Inventery Pen Pocket Fountain Pen Review.

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Inventery Pen Company contacted me asking if I would like to review their pocket fountain pens here on the blog. All thoughts shared in todays post are my own.

Inventery Pen Company sent me a set of three fountain pens, all of the same design but in a range of different materials and finishes. One brass, one chrome and one a black onyx (which is a black oxide that is essentially some sort of finish applied to different metals giving it the final black colour finish). The Inventery pocket fountain pens are really interesting as they consist of a series of elements that allow you to tinker and play with your fountain pen.

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Impressive presentation.

The first thing that struck me when I received my Inventery pens was the packaging. The box is small for a fountain pen with a very simple design. Inside the elements of the fountain pen are well presented showing you all the different parts. Nothing is hidden, it’s all simply displayed showing you exactly what you’re working with.

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Tweaking and modifying the pocket fountain pen.

The big ‘thing’ with the Inventery pocket fountain pens is the ways it can be modified to the users preferences. You get all the parts when your order your pen, and you can modify it as much or as little as you want. Everything is based on a simple screw system, it’s just about finding what works for you.

 All of the Inventery pocket fountain pen parts. 

All of the Inventery pocket fountain pen parts. 

On the cap there are a number of different options: clip, clip-less, stylus and keychain. In its pocket configuration you can use a standard size cartridge. There is then an extender which can be added to lengthen the pen to a longer format which allows you to use the longer Schmidt cartridge convertor.

Inventery describe their pocket fountain pen as a kit and that seems like a good description. For tinkerers I think this is a fab fountain pen.

Nib.

There are a number of different nib options on the Inventery pocket fountain pen. The pens use the Schmidt FH241 nib. There are gold and chrome options in a range of different sizes. I have a medium nib in all three fountain pens but both the chrome and gold nibs.

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The nibs have performed well and actually the lines are thinner than I was expecting from a Western nib. They are firm with very little flex, so great for writing with.

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Using the Inventery pocket fountain pens.

To really get a feel for the different configurations I have set the pens up differently. One with the extender, one pocket and then the different caps.

Using the extender made the pen feel really long, especially in proportion with the width. Everything just seemed a little out of balance. Posting the cap when writing made it feel a lot worse. I wasn’t really a fan of this set-up.

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The pocket configuration however was really nice. The barrel is just about long enough to write with unposted, but posting the cap felt much nicer. It didn’t mess with the weight or balance too much at all. The different cap options are good but personally I liked having the clip, simply because it meant my pen didn’t roll away. I liked the look of the clip-less cap but keeping the pen in one place proved tricky.

 Brass - pocket posted, chrome - with extender and posted, onxy - unposted in its pocket format. 

Brass - pocket posted, chrome - with extender and posted, onxy - unposted in its pocket format. 

The one major consideration with this pen is the thin barrel. It almost feels like a pencil. This makes it a great pocket pen keeping everything small and light, but if you compare it to the Kaweco AL Sport, probably the most popular pocket fountain pen, there is a very big difference. The thinness could be an issue for some users.

Overall thoughts.

I have really enjoyed using these fountain pens for the past few weeks. The pocket version has definitely been my favourite set-up and much more comfortable to use. The Inventery pocket fountain pen is a really simple design but its made really well and by having the adaptable elements keeps it fun and exciting to use.

Thank you again to Inventery Pen Company for sending me their pocket fountain pens to test and review on the blog.

Baron Fig Elements Limited Edition Archer Pencils.

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Baron Fig sent me a pack of their latest limited edition Archer pencils called Elements. All thoughts on these pencils detailed out here are my own.

The Elements pencil is the latest limited edition Archer series and the first to come since the School Set, so its been a little while. It’s a collaboration with the Queen of pencils, Caroline Weaver. The theme of this edition is about all the elements it takes to create a pencil, from the wood, the graphite to the lacquer and to celebrate what they make when combined.

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The collaboration is worth discussing first off. Caroline Weaver featured in the Baron Fig bags Kickstarter campaign last year. CW Pencils, her pencil shop is also in New York where Baron Fig are based and she is an authority on pencils. So this collaboration makes sense and its another exciting collaboration from Baron Fig.

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The Elements pencil design is very classic and classy. The subdued grey and cream palette is simple and elegant and almost timeless in a sense there is no nod to fashion or trends that exist right now.

On the grey half of the pencil there are a series of small icons etched on one side, each one representing a different element within the pencil. These icons seem typical to me of Baron Figs style. It’s a small snippet of information that requires some exploration but for those who don’t dig a little deeper they’re simply a nice design addition.

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As with other Archer pencils the Elements write really well. The pencils hold a point nicely and sharpens really well giving off that nostalgic pencil smell. The graphite is really nice and has become one of my preferred pencils to use, it’s not too dark, it doesn’t smudge easily and is really smooth to write with.

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As with all the other Archer pencils you’re buying a pack of 12 rather than individual pencils and the packaging to hold these pencils comes in the familiar tube design. The design mirrors the pencil style and again has that high quality appearance. There is a structural line drawing of the pencil which looks really cool and gives some guidance to which icon is associated with each element.

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I have really enjoyed these pencils and have used them a lot since I received them. It’s nice to see another limited edition Archer set and fab that it comes as a collaboration. I think Baron Fig have always chosen their collaborators well and it makes their limited editions a little more interesting and special.

Thank you again to Baron Fig for sending me the Elements pencils to review.

Using my Hobonichi Techo as a Wellness Tracker.

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It appears I have gotten a point (age) in my life where I need to be more mindful of my health, be more aware of the things I am doing to my body and to take better care of myself. There have been some ongoing ailments I have been dealing with since my son was born. They are relatively small but, now 2 years later, they feel like they’re hanging over me. In part I was not doing enough to get rid of these things, and on top of it there were new challenges that I had to cope with. This reached a boiling point in May when a ridiculous bout of eczema and psoriasis cropped up out of the blue and left me feeling quite down.

So in order to try and make sense of things and understand what was going on I needed data. I turned to my stationery as a way of tracking what was happening. After enthusiastically buying the Hobonichi Techo Cousin in January and, for the first time in a few years, not actually using it, I decided to dig this out and use this as my wellness tracker.

The Hobonichi Techo Cousin was the ideal choice; predated pages, a good size page to record everything and then for an added perk I could use my fountain pens on the sweet sweet tomoe river paper.

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Priority One: Tracking my food.

The first thing I needed to track was my food and drink intake. There are various suggestions that dairy, caffeine and various other things can irritate skin conditions. Therefore I wanted to see if I could find any patterns and truth to this.

Each page of the Hobonichi Techo comes with a 24 hour clock on the left hand side of the page and I have been using this to track what I am consuming and when. This has been fairly simple and just requires a little honesty even on those indulgent days.

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I would also note down my water intake. I am usually pretty bad at drinking enough water, but since tracking this I have noticed a huge improvement. The heatwave we’ve been experiencing may also have played its part here.

Priority Two: Tracking my ailments.

The second thing I needed to keep track of was what was causing me problems/grief/irritation and when. Too often when trying to relay things to doctors or physios I couldn’t quite pin down how long something had been a problem, or when it had started, or the level of discomfort, and where it was occurring.

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Underneath the time bar there is enough room for these notes each day. In here I have been adding in other things during the day that are relevant. For example I am taking a few liquid supplements at the moment, both of which are included in here if I have taken them. One of them is particularly disgusting and so I am not the best at having this everyday but knowing when I have taken it makes me more self conscious of making sure I do.

I also write down if my eczema was particularly irritating and where I was suffering. I would record if and what medication I was taking to alleviate the irritation. I don’t like to rely on medication for my eczema so it’s useful to know what I use and when.

I also have a flat foot from a longstanding childhood condition. Since gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy and all the crazy hormones that come during pregnancy this condition has gotten a lot worse and now requires regular consultations with doctors and physio appointments. In order to get the most from this I have also been using the daily pages in the Hobonichi to note down issues with my foot, any days where I am struggling, any pain I feel. I also track my physio exercises here and when I am increasing the exercises. I hope that by tracking this information, during consultations I am far more aware of how my foot has been during a given period and what exercises help, or in some cases don’t.

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I track my exercise, how long I exercised for and what type of exercise I’ve done. Part of getting back to myself was re-adding exercise back into my life. But there was another reason to track my exercise, I could see if a particular exercise what irritating my foot too.

The last thing I track here is my meditation. I have been using Headspace to try and learn how to manage my thoughts and anxiety, to try and carve out a bit of quite space within my day and generally to be more mindful. In order to ensure I am doing this everyday and taking the time writing it down in my Hobonichi focuses my attention.

Overall Thoughts.

This is all really very simple stuff, I’ve not invented anything particularly special, it’s just something that takes time. I have my Hobonichi by my desk so its easy to note these things down through the day as I need to.

The idea of the wellness tracker is just that, to try and make sure in my Year of Me, I am doing everything I can to be a healthier person and take care of my body rather than being passive through this process and losing more time. There are other things I want to include within this such as my mood for the day, my stress levels and what may be triggering this and my control over them. Given some more time working with this system I will be looking through the information I have gathered and see if there are any patterns. While taking the effort to note these things down I also have to do something with the information in order to really utilise it.

This post has been a little different, with a loose link, to my stationery habits but I wanted to share how my simple stationery tools have helped to focus my mind. There are plenty of digital tools I could have used for this but they have the potential to complicate and distract. Pen and paper means I get down everything I want, quickly, without fuss in the way I need it. And the act of writing this down has forced my brain to acknowledge what’s happening in my body and perhaps is helping in the healing process.

This could prove to be one of my most valued and treasured notebooks.

Mid-Week Mini: Field Notes Three Missions Summer 2018 Colors Edition

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The Field Notes summer limited edition this year is called Three Missions and is centred around a space theme. This edition is different in that it features a photograph cover, similar to America the Beautiful and Campfire editions.

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Each notebook features a different American space mission photo on the cover which has a glossy shiny feeling to it. The front shows a photograph of the shuttle, or a specific moment from the mission. The reverse includes the information on that mission and some interesting facts. Internal cover stock is a really nice light blue shade which compliments this edition nicely.

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The books show the progression of the American space race, from orbiting the earth with Mercury, walking in space with Gemini and then walking on the moon with Apollo.

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The paper inside is the standard 60#T paper in white with a really nice subtle grey ruling for the grid paper. The paper performs like many of the recent Field Notes limited editions working really nice with pencils, gel pens and ballpoints. Fountain pens not so much.

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My feelings on this edition are mixed. I have been using the Mercury because I liked the lighter cover colour but these photograph covers are not really my cup of tea. I can see the appeal and I am sure lots of people, even the non Field Notes enthusiasts, will snap a pack of these up.

I do like the feel of the covers with the ‘aqueous coating’ that makes it feel a bit more hardwearing. The paper is nice and I have been using my notebook with a Blackwing 54 a lot and the pairing is really nice.

I would say from the releases this year, as part of my subscription this has been my least favourite. They are more likely to be a notebook I will share with others and give out, rather than keep and use for myself.

On the extras that came with this edition, the build it yourself space crafts and a decal, these were great additions. Mine sadly did not last in the hands of a 2 year old. They were quickly ripped up. I found them fiddly to put together, but its a really cool addition especially for the space lover in your life.

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Finally, the video that compliments this release is probably my favourite yet. The fact they actually sent one of these models into space is crazy, but then thats the Field Notes crew. If you haven’t watched the video, or read the accompanying blog post go and check them out.