Saturday, November 28, 2009

Moving my blog!

I'm in the process of moving my blog to my own domain! My new blog isn't perfect yet, and still has a few glitches, but if I wait until everything is exactly as I want it, it will never get off the ground! So, with warts and all, I'm starting to use it. I probably won't update this blog much more, since I've imported these posts to my new blog.

The new address:

Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Win a Free Hero 616 Fountain Pen!

Julie (@Okami0731 on Twitter) is giving away 5 free Hero 616 fountain pens on her fabulous blog, "Whatever"! Comment on her blog post by midnight (ET), Saturday, September 12 to enter!

Click here for more details! Good luck!

Win a Free Pocket-Sized Lab Notebook! is giving away a free pocket-sized lab notebook from the Book Factory! Enter by blogging and/or emailing the blog author (nifty [at] notebookstories [dot] com). Click here for more details! (Unfortunately, the site appears to be down intermittently. Basically, if you blog about it and email her the link, you get 2 entries. If you just email her saying you'd like a chance at the notebook, you get 1 entry.) Hurry, ends Friday, September 11, at 5pm (ET)!

Good luck! :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mini-Review: Pilot Petit1

Placed an order with JStationery for refills for one of my main studying pens (Uniball alpha gel multipen). Of course, in order to reach the $20 minimum for free shipping, I started looking around for small, interesting purchases. This was the result!

Pilot Petit1 fountain pen (Violet)

Very cute, and surprisingly useable (even unposted). I have small hands, though, so others might want to post it. It's about 3 1/2" unposted, and 5 1/8" posted. It doesn't post terribly well, however--the cap feels as if it might fall off, and it takes a bit of concentration to get it on straight.

Here's a quick writing sample of the Petit1:

The pen came with one cartridge (violet ink). In fact, it was already "engaged" in the nib and shipped that way! I was a bit surprised by this, but there didn't seem to be any ink spills or leaks. The ink feels very wet, and the nib isn't quite as fine as I'd hoped. But that's just my personal preference for tiny nibs!

For a $4 pen, this isn't horrible--it has its own niche, being really compact, portable, and light. This would make a good purse/pocket pen (assuming it doesn't leak). The cap closes with a satisfying click, and it feels sturdier than I expected for an inexpensive plastic pen. The nib was a little scratchier than I expected for being so wet, though, and it's so small, I'm not sure a converter would fit (I haven't researched this). I plan on refilling the cartridge that came with it using a syringe.

I'm going to keep this pen in my purse for a while, since it's a good size for that. However, it's not an instant favorite, due to the slight nib scratchiness and the rather generous ink flow (I prefer stingier nibs). We'll see if my opinion changes over time!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Vanishing Point Fountain Pen!

Just got a new Vanishing Point fountain pen today! Well, it's new to me, anyway. ;-)

My new VP is a faceted version from the 1990's, in dark green. I'd put a pic up, except that it's soaking right now--there was dried ink residue still inside it.

Here's a pic of the ink bottle that came with it, though. I'm used to the rather utilitarian Noodler's bottles, or the cute little J. Herbin bottles, so this shape was quite a surprise to me! I like it--it reminds me of the type of bottles from which genies are supposed to emerge. Hmm...I wonder if I rubbed it....nah. :-D

Can't wait to try out my latest acquisition! I've never had a VP before (or a squeeze filler, for that matter), so this should be an experience! :-)

Now, which ink should I put in it, first??

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adorable Rhodia Notebook & Beautiful J. Herbin Ink!

A package came in the mail today from Karen Doherty, VP of Marketing of Exaclair, Inc. I had responded to this post on the Quo Vadis Blog, offering samples of red or blue ink in honor of Bastille Day.

I was expecting a sample of either J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche or Éclat de Saphir fountain pen ink, but I got both! :-D

Sorry for the poor quality pic, but it was taken quickly with my phone. Look for a review of these inks in the future!

Another unexpected surprise was waiting for me in the padded envelope:

As you can see by the quarter next to the notebook, this Rhodia is very small! It's the smallest I've ever seen. This will fit wonderfully in my large pencil case. I'm also having thoughts of Rhodia hacks I can make to affix some sort of elastic/ribbon closure to it.... :-D I'll post a review of what I come up with!

Thanks, Karen, for the fun surprises! :-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New "Letters & Journals" Magazine in the Works!

@Jafferty on Twitter "tweeted" about some surveys for a new magazine that's being developed: "Letters & Journals." It's currently set to launch in 2011.

Sounds like an interesting concept! Sure, I read blogs and e-zines, but there's just something about paper....I shop mostly online, but love thumbing through stationery and pen/office supply catalogs I receive in the mail.

If you'd like to complete the survey, click here! :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Noodler's V-Mail Ink Series!

Haven't even opened the bottles yet, but I just had to throw up a pic of my latest acquisition--the entire set of Noodler's new ink series, the V-Mail inks!

From left to right: Mandalay Maroon, G.I. Green, Burma Road Brown, Midway Blue, Operation Overland Orange, North African Violet, and Rabaul Red.

For more info on the V-Mail series, check out the Fountain Pen Network topic thread here!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review: Rhodia Webnotebook (Small US Version)

Go to this blog post for more photos of the small Rhodia Webnotebook still in the wrapper and stacked up (literally) with a few other common notebooks! :-)

(As always, please click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Karen Doherty, VP of marketing of Exaclair (US distributor of Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, Exacompta, and J. Herbin), kindly sent this advance copy of the Rhodia Webnotebook for review! Thanks, Karen! :-)

Note--this Webnotebook has the 90g Clairefontaine paper. The US distributor (Exaclair) requested a change from the previous 80g paper, which was made in places such as Singapore/Japan, and behaves quite differently from this paper. So if you want this notebook, make sure you're purchasing the 90g version (some places are still selling the 80g version).

The Rhodia Webnotebook has been greatly anticipated by many who are looking for a Moleskine replacement. The paper band that encircles the notebook has the pertinent stats:

It comes with black or orange covers, an elastic band, a ribbon bookmark, and a back pocket. The small version measures 3.5" x 5.5", and is lined with 6mm ruling. There are 192 pages (96 sheets) of 90g ivory paper. It also comes in a larger version, which measures 5.5" x 8.25", and also has 192 pages (96 sheets) of the same lined ivory 90g paper.

Here's the front cover, with the debossed Rhodia logo (the two trees are rumored to represent the two brothers who originally started the company):

And the back cover:

The cover is a little difficult to describe--it's definitely a hardcover notebook. However, it has a rubberized surface to it, which gives it warmth and a tiny bit of "give" to it. If you're familiar with the Quo Vadis Habana, the Rhodia Webnotebook cover is much stiffer. The Webnotebook cover won't bend much at all when you write with it on your lap (whereas the Habana cover is more flexible).

I personally love the fact that the cover is hard enough to write on the fly. The rubberized material gives the notebook a richer feel. And the rounded corners are definitely appreciated--I've been jabbed many times while attempting to grab a sharp-cornered notebook quickly out of my purse or bookbag!

However, since the cover surface is a bit spongy, it's prone to take on some impressions of items it's pressed up against. In the pic below, you can see where the elastic band has already made a dent in the cover. This doesn't personally bother me at all, but this may distract some people. The elastic band is nice and tight--it doesn't feel as if it's going to stretch out and become limp any time soon!

Here are the sewn signatures. They feel very firm, and the pages don't move on the top or bottom when you flip the pages. The line spacing is comparable to the Moleskine or other pocket-sized notebooks, at 6mm. I personally love 5-6mm line spacing, and wish there was also a larger notebook with Clairefontaine paper that had 5-6mm ruling (I don't have a copy, but the larger Webnotebook reportedly has 7mm line spacing).

The paper is an ivory color, a little darker than some of the pocket notebooks I've used. But, as you'll see below, the bright inks I used still show up just fine! :-)

The Rhodia logo appears in the bottom corner of every right hand page. This isn't a deal-breaker for me, though I'd prefer completely blank pages.

The lines don't go all the way to the edges, and there's a little bit of space at the top and bottom of the pages. I'm perfectly neutral about both of these features, but some people are very particular about these things, so I thought I'd point them out!

The Webnotebook has orange endpapers (the black version has black endpapers) and an orange back pocket.

So the form factor is nice, but now to answer the most important question--how is the paper? It's divine!! :-) It's thicker than the usual Rhodia paper, which makes it feel very luxurious, but isn't so stiff that it's like writing on cardstock or anything. It is super-smooth to the touch, and feels very satiny. I couldn't stop running my fingers over the surface (and yes, I just did it again ;-)!

On this page above, I wrote with various J. Herbin and Noodler's fountain pen ink (from top to bottom: J. Herbin Violette Pensée, Rose Cyclamen, Orange Indien; Noodler's Rachmaninov, La Reine Mauve, Verdun Green [twice], and Prime of the Commons Blue-Black). I used Fine to XXXXF nibs on it. All of my tiny nibs really liked the paper, except for my temperamental XXXXF nib (which doesn't like anything ;-). The paper was very smooth, even with my scratchiest writers, and a delight to write on.

As for feathering, I tried to use some inks that feather on most papers to really test the paper out. There was a tiny bit of feathering with the Rose Cyclamen, La Reine Mauve, and Prime of the Commons Blue-Black, but it's all so mild that you have to really look hard to see it.

Here's the reverse side of the page. There was no bleedthrough with any of these inks, and very little showthrough. (Of course, I use very fine nibs, so YMMV.) I never write on both sides of the page because I can't stand writing over showthrough, but there was so little showthrough that I'm considering using both sides, for once!! :-O

Here are some more ink tests. From top to bottom: Noodler's Verdun Green (yes, again), Manijiro Nakahama Whaleman's Sepia, The Violet Vote/Vanda Miss Joaquim mix, Prime of the Commons Blue-Black, Majestic Orange, Naval Orange, and Rachmaninov. There was a tiny bit of feathering with the Verdun Green and Whaleman's Sepia, but these inks feather on most paper with which I've used them (especially the Whaleman's Sepia). Even with these two inks, the feathering was so minimal that I had to stare at the paper hard in order to detect it.

Even though some of the inks were the same as the previous page, I still wanted to try them out to see how the XXXF nibs performed on the paper. It was an absolute delight to write on this paper! No stray fibers in the tines, no digging in the paper, no catching!

The reverse side of the page. Again, no bleedthrough, very little showthrough. The marks you see are actually some of the Rose Cyclamen from the previous page that transferred when the notebook was closed.

Which brings me to the drying time. Some people note that the drying time of Rhodia paper is a bit longer than other paper. This appears to be somewhat true for this paper, as well, but I personally didn't find the drying times to be too long. As you can see, only the Rose Cyclamen transferred (and 2 dots of the Violet Vote/Vanda Miss Joaquim mixture on the third review page).

As much as I enjoy fountain pens, not everyone writes with them all the time (not even me! ;-). So I also tested the paper with other pens, including gel ink, rollerballs, felt-tip markers, a mechanical pencil, and a highlighter. Oh, and a Platinum Preppy fountain pen (filled with Noodler's Legal Lapis) managed to sneak in there, too. ;-)

The paper was so pleasurable to write on, especially with the Signo Bit 0.18mm gel pen (that pen is scratchy on everything!), that I was compelled to stop and add "wow, so smooth!" while doing the ink tests. :-)

Again, no bleedthrough. A little more showthrough than the fountain pens on average, but still pretty minimal. (And the 2 dots of the Violet Vote/Vanda Miss Joaquim mixture that transferred from the previous page that I mentioned above.) There was the tiniest bit of feathering with Legal Lapis (again, so slight that you probably need a loupe to see, but I'm really picky about feathering).

So, in conclusion, this is a wonderful small notebook! It's in a popular size (though a little thicker than your typical Moleskine, Piccadilly, or Markings notebook, due to the thicker paper), and a popular form factor. It has all the "essentials"--a hard cover, rounded corners, ribbon bookmark, elastic closure, and back pocket. And the narrow line spacing (6mm) is great!

But the most amazing thing about this notebook is the paper!! The paper is absolutely smooth, and felt heavenly with my Fine to XXXXF nibs. Even using gel pens and other writing utensils was almost a sensuous experience on this paper! The bleedthrough was nonexistant, and the showthrough was so minimal that I'm considering converting and using both sides of the paper (which I never do!). I usually prefer the bright white Clairefontaine paper, but the ivory paper is easy on the eyes without being too buttery yellow. And while I usually prefer thin paper, the thicker 90g paper gives the notebook a luxurious feel, without appearing too snooty or too precious to write on. This notebook was definitely made to be loved and used! :-)

This notebook will be available in the US and Japan soon. Other possible countries that may distribute the version with Clairefontaine paper in the future include Australia and maybe Canada. Other countries will probably stay with the 80g NON-Clairefontaine paper until 2010, if not permanently.

I've been a big fan of the Quo Vadis small Habana notebook, and hope to do a comparison of the Webnotebook with the Habana soon! :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Doane Paper Idea Journal Giveaway!

@dowdyism on Twitter is giving away THREE of the new Doane Paper Idea Journals on his blog, The Pen Addict! Hurry, contest ends on Wednesday, 11:59PM EDT!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rhodia Webnotebook -- First Look

Just a quick peek at the new US-distributed Rhodia Webnotebook! I'll have ink tests and more pics later, but I just wanted to throw up a few pics! :-)

(As always, click on any photo to enlarge.)

Front view, still shrink-wrapped:

Rear view, shrink-wrapped:

From top to bottom: Piccadilly small lined notebook, Moleskine small ruled notebook, Markings by C. R. Gibson small notebook, Rhodia Webnotebook, Quo Vadis Habana small lined notebook.

Same notebooks in reverse order.

That's all for now! More to come later! :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Water Resistance Test of Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 0.3mm Refills

Just a few photos! Sorry the light's so dim, but it's the best I can do--school is keeping me too busy during actual daylight hours! :-(

Got the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto multipen 3-refill body, and filled it with 0.3mm refills (Apple Green, Violet, and Pink). @rcannonp on Twitter mused about how some Pilot ink had poor water resistance, while others might not be so bad. Since I'm desperately procrastinating, I decided to snap a few pics before and after a dash of water!

Here's the pen:

And a writing sample with each ink color. I let it dry for about 36 hours.

Here's the same writing sample immediately after running it under cold tap water for 15 seconds. The ink ran a little, but it was still reasonably legible.

Here's the same piece of paper, after sitting for ~30 minutes:

Yes, my camera skills leave something to be desired, but this isn't entirely my fault this time! The ink spread and became more difficult to read after sitting for a while. And it's not a camera trick--the purple is separating, leaving a bluish "shadow," almost like having double vision. The Apple Green is pretty difficult to read, and is not quite legible anymore. The pink isn't too bad--it's blurry, but legible. The purple makes my eyes cross, due to the stereo effect.... :-O

So, there you have it! Looks like the pink ink wouldn't be bad if you spilled some water or got caught in a light rain. The other two didn't fare as well, but you could still read it if you really tried (especially immediately after the spill).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: Uni-ball Alpha Gel 0.3 Mechanical Pencil

Just a quickie mini-review! Got this mechanical pencil recently, and wanted to throw up a few pics!

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

I have lots of 0.5mm mechanical pencils, but I found myself yearning for something with a thinner line. However, I'm not too crazy about the grip in drafting mechanical pencils--they're probably great for the purpose for which they were intended, but I just want to write!

I tend to grip the heck out of writing utensils (I've tried to stop, but I can't!), so a rubber grip is much appreciated. I purchased this pencil from, since I "had" to meet the $25 minimum for free shipping! ;-)

After a brief trial, I love this mechanical pencil so far! The gel grip is very squishy, yet firm enough to give some pleasant feedback. I normally use Sensa mechanical pencils, which have wonderfully squishy grips, but the narrowest lead they use is 0.5mm (and they're discontinued).

Taken with a flash--I liked the resultant eerie glow:

I was worried that I would break the lead instantaneously while writing, since the lead is so thin, but so far this hasn't been a problem! I'll try and post an update in the future, but so far the lead feels firm, yet with enough "give" so it doesn't break. I've been writing really quickly with it, and haven't poked through the paper or broken the lead yet!

Writing sample on a Markings by C.R. Gibson pocket-sized journal, with 0.55cm line spacing:

Even though this mechanical pencil was a little pricey for a "regular" plastic mechanical pencil ($12), it seems lightweight but sturdy enough to last a while. It's a great alternative to my precious Sensa mechanical pencils, which are extremely difficult to replace! :-O

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Rhodia Webnotebooks Coming Soon!

It appears that the much-anticipated Rhodia Webnotebooks will hit the US very soon! :-) It's currently being previewed at the National Stationery Show, but will be in retail outlets soon.

However, some retailers are selling the older version of the Webnotebooks, and calling them "new." The "old" Webnotebooks have 80 gsm paper, which was made in Singapore or Japan, but wasn't the standard Rhodia/Clairefontaine paper. The "new" US versions will have 90 gsm Clairefontaine paper.

See this post on for more information!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Levenger Giveaway! Free Circa Notebook, Pink Sharpie, Uniball Signo 207!

They're giving away a free Levenger Circa Junior notebook, a pink Sharpie (commemorating breast cancer research), and a Uniball Signo 207 here:

They've extended the deadline to May 23. Good luck! :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Want to try for a free Whitelines notebook? is giving away 2 free Whitelines notebooks! Click here to go to the blog and read the review, as well as the official rules for contest entry! It only takes a quick email and/or a blog post (yes, this is my entry ;-). (And yes, if I win, I'll review it! :-)

Hurry--emails must be received by 11:59pm on 4/30/09, and blog postings by 4/28/09! Good luck!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Review: J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

Karen Doherty at Exaclair very graciously sent 2 inks in her most recent batch of products for review! I was happily surprised to receive both Lierre Sauvage and Orange Indien. Thanks so much, Karen! :-)

Lierre Sauvage is one of the J. Herbin "La Perle des Encres" (The Jewel of Inks) fountain pen inks. There are 30 colors available, which come in 30mL bottles and cartridges (6 cartridges in a cute little metal tin--I use the empty tins to keep dip pen nibs in them!). They are advertised as non-toxic and pH neutral, with natural dyes.

(Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Here's a shot of the bottle. I had a bottle of Bleu Myosotis for years before I found out that the little lip on the front of the bottle is a built-in pen rest. Very cool idea!

Here's a full-length shot of my handwritten ink review (thanks to SProctor on the Fountain Pen Network for the template). I'm not ecstatic about the way it photographed--I tried it outside in bright sunlight, but got some weird effects. I tried it inside in natural sunlight, but as you can see, I got some shadows over it. However, the ink color looks pretty true to life on my monitor, for what it's worth! I'll try using a smaller sheet of paper or a notebook for my next ink review. Feel free to comment or tweet me with tips for improving my photography! :-) (But nothing too technical like fiddling with 15 different settings or downloading expensive software, please--honestly, it won't happen.)

Here's a closer view of the top half of the page:

A closer view of the bottom half of the page:

I used a Sensa Meridian fountain pen, custom ground to an XXXF nib. The paper was some random cheap copy paper I had around the house (Georgia Pacific). I also tried it on Clairefontaine paper, but didn't photograph it.

I really liked the bright green color--it wasn't too yellow, nor too blue. It was slightly on the yellowish side, but not much. And, surprisingly, it was quite legible for a bright green color. It's a nice spring/summery color, and makes you think of golf course lawns.

Flow: Flow was really good in my dry-writing, finicky XXXF nib! It wasn't a gusher, either--just a nice, consistent flow.

Drying Times: Granted, I'm using a really fine nib, but I find that J. Herbin inks typically dry pretty fast (and even work pretty well on glossy textbook paper). Lierre Sauvage was no exception.

Feathering: It feathered a little on this cheap copy paper, but I haven't found an ink yet that won't feather on this paper (I'm never getting it again!). Not surprisingly, there was no feathering on the Clairefontaine.

Bleedthrough: A few tiny pinpricks of ink on the back of the cheap copy paper, mostly where I paused. None on the Clairefontaine.

Shading: Yes, there was some shading, even with my XXXF nib. On glossy textbook paper, it was more noticeable.

Waterproof: This ink does not claim to be waterproof, and I did not test this quality myself.

Nib Creep: Just the tiniest drop on the very tip of the nib.

Staining/Clogging: I only used this ink briefly (see below for the reason), but there was no staining or clogging detected, and the ink rinsed out of the pen fairly easily.

Smear Factor: Since it dried quickly, it didn't smear on glossy textbook paper after 3 seconds! It was GREAT for the few pages of margin notes I took.

Odor: It has a noticeable, pleasant scent, though it's not a "scented" ink. The ink was somewhat like a perfume, slightly earthy and floral. The scent disappeared from the paper pretty quickly. However, I'm really sensitive to certain odors, and this ink gave me a bit of a headache. I was really saddened by this, since I loved the rest of its qualities. But I would be remiss in not mentioning it, so my fellow headache sufferers can be forewarned. If you have headaches from certain scents, you might want to try a sample of this first, before you buy a whole bottle!

Caveat--I'm REALLY sensitive to certain scents, and the average person probably won't have any problem with this ink. I had a headache in one class every morning at the same time, until I figured out that the hand lotion of a student a couple rows away was causing my pain! (I changed seats and everything was fine after that.)

Not all J. Herbin inks give me a headache--I've tried Orange Indien recently, I usually have a pen inked with Violette Pensée, and I've tried Rose Cyclamen and Rose Tendresse in the past. I didn't have a problem with any of those inks--just this one so far! (Oh, and I tried the rose scented J. Herbin ink, which also gave me a bit of a headache.)

The scent also lingers in the pen. I flushed it until the water ran clear, and washed what I could of the plastic feed, then refilled it with another ink. However, I can still smell the Lierre Sauvage one week later (though it's muted and isn't strong enough to give me a headache anymore). Just a warning, in case you object to the scent. (Many people love the scent, however, and actually like this quality!)

Appearance: The squiggle to the left is from one swipe of the Q-tip, and the squiggle to the right is from two swipes of the Q-tip.

Overall Conclusions: This is a happy, colorful green ink--the epitome of spring! :-) Bright enough to stand out, yet dark enough to be legible. The flow was great in my XXXF dry writer, and it dried really quickly on the 3 different papers I tried. I loved this ink, and would have continued to use it if it wasn't for the scent. The scent is really pleasant and not extremely strong, but unfortunately, I'm prone to headaches with certain scents (especially perfumes/botanicals).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Update (of sorts) on Exacompta Basics Tan Lined Journal

Here's the Exacompta Basics Tan Lined Journal that I reviewed a few months ago, after a toddler got a hold of it with some markers.... :-) I had him test out the journal, so I could see if the paper could stand up to his current artistic style.

(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

No feathering, but some smudging (especially the turquoise and purple at the top of the page), as the toddler's hand rubbed across the page while drawing. (After seeing that his hand was getting ink on it, he subsequently held the markers a little higher, and didn't rub his hand on the page.)

And yes, the bright green in the upper left corner is Noodler's St. Patty's Eire, in a Platinum Preppy highlighter. :-D

Reverse side of the page. No bleedthrough, and not much showthrough, especially considering how many layers of dark, wet marker went on the page!

It was love at first sight for the toddler with this journal--he grunted happily and ecstatically pointed at the gold gilding on the edges. I tried to have him test out the medium Piccadilly notebook I'd brought as well, but after seeing the Exacompta journal, he would have none of it! Apparently, he has very refined taste in notebooks! ;-)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Review: G. Lalo Notes Tradition

Karen Doherty, the VP of Marketing at Exaclair very generously provided the notecards for this review! Thanks again, Karen! :-)

(Note: please click on any photo in this review to enlarge it. I took the intial photos under natural light, which was more true to the actual color, but after waiting around for days without any sun in sight, I took the "after" photos in natural light + light from an incandescent light bulb.)

These are "Notes Tradition" deckle-edged cards from G. Lalo. Here are the specs from the Exaclair 2008 Catalog:

• Clear cover box
• 20 fold over sheet notes and 20 lined envelopes
• Available in: White /00, blue /02, rose /05, champagne /06,
turquoise /07, grey /08, ivory /16, pistachio /03, lavender /10,
apricot /18, yellow /19
• 20 notes & envelopes 100 g Folded: 3 ½ x 5 ¼ L019/

Read more about the 400-year old Schut paper mill that makes most of the G. Lalo paper here.

These are the lavender colored notes, in the box they came in. I found the box very attractive, and I love the gold G. Lalo logo! :-) I found these notecards to be almost too pretty to use!

The back of the box.

Here's the front of a blank envelope.

Back of an envelope.

Closeup of back of envelope.

And here's the inside of the lined envelope. The lining makes the envelopes seem very refined and classy! It also made the envelope a little audibly crinkly when unfolding the top flap. The envelope itself did NOT wrinkle, but it makes a noise when you open it!

Closeup of lined envelope with embossed "G. LALO - PARIS" on the diagonal.

I found I really liked the deckled edges--it made the notecards seem more special than a "plain" straight border. The laid (Verge) finish was also really pretty--subtle, but definitely fancy.

This might be a little difficult to see in the photo, but there are vertical lines in the watermark, approximately 1 inch apart, visible when held up to the light. The paper is a nice thickness--not like heavy cardstock, but definitely substantial. And the texture is really pleasant--I had fun running my fingers over it again and again (yes, I have a problem ;-)!

But how does this paper perform with fountain pens? See for yourself!

Written on laid side:

Closeups of writing on laid side:

Reverse side (smooth side) of the writing from the laid side (yes, it looks almost blank because of the lack of showthrough ;-):

Written on smooth side:

Closeups of writing on smooth side:

Reverse of smooth side:

The inks I tried, with some comments on their performance:
• Noodler's X-Feather in an XF nib (Sensa Meridian fountain pen, chrome/iridium nib)
• Noodler's La Reine Mauve in a 0.3mm nib (Sensa Meridian, chrome/iridium nib)
• This ink feathered a little, more so on the laid side. But this ink normally feathers a bit on some papers. The purple color is even more pronounced on this lavender paper. Lovely! :-)
• Noodler's Prime of the Commons Blue-Black in a 0.3 mm nib (Sensa Meridian, chrome/iridium nib)
• This ink feathers a lot on many papers (but I still love it!). It wasn't too bad here.
• Noodler's Spirit of Bamboo in a 0.3mm nib (Sensa Meridian, gold/iridium nib)
• This ink feathers a lot on many papers, too. I think it feathered the most on this paper out of all the inks I tried.
• Noodler's Britannia's Blue Waves in a 0.3mm nib (Sensa Meridian, gold/iridium nib)
• This ink also tends to feather. It's also really dry, so I had a few problems getting it to actually play nicely on the paper.
• Noodler's Rachmaninov in a 0.3 mm nib (Sensa Meridian, chrome/iridium nib)
• This ink worked well on this paper.
• Noodler's Verdun Green in an XXXF nib (Sensa Meridian, chrome/iridium nib)
• Just the tiniest bit of feathering.
• J. Herbin's Violette Pensée in an XXXF nib (Sensa Meridian, gold/iridium nib)
• Beautiful purple color on this paper. No discernable feathering, and laid down really nicely on the paper, despite the XXXF nib.
• Pilot felt-tip marker
• Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball pen (O.5mm)
• RoseArt gel pen
• uni*ball Vision pen (fine)

I wrote on both the "inside" smooth surface and the "outside" laid surface. Since I use pretty fine nibs, I preferred the smooth inside surface, as it provided less feedback. However, I didn't find writing on the laid surface unpleasant, just more feedback than I personally prefer. Some of you may actually prefer this, though!

Some of my XXXF nibs didn't lay down ink quite as well on the laid side as on the smooth side, but that's probably due to their fine width. I had no problem with the wetter inks (e.g., Prime of the Commons Blue-Black). There was a little feathering from some of my inks that are notorious for feathering on lots of papers, but not enough to be bothersome (except maybe Spirit of Bamboo). It might be my imagination, but the feathering appeared slightly worse on the laid side than the smooth side.

Another wonderful feature of this paper--NO bleedthrough! I couldn't even really see any noticeable showthrough!

I didn't take a picture of it, but needless to say, the handwritten notecard inside the envelope did not betray its contents--you can't see the writing at all, even with the writing against the front side.

Overall Conclusions:

These are beautiful notecards that are fancy enough to make the recipient feel special, but not at all glitzy or gaudy. They have an understated elegance, which I really appreciate. And I love this color (I'm a purplophile, though)! Even though I use extremely fine nibs, I found the inner smooth surface to be pretty smooth, with just a tiny bit of texture. Even the laid surface was fairly pleasant, considering the nib size I use, though I will probably mostly use the inside smooth surface, since I personally prefer really smooth paper.

With absolutely NO bleedthrough and not even any showthrough to speak of with my fine nibs, a felt-tip marker, gel pen, etc., this paper is really remarkable. I was concerned that my colorful inks would look washed out on the lavender, but was pleasantly surprised to find this wasn't the case (and it made the purples look even richer). I look forward to using these notecards in my personal correspondence! whom should I send one next.... ;-)