10 Oct 2018

introducing a new addition: kaweco al sport in rose gold, extra fine nib

The Kaweco AL Sport in Rose Gold was originally a Hong Kong and Taiwan exclusive. It was sold in their Eslite stores; a store that specialises in books and stationery and one I always visit whenever I am in Hong Kong. When they announced that this pen would be released worldwide, I knew it was one that had to be added to my collection. It isn't my first Kaweco; my first one being a Skyline in mint.

First Impressions

This pen is a lovely rose gold in colour and my first impression was one of awe. The aluminium finish definitely plays more to my taste than the plastic Skyline Sport. And as a magpie to anything rose gold, the initial flutter in my stomach when I saw it was a good sign.


Design

As said before, the colour is definitely to my taste. The aluminium finish is one I have got used to with my Lamy Al-Star. The extra weight, compared to the plastic Skyline, actually makes it easier to hold and feels more balanced in hand. The facets on the lid break up the simplistic design and the pocket nature of the pen means it can be taken anywhere and everywhere.

There is no pen clip that comes with the pen so I had to order my own for it. However, even without a pen clip, this is not a pen that will roll off the table because of the faceted design.


Usability 

As said before, though made of aluminium, it still feels balanced in hand. Because of this, hand cramp does not occur often as a firm grip is not needed when writing. The pocket pen is made a bit longer when capped so for this reason, I would highly encourage you use it with the cap posted.

The pen either takes a cartridge or a converter made especially for this pen. Neither hold very much ink so for those in jobs with a lot of writing or those who like longer writing sessions, you might want to choose another workhorse pen for that.

Other than that, a pen that will likely please all and disappoint very few in how nice it feels in hand.


Nib and Writing

I chose the extra fine nib (predictably) and it wrote well straight out of the tin. No hard starts, no baby's bottom and no scratchiness. I was impressed as I initially had issues with my Skyline Sport's nib when I first got it. It writes well with no skipping, even with rapid note taking.


Price

At £58 from Pure Pens (not an advertised or an affiliate link; just a very happy customer time and time again), it falls more into the mid-range category than any other. It is for the seasoned user rather than the beginner but I think it is priced as such.

Conclusion

The Kaweco AL Sport will make a good workhorse pen for those with smaller hands (I think it would be too small for someone with larger hands). It definitely feels more premium than the Skyline but you would expect that with the price you're paying.

Having used this pen for a few months now (I purchased it back at the end of July when it became available on Pure Pens), I can definitely say that it is a delightful pen to use. The design cheers me up and the ease of use means that I am often reaching for this pen at home when studying.

The relatively small amount of ink it holds is problematic and is one reason why it doesn't often come to work with me. Nothing more frustrating than running out of ink mid-shift!

That said, this pen is still worthy of staying a part of my collection (...for now. I'll be the first to admit I'm quite fickle at times!) and is a pen I would recommend to anyone wanting a step up from a basic fountain pen but wanted something a bit more durable. It is the perfect pen for any handbag or pocket and is one that will appeal to the majority.

3 Oct 2018

my first vintage pen: the parker 51 vacumatic

Earlier on this year, a very kind soul gifted this Parker 51 Vacumatic to me. This is my first properly vintage pen as I understand it is from the 1940s. It is in excellent nick and has served me well at work. I have since stopped carrying it at work for fear of losing it. It already holds some sentimental value despite only having been in my possession for such a short period of time.


The pen clip is the standard Parker arrow we are all used to seeing but it has an added design of the Parker name at the top, with a blue diamond. I love these extra little features and I wish this attention to detail were still present in today's modern pens. The pearl jewel on top is another lovely little detail too. 


The vacumatic action is intact and works very well. It took some getting used to at first but I am definitely appreciating how much ink this pen can hold compared to normal cartridge/converter pens.


The nib is a fine one and writes a line fine enough to my liking.


As this is my first vintage fountain pen, I have had nothing to compare it to. Back in January, I featured this pen as one on my current wishlist and I can definitely see why it is so highly revered within the fountain pen community. It is a workhorse of a pen and if treated with care, it is definitely one that will serve its owner well and for generations to come.

26 Sep 2018

introducing pure pens windermere fountain pen ink; a lovely dark blue!


Unfortunately, what you cannot see is the lovely red sheen when it catches the light at the right angle - but trust me when I say this: the sheen on this ink is amazing!

12 Sep 2018

introducing: the lamy al-star 2017 limited edition pacific blue fountain pen in extra fine

Lamy come out with limited edition Safaris and Al-Stars on a yearly basis and I try and only purchase the colours I like. The one I regret missing out on is the Copper Orange Al-Star and with 2017 drawing to a close at the time of this Pacific Blue's purchase, I knew I had to do it before all stock disappeared forever.

The Pacific Blue is a lovely bright blue which reminds me of the Caribbean, despite never having been there. It is cheerful and makes writing a pleasure.

As always, I plumped for the extra fine nib and writes more like a Western fine. However, that's to be expected with Lamy and their unpredictable extra fine and fine nib offerings.

This year's limited edition Safari just does not appeal to me and I have already reviewed this year's Al -Star in Vibrant Pink. I wonder what the 2019 colours will be...?

5 Sep 2018

a designworks pastel pink daydreams no 03 notebook

A few months' back, I needed a photo frame and ended up on the Paperchase website. Whilst there, this journal caught my eye and may have made its way into my order. It is a lovely pastel pink colour and the gold coloured spirals give it a sophisticated touch.

With 192 pages, this gives ample space for all those deep and dark thoughts...


The more important question is how well does the paper perform?! Well, it takes fountain pen extremely well. Fountain pens are the only ones used in my journal and I'm glad this trend can continue here. The sample below is written with a TWSBI Eco in an extra fine nib and you can see that there is extremely little bleeding and little to no showthrough. I also used a broader nib in the form of a Western fine and that also performed well.


Overall, I am very impressed with this journal and how well it performs with fountain pens. And it'll look so pretty on my bookshelf with all my other filled journals in due course.

29 Aug 2018

an impulse buy in hong kong: the muji aluminium fountain pen

When I was in Hong Kong back in February, I ended up in Muji (of course) at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. I was actually looking for their signature tinned candles as my sister wanted me to stock up on her behalf but this quest was unsuccessful and these candles were nowhere to be found. Instead, I stumbled upon this fountain pen. It is infamous within the fountain pen world for being a cheap minimalistic fountain pen of a decent build and writing quality. Priced at around $70 (if my memory hasn't failed me) which equates to just over £6. 


It is a lightweight pen which makes it ideal for those long writing sessions. The contrast in texture at the grip section breaks up what would have been a monotonous design.

The nib has some intricate detailing to it and it is a lovely fine nib which writes true to its specification. It is extremely smooth, does not skip and is a real pleasure to write with - especially when you factor in how much it cost!

The cap posts seamlessly with the pen to the point where the join to the barrel is hardly noticeable.


This Muji fountain pen takes international cartridges and I've yet to try any converters in it yet. If you do a google, different people recommend different converters for it and with an abundance of international cartridges in my possession, I'm in no rush to find a converter that fits.


This is a great pen for the beginner user as the short international cartridges are super easy to find on the high street and online (plus they are cheap!) and the pen is a pleasure to use.

My only dilemma is what to use it for: I already have two to three every day carries I use at work, I have two to three pens reserved purely for journaling purposes and two to three others which are permanent fixtures on my study desk. At the moment, it is a back up work pen...

22 Aug 2018

introducing meticulous ink: a british fine stationer

The high street is not what it once was - family run stores are being replaced by chain stores and multinational companies. I grew up in a lovely little village in the Highlands of Scotland where there was a family run butchers, a family run pharmacy and newsagents and many more independent shops. So when Meticulous Ink got in touch, I knew they would be a perfect fit for Paper Lovestory.

Meticulous Ink are based in the quaint town of Bath and dabble in bespoke tationery and print. The premise is an offer of good quality paper done the old fashioned way. They have a shop online but also a shop within their founding city of Bath too.

Today, I will be featuring three of their most popular products: a diary, a notebook and a writing pad.

But first, let's talk about Verity's penmanship. Isn't this note absolutely gorgeous? I'm currently on an Emergency Medicine rotation and the rota is killing. It was a delight to come home to this and see this note:


Diary

The Meticulous Ink diary features a lovely thick hardback cover with simple embossing to denote its status as a diary. It is date-free so you can start using it immediately, even now at the end of August! The A5 size with week to view pages means it'll be perfect for the mass market and would also make a great gift for someone obsessed with organising, or someone who wants to become more organised!


Opposite the week to view page, there is a blank sheet for anything you fancy. Doodle all you want, write as long a to-do list as you feel like or stick in something to remember from that week.


The quality of the diary is amazing - it really feels luxurious and the ring bound nature means you can stick things in and the spine won't break down.

The only things missing from this are a back pocket (for those loose bits and pieces you inevitably end up carting about for weeks to months on end before throwing them away) and a page marker.


Notebook

Compared to the diary, the Meticulous Ink notebook has a thinner cover which is more akin to a thick cardboard. Within it, it has pages of peach, grey and green notepaper - all blank and ready for anything you want to use it for. The ring bound nature of it makes it the perfect journal as you can, again, stick things in without killing the spine. I am definitely a sticker when it comes to journaling (cinema and train tickets, Instax photos, stickers, etc, all have a place in my journal!).



Writing Pad

This writing pad is the star of the show. The cover says it all: 160gsm! 100% cotton paper! It takes fountain pen extremely well with no bleeding or show through. Both sides of the paper can be written on and the paper feels ever so luxurious. It saddens me that fewer letters are now written and sent via snail mail; most of us, instead, opting to use email or WhatsApp or a simple text message. Maybe more people can be persuaded to write letters if they came across a writing pad like this one...?



Each of the products featured here would make a great gift for any occasion. These products are definitely higher end and of brilliant quality. There is not much wrong with them (if anything) and you'd be supporting an independent retailer, rather than another corporation - a rather big positive in my eyes.


NB: This pen and the inks were sent by Meticulous Ink in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the company or anyone else.