Ink Review: De Atramentis Cherry Blossom

I need to remember to queue up a bunch of these the next time I’m bored.  Otherwise I forget to post at all.  In any event, the next ink up is De Atramentis Cherry Blossom, which I originally bought because the sample was on sale at Goulet Pens.  This was back near last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival, so that tells you how long it takes me to test an ink, photograph it, then remember to post it.

Cherry BlossomI couldn’t seem to get a good shot of the pink-ness of this particular colour. Even with tweaking most of the pictures come out a little more purple than the ink actually is, at least on my screen.  To give a bit of perspective, it is a very good match for the pink Lamy Safari that was re-released last summer.

This is a scented ink, though the scent disappears upon drying so it’s more for the writer than the reader.  In this case that’s probably a good thing as I found the odour to be somewhat unpleasant.  It certainly doesn’t smell like cherry blossoms.  Having lived in DC for several years now, I’d say it smells more like the cherry blossom tourists than the blossoms themselves.  That said, it’s light enough that you don’t really notice unless you’re sniffing the ink bottle/vial.  Occasionally while writing outdoors a breeze may carry a bit toward your nose, but for most purposes it’s not a problem.

I did find it to be a somewhat “high maintenance” ink.  That is, it doesn’t perform well on lower quality papers.  I’ve found that while Moleskine does have its problems, most inks are fairly acceptable in an extra-fine nib.  This is not one of them.  Even in the EF there were problems with feathering on anything lower quality than Leuchtturm.  As I prefer my inks to work on as wide a variety of papers as possible, this was unacceptable for me.

It does show some water resistance, at least in this test.  I’ll likely do another and update as this was when I was still deciding how I was going to do my water tests.  I wouldn’t worry about accidentally splashing a bit of tea on it though.

Ink Review: De Atramentis Birthday Ink

I have finally photographed all of the inks so far in my ink journal.  I have 12 set up and ready to post so far and still a bunch more to go (to say nothing of the inks I haven’t yet put in the journal) so there’s enough to keep me busy for a while.  All of these will be using Lamy pens and Ecosystem architect notebooks.  Ecosystem seems to be going out of business so I’ll be switching to Rhodia when the journal is full, but I refuse to stop using a perfectly good journal.

First up: De Atramentis Birthday Ink.

Birthday Ink

That is the most representative colour sample.  I’m still getting the hang of properly editing for colour so a few of the others aren’t as accurate as I like, but this one is exactly how it looked when photographed.

Overall I’m finding that I’m not a huge fan of De Atramentis inks.  I want to be because they have some fun colours, but their inks just don’t seem to behave well enough for me.  They work fine on paper like Rhodia or Quo Vadis, but put them on basic notebook paper and they feather and bleed.  I don’t live in a magical world where everyone uses fountain pens and expensive paper, I need my inks to reflect that.

I do like that it has a some water resistance, though probably not enough to address envelopes with.  It’s enough that I wouldn’t be as worried about it starting to sprinkle while I’m writing outside.

The dry time is also good, under 5 seconds in the Ecosystem when using a medium nib.  If it worked well on common papers I’d probably keep it, but as it is I don’t think I’ll even finish up the sample vial.

InCoWriMo 2014

Image of three postcards and a letter

It is the last day of InCoWriMo.  I’ve not come remotely close to mailing something every day, but I have sent more than I would have otherwise.  I also found Send Kids The World, a group to send postcards to children with life-threatening illnesses.  Looking for the web address for them just now found me Post Pals, a similar group in the UK.    One of the colour postcards in the image is for a child on SKTW, the other is for an old friend who’s recovering from surgery.  The black and white postcard is for a person through PostCrossing, a random postcard exchange group I’ve been a part of for a few years.

I’ve found that I prefer postcards and correspondence cards to letters.  I never quite know what to say in a letter.  There’s too much empty space and letters feel like they should have some form of formatting and if left to my own devices I’ll just end up writing about toast or whether or Icelandic whale suffrage.  The limited space in a postcard or correspondence card forces me to keep to one topic.

I’m hoping to keep up with correspondence throughout the rest of the year.  Most of my friends were on holiday this month so I’ve only gotten back a handful of responses, but with any luck more of them will write back once they start getting home and see their post.

Or they’ll just Facebook message me.  That’s probably more likely.