Bond Travel Gear Travel Wallet

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Yesterday I reviewed the Bond Travel Gear Field Journal so today we are going to tackle the Bond Travel Gear Travel Wallet. The Travel Wallet is a nice A6 size in Multicam Black. It utilizes RFID blocking fabric, holds pens and pencils and includes a Tomoe River 68gsm pocket notebook. It measures: 4.5 in x 6.5 in x 0.75 in. I don’t use a lot of A6 notebooks since they usually aren’t fountain pen friendly, but Tomoe River paper is perfect for fountain pens.

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The outside:

The front includes a pocket divided in two. The back of the wallet includes a pocket with a velcro closure.

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The inside has a mesh pocket as well as some credit card and passport pockets behind.

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The Tomoe River paper behaves just as well as in the A5 journal I reviewed yesterday. It handles markers, fountain pens, pens and pencils well, without any bleed through.

Overall, I really like this travel wallet. I love that you can buy notebook refills for the wallet that come in a pack of three. I think I will end up giving the wallet to my hubby though. He’s been doing some search and rescue training, and this type of wallet is perfect for keeping a notebook, pen and some tools with him while being durable enough for the harsh weather. As soon as he saw it he tried to steal it, but I made him wait until I was done reviewing it before letting him have it.

Disclaimer: This product was provided by Bond Travel Gear for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Bond Travel Gear Field Journal & A5 Notebook

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I love Tomoe River paper. I love it an unholy amount, it’s my favorite. I actually prefer 68gsm for most uses even though it shows just a little bit less sheen than 52gsm does. Bond Travel Gear sent over their Field Journal and A5 notebook for me to try and frankly, I’m in love.

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Field Journal

The Field Journal is the cover which holds 1 A5 journal. I have the Black/Seafoam version.

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Details:

The cover fits the journal perfectly, and has a few pockets on the inside as well as one on the back.

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I prefer to only have the back cover tucked into the case rather than both sides. It makes it close just a little bit better than having both sides of the cover tucked in. There are pockets on the left side to hold some supplies. I have some page flags and post-its tucked into mine.

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The A5 notebook measures 8.4” x 6” and sports a hard black cover. The inside cover is bright orange. The journal lays completely flat when open and has an orange elastic closure.

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The paper is 68gsm Tomoe River paper with a 5mm dot grid-my favorite paper ever. I LOVE that the pages are numbered. It’s a pain in the neck to go through and number each page so I adore it when journals are already numbered.

Markers:

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I got a set of these Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Markers for Christmas and they were the first thing I tried in this notebook. There is some show through on the other side of the paper but nothing bled through to the other side (I ended up loving these markers, I’m pretty sure I need the rest of the colors).

Fountain Pens:

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I used this notebook to create my Color Coding Ink Palettes post earlier this week (this is July’s). You can see some show through on the back side of the page but nothing bled through to the other side.

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I tested out the pens I have currently inked and the paper handled all of them perfectly.

While there is some show through to the other side, but there was no feathering or bleeding, which is why this paper is my favorite for fountain pens.

Gel Pens and Pencils

Highlighters, pens and pencils worked well on the paper, but I do prefer to use softer pencils since the paper is a bit slick. There is some show through but no bleeding.

Overall, I love both the Field Journal and the A5 Notebook. I love the notebook’s paper, the lay-flat binding, the hard cover and the numbered pages. The Field Journal fits the notebook perfectly and protects the notebook while in my backpack. I will probably end up ordering a bunch of the notebooks since I go through so many each year.

Disclaimer: This product was provided by Bond Travel Gear for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Birmingham Pen December 2018 Ink Subscription

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Today we are looking at December's Pen Parcel, aka the Birmingham Pen ink subscription. Every month five new, 5ml samples hit my mailbox. Sometimes the inks become available as singles on the Birmingham website about a month after the subscription, sometimes they are just test colors. Lately they have been showing up toward the end of the month.

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I really like this month’s colors, bright and happy. I think it’s interesting that the Birmingham Inks have been made in a few different countries, I never know which country the ink will be made in. This month they were made in Germany.

Swabs:

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Left to right, Rose Overture, Salmon Hors d’Oeuvre, Marmalade, Daisy Lace and Arugula.

Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

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Dry time:

Rose Overture: 50 sec

Salmon HDO: 30 sec

Marmalade: 20 sec

Daisy Lace: 40 sec

Arugula: 30 sec

Dry time: 20-50 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: Low-there was feathering on Rhodia and Leuchtturm, mainly in the flex nib.

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: no shadingno sheen, and no shimmer. Out of the five, Arugula is the only one that shows any shading, but even then it’s just a little bit.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was lots of feathering in every nib size as well as quite a bit of bleeding, so I would not recommend these inks for cheap paper.

Comparison Swabs:

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Rose Overture is closest to Diamine Tulip but Rose Overture is a bit pinker so it’s not a great match. Salmon HDO is close to Pen Saijiki Syurei and Diamine Peach Haze but both are brighter than Salmon HDO. Marmalade is closest to Montblanc Golden Yellow, but in writing Golden Yellow is darker. Daisy Lace is close to PenBBS Johansson and Diamine Yellow and Arugula is close to Sailor Jentle Epinard and Platinum Classic Forest Black. Click here to see the Birmingham inks together.

I used a Bond A5 (Tomoe River 68gsm). Top to bottom, I used: TWSBI Eco Blossom Red with a medium nib, Kaweco Al-sport Rose Gold with a broad nib, Pilot Vanishing Point Yellow with a medium nib, Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl with a medium nib, and Lamy Safari with a medium nib. All of the inks had an average flow.

I used a Bond A5 (Tomoe River 68gsm). Top to bottom, I used: TWSBI Eco Blossom Red with a medium nib, Kaweco Al-sport Rose Gold with a broad nib, Pilot Vanishing Point Yellow with a medium nib, Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl with a medium nib, and Lamy Safari with a medium nib. All of the inks had an average flow.

Overall, I really like these colors, some of my favorites out of the last few months’ subscriptions. I don’t like how much they feather in the larger nib sizes but they are a great value for the price.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #548: Robert Oster Direct Sun

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I’m continuing with the red theme a bit this week with Robert Oster Direct Sun. I purchased my sample of ink from Anderson Pens.

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The color:

Direct Sun is a lighter, less saturated red.

Swabs:

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In large swabs there is some pretty shading but no sheen.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: medium shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was just a little bit of feathering and bleeding.

Comparison Swabs:

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Diamine Poppy Red is pretty close to Direct Sun. Click here to see the Robert Oster inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium TWSBI Eco Blossom Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a slightly dry flow, but not bad.

I used a medium TWSBI Eco Blossom Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a slightly dry flow, but not bad.

Overall, it’s a nice color but not my favorite red from Robert Oster since it’s just a bit dry.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Color Coding Ink Palettes

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I have few talents in life, one of them being the ability to make something super simple into the most complicated. What can I say, it’s a gift. I use a color-code system when I study to keep different concepts straight in my brain. I usually use 10-11 different colors and use basic black and blue black as neutrals. I decided a while ago that I should use different inks each month for my colors, but to make simple things complicated, I wanted the colors to “go” together instead of just random inks that color. So due to my craziness, you get this-a color palette of 12 inks for each month of the year.

Black Inks

To start off, I’ve only found a few basic black inks I like. I always have one of these inked up.

  • Sailor Kiwa-guro

  • Kyo-no-oto #1 Nurebairo

  • Rohrer and Klingner Sketch Lotte (I like using this one if I’m using any watercolors since it’s water resistant, but it requires higher maintenance since it’s a pigment-based ink).

  • Waterman Intense Black

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi

  • Pelikan Edelstein Onyx

  • Sailor Jentle Black

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January

  • Robert Oster Thunderstorm

  • Diamine Chopin

  • Robert Oster Motor Oil

  • Diamine Syrah

  • Robert Oster Dusky Pink

  • Papier Plume 011

  • Bungubox Ebisu Gold

  • Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-matsu

  • Robert Oster Velvet Storm

  • Sailor Jentle Blue

  • Robert Oster Evening Sapphire

  • Robert Oster Summer Storm

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February

  • Sailor Jentle Blue Black

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun

  • Robert Oster Caffe Crema

  • Diamine Oxblood

  • Robert Oster Pinky

  • Diamine Autumn Oak

  • Kobe #21 Taisanji Yellow

  • Robert Oster Peppermint

  • Diamine Cool Green

  • Robert Oster Carbon Fire

  • Robert Oster Fire and Ice

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Ajisai

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March

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai

  • Diamine Silver Fox

  • Monteverde Moonstone

  • Robert Oster Whisper Red

  • Papier Plume Garden District Azalea

  • Robert Oster Peach

  • Robert Oster Honey Bee

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin

  • Robert Oster Pacific Ocean Teal

  • Diamine Kensington Blue

  • Robert Oster Grey Seas

  • Robert Oster Viola

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April

  • Lamy Blue Black

  • Diamine Silver Fox

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho

  • Diamine Maroon

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Kosumosu

  • Monteverde Topaz

  • Private Reserve Buttercup

  • Robert Oster Sublime

  • Diamine Soft Mint

  • Robert Oster School Blue

  • Robert Oster Torquay

  • Diamine Amazing Amethyst

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May

  • Aurora Blue Black

  • Diamine Silver Fox

  • Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

  • Sailor Irori

  • Dobe #30 Oji Cherry

  • Papier Plume Sazerac

  • Robert Oster Yellow Sunset

  • Robert Oster Opal Green

  • Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer

  • Monteverde Sapphire

  • Robert Oster Australian Sky Blue

  • Sailor Jentle Fuju-musume

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June

  • Rohrer and Klingner Verdigris

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-guri

  • Monteverde Ruby

  • Diamine Coral

  • Sailor Jentle Apricot

  • Bungubox Sweet Potato Yellow

  • Robert Oster Ryde Green

  • Kaweco Paradise Blue

  • Robert Oster Blue Sea

  • Diamine Aqua Blue

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu

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July

  • Sailor Sei-boku

  • Diamine Grey

  • Robert Oster Toffee

  • Diamine Wild Strawberry

  • Diamine Flamingo Pink

  • Diamine Gerbera

  • Diamine Sunshine Yellow

  • Diamine Apple Glory

  • Diamine Marine

  • Diamine Florida Blue

  • Lamy Pacific Blue

  • Waterman Tender Purple

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August

  • Bungubox 4B

  • Diamine Grey

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-guri

  • Robert Oster Clay Red

  • Lamy Vibrant Pink

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake

  • Diamine Amber

  • Monteverde Hope

  • Robert Oster Tranquility

  • Papier Plume Calle Real

  • Robert Oster Blue Water Ice

  • Akkerman Parkpop Purple

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September

  • Diamine Blue/Black

  • Diamine Graphite

  • Diamine Ancient Copper

  • Sailor Jentle Oku-yama

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji

  • Montblanc Lucky Orange

  • Robert Oster African Gold

  • Robert Oster Jade

  • Robert Oster Marine

  • Monteverde Ocean Noir

  • Diamine Havasu Turquoise

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo

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October

  • Monteverde Blue Black

  • Robert Oster Graphite

  • Robert Oster Golden Brown

  • Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot

  • Kaweco Ruby Red

  • Robert Oster Ng Special ‘16

  • Robert Oster Gold Antiqua

  • Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

  • Robert Oster Deep Sea

  • Diamine Sargasso Sea

  • Robert Oster Bass Straight

  • Diamine Grape

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November

  • Robert Oster Blue Black

  • Montblanc Oyster Grey

  • Robert Oster Bronze

  • Robert Oster Maroon 1789

  • Monteverde Garnet

  • Robert Oster Terracotta

  • Robert Oster Gold Antiqua

  • Robert Oster River of Fire

  • De Atramentis Mint Turquoise

  • Diamine Oxford Blue

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki

  • Robert Oster Barossa Grape

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December

  • Diamine 1864 Blue Black

  • Monteverde Smoke Noir

  • Robert Oster Melon Tea

  • Robert Oster Australian Shiraz

  • Robert Oster Cherry Blossom

  • Monteverde Fireopal

  • KWZ Old Gold

  • Diamine Sherwood Green

  • Sailor Jentle Yama-dori

  • Diamine Majestic Blue

  • Sailor Jentle Souten

  • Monteverde Charoite

From creating these palettes I learned that I really need to find more good yellow and grey inks. It’s hard to find yellow and grey inks that are dark enough to be read easily. Do you use any type of color-coding in your writing? Let me know in the comments below!

Ink Review #547: KWZ Maple Red

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When I saw a picture of KWZ Maple Red online, I really wanted to try it, but it was exclusive to the 2018 Scriptus Pen Show. I was able to snag a sample from a friend at a pen meetup a few months ago in Seattle (thanks @murberdraws!).

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The color:

Maple Red is a great autumn red, the color of red leaves in the fall.

Swabs:

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In large swabs the color is pretty consistent, just a little bit of shading and no sheen. The ink does have a slightly brown finish as it dries.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 40 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: medium shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was feathering and bleeding in the larger nib sizes.

Comparison Swabs:

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Birmingham Carnelian Silk and J Herbin Rouge Grenat seem the closest to KWZ Maple Red. Click here to see the KWZ inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium Pelikan M605 White Transparent on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a wetter than average flow.

I used a medium Pelikan M605 White Transparent on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a wetter than average flow.

Overall, I like the flow of KWZ inks. Since this ink was only available at Scriptus, take a look at J Herbin Rouge Grenat or Birmingham Carnelian Silk.

Disclaimer: A sample of this ink was provided by a pen friend. All photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #546: Diamine Wild Strawberry

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Today’s ink is Diamine Wild Strawberry. I have always liked the color of this ink, it’s bright and happy. I purchased my 30ml bottle of ink from Cult Pens.

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The color:

Wild Strawberry is a light, bright red. I wouldn’t say it’s a strawberry red since this is much brighter and pinker than strawberries, but it’s a pretty summer red.

Swabs:

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In large swabs there is just a little bit of gold sheen, not much shading though.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 40 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: low shading, tiny sheen, and no shimmer. The sheen is only visible in large swabs on Tomoe River paper.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was feathering in all nib sizes and a little bit of bleeding in the larger nib sizes.

Comparison Swabs:

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There are a lot of vibrant reds with a similar color to Wild Strawberry. Tulip is just a bit darker than Wild Strawberry, as is Fire Engine Red. Click here to see the Diamine inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium Pilot Vanishing Point Galaxy on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

I used a medium Pilot Vanishing Point Galaxy on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

Overall, it’s one of my favorite summery red inks. I use this ink often-it’s well behaved and a pretty color.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #545: Montblanc William Shakespeare

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Let’s take a look at a past limited edition ink today, Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red. This ink was available in 35ml bottles. I like to look at past limited editions so I can find currently available inks that are similar.

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The color:

William S. is a dark red, almost a red-brown.

Swabs:

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In large swabs the ink looks much darker.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: low shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was feathering in all nib sizes and a little bit of bleeding in the flex nib.

Comparison Swabs:

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William S. is closest to J Herbin Rouge Grenat and Birmingham Carnelian Silk. Click here to see the Montblanc inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium Kaweco Al-sport Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

I used a medium Kaweco Al-sport Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

Overall, it’s a nice ink, well behaved and an interesting color. If you are looking for a currently available alternative, take a look at J Herbin Rouge Grenat or Diamine Red Dragon.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Diamine Ink Chart

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It’s the last week of winter break, so I’ve been using the time off school to finish up projects I’ve been putting off including creating Col-o-dex cards for the bottled inks I own. I’ve been focusing on finishing up the Diamine swabs so here are a few of my favorites: Oxford Blue, 1864 Blue Black, Coral, Silver Fox, Marine and Soft Mint. I don’t know why I love Silver Fox so much but it’s one I always have inked up.

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While I had all the inks out, I decided to make a chart of all of the Diamine classic inks. I posted a picture of the chart to Instagram and had lots of requests for a high resolution version. I used a Clairfontaine notebook and a Noodler’s Ahab I dipped in the ink (it would have taken forever to ink up the pen and clean it 104 times). I own a ton of Diamine inks since they are the first brand I got hooked on when I discovered fountain pens, and they are very affordable (I bought them from Cult Pens for $2.55 per 30 ml bottle). What’s your favorite Diamine ink?