Research has shown that gratitude is good for you. Possibly one of the most important things we can do for own health and happiness is remember to be grateful. It doesn't really matter so much what you are grateful for, just that you are.
With this in mind, when I recently received some beautiful Paperblanks products, I knew it was time to show some gratitude. Both as thanks to Paperblanks for giving me the items, and to you, my readers, for giving me so many compliments and allowing me to share my obsessions with you.
If you've followed my blog for very long, you know that means a giveaway!
How to Enter?
Cut and paste these words 'I want to win a Paperblanks Blush Pink Guest Book' into the subject line of an email, and send it to me at LifeImitatesDoodles@gmail.com.
When is the giveaway over?
The giveaway starts on Saturday, March 8, 06:30 AM and ends Sunday, March 16, 2014 at midnight. I'll notify the winner by email on March 17, and announce the winner once (s)he has responded.
Who can enter?
I do apologize, this giveaway is U.S. only, because of the cost of shipping.
Now for the review. Normally, I do artwork, but, in case the winner wants to use this for an event, I decided not to write or draw in this book, and will not be reviewing the performance of the paper. All my experience with products from Paperblanks leads me to expect that it will be excellent.
9 x 7 inches
White, Lined, Acid-free paper
2 columns per page
Smyth sewn binding
Red Ribbon marker
When I first saw photos of Paperblanks' Silver Filagree collection, I thought it actually had a metal fillagree. Later I realized it was a raised silver pattern, shaded to give the impression of metal floating over satin. It is beautifully done.
The clasp is metal. The connection is fairly shallow--you won't be able to shake it loose, but the slightest bump in the right place opens the clasp.
See that painted edging? It echoes the design of the filigree and is painted on all three sides.
The Smythe-sewn binding is extremely sturdy. You won't be losing pages from this book.
The book lies flat.
Each page has two columns for writing. The paper is white with light silverish lines. There is a slick coating that reminds me of paper made for alcohol markers and the paper is thick so I wouldn't expect show-through or bleed-through.
Although the clasp is the only metal, this is a heavy book. If you do use it for guests to sign, it will stay in place. If you are using it for journaling (which is what I would do), it would probably be too heavy for carrying around.
The only thing I feel this book lacks for a guest book is a front page designed to record what the event is, some description and a date. The front piece is just a brown-bronze color with no markings except the Paperblanks name toward the bottom. If you are using the book for journaling or records, this lack is better. I guess you could attach an invitation or flyer to the front if this is to be a mememto of some special occasion.
Have you often looked at fountain pens and wondered what the fuss was about? Wanted to buy one, but was put off by the price tag? Already have fountain pens, but want a workhorse you don't have to fuss with? Then the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen may be the fountain pen for you. With a price tag of $14.50, it's a nearly all metal, it's elegant, and it takes both cartridges and come with a converter for using bottled inks.
Specs Weight: 3.71 oz Body Color: Gold Body Metal: Brass Grip: Plastic Clip Material: Metal Cartridge-Compatible: Yes Converter-Compatible: Yes Grip Diameter: 9.8 mm/Max-13.2 mm Pen Length: Capped-13.8 cm, Posted-15.3 cm, Uncapped-12.5 cm Tip: Length-18.0 mm, Material-Stainless Steel, Size-Medium
Look and Feel
The medium-sized nib gives a bold, steady line which can be good, but doesn't give you the sweep and flourish of a more flexible nib.
The pen is metal, so it is also heavy. I use it uncapped and unposted because, otherwise, it is too heavy for my small hand and weak wrist. It is a satisfying weight, though, to hold in your hand. It feels solid because it is, and this makes it seem a more expensive pen than it is. The grip is plastic, but it is a sturdy plastic in keeping with the rest of the pen.
It comes with an easy-to-install cartridge of black ink and a squeeze-bulb converter that you can use if you prefer to use bottled inks. I'm not a big fan of this kind of converter, especially one like this that is opaque so that you can't see how much ink it has. It's an easy converter to use though. You place the nib in the ink, and squeeze.
The pen currently comes in gold, silver, black, white, violet and taupe with a variety of decoration. The decoration is subtle, a band of pattern just above the grip. There are animal prints, and some basic designs, such as the diamond pattern on mine. I'm told by the man in my life that even this subtle pattern is too fancy for some people, so you'll be relieved to know that the black, silver and gold versions also come in a plain body with no decoration at all.
I wanted to try the cartridge that came with the pen, so my examples are all done in that ink.
If you want flourishes and calligraphic-style lettering, this is not your fountain pen. Writing with it produces a similar line to that of a fine ballpoint or gel pen. The act of writing itself, differs, however, and this is where it become difficult to explain. The feel of the pen in your hand is different. The sound of the pen while writing is different. To me, this is the essence of the fountain pen and it means more to some people than to others. At it's finest, a fountain pen should seem like an extension of your hand. That won't happen with the Metropolitan, but you'll get a whisper of what it is that distinguishes the fountain pen from all others.
I prefer the Metropolitan for writing over drawing because I prefer a variety in line width. That is a personal preference however, and many will feel the opposite, or like it for both. The line quality is bold, not too thick and not too thin. You might say the Metropolitan is the Goldilocks of beginner pens.
Altogether, this is a great pen for the beginner. It looks more expensive than it is, and gives a solid performance. While, it doesn't have anything truly unique that might appeal to the fountain pen aficionado, it's a relatively cheap pen if you want several pens inked up at all times.
I bought this pen because I wanted it. It wasn't given to me. I paid full price. I'm reviewing it because I think my readers should know about it. All opinions are my own.