FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives / East London Snapshots / Diamine Bilberry Review

 

Has anybody seen Meagan Abell’s Facebook campaign to find the original photographer of some fantastic quality negatives she found in a charity shop? They are ridiculously beautiful, evocative, dreamy, wistful, summery. Here is one of the photos:

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The internet is full of stories about viral reunions. I really hope this one finds its way back to the photographer and subjects. Who knows what other great shots they’ve taken in their life.

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On my wanders this week I’ve found some great pieces of public art. Some obvious…

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Some not so obvious!

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Back to business. I’m a big fan of Diamine inks because they are so affordable and there is such a great range of colours and shades available in relatively small 30ml bottles. This means I get to try out lots of the Diamine range compared to other more expensive ranges, as I go through ink like water.

 

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There’s a slickness and professionalism about the colour, almost a masculinity. I don’t find this ink a novelty shade in any way, it’s attractive for long stretches of writing and I love the contrast against the light shades of paper that I generally use.

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I’m going to get a picture and update this post with a daytime shot of this ink to demonstrate what it looks like against a blander coloured paper. There’s something really natural about its shade that evokes autumn; the colour of blackberries and sloes. Bilberry is so deeply saturated that the colour is very consistent, although as I’ve mentioned above I sway between thinking this is a blue and purple ink depending on any kind of external circumstance! Something I love about using Bilberry is that it’s exciting for me because I appreciate the different tones and saturation, but this isn’t immediately obvious to others, it isn’t for showing off or attracting attention.

If you’re a fan of using deep, inconspicuous and almost surreptitious shades in your writing, give Bilberry a go.

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Recent Stationery Acquisitions

Happy Sunday! It’s a rainy day in London today and I am using the opportunity to indulge in indoorsy pursuits. This includes making a beef bone broth which has been on the go for a few hours now and has a few still to go! More on that another time.

It’s about time for an update on the masses of stationery I have acquired in the last few weeks. I’ve always got my eye on little things that I would like to add to my collection or to make my life a bit easier. At the moment these are mostly writing implements, inks, woodcased pencils, washi tapes, etc. I have a little stack of notebooks waiting to be used so I’ve got a few more brands on the wishlist for the future.

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I used a solitary evening after work to use some of my paper collection to make homemade envelopes. This was a surprisingly easy task. I picked up a few envelope sizes from a nearby paper shop and proceeded to pull the glued sections apart to create an envelope template. I drew around them with a 2H pencil (to leave very light lines), cut them out, glued the edges, hid them away in a heavy book for a few hours to glue solidly, and attached some old luggage labels and black card for addresses. I posted them all out to friends and family and they were hugely well received. It’s great to devote effort to something and share it with others. One of my friends is sending me a letter back, I can’t wait!

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Here is part of my collection of all time favourite papers. A good friend actually gave this to me for my Secret Santa gift last year having picked a ream up from a pop-up shop in Paris called Petit Pan, and needless to say it went down a storm. The papers have a fine Japanese quality about them, both in their delicacy and design. They make beautiful envelopes. I actually hate using the paper a little bit because I can’t bear to take a pair of scissors to them. I also bought a Palomino Blackwing Pearl pencil, which is described as similar to a 4B grade pencil, some Midori Origami Memo paper (you can write a reasonable sized note and fold it into various origami shapes, I picked hexagons) and some craft-style Midori labels. The Midori Kraft envelopes were a great little find in a lucky dip bag that I ordered from The Journal Shop.

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Receiving the lucky dip bag was a bit like Christmas Day!

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Here’s one of the Midori Origami Memo hexagons all made up and unfolded again. They’re affably tiny when folded up. It’s a bit of fun.

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This was a little haul from various sources including a Palomino Blackwing, Iconic pastel double-ended pens, Coccoina glue stick, little “Write On!” stamp, vintage “Hello My Name Is” labels, and some Louise Fili Tutti-Frutti coloured pencils. I used the Coccoina glue stick for my homemade envelopes and it is as effective as one could hope from a glue stick, with a pleasing almond-like sweet scent. The Iconic double-ended pens have been a useful addition to my every-day collection, although the fineliner end is a little incompatible with the pastel palette as they are quite difficult to see on paper. I’m loving the “Write On!” stamp inked up on my Lion stamp pad for adding to notes, my envelopes and letters.  I haven’t had an opportunity to use the Tutti-Frutti pencils yet, I will report back.

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A very practical addition is a Seeso Graphics vintage A5 pouch. It’s a gorgeous black pouch for your everyday items that you need to keep together in your bag. I promptly added my Moleskine notebook and writing implements of choice for the week (Iconic lime green pastel double-ended pen, Palomino Blackwing 602, a washi tape of course, my brass sharpener, Muji eraser, grey fine-point Sharpie, turquoise Faber-Castell Broadpen 1554 and Lamy Safari with Diamine Bilberry). It’s helped me feel organised and encourages me to carefully select the tools I want to carry around with me for the week rather than bringing a bit of everything. It also looks professional, which helps create a useful first impression (before I bring out a pencil with a pencil cap attached anyway!).

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These are said pencil caps by Iconic. In short they are like pen lids, except for pencils. Why would one need such a thing you ask. Well, if you like to keep your pencils sharp, then the chances are you will break the tip in your pencil case, or leave marks on whatever it comes into contact with. Both problems are eradicated with these little beauties! Plus they add a bit of whimsical character to the pouch.

My other acquisitions include:

– Diamine Claret Ink 30ml bottle (currently in my Kaweco Sport)

– Rhodia dotpad, Orange, A5

– Tomboy Mono 100, H grade

– Diamine Bilberry Ink 30 ml bottle

– Monami 0.7 153 stick in blue and orange

I’ll be posting my stationery wishlist soon to share with you what I am going to be investing in in the near future. Have you used any of the above or got any tips for the wishlist?

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Kaweco Sport

I’ve been coveting the Kaweco Sport fountain pen for some time. It seems to be a bit of a cult classic and given that this is a sub-£20 pen, I thought I would finally give it a try.

I chose a fine nib as I have italicised handwriting which is best suited to fine lines, and chose a mint green finish. There are a number of other, darker colours, but something about this pen made me choose something less solemn. The Kaweco Sport arrived in an unremarkable, simply branded black box. My first impression was: small! Altogether the pen comes in at just over 10cm long when capped and about 13cm with the cap on the end.

 

There’s no doubt about it that this pen is fun to use. It is eye-catching and unusual, the octagonal chubby lid is nostalgic and has an almost 70s era quality about it which is further emphasised by the plastic finish on the pen. This whole air of playfulness is topped off by its short stature. I couldn’t wait to get writing. I’ve given it a couple of days of break-in time, as the first times I used it I had quite a few gaps in the ink flow, which does seem to be improving with use.

 

 

The pen has two cute silver accents. Firstly, the logo which is very clean and elegant and secondly at the top of the cap.

Here’s a sample of writing for you to check out for yourself. I’d like to keep this pen in my arsenal for using informally, in my notebooks. Although the nib is fine (they also do an extra-fine), the pen would need to write slightly more smoothly to bring it into more formal territory for me. If you’re looking for a lifetime companion kind of fountain pen, I’m not sure this is it, but I would certainly recommend it as an investment if you’re looking for a fountain pen which is adaptable, reliable and something different from the norm.