Test Drawings for Platinum Carbon Ink


I got my first waterproof black ink last week. The waterproof Noodlers inks are always out of stock, so I bought a bottle of Platinum Carbon Ink off a friend’s collection. I made a few test drawings on my journal to see how well they hold up with watercolors. Needless to say, I am so happy with the results.

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I love that the ink stays vibrant on the page even after drying up. Some inks become flat when dry, but this one stays shiny. It looks almost like it’s still wet on the page. It’s really saturated, so it’s best not to leave it in a pen that’s going to sit unused for too long. Smells a bit like Noodlers inks, too. The flow is pretty wet, I am very happy with it. It doesn’t seem to take longer to dry compared with most of my wet-flowing inks.

If you’re looking for thick, super-black ink that shows no shading and stays vibrant after drying, I would highly recommend this.

 

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Blending Inks in Calligraphy


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Since I’ve been playing with inks for my new journal refill, I thought I’d try something I often see many of my calligraphy friends do–blend inks. I admit I’m a bit finicky about this. I like to thoroughly clean my pens before changing inks because I don’t like the inks mixing. Deliberately mixing inks for calligraphy is pretty interesting, though. I put a teeny-tiny drop of ink in a palette, dip the tip of the nib (say that ten times, fast) in the ink and write. For the photo above, the ink in the pen is Kyoiro Soft Snow of Ohara, and I dipped it in Kyo No Oto Yamabukiiro. It’s even more fascinating to see the effect in person.

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For this page above, I used a pen loaded with Kyo No Oto Yamabukiiro, dipped in De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison to give it that autumn-y feel. It’s actually quite fun to do, and the resulting calligraphic work looks colorful and vibrant.

My Favorite Pen


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I was thinking of joining Inktober this year (and I will TRY to post as much as I can) and thought I’d try something different. Instead of using watercolors for the little illustrations in my journal entries, I’d use fountain pen ink. This was my practice entry. The pen and wash drawing is made with Rotring pen, Iroshizuku Asagao, and Parker Quink Black. I’m surprised at how vibrant the color was, especially the blue one. Kinda hard to control the flow of water and pigment, but it creates an effect different from what I’m used to with watercolors. I kinda like it.

I wrote about my favorite pen, which is a bit of a difficult question because I really love all my pens. If I really, really had to pick one, though, I think it would be this one–my Parker Vacumatic Debutante in Azure Blue. There are a lot of reasons why I love it. I like that it’s from 1941 and it still works perfectly, and that it’s one of the first azure blue vacs made.

I love that it’s really adorable. It’s a vintage pocket pen that’s only slightly bigger than a Kaweco Sport. It’s light and long enough to be comfortable in the hand. I don’t use the plunger, though, so that I can preserve the mechanism. I use it as an eyedropper, and it holds a lot of ink. It also writes like a dream. The nib is so smooth and springy, and lays down a wet line. But most importantly…it’s adorable! It’s been in my daily carry since I got it back in early 2016. 🙂

Cook Up a Storm


Earlier today we watched this movie called Cook Up a Storm and I wrote a review of it in my journal. It was a fun movie, and I like how the set was designed; a modern city slowly inching out the small neighborhoods. The old and the new buildings struggling for a foothold. Drawing people and buildings don’t come easy for me, but sometimes I manage to wrangle out something that I like enough.

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I also tried out the birthday gift my husband gave me, a digital drawing pad. I’ve never had one before, but I’ve always been curious about doing digital art. It really requires a different skill set because you’re not just drawing, you’re also puttering around a software (or two). I figured out how to do pencil drawings, but I haven’t quite figured out how to color yet. It’s so much fun doing digital drawings, once you get over having to look at the screen while you draw.

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The movie was quite fun. It’s a little preachy and cheesy at times, but it’s a nice, feel-good movie with lots of great food shots. I like the values that the  movie tries to highlight. The fact that modern and traditional don’t need to be at odds with each other, and that we can all learn something from one another. That success and fame isn’t all that’s important in life, and how food can be inclusive if we want it to be. That fame can be fickle, but failure can be the path to finding new people, better people, to let in your life. It’s a nice, family-friendly movie. 🙂

Dream Catcher 2


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A friend of mine asked if he could have the first dream catcher painting I did, but I couldn’t give it to him so I promised I would just make him a new one. Today I finally had the time to sit down and work on it. It was a pretty interesting experience, trying to recreate a piece. It resulted to different paintings, of course, I couldn’t even recreate the number of loops in the original dream catcher, but I like them both. They’re about the same subject but they’re different.

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Here’s a side by side comparison of the two. The original one on the left is in a clear folder, the light is reflecting on the plastic a bit. I like them both. Makes me want to paint a series. Maybe someday. 🙂

Beauty and the Beast


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Here’s a journal entry I wrote a couple of days ago about the Beauty and the Beast adaptation this year. I’ve been meaning to write about this but only got around to it now. I was honestly not too excited about the movie because I don’t really like the story of Beauty and the Beast. I found the animated movie to be a bit weird, but then again I didn’t like fairy tales even as a child. The animated movie didn’t make much sense to me because it seemed the basis for their “true love” was too shallow.

The movie was quite the surprise because the core of the story stuck to the traditional fairy tale plot, but the addition of Belle and Beast’s back stories made the entire thing about their “love” quite plausible. There were a lot of things about this adaptation that I liked. One is how Belle didn’t feel like she didn’t fit in to the little town’s “provincial life” not just because she’s like the odd girl out, but also because there’s a whole episode in her life that her father didn’t want to tell her about. This film’s Belle was strong, intelligent, compassionate, intellectually curious. She was also an outsider who was keenly aware of the majority of the town’s rejection of her “strangeness”. Her relationship with Beast progressed from resentment to friendship gradually, by getting to know him and his story.

Unlike the animated film where it’s almost taken for granted that it’s Belle’s affection Beast must win, the 2017 adaptation is more balanced. Both Belle and Beast needed to learn how to love each other in order for the curse to be broken. Beast didn’t automatically fall in love with Belle just because she was beautiful. He had to grow into it too.

Both found common ground with their being rejected because of how different they are from other people, both also found another common ground, and it’s probably the  best thing you can base a friendship on–a meeting of the minds. I loved those scenes where they read together. It reminded me of when my husband and I haven’t even started to go out yet. Our friendship took on a different level when we discovered that we both liked to read. We would read the same book and then spend hours talking about it, among other things. This meeting of the minds gives each other an open door, an invitation to step in and get to know each other in a deeper sense. Until now, my husband and I still love going somewhere quiet so we can sit together and read our books, and talk, and talk some more.

That kind of friendship is fertile ground for love. That kind of story goes beyond the superficiality of being beautiful or beastly.

There are a lot of other things I loved about the movie, but this part about them discovering kindred spirits in each other is my favorite. 🙂

Coffeehouse Mysteries


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Here’s my journal entry about my latest literary junk food, the Coffeehouse Mystery series. It’s a series of novels that centered around the main character, Clare Cosi, who managed a landmark specialty coffee shop in New York. It had coffee and murder mystery, so that was pretty much a no-brainer for me. It’s easy and light reading, a comfortable break from my usual books.

As a coffee fan who is just beginning to find my way around the wonderful world of coffee, this series is quite fun to read. This isn’t the kind of mystery novel that is drawn out and is an intricately-spun world on paper. This is more like a mature version of Nancy Drew on caffeine. Simple, straightforward, easy. I love all the references to food and coffee, but I can understand that other readers might find it a bit repetitive and tiresome. The coffee tidbits don’t exactly fit naturally in conversations the way it was written, and these parts tend to be too wordy. I enjoy them though. I wouldn’t call it too well-written; the main character isn’t really well-developed and isn’t too likeable, many of the characters are either cliche or trying too hard to be different, and the stories are just too short for any significant character or plot development. Still, they’re fun to read.

I’m on my 5th book now. Every time I read it, I can almost smell roasted beans. I love the combination of Yamabukiiro and Lie de The in my journal entry. An earthy yellow and the color of tea dregs. In person, the combination gives off a warm vibe, and looks really beautiful on the page because Yamabukiiro complements the yellow undertones of Lie de The quite nicely.