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As a birthday present to ourselves David and I flew to Portland, Oregon to catch Vintage Trouble at the Wonder Ballroom last week. It was a magical 24 hours which included staying at a fabulous hotel (the Crowne Plaza Portland), grooving with the band (we got to meet them!), eating amazing food and shopping. We crammed three days into 24 hours and just one of the many highlights was visiting the Paradise Pen Company, a retailer of “high-end writing instruments offering fountain pens, leather goods and accessories.” And when they say high-end they aren’t kidding.

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The Paradise Pen Company is located in Pioneer Place, alongside Kate Spade, J Crew, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors, just to name a few. Very swish. According to their website they have 15 locations across the US. We had great fun looking at the Montblanc, Aurora and Visconti offerings, as well as Cartier and Edelberg. I had never seen a Cartier and their fountain pens do not disappoint. But like their jewelry they have a considerable price tag ($1,000+). Lovely to dream and drool over though.

They had an impressive selection of notebooks and planners, such as Filofax and Rhodia. I got to fondle an Oberon journal for the first time and I’m so glad I did, because I have been considering purchasing one. Although the leather craftsmanship is breathtaking I am not a fan of the paper in their notebooks. And they don’t lie flat, which is disappointing. But at least now I know.

I was introduced to Scully notebooks and promptly fell in love. This beautiful “Old Atlas” journal has wonderful paper and lies flat as a pancake. But the price ($113) was just a little beyond my budget (especially when you consider the exchange rate these days). At least I am familiar with the product and can order one from their online site if I save my pennies.

Stephanie was very friendly and interested in our very quick trip and the reason for it. She was very touched that we took some time to visit their store in our whirlwind tour of her city. I had done some research on their site before arriving so I had an idea of what I wanted.

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The pen is from ONLINE and is the Switch model. Designed for students, it has a medium fountain pen nib at one end and a stylus at the other. I thought it a wonderful metaphor for modern but elegant note-taking: casually surfing the net, finding something interesting, flipping your stylus round and writing it in your notebook with a fountain pen. And it was on sale! So I picked a green one. And amazingly Stephanie offered me a converter to go in it, a Schmidt. I did not know that brand of converter fit the ONLINE pens so that was a real bonus. I also found a Cross notebook in a size I have never seen before, so I chose one to match the pen. And finally I chose two bottles of ink: Vineyard Burgundy and Paradise Blue, made exclusively for the Paradise Pen Company.

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It occurs to me now I should have purchased a bottle of green ink to match the pen but I thought two bottles were enough. I really love these two colours. I also enjoyed the label although Stephanie told me they had a new label, with some new colours just released (Vineyard Burgundy being one of them). I like the old label, shown below on the blue bottle; what do you think?

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I haven’t inked up any pens with these inks yet. As for the new green ONLINE Switch I inked it up with Waterman Harmonious Green. I was thinking J. Herbin’s Lierre Sauvage would be nice too.

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Here’s a writing sample on Leuchtturm paper. The slight shading in the ink comes through. The nib is a little hooked, much like my Waterman Junior, and is very smooth. The Switch is part of the Youth line and indeed, it feels very sturdy and puts down a solid line. It wrote right out of the sleeve with no skips or hard starts. It’s a fun pen to use.

I’m very happy with my purchases and will write more about the trip in my Journal Writing Wednesday post. Thank you so much Stephanie and the Paradise Pen Company for a wonderful experience. Check out their online shop and if you are in Portland include this little shop in your travels; you won’t be disappointed.

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