Mid-Week Mini: Le Typograhe Porte-Mine Mechanical Pencil.

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One of my recent purchases after a trip to Amsterdam was the Le Typographe Porte-Mine mechanical pencil. I found this in Misc-Store and after spending a long time examining everything in the shop, I decided I needed to buy this pencil. I really liked the style but it was after testing the graphite out I had to buy it.

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Before I dig into the pencil I just wanted to share the kraft packaging. The pencil is protected by a concertina folded piece of card that holds it in place. What I really like is the embossed guide on the back which shows you all the elements of the pencil. There is no unnecessary text or information here, just a simple and beautiful design.

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The style of the Porte-Mine is beautiful. It has a cream coloured metal barrel which is comparable to the size and feel of a woodcase pencil.

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There is a cute golden bug imprinted near the top of the pencil too which is the only indication of any branding.

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To use the Porte-Mine you press down the knock of the pencil to allow the graphite to escape from the barrel. You can decide how much of the graphite you want to appear, the only thing to bear in mind if that you don’t let the graphite fall out of the barrel and shatter.

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The knock also unscrews from the top of the pencil to reveal a small sharpener. This is really useful having this incorporated into the pencil itself. It means you don’t have to find a sharpener that works with this mechanical pencil, or worry about carrying it around. Everything is in one place.

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Writing with the graphite is very nice. It’s not too dark, but rather a light grey colour. My plan is to use this pencil for sketching. I can extend more of the graphite if I need to shade a sketch, or use the nice point that the sharpener creates for the detail work.

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It was a nice surprise the find the Porte-Mine in Misc. I would not have come across this online and it was through testing the pencil out that really sold me on it. I love visiting brick and mortar stores, especially those that encourage touching and testing. They really do open things you to you and show you new and exciting tools you could be using.

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Mid-Week Mini: Blackwing 10,001 Review.

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One of the Blackwing limited edition releases from 2018 was the 10,001 pencil, which plays homage to creative ways to teaching and learning specifically linking back to Miyamoto Sensei puzzles.

The 10,001 saw Blackwing experiment with a few different aspects. Firstly the barrel is a different shape to the hexagonal barrel of the standard Blackwing pencils and the majority of the limited edition releases. The pentagonal shape of the 10,001 gives it five sides, rather than the standard six.

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The 10,001 has a firm graphite core, which is quite common among the limited edition releases. However, for this edition it links back to the puzzle element therefore the core had to be firm enough to hold a point. I have found the core nice to write with, the graphite is dark but its really smooth and enjoyable to use.

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The barrel on the 10,001 is stained red from “adzuki” beans which really gives a subtle colour finish. I really like the light pink tone and you get some of the wooden barrel grain showing through. It almost appears like a wood stain finish.

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The Blackwing branding is stamped in gold with kanji numerals for the edition number. To compliment the gold printing the ferrule is also gold and there is a black eraser giving it a classic finish.

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As with all Blackwing pencils they perform well, sharpen nicely and really give you a feeling of quality. They are currently sold out on the Blackwing site, but potentially still available, especially in singles, in brick and mortar stores.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Nomad Sticky Notes Review.

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The Nomad sticky notes are Baron Figs stylised version of the 3M yellow sticky note. Baron Fig took the sticky note and added their spin to it.

The Nomad’s a 3 inch by 3 inch in size and they come in a 3-pack which is really useful as you can dot these around in places you need them.

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They are the Baron Fig off-white colour with their dot grid print. A dot grid sticky note is not something I have seen anywhere else and really useful.

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The Nomad sticky notes also have rounded off corners, which means no bumped or curled edges and basically keeps the neat among us a little happier. The make-up of the Nomad sticky note is very similar to the Strategist note cards, only smaller and with a sticky backing.

The big issue I have with the Nomad sticky notes, is their stickiness. Try and stick a few to your desk, mine is wooden, and quickly they curl at the edges. Try and add these into a notebook and they often fall away from the page when you re-open it. For photography purposes I stuck this onto the wall of my office and you can see the beginnings of the curl.

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Sticky notes are always useful but unfortunately in my experience the Nomad falls down on the very premise of their existence. These would be great sticky notes if they were more sticky.

Uniball Jetstream 0.5 Review

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The Uniball Jetstream is usually the pen that is recommended to people when starting to look for a pen that’s ‘a little bit nicer’. There is good reason for this but in today’s post I thought I would dig into this pen a little more and give my thoughts.

Benefits of the Jetstream.

The Jetstream is an entry level pen, one that you could use everyday but you won’t cry if you lose or misplace it. The Jetstream is a rollerball with its big selling point being an ‘ultra-quick-drying hybrid gel ink’. To add to this the ink is waterproof and fade-proof. Essentially in this one entry level pen you’re getting a lot more than a standard pen which makes it incredibly versatile and a great recommendation to a budding pen addict.

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The Pen itself.

I bought my Jetstream from an actual shop, shocking I know, so I think I have the Sport version. It’s a lovely pastel purple colour with white accents. There is a clip, which I never use, and a nice soft grip section. Sometimes these can be overly padded and get in the way but the Jetstreams grip section is comfortable making it easy to use for long periods of writing time.

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Writing with the Jetstream.

I am not an everyday user of the Jetstream despite it’s many benefits. There are so many pens to use that the Jetstream rarely gets a look in. Mine has a 0.5mm refill which gives a very thin line, which looks much thinner than the 0.5 advertised. The ink is smooth and works really well on your nicer paper, such as the MD Paper in my writing sample below, but also standard printer paper.

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Overall thoughts.

I am a fan of Uniball pens as a whole. They always write well and feel good to use, the ink is smooth and dark and rarely skips or gives any glooping issues. The Jetstream is no different. It’s a great pen to have in your arsenal and despite my sporadic use it always works first time.

Sometimes it’s not about the expensive or finding the new thing to enjoy stationery or writing tools. Using the simple can be refreshing and enjoyable.

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