Review: Platinum Preppy

One of my first fountain pens is the Platinum Preppy. This is touted to be a good pen for fountain pen beginners, because it is rather cheap yet it works quite well. There are three nib sizes available, which are designated by numbers found on the barrel: 05 which is maybe a broad or medium, 03 which is medium to fine, and 02 which is the extra fine. It comes in an array of colors, and it comes with a cartridge with ink in a matching color as the pen. These are the three I bought at Scribe Writing Essentials. The 03 and 05 are both Php195, and the 02 costs Php275. Extra cartridges are also available.

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The Preppy is made mostly of lightweight plastic. The cap is a snap-on, with a springy feature at the end to keep the nib protected. The clip is serviceable enough. I have heard some reports that the plastic can be quite easily cracked, although mine seems to have avoided that fate. The Preppy is also usually the first to be suggested when one wants to try out the eyedropper FPs, since the barrel is made entirely of plastic and does not have holes.

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The nibs of the 03 and 05 are colored to match the barrel, while the 02 nibs are just left bare. For some time I could not really appreciate the Preppy when I only had the 03 and 05 at first. It felt like it was too leaky and wet for my taste; I was firmly on the fine/extra fine camp. I was ecstatic when the 02 finally became available, and it really writes such a fine line that it can work even with inferior paper. The 02 in particular is my Hobonichi mainstay, because it really works well with the paper and the ink dries fast.

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At some point, I started to appreciate the fatter nibs especially when I got a few ink samplers from Everything Calligraphy. Wider nibs actually show the ink’s shading properties a lot more than the fine and extra fine ones, and that was when I started to use the 03 and 05 more. I’m very happy with how all three of them write, and the price point is really hard to beat.

 

Review: Pilot Coleto

One of my favorite pens recently is the Pilot Coleto multipen. It is called a multipen because it has the ability to carry more than one color of ink, or even carrying a pencil inside the same pen. There are several options for the Coleto barrel: how many “slots” it has, and the overall look of the barrel itself. Over the last few months I have accumulated a total of six Coleto barrels, although I only use at most two at a time. The two on the leftmost have three slots and the rest have four.

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The two leftmost barrels in the photos are my first two. They are plain, clear barrels with flat tops and a rubberized grip section. These are readily available in National Bookstore, which is how I first got into Pilot Coletos in the first place. At some point, though, I decided I wanted more colors in my Coletos, and I wanted something more fun than just plain barrels. I got my next two Coletos (middle two) separately, the one with the black flowers (from the Mary Quant collection) from DolcesOnline and the breakfast print one (from an older collection) from DavaoArts, and as you can see they are both printed with fun things. At some point I was taking my Coletos everywhere, including formal work situations, and I thought that I needed something more formal looking. This is when I decided to get the last two, from CraftyLane. The black one is just a plain N4 barrel, while the rightmost is a Coleto Lumio, which is probably the most premium Coleto barrel type available since it is made of metal rather than plastic.

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Taking a closer look at the tops of the Coletos, the caps are differently shaped depending on the model. This is where the inks are loaded, inserted into each of the slots where the springs are located. As you can see here, only the rightmost two barrels have inks in them.

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Looking now at the bottom of the barrels, you can see that there is a significant difference in the barrel thickness between the 3-slot ones and the 4-slot ones (not including the Lumio). This is of course because of the added slot. Interestingly enough, only the plain clear barrels have that rubberized grip. The Lumio is special in that its grip section is quite thinner than the other 4-slot barrels, which is one of the reasons why it’s premium.

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Here is a closer view of the tops of the barrels.

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The plain clear barrels go for around Php120 if I’m not mistaken. The Mary Quant barrel (black flowers print) was Php220, the breakfast barrel was Php180, the N4 black barrel was Php120, and the Lumio was Php580.

I really like Pilot Coleto, even though there have been some negative feedback online about how fast the ink runs out. I am personally not bothered by it, and I really like how fine the 0.3 tip writes. There are two other tip sizes available: 0.4 and 0.5. The most common colors (black, red, blue, green, purple, orange) are readily available at National Bookstore for Php43.50, so it’s not going to be hard finding refills. I think this will remain my mainstay non-fountain pen for the near future.

 

 

Review: Pilot Metropolitan

Just a quick disclaimer: This is not going to be a comprehensive review; there are a lot of already-written, more in-depth review of the Pilot Metropolitan out there. This is going to be a short review.

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Pilot Metropolitan (which I affectionately call the Metro) is usually one of the first few fountain pens mentioned when asked about good entry-level fountain pens. It’s relatively cheap, well-built, a great consistent writer, and now quite easily accessible locally. It has a full-metal body, which makes it on the heavy side. It can use either cartridges or converters, although both are proprietary to Pilot, which means you do have the option of using bottled inks (with the converter) or not if you can’t be bothered (cartridges).

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One of the things I like about the Metro is the nib. It comes in either fine (F) or medium (M), being Japanese both of which are usually on the narrower side compared to European/American nibs. This is how I prefer my pens; the narrower, the better! Another thing I like is how sleek and professional they look, even the more colorful ones. The brushed metal finish is very elegant, and the patterns in the middle give a good contrast and personality to the pens.

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Now, one thing I don’t like about the Metro is the lack of an ink window. It is very hard to tell how much ink you have left in the pen unless you go through the trouble of opening up the pen to check the converter or cartridge. Another thing I don’t like is the converter. The pens usually come with a black cartridge and a squeeze-type converter. I immediately replace that converter with the CON-50, the screw-type converter as seen in the purple and red Metros below. The drawback to these is the very small ink capacity. My solution to these is to just reuse the cartridges once I have consumed the ink, but refilling them can be an exercise in frustration until you get the hang of it.

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Pilot Metropolitans go for around Php600 or less, depending on where you buy. It is available online at Everything Calligraphy. Big stores such as National Bookstore also carry them, but the supply is rather spotty. There is supposedly another source called Cosmos Bazar which is located in a place I rarely go to, but as far as I know they are the official distributor of Pilot in the Philippines, so their prices are cheaper. My black Metro was from National Bookstores in one of the rare times I was able to catch stocks, and my two Retro Pops are ordered through a Massdrop deal.

Now, the only reason I don’t have more of these is because I believe in using what I have. If I have too many pens, then I can’t possibly be maximizing the use of all of them. Otherwise, I would have bought all colors of the Retro Pop line, and a gold and silver version from the basic line as well! They are that good!

 

 

Review: Macata TN by CNPapercrafts

The Macata Traveler’s Notebook remains one of my favorite TNs. I first got hold of it last September (haul post) and had a glowing first impression of the notebooks. How does it hold up two months later?

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Pretty good, I would say. I absolutely love how the faux leather feels. It is properly stiff and holds its form quite well. Macata TNs are also naturally wide, even if you don’t get the “wide” size. I can fit quite a lot of inserts inside without overhang; 6-8 inserts is not too many.

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The eyelets are set quite well, and the hole in the spine for the outside elastic is holding up nicely. My favorite is actually this Navy Blue passport size. The rounded corners, the silver eyelets, and the blue of the faux leather go well together really well. If it were only in field notes size, it would be perfect! (As it is, I am waiting for CN Papercrafts to restock their red leatherette so that I can get it in FN size.)

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The faux leather seems to take a lot of beating without looking grubby, and I am pretty rough with the handling of my notebooks! As you can see here, there’s a couple of indentations on the bottom right corner. I really don’t remember where it came from, but I feel that it does not mar the overall appearance of the notebook.

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I actually took the tan Macata and altered it. I really wanted a wide FN size to test out the idea of a chunky TN. I cut down the regular size TN into an FN size, punched another spine hole for the outside elastic, and (inexpertly) applied new eyelets.

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Here is the resulting chunky TN. I love it so much, that it became my daily carry since I altered it!

Compound planner charms

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I didn't think I'd love the chunky TN, but this works for me!

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Do check out CN Papercrafts and check out their inventory and options!

Review: Blank and Write Card Holder

To be honest this review comes in too late. This is the Blank and Write 10-slot Card Holder that I am currently using to hold my cards in my planner wallet. I say it’s too late, because Justin’s supplier no longer makes these. I would still like to show you, in case you come across something like this in the wild.

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It comes packaged like this. It appears that this is of a Japanese make.

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Here is the back of the package.

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Here is my card holder, now filled with 9 cards. I used some page flags to cover some personal information. A few more details regarding this card holder. This is about the height of a field notes-sized notebook, but narrower. To be exact, its dimensions when closed are 3.25×5.3″. I really like using this because it goes well with the idea of a planner wallet. I have shown this previously here.

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It does not have the thinnest of profiles, considering it’s holding 9 cards. It does work for my purposes though!

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While shooting these photos, I thought of trying it out as a stationery organizer. It fits most of my washi samplers, a few business cards, a small page flag set, and a cute little paperclip. I could not find small sticker sheets, but I think they would fit here as well.

Pros: great card holder for planner wallet system; can be used as stationery organizer; portable; fits FN sized traveler’s notebooks

Cons: no longer available!

Review: Pilot Petit3 Brush Pen

One of my not-so-recent pen purchases included this cute little brush pen called Pilot Petit3. Yes, it is the sister pen to my previously featured Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen (here) and in fact was bought at the same time as it. I chose a nice bright shade called Baby Pink.

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It’s really on the short side, and is meant to be super portable. It measures a mere 11cm (~4.25″). Here it looks cradled in my hand.

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The cap posts securely, and lends stability to the pen which is required for something this short. I find that it’s harder to use unposted.

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The brush tip is short and a bit stiff. I like it because it works well with my heavy hand, and I don’t have any issues with making the thin upstrokes and the thick downstrokes of brush calligraphy.

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The cartridge is of course pretty short as well. Pilot sells refills of this kind that can be used by both Petit1 and Petit3 (and presumably whatever Petit2 is; I think it’s either a ballpoint or a rollerball). Here I’ve used about half of the cartridge so far.

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Here’s a sample of my brush calligraphy using this brush pen. You can see more of my work at my IG (here).

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Actually, another thing that I use this brush pen for is as a highlighter of sorts. Here in one of the planner layouts I shared recently (here), I used the Pilot Petit3 to color in the bullet points on the right side of the spread for the tasks that I have already completed. I also used it to color in the stars to reflect how many cups of coffee I have drunk for each day. This is yet another reason why I like toting this pen along. Not only do I have a super portable brush pen for those impromptu calligraphy practice, but I also have a cute little highlighter to go with my planner!

Do you have this brush pen? What do you think of it?

I brought this pen at a consignment of CreateCraftsPH. It (and refills!) is also available at their online store here.

Review: Pink Paper Box Spring Summer Fling (April)

Heads up, there’s a new subscription box in town! This is Pink Paper Box, a planner and crafting oriented monthly subscription box, and it’s very new. This month’s box titled Spring Summer Fling is only the second, but I’m already quite hooked!

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How does Pink Paper Box work? Sign ups happen over at the Pink Paper Box website (Facebook) and submitted through a google form. The subscriptions cost Php500 (1 month), Php1450 (3 months) or Php2850 (6 months), and this fee already includes the shipping. Owner and main girl Marrien is very hands-on and personal, and will keep in touch with you regarding your subscription.

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Want to know what’s in this intriguing April box? Read on ahead! (Warning, a LOT of images ahead!)

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Review: Filed Pen Roller

Once I got into seriously collecting interesting writing materials, I knew I had to get myself a good carrying case or container for them. I had my eye on the Filed Pen Roller for a while, ever since I made the Pocket Wallet my mainstay. As soon as I found a red variant, I immediately snapped it up. I’ve had the case for about a month now, and I’m here to review it for those of you who might be interested.

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Review: Filed Pocket Wallet

One of the things I’m also passionate about, outside of makeup and nails, is containers. Any kind of container makes my heart flutter. I think I inherited this passion from my dad, who would also appreciate the container more than the contents like me. One of my recent acquisitions is this Filed Pocket Wallet. This is the wallet’s size compared to my eyeglasses.

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It is a wallet that contains an essential requirement I have for wallets and bags: compartments. And compartments it has aplenty! Check out the inside.

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It has compartments for cards, receipts, paper bills, and others. It even has a snap button for added security. Here it is with the snap button closed.

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One of the unique features of the Pocket Wallet is the external slot for coins. You don’t have to open the wallet just to put in coins. This is especially useful for commuters.

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Inside, the coins go into this expandable bin. It’s actually pretty large, and can hold a lot of coins.

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There is also a small slot at the back for easy access. You can put here your parking tickets or something that needs to be accessed quickly.

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One of my favorite features of this wallet is the quality leatherette material. It looks and feels pretty sturdy and does not look cheap at all. There is the feeling that this is very well made, and that includes the stitching and zipper. According to their website, they use Lacoste Leatherette for their folders and Ripstop for bags and cases, and all products are made in the Philippines.

Would you believe that this costs only Php295? It’s unbelievably affordable for the quality and function that it provides! This can be bought from Filed’s online store, and Fully Booked branches. It’s available in 8 colors. It’s a little hard to hunt for the specific color that you like though, at Fully Booked, as they don’t stock regularly. I think I got this red one at Fully Booked Eastwood. If you want a specific color, it’s better to buy from the online store.

Pros: topnotch quality and functionality; affordable; locally made

Cons: specific colors are sometimes not available at Fully Booked

 

Review: KeepCup

What is a KeepCup? It’s basically a reusable coffee cup, but what distinguishes it from the rest is that it is barista-standard. This means that you can give this to your regular coffeeshop barista, and he/she would be able to fit it under the standard espresso spouts. It also fits in standard cup holders. As a bonus, it comes in exciting colors!

I won my KeepCup from House of Flair‘s holiday contest in Facebook. I could not believe my luck! This is such a perfect item for the coffee addict that I am. It comes in an eye-catching purple-and-red color scheme. Check it out:

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KeepCup in box
Check out these colors!
Check out these colors!
Close up of lid
Close up of lid

House of Flair is KeepCup’s official distributor here in the Philippines. This is a medium size cup (12oz/340ml) and goes for $14 in KeepCup’s store. For HoF’s pricing, check here. [EDIT: HoF’s KeepCups repriced to Php850! Check out their on hand stock here.] It can fit a Tall-sized Starbucks drink.

And to Starbucks I did go for my buena mano drink, just a regular latte. It looks really good with my Cup!

First cuppa!
First cuppa! (And yes that’s Chocnut in the background..)

Pros: very chic and unique; environment-friendly; barista-standard and fits standard cup holders; lightweight

Cons: a little expensive