Mini Series: Sailor Fuji-Musume Ink Review

The second review in my Sailor ink mini series is the new Sailor Jentle Four Seasons ink, Fuji-Musume.

Fuji-Musume is a pretty light purple colour. I have not tried such a light shade of purple ink before and apart from Pilot Iroshizuku’s Murasaki-shikibu and perhaps J.Herbins Violette Pensee I don’t think the colour is that common. I think it’s the perfect summer ink colour reminding me of flowers such as lavender, clematis and crocuses.

A comparison against my other purple ink, Diamines Amazing Amethyst

A comparison against my other purple ink, Diamines Amazing Amethyst

When I used this ink for a period of time I found the colour very flat. I played around with some inks drops on tomoe river paper to see if there was any depth and shading but it didn’t show up anything interesting.

Ink spots in my Hobonichi Techo

Ink spots in my Hobonichi Techo

I have been using this ink in my fine nib Kaweco AL Sport and overall I found the ink similar to the Sailor Blue Black. The ink is wet and flows nicely, I didn’t experience any skipping. The only niggle I did find was after days of not using this ink I did have to work at getting it to flow properly again. It’s not an issue I have had in the past with this particular fountain pen so I can only put it down to the ink drying out in my fountain pen.

Finally the other major thing I noticed with this colour is it’s not in the slightest bit water resistant. Drip any water on this ink and your words are lost forever.

Of all the inks I could use, this ink hasn’t been tempting enough because I don’t get enough enjoyment from it. I think the colour is very pretty and I could see uses for it for creative tasks but for general use and everyday writing I don’t find this ink exciting enough.

To see the first Sailor ink review in this mini series, click here.

Paper Smiths Shop Visit - Box Park, Shoreditch

Last weekend I went on a mini stationery tour with Priya from The London Parchment. One of the shops we visited was Paper Smiths pop up shop in Box Park, Shoreditch. This shop is a little gem with a nice collection of different stationery brands. The displays are simplistic and neat making it really easy to explore what they have on offer.

We spent an unusually long time in the shop trying to decide what to buy. The staff were really friendly and knowledgable about the products without being pushy, and the music was pretty good - part of the reason we lingered for such a long time.

Greetings cards, magazines and travel essentials 

Greetings cards, magazines and travel essentials 

The selection of products on offer was good and it felt like the more time I spent looking the more I saw. There is a section devoted to gift cards, high end magazines and travel related guides and stationery. I liked looking around this section of the shop as it’s not something I would normally be drawn to when shopping online.

A wall of pencils, notebooks and accessories 

A wall of pencils, notebooks and accessories 

There is a small pencil wall, in a familiar display style, although nowhere near as extensive at the CW Pencils wall. There were small notepads that encouraged you to test out the different writing tools on offer. Scattered among the pencil and pen pots were a selection of different notebooks and notepads in various different sizes.

The Kaweco section

The Kaweco section

They have a selection of Kaweco Skyline Sport fountain pens and inks in a range of colours. The Skyline Sport range fits into Paper Smiths perfectly, the colour scheme suits the store and I am sure catches peoples attention when they’re browsing.

So many tempting things!!

So many tempting things!!

The shop had a selection of pencil cases, pouches and writing desk tools. I got the chance to have a look at a few Blackwing single pencils, including the controversial 205, which I thought looked quite nice in person.

I came away with a modest selection. I could have bought more, and probably should have done as our second store visit was a little disappointing. I am most excited about the Bindwerk notebook. The notebooks has an ivory linen cover and the pages inside are a blank high quality paper stock which should work perfectly with my fountain pens. I probably wouldn’t have bought this notebook online because I am fussy with the type of paper I like in my notebooks, but seeing this in person I was immediately smitten.

I also bought a few Artline fine liners, an intriguing white pencil which is extremely heavy and seems to not have a core. It’s almost like an adult colouring pencil. I bought another High Tide pen roll in navy and a very amusing greeting card.

I really liked these pencil lead holders, I just had no idea how I would use them.

I really liked these pencil lead holders, I just had no idea how I would use them.

My Paper Smiths visit was great fun. I really like the range of products they have on offer and the way they present the stationery. There are areas where I think there are some big gaps but overall it’s a great shop.

Mini Series: Sailor Blue Black Ink Review

Until recently I had never used any Sailor ink but the new range of Jentle inks finally became available in the UK so I decided to order several sample of the different colours on offer. I will be reviewing each of these inks over the coming weeks in a blog mini series. Today’s review focuses on Sailor Blue Black.

I love the design of this bottle

I love the design of this bottle

Originally the blue black ink wasn’t really on my radar, I was interested in the new bright, summery Jentle inks, but on a whim I added this colour to my shopping basket. One of my favourite inks is Pilot Iroshizuku’s Shin-Kai, which I always have in one fountain pen. Because of this I don’t usually shop for blue black inks, however I am glad that I gave this colour a try.

I have this inked up in my medium Lamy LX. I chose this pen because I like the nib and its medium width means I can really see all aspects of the colour on the page. It’s turned out to be a really nice pairing and one I will use for some time.

Getting down to the ink itself, I really like the colour and how it performs. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t get so excited about a simple blue black ink but this one is rather special. The colour is bold with subtle grey undertones. When comparing it to the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai and Diamine Prussian Blue it looks a little flat on the page. It is much lighter than Diamine Prussian Blue and less saturated than Shin-Kai which is perhaps why I find the ink to be almost like it has a matte finish.

Comparison of the blue black inks I own

Comparison of the blue black inks I own

I played around with the ink on tomoe river paper and you can see from the photograph below that the ink almost appears to be a navy blue colour. On the highly saturated ink spots there is a small amount of sheen but I wouldn’t say that this was a feature of this ink colour.

I am happy I decided to give this colour a try. I quickly used up my sample and ordered a full bottle because I have enjoyed using it so much. It’s really well price at around the £16 mark making it a lot cheaper than the Iroshizuku inks. I think this ink as a great staple colour and so far I have really enjoyed using it.

Pattern Studio Paper Products

Pattern Studio offer a range of different products from wrapping paper, greetings cards and even wallpaper! They contacted me to ask if I’d like to test out a sample of their products and although I haven’t reviewed anything like this on the blog before, it fits perfectly into my love of stationery.

I was immediately drawn to the different designs used across the range of products on offer. They have big bold patterns using a range of bright colours. My favourite among the samples I received is the jungle leaf design which looks particularly good on the wrapping paper.

Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper

The quality of Pattern Studios products is very good. The wrapping paper is strong and has a nice matte finish. This is the perfect type of wrapping paper to have on hand for those emergency wrapping scenarios.

Greetings card designs 

Greetings card designs 

I also received a couple of greetings cards that have a similar design style to the wrapping paper. Whenever I buy a card for someone I always hesitate on what pen to use and wonder if my fountain pens will bleed and feather. So I decided to test out one of the cards with a few different pens and pencils.

These cards have a slight coating on them and it did result in both of my Kaweco fountain pens, albeit with different brands of ink, feathering on this card stock. Other fountain pens held up well and I think those with a firmer nib such as the Lamy LX worked fine. All of the other pens and pencils I tested wrote without issue.

A5 Notebooks 

A5 Notebooks 

Lastly I was sent a pack of three blank A5 notebooks that have a soft cover and feature a few of the different Pattern Studio designs. Because of the cover stock the notebooks are very flimsy and the paper inside is basic reminding me of standard printer paper.

I ran a basic pen test to see how the paper inside performed and on the whole it was ok however there is a lot of show through with fountain pens and slight feathering with some of the fountain pens.

The gift wrap and greeting cards from Pattern Studio are really great. I like the range of different designs they have on offer from the bold jungle and tropical themes through to the simpler use of shapes and colour. I’m always on the lookout for great gift wrap and cards that are something different to what you may find in stores and Pattern Studio’s products certainly fit this.

Disclaimer: Pattern Studio sent me these products free of charge for the purpose of reviewing on the blog. This has not swayed the opinions expressed in this review, if the products aren’t great I will always let you know.