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Tag Archives: review

Blackwing Pencils Loved by Award Winning Composer Sondheim

8 Sep



Always on the lookout for Blackwing fans, we’ve spotted Stephen Sondheim’s preference for Soft Blackwing Pencils in the Washington Post. Listed among his must-have tools : Pencils: Blackwings (soft, and need frequent sharpening)

Check out his article on the Washington Post right here »
Shop Blackwing Pencils Here »



How to Use your Blackwing Long Point Pencil Sharpener

4 Nov

We stumbled upon this beautiful step-by-step tutorial from Palomino the other day and had to share! Shop all the genius Blackwing products right here »

longpoint-sharpener1 longpoint-sharpener2

Pugly Pixel Loves Rite in the Rain!

29 Sep


One of our most loved web designers & bloggers, Katrina of Pugly Pixel recently blogged about her love of Rite in the Rain’s waterproof covers and overall packaging. We love her beautiful images and how enthusiastic she is about Rite in the Rain notebooks for her climate in the Pacific Northwest, saying…




Read the full review on Pugly Pixel »
Shop Rite in the Rain Notebooks »


All of these beautiful pictures are from Pugly Pixel.

Top 5 Notebooks of the World – via Lifehacker

19 Aug

We just fell upon a rather fitting article on the top 5 notebooks (of the world?!) from We thought it was quite serendipitous that 5 out of 5 of their coveted notebooks are best sellers of ours. Here are a few gems from the article we’d like to highlight :


Shop Field Notes »



Shop Leuchtturm 1917 »European-Paper-Company-Rhodia-Notepads

Shop Rhodia Notepads »


Shop Moleskine Journals »European-Paper-Company-Whitelines-Link-Notebooks

Shop Whitelines Notebooks »


Link Love: Sandra of Life Imitates Doodles Reviews the Leuchtturm Pocket Notebook

20 Dec

Leuchtturm Pocket Hard Cover Ruled Notebook in purple at

The Leuchtturm Pocket Hard Cover Ruled Notebook in purple! (Available at

Sandra (a wonderful artist, zentangler, and notebook aficionado) did a wonderful review on her blog, Life Imitates Doodles, of the Leuchtturm Pocket Ruled Notebook she just won in our Leuchtturm giveaway! (That was quick!)

Read the review on her blog by clicking here!

Sandra was very sweet and said, “I want to thank the European Paper company for a fantastic giveaway and for the chance to try out this wonderful notebook!”

Guest Pen Review: Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen

29 Nov

Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen on

Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen on

I love fountain pens. Ever since I first held my father’s Mont Blanc those years ago, I fell in love with the way a fountain pen smoothly passed over the paper, the gentle flow of the ink. Ever since that day I have used a fountain pen for all my personal and professional writing and editing.

For everyday use, I use a Pilot Varsity fountain pen; they come in a variety of colours and if I should happen to misplace it, I can replace it with no big financial burden. For my personal writing and editing, I use my father’s old burgundy gold nibbed Mont Blanc.

I came across the LAMY AL-Star dark purple fountain pen as I was perusing the European Paper website. I had never used a Lamy pen so I was intrigued and wanted to experience it. I’ve heard fantastic things about the AL-Star and wanted to use it for myself. I fell in love with the colour first and knew I had to have it!  I ordered it and eagerly anticipated its arrival. The pen came in a simple cardboard-like box in an envelope mailer.

This pen is everything I could have wanted or imagined! It is sleek, a lovely deep purple, and it comes with a cartridge of deep blue ink. I had ordered the medium sized nib and was writing in a Moleskine Squared Folio Notebook. As I started writing with it, the solid feel of the nib as it moved across the paper was smooth, the ink didn’t clump or run dry as I wrote, it slid across the paper, fluid and with a precision that belies its modest price.

I have used this pen for everything – for writing checks, to signing grocery receipts.  I keep it in my purse and use it to write in my journal. The ink doesn’t bleed across to the other pages, and dries almost instantly so it doesn’t smudge.

This pen is a fantastic investment; I would recommend this writing instrument to any one – new or seasoned.


Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and editor in the process of starting her own editorial services company, The Crafted Word. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking. 


Monday Morning Review Round-up

24 Sep

Pen/Pencil Reviews

PenSwag: Uniball Jetstream RT 0.7mm Blue

A Penchant for Paper: Earthzone Recycled Pencil

East, West, Everywhere: Waterman Fountain Pen

Ms Logica: Fisher Anniversary Space Pen

FPGeeks: Sailor Pen Co. and the Spirit of Manufacturing

No Pen Intended: Premier Pen P1 Black

From the Pen Cup: Simple(ish): Stabilo All 8008 Pencils (Graphite)

Palimpsest: KUM Blue Ocean Pencil Review

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Life Imitates Doodles: Daycraft Expresso Notebook & Round 08-Rhodia Journal Swap-Page 1

NotebookStories: New Homes … for me & my notebooks!

Kate’s Place: Moleskine vs. Leuchtturm 1917

Ms Logica: Tenues CoolNotes Notebook

Quo Vadis Blog: Guest post: A review of the Academic Minister

Ink Reviews

Inkophile: J. Herbin Ink – Past And Present

FPQuest: Ink Notes: J. Herbin Lie De The


Monday Morning Review Round-up

17 Sep

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Pen and Design: Parker Frontier Review

On Fountain Pens: AOPO Big Boss Signature Pen 1.0mm

Palimpsest: Montblanc Turbo Ballpoint Review

Dave’s Mechanical Pencils: Faber-Castell Alpha-matic and TK-matic

Lady Dandelion: cracked star: montblanc 244

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Stationery Review: Moleskine Evernote “Smart” Notebook – Preview and Thoughts

Notebook Stories: Palomino Blackwing Sketchbook

Filofax Fixation: Leuchtturm 18 month planner

Seize the Dave: blog carnival of pen, pencil, and paper

Ink Reviews

East, West, Everywhere: Iroshizuku Kiri-Same

Monday Morning Review Round-up

20 Aug

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Life Imitates Doodles: Stillman & Birn’s Alpha Series Sketchbook & Stillman & Birn Gamma Series Sketchbook

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Pentorium: Edison Collier Review

A Penchant for Paper: Dixon No.2/HB (+ first thoughts on using a wooden pencil)

Dave’s Mechanical Pencil: The Social Slencil Mechanical Pencil

Notebooker Esq.: Visconti Homo Sapiens Fountain Pen

Ink Reviews

Palimpsest: Field’s Ink Green Rainbow Range (resurrected)


Monday Morning Review Round-up

23 Jul

Notebook/Planner Reviews

East, West, Everywhere: “Keep it Green” Alfabet Recycle Notebook
Rite in the Rain All-Weather Field Book
Muji Agenda Weekly Refill and dot-grid memo

Life Imitates Doodles: Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio

Ethereal Voices: Piccadilly Wir-o Journal

MsLogica: Daycraft Slab Notebook

Inkophile: Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks, Part 1 & Part 2

Stationery Review: Typo Blank/Ruled A5 Notebook

Pen/Pencil Reviews

On Fountain Pens: Faber-Castell: Basic Fountain Pen

Pentorium: Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review

Dave’s Mechanical Pencils: Parafernalia Revolution Mechanical Pencil

Comfortable Shoes Studio: Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper
Reflect on 2 years of Drawing Practice

A Penchant for Paper: Zebra Jimnie Ballpoint



Monday Morning Review Round-Up

2 Jul

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Hudson Valley Sketches: Sketching the Pinta in Acrylics

Life Imitates Doodles: Review & Bleedthrumanades in the Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook

Less Herger: Guest Post: Sketching + Watercolor in the Stillman & Birn Alpha Art Journal

Pen/Pencil Reviews

From the Pen Cup: Retro 51 Tornado: Vintage Metalsmith Lincoln

East, West, Everywhere: Stipula Passaporto Blue Sky

Ink Reviews

PenInkCillin: Noodler’s Red Fox

Guest Post: Sketching + Watercolor in the Stillman & Birn Alpha Art Journal

28 Jun

Editor’s Note: Today’s blogger, Less, was one of three winners in our Stillman & Birn Art Journal Giveaway, and received the Stillman & Birn Alpha Side Spiralbound Art Journal. She readily volunteered to write a guest review for our blog, and we’re thrilled to host her words, images, and videos today! Love what you see? Let her know in the comments!


The sketchbook arrived to me well packaged and once the wrapping was removed I was quite impressed with the sketchbook. The covers feel very heavy and sturdy. Unlike some other sketchbooks I’ve bought they were not bowed and so far even with the oppressive Massachusetts humidity, they have remained flat and rigid. The black covering is black plastic with a nice faux leather grain. The back cover is debossed with the Stillman & Birn logo as well as Alpha, the sketchbook series. The coils are made of nice sturdy wire and painted black to match the cover. The holes for the rings are standard sized squares. They aren’t too tight nor are they sloppy, pretty much just right.

Courtesy of Leslie Herger:

Courtesy of Leslie Herger:

Inside the covers are 50 leaves or 100 pages of 110 lb (150 gsm) heavy paper. The surface is a lovely cold pressed finish. When I looked at the paper I was surprised to find that Stillman & Birn refer to it as a cold press finish, as I generally think of CP paper as quite a bit rougher than these pages. It is a very subtle cold press finish. It’s quite smooth but has just enough texture to be interesting with a variety of materials. The paper is warm white in color without leaning into ivory.

I’ve tested a variety of materials on these pages and have been nothing but impressed. My fountain pens all love this paper. Ink looks great. Every color out of every pen just looks wonderful. The warm white shade really shows the colors off. Black is a nice deep black color, red pops off the page and my greys look perfectly silvery.

Courtesy of Leslie Herger:

Courtesy of Leslie Herger:

Officially Stillman & Birn rates this paper as “good for light washes.” Of course I had to throw that caution into the wind and really slop some watercolor onto the page. With light to moderate washes I noticed some cockling of the paper, that mostly relaxed after drying, leaving only slight waves in the pages. The pages I dumped heavy amount of watercolors reacted pretty much as expected, lots of cockling and plenty of waves even when dry. The waves in the pages did decrease after closing the sketchbook for a few hours.

A surprising thing is that with both heavy amounts of ink and watercolor there was no soak through to the reverse side of the page. Which left me with both sides of the page being useful. The only soak through that I experienced was with spray inks when applied heavily and regular bullet point Sharpies. It felt great with a variety of pencils, I was able to lay down thick layers of pencil to create deep darks without the paper falling apart. Erasing pencil was great too, the paper stood up to my erasers and erases cleanly.

Overall I’m very pleased with the Stillman & Birn Alpha series paper, it works perfectly with my style of sketching and art journaling. I have no doubt that it would survive the abuse that most mixed media art journalers would throw at its pages.  I will be getting more.


Meet the Writer: Less Herger is the owner and writer behind and co-founder of She’s been making art for as long as she can remember and can’t imagine a day without her pen and ink.