The Paper Series: Stifflexible Blue Camo

Whether you love them or hate them, Moleskine kind of helped kick off the “stationery revival” with their rise to popularity. In fact, there’s a great chapter about just that in The Revenge of Analog. And as with anything popular and easy to reproduce, once something takes off, the clones will start to pop up. The problem with any clone is that some of them are pretty good, and some of them just aren’t. The Stifflexible notebook that Pen Boutique gave me to check out has a bunch…

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The Paper Series: Inky Fingers Currently Inked Notebook

As I've mentioned before, I don't usually like purpose-built notebooks. Part of the fun of getting a new notebook is figuring out what I’m going to use it for. But sometimes you find a product that fits a specific niche just right and you have to give it a shot. The Inky Fingers Currently Inked notebook is exactly that. The Inky Fingers notebooks are made by Matt Armstrong of the Pen Habit, and his touch shows through in all of his notebooks. He’s been very transparent about the…

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The Paper Series: Uzumaki Letter Pads

In the United States, we tend to equate cheap price with poor quality. Doubly so when it comes to stationery. Big box stores like Staples and Office Depot are stuffed to the gills with bad paper, crumbly pencils, and gummy pens, all sold at cheap prices. So when I saw that the Uzumaki Letter Pads that my sister picked up for me in Japan sold for just 270JPY each, I didn't expect much. Two letter pads for less than $5? How good could it be? It turns out that the…

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The Paper Series: Midori Polar Bear Notebook

Like I mentioned in the last post, it can be hard to get a hold of good spiral ring notebooks, especially ones that have good paper. The Midori "Polar Bear" Spiral Ring Notebook is one of the exceptions to that rule, but a few things hold it back from being truly great. This is another one of those notebooks that my sister picked up for me from the Ito-ya in Haneda Airport, but unlike some of the other stuff that she brought me, this one was fairly easy to track…

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The Paper Series: Maruman Mnemosyne Notebooks

As a general rule, I tend to steer clear of notebooks that are built for specific purposes. Planners stress me out (it's all those confining little boxes) and "subject" notebooks make me break out in a cold sweat of remembering college classes and deadlines. So, by all accounts, I shouldn't have liked Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks as much as I do. But sometimes a product is so good it overshadows my dislikes, and that's what has happened here. Another one of my purchases from my trip out to Maido in San…

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The Paper Series: Life Margin A5 Notebook

We are being sold things based on catchy slogans all the time. "Half the pressure, twice the speed", "melts in your mouth, not in your hand", and all sorts of other things. So when I saw that the Life Margin Notebook promised me that "it is easy to write smoothly" right on the cover, I was immediately skeptical. In this case, though, it's no joke. The "L writing paper White" that fills the covers of the Margin notebook is some of the best paper that I've ever written on. The…

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The Paper Series: Midori Letter Pad

During InCoWriMo this year, I got bit by the letter writing bug. There's something great about both sending and receiving mail, and as a bonus, you get to play with a ton of fun stationery. So this May, when my wife and I went to San Francisco, we stopped in to Maido in Japantown so that I could look for more fun stuff. One of the things that I found was this pad of Midori letter paper. Maido had a tester out, so I grabbed the pen I was carrying…

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The Paper Series: Introduction

While it's no secret that I'm a big fan of fountain pens and ink, there's something that I geek out over more than those: paper. It's easy to overlook paper when you're getting into the fountain pen hobby, as there are some really good standbys that people recommend. Leuchtturm, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine are all easy to pretty easy to find in the US, and they all work pretty well with fountain pens. The "king" of fountain pen paper is always Tomoe River in its various forms as well, be it…

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Baltimore Pen Show Recap Part Two - Saturday

The Baltimore Pen Show was last weekend, here's my recap of the two days that I attended. Part one is here. Saturday After spending pretty much my entire budget on Friday, I wasn't sure what I would do at the show on Saturday, but I still wanted to go back. Over the evening, I sat down and wrote a few letters with my new Franklin-Christoph 45 both to get a feel for how it wrote, as well as to make sure that it didn't need any work on Saturday while…

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Baltimore Pen Show Recap Part One - Friday

The Baltimore Pen Show was this past weekend, and since it was just a few minutes away from my house, I went for a few days of the show. It wasn't my first show, that was DC back in August of 2016. But DC was a much bigger show than Baltimore, both in vendors and attendees. I really wasn't sure what to expect with a smaller show. Now, I already have my flights, hotel, and rental car booked for the Atlanta Pen Show so that I can attend the live…

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