Surprise Of The Year 2021

As the first month of the new year is nearly over I have spent some time considering what it was in 2021 was my ‘Surprise Of The Year’ me and I’ve reached the conclusion that it was the Faber-Castell 2011 Grip Fountain Pen; a budget cartridge/converter pen. I expected nothing from it and I was, therefore, very happily surprised by it. Continue reading “Surprise Of The Year 2021”

Bodleian Libraries Mini Notebooks by Flame Tree Publishing

A couple of weeks ago I was in Foyles bookstore enjoying the fact that I was their only customer which meant I could wander at will with no one to get in my way. My wandering took me to a quiet corner of the store filled with notebooks and in amongst every conceivable size and colour of Leuchtturm1917 was a little packet of brightly coloured notebooks; that looked like tiny bookcases.

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The notebooks just stood out as being something different, so a few minutes later I was leaving the store with a pack of three mini notebooks tucked safely in my bag.

They are produced by Flame Tree Publishing and based on book covers in the Bodleian Libraries collection. The cover design is amazing detailed for an A6 pocket notebook and if you look closely, you can read the titles of the books on the cover and just like the original books the books on the cover are gold foiled as the originals were. 

This level of attention to details is quite something especially when you consider the fact that this pack of notebooks retails at £5.99GBP/$8.99USD and similarly priced packs are just plain card.

And the attention to detail goes beyond the cover design; Flame Tree have opted to have the corners rounded and the spines stitched; the latter means the notebook should lie flat when opened and I have tested this, and it does meaning you can write on pretty much the full width of the page. 

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The paper is cream coloured and feels around 80gsm and the pages are alternately lined and blank which is in itself an interesting choice as notebooks are more often one or the other. But this is a useful choice for anyone using these notebooks because it gives you the best of both worlds, somewhere for notes and somewhere for sketches.

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When it came to the ink test, I opted to use a Broad nib TWSBI Eco and Pennonia Sour Cherry ink, the ink is a wet well saturated colour and consequently when I tested it it showed through the pages. However, this is ghosting and not bleeding through so as long as this doesn’t bother you then you should be fine to use both sides of the page.

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For better results I would suggest a fine nib and a dryish ink if you want to use a fountain pen or better still a pencil or a ballpoint such as a Bic would probably be a better option.

All in all, I am happy to recommend these notebooks, but I would suggest that you visit the Flaming Tree website and view their entire range before making a final decision on which notebook/s you would like to spend your pennies on.

Disclaimer: These notebooks were purchased at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.

Ink Of The Month – June ‘21 – Montblanc Royal Blue

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the colour of fountain pen ink that sells more than any other would probably be blue and on the spectrum of blue inks it would be inks such as Royal Blue.

A true go anywhere ink, you can take a pen loaded with Royal Blue or similar pretty much anywhere and no one will bat an eyelid; it is a truly universal ink. Continue reading “Ink Of The Month – June ‘21 – Montblanc Royal Blue”