Vinta Neon Edition

The other half of the new capsule collections that Vinta Inks released recently is the Neon Edition. I decided to review the whole collection in one entry because they really look good together and I think that it’s such a cohesive collection.

The Neon Edition features three colors: Pop!1993 (Magnetic Blue), Tagpuan 2046 (Electric Pink), and Astro 1980 (Android Teal). These are bright colors that are surprisingly saturated enough to be legible. They can be used for main journal entries, but they also provide great contrast to dark-colored ink. I usually use these in my journal entries with black ink, they pop out of the page like crazy.

My favorite of these three is the Astro 1980, which I must admit is quite a surprise because it looks a little candy-like at first but it really grows on you. Here’s a closer look at the three colors in the Neon Edition:

POP! 1993 (MAGNETIC BLUE)

This color is a happy, vibrant baby blue. It has some pronounced shading on it, even using a fine-nibbed pen, though the shading is just a tad darker version of baby blue. There’s no noticeable hints of red or any other color on it, just straight up shades of baby blue. I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t be legible but it actually is, although I love to pair this with darker colored ink because they pop so well on the page that way.

Compared with the other blue ink in this capsule release (Peregrino), this one flows a bit dryer and dries faster. I’d say it’s pretty well-behaved, as I’ve been using it for the past weeks in my journals and planner and it hasn’t dried up on me. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample:

Continue reading “Vinta Neon Edition”

Ink Swab: Pink Rose 1973 (Binibini)

I was really excited to learn that Vinta was including an ink that looks like old rose. I’ve always wanted to have this kind of pink in my collection but I’m always worried they won’t be legible or suitable for daily writing. I used a fine-nibbed Platinum Prefounte to try this one out and was pleasantly surprised that it was still very much readable.

It’s a dusky pink, quite muted in color. I think it gets a bit darker after leaving on a page a few days. The purplish undertone shows up more after leaving it to dry. I can say that this is my favorite color among all the new inks in the Vintage and Neon collections. It also makes it to one of my favorites in all inks I have in my collection. Now this is a pink ink I wouldn’t mind using for daily writing.

Performance wise, I think the flow is pretty good. I’m glad it flows a bit wet because that makes it easier to use on fine nibs. Even when I reversed the nib of the Prefounte, the ink is still very visible as can be seen in the line drawing. It dries up pretty fast at a little over 10 seconds. Also, look at that gorgeous, expressive shading. I think I need more bottles of this.

Here’s a few more close up shots of the writing sample:

Pen used: Platinum Prefounte, Fine
Paper used: Tomoe River

Vinta Pink Rose 1973 (Binibini) will be launched on April 7, 2021 at Vinta Inks.

Ink Swab: Vinta Pilgrim’s Blue 1970 (Peregrino)

Like Blaze 1970, I like the significance of the name the Vinta team picked for this ink — Pilgrim’s Blue. It’s in remembrance of Pope Paul VI’s visit to the Philippines in 1970. The color is a homage to the iconic habits of the nuns who bravely held the line against advancing troops and tanks during the first EDSA People Power revolution. I really like that Vinta made room in this collection for statements on activism and standing up against tyranny.

At first glance, Pilgrim’s Blue reminded me of Vinta Lucia, one of my favorite inks and the only color that I have three bottles of right now. A closer look shows that Lucia is more powder blue, lighter than than Pilgrim’s Blue. It’s a happy blue that makes me want to wear blue jeans and go out but wait, we’re on ECQ again. Deja vu. Here’s a comparison with Vinta Lucia (from the first collection) and Pop! 1993 from the Neon Edition:

I used this ink with a fine-nibbed Platinum Prefounte, a bit nervous at first that it won’t be legible but it was sufficiently saturated and easy to read. It’s a happy-colored ink, suitable for daily use. The shading is quite pretty. Performance-wise, it dries up pretty quick with a fine nib on TR paper, about 10 seconds. On a fine nib, it flows pretty well. I didn’t need to prime my nib to keep it going.

Here’s a few close ups of the writing sample:

Pen used: Platinum Prefounte, Fine
Paper used: Tomoe River

Pilgrim’s Blue 1970 (Peregrino) will be released on April 7, 2021 at Vinta Inks.

Ink Swab: Vinta Blaze 1970 (Silab)

I love the significance of the name Vinta picked for this color. Blaze 1970 commemorates the “First Quarter Storm”, an early wave of student-led demonstrations against the administration of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The name certainly fits this fiery, red-orange ink.

I’m not really a fan of orange ink, I think I only have one in my collection. As far as orange inks go, this one’s pretty good. It really pops on the page. I’ve been using it on my planner as a contrasting ink to draw attention to overdue tasks and for important notes. It complements black, blue, and green inks pretty well. I know it’s part of the Vintage Edition but I think it has a neon-like quality to it.

It’s highly saturated and the red component of the ink stained the cartridge that I used to write the review above so I would not recommend it if you’re using a demonstrator that is easily stained.

Performance-wise, it has a nice flow. Not too dry, not too wet. It does have some shading but it’s not too noticeable because of how saturated the ink is. It also has a subtle gold sheen, though I would not classify it as a monster sheener. The drying time is moderately quick, at around 15-20 seconds.

My only gripe about this particular color is that it doesn’t seem to fit the other two colors in the Vintage Edition (Peregrino and Binibini). It’s a nice color, but I think an old-timey green would have been a better fit.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Pen used: Kaweco Fox, medium nib
Paper used: Tomoe River

Blaze 1970 (Silab) will be released on April 7, 2021 at Vinta Inks.

Vinta’s Vintage and Neon Editions

Our good friends at Vinta sent us a set of their new capsule collections ahead of the official launch on April 7, 2021. The two new editions are Vintage and Neon. The colors of this new collection are remarkably happy and bright ones. I guess it’s fitting and helpful, considering the times we are living through right now. I have been using the inks these past few days to see how they hold up to daily writing.

Here’s a roundup of the reviews I’ve written so far (to be updated as they become available):

VINTAGE EDITION
Blaze 1970 (Silab)
Pilgrim’s Blue 1970 (Peregrino)
Pink Rose 1973 (Binibini)

NEON EDITION
Pop! 1993 (Magnetic Blue)
Tagpuan 2046 (Electric Pink)
Astro 1980 (Android Teal)

Tiramisu, I Love You.

Today’s food journal entry is about my first attempt at making tiramisu yesterday. It went very well, my husband and I enjoyed it. Tiramisu is one of the two kinds of cake that I enjoy eating. The other one being (any kind of) cheesecake. Mascarpone is not always readily available locally, though. So when I found some at a nearby S&R, I bought a tub and a pack of ladyfingers to experiment with.

The directions on the recipe that I followed noted that the whole process takes only about 45 minutes, I think that this is possible, but since it was my first time it took about an hour and a half for me to complete it.

I made a few notes on my first attempt so that I would fare better on the next ones. Apparently, I will be using a lot of espresso. I didn’t know how absorbent these ladyfingers were, and I only prepared 4 shots of espresso initially. I had to stop in the middle of assembling the cake and hand-ground enough beans for 4 more shots.

I think that it’s important to use real espresso here instead of just strong instant coffee. The concentrated flavor of espresso really cuts through the mascarpone, cream, and custard mixture.

I was also surprised that these ladyfingers fall apart pretty quickly. You really just need to quickly dip it into espresso. You can’t leave it soaking because it falls apart just a few seconds after. I thought that after leaving the tiramisu in the fridge overnight to set, the ladyfingers would fall apart. Apparently they really just turn into delicious, coffee-infused sponges. It’s delightful.

My husband and I absolutely love tiramisu, and we used to frequent a favorite restaurant where we get what we believe is the  best tiramisu in Metro Manila. They don’t sell whole cakes, though, and of course we don’t go out too often because of the pandemic. So having a ginormous baking tray of tiramisu at home was a delight to us. It’s quite perfect with coffee. Needless to say, I really enjoyed my coffee break this morning.

 

Canon Mini Photo Printer First Impressions

The Canon Mini Photo printer has been around a few years, but I’ve never been an early adapter to anything, honestly. I’ve been journaling a lot more since the pandemic, though. Quite a bit more than I usually do (and I usually do write a lot). I missed having a photo printer, my old HP printer broke down because the cat peed on it lol. I thought I’d look into these cute little pocket printers I’ve been eyeing for a while now. I was hoping to get the Mi pocket printer but it’s always out of stock locally. My second option was the HP Sprocket, but while searching for the Sprocket in Lazada, I came across this little gem in the Canon flagship store and it was on sale. I bought it on Friday and yesterday (Saturday), it was delivered. I was pretty impressed with how often the status was updated and how quickly it was delivered.

It also came with this pouch, which in the product photos looked kinda meh (definitely would not really add to the motivation to buy) but in person, it’s pretty cute.

There flap has a metallic close, and it has a little pouch that can hold extra Zink sheets or your blue smart card if you need to use it again. It’s also thick and sturdy, so the printer is properly protected. At least I won’t need to buy a case for the printer anymore. The printer itself is pretty compact and light although it feels solidly built. Feels like a pocket wifi modem. I like the sleek lines around it and I’m happy that I chose the unit that has a grey-colored back panel instead of rose gold because the print on the cover is grey too. Continue reading “Canon Mini Photo Printer First Impressions”

Food and Mourning

My first food entry for this year. If 2020 was difficult, the entrance of 2021 for our family is even more challenging. We opened the year faced with challenges we’ve never had to face before. When your heart is grieving, you tend to try and seek out places that made you feel safe and happy. A lot of those involve happy food memories. It can’t make things better, but it can help you get into that headspace where you can gather your thoughts in peace and quiet while enjoying an uncomplicated bowl of pasta.

Mmmmm. Warm Rolls.

Yet another late post. This year I saw that there’s a stand mixer on sale at S&R so I bought one. Of course one of the first things I tried making is dinner rolls.

I followed a simple recipe for it, not using sourdough first because I wanted to eat it right away lol. I will make the next batches with sourdough, for sure. These turned out pretty well, although it could be a bit more fluffy inside. Maybe I didn’t proof the dough enough.

The smell that fills the house while baking bread is just amazing. Even the memory of it has a way of making me feel peaceful and happy inside. Like the smell of marinara sauce simmering, the smell of bread is just bound with happy thoughts of home.

I’m happy to be able to make dinner rolls now. I can’t believe that I only started learning to bake bread last year, because that’s on my birthday wishlist of things to learn. I’ve always been a little intimidated with the thought of learning to bake bread, but I realized that I had a lot of time on my hand, might as well knock a few things off my wishlist.

Next item in my to-learn list is sandwich bread. 🙂

My First Plate of Gnocchi

Late post. This is a journal entry I made late last year about making (and eating) my first plate of gnocchi.

I’ve never actually tried gnocchi before, but I’ve always been curious about it because it seemed so easy to do. So I thought I’d make some, since I had some potatoes and 00 flour at home, and since our sage had a growth spurt and was just branching out all over the place. I figured it was the best time to try something new.

It really was quite easy to make, I enjoyed it a lot. I wish I had a better surface to make the ridges on the gnocchi more pronounced but I just rolled the little nuggets of dough against a fork to make shallow ridges.

I browned the gnocchi in butter, took them out to cook the butter and sage some more, and then tossed the gnocchi back into the sauce to finish it. The sage crisped in browned butter sauce is incredibly delicious. I would recommend frying more of it and putting it on the side.

My husband enjoyed this a lot. I’ll be cooking it again soon. I think I want to try making this with white, creamy sauce next time. Or even my homemade marinara.