Flexible Fountain Pen for Calligraphy

Practicing calligraphy with a dip pen and a bottle of ink is ideal but it is not always convenient when you are on the go. A good alternative would be to use a fountain pen with a flexible nib that somehow mimics an old fashioned nib.

Most fountain pen manufacturers these days are cautious in labeling their fountain pen as flexible and even some advertise that the nibs are flexible but they do not cut the mustard. So to help you decide what fountain pen to purchase, I’ve decided to share a review of the flex fountain pens that we own.

Test Parameters:

- Point of comparison for hand writing pressure to flex the nib: soft to medium pressure
- Paper: Muji dotted notebook
- Fountain Pens: Vintage Waterman 92, Pilot FA 742, and Noodler’s Creaper Flex

Vintage Fountain Pen (Waterman 92)

This pen was a present for Lex which I bought from sizer65 on eBay. I got good recommendations on where to buy vintage fountain pens online from the Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers page in Facebook. This group of fountain pen enthusiasts is very friendly and helpful so you may want to check out their page if you’re looking for fountain pen recommendations and reviews.

Guidelines for buying vintage fountain pens online:
- Look for pictures of writing samples that show line variation
- Look for terms like flexible, flex, super flex, or wet noodle
- It must be described as fully functional or restored
- Google and see if the pen really performs as described by the seller based on reviews by other owners
- Check the sellers feedback
- Check with the seller if the fountain pen requires soft pressure to make swells and hairlines
- Ask the seller questions when in doubt

It was reasonably priced however the line variation was not what I expected. I thought that it would produce the same line variation as the Pilot FA 742 or better, but it produced a thinner swell. The pressure required to create swells would be from soft to medium but the tricky part is in creating hairlines since the fountain pen required a light touch to maintain a thin and consistent hairline. I know this sounds contradictory but this pen is just a tad quirky.

Vintage Waterman 92 Summary:
- Flexible: Yes
- Likes: Good line variation
- Dislikes: Takes any ink however a medium pressure is required to make line variations
- Line Variation: Medium Swells and Thin Hairlines
- Pressure Required to create line variation: Medium pressure for swells and light pressure for hairlines
- Ink: Works with most fountain pen inks
- Price: $60-100
- Where to buy: Online or eBay (sizer65)

Pilot FA 742

I bought the Pilot FA 742 after some intensive research online. It is a great flex pen that is comparable to old fashioned nibs. It is pricey compared to other flex pens in the market but I think it is worth it.

The line variation I get from this pen is still the best compared to all other fountain pens that I’ve tried. This is my favorite fountain pen so far.

Pilot FA 742 Summary:
- Flexible: Yes
- Likes: Great line variation
- Dislikes: Picky with ink and railroads if you write in flex mode really fast
- Line Variation: Thick Swells and Thin Hairlines
- Pressure Required to create line variation: Soft
- Ink: Works best with Pilot inks
- Price: $190
- Where to buy: Online or local fountain pen shops (Fook Hing Trading)

Noodler’s Creaper Flex

 We were so excited to get the Noodler’s Creaper Flex since it was the cheapest flex pen with good online reviews. The pen requires heavy pressure to make it flex. Lex can easily make the pen flex but I struggle to make swells as I need to insert heavy pressure and only get minimal results. I must say that I am a bit disappointed with this pen

There are some folks here in Singapore, like Urner Woo, who provide nib grinding services to make nibs more flexible. He sells modified Noodler’s Ahab pens at $80.

Noodler’s Creaper Flex

- Flexible: Yes
- Likes: Ok line variation and great value for the price
- Dislikes: Required heavy pressure to write in flex mode. Ladies may have a hard time making this pen flex as opposed to the Gents.
- Line Variation: Small to Medium Swells and Thin Hairlines
- Pressure Required to create line variation: Medium to hard pressure for swells and light pressure for hairlines
- Ink: Works with most fountain pen inks
- Price: $20
- Where to buy: Online (Goulet Pens)

Summary:

Overall, I think that the best pen is the Pilot 742 FA however it is pricey. Vintage pens would be the next best alternative but buying them is a bit troublesome and results do vary. The Noodler’s pen is the most affordable and if you don’t like how it flexes, you can always get it modified.

Stay tuned for my post on the Noodler’s Ahab and Platinum Cool Fountain Pens in the upcoming weeks. These pens are flex and may be used for calligraphy.

Platypus Gourmet2Go and Lobster Shack

We walked past Platypus Gourmet2Go and Lobster Shack a few weeks ago when we went out for a brisk walk. I’ve never tried a lobster roll before so we had to have it for dinner the next day.

Platypus Lobster Shack

We ordered two lobster rolls and to our surprise we got a complimentary bowl of Lobster Bisque. Our server told us that they were gathering feedback from customers since they wanted to put it on the regular menu. I love crabs and lobster but I’ve never really liked bisques so I was a bit apprehensive when I tried it but I really really really love it.

Best Lobster bisque ever!

The bisque was creamy and well balanced. I loved how the roe did not overpower the soup. I’m not familiar with the taste of sea urchin so I can’t really comment on how well the ingredient tasted but all I can say is if they sold a large portion of the lobster and sea urchin bisque, I’d be a regular at their restaurant.

The Traditional Lobster Roll

The Traditional lobster roll had some butter-poached lobster meat with roasted garlic mayonnaise and chives. The bun was buttery and slightly crunchy since it was toasted. The lobster was delicate and a splash of lemon really brightened the flavors.

Smoke Paprika Lobster Roll

The Smoked Paprika lobster roll had butter poached lobster with Spanish paprika with Hollandaise and chervil. I preferred this one to the Traditional Lobster roll since I like strong flavors, but what I really liked about this roll is that although the flavors were strong they did not overpower the taste of the lobster. The dish was well balanced so you could still taste most of the ingredients.

The sides deserve a special mention since they were excellent as well. The truffle chips had a strong truffle flavor and it had a spicy kick which made it taste like truffle and BBQ. I’ve never really liked the taste of truffle until I had their spicy chips. The salad was fresh and the citrus dressing was light and refreshing. You will really feel stuffed after having such a huge meal.

They serve a different menu during the day and the lobster rolls are only served after 6 pm. We were talking about how it would be great to bring guests here. Unfortunately, they are only open on weekdays and they only accept cash so you need to withdraw some money before coming to this place, but it is worth it.

I like how the restaurant is very intimate and the staff is very friendly. The Platypus Gourmet and Lobster Shack is a must-try in our book. If you’re in the Telok Ayer/ Chinatown area, we would recommend trying this place.

Platypus Gourmet2Go and Lobster Shack

  • Website: www.platypuskitchen.com
  • Address: 3 Pickering Street #01-31 Nankin Row Singapore 048660
  • Telephone: 6438 796
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Lobster rolls are only served after 6 pm

Sponsored Post: Grateful Giveaway


What are you grateful for and why? Let’s reduce negativity in our lives by just taking a moment to look at the positive things.

We’ve held several giveaways that were focused on giving prizes and just collecting entries. This time,  we want our giveaway to have a more positive impact by asking participants to share a short comment on this post.

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  1. Just leave a comment on this post about what you are grateful for and why.
  2. Follow us 2justByou on any of their social media accounts via the Rafflecopter application below.
  3. The winner will be selected randomly.
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Sponsored Post: Beauty Biotics

The Sample Store sent me these Beauty Biotics products to test and review. I don’t usually try or buy products until I’ve done some research on them and I was eager to try these products since they seemed very promising and the are deemed safe for sensitive skin. I’ve tested and used these products for more than 3 weeks and here is my complete review.

My skincare for the past few years has been focused on hydrating my skin since my cheeks tend to get really dry no matter what hydrating product I use. I’ve tried so many soaps, toners and creams, and last year I found an effective regimen combination of products that addressed all my skin woes. I’m interested to see if products from Beauty Biotics will work for my skin without jeopardizing its quality.

I don’t like to spend too much time putting my face on so I look for effective products that are easy to apply. I’ve only started wearing foundation this year after I got a really bad sunburn during our holiday in December and my skin is still uneven. I’ve already sampled different foundations like cakes, liquids and primer-powder combos but I find them too troublesome to put on especially when I’m rushing off to work..

The red spots on my cheeks is covered up and my complexion looks more even

I loved how light and easy it was to put on after moisturizing. It gives my face a radiant glow and it did not dry out my skin. It provided medium coverage so I didn’t look like I had too much product on. I hate it when I check my face in the mirror and I find those foundation streak lines, but I didn’t experience that with the BB/CC Beauty Balm Colour Corrector since it was easy to blend. I guess the light texture came with a trade-off which was complete coverage but I would rather have a light product that is easy to put on with medium coverage and evens my skin tone as opposed to full but heavy coverage. I think that the Beauty Balm Colour Corrector is a great everyday product and I am adding it as a staple product in my make-up kit.

BB/CC Beauty Balm Colour Corrector Summary $39:

  • Timesaver: Yes
  • Hydrating Effect: Yes
  • All Day Coverage: Yes
  • Easy to blend: Yes
  • Texture: Light and breathable
  • Effective Coverage: Medium
  • Sun Protection: SPF 40
  • Happy with the product: Yes
  • Will I use it until I finish it: Yes
  • Will I recommend it: Yes

Love the light texture and the soft powder puff. I carry this with me everywhere I go.

Over the past few weeks, I conducted calligraphy workshops and went to a few events so my face had to be presentable and oil free from morning to evening. After completing my skincare routine and make-up, I finished it with the BB+ Nano Luminescence Mineral Pearl Powder. What I like about this powder is that it takes the shine away from my troublesome T zone and it is so easy to put on since it comes with a great powder puff. I don’t usually like putting powder on but I am loving the BB+ Nano Luminescence Mineral Pearl Powder and I carry it with me every day.

BB+ Nano Luminescence Mineral Pearl Powder Summary $45:

  • Easy to apply: Yes
  • All Day Coverage: Yes
  • Texture: light and fine
  • Sun Protection SPF 40
  • Happy with the product: Yes
  • Will I use it until I finish it: Yes
  • Will I recommend it: Yes

The fine pearl powder gives my face a radiant glow

I also bring the UV White Nano Mineral Powder with me because it is so small and portable. I love the small compact packaging where the puff is connected to the bottle soa you can dispense the product directly to the puff. The nano pearl powder reflects light, giving my skin a luminescent glow.

UV White Nano Mineral Powder Summary $49:

  • Easy to apply: Yes
  • All Day Coverage: Yes
  • Texture: light and fine
  • Sun Protection: SPF 50
  • Happy with the product: Yes
  • Will I use it until I finish it: Yes
  • Will I recommend it: Yes

I’ve used these products daily for more than 3 weeks now and really tested these out so that I can give an impartial review. I really love the BB/CC Beauty Balm Colour Corrector and BB+ Nano Luminescence Mineral Pearl Powder that I will be adding these as staple products in my beauty arsenal. The UV White Nano Mineral Powder contains light diffusing powder, making the skin look more even and radiant.

You can buy Beauty Biotics products exclusively at Watsons Singapore outlets and like their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkinbioticsSG

Beauty Biotics

Galanga Living

I was in the Henderson area today and I saw the photographer for Galanga Living taking photos in front of their shop. She was styling a living room set with some Ex Voto sacred heart cases so I made a mental note to come back at the end of the day to browse the items in the shop.

Located at 211 Henderson

I bought an Ex Voto last Christmas and I decided that I want to start a collection. I was suprised to find that they sell them here in Singapore since these are a bit difficult to find online. Antique Ex Votos cost hundreds of dollars and even replicas can get pretty pricey so I was glad to find out that the ones so affordable. The small heart costs $15 while the large one costs $30.

Ex Voto Sacred Heart Collectables

I quickly made my way to the counter and asked if I take photos and the shopkeeper gladly obliged. I just love it when stores are accommodating. I took snapshots of my favorite spaces in the shop so you can see what they have in-store.

What I like about this shop is that they have a lot of unique items and cool accents in bright colors. I can just imagine how these colorful accessories will brighten up a space. I’ll definitely come back here to get those Ex Voto hearts soon.

Galanga Living

  • Website: www.galangaliving.com
  • Address: 211 Henderson Road, #01-02, Henderson Industrial Park, Singapore 159552
  • Telephone: 6475 2633

Savour 2014

We went to Savour 2014 last Sunday as a treat after a very busy weekend of workshops, meet-ups  and running around the city. It was our first time at Savour and we were very excited to try the wonderful dishes we’ve heard so much about.

Savour 2014 at Marina Bay

The first dish we tried was from Chef Emmanuel Stroobant  of Saint Pierre and Blue Lotus. The lamb dish was tender on the inside while the crunchy Five Spice exterior enhanced the natural flavor of the meat.

Slow Roasted Organic Lamb Short Ribs Crusted with Five Spices

We had to try the pork dish from Chef Kentaro Torii of Forlino next. The suckling pig dish was tender however I was expecting a more savory dish. It was not as flavorful as I expected and the meat looked pale underneath the harsh sunlight.

Roasted Suckling Pig Loin Porchetta with Sherry Vinegar and Roasted Vegetables

The aged roast beef from Chef Mark Sargeant of Oxwell & Co and Rocksalt really intrigued us. I’ve never tried Yorkshire pudding before and the puffy pastry complemented the 32 day aged Sirloin quite well.

32 Day Aged Roast Sirloin of Angus Beef in a Yorkshire Pudding with Horseradish & Watercress

The homemade honeycomb was crunchy and the fresh cream combined with the dark Valrhona Pudding was surprisingly refreshing on such a hot day.

Valrhona Chocolate Pot, Fresh Cream & Homemade Honeycomb

Since it was so sweltering, we wanted to try another cooling dish and the crab and potato dish from Chef Daniel Chavez from OLA fit the bill. It was refreshing and delicious. Perfect for such a hot day.

Crab and Potato Salad with Spicy Aoli Sauce

We could not pass up the cheese and bread from Chef Christope Paucod of Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais. The fresh cheese with chives, garlic and parsley was a great dip for the fresh baguette.

Cervelle Des Canuts Et Sa Baguette De Campagne

The best dish of the day belongs to Chef Christoper Millar from Stellar@1-ALTITUDE. The short rib was so tender and savory that it blew off all the other dishes we’ve tried.

24 Hour Black Angus Short Rib with Soy Caramel

Some of the other dishes we were eager to try were already sold out by time we got there. We would recommend going to this event on the first day at dinner, if it will still be held at the same spot, so you can enjoy the excellent food in the cool night overlooking the stunning Marina Bay vista.

Dr. Ph Martin’s Pen White Ink Review

I was glad to find Dr. Ph Matin’s Pen-White at Art Friend for a project I did last month. It was too thick to use out of the bottle so I transferred it to a small bottle and diluted it with water.

When I got the consistency right, I added a few drops of gum of arabic to make the solution more permanent. I was glad to be able to make hairlines and swells using the Nikko G nib.

The ink cakes on the nib pretty fast so I had to work fast and clean the nib every now and then. It’s a good thing that clean-up was easy as the ink comes off the nib and pen holder when you run it under water.

What’s your experience with this ink? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Workshop Review by Hey Jayel

I was checking my comments and pingbacks at lunch when I saw a ping from Hey Jayel. She attended our workshop last weekend and I was keen to read what she thought about it. Please note that this is not a sponsored review from Elle. This feedback is her own.

Source: Hey Jayel

Elle: “It was also great because the class was held in smaller groups so Katrina could provide us feedback and advice as we practice our strokes. During the first part of the workshop we covered the differences between Modern and Traditional Calligraphy and also the different materials needed. I loved the tips that she gave us about nibs, inks and pen holders. I learned more in that half hour she was talking then when I did my research online!”

I was happy to hear that our 2 hour workshop was able to meet its objectives. We made sure that the class size was small so I could check up on each participant’s progress. It means a lot to me that one of our participants felt she learned a lot.

Read her complete review at her blog Hey Jayel.