Posts Tagged ‘Traveler’s Notebook’

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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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Wancai Mini Eyedropper With Diamine Aurora Borealis

11/16/2022

Eli on Instagram used a combination of pen and ink that looked very appealing to me so I decided to try the same duo, a Moonman (Majohn) Wancai Mini Eyedropper with Diamine Aurora Borealis It would be my first eyedropper filler and was destined for use in my journal. For $20, it was worth a gamble. Note that the color and swirls called Daydream give the pen a happy vibe that encourages use so that is another plus in its favor.

The body is a little odd in that even posted it is short but the body circumference is greater than the pens I usually use. Finding a balanced, comfortable position for it has been tricky especially since the nib is not the smoothest. It isn’t bad but it isn’t as smooth as the Delike New Moon 2 EF used for comparison. Surprisingly, the Wancai Mini F writes finer than the Delike EF. The latter has slightly more flow so that might account for the line difference. Maybe.

In terms of appearance, the New Moon is colorful if traditional. The Wancai Mini is an eye-catching cutie. From the swirls to the size, it looks like a pen that was meant for fun.

Note that the Mini has no clip so it does tend to wander around the desk but a pen rest will keep it anchored.

 

Moonman Wancai Mini Transparent Pocket-Size Eyedropper Fountain Pen with Fine Steel Nib 0.5mm

Dimensions: Length closed is 87mm and posted is 122mm. The diameter is 14mm. Net weight is 11.9g.

Cap screws on. Eye dropper filler or ink cartridges.

Material : Acrylic Resin.

 

Delike New Moon 2 with Extra-Fine 0.38mm (Rose Red)

Dimensions: Length closed is 132mm and posted is 155 mm. The diameter is 12mm. Net weight is 23g.

Cap screws on. Cartridge or converter filled.

Material: Acrylic Resin.

 

What I learned from experimenting with the Wancai is that eyedropper fillers are easy to use and hold a ton of ink which is perfect for journal writing in my favorite Traveler’s Notebook.

A pen with a cap that needs to be screwed on to give it adequate length for writing is frustrating and awkward. My pattern is to write a few sentences, pause, then write a few more. Unscrewing the cap from the back then screwing it on the front then screwing it on the back again just to write another sentence or two was too disruptive. A standard twist cap is interruptive enough. However, an eyedropper would be useful. Attractive as it is, the Mini is headed for the pen drawer though on occasion it might get a peak at daylight just for fun.

Diamine Aurora Borealis is good just like all Diamine inks are though it will have to find another mate. Perhaps one of my Platinum #3776 pens with a clear barrel would be happy to show off an aqua mate. Except when testing ink, I do not fill multiple pens with the same color so the Plat will have to wait until the Wancai Mini is empty. That is taking forever thanks to the bottomless eyedropper. I think the pen fairy must be refilling it when I am not looking. Sigh.

 

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Improve Your Writing With A Handwriting Journal

06/21/2022

3.3 million views for a handwriting video is impressive. The use of a Lamy fountain pen, Aurora black ink and a Traveler’s Notebook add to its aesthetic presentation. Need a bit of encouragement to try your hand at something new? This might be just the thing to get you started.

One of the most useful points made is that it takes repetitive effort to create muscle memory. Just keep practicing and that new style of lettering will become natural. My suspicion is that the first style is the most difficult and successive ones are more easily learned.

Another useful point is to write slowly. That breaks writing habits associated with one’s usual handwriting.

Kudos to the video’s creator, MyLifeinaBullet on YouTube, for inspiring writers to write and for using a fountain pen to do it.

 

 

 

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Do Your Pens Make You Want To Write?

08/31/2021

Do your pens encourage you to write? In the past few months, old favorites as well as a few pens that never received much love got together and invaded my rotation. The final group is a bit different from my usual selection and I am now using several pens that were set aside long ago.

For years stubs and italics with a few exceptions were all I used. No fine or extra-fine nibs suited either my grip or my letter forms. That wasn’t a problem since my writing looked fine and the range of inks I was drawn to were lovely with those pens.

Then I decided to write notes for projects as well as personal musings in a journal, but which one to use?

A Traveler’s Notebook #013 with unlined Tomoe River Paper looked like a suitable size for my needs. So I popped the wrapper off of one, grabbed a 1.1mm stub with vivid ink, wrote a page and was affronted by the result. The journal size and the paper quality were fine but the writing overwhelmed them. It was simply too large and too dark. At the end of the day when I want to capture thoughts on the day’s accomplishments and make notes for future endeavors, something calming and relaxing is in order. In addition, I wanted to use both sides of the paper with a lined guide tucked beneath to keep my writing on the straight and narrow. To do this would require a finer nib and less intense ink. To the pen drawer I went.

Pens from my early days have very fine Japanese nibs, especially Pilot pocket pens and various 1970’s Platinum pens. The more recently acquired Pilot Metropolitans are also fairly narrow. In the western fine nib category, several Levenger True Writers were promising. A Delike New Moon fine fude received a test run as well.

Inks that were certain to be appropriate included several from Herbin, Iroshizuku and Sailor. Diamine had a lock on the brown range with Dark Brown and Raw Sienna. Lots of trial and error and attendant pen cleaning produced a pleasing rotation even if the pens are unusually narrow for me. What counts the most is whether they encourage writing and these are doing just that.

Do you think my wide nibs are jealous from having to cede part of my rotation to their skinny brethren? In truth, there are more inked pens on my desk than in recent memory. So much for my vow to maintain a minimalist rotation. The pens are winning. Who am I to disagree?

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Pen, Ink and Paper Links (Hide Your Credit Card Before Reading)

04/01/2021

It is way, way, way too easy to blow your budget when there are so many goodies calling your name. Can you resist or have you been enabled?

Camellias through my kitchen window and matching pen.

 

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It’s National Pencil Day. What Do I Use?

03/30/2021

Do mechanical pencils count? I use them daily and have a decided need in my journal for easily amended notes. The no fuss MP writes without hesitation and requires no special care, perfect for my Traveler’s Notebook Diary.

Recently, I switched from 2B to HB lead to reduce smearing and breakage as well as downsize from 0.7 to 0.5. However, the 0.7 is easier to read so a test of HB at that size is pending. Uni Nano Dia is smooth and relatively sturdy making it my lead of choice. 

Having the right diameter, weight and balance for my hand has made the Tombow MONO graph the mechanical pencil I return to time after time. Next in line is the Zebra DelGuard 0.7. For variety, a Uni Kuru Toga and a Pilot Opt round out my rotation. Yes, I have a mechanical pencil rotation just like a fountain pen rotation. 

A Pentel Clic Eraser (ZE21T) is an essential tool with all of them considering my fickle nature and obsession with editing.

The fact that a pencil will write on any paper is very convenient. However, I still favor quality paper although writing with MPs has made it possible to use some of the lesser quality notebooks like the Moleskine that have come my way. 

Did I mention mechanical pencils are economical? Few cost more than $10 and most cost less than $7. A package of 120 leads costs about $7. Not bad, eh? It isn’t a fountain pen but it will do nicely for everyday use.

Shopping list for products mentioned. Inkophile may earn a tiny commission and I do mean tiny.

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Taking Advantage Of What’s On Hand

01/06/2020

New year, new journal? For writers and artists, a journal is the perfect way to document the journey and keep track of ideas, explorations, adventures, and misadventures. With the huge number of choices, what to use tends to baffle me. For 2020, I have decided to use some unfinished notebooks from the past. Why put good paper to waste?

Two Traveler’s Notebooks were ignored last year and deserved better treatment. Time to put them to work especially the larger one that contains a Traveler’s Notebook (Refill 019) Free Diary made with MD Paper. Weekly calendar on the left with grid paper on the right is a week-at-a-glance format that should work very well for me.

My interest in brush pens has been renewed and the Exacompta Sketch Book that was my favorite in the past will now get its due. For watercolor exploration, a Stillman & Birn Beta will be fine while an Epsilon will be my all-purpose companion.

That’s my core group going into 2020.

Add to that five, two additional notebooks for specific uses. Should inspiration strike, a Paper for Fountain Pens bound journal will work for more serious writing. The other is a Strathmore Visual Journal for watercolor exploration. It contains paper that works quite well with Sennelier and similar honey-based paints producing brightly colored swatches. I will continue to look for a 140 lb., 100% cotton paper journal that won’t consume my entire annual paper budget. Perhaps 2020 will be the year for such a find.

Yes, that is a lot of journals but my interests are varied plus I have learned to keep subjects separated. Ink swatches have their own notebooks as do watercolor swatches. It would be confusing to have them mixed together.

A common characteristic is that all of my journals work well with fountain pen ink. The Uni-ball Signo 307 that writes so well over watercolor backgrounds will be another pen option. Luckily, all of the paper can handle a light layer of paint. It wasn’t a requirement, but it certainly is an advantage.

Seven journals won’t leave much need for any of the new products that 2020 will bring. But I promise to make room for whatever comes my way.

Which journal are you going to use this year? Do you keep just one or does it take several to meet your needs?

Shopping links from which Inkophile may earn a small commission should you click through and make a purchase:

Traveler’s Notebook Weekly Diary

Kuretake Brush Pen (Comes with cartridges but will need a Platinum converter to use fountain pen ink.)

Stillman & Birn Beta and Epsilon Sketchbooks

Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal 140#

Uni-ball Signo 307

Lock charm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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