INK REVIEW: Visconti Purple

As I mentioned when I reviewed the Monteverde Limonada earlier this week, Goulet Pens also sent along Visconti Purple ink for me to try. This is my first Visconti ink to review in detail.

It’s impossible not to notice the unique Visconti packaging. The oddly-shaped bottle arrives in a hard plastic two-piece box that can be used for storage. The plastic bottle is designed in such a way that as a writer reaches those last few precious milliliters of ink, the ink is in a very small area, and therefore quite easy to reach with the nib. No tipping the bottle or using a syringe/dropper required.

This would be a genius design . . . except it’s not.  The bottle is top heavy and even being super-duper careful, I was concerned about tipping it over as I filled my pen.

Mr. Pentulant suggested that perhaps I should place the bottle of ink into the lid of the box to fill a pen, but that was awkward, too.

The bottle aside – look at that color!

How does it write?  Quite wonderfully! It’s a bright shade of purple with solid saturation. At first, I wasn’t sure that I liked the brightness of the purple – I thought it was perhaps a little too rainbows and unicorns. After using it over the past few days, though, I’ve grown to appreciate the color and don’t think it’s as little girlish as the swab seems to indicate.

I had no trouble with the ink’s behavior at all. The pen started right up, I’ve had no flow issues, no bleeding, and I would say this is neither a particularly wet or dry ink. There was a teeny tiny amount of spreading on a couple of lesser quality papers.

Dry time isn’t bad!

Overall, this is a really nice ink and I can see myself using it regularly.

As usual, I waited to read reviews until after I’d formed my opinions about Visconti Purple. It seems that people over on FPN really went crazy for it when the ink was first released in 2012/2013 and I can see why – look at this shading! The Limonada is a medium nib, but it leans toward fine to me. I’m going to have to give this ink a go in a broader nib.

Thank you, Goulet Pens, for giving me the opportunity to try a new-to-me brand of ink! Here’s a link to the sample and one to the full-sized bottle.

Keep an eye on Instagram for more writing samples and I’d love to hear all about your experiences with Visconti inks.

PEN REVIEW: Monteverde Limonada

When Margaret from Goulet Pens asked if I’d like to review the Monteverde Limonada and a Visconti ink, I replied with this:

I have zero experience with either the pen or ink and would love to review them. For the pen – I’m totally open on color – send me your favorite!   For the ink – any of the colors is fine with me – except the brown – because, you know, it’s brown 😉

Let’s look at the pen in detail today and save the ink for another day.

The Monteverde Limonada in Roma Gold is a rich satin-finished champagne color and it’s easy to see why it’s Margaret’s favorite color. It is only available with a medium nib. The pen arrives clipped to a detailed instructional sheet inside the thick paper/board box shown above. It also comes with an converter and two standard international short cartridges – one blue, one black.

I love the detailed instructions.

 

The Limonada is definitely on the slender side. The grip/section is shaped similarly to the Lamy Safari / Al-Star. These two things make me think this pen isn’t for everyone – especially those with larger hands. I didn’t find it uncomfortable, but it was perhaps a bit unbalanced when the cap was posted.

The clip is flexible and positioned quite high on the cap. When clipped in a shirt pocket, it rides low rather than poking up out of the pocket. The clip is also flared at the end – making it easy to slide onto a stack of papers.

Clairefontaine ends with an “e” – everyon knows that.

But how does it write?

Pretty good! It’s not the smoothest pen I own, but it’s not even a little scratchy. I definitely think the writing looks more like a western fine nib than a medium. There were no writing issues at all and the pen started right up – just the way it’s supposed to work. (This writing is done with Visconti Purple.)

Final thoughts . . .

At $28, the Limonada is a good value. I love that the converter and two cartridges are included. It writes well and I like that it comes in several different colors.

Having said that, this pen won’t replace my inexpensive pen of choice –  Lamy Safari. The Safari is $29.60 at Goulet Pens and does not include the converter. My other low-cost pick is the Pilot Metropolitan at just $15 (converter included).

Thanks to Goulet Pens for the opportunity to try the Limonada. They sent it free of charge and I promised to give my honest opinions.

Keep an eye out on Instagram for more pictures of this pen and ink in use.

INK SWAB: 64/365 – Noodler’s Atlantic Salmon (Highlighter)

SPECIALTY INKS010

 

Noodler’s Atlantic Salmon is a highlighting ink. I use it regularly and quite like it.

I have it in a Platinum Preppy Refillable Highlighter Marker ($3 at Goulet Pens). I splurged and got the converter for an extra $7.50.

PEN REVIEW: Pilot Custom 912 – Music Nib

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Pilot Custom 912 – Music Nib

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The Pilot Custom 912 is a nice looking pen with classic styling. The body is black resin and the trim is shiny and silver in color.

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The cap screws on and posts easily to the back of the pen. The section is a bit shorter than average and this could present an issue for people with larger hands.

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Fill using the included Pilot CON-70 converter or Pilot’s proprietary cartridges. The CON-70 is unique in that it is a push-button / pump converter and it holds a bunch of ink (around 1 ml). I love it, but there are varying viewpoints out there.  The good news is that if a user hates it, one of the other Pilot converters can apparently be swapped in easily enough.

To learn more about the CON-70 pump converter, I suggest watching Brian Goulet’s video. Informative and entertaining:  “You have to really want it.”  “You have to attack it!” “BAM! BAM!”

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Music nibs are sometimes referred to as trident nibs because they have three tines. That is to say that this nib has two slits through which the ink flows. Lines drawn vertically are thicker with this kind of nib than lines horizontal lines.

Pilot Custom 912 Writing Samples

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With cursive writing, the pen writes wonderfully. But with printing I’m having some hard starts on some downstrokes. Arrgh.

The trouble can be seen in the image below. See where the M in “Music” and the I in “Nib” look a little off? It looks like there’s an issue with the left side of the nib.

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Now what?  Well, I love the pen and I’m not going to return it, but I will be looking for someone to tune the nib. Do you know a nibmeister with expertise making music nibs sing?

Also, if you have this pen, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Did you get the music nib, too?

PEN REVIEW: Delta Unica (Limited Edition)

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Delta Unica

Blue with Gold Trim

Limited Edition

Before we get started – I’ll be back this afternoon to announce the winner of the Stateside Notebook giveaway!

The Delta Unica is a gorgeous pen. Deep blue swirls that vary from almost white to almost black, but mostly velvety blue. In a word: chatoyance.

Let’s have a look under the hood . . .

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The trim (or furniture, if you prefer) is gold-plated. The cap screws on and can be posted (placed on the back of the pen) easily.

The clip has one of those rolly things that (in theory) makes it easy to clip to a pocket. I’m generally not a fan of this feature, but that is definitely a matter of personal taste.

The nib has a matte finish (it’s brushed gold-plated steel). It’s an interesting look that may not be for everyone. The nib features a wonderfully scrolly design that I quite like.

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The section of the Unica is sized well and comfortable.

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The pen takes international short cartridges or fills with the included converter. Fittings are deep (a good thing) and appear to be brass (another good thing).

How does it write?

A photo posted by Christine Darling (@pentulant) on

I inked it with J. Herbin’s Ocean Bleu and found them to be a perfect pairing. The pen wrote perfectly out of the box. No skipping, no hard starts. Flow was perfect.

The nib offers some feedback. Some writers prefer and are accustomed to a perfectly buttery smooth writing experience and anything other than that may feel scratchy at first glance. This nib doesn’t catch on the paper nor is it difficult to write – rather, I can feel the paper beneath the pen. I like this, but it may be a deal breaker for some.

This version of the Unica is limited to 100 pens and is available exclusively at Goulet Pens. I wasn’t compensated in any way for this review and spent my own hard-earned $76 on it. The pen is available from other places and in other colors. 

INK DROP: January 2015 (Spoilers)

PENTULANT 044January 2015 Ink Drop from Goulet Pens

I received January’s Ink Drop from Goulet Pens earlier this week.

I usually super-saturate cotton swabs with ink before swiping across the paper, but this time, I barely barely got the cotton wet with ink. I thinking maybe this gives a more accurate idea of what the ink would look like from a pen? If you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

I’m about to reveal the inks from top to bottom. If you don’t want to know, this is the time to look away.






 

  • De Atramentis Black Edition-Brown – I know, it looks kind of purply to me, too (it’s not just the scan)
  • Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris
  • Noodler’s X-Feather – this stuff is great if you’re looking for an ink that doesn’t feather or spread
  • Private Reserve Ebony Purple – another ink I adore
  • Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite

And the theme?  Safe for Work

I like most of these inks – going to have to look at the De Atramentis a bit more, though.  What are you thinking? Safe for work?

INK SWAB: 6/365 – Platinum Mix-Free Sunny Yellow

* YELLOW PLATINUM MIX-FREE 006Sunny Yellow from the Platinum Mix-Free line is a cheerful orangey yellow ink. I’ve used some of the inks in this line and they have all been well-behaved.

In case you didn’t know, all of the inks in the Mix-Free line can be mixed together to create other shades and colors. Here’s a link to all of the Mix-Free items that Goulet Pens carries. I didn’t know this item existed until just now.

And! In my ongoing quest to get this new website completed sometime before the end of time, I’ve updated my Wish List. I use this list to keep track of the items that have caught my eye.

Annnd! I’m giving away a pretty notebook filled with Tomoe River Paper.  Enter today.

Finally (I know, I know – so chatty), Have you seen Reverenced Writing?

xoxo

GIVEAWAY/CONTEST: Diamine Ink Samples!

Diamine recently released a set of eight inks to celebrate their brand’s 150th (!!) anniversary.

I ended up buying all of the bottles for myself – and got a set of samples for you!

The set includes 2 ml samples of the following inks . . .

  • 1864 Blue-Black
  • Blue Velvet
  • Carnival
  • Regency Blue
  • Safari
  • Silver Fox
  • Terracotta
  • Tropical Green

Well, except Tropical Green. I spilled about one ml of the ink. Arrgh.

How to win?
 
Come closest to guessing (over is fine) the number of inky cotton swabs in the gallon-sized bag shown below.  If more than one person guesses right on the number, the person who entered first will win the samples.
These are nearly all of the swabs I used during 2015. It’s been a busy year! Last year, the jar I use was only about half full, this year it overflowed with inky goodness.

I’ll be back after the beginning of the new year to announce the winner.

Until then…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



So, what’s your number?  
Contest open to US/CAN only.  Sorry to my friends in far away lands!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This isn’t a sponsored post. The samples (and my bottles) came from Goulet Pens, but they don’t know what I’m up to over here today. 

INK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Diamine Sepia

Handwritten Review – Diamine Sepia

Happy Wednesday!

Today, I’m giving away a full-sized bottle of Diamine Sepia Fountain Pen Ink.  I know, I know you were hoping it was the pen. Sorry.   #sorrynotsorry

When I learned that Goulet Pens was sending me the Fall 2014 Edition of  Edison Nouveau Premiere and a bottle of ink, I suggested that they could also send me a sample of the same ink. “I’ll use the sample and giveaway the bottle.”

I had no idea which ink they were sending, but when I saw that it was sepia, I was so glad I was only getting the sample-sized.  Brown inks are a waste on me. Ick.
At least they used to be. And then I fell in love with J Herbin’s Lie de The
And now this:
Diamine Sepia Ink Swap
Let’s dive in . . . 

A beautiful golden brown – with perhaps a bit of red?
No green or gray to muddy things up.
Shading makes me happy.
cRaZy shading makes me crazy happy.
I love this ink. The color is great, saturation is good, there is definitely shading. No bleeding, minimal show through (ghosting).
Water resistance isn’t super-important to me. Good thing, too . . . .
You’ll also note on the full review (click here for full-size version) that the color seems to be less saturated as I get further down on the page.  Totally user error. I was having trouble filling from the sample bottle and ended up with ink clinging to the converter. A small twist of the converter got me going again.
Here’s the review I wrote for the pen review. Click here for the full-size.
Bottom line?  I’ve added this ink to my wish list so that I can keep my word and give you this full-sized unopened bottle.
Leave a comment below to be entered to win. Remember to tell me how to get in touch with you. Open to US mailing addresses only (so sorry, international friends). Entry must be received by Wednesday, September 17. Winner will be announced on Friday, September 19.

Of course, you can always order Diamine Sepia from Goulet Pens.

Good luck!!

xo

EDITED TO ADD: After you’ve entered to win this ink, run on over to Ink Nouveau and enter to win the pen! I’m catching up on my blogs and just saw that you enter to win until the end of today!

PEN REVIEW: Edison Nouveau Premiere Autumn Harvest (Fall 2014 Special Edition Fountain Pen)

Edison Nouveau Premiere
Fall 2014 Special Edition Fountain Pen
Hello Fall!!!

Edison Nouveau Premiere 
Fall 2014
Screw Cap

They are calling it Autumn Harvest.

I was thinking the fall edition might be conservative and concerned that could mean that it wouldn’t have been. . . uh . . . as wonderfully special as those two.  CraZy!

Shades of brown mixed with hues of gold – light mixed with dark – flecks and flakes mixed with discreet swirls.

This is a fountain pen that can go anywhere with anyone and fit in comfortably. It can be dressed up with a business suit or go casual with jeans.

Gold-tone trim (fancy people call this the pen’s “furniture”). Two-toned steel nib (mine is a broad and I think you should go broad, too).

Convenient Converter Fill

It has an almost vintage feel to it, yes? Vintage, but not old. The design is so modern.

This isn’t your grandpa’s fountain pen (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

OK, so it’s pretty handsome, but how does the Edison Nouveau Premiere Autumn Harvest (Fall 2014 Special Edition) Fountain Pen write?

Swoooooon

Click here to see the full-sized handwritten review.

Things to know . . .

. . . . Goulet Pens graciously sent me this pen in exchange for my honest review. As a special edition, they are predicting that the pen will be available through November 2014. If sales are greater than expected, they could be out of stock sooner. You can get yours for $149 right here.

. . . . I have a giveaway (and more pictures of this beauty) coming up on Wednesday – hoping you’ll come back and check it out.

Your turn . . . love it? hate it? Does it make you look froward to fall?