Vengeful Fortress Part 2: More Thoughts on Stillman and Birn Epsilon

You can find part 1 here. You can see that there is a slight bit of show through with the Stillman and Birn Epsilon, but at only 150 gsm that’s to be expected.

The show through is most pronounced in the area between the goblin’s sword and the text above him.

I decided to play a bit more with ink colours and wider nibs here, so that’s a Sailor medium stub nib and Diamine Inkvent Blue Edition Candy Cane ink for spells and effects:

There’s no show through for the ink, and though it may not seem that way, there was no spreading. Also, if you like granulating watercolour effects, the Stillman and Birn Epsilon paper seems to be a champ for that.

Vengeful Fortress Part 2: More Thoughts on Stillman and Birn Epsilon

Diamine Inkvent Blue Edition

Diamine came out with the very successful Inkvent advent calendar last year, and now they are bringing out all of the inks in the calendar in a special “Blue Edition” box and bottle. Cult Pens had them first in stock, and had a nice 10% discount on them, so I decided to splurge on some ink bottles (after not buying any for years).

The Inkvent Blue Edition boxes evoke the beautiful design of the Inkvent calendar, which makes them great gift inks to give. Everything about the boxes, the labels and the bottles is of the highest quality, and is well thought out. These are pretty enough to keep on your desk, whether they are in their blue box or not.

The bottles themselves, of course, are the main design event. They are glass bottles with thick legs, and an ingenious design. They look gorgeous, but they’re also very practical. The cap is large enough to allow the widest nibs in, and the actual part of the bottle that holds the ink is built so that there won’t be any awkward corners that your pen can’t get into. The bottles are tall enough to allow for larger pens to be filled with ease.

Did I mention that they look stunning?

You can see the design of the legs and the ink reservoir here:

The bottles of shimmer ink (and shimmer and sheen ink) come with this handy little insert:

The bottles of sheen ink come with this insert:

This is more proof of the amount of thought that went into designing this edition. I don’t know if Diamine planned on issuing the Blue Edition ahead of time or only once it saw the success of its Inkvent calendar, but either way, this isn’t some hastily dashed out ink edition.

When it came to selecting the inks that I wanted to buy, I ended up surprising myself with my selection. I expected to buy the Solstice, but I ended up buying theBlue Peppermint instead. I love turquoise inks, and I don’t yet have one that shades and shimmers. I never thought that I’d buy Candy Cane, but not only did I buy it (I wanted something to brighten up my life a bit right now), but it’s the first ink that I used in the set.

Holly was also not an obvious choice, but it’s an interesting ink and I don’t have many green inks on hand.  Seasons Greetings was wild enough and unique enough for me to add it first to my cart. Nutcracker is here because I think that it will be a great (albeit not waterproof) drawing ink.

If money and space weren’t an issue, I’d probably add Solstice, Snow Storm, and Polar Glow to my shopping cart. Maybe I will, in the future. For now I’m tremendously happy with the Diamine Blue Edition inks that I bought, and if you’re looking for a small pick me up or an inexpensive gift for the pen addict in your life, I highly recommend these.

Diamine Inkvent Blue Edition

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 25

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s the final day of the Diamine Inkvent calendar, and there’s a full 30ml bottle of ink behind today’s door. I guessed that today’s ink will probably be a shimmer and sheen ink, perhaps in the same shade of blue of the calendar. Then again, from the ink name there was a chance that it would be a green or a red, which I find less useful.

Turns out that my first guess was right. Day 25’s ink is Diamine Happy Holidays, and it’s a sheen and shimmer rich royal blue, just like the Inkvent calendar. The blue they chose is beautiful, dark but not so dark that it becomes black. It shades well, even though it’s saturated, and has a red sheen and light blue glitter in it.

 

You can see the shading. Where the ink pools there’s sheen, and if you shake the ink well before use (including in the pen) you’ll see a good amount of shimmer. I filled a TWSBI Go 1.1 stub with this ink and on Tomoe river paper this ink shines.

You can see the sheen and shimmer best when you tilt the paper slightly.

Even on Rhodia paper you can see the shimmer and sheen:

Diamine Happy Holidays is a lovely ink, and I’m glad that I now have a 30ml bottle of it. Is it the most unique colour in the calendar? No, it’s pretty close to the other four dark blues. However, looking over all of the other colours in the calendar, I don’t think that they could have selected a better ink for the last day.

I loved almost all of the inks in the Diamine Inkvent calendar (apart from Diamine Triple Chocolate). The calendar itself is a beautiful and well designed objects, the tiny bottles were charming (some of the labels had minor flaking problems, but who cares), and the sheer amount of unique inks produced for this is astounding. I know that Diamine said that these inks were made only for the calendar, but I would be glad to see some of them re-issued in larger bottles. If Diamine issue another calendar next year I will definitely buy it, probably even if it has the exact same ink colours. The Diamine Inkvent calendar is one of the best stationery products of the year, and certainly one of the most entertaining ones.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 25

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 24

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s day 24 on the Diamine Inkvent calendar, which means that it’s Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Day 24’s ink is Diamine Purple Bow, a “standard” dark purple. After dip testing this ink I filled a Pilot Metropolitan (medium nib) with it just to make sure that what I was seeing wasn’t a result of the dip test. It wasn’t. This ink has a lot of sheen, and should have been labeled a “sheen” ink.

Diamine Purple Bow is a deeply saturated, very dark purple ink that’s almost black. The magic is when you tilt the page and look at the sheen:

The golden sheen is especially visable on Tomer river paper, but it’s also noticable on Rhodia paper. I have no idea why Diamine Purple Bow wasn’t labeled as a sheen ink but it should have been. As it is, it’s an interesting ink that is dark enough to pass as a standard black on a cursory glance.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 24

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 23

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s day 23 on the Diamine Inkvent calendar, and I love both the snowman and the inkwell snow-globe on today’s door.

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Day 23’s ink is Diamine Roasted Chestnut, a standard sienna brown with a good amount of shading. It’s more reddish than the yellow ochre leaning Diamine Gingerbread and pretty close to Diamine Nutcracker, but a tad lighter and less red.

I love the shading and the colour of this ink, but I wish that Diamine had called it Chestnuts Roasted 🙂

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 23

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 22

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

Only 3 days left to the Diamine Inkvent calendar, and after yesterday’s wonderful Fire Embers I can’t wait to see what’s behind door 22.

Day 22 is Diamine Solstice a black ink with green shimmer. This is a charming combination, as the basic black ink is deep and saturated, and the green shimmer makes it come to life.

This looks like a fairly normal black, but tilt the page a bit and…

Party time! Subtle yet satisfying.

Here it is on Clairefontaine paper:

I love the combination, and I hope that Diamine will offer Solstice as part of their regular lineup.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 22

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 21

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s day 21 in the Diamine Inkvent calendar and we’re down to the final five. Today’s door didn’t look promising but…

…day 21’s ink is not a blue, or a red, or a green! It’s Diamine Fire Embers, the orange I’ve been waiting for for the past 20 days, and one of the best and most practical oranges I’ve ever seen. How dare you call it “standard”, Diamine? This ink is exceptional!

Diamine Fire Embers is a dark, reddish orange that glows on the page, and dries dark enough to make it practical (i.e. readable). There’s a significant amount of shading while the ink is still wet, but it tones down a bit as the ink dries.

There’s still a good amount of shading to be had here.

On the Tomoe river paper above the shading is much more pronounced than on the Clairefontaine paper below, but that’s to be expected.

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Less shading, even when viewed at an angle.

Diamine Fire Embers is one of the better inks in the calendar in my opinion, and I’m not even a fan of orange ink. It’s so cheerful and vibrant, it’s bound to make you smile as you use it, whether for letter writing or for cards.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 21

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 20

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s day 20 in the Diamine Inkvent calendar, and there are only 5 days left. No wonder the 20 is underscored.

Day 20’s ink is Diamine Midnight Hour, a dark, indigo ink with sheen. Wait, blue with a sheen? Haven’t we been here before? Yes we have. Take a look for yourself:

Diamine Midnight Hour

This is Diamine Midnight Hour. It’s a very saturated dark blue/indigo ink with a reddish-purple sheen.

There’s sheen, but not oodles of it.

If the sheen looks familiar it’s because it’s the same sheen you saw on day 15’s Diamine Festive Cheer. Diamine Festive Cheer is practically Diamine Midnight Hour only a shade lighter:

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Diamine Festive Cheer

Then again, Diamine Festive Cheer is day 4’s Diamine Polar Glow with a tad less red in the base ink and a tad more red in the sheen.

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Diamine Polar Glow

There’s bound to be some degree of similarity between inks, considering Diamine had to create 25 unique inks for this calendar, and three similar royal blues are more useful than three similar yellows (and better behaving in pens), so I’m not complaining. It’s just an interesting little game to see just how close they came to creating three bottles of the same ink with different names (I’m looking at you Lamy). If you place these samples side by side you can tell them apart, but if you’d be buying ink in a store you’d probably end up picking just one bottle and not all three. My personal favourite is Diamine Polar Glow, followed by Diamine Festive Cheer, with Diamine Midnight Hour last.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 20

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 19

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s day 19, and we have a nice nib ornament, and a 19 that fooled me at first that it was a 12.

Day 19’s ink is Diamine Gingerbread, a standard ink that offers a nice amount of shading and is a welcome break from the red/green/blue streak. It’s a warm raw sienna colour that really evokes gingerbread.

Diamine Gingerbread is not the flashiest of inks, but it’s a nice, warm, honey brown colour that will really work well with cream coloured paper or cards. It’s also a colour that I’ll probably end up using for sketching, since it’s relatively close to raw sienna, already a staple in my watercolour palette.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 19

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 18

Diamine Inkvent Calendar is an advent calendar with a tiny (7ml) bottle of ink behind 24 windows, and a larger, 30ml, bottle of ink behind the 25th window. All the inks are limited edition, and only available through this calendar. You can read more about the calendar here.

It’s day 18 and there’s just a week more left to the Diamine Inkvent Calendar. What’s behind today’s door?

Day 18’s ink is Diamine Holly, a dark green ink with blue undertones with sheen. It’s more green than Diamine Seasons Greetings and has a more standard (and less pronounced) red sheen.

The base colour is beautiful, and I’m only slightly biased because I love teal and blue-green inks. It shades and sheens less than Diamine Seasons Greetings, but you can see more of the base colour because of that, and that’s a bonus in this case.

Where the ink pools, the deep red sheen glows, which means you want to take your time and write slooowly with this ink, preferably with a juicy nib and on Tomoe River paper. This is a great ink for writing greeting cards with, and just to give yourself some holiday cheer.

Diamine Inkvent Calendar Day 18