Friday, February 24, 2017

Noodler's American Aristocracy - the Ink and History

When this ink first came out, I looked at the swatches online and didn't really give the color much thought as this is not normally a color I am drawn to. I then obtained a sample from the Ink Flight by Inkjournal. I will admit that the sample led me to buy a bottle and I am hooked. I love this ink and of course, there is a historical significance to this particular color. Nathan Tardif of Noodler's Ink is really good at that.

What I did not understand at first is why this ink has 3 different values of essentially the same hue. After looking into the story behind the ink's inspiration, it all came together.

Thomas Gage's son, Henry, purchased approx 19,000 bottles of wine for the purpose of gaining power, influence and notoriety from other aristocrats at the expense of excessive taxation from the common folk at the time. The wine consisted of three very popular vintages, which were a dark sherry, a port and a fortified wine named Madeira. Three different wines and three different wine colored ink hues.

These three colors are interesting. I only have one of the hues. It dries more of a plum/burgundy with notes of brown. I am unsure as to which wine I have but I really enjoy using it.

The other part of this ink is more of a message from Mr. Tardif, much like his Berning Red did for Bernie Sanders. To quote Nathan Tardif of Noodler's Ink:

"These reflect a series of plum burgundy hues – a very old style royal purple ink, traditionalist in tone due to the distance of the colonial era and age of the collective memory of it – yet fairly dramatic in the contrast of its lines upon the page.  Hopefully, the memory of that “ancient regime” may give pause to those who may otherwise be prepared to embrace a new one that is surprisingly similar in its motives and behaviors."

A definite jab at what we are currently experiencing here in the US. Politics aside, this is a lovely ink, regardless of which value or shade you receive. Each bottle is hand bottled which helps add to the uniqueness here. The bottles are not labeled, as far as I can see, to depict which ink color you are buying. I am happy with mine and I do love the historical inspiration that caused it to come to be.

This post is based off of my experience and my opinion. I do not represent Noodler's Ink nor am I being compensated in any way.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

J. Herbin 1670 Inks "de-sparkled"

I have recently completed my collection of the entire set of the J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary inks known for their glittery components. There have been multiple reviews on each of these inks but I haven't seen one where the ink itself was used without shaking the bottle to include the glitter particulate. Let's do that.

After using these inks for a while, I found that the glitter was impractical for me. Sure, it adds a touch of whimsy to writing but what if you really like the color and don't want to spend the time cleaning out the feed afterwards. The answer is to not shake the bottle up prior to filling up your pen. These inks are highly saturated and are great flowing inks. 

Lexington Grey has been my go to grey ink for some time but Stormy Grey here has topped it. Great flow, deep dark color and an overall wonderful grey.

From a business perspective, I could use this for my office writing needs quite easily.

Emerald of Chivor is an interesting color. It is a very saturated ink that becomes green as it dries but really looks blue when it first visits the page. It is a gorgeous green color and I am a fan of the color green.

I now use this ink color in my green/black Pelikan M800 and this makes a stunning combo.

Rouge Hematite is a red color and I do not have a ton of red inks. I drug my feet on this color as red is not my most favorite but this is quite the red. It is heavily saturated and it is definitely stop light red. This can easily be used by teachers everywhere to the bane of the average student.

Now Caroube de Chypre I have reviewed before but this time we are looking at the non-glittery version. This is a reddish brown and is quite rich. The saturation is once again high but the flow and feel of the ink is wonderful. Montblanc Toffee Brown is still my go to brown but this is a close second.

I currently have this loaded in my Edison Mina Extended and it matches the cappuccino mesh acrylic very well.

Bleu Ocean is a very vivid blue ink color. The saturation really makes this blue sing. I have a ton of blue ink colors as it appears blue ink must be easy to produce as the market is drowning in blues. With that in mind, this blue is definitely in my top 5 blue hues.

This blue ink makes me smile. I have it loaded in my Platinum 3776 Chartes Bleu pen and the combination is perfect. 

Give these inks a try unshaken. Yes, they look very pretty with the glitter particulate included on the page but they are equally stunning on their own de-speckled selves. Oh, and they shade like crazy too!

This review is based off of my own opinions and experiences. I do not represent J. Herbin nor am I being compensated in any way.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Inkjournal Ink Flight #1

Who is familiar with Inkjournal? I really enjoy their ink journal books as they are a great and convenient way to catalog inks. This month was the inaugural subscription box entitled Ink Flight. Let's see what we have here.

Inside the box is 6 ink samples, a micro fiber cleaning cloth and an ink journal as well as a description of the inks.

The ink samples for February are:
  • Noodler's American Aristocracy
  • Noodler's Polar Blue
  • Noodler's Dostoyevsky
  • Noodler's Bad Green Gator
  • Noodler's Q'Ternity
  • Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel

The micro fiber cloth is always a nice addition and never a bad idea to keep around.

I love the Inkjournal ink journals. You need to get one of these for your own use.

For $24, this is not a bad box to get. A typical 2mL ink sample is around $1.25 per vial. The cleaning cloth is $3 and the journal is $16. Would I buy another one, absolutely! Check it out yourself at

This post is based off of my opinion and experience. I do not represent Inkjournal in any way nor am I being compensated.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wax Seals - Bring Some Nostalgia Back to Letters

In the spirit of letter writing, and February is InCoWriMo as well as National Letter Writing Month, let's discuss wax seals.

Seals have been used since some of the first civilizations but were clay based. Wax seals are more indicative of the Medieval period. The clergy and royal houses would use seals to mark official documents. As the seals have transcended through time, they were common to mark a trade, a monogram or anything a bit more individualized.

Wax seals still exist but are not used often. I like to use them in my letter writing to add some flair and a little bit of extra personalization. Wax seals are a great way to seal an envelope and there are a great variety of seals out there.

The wax, however, is important as it needs to be supple enough to pass through the Postal Service. J. Herbin and Atelier Gargoyle brands work great for letter use.

I currently use a cursive D to designate my last name which is a bit traditional. It is simple and still adds that personal touch to a hand written letter.

I also have a Star Wars themed seal. Anyone that knows me knows that I love Star Wars and more specifically the Empire. So what would be the perfect seal? Yup, the Imperial insignia.

Wax seals are fun, easy to use and can make a statement. Why not try one? I bet some of your mail recipients would like to get a personalized stamped letter from you.