Its been awhile because sometimes life just gets away on you.....and this will be along post.
Apart from ink and always searching for the next colour I have a things about notebooks, I am always buying them. I am a sucker for good stationery and despite all this technology that surrounds me I still handwrite most things and so always have a notebook on me, usually A5 sized. So, about a year ago I went on the hunt for good quality notebooks using Tomoe Rover paper. I came across Musubi after reading about them on the Gentleman Stationer's blog. They are absolutely fabulous handmade notebooks but probably a bit expensive for most. At the same time I discovered the Squishy Ink blog and from that Hippo Noto notebooks.
I was drawn to the notebooks because they had 500 pages and were advertised as being able to lie flat when open. I missed the kickstarter pledging for the notebooks but when I found them late pledging was open.
It was a big mistake missing things on Kickstarter as the time from my late pledge to delivery of the notebooks was 12 months. I was given an expected date when I inquired after pledging and the EDD was SO wrong, out by 10 months. It became clear with time that the production, sorting and posting etc was going to take a lot more time than had been expected and towards the middle of this year – updates from Hippo Noto got better. Some people clearly got frustrated about the wait and posted terse messages on facebook and other places. I tried not to get impatient – emails were always answered and as others were receiving their notebooks I had faith.
The question is – was it worth the wait? I am going to give a big resounding YES because they are gorgeous and I love a good notebook. I do though have some caveats.
I ordered a lined notebook with a lilac cover and pink trim and a dark green dot grid notebook with lime green trim. The packaging is quite simple but it certainly protected the books during postage.
The covers are leather and beautifully soft and pliable, they look and feel very lux. The paper is the heavier 68gm Tomoe River paper which was a bit disappointing, but it is Tomoe river so one can’t complain too much.
Each notebook comes with two book marks and a pen loop, there is also a pocket inside the back cover for slipping important things into.
My caveats – the wait obviously, the web site states the wait from ordering to delivery is currently two months. It did seem a bit random how quickly people got their notebooks as other reviewers have said they also missed the initial kickstarter pledging but still only waited a couple of months after a late pledge, as previously said I waited 12 months. Also many might think they are expensive as $US40. I’m sitting on the fence on this one as I have paid more for a good notebook and obviously paid less but.... 500 pages.. Postage however was expensive, having the two I ordered sent to NZ nearly doubled the cost, so if you are not in the USA you may want to keep that in mind.
When I think of Hippos I do not think of the colour purple so I wonder why this was called Hippo purple – it’s not purple but it does capture the colour of a Hippo.
I think most people who love fountain pens will have heard of and probably possess a number of Robert Oster inks. They certainly burst onto the scene a couple of years ago and more colours seem to be being released by the week. This ink made specially for Hippo Noto and can only be bought through the web site.
When I do ink reviews I always do the drop onto absorbent paper so you can appreciate any shading, the colours that make up the ink.
Really great ink to write with, dries quickly I just find the colour boring.
While waiting for my notebooks and ink I saw that Hippo Noto had sold some limited edition Franklin Christoph (FC) pens i.e. a 66 stabilus that had been made specially for Hippo Noto. When these went on sale again recently I thought why not?. I have been wanting a FC pen and lets just keep with the Hippo theme. The pen arrived very quickly – even before the notebooks but I did not use it until I could ink it with Hippo Purple.
FC have a great reputation and everyone seems to give their pens glowing reviews. I’m not going to be negative because any of the faults with the pen are mine because I bought it without given much thought to the model.
The 66 stabilus is a desk pen, it has a flat side so when placed on a desk it does not roll, it is stable. I hadn’t given that much thought as I take my pens everywhere with me, its difficult to put in a pocket or pen case. It is a great size for writing – I like big pens and this is nicely balanced. I haven’t however tried writing with the cap posted – I think it makes the pen too long and uncomfortable to hold.
The pen has a size 6 nib, I bought a medium nib and probably should have chosen fine. This is not a dry pen, it lays down quite big lines which would be considered broad with a number of other pens.
There are so many reviews of FC pens out there I am not going to go into too much detail here but will say I have one complaint, the cap. I do not like all the ink splatters in the cap.
The features that make this pen unique:
The Pen body – made from clear acrylic that is mostly frosted. It’s a bit disappointing that though you can use the pen without a converter you won’t really appreciate your ink as the part of the barrel that houses the ink is frosted. According to the Hippo Noto website the body is grey I have not appreciated that at all - I think it is colourless. Though I now have to admit as I have been writing this post and looking at the photos, when the pen is against a black background it is grey.
The pen grip – is supposedly Hippo lavender (not sure what has happened to the hippo purple) Purple is my favourite colour and I think I was attracted to this because the Hippo Noto web site photo made the grip section look obviously lavender or light purple. Sadly it’s not, its quite pale and seems to change colour depending on the light.
Engraving- HN is engraved on the body on the opposite side to the usual Franklin Christoph 66 engraving.