Review: Yumi Travelers Notebook Inserts


Yumi TN Inserts

When I first saw photos of Yumi travelers notebook inserts on Instagram I was curious because I liked the way the covers looked. The slate-colored insert (blanks) were especially cute, it looked like brushed steel. I’m very pleasantly surprised to get a couple of these as a birthday present–a blank insert and a weekly insert.

My first impression was that the packaging looked really classy. I appreciate the effort made on it, because everything looked well put together. Also, how cute is that logo? The cover is not overly stiff, but it’s sturdy enough to keep it straight while bound by the elastics of my TN.

Yumi TN Inserts

The fly leaf looks nice. I usually just skip this if it’s blank, but having this on the first page means I can write something about the journal or put a quote there, or (like I usually do) write the dates of the first and last entries. Again, I appreciate the very obvious attention to detail, really nice.

The inserts have 62 pages of ivory-colored, acid-free, 85gsm paper. It’s 4.37″ x 8.25″, or the size of your regular TN. I love that I receive the blank insert because I prefer writing on blank pages rather than grid, dotted, or lined.

Yumi TN Inserts

The paper is very smooth, I was initially worried that it would be like Rhodia pad papers which is sometimes difficult to write on if you have fine or dry-writing nibs. This one took ink very well. It’s really smooth but there’s no problem laying down ink on it. It can take very light washes, but there’s a bit of warping. It is superb for line drawings, though.

The paper is thin so it doesn’t bulk up your TN too much, and it feels nice to the touch. Almost a bit silky. It brings out the shading and sheen of fountain pen inks quite well without dulling the color. In fact it keeps the color of the ink vibrant. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Yumi TN Inserts

Yumi TN Inserts

Yumi TN Inserts

It makes for some very expressive shading. I like how the colors just pop out of the page, it really complements the beauty of the inks.

Their weekly planner has 7 days on one page and grid page on the right. I think it’s perfect for people like me who are very inconsistent with planning. One would probably need to use more than one insert for the year, though.

Yumi TN Inserts

There is some show through at the back of the page, although it’s not very obvious. It’s not very bothersome.

Yumi TN Inserts

Overall, it’s a really nice TN insert. I think it’s very pretty, and thoughtfully done. I’m adding this to my Paper Collection page. I really love it when I discover new TNs that have great paper. Regular sized TN inserts aren’t usually available in bookstores like National Bookstore, so they’re relatively harder to find.

Yumi inserts are available at Stationer Extraordinaire.

Review: Rhodia Pads


Completing the roundup of my review on Rhodia products from Everything Calligraphy are Rhodia bloc pads in different sizes and colors. These are actually pretty nice. It’s a challenge to find fountain pen friendly pads because many will bleed through and feather in an awful way. A lot of pad papers I’ve used are only ballpoint pen friendly. A few do hold up well with fountain pens and rollerballs, but the texture isn’t as pleasurable to write on.

P4062051

Rhodia is a bit expensive. Relatively more expensive than most pads you’ll see in bookstores or school supply stores. The quality of the paper is a lot different, though. Probably the only locally available “rival” in quality is the Elias notepads. Once you use one of these, you’ll understand why they’re pricier.

P4062055

I tried out both the color and the classic pads. I’m leaning more towards the color pads because I like the texture of the paper better. I also like the color of the pages, they’re cream-colored and it really makes the fountain pen inks I tried on it look a lot lovelier. The photo below shows the difference in the color of the paper.

P4062061

Below is a photo of the page of writing samples. As expected, the paper held up very well with fountain pens, brush pens, and parallel pens. The 3.8mm parallel pen did have a bit of bleed through. Not too bad, but it’s noticeable since the ink I used was the default black cartridge, which is highly saturated.

P4062053

I think the paper is different from the Webnotebooks, but the writing experience is close to the Rhodia color pads. I love the texture of the paper. It’s different from the classic pads (which tends to be too smooth for some of my fine-nibbed, dry-writing pens). Rhodia’s color pads are 90 gsm and the classic pads are 80 gsm, both handle ink pretty well, but I personally like the color, quality and texture of the paper used in the color pads.

P4062047

I noticed the white pads are more resilient to calligraphy pens, though. I’m not sure why, it could be just the pens that I have (I don’t really have that many to test it with).

Here are a few closeups of the writing samples for the color pads:

Here’s a close up of the writing samples for the classic pads.

I love that these pads can really show off the shading, sheen and shimmer of the inks and the unique character of each ink and pen combination. Such is the pleasure of using good paper. I also like that the binding makes it easy to fold the cover. It’s very durable and doesn’t break apart when you’ve been using up the pages and not tearing them off. I used up my last large Rhodia pad without hardly tearing a page off, and the binding held up really well. If you do need to tear off the pages, the mini perforations make it easier to do just that without compromising the binding.

Overall, these are good quality pads, no surprises there. 🙂

Rhodia pads and other paper products are available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A PAID POST, I DON’T DO PAID REVIEWS.

P4062056

Review: Rhodia Classic Stapled Notebooks


P4042040

Here’s another Rhodia paper product that I’ve only tried recently. It’s the Rhodia Classic Stapled Notebooks. It’s a lot more affordable than the web notebooks (P199 per piece) and only comes in lined and graph.

The cover looks pretty simple. Just the basic soft cover in orange, black, and white. It looks like something I would have loved to use for class notes.

P4042038

As the name implied, the notebook is staple-bound, which is why it’s more affordable than the other kinds of notebooks. While it’s pretty useful for basic writing, note-taking and other casual writing, it does have some drawbacks. The cover is pretty thin, and it’s a lot harder to lay flat unless you weigh the cover down.

P4042041

It doesn’t have the premium feel of the web notebooks, but course this was not designed to be the luxurious leather-bound journal, it’s the affordable, rough and tumble cousin that you can take anywhere. It’s light, it’s no-frills, and the paper (while different in texture and quality) is still quite good.

P4042037

The paper is 80 gsm, with lines that are a bit purplish-blue, reminiscent of the notebooks I used back in my school days. The lines were noticeably farther apart than the webnotebooks.

P3211762

Personally, I prefer the width of the space between the lines of the webnotebook, and the light grey colored lines. Here are a few

The paper is not as smooth as the webnotebooks, but it’s still very fountain pen friendly. Doesn’t show off sheen or shimmer too well, but shows off shading just fine. It also holds up well to parallel pens and brush pens. It doesn’t feather or bleed through, and the show through is very minimal. Pretty good for an affordable Rhodia notebook. If you need a good fountain pen friendly notebook for casual writing and note taking, this is a great choice.

Rhodia Classic Stapled Notebooks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid post, I don’t do paid reviews.

Review: Rhodia/Rhodiarama Webnotebooks


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The first Rhodia product I ever tried was their winter white notepads. I thought it was pretty elegant, and the paper was excellent. I’ve been curious about their notebooks ever since, but they’re always out of stock (at least it always is here in the South). Good thing Everything Calligraphy now offers these notebooks. So are these really as nice as people say they are?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In a word, yes. These are very good, premium notebooks. They’re relatively expensive, but I believe it has a good reason for being pricey. I tried out the plain Rhodia Webnotebooks (photo above) and the more colorful Rhodiarama Webnotebooks, and there’s just so much to like about them.

The first thing you’ll notice is how beautiful these notebooks are. They’re very different from handmade leather notebooks, of which no two creations are the same. These look like they’re churned out of machines to make them look precisely the same, and there’s a beauty to that too, as much as there’s something beautiful about unique, handmade journals. I love the stamped Rhodia logo, and the quality of the cover is pretty excellent. I like the brushed steel look of the journal on the right, but the classic black journal really hits the spot. It has a soft, velvety feel, almost like high quality silicon. It’s very classy, very well put-together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The more colorful Rhodiarama Webnotebooks are made of the same material and they’re also ridiculously perfect-looking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have a soft spot for happy colors, and I find the colors of Rhodiarama to be quite eyecatching. When you open up the notebooks, it’s even prettier.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A nice splash of happy colors! Also, psychedelic zebra. ^_^

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All Webnotebooks have a pouch at the back for little slips of paper and whatnot. Pretty useful, though I personally don’t really use the interior pockets of any journal so it doesn’t add to the bulk when I close it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The spine is neatly bound. Again, ridiculously perfect-looking. I find the bookmark a bit on the short side, I wish they made it just a little longer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The notebook also lays flat quite easily. The smaller Webnotebooks don’t lay flat as easily, but that’re pretty much expected because of the size. These bigger notebooks are easier to write on because it takes little effort to make them lie flat as you write.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Aside from the aesthetics of these notebooks, the important thing is how they hold up to writing tests.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The paper they used in Webnotebooks doesn’t seem to be the same with the ones they used with the notepad. These have a different look and feel to it. According to the specifications of the notebooks, it has 96 sheets (192 pages) of ivory-colored brushed vellum paper at 90gsm. It’s thinner than how I remember the pad paper that I tried before. First impression was that the paper did not feel heavy or too thick.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The grey-colored dots of the dot grid notebook aren’t too intrusive to writing or drawing. The lined pages look pretty nice too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like that the space between lines isn’t too wide, and that the lines are light grey in color. Not too obvious, just right for a nice-looking journal. Writing on the paper gives some sort of feedback. It’s not glossy or smooth, you feel the texture of the paper as you’re writing. I find it pleasant. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Even if it’s textured, it shows off sheen and shading. It doesn’t feather and has no bleed through and minimal show through at the back. It seems the paper is most pleasant to use with wet writers and wider nibs. Brush pens can feel a bit rough on the paper. It absorbs ink a bit too fast, making it feel like there’s some drag as you write.

Overall, pretty good! Expensive, but good quality notebook. I would recommend it for journal writing, things that you really want to keep over a long period of time. Not exactly suitable for watercolor and whatnot, but really great for regular writing, especially if used with fountain pens.

Rhodia and Rhodiarama Webnotebooks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Contrail Street Journal


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I saw these cute little journals on my way to a mini pen meet last Sunday at Glorietta, when I dropped by Powerbooks at Greenbelt. They’re kinda hard to miss because the covers are just so pretty! I wasn’t familiar with the brand, so discreetly printed at the back of the cover, but the paper seemed nice so I bought three. A quick search on Google showed that Contrail is made by Itoya, a Japanese stationery company. I’ve had such good experience with Japanese stationery that I was pretty sure I’d like this one too, and I was right.

I just love the design of their covers. Really. I love the colors that they used, and the patterns. These are very tastefully designed covers. I also like that the binding is neatly stitched with white thread. It looks very cleanly done.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m not sure what you call these lines. They’re grids but rectangular instead of square, and they spacing is pretty tight. I imagine it could be designed specifically for Japanese characters? I’m not sure. I’m not too crazy about the guide lines, but they don’t bother me much. I like that the lines are light brown, you can just ignore them completely when you write.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The paper is pretty good. It’s not smooth, it definitely has texture to it, but there’s very little feathering using my fine to broad nib. Some feathering can be noticeable with my 1.5 mm stub, though. Here are a few close ups:

The texture is beautiful. It’s not going to show off sheen, but it will show off some shading. It’s hard to explain why but sometimes I miss enjoying texture on paper because oftentimes when the paper has some texture to it, fountain pens bleed all over the place. It’s pretty rare to find paper that allows you to enjoy texture while you write without excessive bleeding and feathering.

The paper handles brush pens very well. It distributes the ink smoothly, and allows the pen to glide on the paper without difficulties.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s a bit of ghosting at the back, though I would not consider it bothersome. There’s also a bit of bleedthrough where I wrote with my 1.5mm nib. It could be because I used a very wet ink (J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor). It’s not so bad either, in my opinion.

The size is about 3.25 x 5.75 inches. It’s pretty small and can comfortably fit in your backpocket or your bag. I heard they’re also available in National Bookstore, at P149 per piece. These are great for everyday writing and small brush calligraphy projects. I’m so happy we have Itoya here in the Philippines now. What a great time to be a stationery fan!

Review: Smells Like Sundays TN-Sized Notebooks


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saying that I love notebooks is an understatement. I have a lot of notebooks in different shapes and sizes in my office, library, bedroom, bag…you get the idea. I have three different journals at any given time, plus notebooks for other things. I would almost never be caught outside the house without carrying one with me because, well, it just makes sense for me. That being said, premium paper is muy expensivo. Paper lovers are willing to pay this price, though, but being able to find affordable, good paper is always a treat. I wrote a few days ago about how I discovered Smells Like Sundays. I think they sell other stuff too, like coloring books for adults, etc. Their TN-sized notebooks are pretty nice and is priced under P100 each.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s pretty slim, slimmer than Midori TN inserts and the paper is thinner. I didn’t get to count how many pages there are. It’s unbranded and unmarked. It got a little confusing to find the front page until you open it, so I stamped the front of the notebooks that I don’t put inside my TN.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The craft cover is pretty nice, though they also have black and white covers. These normally come in a set of five different sized journals and two craft pens, but they were nice enough to sell me individual inserts for my travelers notebook. That size is pretty hard to find in bookstores. They’re not as common as A6 an A5 sizes. You can imagine how happy I was to find one journal in a gift pack of 5 that fits my TN perfectly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The notebook is very neatly stitch-bound with a thin strip of thread. I tore out pages from my first notebook and the binding didn’t budge at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I use it as my notebook for Sunday sermon notes and daily devotions. It’s not paper that will show off sheen and shading. The pages are too absorbent. They absorb ink as soon as it’s on the surface, but it does show a bit of the ink’s properties. Here are a few close ups of writing samples:

IMG_3713IMG_3712IMG_3714

The paper has some texture to it. I miss that kind of paper. Since I started using fountain pens, I always use fountain pen friendly paper that almost always feel the same. This feels like the old kind of paper that I used to enjoy. It’s pulpy, has a more natural feel to the finish, you can feel the texture of the pages as you write. A closer look shows that it almost feathers, but it doesn’t. Not in a noticeable way, at least. I used a Pelikan M600 with a medium nib that writes more like a BB and a Parker 51 with a medium nib. You can still see the reddish shading of the Syoro, but it’s not so pronounced.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the back of the pages. If you look closely, wet writers will produce a bit of bleed through. Little pins of ink that aren’t very noticeable. I can live with that. I think that this quality is really great for the price.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I hesitate to use expensive paper for things like grocery lists, to-do lists, and such. I would never think of using my precious Tomoe River paper for something other than journal entries and art. That’s why I bought a lot of this, so I can write on nice paper without thinking  ohmygoodnesswhywhywhy while jotting down everyday notes.

This notebook and other sizes are available in craft, black, and white covers at Smells Like Sundays.

Smells Like Sundays, Indeed


A friend of mine gave me a set of journals and craft pens from Smells Like Sundays for Christmas. I enjoyed it a lot, so I bought more of it in my favorite size so that it can fit my traveler’s notebook. I’ll write a review about it soon-ish. 🙂

 

Paper Review: Maruman Mnemosyne A5 Grid Notebook


PA067644

Here’s something I got as a gift from my brother. It’s a Mnemosyne spiral notebook with grid paper. It’s my first time to try Mnemosyne and I’m pretty satisfied with it, for the most part.

PA067647

The cover is hard black plastic, which looks scratch and stain resistant, making it an ideal notebook. Inside is a cardboard flyleaf.

PA067648

The paper on this notebook is pretty good. It’s so pleasant to write on because it has this nice feedback. There’s not much coating on it to make it too slippery for ink. Any kind of pen will do well with this kind of paper, I think. Since I favor fountain pens, I immediately put it to the 1.5mm test. Needless to say, it performed very well.

PA067649

I like that the paper keeps the vibrancy of the ink even after it has dried for a few days. The paper shows off the shading of the ink so beautifully, but unfortunately it doesn’t play well with sheen or micronized gold particles. Emerald of Chivor looks like a dark blue green color, Stormy Grey is just dark grey. You can probably spot a teeny bit of sparkle there, but it’s negligible. That’s the downside of this paper. It doesn’t showcase the characters of the ink too well, except for the shading.

PA067650

It’s pretty resilient to bleed through, though. On a 1.5mm nib with one of my wettest inks, it held up pretty well. The front of the pages are grid-lined, the backs are blank. The pages are also perforated so that you can tear them off neatly if you need to. I like that.

PA067654

The verdict…it’s pretty good, if you don’t mind the lack of sheen on sheen-y inks. This is pretty nice to write on, and the paper’s quality feels great. This notebook and a steno version of it is available at pens-galore.com.

PA067663

Review: Kokuyo Campus Notebook


PA017382

I was looking through a nearby Japanese surplus store in our neighborhood when I saw this notebook along with other piles of notebooks stacked in a corner. I have this habit of buying notebooks even when I don’t need them because…well, who knows when you might need them, right? So I bought one and, fast forward to a few days later, I went back to buy the rest of their stock.

PA017383

Kokuyo Campus Notebook looks like something I would have enjoyed back in college. It’s a simple notebook. The cover isn’t very impressive. It looks like something you’d take to school with you (or where you’d scribble down mad ideas and formulas). Definitely not a looker. Also, it’s P40 (a bit less than $1).

For the price of Php40, I was so surprised that the paper was excellent. It was smooth but has some texture to it. It shows the shading of the ink well. There’s also minimal show through and absolutely no bleed through even when I used my 1.5mm nib on it. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

PA017385 PA017386

I’d say that’s pretty nice. The per is nicer than some of the journals I bought that are much more expensive. Since I was already in the store, I also bought this cute little pen tray:

PA017375

Elias Notebooks’ Newly-Launched Notepads


P7085671

I was so excited to learn that Elias Notebooks has finally launched their notepads. I needed something to use for my letter-writing project and I thought that I’d try out their small pads. Turns out they’re the perfect size for correspondences. I got the lined pad and dot grid pads.

P7085697

The notepad uses perforated sheets so that it’s easier to tear out. It’s pretty convenient, and the pages tear out easily when I tried it.

P7085705

They’re blank on the other side so that it’s more presentable when writing letters. They look very neat when folded up.

P7085688

Of course, the paper is wonderfully smooth. It’s the same paper that I enjoy writing on in my journals. If you’re unfamiliar with Elias’ journals, read this review.

P7085720

I am looking forward to using this for my letters. I’m happy that Elias came up with these pads and I think it’s a great addition to their product line.

Elias’ notepads are P230 for the small ones and P380 for the large ones. Check out their FB page for more information.

Curnow A5 Tomoe River Paper Journal


Ever since I first heard about Tomoe River paper, I’ve always been curious about it. I heard that there’s no feathering or bleed through even for wet writers, and that the paper is thin and almost like papel de hapon. So when Kailash of Pengrafik.com offered a limited number of journals for sale, I decided I’ll buy a couple so that I can see whether I’ll like it or not.

P7085702

148mm x 210mm, 80 pages

The binding is stitched, which I like better than stapled. It looks clean and well-made. The journal is very thin even at 80 pages. The thinness of the paper makes it look more compact, I guess.

P7085703

The journal is really simple-looking. Just an ivory-colored cover and plain ivory-colored paper.

P7085659

The paper itself is fascinating. It’s so thin, almost like tracing paper. The texture is very pleasant–not completely smooth or waxy, but similar to paper that’s used for certificates, only more porous and finer. Writing on it is an interesting experience too.

I like that it has some feedback, and I like that it really retains much of the vibrancy of the ink so that the colors don’t look washed out after it dries. In fact, it looks much like how it looked while wet. That’s pretty awesome. I am also so relieved that it’s not too slippery or waxy. All my currently inked pens (on the writing sample) wrote on it without any difficulties whatsoever, even my extra fine nibs. Right away, I thought that the texture, the way it held the ink without feathering or bleeding and the thinness of the page would make it a wonderful sketch pad.

P7085661

You probably won’t be able to use the other side of the page, though. The writing shows through a lot. Update: After using this journal for both writing and drawing, I realized that the show through is very tolerable. I can write at the back of the pages too, and they’re readable. The more you use this paper, the more it grows on you. It’s kinda hard to explain why something so thin can feel so luxurious. You gotta try it out yourself.

Alunsina Handmade Leather Journal and Kislap


alunsinaklj-11

A couple of days ago, I got a much-awaited package in the mail. I’ve been waiting for my Alunsina leather journal and Kislap since last year, but these handmade notebooks take time to make since they’re made by hand and December is their peak season. They’re worth the wait, though.

alunsinaklj-7

I ordered the large journal which I intended to use as my quiet time journal for 2015. As always, I love the details of Alunsina’s handmade books. The stitches, the buckles, the smell (ohh, the smell)…everything’s just beautiful.

alunsinaklj-9      alunsinaklj-8

I’m not an expert on binding and the kinds of stitches and whatnot but I’ve always been fascinated at how they do the bindings for their journals. This journal that I ordered had two different colored and textured leather. I chose it because it had a simple design and the lock opens easily. The flap doesn’t get in the way of writing either.

alunsinaklj-10

The paper is fountain pen friendly, although the coating makes it hard for fine writers to leave ink. It handles my wet writers beautifully, though and as you can see in the photo above, there’s some show through but no bleed through. I used my Parker 51 inked with Burma Road Brown on it, which has a nib that’s medium to broad. The lines are written with Parker Sonnet with a ridiculously wet nib (which is why I don’t use it often). The paper handles my wet writers just fine. It has the feel of paper that’s slightly thicker than parchment and much smoother, if that makes any sense.

alunsinaklj

The Kislap (Kwaderno at ISang LAPis) is a traveler’s notebook like Midori, but I dunno, I really like this more MTN. Not to mention that it’s cheaper than Midori’s version. I picked this type and color of distressed leather because it looked like it  had more character to it. Again, the details of this notebook are just so beautiful.  Continue reading

Tabbed Notebook Project


IMG_0910.JPG

I had been looking for a tabbed, FP-friendly notebook that I can use for studying different topics in the Bible. I wanted to separate the topics so I can refer back to them easily, which I cannot do with my current notes.

I already have an FP-friendly notebook that I like so I just took out my handy ruler and cutter and within a few minutes, I got exactly what I needed. 🙂 I forgot what notebook I used, it’s just one of those affordable no-name notebooks that have  nice binding and good paper you sometimes stumble on in bookstores.

Its a simple project and doesn’t take too long to make.

Review: Elias Journals and Pen Case


elias

For people who love to write, finding decent notebooks is a must. One of my friends (Keshia) recommended Elias notebooks to me, and of course I had to try it out. I must say I am happy I did! this happy bundle was delivered by Xend to our house this afternoon.

elias-8

My first impression on the journal is that it looks very presentable. The leather cover is very pleasant to touch. It’s genuine leather and it’s very soft and supple. Almost like velvet. Smells awesome too! I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a notebook huffer, and this notebook is very huff-worthy. The smell of leather and paper is ohhhh sooooo gooood. The leather cover is thick and the bindings looks very secured. I bought a large and small journal, the one in the photo above is 5.4 x 8 inches with 88 sheets of unlined paper.

elias-9

Yes, it actually is as soft as it looks. The notebook initially has some difficulties laying down flat, but it looks like something that will come naturally as you open it more often.

Update: While the journals don’t lay flat, it opens up quite easily as you use it more often. I myself have softened the spine by fully opening the notebook. In other words, binuksan ko ng maiging-maigi. Don’t be afraid, the spine can take it.

elias-10

There’s a little pocket at the back where you can store notes and whatnots, and it had two slips of paper inside. These are neatly printed sheets; one explains how to take care of the leather, the other explains the origins of the notebook’s name. Elias is from the character in Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere. I think that providing a glimpse of the notebook’s backstory is a very nice touch.

elias-11

Now, on to the paper.  Continue reading

Labrador Pocket Leather Organizer


P1040185

My brother and sister-in-law gave me this cute little leather organizer/notebook for my birthday. Of course, one of the pleasures of collecting pens is having (a ridiculously wide assortment of) different notebooks to write on. My husband knows this very well because I would spend hours in different bookstores just finding the right notebook with the right texture, color and paper quality. Some women take that long to pick their shoes, I take that long to pick my journals.

P1040190   P1040186

It came in a pretty nice box too, very presentable. I like that the notebook’s leather cover is designed in a very simple, minimalist way. It’s really very appealing to look at, and the genuine leather on this journal looks like it will age pretty well. All dings and scratches it will get in the future will only add to its character.

P1040187

The band around the notebook is detachable, so you can lay it open, flat on a table and write without being bothered with clasps, bulges or bumps. Part of it is garterized so it can hold more of your things inside if you want to put cards, passports and whatnots.

Looks like it can fit a small Muji or Midori notebook (I will drop by Muji and Scribe next weekend to check it out and update this post). I thought that if I didn’t like the paper on the notebook, I can just buy one that I like and stick it inside.

Of course, the real test of any notebook is how it handles fountain pen ink, and I’m very happy to say that this notebook holds up really well. I used one of my wettest writers on it (Lamy Studio, Medium) and it didn’t even bleed through.

P1040188

The paper kind of reminded me of the journals I like in Muji; the one with the thick, black covers. The paper isn’t so smooth or slippery that it’s hard to write on. Actually the paper looks thin and gives a little feedback on the pen’s nib as I write. It adds to the writing experience, that little “scratch, scratch” sound I make while writing.

The ink feathers a little, but it doesn’t really bug me. I like that the ink spreads just a tiny bit. Like the scratchy sound, I think it adds to the writing experience. It’s exactly the reason why the black Muji notebook is my favorite journal, the paper is just like this. It reminds me of why I like fountain pens in the first place. The lines aren’t perfectly rounded, they have more character to them. Picking the right paper adds to that experience a lot.

Here is a close up of the writing sample I made on the notebook.

P1040189

Here is a photo of how the writing shows at the back of the page. It doesn’t bleed through but it shows through. I tried using my other pens which are also wet writers but not as wet as this Lamy Studio and its medium nib, and the writing barely showed through at the back.

P1040184

All in all, it’s a good notebook in a classy leather cover. I think I’ll visit their shop one of these days and pick out a bigger leather cover that might fit my A5-sized journals. 🙂

I don’t have information on the price as it’s a gift from my brother, but I’ll try to get a hold of their catalog. Here’s their page on Facebook and here’s their Instagram account.

Labrador Factory Philippines
G/F Unit 7 La Fuerza Plaza 1,
2241 Chino Roces cor Sabio Street
1233 Makati City, Philippines
(02) 502 4679

Continue reading