Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I really enjoy reading other people's posts where they answer questions about themselves. It's like a little window into finding more about them, and I came across these from Susannah Conway which I quite like. I'm not quite sure why the title is called 'love' though. Susannah also uses a filofax and was covered in the Philofaxy Reader under the Spotlight series here.

Are your parents married or divorced?
They divorced quite some years ago, and my Dad has re-married which I think is great.

Have you ever come close to dying?
Thankfully no.

What jewellery do you wear 24/7?
My wedding and engagement ring that belonged to my late Nan.

Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Always, not quite sure why you wouldn't.

Do you wear makeup?
Very rarely. I went through a stage some years ago of feeling that I should wear it. However, more recently I've come to the conclusion that I really don't need it and I'm very grateful that I have a pretty good complexion anyway.

Would you ever have plastic surgery?
No. I want to stay fit, strong and healthy as I get older but don't think I'm too worried about ageing. I'm not convinced that I'll dye my hair, but we'll see.

What do you wear to bed?
Most of the time nothing, but I'm wearing PJs currently as I've been feeling chilly.

Have you ever done anything illegal?

Can you roll your tongue?

Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?
No, but I have an amazing husband.

Do you believe in abortions?
Yes, I think life is precious but I also think a woman should have the right to choose.

What is your hair colour?
Black with the occasional white hair now.

Future child's name, boy and girl?
This really isn't something I've considered as I don't have any plans to have children right now.

Do you smoke?
No, it tastes too icky even without taking into account all the health risks.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There are lots of places I'd like to go, but my current favourite would be anywhere where I could see leopards in the wild.

Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
No, and I haven't done since I was a child.

If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
Buy my wonderful husband an iMac! I'd then do other more serious things like helping family pay off mortgages though.

Gold or silver?

Hamburger or hot dog?
Probably a hamburger but not from Burger King or McDonald's, thanks.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Char sui bao.

City, beach or country?
All of the above, depending on what I fancy at the time.

What was the last thing you touched?
My computer mouse and my filofax.

When's the last time you cried?
Two days ago when I watched Marley and Me.

What colour are your pants?
I guess these questions come from the US?? Well, my underwear is black and my trousers are dark blue denim.

Ever been involved with the police?
Yes, but I wasn't the one being questioned. My parents ran a restaurant when I was growing up and the local officers would come in for a cuppa at the end of their shift, so I always knew them.

What's your favourite shampoo/conditioner and soap?
I normally use Alberto Balsam shampoo because it's cheap and and only occasionally use conditioner. For a change, I've recently bought some of the Body Shop's banana shampoo which smells scrummy. My favourite shower gel is a mango one from the Body Shop.

Do you talk in your sleep?

Ocean or pool?
Ocean every time.

What's your favourite song at the moment?

Have you ever had a cavity?
Yes, I have two fillings.

Window seat or aisle seats?
I find flying quite exciting, so love looking out of the window. Best moments so far... watching lightning in the clouds some way off, flying into Toronto at night and seeing the lights.

Ever met anyone famous?
Yes. The most exciting one was being called up on stage to boogie when we went to see Michael Franti and Spearhead! He ruffled my hair and gave me an enormous hug. I'm in the pink top on the far left :)

Do you feel you've had a truly successful life?
Hmm, tricky question... I am very proud of where I've got to (and need to keep reminding myself of that) but there's so much more I'd like to work on.

Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

Are you self-conscious?
Not so much these days, but I used to be.

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Yes, I had concussion years ago where I fell and hit my head whilst ice skating.

Last gift you received and what occasion you received your gift?
Stuff at Christmas time.

Last thing you spent lots of money on?
A holiday to Malaysia.

Where do you live?
In a flat with my wonderful man and our crazy kitty, Floops.

Last wedding attended?
My own.

Favourite restaurant?
Pearl Harbour Chinese restaurant. This is in my opinion the BEST place for Chinese noms. We've been going there so long that I used to have to sit on telephone directories as I couldn't reach the table!

What is your favourite kind of car?
I'm not into cars so much, so anything that runs and is reliable.

What's your least favourite chore(s)?
Nothing in particular springs to mind.

Favourite drink?
Redbush tea or water.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Kaweco calligraphy pen set review

I've been considering learning calligraphy for a while now and I'm delighted that I've found a local course with Gaynor Goffe later this year. I'd like to thank Cult Pens for sending me the Classic Sport calligraphy set free of charge to review.

Kaweco are a German company originally established in 1883 and the Sport pen had been sold since 1934. The original company ceased production many years ago, but the name was purchased by an experienced and enthusiastic pen parts manufacturer called Michael Gutberlet. He has revived classic designs and turned Kaweco back into a respected and successful brand.

The nicely designed packaging isn't overly excessive for the size of the set and the box has a funky sliding lid which I like. To open, you pull a tab made of ribbon and a section slides to one side to reveal and open up the contents.

Here's the pen itself:

10cm in length with cap on

13cm when posted
The styling is not what I'd expected for a calligraphy pen as maybe I thought it would be more like the Lamy Joy for some reason. I do like the unusual and modern design and there is a silver logo on the top of the screw cap which I think adds a touch of class to the white plastic. The cap is faceted so that the pen won't roll off your desk. As you can see from the photo, posting the cap on the end turns it into a full size pen which feels comfortable in my hand. My husband's opinion was that it would be more comfortable for him if the barrel size was the same thickness as the cap, but with my smaller hands I find the width fine. The design is a classic 'Pocket Pen' type which means that the barrel is narrower so that most of the pen tucks away into the cap when closed. 'Small in the pocket, large in the hand' is Kaweco's slogan.

This is what's included:

The nibs are very easy to change over as they just screw into the barrel and come with caps to protect them when not in use. There is no converter available to use bottled ink, but I am going to buy some Pelikan 4001 ink and have a blunt syringe that I will use to fill the short international standard cartridge that it takes.

Left to right in width: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9 and 2.33 mm
All four nibs worked immediately after inserting a cartridge and the pen writes smoothly on the page with the ink drying quite quickly. I can't compare this to other calligraphy pens as I'm just starting out, but I'm finding that the 1.1mm width is quite nice to use for day to day use. Once I've started my course I will do a follow up post to let you know how I'm getting on with it after some tuition.

Not Filofax paper 

Looking again, the bleed-through isn't too bad
To buy the items separately it would cost you £45.46 (compared with £52.00 for the set) but the protective caps for the nibs are not available to buy on their own and you wouldn't get the box. Also, the calligraphy nibs are made up specially by this company and not normally available to purchase individually. It's also possible to buy pocket clips, pen pouches and different coloured ink cartridges.

I think this is a great set as a beginner and I feel I have everything I need to start learning calligraphy. If I had purchased this myself I would probably have gone for the black version as I wonder if the white will get stained by ink. The pen and additional nibs will be easy to transport and take with me on my course. I'm not sure that I would have spent this much on a set, but it's a good brand and I've read other positive reviews about it elsewhere:
Fountain Pen Network
The Pen Addict
Drawing with a Squirrel

Cult Pens also sent me the twist and out cartridge dispenser which holds 8 cartridges. I remember a friend at school having something similar in her pencil case and I always thought it was cool! I normally keep my cartridges in a drawer in a desk tidy, but this little dispenser is a neat way to always have some to hand.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Catching up

I feel I'm a little behind with my posts at the moment, so please bear with me...
Coming soon:
And here are  a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure in the meantime :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Welcoming the new year in with my filofax and workbook

I'd like to wish you all a very happy New Year and I hope that 2013 will be a wonderful year for you :)

As mentioned previously, I've been a member of Leonie Dawson's Goddess Circle and I thought my recent purchase of an A5 zipped Holborn filofax would be a perfect place to keep my 2013 Create your incredible year calendar and workbook! I've already started working on it and have realised just how much awesome stuff I got done in 2012. I love how colourful it is and it works very well in A5 size.

I will be also working on the business edition once I've completed the life one.

Sadly I didn't get very far with my previous workbook as I think I'd let winter get to me, but I'm glad to say that I'm loving working on this one. Also, keeping it in my filofax feels much more special than just one of my normal ringbinders.

I'm not normally one for setting resolutions, but I quite liked a discussion set up in the Goddess Circle about setting one word as your intention for the year. Immediately I decided that mine will be ENJOY as something I'm working on is enjoying who I am in the present, as it can be too easy for me to focus on what I want to improve instead.

How are you getting on with your workbook (if you have one) or deciding on your New Year's resolutions?