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March 30, 2011

Shades of Purple Ink

I like purple ink. It’s a nice alternative to blue that’s a bit more interesting, but it can still be used in (most) office environments. Without having to buy 100 different shades of purple ink, I wondered what conservative purple shades of fountain pen ink I could come up with by doing a little bit of ink mixing. Some Daniel Waples hang drum music was just right to create a purple ink mixing mood.

I started with five parts J. Herbin Violette Pensée purple ink and added to it one part of another color of ink. Sadly, I find that purple is a very difficult color to display accurately whether you are using a scanner, digital camera or computer monitor. The above scan has not been retouched and it definitely looks more blue than the actual color samples. I’ll attempt to describe some of the results.

Violette Pensée with J. Herbin Perle Noire (black) produced a dark, purple-black color as expected.

The addition of J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink (magenta) seemed to intensify the Violette Pensée and created a very pleasing “royal purple” color. There’s a little bit of shading but since it is so dark it’s rather hard to see it.

J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche (cyan) turned the violet ink into more of a blue-toned ink, and made a dark purplish blue shade.

Not what I was expecting with the addition of a yellow ink, J. Herbin Bouton d’Or actually made the Violette Pensée into a darker color. It’s kind of like a very dark grape juice color.

I wasn’t sure what color J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage (green) would create when added to violet. It turned out to be a dark purple-grey shade of ink.

Violette Pensée and J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary ink (red) combined made me want pour a glass of old vine Zinfandel red wine! This shade reminds me of a rich red wine full of plum and berry flavors. There is a hint of shading with this mixture.

Finally, Edelstein Mandarin ink (orange) warmed up the blue-ish tone of the Violette Pensée and also darkened it to produce a dark purple that is a warm shade. Once again, kind of like a dark grape juice color.

My favorites? I think my first choice would be the mix with Rose Cyclamen so I could write in a royal purple color of ink. Second choice is the shade created by adding the 1670 Anniversary ink.

What is your favorite purple ink? Do you have any purple ink colors that you create yourself? What is your recipe?

Other articles you might like:
Ink Mixing Color Chart
Four Basic Ink Mixing Colors

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March 23, 2011

Mouse Pad Notepads

If you're like me, your office area looks like it's been attacked by sticky notes riddled with reminders, things to do, things not to do, phone numbers, and appointments. More often than not these sticky notes lose their “stickiness” and end up on the floor or behind the desk. Thankfully I’ve found a great way to eliminate the problem of rouge sticky notes - multi-functioning mouse pads! Mouse pads that also serve as notepads are great organizing tools that hold all your notes, reminders, contacts, and appointments in one place. Think about it this way, the area around your mouse is usually clear and maybe the one clutter free area on your desk. Mouse pads that also serve as notepads eliminate the problem of searching for a clean sticky note or piece of scrap paper. Your mouse pad/notepad is easily accessible and will never mysteriously lose itself behind your desk.

The Rhodia Mouse Pad is complete with 30 sheets of 80g graph paper and has a nonskid backing. The nonskid backing helps keep the pad in place as you use your mouse or write a note. The extremely smooth paper provides a great surface for your mouse and for your pen, pencil or fountain pen! The pad is held together on the bottom and left edge which prevents the paper from scrunching as you move your mouse.

The Bob’s Your Uncle Swiss mouse pad/notepad is a playful mouse pad resembling Swiss cheese. Their Surf mouse pad/notepad has the word "Surf" emblazoned boldly across the top in a font resembling something you might see in a Hawaiian surf shop. These mouse pads include 50 sheets of sturdy paper attained from responsibly managed forests.

The Bob’s Your Uncle 8-Days-A-Week mouse pad/notepad is the ultimate organizing tool. This notepad allows you to plan each day of the week. Each day is broken up by a.m., p.m. and evening. Quickly jot down appointments, soccer practices, due dates, and events and have them at hand at all times. The 8-Days-A-Week mouse pad includes spaces for Monday thru Sunday and another for “Someday.” Includes 52 sheets of paper, one for each week of the year.

How do you use your mouse pad/notepad?

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March 16, 2011

Using J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink as Highlighter Ink

Have you ever thought of using regular, non-fluorescent fountain pen ink as highlighter ink? More than once I’ve heard people wonder why ink companies bother creating fountain pen inks in light colors because when used for writing they can sometimes be hard to read. Besides being good for fans of bright colors, for artwork and for ink mixing, these colors are often valuable for use as highlighting inks!

I started out using J. Herbin Bouton d’Or regular yellow fountain pen ink for highlighters since it seemed the most obvious choice from my ink arsenal. I had such good results that I added Noodler’s Yellow to my calligraphy highlighter pens with similar good results. Recently I’ve been using J. Herbin’s Bleu Azur fountain pen ink in my Pelikan Script 2.0mm calligraphy pen and find that it’s the perfect shade of blue for highlighting.

We selected what we felt are the six lightest regular J. Herbin fountain pen ink colors and made some samples for you to take a look at. J. Herbin Bouton d’Or, Bleu Azur and Rose Tendresse are pretty typical “highlighter” colors (minus any fluorescence). Compared to your usual highlighter green, Vert Pré has more of a yellow tone to it and is a fresh, spring green. Diabolo Menthe is a pretty, light turquoise green that’s a fun alternative to regular highlighter blue. Bouquet d’Antan is to pink what denim blue is to blue, it’s kind of a faded, worn pink color that’s more subtle and easy on the eyes than blazingly fluorescent highlighter pinks. (We wish the combination of scanners and computer monitors would depict colors more accurately.)

These are our choices among J. Herbin’s wide variety of inks for use as highlighter colors. What do you think of these ink colors for highlighting? What are your favorite highlighting ink colors?

 

(This sample was made using a laser printer, cheap copier paper, a LAMY pen with a 1.9mm calligraphy nib, and a Pelikan Script with a 2.0mm nib. The ink descriptions come from the J. Herbin website. Sorry, I cannot seem to draw a straight line even if my life depended on it!)

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March 09, 2011

Live Inspired “Her Words” Composition Notebook Review

Compendium’s “Her Words” composition notebooks are adorned with elegant illustrations and poetry by Monique Duval, inspiring you to explore, imagine and create.

I’ve been using the “She decided to free herself...” version of this notebook that has this inspirational hand-written poetry on the front cover: “She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky”. The cover illustration consists of an old fashioned bird cage with silhouettes of many birds flying free in the sky above it. Also written on the bottom of the back cover beside an illustration of two feathers is: “It is here where she must begin to tell her story.”

The “Her Words” notebook has a laminated cover that is somewhat flexible and it is glue bound with color-coordinated book tape on the spine. Inside the front cover is this additional inspiration: “This is a space for dream words, love words, made up words, flying words, fall down and get up words. Get to know the sound of your own inner voice. Be creative. Be generous. Be bold.”

The regular size version of the composition notebook is 7” x 10” and there is also a mini version that is 4” x 5.5”. Both sizes contain 60 lined pages that are ivory color and seem to be about 80gsm. There are margins around the entire page with the largest being at the top and second largest at the bottom. The lines are spaced approximately 7mm apart and in my notebook they are a pale green color. Once every several pages there is a page with a small illustration in the bottom right corner – in this instance it is green feathers, but other versions of the notebook have pictures of a bird, a high-heeled shoe, a bicycle, a ladybug, cherries, a key and oak leaves with acorns.

In my opinion this paper has slightly above average performance with fountain pens, with the biggest issue being some ink bleed through. I find I can write on both sides of each page without any problem when I am using a fountain pen with a fine nib. One thing that I really like about it as a left-handed writer is that fountain pen ink dries quite quickly on this paper reducing greatly the chance of smearing any ink. In fact, while flipping through all my notes I couldn’t find any smears! Take a look at the writing sample and judge for yourself:


“Her Words” composition notebooks come in a variety of cover colors and designs, each with a different inspirational poetry excerpt on the front cover. These make great gifts for yourself or a creative friend! Do you use any inspirational notebooks? What is your favorite?

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March 02, 2011

WRITERSBLOK Bamboo Notebook Review

WRITERSBLOK Bamboo notebooks from Kikkerland contain paper that is made from 100% sustainable bamboo pulp. Bamboo grows much faster than trees, reaching maturity in about 3 to 7 years. A percentage of sales from WRITERSBLOK goes to literacy-related programs around the United States. For example, they support 826NYC, a non-profit organization in New York City that helps students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and also helps teachers inspire their students to write.

WRITERSBLOK Bamboo notebooks have a flexible, laminated cover that comes in several different colors depending on the size of notebook you buy: lime green, yellow, bright red, black and white. The cover is lightly textured and is plain except for a small, embossed WRITERSBLOK logo on the bottom of the back cover. Four different sizes are available: mini (2.5” x 4”), small (3.25” x 5”), medium (5.5” x 8.25”) and large (7.5” x 10.25”).

Bamboo notebooks have a stitched binding that prevents the pages from falling out and helps the notebook to open flat. If you need to remove a page, the last 8 sheets in the notebook are perforated for easy removal. The corners are rounded and it has plain, ivory color end sheets that are thicker than the paper inside.

The Bamboo notebook contains 96 pages of ivory color, 80g paper and it is available in both blank and ruled versions. The lines are light grey and are spaced about 6mm apart. Both lined and blank versions of the notebook have a tiny grey WRITERSBLOK logo on the bottom of the right page.

This is the first notebook I’ve ever owned with bamboo paper and so I wondered how it would hold up to fountain pens. This particular 80g bamboo paper does have some ink show through, bleed through and some subtle feathering so it might not be your first choice if you like to use a fountain pen and both sides of each page. Here’s a writing sample showing both the front and back of the page:


What’s your favorite WRITERSBLOK notebook? Have you had any experience with bamboo paper? We’d love to hear from you!

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