Archive for the ‘Paraphernalia’ Category


Midori And The Book Of Lists


In yet another attempt to get more organized, an unused Midori Traveler’s Notebook got pressed into service this week. The paper is good with fountain pen ink so any writing instrument on my desk will work well except some of the Sharpie markers. (Do they work well on any paper?)

I named this journal Book of Lists since each entry is intended to be very brief and serve merely as a reminder of those things that require attention or future development. There are larger notebooks or Evernote for more detailed explorations. Limiting entries to a line or two will keep this book relevant and in play for a long time.

After I settled on the categories, I attached tabs to find each easily. Those got placed at the top to be out of the way when writing and so they would stay put when taking off the clip that keeps it all together. For now that’s an Oli clip, but it doesn’t stay in place. On the plus side, it comes off easily when there is something to add to a list.

Yeah, that’s a lot of junk on the cover, but I wanted it to stand out on my desk. The washi tape and post-its can be removed or realigned and the list of categories includes room for growth. The notes section at the bottom is for brief reminders of items to be added to the main lists. Should the cover become damaged or tattered, a new one can be fashioned from a variety of materials and glued to the existing one or added as a removable sleeve.

My fabric covered Midori with its three inserts is great, but sometimes a single one is all that is needed. It is slim enough to fit most anywhere and adds no weight to a tote or handbag. It will get battered by duty, but it can easily be replaced. For now, it’s a good solution to tracking of all those bits and pieces of life that require more free memory than I can allocate.

A number of companies make similar cahier notebooks including Rhodia, Moleskine, and Field Notes. The Midori TN is tall and narrow which suits lists especially well, but the others would be fine as well.


öli ũclip magnetic paperclips


öli ũclips are a popular accessory for Midori, Hobonichi and other journals. I purchased a few from Oliblock on Etsy who has them on discount Labor Day weekend. It’s a good time to buy if you want to add some eye-candy and organization to your reading and writing.

Here’s what I like. The colors are vibrant and the magnetic clips are secure. Placement is a little tricky as the magnetics like to grab each other. The vinyl is washable and durable. Since you are going to have these for a long time, pick colors and themes that will keep you happy.

Here’s what I didn’t like. The clips are thick so your journal will get a bit bulky even with the smallest style. Opening one is a two-handed maneuver but that is true with other clips. On the larger version, the logo is upside down and the image on the other side is unnecessary, unattractive and detracts from the colorful image. It says “LAURA LJUNG KVIST.” with the period just as I placed it. I think this is intended to be on the inside of the clip. However, when I make it so, the outline of the magnet is visible on the front. This is not a deal-breaker but something you should know.

As a final comment, I would prefer packaging that could be used for storage, but this is one of those “destroy it to open it” types. I might not use all five at one time and need a safe place to store them. At least the current package can go in the recycle bin.

The smaller clips suit journals well. The larger version might fit other uses in addition to holding sheets of paper together.

New öli ũclips get released often enough to make them a cute collectible along with being a functional tool. Not that any of us are collectors…


A Few Links For A Long Weekend


Here are some of the things that provided some much needed distraction this past week:



Pen Rolls, Wraps, Kimonos And Pouches


Anything made with fabric would be my preference for storing pens, especially something soft and silky. My first wrap came from and I’ve been hooked ever since. Check out this FPN thread for some beautiful examples.

Interested in an elegant wardrobe for your pens? Fahrney’s has several attractive wraps if those from Chan’s Handmade are a little too pricey. There are unadorned, simple wraps available from other retailers if that is your preference. Your pens might not know the difference, but the charm of unwrapping beautiful fabric to retrieve a favorite pen makes it worth finding just the right one or two or three or…


Putting Old Junk To Good Use


It took some trial and error, but several old cases and notebook covers are now fitted with new journals.  Some of the paper will take a light wash of watercolor so those notebooks will see double duty.

Leather Checkbook Cover

This leather checkbook cover must be at least thirty years old and hasn’t seen anything but the inside of a drawer for at least twenty of those years. Now it has a notebook all its own.

Passport Case

The passport case worked with a number of journals including those pictured from Rhodia, Exacompta and paper-oh though using Midori inserts transforms it into a Fauxdori. Midori bands hold the journals in place and keep it closed. The lock charm adds a whimsical touch as it floats across the equator.

Leather Diary Cover

This well-used notebook contained a diary from 1986 and a blank pad on the left. The leather still feels soft and inviting, but even more so now with a Rhodia pad and Canson art paper.

Shaver Case

This case was from my son’s first Braun shaver. I think concealing a journal is a much better use for it.

Travel Clock Case

This case is so tiny, it can fit anywhere. Discovering a similarly sized pad with paper that makes nice with fountain pen ink was a stoke of luck.

Not every journal needs a protective cover. Decorate a plain exterior with with washi tape (addiction warning), scrapbook paper, or decopatch. That will strengthen the cover as well as make it more attractive.

Whether it’s called recycling or re-purposing, matching old junk with fountain pen friendly paper creates new tools and makes each item useful again. No slackers in this lot now.

Platinum pens courtesy of Luxury Brands USA. Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Exacompta notebooks courtesy of Exaclair. Paper-oh courtesy of Fine folks all.


A Paperchase Notebook Makes Some Inky Friends


When it works well with fountain pen ink, Paperchase is just right. When it doesn’t, it fares no worse than Moleskine and with less bleed-through. At the price point, it is a viable alternative and with many inks, it is a better paper for clean, clear writing.

For testing purposes, I purchased the Purple Metallic Notebook (7.5 x 5.75″). It has a textured softcover, rounded corners, and sewn binding that holds 128 pages/64 sheets. This is a no-frills cahier style notebook with only a small, discrete logo printed on the back. Count me a fan of its minimalist but colorful design.

The off-white paper has a smooth finish and pale gray lines, a good combination for fountain pen use. Line width and line color are identical to Moleskine while the paper is slightly less yellow. Half the inks tested produced clean lines and an unusual degree of shading. The other half experienced some uneven outlines though little feathering along the fibers that paper like Moleskine can produce. Bleed-through was evident with some inks, though for the most part only the occasional dot.

Worthy of note is that most inks dried slowly so lefties beware.

Show-through or ghosting depended on ink flow and was evident with all inks tested. Some inks produced too little to be offensive especially when paired with a fine nib. With thin paper, this is common and frankly I don’t mind the look of it. Wide, wet nibs deposited too much ink making the backs of pages less useful. Free-flowing inks may produce the same result. To demonstrate how unpredictable I found this problem, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu and Iroshizuku tsuki-yo in Pelikan italics exhibited more show-through than Diamine Dark Brown in a Platinum #3776 Music Nib. Platinum Pigment Ink showed through the least even with a very wet broad nib. That does not hold true on Moleskine where the same pen and ink made a mess with both feathering and bleed-through.

Confusing? This is one of those situations where matching ink, pen and paper could make Paperchase work well for you. Or you can take a more relaxed perspective and just write with whatever is at hand. Most of my journaling will never get read so it doesn’t matter whether a page has marks from the other side that show through. As long as I am writing, all is well.

For convenience I often carry a green metallic Lamy EF loaded with Noodler’s Black. The duo performed perfectly in the Paperchase journal. The ink did not bleed through so both sides of the paper were usable and since black is highly visible even in low light conditions, I could write anywhere. Thus all of my off-site requirements were met. In addition, the Lamy barrel is a pleasing contrast to the purple notebook cover. Attractive tools do tend to trigger my creative urges and that is a significant plus.

Along with the notebook, I picked up a packet of three larger cahiers (8.5 x 5.75″), one blank, one lined and one printed with a pattern. I couldn’t resist the foldaway bag in the Secret Garden pattern and put it to work immediately. It travels in a diminutive carrying case with a clip that will make it a steady companion for shopping excursions or a carryall for my doodle kit and journals. I managed to stuff it with purchases from two shops plus my daily notebook and writing instruments. Not too shabby at all.

Despite the iffy performance with a few inks, I will continue to purchase Paperchase notebooks. The form suits me very well and the ease of buying it at a local store along with the reasonable price, makes it a worthwhile addition to my paper wardrobe.

All of the Paperchase items were purchased at Staples and are available in several patterns. The metallic notebook was $4 and the 3-pack of larger notebooks was $8. Even my frugal budget monitor cannot frown at those prices, and if he does, he will get laughed at to be sure.


Goodies From Jet Pens


Received some goodies from Jet Pens this week.

The Midori MD Notebook paper is very promising with no show-through, bleed-through or feathering from nine inks tested so far. There is a small degree of ghosting on the back of the paper, but it’s very acceptable, even attractive. The plain cover begs for decoration and I have washi tape and Decopatch waiting in the wings. The simple grid allows for any use. More on this no frills journal in future. However, of the three grid format journals I’ve tested this year, the Midori MD Notebook is the most fountain pen friendly of the lot.

The Midori stickers are tiny and about twice the height of my handwriting or one to two 5mm grid blocks in the MD Notebook. Cute for putting a little charm to a journal entry. I purchased a small Kuretake Waterbrush to try my hand at some lettering and for small doodles in my daily journal. The Kyoei Orions Shitajiki Writing Board will be used to protect underlying pages when I use any sort of brush in a journal. This is the A5 size which should work in most of my notebooks. For larger formats, it can be turned sideways to cover half a page at a time. I would have preferred a grid style, but was unable to find one in suitable dimensions.

A small order to be sure, but one that hit all the right notes to encourage writing with a fountain pen.


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