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  1. Hi all, For those of you just tuning in, I just got back into fountain pens after a long layoff. Among other things, I am studying for IT certifications (Security+, RHCE, passed the CCNA two months ago) and it is well-documented in the scientific literature that taking handwritten notes (see, e.g., https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop) improves retention dramatically. So, I figured if I am going to be writing a lot, why not pick up some tools that make the job nicer and easier? The first "nice" notebook that I got, which I use for my RHCE studies, was a Moleskine. The hard cover and ribbon place markers are both very nice, but I quickly discovered that the paper quality left a lot to be desired. More specifically, I got awful shadowing and bleed-through even when using well-behaved inks that usually do not have those issues. Truth be told, I was very disappointed, especially given that I forked over nearly thirty bucks for the thing. Disappointed as I was with the Moleskine, and after watching numerous ink review videos that mentioned Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917, among others, I decided to take the plunge. Previously, my only experience with "fine" paper was the bond lawyer letterhead/pleading paper that my boss at my last job insisted upon continuing to purchase and use. My first foray into this new world was a Leuchtturm1917 Master A4+ notebook, which I now use for my bullet journal. From the moment I took the plastic off, I knew I had scored something extraordinary. The pages in that thing feel like what you would find in a wedding guest book or something else reserved for similarly formal occasions. It was/is magical, otherworldly, nothing like the bond paper I mentioned, and certainly nothing at all like the reams upon reams of copier paper I had grown accustomed to at my last job. I also could not believe how well the nibs of my pens glided across that paper, as opposed to the constant skipping and feathering I experience with my Moleskine. Also, I love love love dot grid paper as it allows me to keep my outline format notes straight. It's like nothing I have ever experienced before. After my Great Awakening with Leuchtturm1917, I ordered some Rhodia spiral pads, also in dot grid. Admittedly, I was loath to spend close to US$35 on notebooks that I had grown accustomed to getting for 1/10th the price. I used them in class tonight and, well... same thing. Magical. I just... I can't even. I'm hooked. I love the stuff. I can't get enough of it. It is amazing to me how much of a difference a few small luxuries like nice paper, ink, and pens make what would seem like a mundane everyday activity like writing something truly special and extraordinary. I'm not a snob and I loathe conspicuous consumption, hence a distaste for Mont Blanc. I am a practical guy and I am loath to spend big bucks on innocuous things like paper. And I constantly hear the voice of my dearly departed grandmother who lived through the Great Depression: "It costs ten times as much, is it ten times as good?" Well, in the case of this paper that is expensive as all get out, yes it is. Moleskine? Pfft. What I really feel now is best not repeated in polite company. Trouble is, I have half of my RHCE notes in it, so pitching it is not an option. Once again, experience is a cruel teacher that gives the test before the lesson. I also find that, when I hand-write study notes, daily plans, thought logs, agendas for meetings, or whatever, it is much easier for me to get into a state of "flow" than when using the computer. Why, I'm not sure, maybe it's because I spend more time putting thoughts to paper than constantly having to fight M$ Word as it does its best to botch up even the simplest of documents. One more thing: I can't help but wonder how much of the cost of these fine papers is import duties and taxes. Are they cheaper in other countries?
  2. birchtine

    Pelikan Royal Blue - Review

    ​This is only a brief musing on one of my favourite inks. For in-depth review I encourage you to have a look at the comprehensive reviews by visvamitra and Sandy1. Pelikan Royal Blue on Leuchtturm. PRB is often described as unappealing and boring and I agree to some extent. It lacks fanciness and eye catching features. On the other hand, it doesn't distract from the message and can be used in more official settings. I personally appreciate the lack of shading which gives the impression of tidiness and clarity. ​PRB on Leuchtturm. Very rounded and well designed ink. If there is anything I could change it would be making the colour slightly more vibrant. ​Line definition on Clairefountaine, Moleskine, Leuchtturm and Xerox Performer. There is some significant but still acceptable spread and feathering on Moleskine and Xerox exacerbated by very wet pens I used. However, I know only few other inks which cope similarly or better on more absorbent papers. Some say that PRB fades away with time. I don't know whether the rumours are true or not. My oldest notes are only three months old and don't show any apparent deterioration.
  3. sodiumnitrate

    Best A5-Sized Notebook?

    Hi all, I've been sneakily reading the posts on this site for a while, but it's the first time I actually write a post (except for the FB page). I've been looking for the best notebook for journaling and such for some years now, and I figured I would share my experiences and disappointments, and hear about others' thoughts on this. I started using Moleskines (classic, large notebook, hardcover, black) way before I was using fountain pens. I had to switch to something else when I started using FPs due to heavy feathering and bleeding. (And in the case of MB toffee brown, discoloration.) But in terms of design and binding, my favorite ever will be the softcover large notebooks. I also like how they are a little thinner than A5. I then switched to Leuchtturm1917. I like that their pages are numbered, and they hold the ink well and the paper is not excessively smooth (like Rhodias or Clairefontaines). I prefer soft covers, so I'm a little disappointed that they are way thinner than Moleskines. They need to be at least 1.5x thicker. Also, I've found that the paper is not that consistent. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks that I've purchased at different times had papers that react differently to the same pen/ink combination. I've had one that feathers more than it should, and another that had the ink kind of spread on it evenly without feathering -- in addition to a few perfect ones, of course. I tried a bunch of A5 Clairefontaines, too. For me, their paper is superior to both Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia -- that is if you don't particularly dislike smooth paper. But their binding is just horrible. Forget about laying a staple-bound notebook flat on your desk. I tried "my essential" which has sewn-binding, which does a lot better than the others, but still falls short of both Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917. Their covers are a lot more modest too. I would have loved to see that paper in leather or Moleskine-style cover instead of just craft paper. And then there's Goulet's new Tomoe river notebooks. Everytime I write on Tomoe river paper, I'm amazed by how much ink a paper so thin can hold. I like my pens really really wet, so it'll always be my favorite paper. Goulet's notebooks are staple-bound, and very thin, so I'm not a huge fan of their binding either. I'm also a little disappointed that they only come with the white TR paper and not cream. They are also a bit on the expensive side, with $9 for 48 sheets (96 pages), which is fair I guess, considering 100 sheets come for ~$14. With all these notebooks considered, I think I'll continue using a combination of Leuchtturm1917 and Goulet notebooks. My dream would be TR (or similar quality paper) in Moleskine binding. Perhaps I should learn bookbinding and make my own notebooks using TR paper... What are your thoughts? Have you had similar experiences?
  4. I've been reading some threads on the pros and cons of the Moleskine-Fountain Pen Connection, but here I'd like a specific something: Im a huge fan of Leonard Cohen, and got a couple of limited edition Moleskines. Still drooling over them. Meantimes, I'd be grateful for any suggestions for specific pens, or inks. Im thinking a fine nib is best...? Photo at the bottom.... Alex
  5. L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio inks have been around for many years but don't seem to attract much attention in the English speaking community. I guess that we have too much to choose from. Several months ago, namrehsnoom published the most extensive and exhaustive review of Bleu Atlantique: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/316800-lartisan-pastellier-callifolio-bleu-atlantique/. There is nothing new I can add, but since the ink quickly become one of my favourites I decided to post some additional pictures. I tested the ink on four different papers: Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm, Moleskine (of the worst kind) and Xerox Performer 80 gsm using some of my favourite wet writing pens. http://i.imgur.com/iBG1YBi.jpg http://i.imgur.com/Dtt3PJv.jpg Leuchtturm & Moleskine http://i.imgur.com/MXOhGfw.jpg Clairefountaine, Leuchtturm, Moleskine and Xerox. Although some feathering and line widening can be seen on the Moleskine and Xerox, they are not even close to be as bad as with a wet pen filled with most other inks I tried. I'd say that the ink behaves similarly well on some lesser quality papers as Salix, Pelikan Blue/Black and Pelikan Royal Blur but with a bit more lubrication. Ink characteristics Saturation: low to medium (great for shading) Lubrication: above average Feathering/woolly lines/bleed-through: low Flow: average Drying time: average Namrehsnoom gave it earlier A+ score. I'd go for A, simply because I found even better performance in another Callifolio ink. Anyway, either A or A+ are absolutely deserved. It is really hard to find an ink of interesting​ colour one can use almost without limitations on more absorbent papers.
  6. Is this notebook a real Moleskine? I found it in a newsagent and was able to get it for AU$2.90 (about US$2.20). It is a sewn 20 sheet, 40 leaf, 80 page Kraft-covered cahier. There is a simple pocket in the back cover. The paper is cream/beige, and after trying it with a number of pens and inks, it seems to be quite well behaved with inks. The pages are a narrow A5, being A5 in length, but almost 1 1/2 centimetres narrower. The notebook I got was plain, unlined, but I was able to print a guide sheet to A5 and then trim the long sides to fit. So far, the inks I have tried it on are — Platinum Pigment Blue, Noodler’s Black, Diamine Sapphire, Diamine Majestic Blue, PR DC SS Blue, Noodler’s Kung Te-Cheng and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness. All seemed to dry reasonably quickly, with almost no bleed-through except for the tiniest bit of spotting. Most inks show a small degree of spreading. At first I thought that it was a fake Moleskine, as all that said it was Moleskine was an indented stamp on the back cover saying ‘Moleskine ®’, and how easy would it be to fake that. However, what made me think it might be genuine was the quality of sewing holding it all together. But, when I checked in my local Officeworks, they had the same chairs, in packs of 3, but at 2 1/2 times the price. Overall, I am very impressed, with both the quality and the price. I will certainly be going back to get some more.
  7. It appears that everyone here hates the old Moleskine. I have noticed that they advertise quite a bit on this site. So someone here must be buying them. I would like to hear from the people that like them. What have you been doing with them? Have you customized them? I personally mostly use fine point nibs so I have never had a problem with them. Of course you need to buy them on sale. This is a lot easier to do with something you can pick up at Staples. I have put pen loops, pockets and extra book markers on them. This one is a book that I am working on at the moment. It is pictured here up side down to show the additions better. It has cap from a Pilot Varsity attacked to the top of the book. I use that as a holder for my red pen. The sleeve attached to the side of the book can accommodate you average size fountain pen. In general I have a Nemosine Singularity on the pocket. My singularity always had a fine point nib.I have never had bleed through ghosting or feathering.
  8. Ok, it seems I double-posted this.
  9. Sharing a transcription of a poem by Chuang Tzu, translated by Thomas Merton.
  10. Moleskine has great form, but the paper has left much to be desired. While it still has a bleed-through problem with some inks, the spidery feathering is absent in the squared notebook I purchased last week. To avoid a cross-posting violation, I will only put up the one image, but there are a few more at my blog if this comparison isn't enough to convince you that Moleskine is a little better than it used to be. New Moleskine on the upper left, Rhodia on the upper right. The two Moleskine journals in the lower row were purchased several years ago. Original version of the image is here.
  11. Hello Fountain Pen Network! As I mentioned in the title I am a journalist who is moving on to college in the fall. As a journalist, it is very important for me to be able to handwrite quickly, accurately and legibly. But unfortunately up to this point I have struggled with this endeavor because my handwriting is so terrible. I can usually read it, but for others it is typically borderline illegible. Below I have attached a sample of my writing so you can see just how bad it actually is. What's worse is that my handwriting is bad in both print and cursive. I'm pretty sure I'm applying to much pressure with my grip and on the paper but I'm not sure what else I really do wrong. What do you guys recommend I do to improve my hieroglyphics/chicken scratch into something that is legible and pretty? I have also been looking into some different pens and notebooks to buy for classes in the fall. In high school, I used whatever pen I could find to write in my beloved Moleskine or the four plastic covered Mead Five Star Wide Ruled notebooks in my bag. For college, I would like to step it up a bit so I have been looking at some different pens, namely the Uni-Ball Signos and the Pilot Metropolitan, and also some different notebooks like the Rhodia Wirebound A4 and the line Maruman Mnuemosyne in A4 and B5. What do you guys think of these choices, especially considering I am a poor college student? For the pen should I be using a fine, medium or bold tip? Will a fountain pen make my handwriting better? Any pens and/or notebooks you guys would recommend for my stated goals?
  12. Saw a great article in the February 2016 issue of Inc. Magazine. It is about the "new" benefits of using paper rather than computers and digital devices. Although it doe not reference fountain pens at all it is a short and interesting piece. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201602/saki-knafo/the-benefits-of-pen-and-paper-vs-computers.html Check it out...
  13. cimmerian

    Lamy Red + Blue = Lamy Beetroot?

    So I’ve got a small bottle of Lamy Red and about three boxes of Lamy Blue cartridges. As I’ll probably never use those blue cartridges, I decided to have some fun mixing those inks together. This is the 2:1 Red/Blue mix, plus RGB indexes for the darkest and lightest areas: Now the 3:1 Red/Blue mix + RGB: …aaand the 4:1 Red/Blue mix + RGB: Method: Lamy explicitly says in their website not to mix their inks, so I left each concoction sitting quietly for 24 hours in a drawer in a sample container before putting a little bit of ink on the pen (I used a regional brand pen with a fine nib made in Taiwan). I didn’t feel any difference in writing with any of the mixes compared to the pure blue or red, except for a little bit of spread, but so slight that I only noticed it in the scans. Also, I forgot to add paper information: the tests were made on a 70 g/m² acid-free "Ivory-colored" paper from a Moleskine pocket notebook. There was no bleed-through, even on the ∴ (where I let the nib rest); ghosting/echoing was as noticeable as the pure Blue and more noticeable than the pure Red on the same notebook. My conclusions: I liked the 2:1 mix a lot. Didn’t care much for the rosy tint of the other two mixes (that’s why I stopped and didn’t add red any further). I was surprised that the orange of the Lamy Red didn't appear on the 4:1 mix (if you dilute Lamy Red you get a "Vitamin C orange"). Also, I gotta say that 3:1 and 4:1 look very similar to me. I'm going to wait 24 more hours before fully inking a pen with the Lamy Beetroot (2:1 mix) and carrying it around. What do youse think?
  14. For some time now, I've been using leather notebook covers made by a UK-based craftsman, Fenner Benedict. Made from a variety of traditional materials, they are well-finished and of the highest quality. And of course, available easily in the UK. However, I decided that having already got the Explorer 2 which I use with Moleskine Cahiers and Field Notes, I thought I'd try the latest Explorer 3 in Midori Passport size. Good call! As can be seen from the photograph below, the two covers are virtually the same, apart from the size of course, and I chose the black leather for the Midori-sized one. The Explorer range come with a cleverly laid-out set-up where a single piece of bungee cord is threaded through the cover to give four bands straight away, so that number of books or inserts can be used immediately. But, Midori refills are a little on the expensive side for me, to use all the time so I decided to use the excellent (in my opinion) Clairefontaine 1951 pocket notebooks (9cm x 14cm) and trim down to the Midori size. Basically, I just trimmed about 7mm or the top and bottom of the notebook and it fits just fine. Because the Clairefontaine books have more pages than the Midori ones per se, I made the cut-down version a fraction shorter so that it wouldn't be difficult to fit into the cover. I also make my own notebooks for both, especially if I want a 'disposable' one with perforated pages - shopping lists etc. Using thin card for the cover and either QC or Ryman's Bank papers for the pages. Very simple to produce. I realise that there are loads of similar options out there, from many different countries but at least I thought you should be aware that the Clairefontaine notebooks, and of course any similar stapled ones, can easily be trimmed to fit the Midori-sized covers. I wouldn't recommend trimming ones like the Moleskine Cahiers though, because they are stitched! Goodness-knows what would happen then...!
  15. While dig through my fountain pen horde and reluctantly selecting some for pruning, I've stumbled across a huge stash of Moleskine Hobbit limited edition journals I'd aquired years ago in some trade or another. I think was planning on using some (they work well enough with iron galls and EF nibs) and skinning the rest. I seem to have almost two dozen of the Hobbit journals in both A6 and A5 sizes, all three covers and colours. All still in their plastic wraps. Way more than I would ever need, and the part of the world where I currently work is not really into reading and writing, so gift giving is out. I was thinking of selling them on. Any advice for procedures and prices?
  16. Check out the Staples circular for March 8 - March 14, 2015 for the above discounts. Don't know about the United Kingdom or Canada. Happy discounted shopping. Enjoy and good luck.
  17. Hi guys, I'm considering getting an Oberon notebook cover, either the Moleskine cover or composition cover. http://www.oberondesign.com/collections/composition-notebook-covers/products/composition-notebook-cover-van-goghs-sky However, while I like these notebooks, the paper quality isn't so good to do ink washes and calligraphy practice with 1.5 or 2.4 mm nibs. Because of that, I can't decide which size to choose! Both are portable, one fits better in my smaller purses...I'd really appreciate input regarding good sketchbooks or fp-friendly notebooks that would fit either of these notebook covers. If I can find fp-friendly choices that are also wallet-friendly, that would help me choose which size to get.
  18. http://www.dw.de/the-comeback-of-the-notebook/av-18000718
  19. Hi! I'm looking for options to put in my Midori-style leather cover. It's Moleskine/Field Notes-sized, but I would like better paper to suit fountain pens. Preferably also thicker than Rhodia - I like to draw. I live in Norway, so the physical stores don't cover my needs. It would have to be an online shop with worldwide shipping. I have a Banditapple Carnet on its way, I just would like more options. Thank you.
  20. So I've been really struggling with finding a journal that works well for both me, and my fountain pens. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but I'm looking for a journal with the following characteristics: Lined Pages, 7mm or greater - For a journal, I need lines. And if the lines are too narrow I find I start to write very small and illegibly.A5 format - give or take. It needs to be large enough to write comfortably, and small enough to carry with me.Paper that won't bleed through. I don't mind some shadowing on the back, in fact, I find I somewhat appreciate it. Relatively white paperDurable - I carry this thing everywhere I realize that this is somewhat specific, but here's what I've tried so far that hasn't worked quite right. Moleskine Grid Notebook (5" x 8.25") - Loved the form factor. Hated the grid -- too narrow to write legibly. Also, all of my pens bled through Leuchtturm1917 A4 Thin Master - Great quality notebook. Love the page numbers. Thought I'd like the size, but find it a bit unwieldy. Lined rule (~6mm) is just slightly too narrow for me to write with anything but really fine nibs which limits my creativity a bit. Rhodia A5 Webnotebook - Got the lined version, and the lines are just a bit narrow again (~6mm). Paper is nice, but dry time for some of my pens & ink is long (could be fixed with blotting paper). Overall though, I just am not a fan of the yellowish paper. I'm currently looking at the Nanami Seven Seas Writer notebook. I've heard great things about Tomoe River paper, and these notebooks are supposed to be top quality. I also like the 7mm lines. I'm just worried it will be a bit too fragile to be chucked in my bag every day. What other notebooks should I consider! All suggestions are welcome!
  21. My first ever photo post on FPN. Nikon, 35mm
  22. anujitroy

    Hello :)

    Hi, I'm very excited to say my first hello I'm from Calcutta, India and recently switched my city to Delhi. Professionaly I'm a director of design and a fashion editorial photographer by choice. I have been using fountain pens since I was kid, I remember, the first fountain pen I've ever used is a Parker 51. Now, I'm a Sailor man. Three things I can't live without; my Sailor Sapporo, my Moleskine and my Winsor & Newton watercolour. Greeting, AR
  23. The Good Captain

    In Praise Of Moleskine

    I've always liked Moleskine notebooks and especially the pocket-sized ones - 9x14cm. Just ideal for the everyday 'get off my chest' sort of comments. A bit like my LOMO camera used to be for 'photo-thoughts'. I know that the Moleskines have a bit of bad press but that's probably down to people's reluctance to sort out what is right with Moleskine for themselves, rather than complain and whinge that Moleskine 'doesn't like my ink' sort-of thing. So I decided that I'd start using them again, in favour of the Leuchtturm pocket ones and see what happened. I've gone back to the soft-cover ones for the simple reason that I've found a superb chap who makes leather covers for them (along with a load of other stuff) and mine arrived this morning. I'll come to that in a bit. When I first started my first Moleskine I'd done a bit of searching for 'good' inks for Moleskine and came across this excellent series of reviews. I immediately went for the Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black - just my sort of colour anyway - and have never looked back. Therefore, I would suggest that people might care to try Moleskine-friendly inks first, before they rule out the paper altogether. (Sorry about the pun.) Making something work for you is a lot more fun than complaining that something doesn't suit you. Just my opinion. Anyway; soft covers here I come and as I mentioned, I've a perfect soft leather cover for the start of my next project. This is the one I went for, from Fenner Crafts. A fabulous chap to deal with and the service has been excellent. The soft Italian leather and soft cover of the book just go together perfectly. Of course, that's my opinion and some people might prefer hard covers and thicker leather. I've not tried a hard cover book in there but the covers are designed for both and I guess that a similar-sized book, like a Rhodia, would fit too. But I don't want to use either of those. Here's a picture of mine. So, come on people - give Moleskine another shot! You know you want to.

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