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March 31, 2009

Four Basic Ink Mixing Colors

Most of you with color ink jet printers have noticed that the printer's ink cartridges come in cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) which are the basic ink colors used in printing. Using these colors your printer can produce a beautiful photograph with shades of all different colors.

By mixing these same colors of fountain pen ink, many different shades of ink can also be created. For people like me, who love to use a different color of ink every time they refill their fountain pen, it is great to have these basic colors on hand to make custom ink colors. Ink mixing is also a good way to create special colors that you may not be able to buy off the shelf.

The equivalent of cyan, magenta, yellow and black in the Noodler's Ink collection are Navajo Turquoise, Shah's Rose, Yellow and Black. If you like light and bright colors of ink like pink, light lime green or light blue, you might want to add Noodler's The Whiteness of the Whale ink to your collection. This ink is specially made for ink mixing and making these types of colors.

Using all Noodler's inks for your ink mixing is an easy way to safely mix ink and minimize the chance of any gunky reactions. We recommend making a test batch of ink before adding it to your fountain pen, and an ink mixing kit or small dropper bottles are convenient ways to do this.

If you're new to fountain pen ink mixing and want to give it a try, Writer's Bloc has put together a nice starter kit for creating custom ink colors. This kit includes approximately 1/2 oz each of four basic Noodler's Ink colors - Navajo Turquoise, Shah's Rose, Yellow and Black. In the future, we'll be posting an ink mixing color chart to help you get started on your adventure. Happy ink mixing and please send some of your ink mixing recipes our way!

March 24, 2009

2, Rouge Polypro Notebook

Atomic Soda Minilabo Outer Space

First of all, can I point out that the covers of the Atomic Soda Minilabo and 2 Rouge polypro (short for polypropelene) notebooks are absolutely hilarious? Look at the eyes on that little green alien! I am actually using the "Love" notebook, which states, "product necessary for love." I'm not totally sure what it means, but it's funny. Really, I fell in love with these notebooks for their covers alone.

Turns out, the cover is only the beginning of how GREAT these notebooks are. The big spiral binding is ultra durable, never snags, and very practical. I use this notebook to take notes, sometimes in places where tables are not readily available so the spiral binding and plastic cover makes writing in my lap totally comfortable. The pages of the notebook are lined on one side and blank on the other, which obviously means you can write and/or draw, but it can be used other ways too. I've been using it so that I take notes from a talk or meeting on the lined side, and then use the blank side to write down how I can apply the information to myself. It's like having a sectioned notebook, but even more convenient! Finally the paper is great. It's thick and smooth, but not too glossy, which is great for writing with any kind of pen (even the free ones from your insurance agent or school secretary). Overall I am a BIG fan of this notebook cute, funny, and totally practical, what more could a girl ask for?

March 17, 2009

"Her Words" Composition Notebook

Her Words That's The Way It Is

I have been using the Her Words notebook (part of the Live Inspired collection by Compendium) for a few weeks now, and I must say I am quite fond of it. I use it as my notebook for work so it is packed with notes and ideas written in dozens of different inks. So far the paper has performed fairly well. The only ink that has bleed through is a dark blue ink from a fountain pen that writes wet, otherwise all gel pens, dark pencils, and other inks have stayed where they were meant to be. The college ruled lines are perfect for my medium-small sized handwriting, and the narrow margins allow for maximum page use, which is important to me. Finally, I love that it is lightweight but super durable. I have thrown it in bags, backpacks, and even the backseat of my car, but the semi-hard cover has kept it from harm. In fact, it still really looks brand new! I would definitely recommend this notebook to any of my girlfriends, especially the ones that enjoy inspirational quotes and pretty designs.


March 10, 2009

Ink Mixing Recipe - Ocean Jade


This is the first ink recipe that we are blogging about, and it certainly won't be the last! This color is a Writer's Bloc original recipe by Alan and it is very easy to create. Just mix one part Noodler's Navajo Turquoise and one part Noodler's St. Patty's Eire to create a pleasing blue-green color that we call "Ocean Jade". We found that this fountain pen ink color looks either more blue or more green depending on the paper you use. Now if only we owned the matching Porsche Boxter....

March 03, 2009

Rhodia Treasure Box Winner

Thanks to all who participated in our Rhodia Treasure Box giveaway. There are many of you that love Rhodia and we appreciate all of your comments! We enjoyed reading your thoughts about which Rhodia products you use and why, as well as what your wish lists are.

The winner is Jill who posted a comment on February 10th. Congratulations Jill!

Compendium Reporter Style Notebook Review

Compendium is a Seattle-based company that has a line of inspiring, fresh and design-rich products including notebooks. I recently got my hands on the Hmm... Reporter Style Notebook and wondered how practical this notebook style would be and how suitable it would be for fountain pen use.

This notebook is 3.75” W x 5.5” H which is a nice size to fit in your purse and pocket. The elastic is snappy enough to keep the notebook securely closed and it is orange which is one of my favorite colors! The textured hard cover is a nice firm surface that allows me to write easily even when there is no desk or table nearby. The binding is sewn so the pages do not fall out and the pages open easily. As a left-handed writer I also appreciate that there are no spirals or rings or bulky binding to get in the way of my writing!

The paper is smooth and heavy weight, and in the Hmm... Notebook it is a nice ivory color with subtle pink dotted lines that are a nice guide, but aren't overpowering. On the bottom of random pages there are some inspiring and some humorous quotes such as "You're only given a spark of madness. You musn't lose it." by Robin Williams and "Ideas come from everywhere. Be open to them." by Alfred Hitchcock. For those of you that prefer blank pages, other designs of the Compendium Reporter Style Notebook are available with blank paper.

Compendium's heavy weight paper performed pretty well with fountain pens. There was no feathering and no see-through with my fountain pens, however, there was some bleed-through when I used a medium LAMY nib along with a very wet LAMY ink flow. The other fine or medium fountain pens I used with Noodlers, Platinum Preppy or Pelikan ink had no bleed-through and I could easily write smoothly on both sides of the paper.

Being left-handed I am rather particular about my pens and paper am often underwhelmed at their performance. For a long time I had no urge to try anything new since I wouldn't like it anyway. Since I've been working at Writer's Bloc I've realized there are pens and paper out there that I can actually enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed using fine tip gel pens with this notebook. The fine tips did not poke through the paper, the gel pens wrote smoothly and did not skip. I think the Pentel Slicci was my favorite pen to use in combination with Compendium's Reporter Style Notebook. Would I buy this notebook again? Yes!

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