers last several weeks, they are tolerant to shade and they prefer living near trees (Wikipedia). And that is all good, but what I found interesting (and NOT in wikipedia) is that the azaleas came to america from Orient two centuries ago, they can be found in seasons other than spring, they are known to bloom around March, that there are at least 5 types of azaleas in new Orleans and that there was a tour for the flower aficionado named after the city of Lafayette called Lafayette Azalea Trail (once lost, but it has now been resuscitated and modernized- see pic) And did you knew they were toxic? In large amounts they can be dangerous, I may add, but in essence they are! Now, I could not get the names of all the types of azaleas found in the New Orleans area, but I’m pretty sure that if you walk around the gardens, and you are knowledgeable enough, you would be able to spot them. I'm also positive that they will have multiples shades, but trying to be as fair as possible my take on the azalea pink will be: "middle of the road" i.e ‘George Lindley taber’ southern indica hybrid. - see bellow ‘George Lindley taber’ southern indica hybrid. ------- The Garden District Azalea (The ink view) As noted this is the last of release in the city of New Orleans line, following the previous inks of this line: Street Car Green , Calle Real, Sazerac and Mardi Gras Indians Purple. A pink ink that is pleasant to read, and an ink that in wet nibs shows reddish tones and a good amount of shading Here is how the production bottles looks like And here is the Swab From a first glance, this ink has high shading properties, not too saturated and as all PP’s inks some wet/watery nature. Let’s look at this more in depth So how I looked at this view? Pens: I used three pens this time One EF (Twsbi ECO), One Medium ( MB 146) and One Broad (FC model 1901 BS) Paper: Tomoe River, Rhodia, Clairefountaine Thriomphe (CF), traditional copy paper , laid paper and Vellum Tests: Flow, saturation, shading, sheen, bleed-through, see-through/show-through, feathering and pooling. With other tests such as water, bleach and alcohol and dry times. Sometimes it will be a yes/no answer, sometimes 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent) Crossover Card My way to see all the papers and how the ink behaves across. You can see that each column is representative of the paper used. Thoughts on the ink-paper behavior Flow: Flow is good, very fluid, consistent across all papers and pens usedSaturation: Medium, it does allow more shading having a mid-range saturation IMOSheen: None, Zip, Nada. – In general I have not found one PP ink with sheen propertiesShade: There is lots of shading on this one . Again you would need a wet nib regardless of the width to really experience it. On dryer nibs it will just be a pale pink – not too pale but pale ink. Bleed-through: Only bleed I saw was on copy paper , using a medium wet nib.Show-through: There is some slight, very slight on most papers, I’ve circled the ones where this happened, more intense on the vellum, but that is expected. You would be able to write on both sides on most quality papers .Feathering: No visible feathering on the papers I tried it withPooling: (This is not the shading but more on the pooling on the edges of the letters, I enjoy when the inks provide this). Only on the tomoe river paperWater Resistance: The tests shown on the card were done using an eyedropper, leaving it a few seconds then using a tissue paper to retrieve the excess. But offline I did a more smear/spread test. Tests show that the ink has no water proofAlcohol Resistance: Very consistent across. You would be able to recover from this one – almost no effect. Where it shows that the ink has gone from the comparison is where the bleach spread to.Bleach Resistance: None, Zip , nada. Dry Times: This is a somehow wet ink when it goes on paper, and takes time to dry between 10-20 seconds. On copy paper it is almost immediate, same as my previous view I believe is because the ink is watery that goes through quickly between the fibers One thing I had mentioned before it is how easy is to clean any of PP’s inks from the pens. I would attribute this to the fact that they are not meant to be waterproof, as well as that they are not viscose and not too saturated. Ink Comparison From the top and then left to right: Ink NameMakerOverall NotesMashmallow InkDe AtramentisLight-neon pink, good if you want to consider highlighting - has sheen behaves wellGarden District AzaleaPapier PlumeInk of this view Tourmaline - Ink of the YearPelikanPart of the Edelstein line - limited ink of the year 2012- more darker reddish tones hint of orange good shadingBordeauxViscontiThe darker of the bunch, after that you are entering the bordeaux range and moving away from the pink, good shading, good ink overall And here is a (quick) sketch, I went first for the flower then for the houses I'm not as happy with this sketch as I was with the other, I may have to work on it later on Here is some Cursive and Block writing for reference. Opinion This is a pink that at first sight might look light and on fine/EF nibs it could be, but dries a little darker and on wet nibs will show great amounts of shading and more reddish tones. It is pleasant to read, and the flow is not too bad. You may find that there is more feeling of your nib hitting the paper and that is because of how watery the inks generally are - this is not bad - but is something that you should be aware of if you are looking on an ink is that super lubricated feeling. There is no waterproof and in such place where there might be some you will note that after you clear out the water you will have a hard time to read due to the ink turning very pale, again the best attributes of this ink will be the shading. As I say before I don't have that many pinks and this is one I can work with. While I wont say I'll use it on a daily basis, I'm sure there will be times where pink will be needed and this one will do the trick. I’m very grateful that I got this sample, and happy to have this ink as part of the 2 other pinks I have . It is over all a great way to close off the Homage of New Orleans line. There are many many stories and places from the city where inspiration could be drawn from, but maybe we will see that if they (Papier Plume) decides to do Volume 2! - Lore stories anyone? Availability This ink will be up for sale today Friday the 16th This will be the link when the ink goes live: https://www.papierpl...ict-azalea.htmlExpect release at 11am CST - They will have a limited run 60 bottles to sell online and it is a limited production Papier Plume notifies their ink availability through their newsletter first (link), then Instagram, then Facebook, and finally twitter (in that order). Thanks for reading until the end!

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