Archive for the ‘Doodles & Journals’ Category

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Sunday Reads: This ‘n That

03/26/2017

Various subjects…

Diamine Vermilion

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Sunday Reads: Oodles Of Pen, Paper And Ink Links

02/19/2017

That’s a first. I’ve never used “oodles” in a post, but for this bunch, it seemed just right.

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What Prompts You To Journal?

01/18/2017

What prompts you to write in your journal? Many of us start a new one in January which makes this a good month to examine and strengthen what works.

Fountain pen people may do it just for the joy of using a favorite pen or a pretty new ink. Sometimes it’s the luxurious feel of a perfectly tuned nib sliding across velvety paper. A touch of the hedonist may drive us to such pursuits, but it is good, clean fun.

It doesn’t have to be just words that make it on paper. A doodler can use a glyph or squiggle to fill lines and spaces. Watercolor may come into play, but glued on bits of ephemera count as well. Stickers, tickets and postage stamps can inspire lengthy entries or at least make the pages look satisfyingly full.

But what prompts the writer, the serious writer, to put pen to paper? What inspires that flow of words? An experience of the day, something in the news, an errant thought? Do you have a book of prompts or a theme to explore? Really, how do you do it and what do you do it with?

Writing in my journal can bring out the minimalist in me. I like using a light to medium weight pen with an ink to match the subject or something very neutral that won’t detract. Recently, four pens have graced my long sessions: two Pilot Metropolitan Mediums, a Lamy Studio Fine, and a Platinum Nice Medium. The Lamy is a little heavy for more than four or five pages, but the others are good for miles of adventure. Current inks are Iroshizuku ama-iro, Pilot Blue-Black, J. Herbin Terre de Feu and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu in the second Pilot Metro.

Today my journals include one from Paper for Fountain Pens with Tomoe River Paper, Staples Arc, a new Muji notebook and a (Midori) Traveler’s Notebook, most often a #013.

Any of these tools can prompt me to journal. Four pens, inks and journals would seem like enough variety for an inkophile. Or maybe not. The Stillman & Birn Epsilon, Stipula Verde Muschiato, and the lovely, lovely Platinum #3776 music nib are ready to go. Oh, look at that. Ku-jaku just waved at me with a charming, beauty-queen-riding-in-a-parade gesture. So much for my minimalist rotation. Is this a hopeless addiction or what!

 

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About A Muji Notebook

01/15/2017

Last weekend, John reminded me how good Muji notebooks can be so I ordered a pack to test the current version. Two days later we got acquainted and immediately became fast friends.

The notebooks are made in Indonesia though Muji’s paper can come from Japan or China. The slim, 30-sheet version is in the minimalist vein with no frills, not even labels. Each notebook in the five pack has a different colored binding. It’s a nice touch that makes it easy to differentiate notebooks.

They have a thin cardboard cover that can easily be written on or decorated. The notebooks aren’t sturdy like a hardback, but they do lay totally flat.

With fountain pen ink, there is no feathering, bleed-through and only the faintest show-through. Writing on the reverse completely obscured the almost non-existent show-through. The 6 mm line spacing should work for most writers and the smooth paper suited all nibs tested. Not one pen complained. In fact the paper was so good that it improved the performance of a scratchy nib.

Thirty sheets does make the Muji quite slim. They tucked in nicely at the back of my Staples Arc notebooks which adds to the usefulness of both.

A package of five B5 Muji notebooks is less than $9 with the A5 pack of five available for less than $8 though Amazon prices can shift several times a day. The cost could change in the time it took me to hit the “Publish” button. If you like the price, grab it while you can.

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Sunday Reads: Planners, Doodles And Greenery

01/08/2017

Are you in the mood for green? It’s gonna be everywhere this year.

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My Gear For The New Year

01/06/2017

Ink, pen and paper:

Sketching Kit:

Watercolor Supplies:

Accessories:

Want to purchase any of these items? Here ya go!

Ink, pen and paper: Pilot BBk,  Noodler’s Black, Diamine Mediterranean Blue, J. Herbin Cafe des Iles, Sailor Tokiwa-matsu, Stipula Calamo Sapphron, Stillman & Birn  Zeta Sketchbook, Tomoe River Paper from Paper for Fountainpens, Quo Vadis Plan & Note journal, Pilot Metropolitan, Platinum #3776 Century M, TWSBI Diamond 580 1.1, Staples ArcTraveler’s Notebook 013

Sketching Kit: Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils, Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser, Prismacolor Kneaded Eraser, Lowe-Cornell tortillions, Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook, Faber-Castell Sharpener

Watercolor Kit: Martin Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette, travel box, Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook, Arches 300 gsm watercolor paper, Schut Aquarelbloc 300gsm watercolor paper, Monaco Travel Case, Traveler’s Notebook 012

Brushes: Silver Brush Black Velvet Script #4, Round #8, 3/4″ Flat, Escoda Versatil Rigger #10, Isabey Petit Gris #0, SAA Gold Round #10

Tube paints for a watercolor mixing triad: Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, Winsor & Newton Aureolin, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose.

Watercolor Metal Travel Box with colors especially good for mixing: American Journey Aureolin, American Journey Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Winsor & Newton Winsor Red, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, American Journey Phthalo Blue, Daniel Smith Phthalo Green (BS)

Accessories: Coccoina glue stick, American Crafts washi tape, Bigelow Earl Grey Green Tea, Numi Chocolate Pu-erh Tea, Sadaf Special Blend Tea with Earl Grey.

 

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Stillman & Birn Soft Cover Sketchbooks

12/28/2016

Stillman & Birn sent a few of their soft cover Sketchbooks and I am really enjoying them. The quality of S&B paper is always excellent and the hard cover version has been in my arsenal for years. It is equally fantastic for fountain pens, watercolors or mixed media. The soft cover has proven to be an even better match for my needs in several ways.

  • The soft cover journal weighs a little less than the hardcover. It’s enough to notice a difference carried in my travel pack.
  • The pages bend back a little more easily than the hardcover and become extremely flat. No barriers to painting across a two-page spread.
  • The corners are rounded which is a nice touch.
  • The soft cover has two more sheets of that lovely paper.
  • The cover is stiff enough that I can hold the book in my lap or hand to work.
  • The cover material is less inclined to slide on my desk than the hard cover version.

The question that remains is how durable the soft cover is compared to the hard cover and whether any difference is enough to matter in everyday use. My journals tend to get pampered with duty largely at my work table. They often look pristine even after months of use and so far the Stillman & Birn soft cover looks just fine. This is where the rounded corners are of benefit since they fray less easily than squared ones. Put that down to thoughtful design.

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with Stillman & Birn paper regardless of the application. Just match your paper selection to the intended use. Either cover will do the job so it’s a matter of personal preference. Both will protect your pages and provide a serviceable platform on which to work. This is truly the good stuff and very highly recommended.

Brenda Swenson review on YouTube and a second review here. Liz Steel review.

Portrait and landscape are both available at Amazon.

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