Review: Platinum Blue Black

Yes that’s right this is blue black ink. It’s definitely more blue than black. It has some subtle shading that goes from dark blue to a muted grey-blue. Platinum Blue Black is a rather run of a mill ink for me. It’s not my favourite blue black or blue ink. I’m giving away the remaining 6 cartridges of Platinum Blue Black. Drop me a comment below with some way to contact you (Twitter, Email address or Instagram), I will be giving this to the first six commenters. Fastest fingers first. This is open to everyone.

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Posted on October 25, 2016 and filed under Ink, review.

Traveler’s Notebook and Me - Oct 2016

Photo taken when brand new

This isn’t really a review of the Traveler’s Notebook but rather a piece on how I use my Traveler’s Notebook. If you are looking for a review, check out the guest review of the Traveler’s Notebook here.

It has been 4 months since my initial purchase of the Traveler’s Notebook in Camel from Amazon Japan. Yes I knew it will be available in Singapore eventually but I just couldn’t wait. After my foray into the world of Hobonichi and various leather covers for it (Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter and Astrida Leather cover), I found I didn’t like the weight of an A5 notebook plus a leather cover. I made the switch over to the Traveler’s Notebook as my everyday planner. Happily I picked up a number of refills and accessories for it. After 4 months of experiments, I am quite sure that this is my setup going forward, for the rest of the year at least.

After 4 months of use

The Camel leather scars and ages really easily. Though it has only been 4 months, it looked as if my Traveler’s Notebook has actually been through a lot. Though I must admit, it was soaked in water when my water bottle spilled it’s contents inside my bag a number of times. There were ink splatters and I didn’t baby it in the slightest. The barcode charm on the exterior was picked up from a Malaysia based online retailer, Stickerrific. I had initially wanted to keep the exterior plain without adornments but I found having a charm makes it easier to find the elastic band and pull it down to unbind the cover.

After 4 months - Front

After 4 months - Back

First up is the kraft folder that holds all my loose paper such as receipts and the like. The folder also takes all the stickers that I’ve saving up, saving up for what purpose I have no idea so on they go. At least the kraft folder stays in the cover and won’t be switched out, so I get to enjoy my stickers. Then, my first notebook is a lined one. It holds all my lists and notes. It is barely filled at this moment. I use it to keep track my blog ideas and ink review progress. Sometimes it also double up as my ink testing notebook. I spilt it up into 3 portions the front contains my lists while the middle my notes about pens I am reviewing and the back my ink testing. After the refill is the other end of the kraft folder where I keep different paper samples folded down to fit. That way if I have a pen or ink to test on the go I have Tomoe River and Rhodia paper handy.

My second notebook comes after that. It is a grid notebook that holds my bullet journal. I don’t have a dedicated monthly refill instead I just draw my own. I want everything to be altogether in one refill and not spread out into two different refills. (Though I’ll be experimenting with this next year since I’ve purchased a 2017 monthly refill.) This is my most often used refill and I run through one refill in 3 months that’s why I have it in the middle for easy removing. I have my monthly calendar, weekly tasks and daily bullet journal all in just one refill.

After that is the fabric zipper pouch by fourrouf. This is available exclusively from Traveler’s Factory though you can find some sellers on Etsy reselling it. Thought Traveler’s Factory only ships within Japan, you still can purchase directly from Traveler’s Factory, all you need is Google Translate and Tenso. I am glad I picked the olive green one. I had another canvas card holder previously but the leather turned the white canvas into a light brown. With the olive green fourrouf it isn’t obvious if something similar is happening to it. In the larger pocket I keep some random stickers that I haven’t been able to bring myself to stick them on something. I keep some discount cards and the like in the card pockets but I hardly use them. The cards also keep falling out. It is rather annoying. My third and final notebook is a blank refill. It acts as my ink journal. I don’t really need it to be with me on the go but it is useful to have that as a reference. That way I know what ink is in which pen. And finally, there is a large zipper pocket that’s the other side of the fourrouf pouch. I keep random knick knacks inside.

Camel - new stock, Brown - old stock

I use Traveler’s Notebook brass index clips to label my notebooks on the top. I do not really need to do that but I thought it looked nice with the brass clips. I also have a pencil board that acts as a bookmark in my bullet journal. I have an index card that has been cut down to size to act as an ink blotter too. I had a pen holder too but I found it was difficult to pull the pen in and out of the pen holder.

That’s my setup. It isn’t the most compact one out there but it isn’t the most massive one too. I think it is of a nice size that makes it nice to have in the hand. I enjoy the Traveler’s Notebook’s versatility. It is as thick or thin as you need it to be and it has plenty of stickers, charms, bookmarks to deck it out with and show the world your personality.

Special Note: I did also purchased a Passport size Traveler’s Notebook but I found it mostly lay unused at home. Thus I’ve decide to sell the entire set. However you can still enjoy the photos I took of it when it was brand new.

Posted on October 21, 2016 and filed under Stationary, thoughts.

Review: Sailor Bungbox June Bride Something Blue

This is a Bungbox exclusive ink made by Sailor. Bungbox inks are quite expensive and are not easy to get your hands on either by lack of stock or expensive shipping costs. Availability issues aside, June Bride Something Blue is a very beautiful turquoise ink. It looked a little more green than blue to me, it shades and reminds me a little of Caran d’Arche Caribbean Sea. Bungbox June Bride Something Blue is a unique turquoise ink.

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Posted on October 18, 2016 and filed under review, Ink.

Review: Faber-Castell Loom

The Numbers:
Weight: 33g
Length (capped): 134mm
Length (uncapped): 124mm
Price: USD$40 from Goulet Pens
Body Material: Metal body and plastic cap
Nib Material: Stainless Steel
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge and converter
Colours: Various

I got the Faber-Castell Loom as a birthday gift from my aunt. She purchased it while she was on holiday in Malaysia so I don’t know how much she paid for it. She picked the lime green model with a M nib for me. Many thanks to her for my birthday gift, now on with the review.

The Loom came in a very nice white cardboard box with the Faber-Castell Logo on it. There is a small valley inside where the pen is resting in. It’s a compact and functional box that works well. It isn’t expected to protect the pen for any long periods of time.

The Loom is a pen with metal body, it has quite a heft to it. The shiny barrel and clip is an utter finger print magnet. The barrel is mostly a cylindrical shape before tapering down towards the grip section. In the hand, the Loom though heavy isn’t unbalanced. The plastic cap be posted but it doesn’t throw the balance off because the cap is light.

The lime green plastic is bright and stands out against the shiny pen barrel. The Faber-Castell Logo is stamped into the side of the cap. At the top of the cap you can see the Faber-Castell logo. The clip is the same shiny material as the barrel. It is a spring hinged clip that lifts easily. The shape of the clip is quite plain. It is the same width throughout and it is slightly upturned at the end of the clip.

The cap pulls free only with a deliberate pull. Pull it like you mean it. It snaps back with a satisfying click also requiring a deliberate push. The grip is chrome plated and has a brushed matte finish. The section has 5 raised rings around it which helps with the grip as well. The Loom’s section is generously long plus there isn’t a step between the barrel and grip, it is technically all one piece. The section though smooth does have adequate grip though not as much the Tactile Turn Gist. The Faber-Castell Loom is a cartridge converter fountain pen. It takes the standard international converter, long and short cartridges without any problems.

A medium nib won’t be my choice if I was the one who purchased the Loom. Faber-Castell’s nibs tend to write wet and their stainless steel nibs are reputed to be one of the smoothest in the fountain pen world. As expected, the medium stainless steel nib writes wet but not overly so. It is manageable as long as I pair it with dry inks from Graf von Faber-Castell or Pelikan. I can attest that Faber-Castell have some of the smoothest stainless nibs out there. My medium nib writes very smoothly right out of the box. It is that polished. The nib is so smooth that I find it hard to get it under control. It feels like the Loom is running away on its own especially when writing on good paper. Too smooth can be a bad thing too. It’s all a matter of balancing the trifecta between pen, paper and ink.

Personally I think I would enjoy the nib more if it was in EF or F but that’s just my preference. The Faber-Castell Loom is a great beginner fountain pen. It has a variety of colour choices and has a easy to maintain filling system. Plus it uses the standard international converter and cartridge system, there are a wide variety of inks available in cartridge form. Though it is not as value for money as a TWSBI Eco might be but that nib would help transit gel pen users to the fountain pen world, since they are used to smooth writing experiences.


  • Affordable
  • Variety of colours
  • Great beginner pen
  • Smooth nib


  • Runaway nib
Posted on October 14, 2016 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.

Review: Blackstone Inks - Colours of Australia

Blackstone inks

My thanks to Cindy for giving me a full sample set of Blackstone inks!

Blackstone inks is made in Australia and as far as I can tell available only at Justwrite. Blackstone isn’t a well known maker of inks but they have a nice range of colours available for an affordable price.

I will be giving away the entire set of Blackstone inks. Read all the way to the end to find out how to win it.

Blackstone Daintree Green

Daintree Green is the green ink among Blackstone’s ink offerings. No, I didn’t spell that wrong, it isn’t raintree green. Daintree Green shades well even in my Lamy EF nib. It goes from a dark forest green to a bright grass green. I quite enjoy this ink. It is relatively wet and has nice flow.

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Blackstone Sydney Habour Blue

Sydney Habour Blue is an interesting shade of teal. It’s on the teal side of the turquoise - teal spectrum. It’s a colour I am enjoying a lot. Sydney Habour Blue shades slightly even in my Japanese fine nib. I’ve never been to Australia let alone Sydney Habour so I can’t really say how accurately named this ink is. Sydney Habour Blue has a red sheen where the ink pools.

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Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue

Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue is a wet, wet ink. Filling it in my titanium nib pen is probably quite a bad choice. Barrier Reef Blue shades well and has a strong red sheen when you have a good amount on the page, of course. It’s also dependent on the paper you use. Barrier Reef Blue goes from a light, bright sky blue to a deep saturated dark blue. When the red sheen shows through it feels like life surfacing on the reef. This is one of the surprising inks of the Blackstone Colours of Australia series. I had expected a standard blue but it has been a pleasant surprise.

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Blackstone Uluru Red

Uluru Red is the red ink of the Blackstone Colours of Australia series. Uluru Red was strangely gooey and it was experienced by others as well. It was seemed to be caused by the surfactant trying to gel, according to an email with Blackstone. I’ve tried shaking my sample vial but it doesn’t seem to help. However it didn’t seem to do any harm to my Pilot Metropolitan. Apart from that, Uluru Red is a nice dark red that dries looking a little brownish. It shades well in wider nibs. There is a new version of Uluru Red that should have the gelling issue solved. Note my sample is at least many months old. Also though, I would like to give away a sample of Uluru Red, I’ve managed to spill the majority of my sample. Luckily there was enough to complete the reivew.

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Blackstone Black Stump

This is the last Blackstone ink I have. Though it is named Black Stump, it has a decidedly brown undertone. I guess that’s very much in keep with the name of the ink in its own way. It has some subtle shading in the boarder nib size. Strangely, though it is quite a lubricated ink I had some ink flow issues when I had it in my Kaweco Supra. I’m putting it down to a bad pen and ink combination for now. This is an interesting deep dark brown ink.

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For a chance to win my set of Blackstone Colours of Australia ink samples (minus Uluru Red, of course), drop a comment below. Tell me which among the Blackstone inks here do you like the best? This giveaway will end 17th October and is only for people residing in Singapore.

Posted on October 11, 2016 and filed under Ink, review.