Friday, September 26, 2014

MonteVerde One Touch Tool Fountain Pen

 Monteverde One Touch Tool *, a fountain pen with several functions built-in, is the first of its kind that I have ever tried. My first impression was how streamlined the pen looks, the metal body (seems like brass) is spray painted silver and it's hexagonal through out with minimal obstruction. There four rulers integrated into the body: 1/100m (standard metric), 1/200m, 1/300m and one in English system.    
The two sides left are occupied by a level and a clip that's stiff but springy enough to be easily attach to shirt pocket. Just keep in mind that the pen is heavy, long (might not fit shirt pocket) and the nib will be facing down (leaking potential).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Duoe Traveler's Notebooks - Regular and Passport Sized

 Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of M1dori Traveler's notebook (written that way so it won't mislead people on image search), many companies have come up with their own versions of the simplistic and refillable notebooks. Some are more original (with different sizing, design and types of leather used) while other are more like shameless clones. Duoe (Pronounced "Duo- E", a Chinese brand based in Guangzhou), belongs to the latter.

I bought these Traveler's Notebooks specifically as a M-brand substitute (there I said it), as I really wanted a journal in this style and I was too cheap to pay another 50 dollars after losing my first (on my way to school). Aside for the leather choices and three sizes, there are many styles available: standard, leather accessorized, simplistic and a "Vintage European" (which has a belt like wrap and comes with leather and a built-in bookmarks). The prices range from 60 to 120 RMB, which is 10-20 USD.

I picked a black Leather Accessorized for in largest size (22x12.5 cm, the same as the larger M-brand) and the a standard style reddish brown in passport size (14x10.5cm), the in-between is 18x10.5cm (which I didn't pick that up because it would be hard to buy refill for that in US).

Let's start with the Black - My first impression is that both the leather texture and color are very similar to those of M, soft to the touch but with a big of stiffness to hold the shape. Duoe is a tad softer (but it's in no way flabby) and the interior is feels more textured and fuzzy.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sunshine Yellow - Diamine Ink Review

Hello, my dear pen friends! Sorry for neglecting the blog for a whole four months...I was a little caught up in school, out-of-state internship and studying (more like procrastinating for) board exam (which I passed last week. I am now a certified genetic technologist!). Anyway, let me finish up some queued posts before diving into newer purchases (of course I have never stopped hauling stationery).
I think I need to dust the interior of my camera...Those dots are getting crazy.
Diamine Sunshine Yellow is a golden tangerine yellow that looks like liquid sun in the sample vial. The color is bright and workable as a writing ink (the words don't jump out of page but at least it's not like taking note with highlighter). You can put it in the other way that it's a bit too dark/used as highlighter, too light as a writing ink.
Consistency of Sunshine Yellow is a little on the watery side, at least there is some slip that writing was as smoothly as most other Diamine inks. Shading was wonderful on a Clairefontaine grid notebook and water-resistance is none-existent (a few drip and you will get a whole patch of yellow smear). Overall it seems interesting to try out but there is very little practicality (unless you do calligraphy with it using a flex nib).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wild Strawberry - Diamine Ink Review

 The related picture of the day is that of (according to Trees of Texas plant identifier, this is) yaupon.  (How in the world can I manage to take enough good pictures of strawberries, without gulping them all right away?)
 Diamine Wild Strawberry is a rich and succulent orange-red that gears towards the intense side. The color is very much like fresh strawberry that's not yet ripe (when they ripe, you get more of a purple red) and the color is bright, spring-like without being obnoxious.

Flow wise, it's quite typical of Diamine - Watery (not lubricating in anyway but it neither feathers nor bleeds) but not thin and writes smoothly with a Lamy fine steel nib. In a way, it feels a little squishy like biting into a fresh tomato (does it even make sense?).
When you are dealing with a bright and intense ink, it's best not to expect too much shading, I get a little of it anyway (that's only when I actively look for it). As for water-resistance, there is none. I was drinking ice tea while taking notes (on the other side of this, the DNA and restriction enzyme was for an exam cram a week earlier) and the whole writing the dissolved completely.   

Overall: A fresh note-taking (used alone or as an accent) color and a delight to use during the sunny Texans spring (when summer hits it would be all hot and sticky, and I will roll out my aqua blue...)
One more picture of the fruity tree


Writing sample is Rihwa's Last Love (the lyrics doesn't make too much sense but at least the melody was nice)