Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-Iro Sky Blue Ink Review

In the spirit of the lighter and brighter colors of Spring and Easter Sunday, here is our review of the new Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-Iro "Sky Blue" color of fountain pen ink that was recently added to the Iroshizuku line of high-quality inks earlier this year.

We couldn't get our eggs to look quite like the nest above. To be honest, the wife and I were a bit disappointed with the quality of one of our egg dye kits. The colors simply weren't saturated enough and didn't coat the eggs in enough color. Alas, lack of saturation is sometimes a concern in a fountain pen ink, especially a lighter color. J Herbin Bleu Azur is a perfect example of a "barely-there" ink that just doesn't provide enough contrast on the paper to be adequately visible. Ama-Iro provides that saturation and the lighter, aqua color that would be perfect for dyeing eggs. But I wouldn't recommend dyeing eggs with fountain pen ink. No matter the pH neutrality.

Of course, as with any ink of the Iroshizuku line, I've found Ama-Iro to flow nicely and behave well in my Pelikan M215 piston-filler. The color lives up to the name in being a very pleasant, light blue. Anyone else have an Easter/Spring ink they are writing with this weekend?


When I see a Notebook

When I see a notebook...

When I see a notebook, I think of the stories that have yet to be told.
The notes that have yet to become ideas fully manifest.
An unrequited love, a terrible shame to bear.
Loops, swoops and curls. Writing for writing's sake.
Some thoughts that barely make it out of the pen, only to be erased.
Proud moments in our lives that remind ourselves the struggle is worthy.
I see the quiet, contemplative thoughts that surface after a day of turmoil.
The to-do's, plans well laid that never go as planned.
The cursing, dark thoughts that have their place on pages instead of the internet.
A roller coaster with peaks of optimism, followed by troughs of pessimism.
An appreciation of beauty in all of its amorphousness.

It's life as a human being, inside of a human being.

--This ode to the notebook has been brought to you by the wonderfully colorful Rhodiarama notebooks, which just arrived at the office this afternoon. I can't help myself when I see such a beautiful cover, full of silky smooth ivory paper.


Noodler's Antietam Ink Review

I think this dos equis meme best describes my introduction to this ink.

Even the red in the XX is appropriate, considering the variations that come with Noodler's Antietam. I'm usually not fond of red. It reminds me too much of seeing marked up test papers and essays. Looking for a nice ink for autumn, Noodler's Antietam really hits the spot with its rich saturation and lovely variations of tones and shading. It flowed very nicely from the Visconti Van Gogh steel nib that I used and had no trouble with cleaning nib creep, as it would sometimes happen with other Noodler's Inks.

Yes, the date on it is pretty old, but better late then never.


Quick Note About our Visconti Rembrand Calligraphy Kits

Last week, we started to offer the Visconti Rembrandt Calligraphy Kits at a value discount. Through a special deal with Visconti, we are able to offer the kits complete with a Rembrandt fountain pen, 2 calligraphy nibs, converters, a bottle of Visconti black ink and blotting paper. Originally, when these kits were first offered about a year ago, the kits came with 2 calligraphy nibs and a standard medium writing nib. Unbeknownst to us, Visconti had sent our latest shipment of these kits without the medium nib and the nib sections are made of black resin instead of chromed metal like the original set was. Some sets have already shipped and we've received feedback from our customers regarding the discrepancy. We are responding to the situation in a manner we believe will resolve the problem.

If you have received a Visconti Rembrandt Calligraphy Kit from us that is lacking the medium nib, please contact our customer service and we will arrange for you to receive the replacement medium nib. We've ordered them from Visconti and they should be arriving within the next 1-2 business days.

Going forward, we have changed our listing description to reflect the rolling change that has taken effect with this set. We now only have inventory of the new sets with the 2 nibs & converters. We still feel that this is an amazing deal, so check it out before inventory is cleaned out!


Call for Blog Entries - We're Hosting the Carinval!

On April 9th, tune your web surfing dial right here for some old-fashioned pen and paper blogging goodness. We are hosting the next Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper the second Tuesday of April. If you are a blogger and have recently posted an article about writing, pens, paper, ink, notebooks, journals and everything in between,  we would love to feature your story here! We are currently accepting blog post submissions on the BlogCarnival site. Please note that you do have to register and log-in to submit an article. The deadline to submit an article will be Sunday, April 7th.

For March's issue of the Carnival, please visit Journaling Arts to read all the currently published articles to catch up on all the best office supply, fine writing and product reviews that the pen blog-osphere has to offer.

The Carnival is for artists, writers, note-takers and anyone else who adores pens, pencils, notebooks, journals, blank books and sketchbooks. This carnival collects the past month's best posts with reviews, photos, new product news and more to feed the lust of all stationery and office supply fans.


Namiki Falcon vs. Pilot Metal Falcon Video Review

In this week's video review, our very own Michael Jones takes a look at the Namiki Falcon and the Pilot Metal Falcon.

In this video, we look at :
  • Unboxing the Pilot Metal Falcon and the Namiki Falcon
  • Pen Materials - Lacquered Metal with rhodium coated gold nib (Pilot Metal Falcon) and Resin with Gold trim and solid gold nib (Namiki Falcon).
  • Converters - The Metal Falcon uses a pump-action, push button converter (CON-70), while the Namiki Falcon uses a twist converter.
  • Filling each Falcon.
  • Test writing with the Falcon's unique Soft, solid gold nibs.

Overall, both pens are a pleasure to write with when taking advantage of the flexibility of the soft, solid gold nibs crafted to provide a smooth, variable line. The Metal Falcon has a distinct step up in the quality of the body and cap materials, and feels more rich and substantial in-hand. The Namiki Falcon, while only made of resin, does have a lighter feeling, but still offers the superior writing experience that the soft gold nib affords.


Introducing the Lamy Safari 2013 Neon Yellow

A new year, a new Lamy Safari to add to your growing collection of colorful writing instruments. 2013 brings the electric, Neon Yellow Safari. Due to arrive on US Retailer's shelves in mid-May, this new addition to the Safari collection is limited in production and should be well stocked here in the US for 8-10 months before becoming very difficult to find.

Previously released Safari colors include Apple Green (2012), Aquamarine (2011), Pink, Orange (2009), Lime (2008), White (2007), Blue & Red (2006). Previous year's editions become extremely sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts.