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Month: November 2023

25 Days of Dupes 2023 – Intro

Posted in Ink

Thanks to David of the DC Pen Crew, I will once again be duping the Diamine Inkvent calendar. Like last year, I’m posting once a week with all of the inks from that week.

Also like last year, I’m basing my posting day on Christmas. Since Christmas is on Monday, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays. My first dupe post will be on the 5th, with the inks from December 1-4. My final dupe post will be on the 26th, with inks from December 19-25. And I’ll have a wrap-up/reference post on the 27th linking to the 4 dupe posts and listing the best dupe for each ink.

Plotter Alternatives, Part 6

Posted in Paper

Bonus Options

Welcome back for the sixth and final part of this series. If you haven’t read part 1, I’m sharing alternatives to the Plotter system. If you want the full explanation, I suggest you read that post. You can also review the A5, Bible and Narrow, Mini, and Mini 5 alternatives.

Welcome to the sixth and final installment of my Plotter alternatives series. While I researched the various binder sizes, I found several interesting binders that didn’t fit in as alternatives. These binders are too interesting not to share. I hope you find these interesting — and in some cases, unique — binders useful.

Some of these are more along the lines of categories, as there are multiple options for the type of binder. I can’t link to all of them, but I’ve added some links to various binders of that type.

PLEASE NOTE: The images included in the post have been taken from the listings I link to. They are not my images. You can click on them to view larger.

That said, let’s get into the bonus options.

Plotter Alternatives, Part 5

Posted in Paper

Mini 5 Alternatives

Welcome back for part 5 of this series. If you haven’t read part 1, I’m sharing alternatives to the Plotter system. If you want the full explanation, I suggest you read that post. You can also review the A5, Bible and Narrow, and Mini alternatives.

This post was harder than expected. I thought it would be easy to find other Mini 5 sized binders. However, the majority of binders around Mini 5 size are 3-ring, not 5 ring. I was, though, able to find some alternatives.

I found that, despite Mini 5 binders and paper not being close to A8 size, , binders labeled A8 are the correct size. So, it’s likely that if you find a 5-ring A8 binder, it will be the right size. I’m including the paper size comparison again, even though we’ve learned by now that “international standard” sizes mean next to nothing in the binder world.

PaperB7A7Mini 5A8 RefillA8

That said, let’s get into the Mini 5 alternatives.

Plotter Alternatives, Part 4

Posted in Paper

Mini Alternatives

Welcome back for part 4 of this series. If you haven’t read part 1, I’m sharing alternatives to the Plotter system. If you want the full explanation, I suggest you read that post. You can also review the A5 and Bible and Narrow alternatives.

While, once again, Plotter Mini size paper doesn’t match any international size papers, it’s closest to B7 paper. And, at 12mm narrower than the Mini binder, B7 paper should fit into it without any problems.

Unfortunately, this is where it gets weird again. Don’t search for B7 refill paper, because it’s virtually impossible to find. However, like I found with A6 refills, A7 refill paper is not A7; it’s much closer to B7.

What is the point of having internationally standard sizes if they aren’t actually used? If a company doesn’t want to make paper in a standard size, fine, don’t; but don’t label it as a standard size!!

Plotter Alternatives, Part 3

Posted in Paper

Bible and Narrow Alternatives

Welcome back for part 3 of this series. If you haven’t read part 1, I’m sharing alternatives to the Plotter system. If you want the full explanation, I suggest you read that post. You can also review the A5 alternatives.

For this post, I’m addressing both Plotter’s Bible and Narrow sized binders because they are so similar in size. There is a 3mm difference in height between them, and an 11mm (0.43in) difference in width. The paper is similarly close in size, with no difference in height, and 15mm (0.59in) difference in width. You can easily use either size’s paper in the other size’s binder without any problems.

To make things even more confusing, the Bible and Narrow sized binders are smaller (both in height and width) than average A6 binders. However, the same sized Plotter papers are significantly taller than A6 — more in line with B6 paper — while narrower than both A6 and B6.

Plotter Alternatives, Part 2

Posted in Paper

A5 Alternatives

Welcome back for part 2 of this series. If you haven’t read part 1, I’m sharing alternatives to the Plotter system. If you want the full explanation, I suggest you read the previous post.

Unlike what I’ve found with other Japanese binder systems, Plotter only goes up to A5 size, rather than B5 or A4. Perhaps because it’s the largest size, the A5 binder size has the most accessories and refills.

There are, of course, MANY A5 binders available — including some well-known brands like Levenger Circa (OK, maybe not quite a binder) and Filofax — so I chose some top picks based on binder depth and compatibility with Plotter paper. That said, let’s get into the A5 alternatives.

Plotter Alternatives, Part 1

Posted in Paper

About Plotter

EDIT: This is part one of a seven-part series. Access the other parts here: Part 2 – A5 | Part 3 – Bible and Narrow | Part 4 – Mini | Part 5 – Mini 5 | Part 6 – Bonus | Part 0 – Additional Info

A few years back when everyone was going nuts for the Traveler’s Notebook, I fell for the hype and got one. Since then, I used it maybe three-four times and ended up selling it. Now, I’ve been hearing more and more about Plotter and their binder system. It’s highly reminiscent of the hype for Traveler’s Notebook.

However, where there weren’t any alternatives — that I knew about — for the Traveler’s Notebooks. There are many alternatives to Plotter, most of which are significantly less expensive. Traveler’s Notebook seemed to be a fairly unique system at the time; Plotter isn’t.

Do you like the idea of Plotter, but object to the price? Are you curious about the Plotter binders but don’t want leather? This series of posts will provide you with some of the alternatives available for each size of Plotter binder.

Ink Battle: Kyo Iro and Colorverse

Posted in Ink

No matter how much I try to sample or test an ink before buying it, sometimes that isn’t possible. Because of this, I have some inks that are incredibly similar in color. That’s where “ink battles” come in.

You can assume I have no problems with any ink that appears in an ink battle. I may decide, when using the inks side-by-side, that one performs better, but the point of the battle is to choose a favorite color. I use a pair of similar inks in pens with the same nib, then test them out to see which I like better.

Or, I may find out that, when used with the same nib, they’re sufficiently different to keep them both. Depending on how these “battles” turn out, I may tag some of the posts as ink dupes as well. You can find all of the ink battles posts on the tag page.

Perfect Your Wardrobe, Not Your Body

Posted in Miscellaneous Information

I want to write about something rather different today. I occasionally post about personal issues, but hardly ever write about confidence and body positivity.

I enjoy historical clothing — learning about it, drawing it (sort of), and the idea of wearing it (the cost for the small amount of use keeps me from actually doing so). However, the more I learn about historical clothing, the more I feel society has done itself a major disservice, especially for women.

You only have to jump back 70 years to find a time when shaping undergarments weren’t an optional wardrobe item, but an expected part of daily life.

Pen Porn: Benu Euphoria Playful Paws

Posted in Fountain Pens

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from viewing this post.

Per usual, you can click on the images to view them larger. I do my best to provide you with high-quality pen porn. 😉

The Playful Paws is an exclusive to Benu’s online store, and is available at the time of writing.

There is so much to love on the Playful Paws! I’m going to get my one — minor! — criticism out of the way first. I wish there were cats on the cap, too. OK, now on to the pen porn!

Benu Euphoria Playful Paws

Ink Faves by Color

Posted in Ink

After taking the ink rainbow challenge, I started thinking about what my favorite ink(s) in each color are. I had to expand the color categories, and, even then, I have a couple of honorable mentions. Quick note: I worked through this post without reviewing my ink rainbow post, only comparing the two when I was done. There’s a bit of overlap.

In case you didn’t read the ink rainbow post and are wondering why I’m doing two such similar posts, the main difference is the selection criteria. For the ink rainbow post, I listed the first ink that came to mind. For this post, I’m sharing my favorite inks.

I’ve done my best to photoshop the individual ink swatches to look true-to-life, but that’s easier said than done, especially with any color that has red in it.

Now, enough chatting, on to the inks.

Pens For Sale

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Non-Fountain Pens

As I mentioned in my Time for a Change post, I did my best to do a brutal declutter of my pens. With Jim’s help, I pushed past some of the, “it’s pretty, I need it.” Overall, it may not be a massive declutter of pens, but it’s a significantly larger one than I’ve done before. Of course, that means I now need to sell them. The below pens are for sale and have videos on my Instagram stories.

You can reach out to me on Instagram if you’re interested in purchasing a pen. If you don’t have Instagram, leave me a comment and make sure to add your email address in the specified field so I can reach out to you. Don’t worry, the email address won’t show up in the posted comment.

Please note, prices are in USD and do not include shipping.

Time for a Change

Posted in Fountain Pens

Welcome to a post no one asked for. I always feel odd writing and posting these “how I do things” posts. But, they have good metrics, and generate some good conversation, so you must enjoy them.

For the first time in years, my pen rotation and notebook ended together. This seemed like an excellent time to shake things up a bit.

I’ve previously written about my pen rotation and notebook system, including actual notebook, layout, and cover. Well, I’ve changed all of it.

I suggest you go back and at least skim the posts about my pen rotation and notebook layout, but you don’t have to.

With that intro out of the way, allow me to share what’s changing.