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Thursday, 26 October 2017

A Small Haul - First Impressions

Spoiler alert: this post is all swatches and first impressions and drooling over pens. You probably shouldn't read this if you're very young. You also shouldn't be on the computer if you're very young, but hey, I ain't yo mama!

DISCLAIMER: This post contains some affiliate links. It won't make a difference to your purchase (should you choose to buy that specific product) but I'll earn a small commission from the sale. You're totally free to use different links though!

What do you do when you have too much free time and not enough self control? That's right, my friend, you go stationery shopping!

To me, the stationery/art store is a magical wonderland filled with rainbows and unicorns! I mean, look at this:

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And this:

So last weekend, I was the happiest bunny, because I got to bring home some shiny new babies to play with! Now don't get me wrong, I value my money just as much as the next girl, and so I'd like to think of this as less of a shopping spree and more like an investment. That's right, I'm totally invested in shiny new pens!

Let's have a look at the spoils, shall we?

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1. Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

One of the most popular pens ever used by bullet journalists, the Pitt artist pens aren't entirely new to me. I have previously used the 'S' (fineliner) and the 'B' (brush pen) in Black, and haven't looked back! The fineliners write so smoothly, and are so pigmented, I swear I've had tiny orgasms while doing my daily spreads.

This time, I decided to go for a four pack of fineliners, since my last one had completely worn down. Seriously, I couldn't write with it anymore. The struggle was real!

This set was incredibly affordable (perks of shopping in India) and includes the sizes XS (0.1 mm), S (0.3 mm), F (0.5 mm) and M (0.7 mm). Here's a swatch page to show you how visibly different the line weights are!
I've found that these are really long lasting, and I suspect the heavier the line weight, the longer it will last. For instance, with daily, intense use, the 'S' lasted me about three months which, to me, is pretty good. However, I do find that the nib wears down over time, meaning that though there might be a lot of ink still left in the pen, you can't really get to it. That seems like a waste of such good ink, and I do so wish the nibs had better durability. Here's a closer look at said nibs.

When I say "wear down," I mean that the little black sticky outy bits at the very tip of the pens gradually disintegrate until you have a little hollow metal cylinder of pure uselessness. Nevertheless, these are by far the best fineliners I've used, and will forever hold my heart!

2. Sakura Pigma Microns

The Microns are another fan favourite, and I've seen them all over the internet. However, since I was buying a full pack of the Pitts, I decided to grab two individual Microns, just to give it a go. I grabbed these in '03' (0.35 mm) and '05' (0.45 mm). Yup, the numbers on the pen have nothing to do with the actual line weight and this bothers me entirely too much. But because it's 2017, I won't judge a book by its cover. Let's look at how these puppies write.
Although there's only a difference of 0.1 mm between the line weights, I was actually surprised how easy it was to tell the two apart! While these don't write quite as smoothly as the Pitts, they do feel so much sturdier and more substantial, as if they come with way more ink. These are also incredibly pigmented (and might be a bit more pigmented than the Pitts but shhhh they'll hear you!) and while it's too early to tell, I have a feeling the nibs will last longer too.

Bonus: the pens look really pretty in an 'I'm-a-sexy-professor-who-only-uses-premium-pens-to-fail-you-with' kind of way. I'm starting to wish I'd gone for a multi-pack of these, but they were a tiny bit pricier. But hey, there's always next weekend!

3. Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens

I must admit, I feel completely cheated, not knowing for the longest time how incredible the Sakura of America products are because oh my god these are the best brush pens I've EVER used - and yes, I've used Tombows before and yes, I said what I said. Not only are these way more affordable than the Tombows, they are easily much more pigmented, vibrant, and definitely a lot more comfy to use! I decided to try out four basic colours and I'm already in love with one of them...
That's right, I'm gonna ask Rose Red to marry me. We will have beautiful children and live in a Rose Red house with Rose Red furniture. Now don't let her name fool you, she's not a red, but more a magenta. But when the package is this pretty, who cares what's inside?

Alright, back to the point I was trying to make. The brush tips on these are a really good, compact size, but what really floored me was the firmness. This is the problem I have with Tombow dual brush pen and the Pitt brush pen - the brush has too much give which makes lettering so very painful. Being left-handed, I struggle a lot more with brush lettering than you average right-handed kids, because my upstrokes tilt away from my palm, making them really shaky. Add to that a ridiculously pliant brush and it's a bleeding, jagged mess. But the Koi brush pens....oh the Koi brush pens! They are so wonderfully rigid that the ends don't fray and split when I fail at upstrokes. And yet, they are somehow flexible enough to give you the perfect, thick downstroke! Plus, this black is the blackest black to ever black!
You see how solid they look? Notice the extremely fine point at the end. Now tell me, wouldn't you marry one of these too?

4. Camlin Brush Pens

Alright so I must admit, I used so many Camlin products at elementary school in so many awful ways that I never really took the brand seriously. But then I began to see Camlin brush pens all over Instagram, and boy did they draw me back in! And, get this, I found a pack of six that altogether cost me less than an individual Koi brush pen!!! Talk about a bargain!

These are so wonderfully pigmented, I can't even express it in words! The individual colours don't have names, but this particular pack only had the basic shades so I don't really mind too much. However, as you'll be able to tell in the picture below, these splatter.
The little red spots all over the page were literally from me opening the red brush pen with too much vigour. So when I say these brush tips are incredibly saturated with pigment, I'm not even joking! It is pretty obvious just by looking at the actual pens that you probably get way more ink in each brush than most of its competitors, which is, of course, a plus.

Here are the minuses. Because these babies are over-saturated, they bleed right through any paper that isn't heavy card-stock. They are marketed as water-soluble but that is literally the biggest lie ever told. Once laid on to the page, they do not budge. You will rip right through your beautiful watercolour spread trying to blend out the harsh lines you scribbled on because you believed what the cover said. So while I love a well saturated pen, there is such a thing as too pigmented.

Alright I honestly don't want to sound like I'm ripping into Camlin, but here's another minus: the brush tips are uneven.
As I'm sure you can tell, the brush on the yellow pen is shorter than the other two, and I'm pretty sure the brush on the red pen is a little lopsided (though it is not entirely visible in this picture). This, for a Type A like me, is not okay at all. Please, Camlin, I really want to love you, but this relationship feels a little...lopsided.

5. Washi tape

Well, technically, paper tapes. I found this adorable set of 6 bright, narrow tapes (but I threw the cover away too soon to actually find what brand they are, I'm so sorry!).
I've recently gotten so into narrower washi because it adds a subtle accent to my spreads, unlike thicker washi that pretty much takes centre-stage. These babies are just the perfect width, and because they're plain, they are so much more versatile!

So in conclusion, I have a pen addiction and I will totally set up camp in a stationery store if given the opportunity.

Your homework: Which of these pens have you tried? How do they work out for you?

DISCLAIMER: You do not need to have all of these or even any of these pens! The beauty of the bullet journal system is that all you need is a notebook and a pen - any pen! However, if you do decide to commit to your lettering and are due a splurge, perhaps give some of these a go!

DISCLAIMER 2: This post has not been sponsored by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). All products have been purchased by me (and my food money) and everything I’ve said on here is 100% my true personal opinion. This is not intended to harm any brand, but is simply a consumer’s review.
Again, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you guys have a lovely weekend full of puppies and rainbows and ice-cream (and maybe a cheeky stationery shop!). I'll see you guys next Friday!

P.S.: Do you want free downloadable art and stickers and planner inserts delivered straight to your inbox every month? Sign up to my mailing list right now! 100% spam-free I promise. I will only e-mail you once a month!

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All my love,

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