Archive for July, 2012

JetPens Sample: Cute but Functional

Recently I was introduced me to the infinite joys of Jet Pens. They’re an online retailer for hard-to-find unique Japanese pens and stationery. I have always had a weakness for unusual notebooks and pretty fountain pens. (And bags, always appreciate a good tote bag, even if I already have a zillion.) So it’s safe to say I was categorically doomed when I looked through their website.

Ohto fountain pen and Kokuyo notebook

A few months ago, I took my initial plunge, ordering an Ohto Dude fountain pen in a lovely purple. What I discovered startled me. I’m used to needing a few strokes to get a fountain pen started after loading an ink cartridge, but the Ohto already wrote smoothly, making me an instant fan of Japanese fountain pens. Plus the pen can use the ink cartridges I already own. The only complaint I have (and it’s nitpicky) is it’s hard to pull the cap off the pen. Sometimes I wind up unscrewing the pen pieces instead.

I also acquired a batch of Kokuyo Buncobon Dot Cover notebooks. I’d become fond of writing on graph paper lately, but growing disenchanted with the almighty Moleskine. I actually liked the Picadilly graph notebooks, but I’ve had a hard time finding more locally. So I took a chance on the Kokuyo. The main thing to keep in mind is they’re tiny (4.1″ X 5.8″), closer to Moleskine’s pocket size (3.5” X 5.5”) than its full size ones.  They have soft bound edges and the dustcovers include index sections so you can keep track of projects or assignments. The graph paper is nice and actually handles the Ohto’s fountain pen ink fairly well. As thin as it was, I was expecting the ink to bleed more.

I was overall pleased with my first order and plan to acquire more soon. Sooon. All the pens will be mine, muhahah…. Oh, sorry about that. But I was really pleasantly surprised with the speedy service, especially considering I’m located on the opposite coast.

So when they announced JetPens was doing one of their sample giveaways, I quickly signed up. Who knew what strange office supplies would show up in my mail? As it was, it was completely the perfect choice for me. As I’ve mentioned in an older entry, I’m a proud University of Alabama graduate. Our mascot is one Big Al of the pachyderm variety. So when this cute Iwako eraser showed up in my mail, I was instantly charmed:







(I will admit I nearly confused the poor elephant with a koala when I saw it without its ears. Iwako actually makes a koala, but the ears are completely different. Yes, they actually have an Eraser Museum. How cool is that?)

The eraser is very cute. The trunk comes as a separate piece that you can attach. They’re supposedly very eco-friendly and non-toxic, but because of the small parts, I wouldn’t recommend them for small children. The eraser part itself is functional; it works very well on my ultra boring Ticonderoga Number 2 pencils with no noticeable smearing.  (I haven’t quite succumbed to Japanese pencil madness. Give me time.)

The only drawback I can see to such an adorable eraser is it’s almost too cute to use for its stated purpose.  If that’s the only problem, though, I think JetPens will do just fine. My bank account may disagree on this point.

Elephant with regular eraser