Mid-Week Mini: Sadler Jones Greetings Cards Review.

I find buying greetings cards hard. Most of the time the paper is average, the designs ok and the prices high. I tend to buy cards when I see them so that I have a small supply at home that I can dip into when I need it.

Some of my recent purchases.

Some of my recent purchases.

I came across Sadler Jones through Instagram, I forget exactly how, but I was attracted to the style of these cards. I have now bought two bulk orders over the past few months because the style and designs of their cards are so good. I wanted to share my thoughts and some photographs in todays post.

A personal favourite of mine.

A personal favourite of mine.

High Quality Paper.

I like to use fountain pens when I write my cards. Pen and ink looks nice and feels special, especially if the receiver is not a fountain pen user. However not all cards are fountain pen friendly, but Sadler Jones cards work perfectly. The paper is high quality stock that means you can use a lot of different writing tools. The envelopes seem to be pretty standard, white in general and yellow for Children’s cards.

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Fun designs.

Sadler Jones has a few different card themes on their site. Some of them are bold and bright, some have beautiful brush lettering and there are also some of the more cheeky kind (my personal favourites).

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Lovely gold foiling detail. 

Lovely gold foiling detail. 

Overall thoughts.

As I said at the start of todays post it’s tough to find high quality cards that tick the design box and are made with decent paper stock. Sadler Jones however are great and I’ve really liked the cards I’ve used. The prices are pretty standard and delivery is really quick. I wanted to share my experiences with Sadler Jones mainly because I have found it so hard to find good quality cards online that are recommended, so I felt compelled to share my experiences. I hope you find this useful.

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Mid-Week Mini: Lady Safari 2019 Special Edition: Mint Glaze review.

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When the 2019 Lamy Safari limited edition was announced I was really happy with the colour choices. To have three different options in the series is brilliant and really works for this years pastel theme. The Pastel colours are Powder Rose, Mint Glaze and Blue Macaroon. The mix of colours is spot on and captures popular pastel colours. I have the Mint Glaze because I love anything Mint coloured and also it feels like a little bit unusual as a fountain pen colour.

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Today’s review is a 2019 limited edition discussion only and not an in-depth look at the specifics of the Safari. If you would like this detail click here for my Safari review.

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The Mint Glaze is the same Safari as any other. It has the same build, shape, feel and finish. There is one small exception that I have had with this edition and that is an issue with the threads. The threads that screw the nib and grip into the barrel don't tighten sufficiently. I am forced to regularly re-screw them. This is a little annoying and it sounds like I have a faulty pen.

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The Mint Glaze colour is subtle. In some photos I have taken it appears almost white. I think this could be a little more minty but regardless it is such a nice colour Safari. Every element is Mint too giving it a complete colour cover. The end gap, the screw into the barrel, everything is complimented. The clips is chrome which compliments the pen nicely.

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Overall thoughts.

I really like this colour and I think this Safari will be one I reach for regularly among all the other colours I have. I am a little disappointed with the dodgy screw grip, I have contacted the seller to see if they are experiencing issues with this elsewhere. If you enjoy pastel shades and like Safaris this is a winner. It’s also the perfect starting fountain pen for people and with these fun colours could really appeal to a broad base.

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Robert Oster Sunset Yellow Ink Review.

Executive Pens very kindly offered to sent me a bottle of Robert Oster Sunset Yellow ink to review here on the blog. All thoughts shared in this post are are my own.

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I have noticed over the years that I have a propensity for yellow things. Some of my favourite stationery items, such as the Kaweco ART Sport, are yellow. I find the colour pretty and very calming, but rarely do I consider using a yellow ink.

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However after experimenting with some orange inks over the years such as, Sailor Jentle Kin-Mokusei, Diamine Orange and Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, I felt open to give a yellow ink a try.

This is my first experience with a Robert Oster ink. This ink brand has grown in popularity over the past few years and generally the comments are positive. I have been using Yellow Sunset in my Lamy Safari Mint Glaze with a medium nib for around three weeks and I have some thoughts.

The colour.

I purposely opted for a medium nibbed fountain pen as the more ink laid down on the page, the better the chance at seeing and enjoying the colour. The darker yellow tones of this ink mean that is it visible on the page. The only time I found the ink hard to read was at night under artificial light.

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There is a good deal of shading with Yellow Sunset which is dreamy. You get a great look at the light yellow tones through to the almost orange colours very reminiscent of a sunset…hence the name.

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The ink.

I have noticed some build up of what appears to be dried ink around the base of the fountain pen nib. Most of the time this pen has been stored nib-up in a pen pot meaning its not been subject to shaking or too much movement. The crusting of ink residue has been a little surprising, but I assume a result of the ink properties.

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It would now make me think twice before putting this colour in an expensive fountain pen and I wouldn't leave this ink in a pen that wasn't being regularly used.

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Overall thoughts.

I have enjoyed using this ink colour and overall for a first experience with Robert Oster it’s been good. The ink crusting is a little concerning. I have another ink from Robert Oster which is a completely different shade so I can compare the two and figure out if its a brand thing or just something specific to Yellow Sunset.

I would like to thank Executive Pens for sending me over this ink to review on the blog. Muchas Gracias.

Baron Fig Clear Habit Journal Review.

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I pre-ordered the Baron Fig and James Clear collaboration Confidant notebook when it was announced at the end of 2018. It’s not a secret that I enjoy using Baron Fig notebooks and as a regular tracker of habits this was a really interesting release.

I have been using it since it landed on my door mat, sometime mid Jan. It was a shame that it didn't arrive in time for the new year, but the start of a new year isn’t the only time to review and start habits. As it’s now three months on I feel like I have some real insights and thoughts into this notebook that I wanted to share in today’s post.

The Clear Habit Journal Elements.

The Clear Habit Journal is a black cloth bound Confidant notebook in the new Baron Fig limited edition style. There is a copper coloured pyramid/triangle on the front cover that relates to the building of simple habits for big results.

There are two thick bookmarks one black and one copper. I always appreciate a notebook with a double bookmark because I am usually referencing different pages regularly. With the Clear Habit Journal it is especially useful. I have one bookmark on the page I am currently using and the second at the months habit tracker page.

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The final elements are an elastic closure and a back pocket and I have mixed feelings on both. The elastic closure especially is becoming more common the Baron Fig limited editions and it feels the most borrowed. I don’t feel like the Confidant needs the elastic, it closes well, is made from quality materials and the elastic closure just reminds me of the big brands.

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The Clear Habit Journal Special Elements.

As with other Baron Fig limited editions there are a few pages at the start of this notebook outlining each of the sections and giving guidance on how they are designed to work. All the sections of this journal are clearly highlighted by a black title page, which is easy to see when flicking through the notebook or when it’s closed.

There is an Index at the front of the notebook where you can note down important sections or log any key pages. The Confidant is a thick notebook so having an Index included could come in useful to mark down that brainwave you had on page 72.

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A design change we have seen with Baron Fig limited edition notebooks recently is the inclusion of information bars on the outer edges of the page. With the Clear Habit Journal this feature is present on the ‘One Line Per Day’ pages. The months are listed in this section allowing you to ring the month you are working on.

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I really like the inclusion of these pages in this notebook. Having read James Clear’s Atomic Habits I know this is something he advocates, but simply noting down one line of your day really can help you see what you have achieved. These pages aren't complicated, they aren't there to make you feel guilty, they’re manageable. One line of how your day has been, what you ate, what exercise you did, your mood...whatever you want.

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After this you have the bulk of the notebook. Numbered dot grid pro pages. The inclusion of additional + and - markers on the dot grid are the pro justification, but they’re actually really useful and such a simple addition. These appear on the outer edges of the grid and are designed to act as half or third of the page markers. This means you can very quickly create a table, split the page up to journal without having to waste time counting it all out.

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At the rear of the notebook you get the Habit Tracker pages. Bullet Journalers will be familiar with this concept but the idea is to write down a series of habits you want to stick to over a month long period. These are written on the left side of the page. At the top of the page you select your month and then there are numbers 1 through to 31, again to notify the day of the month. Every time you complete a habit you mark it off the list. If you don’t, obviously you leave it blank. There is the inclusion of a tally on the far right hand side so you can see how well you did over the course of the month. The pages are perforated so if you chose to remove your tracker and put this up somewhere, in your office, on the fridge, then you can. Personally I like to keep mine in my notebook.

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I have kept a habit tracker for some time now. Last year I used pages in my Jibun Techo, but I have also manually created spreads in notebooks. The Habit Tracking pages in this notebook are really simple and easy to use.

At the very back of the notebook there are again some guidance sheets should you wish to use them.

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Overall thoughts.

I really enjoy this journal. I enjoy Baron Fig products because of the quality and the good paper stock. With the last few Baron Fig limited editions there is a new theme or style to them, where they have a clear purpose and each one appears to be well considered, planned and always with the user in mind. The Wander Dream Journal was the first, and the most recent was Grow. They follow a similar pattern and I really like the joining of an idea with the simplicity of a notebook. They act as a guide and by not being too over bearing or forceful allow the person using the notebook to adapt it to their requirements.

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I hope the Clear Habit Journal will be a stock notebook from Baron Fig as I would seriously consider using this year after year as my main journal and planner. There are a lot of features in this notebook that fit alongside Bullet Journal ideas and spreads so I could see an appeal to Bullet Journalers. But despite that it’s a great notebook, with a simple style and objective that I think should remain a stock item.