Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Havasu Turquoise

Wow. Just...wow. Grad school grabbed me by its teeth, chewed me up like crazy, and then spat me back out, an exhausted and discombobulated pile of....uh...student. Lots of stressing and mini-freakouts have occurred over the past 3 months or so -- new environment, new living situation (the first time I'm living on my own, actually. I always dormed or stayed at home) -- but at the end of the day I wouldn't want it any other way. I love learning, and I love the fact that at the end of this, I'll have a grad degree in something I'm passionate about. Whoohoo!

But, Christmas break has allowed me a chance to take a breather. This means, BLOGGING!!! It will be a Diamine inkfest with snail mail art thrown in, and whatever else pops into my head.

Let's start off by looking at one of those Diamine inks:


Havasu Turquoise was released waaay back in Fall 2009. This review is long overdue (sorry, Diamine Ink company! Here you go!).

I did something a bit different than I usually do for ink reviews, which I'm going to do from now on. I included samples from different types of paper to show how the ink fares in terms of drying time on various papers; you can see a closeup of them below the review. Below that is a closeup of the color swatches.

Color looks lighter than it actually is; but for the most part, very true to life.

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In case you can't read the handwritten review:

COLOR: Light blue-turquoise. Not seeing any green here. A bright light blue

PROPERTIES: Average flow in this Cross ATX (m)
Shades on the back of thinner paper but no bleedthrough
Colorwise, lovely shading
No feathering :)

CONCLUSION: A well-behaved blue-turquoise ink. Pleasant color. More blue than Noodler's Navajo, brighter than Asa Blue.



Closeup of drying times on different paper types. I didn't bother to do any color-correction, so the ink looks darker than it is:

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Closeup of color comparisons, very obviously color-corrected (:P) :

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As mentioned above, Noodler's NT, though not by ANY means "green", definitely has a stronger greenish tinge than Diamine HT; it's more visible in real life.
Both are bright blues, but Diamine HT is darker and bluer.
Lighter and brighter than Diamine Asa Blue and Diamine MB

Diamine Majestic Blue (Diamine MB) has, in the photo, some odd splotches that kinda make it look like a petri dish. This is because of its near-legendary saturation: Diamine MB is so highly saturated that light bounces off the darkest parts of your writing (or, in this case, ink splotch) and creates this effect where it looks like the light reflected back is almost red, not blue. Diluting your MB with some water is a commonly used solution, assuming you don't like the reflect-red effect (I don't, personally).


The above are the only two turquoises I own, but out of them I prefer the Noodler's. I feel like the Noodler's NT color is more interesting with its green hue, as opposed to just being a pretty shade of blue.


So what's your favorite turquoise?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Hope PInk

This is really a lovely color, and a portion of sales from this ink goes towards breast cancer research. If you like pink inks, buy it!

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Color comparisons seem accurate enough:

Hope Pink is bright without being neon, and a true pink
Noodler's Rachmaninov is more neon and leans towards magenta-blue
J. Herbin Rouge Bourgogne is warmer in tone, and looks almost earthy compared to the other two.


Here are some close-ups of how this ink fares on different types of paper in terms of feathering. There is slight to moderate bleedthrough, depending on how wet your FP is. (NOTE -- in these photos, Hope Pink looks cooler in tone than it actually is)

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I would caution against using this ink in a wetter pen because the flow is very good, so it might be a tad too wet and really cause some feathering issues in, say, a Pelikan with a medium or broad nib.

Washes out very easily, so it's a snap to clean out if you like to switch inks a lot.

Overall, a well behaved ink that I definitely recommend for pink lovers!





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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Going Postal: A Traveling Journal

Waaaay back in January, I received Bianca's traveling journal to decorate. The theme was "mail" or "postal"; basically, anything associated with a mailbox or the postal system. I had a lot of fun decorating 3 pages. Here they are!

Avian Air Mail: When carrier pigeons just aren't enough. The albatross is missing from his post, because he's off to deliver a letter overseas.

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See?

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No one had done it yet, so I decided to make the last one a "love letter" theme.

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Can you decode the message?

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Ahh, it feels good to be posting again!







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Saturday, August 28, 2010

And The Winner Is....

The winner of the Diamine Classic Red giveaway is..... axolotl66!!!

Axolot166, please e-mail me your address at allmyhues@gmail.com so I can send you your ink :)


To everybody else: Thanks for participating! I just finished moving in to my new apartment, going grocery shopping, registering for classes, going to grad student events/workshops....man, talk about hectic.

Speaking of classes, mine start on Monday. I'm going to try real hard to do....biweekly reviews/posts? Does that sound good? We'll see. I'm sure I'll need the wonderful world of pens, inks, art and penpals to keep me sane as I proceed through grad school :^)


Upcoming: Ink review of Diamine Hope Pink




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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Diamine Classic Red Giveaway!

There will be no new posts for a while, because I am currently in Wyoming with my family to see Yellowstone National Park (yay!). So, to hold you over till then, how 'bout a giveaway?

I'm not really a red ink person. So this ink that was generously given to me by Diamine to review should go to someone who will actually use it, right?

Since I'm currently in a "red" state, I'll be sending out a bottle of Diamine Classic Red to one winner. The contest will end when I get back to my own state. (Isn't that a nice tie-in?)


Rules & details--

Prize up for grabs: Diamine Classic Red, 30 mL

Contest duration: Sunday August 15th to Friday August 27th, 10 AM EST

How to enter: My big summer trip this year was to Wyoming state to see Yellowstone National Park. What about you? Comment to this entry, and tell me where you went this summer Day trip to the local beach? Valid. A week in Costa Rica? Valid. An afternoon picnic in a nearby park? Valid. Antarctica? Valid. Basically, it doesn't have to be a huge exotic excursion to count. Just as long as it isn't your house :)

(Your living room? So NOT valid.)


Winner will be chosen by random draw when I get back.


Ink Review for Diamine Classic Red HERE.



Good luck!!!






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Ink Review: Diamine Classic Red

I find it a bit odd that Diamine has waited until fairly recently to release a "classic red" color. Isn't that a color you'd release for the original lineup? Well, it's never too late to go back to basics, I suppose...

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The colors are slightly deeper in tone than they appear in the swatches, but look pretty accurate in relation to each other. Specifically --

Rouge Bourgogne is dark pink
Poppy Red is red-orange
Widowmaker is a very deep, dark red (without being maroon)
Classic Red has no orange tones at all


Close-ups of the writing:

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Do you like this color? (of course you do!) Would you like to own it? (of course you would!)

If the answer is "yes" (and you know it is), stay tuned for a Diamine Classic Red giveaway!




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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Homage to a Bat

After seeing the bat that decided to visit my new home, I decided to pay it a little homage. Unfortunately, I incorrectly identified it as a small brown bat, not a big brown bat. So, I drew an image of the latter instead of the former. Oh, well. Live and learn, I guess. Either way, it's still kinda cute:

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Done with Sakura Micron Art Pens on a smooth Bristol pad.

By the way, this is interesting: Quite a few cultures (Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Native American) think of bats as good omens. Go figure that India is one of the countries that considers bats to be BAD omens. Boo. Not that this does anything to change how I view my little fuzzy visitor :-)



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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bat Medicine

Some of you may know that I shall soon be packing my bags and moving from the suburbs of New Jersey to upstate New York for graduate studies (WHOO!). This past spring consisted of me frantically trying to find a place to live for the school year, starting this fall.

At the end of May, I finally found a place! The day after I saw it, I went back to sign the lease -- and discovered that I already had my first visitor:



Do you know what that is? It's a bat! Fast asleep, clinging to the screen with its tiny bat feet. It was actually inside! I guess it's not that surprising, considering that I'm technically underground.

I'm pretty sure that this is a big brown bat. Here's a close-up of the critter:



Because I love animals and was so excited at seeing a bat up-close, I considered the creature to be a good omen. I was really surprised, however, when a pen pal of mine pointed out that to the Native Americans, bats represent rebirth, transformation, new beginnings, taking a journey of spiritual and personal growth, and release of old habits or ego for a new way of life. Bat symbolizes the need for letting go of a way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern. Maybe that's why, she wrote, I received bat medicine that day.

Hmm...sounds pretty fitting to me!


(By the way, before I left I told the owner of the house to have it humanely removed. No worries. Also, the photos were taken with my cell phone camera, hence the lousy quality)



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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Year of the Tiger (Now in Technicolor!)

Here are the finished works from the last post:

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^It's difficult to tell, but the dragonfly glimmers.


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In the above piece, a tiger is startled by a gorgeous (and glittery) butterfly that suddenly appeared. That directly reflects how pleasantly surprised I was by the good fortune this year has brought for me. Done with waterproof ink (outlines), watercolors, and glittery gel pens (accents).



Hmm. At some point I'm going to have to redo the list of links to other blogs. But that's boring, and so true to form I have been procrastinating on it. I know, I know...




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Monday, August 2, 2010

Year of the Tiger!

It's pretty well known that this year is the Chinese Year of the Tiger. This has special significance for me, because I am -- you guessed it -- a Tiger. Not only that, but this year has brought me some pretty amazing new opportunities and chances at self-improvement on a variety of different fronts. So several months back, I created several Year-of-the-Tiger-themed, handpainted stationery on Crane & Co Letterwriting Sheets.

Here are some rough sketches:

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My attempt at tiger realism...

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...as well as a simpler style.

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Here is one that I'd already finished by the time I got to work on the above ones. This one went to an excellent pen pal of mine in Canada. You can't really tell, but the eyes are glimmery -- I used gold glittery gel pen to make them stand out. I used a brush pen with waterproof ink for the outlining, then colored it using watercolors.

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This paper handles both fountain pen ink and watercolors incredibly well, and you can see previous works I did on Crane paper here and here.



Roar!!!

Ink Review: Diamine WES Kensington Blue

WES is an acronym for The Writing Equipment Society, an organization for which the ink was named. I personally find it to be a very boring shade of blue...but that's just me. I way prefer Diamine Midnight.
Here's the review -- I darkened the image because the original photo showed the ink as being too light. Likewise, the darker areas on the color swatches in the Ink Comparison section show where I had to use Photoshop for color-correction.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Midnight

Great flow, great color -- what more to ask for when looking at blue-black inks? It's certainly not the darkest blue-black I've ever seen, but this does allow for excellent shading. Take a look--

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The obligatory close-up:

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Marine

This has become one of my favorite colors, ever. It's kind of ironic, though, how an ink color called "Marine" positively melts off the paper with a splash of water. Oh well. The fact that this color is so beautiful makes me not give a damn as to the waterfastness of the ink. Average flow, good lubrication.

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Ink Review: Diamine Delamere Green

This is the only non-dark green I've ever owned that I actually like! It's one of my favorite colors, now.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Rustic Brown

This is the first in a set of 10 Diamine inks that I'll be reviewing. It was released in the fall of 2009. This is a nice red-brown ink.

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Close-ups of the writing:

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

~ Blogwarming ~

Hello, hello! Blogspot will now be the new home for All My Hues. If you scroll back or check out the tags, you'll see that I tranferred almost all my entries from LiveJournal to here to make it easier to access past reviews and such.

Please let me know what you think of this new layout. Is the font too light? Too small? Hard to read? Just right? Are the colors too glaring? Your feedback will help me tweak the design as needed.


Thanks for your patience!

Diamine Inks (Fall 2009)

...take two!

Last year I started but never got around to finishing reviewing the new colors Diamine released for for Fall 2009. So, guess what will be happening over the next few days?

Here, once again, is the color comparison chart I made for the Fall 2009 Diamine inks, next to several other similar colors. You can see that I color-corrected the ink swatches.

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The Diamine Fall '09 ink swatches (Hope Pink, Classic Red, Rustic Brown, Majestic Purple, Lavender, WES Kensington Blue, Midnight, Marine, Havasu Turquoise, and Delamere Green) are outlined in black, plus there's a pink highlighter that separates them from the other inks.

Artists' Essentials: Palette & Scraper

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My own palette and "scraper".

If you use tube paints -- be they watercolors, acrylic, or oils -- investing in a palette is a great idea. Palettes are used for mixing colors upon, and they are MUCH better than those mixing trays with several tiny compartments. I had one of those, and believe me, it was a nightmare to clean. Apparently they keep colors moist longer, but personally I would much rather re-moisten paint rather than deal with cleaning out several small wells after the fact...but that's just me :) But that being said, palettes are a great deal easier to clean, as they are just a flat surface. This also makes them easy to store. The palette I currently have is made of plastic -- a very durable, reusable material. I'm not a fan of disposable palettes, as they create unnecessary waste. Buy reuseable! :)

In addition to a palette, you'll also want to have on hand a scraper. These are nifty for, well, scraping off dried smears and globs of colors from your palette after you're done working. It makes it much easier to clean than just using, say, a napkin or sponge. Palette scrapers are cheap, so you should definitely invest in one. Too frugal to do so? No problem. You can easily use something you already have -- my "palette scraper" is actually an oil painting spatula. You can even use a plastic knife for this job. Scrapers make cleaning your palette much easier and faster. And really, who wants to spend a lot of time cleaning up?

The National Postal Museum

WARNING: PHOTO HEAVY POST AHEAD!

Hello hello! Since I know that many of you are fellow mail lovers, I figured that I would dedicate this post to describing for you theNational Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. that my sister and I went to see.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't expect anything that interesting. My sister was the one who really insisted that we see it, and I am so glad for it! The National Postal Museum was absolutely fascinating, and I certainly encourage anyone who is in the vicinity to go and visit.

The museum is located right by Union Station -- literally across the street -- and admission is free.

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My sister (right) and I (left) in front of the Museum.


The National Postal Museum used to be the actual post office for Washington, D.C. Here's my sister posing by some old mail boxes.

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Going down the escalator, this is what we saw:

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On the left is a modern mail delivery truck; in the middle is a mail-delivering aeroplane; and to the right you can see the blunt end of a mail delivery train. You could walk inside the train, where there was a setup of how the inside of a mail-sorting train looked, back when railroads were first beginning to connect the nation.

Look familiar?

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A mail-delivery stagecoach:

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The Alphabetilately Exhibit (Sept 26, 2008 -- Oct 29, 2010)

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Creative!

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The Gift Shop

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I wanted the above poster. So. Badly. Alas, it was $25 and out of my price range ;__;

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Gotta love the placement of the V-mail poster, yes? That's me on the left, my sister on the right. Yup, this shot was orchestrated.


At the National Postal Museum gift shop, I also found the book Good Mail Day, from the lovely ladies at the Good Mail Day blog. If you haven't checked out their book or blog yet, I strongly encourage you to do so!


In addition to all this, there was an exhibition called Binding the Nation, that basically showed the evolution of the postal system in the U.S.: From old Native American trails in the woods to the Pony Express to the system we have now. There was also a section on coded messages and telegraphs sent during various wars, such as the Civil War, the World Wars, and the Cold War. They also had a V-mail section. I sadly didn't get a chance to see/photograph these, as the museum was closing early *sad*

Needless to say, the National Postal Museum is an amazingly interesting place to visit, and I encourage everyone to drop by (and, if you're feeling generous, drop a donation).