Posts Tagged ‘journal’

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Journals For An Inkophile

11/22/2022

Recently, Elena asked me about Traveler’s Notebooks and I realized to what extent they have taken over my journal writing. I am on my sixth undated planner (#019), third personal journal (#013) and third collage journal (#003). Also used, if a bit less often, are notebooks for lists and swatches. On occasion, a passport sized notebook hitches a ride in my handbag for notes at events and appointments.

I made the move to Traveler’s when it was Midori and after Moleskine paper failed to meet my standards. I like the customizable format and the variety of handcrafted soft covers that can be found at eBay and Etsy.

I am not in a rut, but am very content to use these with the fude fountain pens, mechanical pencil and gel pen that are always at hand.

None of my current covers are from Traveler’s though I might elect to add one in leather next year. Most of my writing is at my desk so a lightweight cover or even none at all is very workable.

My A5 and A6 notebooks are very jealous of the attention the Traveler’s Notebooks receive though they do get the call to action when removeable paper is needed. At least there is that for the poor things.

What is your favorite notebook? Hobonichi is the one for many writers. Is it yours?

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Which Ink Would You Suggest?

11/07/2022

Some time ago, I purchased a Majohn (Moonman) S5 Eyedropper fountain pen. The EF nib would not loosen so I could not install one of the alternate nibs that came with the pen. As a resident of the pen drawer it passed from memory. Rupertarzeian reminded me of the S5 in a recent post. Yesterday, I gave it another try and with a bit more muscle, the nib came loose and what appears to be a right or reverse oblique got installed. Well, sort of. The nib and feed will not align correctly so I am skeptical but a proper test it shall have.

Now for the really hard part. What ink would be best for a pen that will hold enough of it to last months. Red, yellow and orange are not colors I would use page after page but that leaves half a rainbow of other options. What ink would you suggest? Well-behaved is the only essential characteristic though shading would be a nice touch. The transparent barrel will show off the color so that is to be considered, too. Which ink would you put in the S5?

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A New Notebook For Fountain Pens From Lollipro

02/21/2022

The Lollipro notebook is a relative newcomer, first appearing less than a year ago at Amazon. It is nicely put together and comes with 120gsm fountain pen-friendly paper. What sold me on ordering the Lollipro was the way they described how well the paper works with fountain pen ink. While it wasn’t a sure thing, neither was it a gamble since the binder would work with another A6 brand of paper that I already knew was good with fountain pens.

This A6 notebook lays flat, fits easily in my handbag and comfortably in my hand thus meeting my basic form requirements. The spine is a bit stiff, not supple, and will need a little breaking-in. Quite serviceable as is but it does not flop open like a cover made with cloth. The stitching is even and consistent in its distance from the edge. Like every other binder with stitching I have owned, a couple of stitches are imperfect. Not enough to be of concern, but in fairness, worthy of mention.

The cover is comfortable to the touch and has a light suede texture. The six-ring, loose-leaf design is convenient for someone like me who is constantly reorganizing notes. The binder mechanism is attached with two screws and can be removed should the need arise.

Despite the dullness of the image, the paper is ivory with gray lines spaced 7mm apart. The surface is smooth and velvety making it suitable for any nib. No feathering, no bleeding, no ghosting with fountain pen ink. My 0.5 HB mechanical pencil is another satisfactory mate for the paper and the Tombow MONOgraph in coral pink is a good color match.

The front cover has an outside pocket for a slim phone or papers. The Lollipro is stiff enough to use on my lap or on an uneven surface which makes it more versatile than a floppy A5 binder I have from another seller. I am looking forward to the spine becoming more flexible and sufficient use should improve that over time. It comes in transparent and bright orange editions in addition to my rose pink lined in gray.

There are several configurations. The bundle I purchased includes three packets of paper and two plastic, backing sheets like pencil boards, that will make a firm surface whether writing on the front or the back of a sheet of paper. They are also useful for post-its and washi tape, both of which peel off easily from the plastic surface. Think of them as mini bulletin boards.

The heart on a string could be used as a bookmark or as a simple decoration. It is easily detached and I am putting it aside for now.

In the paper world, there are two A6 sizes: personal (6.75 x 3.75″) that fits the small version of the Filofax system and the standard or European size (5.83 x. 4.14″) that is 1/2 the size of A5. I cut paper in those sizes as a test and found the personal size like the Lollipro better suited to my list-making penchant.

If you don’t usually buy from Amazon, note that it is where I found the Lollipro product line. It is a small company trying to make a go of it and the binders are good value for money. Currently at around $10 for the binder alone, I haven’t seen anything better or even close for that matter.

J. Herbin Rouille d’Ancre looks like a good mate for the Lollipro rose pink cover. The only question now is which pen to use. A transparent barrel might be just the thing like the Platinum Century Nice. Sounds like eye candy for a fountain pen lover.

Please view the images here for better color rendition.

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Sunday Reads: Ink, Pens, and Writing

04/23/2017

Wilted this week with temps over 90 degrees, but still found a few good articles to share.

An old rotation that still has much appeal.

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Dragon Art, Paper Trends, Inky Links And More

01/26/2012

There should be something for everyone in this lot…

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A 2012 Moleskine Planner And That Paper Issue

12/11/2011

Last week the European Paper Company sent a Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner 2011-2012 that I won in a giveaway. How could I not give it a test spin for Inkophile readers?

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

The planner comes with a supple, soft cover and two page layout. On the left side is a weekly calendar and on the right a lined page. There are lots of extras at the front of the notebook including a monthly calendar, schedule of international holidays, map of time zones, dialing codes, chart of measures and conversions, and more. The back has a pocket with a sheet of stickers. There is a ribbon bookmark and the whole package stays together with a neat elastic band. All to the good and fitting with the Moleskine brand and price.

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Interior Pages

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Interior Pages

As always Moleskine looks great and feels wonderful in the hand. The planner paper is thin which allows space for a huge number of sheets in a notebook a mere one centimeter thick. The good news is that the acid-free (pH neutral) paper feathers much less with fountain pen ink than the last time I tested a Moleskine. The bad news is that the paper shows significant bleed-through though less so with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan, Zhivago, and Red-Black inks. Since both sides of the paper are necessary for the diary’s format, this could be a deal-breaker for fountain pen users.

Moleskine Academic Planner - Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner – Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Written Sample (Reverse)

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Written Sample (Reverse)

Other writing instruments worked better but still there was a little ghosting. With such thin paper, this is to be expected. Years ago I used a Parker ’51’ Aero Special with a fine nib and Noodler’s Black ink in a Moleskine journal with good results. Pendemonium‘s Noodler’s Legal Lapis worked well as did J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. I suspect all would be good with this planner as well.  The Sharpie Pen and the Zig Millennium 05 were well-suited to the narrow line-spacing. In fact due to its fine point, the Sharpie will be my first choice for the Moleskine when I don’t have the ’51’ with Zhivago to hand. When I need color the Millennium with Pure Violet ink will do.

One of these days I’d like to test a recently manufactured regular Moleskine journal to see if the bleeding is an issue. Writing on one side of the page would solve the problem though it would be a less than economical use of the journal. There have been enough remarks on Fountain Pen Network from people who have no issues with Moleskine to make me think there are pens and inks that suit the paper beautifully. If you have had that sort of experience, the Moleskine Weekly Planner should be just right. If not, then expect to test and experiment until you find a suitable match. If you love fat juicey pens, I wouldn'[t recommend the Moleskine. Switch your pen or find a different planner, one known for tolerating fountain pen ink.

Parker '51' With J. Herbin Vert Empire On Moleskine

Parker ’51’ With J. Herbin Vert Empire In An Old Moleskine

Some non-fountain pen ink tests from DIYSara.

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Fun, Edgy, Fanciful Notebooks From Daycraft

12/10/2011

With the end of the year approaching, it is time to consider new options for 2012. Have you heard of Daycraft? They make some of the best looking journals and diaries on the market. Whether edgy, fanciful, or twinged with humor, each design hits an aesthetic vibe. Something for everyone, no?

Daycraft Skinz Notebook

Daycraft Skinz Notebook

The company sent a few notebooks for review and I must say they are easily some of the most interesting looking journals I’ve seen anywhere. Unfortunately, they have yet to enter the U.S. market. Someone really ought to import this line even if only on a limited basis. The Cookie Bookie Notebooks are especially fun and received high marks for unique appeal and ingenuity from the group here. (See update below.)

Daycraft Cookie Bookie Notebook in the Cheese Cracker Version

Daycraft Cookie Bookie Notebook in the Cheese Cracker Version

The attention to detail in the presentation is amazing as you can see on the Daycraft website. But once you move past the packaging and the brilliantly designed covers, will the paper deliver an acceptable fountain pen experience?

Daycraft Illusions Notebook Written Sample

Daycraft Illusions Notebook Written Sample

The good news is that fountain pen ink works very well in the Illusions Notebook I used for testing purposes. The paper has a smooth but not coated feel so ink dried quickly. There was a tiny bit of feathering and a few indistinct edges with the most free-flowing nibs and inks. For a private journal this level of performance would not concern me but it could bother a perfectionist.

Daycraft Illusions Written Sample (back)

Daycraft Illusions Written Sample (back)

The bad news is that the ink showed on the back of the paper. Writing instruments other than fountain pens worked much better. I used mostly pens of the felt tip variety since they tend to misbehave more than rollerballs and ballpoints. Even the Sharpie Permanent Marker Ultra Fine Point performed with only the faintest ghosting. However, count on one-sided use with most fountain pens sporting nibs graded larger than fine with a few possible exceptions.

To my surprise Noodler’s Zhivago in a vintage Parker ’51’ Aero fine and Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan in a Levenger True Writer custom cursive italic did not even show on the reverse. Noodler’s Red-Black in a Sailor 1911 fine showed only very lightly. No other brand of ink fared so well. Individual colors may or may not bleed-through but success with three Noodler’s should mean others will provide a good experience, too. A wet writer or a wet ink will have problems but experimentation might reveal colors in other brands that can handle the paper.

Daycraft notebooks are so cool, I would use them regardless of any bleed-through. Yes, every once in a while, form takes precedence over function even for an inkophile.

Daycraft Slab Notebook in Gold

Daycraft Slab Notebook in Gold

Update: MOMA carries the Cookie Bookie Notebook! I just learned there is a USA distributor for whom I can provide contact information if you are a retailer interested in stocking the Daycraft line.

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