I wanted to make my own video for the J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre ink, so here it is! The ink is a reddish-brown with gold flakes. There’s a nice amount of shading, and the ink is slightly on the thin side. It’s SO much fun to use with a folded nib pen, as you can see above. Would you like to see more videos like this? Let me know in the comments below.
Now for the wait…the ink releases in just over 2 weeks!
What is it? Galen Leather is a two person team located in Istanbul, Turkey that’s producing top-quality leather goods. When they reached out asking if I’d be interested in checking out a cover, I jumped at the chance. I’m usually not into notebook cases/covers, as they seem to add bulk without any real utility. The Galen Leather adds more than just extra bulk to your gear by providing a home for everything you need for a grab-and-go mobile office. Read on to see how it is!
Notes: The first thing that stood out to me was the packaging. It comes in a nicely designed cardboard box, that I’m sure can be recycled should you not want to keep it around. There’s also a small glass bead (which you can read more about here) that I totally forgot to take a photo of. At first glance, the leather is high quality, the stitching is uniform, and the attention to detail is on point. The cover is nicely presented and I would be happy to receive it as a gift.Each cover is hand stitched and features burnished edges. This is a method of polishing the side edge of a piece of leather so that it has a smooth finish. Throughout the cover, the stitching is sturdy and everything is cut and sewn precisely into place. The leather is soft, flexible, and smells great. It’s not going to take a ton of breaking in, which is nice. Outside, the case is relatively simple. It’s a nice medium shade of brown leather, has contrasting stitching, and is held shut by a thick elastic band. Inside is where the cover really shines. There’s room on the left for a phone or smaller pocket notebook, a few cards (credit or business) and your favorite pen. The elastic loop lines up with the spine of the notebook, leaving more than enough room to safely carry a large pen. Underneath the left side is room for a tablet up to the size of an iPad mini. On the right side there’s an elastic band to hold the back cover of the notebook in place. Again, there’s a pocket underneath that’s the same size as the other one. When closed, there’s more than enough cover to hold everything seen below without anything bulging out. Using the notebook inside the case is easy, as it all lays relatively flat. I didn’t find it uncomfortable to write in. If you do, the notebook is quickly and easily removed and replaced. It’s nice to have everything I need for a mobile office setup in a grab-and-go format. All of my gear is held securely inside and it’s easy to toss in a bag or carry as-is without worrying about things dropping out. This case is very well thought out and I don’t think I would add or subtract everything. The iPad Mini/A5 Notebook Cover by Galen Leather is priced at a relatively affordable $65 – what I’d say is a good value for what you’re getting. If you’ve been looking to make your life a little easier, consider this case by Galen Leather as a permanent home for your go-to gear. Looking for something smaller? Galen has a bunch of covers to accommodate a variety of gear. Thanks for sending the case over for review!
Disclaimer: Galen Leather sent this case at no charge for a review. All opinions are my own.
Notes: It’s nice to see something refreshing. Admittedly, I’ve been a little disinterested with pens lately. After nearly 5 years of finding the perfect fountain pens and ink for myself, I feel like I’m achieving a sort of “pen nirvana” in which my level of enlightenment cannot grow higher. That’s why it’s up to the small makers and creators to do something different, as the larger brands seem to think that new color is totally fine in place of innovation. Anyway, I’ll save it for another article, this one’s about a cool pen that Clayton Poppe sent me to check out before it hits Kickstarter.
The RIIND pen (named after an orange peel because of the knurling) is a machined aluminum pen that supports the G2 refill. There’s a unique asymmetrical clip, great twist mechanism, and tight tolerances throughout that make these interesting. They definitely fit well within my preferred pen aesthetic – clean with some low-key details that give the pen personality. There are four versions – black w/ black clip, black w/ silver clip, raw aluminum, and grey anodized w/ silver slip (my personal favorite).
The refill is extended by twisting the back of the pen. What’s cool about it is how it does so. The knock (is it still a knock if it turns!?) twists 360º and every half turn either extends or retracts the tip.
There’s some subtle branding under the knock, then the clip, followed by a modestly long pen body, ample knurled grip section, and finally a rounded conical tip. The size and weight are comfortable without being too long or too heavy. It would be cool to see a shorter Parker-style version as well.
If I had to pick something out about the pen that I’m not 100% on, it would be how far it sticks out of my pocket when clipped on. I really like the look of the asymmetrical clip, but it does make the pen stick out a fair amount.
I’m definitely excited for the RIIND to hit Kickstarter. The design is polished, the assembly and construction are great, and the concept is just unique enough to set it apart from the hundreds of Kickstarter pen projects out there. Thanks to Clayton for sending the prototypes over, I’m going to have a hard time sending them back! I’ll update this post with links to the project when it’s launched. Until then, check out their website.
[Update]: The RIIND Pen is now live on Kickstarter. A $125 pledge secures you a pen with an October delivery date. While the pen is really nicely crafted, I think I’m experiencing a little bit of sticker shock. There’s obviously a lot of design that went into the pen, including the custom clip and mechanism. Tight tolerances on a finished product means using better equipment to manufacture parts (which also cost more). For some reason, I expected the pen to be between $65 and $85, so the $125 price tag was a shock. Is it worth the asking price? That’s for you to decide!
[Update 2]: The RIIND Pen has been reduced in price! After some feedback, and strong initial interest, Clayton has reduced the price of the pen to $95. This break in price definitely puts the pen in a better price bracket. There’s only a few more days left in the campaign.
What is it? A readily available pen that’s just plain fun to write with.
Notes: Sometimes you find a pen in your desk at work and fall in love with it. My experience with thePapermate Liquid Flair is just that. The Liquid Flair is an updated version of the classic porous tipped pen the “Flair”. It has a similar writing experience, but this newer version leaves a bit more ink on the page, ensuring dark precise lines. The point of the pen has just a little bit of give to it, adding some nice line variation. Papermate says it adds flair to your writing, hence the name. I agree with the marketing people here, it definitely does.
The plastic tip results in just the right amount of feedback, which prevents the pen from being super smooth like a rollerball. It’s a nice feeling for sure. The main difference between the Liquid Flair and it’s older brother is the body of the pen. It’s thick in diameter, comfortable to hold, has a secure cap that snaps shut with a satisfying click, and an internal mechanism to keep the ink from drying out.
The body is covered with a geometric pattern and has a clear window for viewing how much ink is left in the pen. I really like this pen, especially for something that you can throw in the drawer of your desk and not have to worry about it. At just about a dollar each, they’re a great deal. If you haven’t tried the Liquid Flair, I highly recommend doing so!