Archive for the ‘Watercolor’ Category

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Putting Old Junk To Good Use

07/13/2015

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 paper-oh.com. Fine folks all.

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A Few Links Plus A Very Cute Fuzzy

04/12/2015

The idea of a micronation is intriguing. Penandinkdom, anyone?

“Since high school, too, I have written only with fountain pens. Buying new pens and trying out new inks are among the little joys of life that contribute as much — and sometimes more — to one’s happiness than the “big” things.”   Dennis Prager

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A Few Links For An April Sunday

04/05/2015

Some light and lively links to keep you going while I work on two in depth posts…

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Anna’s Hummingbird At My Window

03/22/2015

After a month of attempts to photograph her, this little lady finally decided to pose for me. The feather detail in the enlarged image turned out well and will provide a good range of colors for ink and watercolor matching.

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Goodbye Spock Plus A Few Sunday Links

03/01/2015

Such a week, but there were some bright spots…

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Goodies From Jet Pens

02/14/2015

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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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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