Archive for the ‘Paper’ Category

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Kites, Bullets and Pens? Oh, my!

02/08/2015

It’s National Kite Flying Day so go fly a kite. Not your cuppa? Maybe one of these links will take you to something more to your liking…

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Grid Format and Why Didn’t I Try This Before?

01/31/2015

It’s only a month into this journal so my opinion might change in future, but for now, the grid format is working very well. That’s something I never thought would happen.

Ruled notebooks are designed for writing. Like the yellow brick road, just follow the path. I’ve used them for years and doodled in the margins, but with a few exceptions like when Gene Kelly danced across a page, seldom added anything else.

Blank journals have no limits, but do invite filling the empty space creatively. However, I miss the lines that keep my writing level and so use blank journals mostly for water media rather than words.

As my daughter pointed out, the pale grid format is like a background pattern. The horizontal lines can be followed for writing or I can ignore them and doodle in any direction. Turning the book sideways, allows for long sentences and a fresh perspective.

Line spacing on Miquelrius paper is 4mm so skipping a line when I write full-sized looks fine or I can use a fine nib and write on every line. For my journal use, this grid is just the right size. For comparison, the Moleskine and Rhodia grids are 5mm so there isn’t much difference.

Glad I didn’t spring for a dated planner since the freedom of decorating pages my own way is liberating. Plus I don’t write in my journal every day and some days I write more than a page. Despite the useful design and appeal of a Hobonichi or Midori, I need room to roam.

Things like Washi tape, paper cut outs, stamps will enliven pages, but not add significant bulk. Watercolor squiggles applied with a dry brush is another option. Filling in some of the squares to make various designs is relaxing and can add more details. No talent necessary for any of these embellishments.

Trying something different has paid off this time and added an element of adventure to keeping a journal. Predictable can get ever so boring. Where’s the fun in that?

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A Boatload of Paper

01/30/2015

Late last week I received a box of paper products from a friend who shares my paper hoarding affliction. You know the symptoms. Buy tons of paper retail, on sale, discounted, whatever, but often in quantity with hopes one product will be so ideal for fountain pen ink that you experience a state of bliss whenever you see, touch or put a pen to it. Not sure if that is over the top or dead-on, but if it sounds familiar, you are in good company.

Here is the dilemma I faced over the weekend.

Where to begin with so many choices? I finally gave myself a nudge and removed one plastic wrapper. But that’s as far as I got. The journals just looked too perfect to abuse with scribbles and such.

However, reviews take hands-on experience. So after the wrappers are removed, pen and ink tests will follow for writing paper and watercolor tests for the art paper. Call it initiation. Those that pass, join the hoard. Those that don’t, land in the giveaway box. On occasion, a format doesn’t thrill me, so even good paper can get tossed. It’s a simple system even though my collection seems to expand no matter what I do.

But isn’t that a good thing?

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Inexpensive Paper That Loves Fountain Pens

01/15/2015

Need an inexpensive paper that can handle ink flow from wide nibs? This letter sized TOPS pad (20490 V2) came from Staples last week and it loves fountain pens and fountain pen ink.

The surface is very smooth and while there is mild ghosting, only one ink showed a few dots of bleed through. The 6mm line spacing will work for most anyone. The lines are crisply rendered, but pale enough to provide no conflict with your written words. It is a light weight paper more like Tomoe River than Rhodia or Clairefontaine which explains the ghosting. But at $1.49 a pad, this paper is a steal. Permission granted to be a guilt-free thief.

Caveat: Please read the comments. This review is about a specific batch that works well with fountain pen ink. Other batches may not perform as well as one reader discovered.

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Miquelrius Ink And Watercolor Tests

01/10/2015

Much to my surprise, the Miquelrius journal paper handles watercolor from a waterbrush better than ink from a wide fountain pen nib. Admittedly the brush was on the dry side, but still there is a lot of doodling that can be done this way. Note that there was no bleed through. The show through is on par with the weight of the paper and similar to Tomoe River.

As for my continuing pen and ink experiments, a Lamy Safari EF with Noodler’s Black has proven the best match so far. Noodler’s General of the Armies works well, too. Some inks feather while others bleed through enough to make the back of the paper useless. However, at the price point of around $10 and for the amount of paper, these journals could be used up and trashed without regret which makes them perfect for having a little fun with ink, paint, stamps and some other doodads. And fun is what it’s all about.

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Orange As An Antidote

01/07/2015

To counter the gray day, color invaded my desk.

What perks up your day?

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Selecting A Journal For The New Year – Part 2

01/06/2015

Best laid plans and all that. The Miquelrius journal has been a disappointment. The paper bleeds worse than the paper in my copier so I’m looking for something better. Kp offered to send a few journals from her stash and I will post the results in time. If all else fails, a Stillman & Birn Epsilon or Zeta may have to heed the call although I prefer them for other duties than my day to day musings. A lined or grid format is really essential to keep my writing on the straight and narrow, but decorating pages with watercolor is necessary, too. The search continues…

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