Review: J. Herbin Violette Pensee


J. Herbin Violette Pensee

Here’s another ink sample I got through Everything Calligraphy. J. Herbin’s Violette Pensee (Violet Thought). It’s a nice violet ink with strong blue undertones. In person, the blue component of the ink is a bit less obvious. It’s really more like a muted purple. It’s pretty easy on the eyes, not an extremely vibrant, highly-saturated purple. I took several photos of it but it always looks more ambiguous on photo than in person.

The flow is pretty good, quite wet actually. It takes a good 25-30 seconds when I used it with my Cross Century II, which is one of my wettest medium nib. There’s some shading to it too. Here are a few close ups:

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

Not exactly water resistant, though it leaves a very faint blue line behind.

Overall, I would use this for daily writing. There are some shades of purple that I just can’t tolerate because they look a lot like those stamp pad inks in offices. This is a more muted kind of purple. It flows wet, though. Takes a few seconds to dry. People who are in a hurry to take notes might find the dry time too long. Of course that depends on the paper and the nib that you use.

L’uisine


P9294310

Last week, my friends, my husband and I tried this new cafe in BF Homes, L’uisine. It’s along Elizalde St., just a few meters away from Concha Cruz. It wasn’t completely open yet, much of the place was still being fixed up. But there’s a part out front that was already set up to receive a few customers.

We really enjoyed everything that we ordered (I couldn’t fit in my cup of latte in my journal, though). This is what I really like about smaller cafes. The owner really knows her coffee, it seems, and they take great pride in every step of the process from sourcing the beans to pulling the shots, to thinking of great food to pair their coffee with. Everything’s done with great love, not lost in the impersonal approach of many commercialized coffee places. We’ll return to L’uisine soon and I’ll remember to bring my camera this time, so I can take proper photos.

Ink Review: J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis


I got a sample of J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis (Tears of Black Currant) from Everything Calligraphy a couple of weeks ago. I’m not too big on purple or purplish inks, I admit I’m still hung up on Bilberry and J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune but it’s always great to try new ink colors.

My first impression on J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis is that it doesn’t really look like black currant. That would actually be a super cool ink color, though. It looks more like ube.

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

It starts out looking light and a bit too timid, but it gets darker as it dries. It’s not a bold purple, but it’s not too soft-looking either. I’m not sure if it’s just because I used it with a stub, but it doesn’t offer too much shading. Some people will like that, but I like my inks very shade-y.

The flow is pretty wet, and it took about 20 seconds for the ink to dry on Tomoe River paper. It’s not an extremely complex-looking ink, there’s no sheen or distinctly ambiguous undertones. It’s just a pretty shade of soft purple. It’s saturated enough to use for daily writing, it’s not hard to read. It’s a well-behaved ink that takes just a tad longer to dry. It’s also not water resistant. It leaves a very faint blue line behind, but most of the color washed away after a 30 second soak.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

J. Herbin Larmes De Cassis

It’s really like writing with liquid ube. Now I’m hungry. Overall, it’s a pleasant purple ink. The kind that grows on you as you use it.

Manila Chinatown Pages


I was thinking of what to do for my birthday week and I decided to do something my husband and I haven’t done before. Before we moved to the south, we loved going to Chinatown on photowalks. What we didn’t really explore too much was the local food scene. So as part of my birthday celebration, we checked in to a hotel and spent the weekend just walking around Chinatown, tasting different things from different stalls and restaurants. It was quite fun, actually. I remember back in college, the first time we ever went to Chinatown, we really just wanted to find somewhere we can eat a proper serving of siomai and a good bowl of mami. So we went there with the intention to get lost in unfamiliar streets and hopefully be home before dark. Both of us loved humble, simple food, especially street food. When we got older, and especially when we moved to the south, we just kind of lost touch with our street food-eating ways.

Here are a few pages from my journal about the weekend.

Chinatown Journal Entries

Chinatown Journal Entries

Chinatown Journal Entries

Chinatown Journal Entries

Chinatown Journal Entries

Manila Chinatown’s food scene is quite fascinating. I think I’ve never tasted siomai and dumplings as good as the ones I ate here. There’s always a flurry of people everywhere, and restaurants are always busy. The flow of people in food establishments is quite hectic. You don’t go there for the ambiance, but really for the quality of food. It’s no-frills, humble, simple, Chinese food. It’s a place where noodles are hand-pulled and made fresh daily. Dumpling wrappers are handmade, too. I took some photos which I’ll upload in GastroPop soon, maybe when I get back home next week. The vibe of Chinatown is like the polar opposite of the south, where things are quite slow and laid back, and malls make spaces for people to stay and sit for a while. In Chinatown, not many people stay and linger to read or write even in cafes. There’s always a flurry of movement. Tables are vacated as soon as you finish eating to accommodate other diners.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable weekend. Lots of memories were relived, and many new ones were made. Looking forward to this coming week, as we close my birthday month. ^_^

Review: J. Herbin Rouge Opera


Ugh, these little bottle of J. Herbin inks. It’s like little shots of addictive colors. I tried this sample of J. Herbin Rouge Opera and it’s really solidifying my newfound fascination for pink inks. Pink. Me? Imagine that. I guess stranger things have happened. But I have a few pink inks in my collection, and I love using them for calligraphy. Anyway, back to Rouge Opera.

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

The name means Opera Red, although the color is more like a warm pink. The writing sample was made on Tomoe River paper. I think that’s a really pleasant-looking pink ink. It’s not so hard to read, and the shading is pretty. It’s the kind of pink that pops out of a page, without looking too loud. It’s a nice, velvety pink that would make a lovely shade for a prom dress. It’s not too sweet-looking, like baby pink. It’s also saturated enough for daily writing, though probably not something you’d use for formal documents. I’d totally love to write personal letters with this ink, though. The creative applications such as pen and wash, and calligraphy are pretty interesting.

The ink is one of the wetter pink inks that I’ve tried. I like the flow, it doesn’t feel so dry and it doesn’t bleed a lot either. It’s a pretty well-behaved ink. The drying time is an average of 15 to 20 seconds in Tomoe River paper with a wet medium nib. There’s not much water resistance to speak of. A 30 second soak left only the faintest pink line behind.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

J. Herbin Rouge Opera

I got this sample of Rouge Opera from Everything Calligraphy.

First Impressions on Sennelier Aqua Mini


My husband and I have very different hobbies, although we take much pleasure in indulging each other’s interests. I’m a relative newbie in watercolor, I really just recently discovered that not all watercolors come in tubes haha. I discovered Japanese watercolor (loved those!), and now I want to try other brands. I want to try small tins of watercolor pans just so that I can test them if I like them first, without buying a bigger, more expensive set. I also like to integrate little sketches in my journal entries, so having a tiny little watercolor set to bring along anywhere would be pretty great. My husband bought me the Sennelier Aqua-mini watercolor set which I think is just perfectly what I wanted. It’s my first time to try this brand so I’m completely unsure what to expect.

I think it’s really cute, though. I mean, look at it.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Eight colors in a tiny tin. I’ve never had a watercolor set this small. And there’s a teeny-tiny little brush in that middle slot. More on that brush later. A newly-opened, pristine watercolor set is beautiful, but of course that’s gonna get pretty messy real quick.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

To give you an idea how tiny it is, it’s just a little over 3.5 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide. It fits right in my pocket. Not that I’d carry it in my pocket. ^_^ The slots for the different colors are pretty closely spaced so if you use a big brush, it’s easy for the plastic holder to get pretty messy. I often just paint little things in my journal so I just use a small brush. It doesn’t get very messy as you can see below.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

It’s still looking pretty neat, I’d say. That teeny brush didn’t look very functional when I first saw it. I mean, it is so small. I was kinda resigned to just leaving that unused. But then the brush felt nice when I tried it. It’s pretty firm and I can use it for tiny details. Also, it’s a lot of fun to use for letters.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Sennelier Aqua Mini

For a small brush, it gives me a lot of control with the strokes. I really enjoyed using it for brush calligraphy, which I only tried with watercolor once, if I remember correctly. I like it a lot. It made practicing my alibata characters a lot more fun.

The texture of the cakes are more soft, thick, and creamy than the Japanese watercolor that I’m used to. They’re nicely saturated and they’re easy to integrate with water and mix together.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Overall, I love everything about it. Small and compact, the brush is pretty nifty, and the colors are smooth and vibrant. I look forward to using it more often.🙂

My hubby got this from ArtNebulaPh.

Review: Insignia Pen Pouches


So, the courier came knocking at our gate a few days ago with a package from Everything Calligraphy. After carefully unwrapping the bubble-wrapped Chocnuts (priorities!), I opened this really hip-looking pen case. First impression…that looks pretty nice. Sniff sniff. Don’t you just love the smell of leather?

Insignia Leather Pouches

I tried them on my Hobonichi cousin (slip it behind the hard cover of the planner) and a smaller Derwent sketchbook. Perfect.

Insignia Leather Pouches

I like both of them, but I really like the one without the flap more because I like pen slips that lets me just take out the pen quickly and without fuss. Both cases are a snug fit for either two slim pens or one medium-sized pen. Of course if you’re a fountain pen user, you probably would just use it for one pen because it doesn’t have compartments to keep the pens from jostling one another.

The flap-less version is called Orwell. I’m not concerned with pens falling off while in it because the texture of the interior leather prevents it from slipping out, and the fit is quite snug. I tried it with a single pen (Lamy Studio and my thinnest, Cross Century II) and it felt quite secure.

Insignia Leather Pouches

The model with the flap is called Faulkner, and it’s a little bit bulkier than the Orville because of the flap, but I guess some people would want more security for their pens. Especially if they don’t want anything to scratch the finials while the notebook is in their bag.

It’s made of genuine cowhide on the outside and pig skin on the inside. The interior of the pen cases feels softer and smoother than the leather outside. The elastic feels sturdy too. Here are a few photos of the details.

Insignia Leather Pouches

Insignia Leather Pouches        Insignia Leather Pouches

I think these are pretty handy especially if you want a pen case to always be with your notebook/planner. I think it’s essential for the care of your pens that you always use cases. I personally always carry at least one big pen case and pen slips for one or two pens.

These Insignia Orville and Faulkner pen pouches are now available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid post. Read my About page for more information about this.