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  1. Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone knew where I could buy the Midori MD Notebook Light A5 (ruled) notebooks in the US or via a website that ships to the US? Here is the official Midori MD Notebook LIGHT page. The closest I got after exhaustive searching was The Journal Shop in the UK, but they haven't had A5's in stock in a long time. I would appreciate any leads any of you have. Thanks! Henry http://www.midori-japan.co.jp/md/en/products/swin/img/light_a5_yoko03.jpg
  2. While living in England I got used to using some very nice Office Depot brand A4 sized blue casebound notebooks for note taking. These ones: http://www.viking-direct.co.uk/a/pb/Office-Depot-A4-Feint-Ruled-Casebound-Manuscript-Book/pr=Q25&id=5313033/ They're unpretentious but attractive, sturdy, and the paper is excellent - thick and very good with fountain pens and just about any ink. Sadly, they're unavailable in the USA, where I've moved. Most notebooks in stationery stores here seem cheap and flimsy, but I thought I'd found a good replacement with a Moleskine Folio Professional Notebook (this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/8862931913). It was expensive, but was the right size and even looked a little smarter. Sadly, it turns out that the paper is awful. It's not nearly as good as those Office Depot notebooks - it's spongy and with my medium nib Lamy 2000 and Diamine ink, the ink feathers like crazy and bleeds right through the page. With a fine nibbed Hero 616, it's almost OK, but any dawdling on a letter causes the ink to bleed through there too. I'm pretty miffed as this notebook was not cheap and Moleskine positions itself as a high end brand. Does anyone have a recommendation for a similar notebook that is fountain pen friendly and can be obtained in the USA? Basically, I'm looking for: * A4 or US Letter size * Feint ruled * Hardcover, with case binding (ie. 'book' style binding) * Not tacky looking * Last but not least, with good quality paper that won't feather Does this exist in the colonies?
  3. - Master of the order-made notebooks (Kakimori) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH5k0G_gVI Kakimori is a small stationery shop nestled in Tokyo's Kuramae neighbourhood which has been pleasing customers over the course of three generations. You might find yourself falling in love with the art of writing again after a visit to this specialist stationery shop. Kakimori's range of pens, inks and letter sets are chosen on the basis of how comfortable they are to use, and customers are welcome to try out the fountain pens before making a purchase. Best of all are the order-made notebooks, prepared in 5-10 minutes and with an infinitely customisable selection of covers, paper and bindings available - most of them locally produced, for added "Made in Asakusa" effect. Kakimori : website http://www.kakimori.com/index.html Just for your information, Kota
  4. I purchased the large-size Webbie back in March. I’ve been hesitating to do a review because I just wasn’t sure what my final verdict was going to be, but now I think I know. In case you’ve been living under a rock or something, here’s a brief overview of the Webbie: Made by RhodiaContains 90g creamy Clairefontaine paperSewn binding, all encased in a soft-to-the-touch leatherette coverIncludes a ribbon bookmark and elastic closureAvailable in lined, dot-grid, and blankThis size sells for $22+ online, depending on retailer (I bought mine for $25 from Goulet Pens)That’s the infamous Webbie. Some people love them, some people hate them. I am going to do a bit different format today and list the things I like about this notebook, the things I don’t like but aren’t severe enough to keep me from using it, and the thing I didn’t like that ultimately delivered the death blow. Things I like: The hard cover is very sturdy and I enjoy the texture of it. Soft and supple to the touch but without seeming delicate - it’s a good balance of style and stability. The material also doesn’t seem to be prone to picking up an inappropriate amount of dirt, even when used as a daily carry. The paper is but-tah smooth. I started to say that it’s the smoothest paper I have ever used, but in reality it’s on the same level as the Tomoe River Paper in my Seven Seas journal and the Staples inkjet paper I write reviews on is of similar quality. There are different ruling styles available. Not all retailers seem to have all rulings, but they are out there and it nice to have choices. The only experience I have is with blank pages, but it’s nice to even have that option since a lot of notebooks seem to only be offered in lined and maybe grid.That might seem like a short list, but overall I have to say that the experience of using and writing in a Rhodia Webnotebook is very pleasant. The paper is some of the best you can buy and the build quality is excellent. If you are looking for a really nice notebook, I don’t think you can go wrong with trying out a Webbie. However, there are some things that I don’t like at all about the Webbie. Things I don’t like (minor): The notebook is only available in black and orange. While I do appreciate having choices, I only dislike the color orange slightly less than I dislike the color black, so there’s that. This is obviously a personal thing, so take it with a grain of salt. The Rhodia logo on the front cover is anything but discrete, at least on the orange version. I can see how it would be easier to miss on the black one, but the imprint is so deep that the shadows created on the orange cover means you will always be able to see the logo, unless of course it’s so dark that you probably won’t be doing much writing anyway. The paper, while fantastically smooth and able to handle most inks, is not perfect. I did have a few inks that started to bleed through the pages, which is something of a deal breaker for me. Granted, these were not the inks I used regularly, but I think I’ve been spoiled by Tomoe River Paper where nothing bleeds through the pages. I don’t mind a fair bit of ghosting, but bleeding is unacceptable. The elastic band is so tight that it leaves little indentations in the soft material of the cover. The flip side of that being that the elastic band starts off nice and tight, so the notebook is held closed very securely.All of those things are minor quibbles, and for the most part personal annoyances more than anything else. Not everyone has the same standards that I do, so these things might not bother you at all or they might be the ultimate deal breakers for you. For me, there was a single quality that has caused me to stop using the Webbie as my EDC: The paper is cream. It’s listed online as “ivory” but it’s darker than the color I consider ivory. It’s noticeably yellowed, and this will dramatically affect the appearance of your inks on the the page.Which is not a big deal unless you are using this as an ink journal. But, for me the color is too much. I absolutely love bright white paper. I like my writing to pop off the page. I’ve learned that I will probably not find a notebook with bright white paper that is also FP friendly, but the color of the paper in the Rhodia is too much for me. Thus, while the paper quality and build quality of the Rhodia Webnotebook is fantastic, it is ultimately not the notebook for me. I have recently shelved it and gone back to my Seven Seas journal, which is making me wonder why I ever left it. The issues that made me switch to the Webbie have turned out to not be something that I really took that much advantage of in the Webbie anyway, so I’m back to the wonderful Tomoe River Paper. Overall, I think the Webbie is a great notebook, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a classy looking notebook filled with FP friendly paper that will hold up to a daily beating. All of the objections above are personal criteria I have used in my quest for the one true notebook and are in no way meant to bash on Rhodia. Yes, the Webbie is pricy, but there are few other notebooks out there that boast such nice paper and a sewn binding with hardcover. The only thing I can say is try it out if you are curious, since the only person who can tell you if a notebook will work for you, is you. :-) This notebook was purchased with my own money and I am in no way affiliated with any companies mentioned above and am not being compensated for this review in any way. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and you are free to disagree with them if you like.
  5. I'm starting to use discbound systems and have liked Arc a lot so far, but hear that the Levenger Circa aluminum discs are easier to turn pages on than the plastic Staples discs, does anyone here have personal experience with this they can share?
  6. While looking for a daily notebook the first thing on my mind was the classical Aurora linen covered notebook. It's quite often seen here in Belgium but does not get that much attention on this forum. Is it something typical of my country? The paper quality will do for a daily notebook and the firmness does add value when carrying it arround. In my experience it is a iconic notebook that is fountainpen friendly. Is anybody else using it? Or perhaps just avoiding this notebook?
  7. Tonight a friend came back from London. With her she had a bottle of Diamine ink and a small little teeny-weeny notebook from a brand I recognized; Smythson. Being a materialist, I squealed with glee and decided to try out the book, especially since I remembered hearing that the paper should be notebook-friendly. So far, it is definitely not. The paper is very thin, and I expected show-through, but not bleed-through. Even with my one of finest nibs (Lamy 2K EF) and one of my most well behaved inks (Lamy black) there was some bleed-through on the pages. I have looked at reviews online and they all seem positive, which I find strange. Have any of you had similar experiences with Smythson paper? Apparently they all use the same paper in all of their notebooks, so I am sure there's quite a few of you who has used them at very least. And ah, yes, I'm sorry if it seems like I'm simply ranting. I will admit that I am very disappointed with the notebook, but I am seriously curious what your experiences with the paper is like. Thank you for reading
  8. I think it is about time to do my first review (way overdue). I've always liked the looks and feel of leather notebooks but either the paper was not what I wanted or I was to scared to spoil them with my scribbles. So I opted to go for a nice leather cover. I searched a while to find a nice leather cover that could fit the notebooks I like. Most covers out there seem to be made for Moleskin and that's, well lets just say not my cup of tea. Not to long ago I came across a Dutch website www.writersplaza.nl were they sell handmade leather notebooks and covers by an Englishman named Paul Francis. Just when I was about to order the reddish one I noticed the dark brown one. I could not choose so there was only one option left I ordered both Both are just awesome. They fit about any A5 notebook I think. So far I have tried them with my favourite at the moment the Leuchtturm (currently in the brown one) and the Rhodia (web) and the thicker softcover Rhodia (shown in the reddish one). The reddish one has an extra flap where you can store businesscards, creditcard, etc. The extra flap also protects the notebook more when carried in a backpack or sorts. You can put the flap over or under the front cover. They both are pretty soft leather and lie as flat as the notebook allows. As a bonus the are made environmentally save. (http://www.writersplaza.nl/c-1443210/paul-francis-how-your-book-was-made/) They can stain a bit at the beginning. Needless to say I'm extremely happy with them and they put a smile on my face every time I see them or pick them up to start writing. After some googling I think I found his ebayshop http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Diary-Shop No more words let's show some pictures Some very nice diamondshape stiching
  9. I would like to get a small notebook/sketchbook/journal to carry around with me that is fountain pen friendly. It would just be something to carry where I could jot down a thought or sketch something interesting. I would prefer it to have blank pages, although dots wouldn't be out of the question. Moleskine makes a nice blank pcket-size notebook, but I've read in other forums the paper is not so fountain pen friendly. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
  10. I've been looking for the perfect journal for years and still have not come close. I was hoping you all could help me out. I used to use a Moleskine Sketchbook as my preferred journal, just because it could handle a variety of media. I like to travel and stick all my ticket-stubs and postcards in there and thanks to the thickness of the pages, it never caused bumps my writing. However, with only 100 pages, it was getting to be kind of a waste. I am looking for something lined with good paper quality of heavier weight. Preferably, the journal is bound nicely but that's not a huge priority. I really like the feel of Clairefontaine Triomphe paper. I would bind my own notebook with the Clairefontaine paper but the lines make it so I can't fold and then sew them together. Do any of you have any suggestions?
  11. I saw the announcement video pop up on my YouTube suggested videos feed on Friday: http://youtu.be/YddRA-YcSHg. Then this morning I got confirmation in the comments from Whitelines that they are indeed making Whitelines Link notebooks with Leuchtturm1917 paper! "Leuchtturm1917 notebooks with Whitelines Link inlay/functionality". I don't see any mention of this new notebook on the Whitelines blog yet. After some Googling, I found some additional info:Leuchtturm1917 2013/2014 catalogThe Paperie - search results for Leuchtturm1917 + Whitelines These new notebooks will have black covers with orange elastics. Paper options will be ruled and dotted. Available in Notebook and Academy Pad. From the little bit that I've read (newbie FB user), it sounds like Whitelines paper has gotten so-so/mixed reviews from the FP community. Perhaps this will make Whitelines Link notebooks a more viable option for FP users. This could be the ultimate digital + analog combo. Exciting!
  12. Okay, I'm no good with paper reviews, so I'll just skip over that in this case since Kokuyo Campus paper is an old classic practically on par with Rhodia (at least for those of us who love our Japanese/Asian paper!) so it's bound to have been reviewed already. That's my story, etc. But I just HAD to share this totally adorable version that I recently found on Rakuten, because it is a total darling. Just look at that! That's a clip from a Lamy Safari for size: The best part for me, as a big fan of all things miniaturized, is that this is an exact replica of the larger Kokuyo Campus notebooks - all the way through, not just the cover! The paper stock is the same smooth but not slippery perfection, same line spacing, same setup with the two dots for the date top right and the two bold lines top and bottom with dots as guides for vertical lines, basically everything you get in the larger Kokuyo Campus notebooks is here: OMG, cute cubed! What should I use it for. do you think? Do you like miniatures too?
  13. So I have been reading and browsing looking for a quality leather notebook cover, while at the same time looking for quality paper to use with my FP. I have seen so many pictures, read into so many brands, that I have a general idea of what I want. However, I find myself now completely overwhelmed with the choices, sizes, etc. By now I've seen how to make your own covers as well as the enormous range of planner-styles. So yes, feeling a bit overwhelmed. Rather than just start buying and experimenting with what I've seen, I'd like my first purchase to be done with some input from you paraphernalia buffs. I use a Medium 14kt Montblanc nib with Diamine Green/Black quite often so lets assume that's what I will be writing with in this notebook. I make lists often, but this paper will mainly be used to write letters to my daughter. She is 2 and I write her a letter every day I can so when she gets older she can laugh at how awesome I was. I am looking for both a leather cover, and paper to fill it. Cover I would like to purchase the cover once, and replace the paper as necessary so it must have replaceable paper, to be used often. There must be a spot/pocket to fasten my pen. I'm a laser engraver and will be putting my own intricate designs into the leather if/when I feel like, so plain covers would be preferred. So far I have seen some nice-looking stuff, but like I said, overwhelmed. I liked the Midori's, is there something better to look at? LeatherReplaceable PaperPen SlotPaper I will only be using a FP with this notebook, so it must work well with FPs. Lined paper would be best, but I am open to other types if people have recommendations for letter writing paper. As I mean to pull the letters from the notebook, this means I will need lined paper, that can tear away clean (to be placed in a folder or book/scan). I would prefer the paper to not be hole-punched as well. I have read good thing about Rhodia, but didn't see if it would fit in covers or if it tore away clean. Lined PaperFP CapableTearaway Non Hole-punched So there ya have it, the method to my new notebook purchase madness. I really would appreciate some input on what pairing of cover and paper would fit my needs. Looking to spend under $100 but its its more... hey, I'm worth it. Just not $200 worth it Also, thanks for taking the time to read this novel, I know I can run on for a while.
  14. Have you ever wanted to remove some pages from a wire-bound notebook but without actually tearing them out? For instance, maybe because you don't want the fluffed out bits and there's no micro-perforation, or maybe you wish you could bind them in a different order or move them to a different notebook? So far you could only pry the coil apart or just cut it with pliers, but that left you with an unuseable notebook. Well, it turns out that some designers over in Japan maybe got tired of that and created a little tool that neatly opens out the coil evenly from end to end, so when you have removed the pages you want, you can use any wire-binding machine to clamp the wire coil shut again and continue to use your notebook. Here it is in action: It's made by Lihit Lab, and so far the only place I know of to get it is Rakuten; just search for Lihit N-1811 (that's the product code - thanks again to gsalazar for helping me find that!!) To be honest, I think it might be possible to get the same result using one of those tools for opening packages, like this one (as suggested by FPNer Michael/my63 on the thread I created asking for help on where to get this tool ) That one would be cheaper and easier to obtain outside Japan, but it's probably a bit unwieldy - bulkier and heavier. Also, most of these things will have a little piece of blade in that notch; that might give some trouble as well. If anyone has one of these, will you try it and post the results?
  15. wallylynn

    Eco Clip

    I want one of these for when I'm too lazy to bind my journal refills. http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/t_ku-xlarge/xsnrvvfam8z9bgpltbrv.jpg http://gizmodo.com/a-clip-that-turns-any-stack-of-paper-into-a-homemade-no-1532735088
  16. I went to Jetpens to reorder a kokuyo inspiracion (my favorite notebook to use as a refill for the lihit lab twist rings system) and to my horror they don't stock it anymore!! I couldn't even find it on Rakuten, so I suspect it may have been discontinued So now I need your help to replace it! For the general info, here's the old description on Jetpens. And here are the parts that mattered to me: - page size and hole pattern: they're identical to the lihit lab twist ring system (a 3:1 pitch, for binding geeks). This is a must-have - without this there's no point - color and page layout: off-white (cream and ivory would be ok too, just no bright-white), 5mm grid type, but faint (fine and light in color) so it organizes the page without overwhelming the writing. Please, no dot pads - I know many people love them and are excited to recommend them, but I really don't get along with them and would be grateful if you could help me avoid the confusion of having to sort dot-pad recommendations from grid ones :-) - available from a retailer with sane int'l shipping. The inspiracion also had microperforated pages, but since the Lihit is a binder system that's not critical (the neat edge was nice to have when I wanted to give someone a page, but I wouldn't sacrifice the other stuff for microperf'ed pages ) I also liked that the grid pattern extended to cover the whole page, no margins. But I can live with a frame/box style grid, as long as otherwise there's nothing to prevent me from using it in both portrait and landscape mode ) Can you guys think of anything that fits the bill? Or alternatively, just a good place to buy Inspiracion notebooks? At this point I could even stock up and buy several, which should make the shipping situation a bit easier hopefully! thanks!!
  17. Clas Ohlson are selling 100 gsm "deluxe" notebooks in the UK. They've got brown covers with "Notebook" carved into the front and have 96 pages of 100 gsm paper. The Books come in A4, A5 and maybe A6 size. The A4 is £8.99, the A6 is £6.29 & A6 is £4.39. The paper is FP friendly and being so thick I have not seen any bleed through yet with my J Herbin, Waterman & Parker Quink inks yet.(Italix parson's & Parker IM). A4 100 gsm for £8.99 seems like good value for money. The paper is lined and the book is perfect bound which is great for left handers like myself.
  18. Whovians -- behold! The "Dalek" Journal by Culturenik, available at Barnes & Noble: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5473/12259243425_f31ebbd59c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/12259819046_5b48b7338d.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3742/12259815186_0a2c3711a2.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5523/12259400073_905f00d98a.jpg
  19. High res images available on my blog: Vertical Paper When I was recently contacted by Ed Harding and Tom Strickland, the duo behind Monsieur notebook with a question whether I would review their new notebook I was pleasantly surprised and after checking their website I said accepted immediately. A few days later one of the real leather Monsieur notebooks arrived by post. Monsieur notebooks are sold in a variety of colours, sizes and paper types. The one I received is, not surprisingly, the fountain version in brown. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3830/9692479154_840354c839_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5511/9692476466_8919fec495_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3744/9692477758_fb1e2a2a98_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2844/9692483132_2df990b27d_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5331/9689241061_632aa437a4_c.jpg First impressions The notebook looks really nice. The leather cover is smooth, but has a kind of ‘rustic’ feel to it. And it smells great too! The binding is quite firm and it takes quite a bit of effort to open the notebook for the first time. Without “breaking” the binding a bit it is not easy to use the notebook comfortably. First two and last two pages are ivory, the rest of the paper is white. Pages are blank and are not numbered, but there are few lines on the third page for your name and a few other details. There is no internal pocket, which is not a big deal in my opinion as I hardly ever use it. You will notice though, that the first and last page are not glued to the leather cover centred i.e. the strip of leather you can see on top is slightly wider than the same strip at the bottom. It’s not something that would bother me too much, but I like when things are symmetrical. The notebook comes with a rubber band, which is well made, strong enough to hold the notebook closed, but not too tight to make putting the band on difficult. On the back of the notebook you can find an embossed Monsieur logo. On top of that, you can customise your notebook in a variety of ways including debossing, foiling, custom bands and wraps etc. as well as custom designs. I think that’s quite unique on the market and it could be a real selling point for people who like to make their notebook really special. Materials and build quality I really wanted to love this product, especially because it comes from a UK-based startup. Unfortunately, I found that Monsieur notebook suffers from a variety of quality issues some of which I consider quite fundamental. First of all the binding and stitching is too tight and too “stiff”. The binding does not provide enough flexibility and, as is visible on the pictures below, this causes various problems like stitches “cutting” into the paper and leather cover breaking away from the paper. What you see below is not a result of any excessive use or unusual handling as I took these pictures after less then ten minutes of use. It is, in my opinion, rather a sign of suboptimal manufacturing standards and/or quality control. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3700/9689242827_79314cc8bf_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/9692482226_c323192943_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5550/9692484874_76e1f73d36_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3761/9692482574_153f672188_c.jpg The paper used in the fountain variant of Monsieur notebooks is unusually thick (100 gsm), smooth and white (but not too bright). I noticed that each pages also has a watermark that reads Royal Executive Bond. The position of the watermark changes from page to page — on some pages it is centred, on other pages it is on the side, at the bottom or at the top and is partly “cut” i.e. only part of of the watermark is visible. Initially, I thought I would not mind it but later I started to noticed the watermark more and more. Overall, I found it rather distracting and would much prefer to have a clean page without any watermarks at all. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3721/9689245103_d3628fcfc7_c.jpg Due to the thickness of the paper, the way it is bound and the stiffness and thickness of the leather the notebook does not lie flat and it tends to be closing itself. That negatively affects the writing comfort as writing near the seams is kind of difficult. And because the notebook does not stay open on its own, you need use the provided yellow bookmark at all times. I also found that there are small colour spots on the paper. They are not on every page, appear to be randomly distributed and are part of the paper material. But they are frequent and prominent enough that you can easily find the spots just buy flipping through the notebook. Now, I don’t know if these spots are “meant” to be there or if they are down to poor quality control. But even though they are quite small (2–3mm) and may possibly be considered a part of the “rustic” and handmade feel, I would much prefer if all pages were perfectly clean and spotless. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3696/9692484228_afbda31028_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2854/9689245507_1731fb75f4_c.jpg UsageSince this is a notebook specifically designed for use with fountain pens during my tests I focused predominantly on fountain pens. I used three different pens, three different nibs and three different inks as well as a rollerball and a felt tip pen with pigment ink. Here’s the complete list of tools I tested with: Fountain pens Lamy Vista, 1.5 mm italic nibTWSBI 580, 1.1 mm italic nibJinhao 159, M nibInks Diamine Green-BlackDiamine Red DragonDiamine Onyx BlackOther pens Faber-Castel Ecco Pigment 0.3 black (felt tip)Ohto Graphic Liner black (rollerball)And the results? Well, as with most things on this notebook, it’s a mixed bag. First the good news: the paper is smooth and is pleasant to write on. There is some show-through, but hardly any bleed-through, even with broad nibs. When using the felt-tip or rollerball, I did not observe any major issues. But now to the not so good news. There is a non negligible amount of feathering. Just look at the scans below and compare the feathering between Monsieur and Rhodia. Both tests were done at the same time (within 1 minute of each other) and using same pens and inks. Don’t get me wrong, feathering is a major problem on most papers, and Monsieur performance is not too bad, but for a notebook designedspecifically for use with fountain pens it is just not good enough. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5521/9689236637_bf2a99ab24_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2876/9689236057_21f415a278_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5323/9689234619_3340d80bc6_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3714/9692473686_337dc95c1d_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2833/9689235245_5ea31366f1_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3783/9692474374_92731911a7_c.jpg More detailed scans: Monsiuer (Lamy Vista 1.5, TWSBI 580 1.1): http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3785/9704990384_ff25f3f06d_c.jpg Rhodia (Lamy Vista 1.5, TWSBI 580 1.1): http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5344/9704990358_8777d5c3a1_c.jpg\ Monsiuer (Jinhao 159 M, Faber-Castel Ecco Pigment 0.3): http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7450/9704990472_281322460b_c.jpg Rhodia (Jinhao 159 M, Faber-Castel Ecco Pigment 0.3): http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5448/9701755939_80e1d85069_c.jpg Monsiuer: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3703/9701751031_d97572e9eb_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3731/9701754829_1ca9db7aa2_c.jpg Rhodia: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5480/9704980882_04de3f72e5_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/9701742625_1b7c449883_c.jpg Wrap-up What I like: Real leather coverGreat rustic, yet clean lookHand-made feelSmells greatHardly any bleed-throughWide choice of colours and options (Monsieur range) What I don’t like: Noticeable featheringBinding and stitching too tightBinding can break rather easilyDoes not lie flatSpots on the paperWatermark on each page I applaud anyone who has the courage, energy and passion to bring a new product focused on fountain pen users to the market. It’s not easy in an age dominated by ballpoint and rollerball. Monsieur notebooks definitely brings new elements and concepts to the market, especially with regards to materials and the huge variety of options on offer. I was pleased with the lovely leather cover and I really like the rustic look. However, the fact that the notebook does not lie flat, that the binding tends to break and that the paper feathers quite a bit is disappointing. Having said that, I would love to try some of the other variants (dot grid and sketch look very interesting indeed) as they may not suffer from the same issues. I really believe Monsieur notebook and the whole concept around it has a great potential. I believe Tom and Ed will be able to address the build quality issues soon, because Monsieur Fountain could be a fantastic notebook. Monsieur Notebook Size: A5Dismensions: 213 x 148 x 20 mmPaper: plain whiteNumber of pages: 192Cover: real leatherBinding: glued and stitchedDesigned in the UK, manufactured in India
  20. Hi! I need help tracking a quirky notebook I saw couple of weeks ago in Waterstones in Glasgow. It was called something like "I'm getting more perfect every day" or "Improvement journal" or something along those lines. Unfortunately I didn't have time for browsing and shopping, I was in Glasgow just that one day and now I can't find it online or even remember the name of it. Can anyone help me?
  21. I mean the stuff that's got pages you can move around, but that isn't a traditional ringbinder with the bulky metal spine hardware to open and close the ring for accessing the paper (usually with 2/3/4 rings, sometimes 6 as with organizers BUT either way with the bulky hardware). These are generally sold as 'notebook systems' (or just plain notebooks) but essentially they pack the versatility of a binder into a compact package like a notebook. To do that they usually sacrifice either sheet capacity, ease of adding/removing sheets, or hardiness of the binding mechanism. So, it includes all those I mentioned in the thread title, but excludes things like that Mead Flex thingy or ringbinder organizers (Filofax, daytimer, whatever the brand). I tend to call these notebook/binder hybrids, but I was wondering if there were any other names about, like any industry names maybe? Something a bit shorter would be nice too - 'notebook/binder hybrid' is descriptive enough but it is quite a mouthful! I'm asking because this type of notebook is a big focus of my paper-related interests; I've always enjoyed tweaking and tinkering with this type of thing (it reconciles two opposites tendencies - I love the idea of a notebook, but loose leaf and a binder is way more practical for me ) A less awkward way to refer to these would be nice!
  22. Hey Guys, I've written before about the cheap Moleskine notebook clones which are available from Woolworths Supermarkets here in Australia (under the name Picadilly). I was surprised at the time of finding them tht they were relatively cheap but also very fountain pen friendly. Well I have found Notebooks that rivel these! While walking around KMart the other day wasting some time, I wandered into the stationary section. Most of the stuff that they have there is cheap stuff, perfect for ballpoints but useless for Rollerballs or Fountain Pens. But I noticed some notebooks that stood out. The where Moleskine clones. Coloured, leather like covers, elastic strap, and lined pages. They were cheap ($3 each) so I figured I would grab 1 or 2 and see how they performed. They simply come in a plastic slip. No real markings or brand names on it (just Kmart branded) and made in China. Taking off the plastic slip, the cover feels soft and nothing like real leather. My impression of the cover is it is not great quality, but I don't think it matters if the covering get's a little ripped and shagged (just adds character). It doesn't feel like it will fall apart, but it's not up to Moleskine standards. The elastic is nice and tight and keeps the covers firmly shut. Covers seem to come in Black, Red and Purple. Might be more colours at other stores. The cover opens fairly flat. Very surprising how flat it opens. The spin stitching seems to be fairly good quality too. There is no back pocket in the book, so the price is a bit of a sacrafice there. The paper is a yellow / ivory sort of colour, and it has dark grey lines. No page/leaf count is marked anywhere, but I estimate it to be around 80 leafs / 160 pages. Paper size is the same height as A5, but slightly skinnier. Is bigger than a standard Moleskine. Now we get to the pointy end of the stick. Writting on the paper. At this stage I was pleasently surprised. The paper was fairmly smooth, but does offer a bit of fedback. The ink goes onto the page easily and is NOT sucked right in! The lines stay fairly crisp (with little feathering) and drying time is average. Checking the other side of the paper, there is a little bit of show through (only slight and no where near enough to make the opposite page un-useable) but no bleeding (even where i had a huge burp of ink on the page). I tested with different inks and nibs, and none would really heavily show through and 0 bleeding. All up, for $3 these notebooks are great. Buy 10 for the same priec as 1 Moleskine or Rhodia Webby in Aus. I really recommend these. Grab a few for a cheap notebook for quick notes, or for journalling. They are great bits of work!
  23. Hello everyone, I recently bought several Black 'N Red notebooks from amazon, and I've got to say that I'm thoroughly impressed! These notebooks are made of high quality materials and the paper within is glossy and gives me very little show-through even with a wet 1.1mm nib writing with a very wet ink+pen combination. All of this for a fraction of the equivalent Rhodia notebook. I definitely recommend them. I will post some photos and tests if anyone is interested.
  24. Hello all, I picked up a Mead Flex notebook at a local office supply store. It's a very interesting binder-notebook cross, with the best characteristics of both. The Flex is what you would get if you had a typical plastic notebook and used 3 flexible plastic rings instead of wire. The ones I saw were in different solid colors (pink, blue, green, black) on the front with black plastic rings and a black back. It comes in 1-subject, 3-subject and 5-subject sizes, although you can comfortably fit quite a bit more paper in a Flex than Mead says. Any US 3-hole punched paper will work (not sure if 3-hole punches are the same size in other countries). I definitely recommend this if you like the paper-swapping abilities of binders but have trouble with the stiff sides breaking, the weight, the size, etc. It's the weight of a wirebound notebook, the size of a wirebound notebook except for right where the rings are, look and operates like a notebook (including folding the front cover around to touch the back to show only one sheet of paper), except that you can use any paper you want. The only thing that could be improved is the cover stiffness. Amazon reviews are generally very positive, so I feel good about its ability to stand up to lots of use. The only concern I can see at the moment is that the rings may eventually wear out, like binders will develop problems closing if used enough. The front and back covers are solid plastic, and feel sturdy. They are flexible, not stiff. The notebook can be completely opened and the front cover moved to the back (just like a regular wirebound notebook), but remains flexible when that is done. It's not stiff enough to write comfortably without bracing it on a surface. It's light enough that even with the thin Mead paper I'm not worried about a yank disordering my notes (my concern about disc-based systems). Here I'm holding the Flex by a couple sheets of paper. With heavier paper I feel comfortable yanking it around by whatever part's nearest. http://www.img.ie/images/et3vs_thumb.jpg Binding: The notebook uses a thin strip of cloth and 3 flexible plastic rings to keep itself together. The cloth is inside the plastic rings and is stitched to the front and back plastic covers. The rings keep the paper together with the cover. They're spaced like standard binder rings, but are plastic instead of metal. They are attached to a stiff strip of plastic which is bolted to the back cover of the Flex. Each ring has to be pulled apart individually, which isn't as noisy a process as most binders I've dealt with. More of a dull pop than a loud boing. One side of a ring is a hollow tube, which is contoured inside to be the mate of the plastic spear that is the other side. The rings are flexible, and not perfectly round, which makes them easier to write over compared to binder rings. Here's both sides of the notebook cover, showing the binding http://www.img.ie/images/1qr9o_thumb.jpg Closeup of a ring on the back cover showing how they're secured http://www.img.ie/images/6y8y3_thumb.jpg Paper: Mead Five Star paper. It's OK, but doesn't really matter, because you can use any paper you want. Durability: The Mead guarantees are only for a year, and looking at how the plastic rings hold together, I can see that something might become worn down if you swap pages around very frequently. This is a softer plastic. On the other hand, I haven't see any signs of wear yet, and not having to buy a $50 punch just to use a notebook makes this a much better investment for me. Pricewise it's cheaper than or comparable to the disc notebooks I've seen ($12 for the 3-subject).
  25. Today I'm reviewing a leather notebook/diary system made by a German manufacturer. The X47 is their high end line, there also is X17 which is cheaper and, I think, uses a less sophisticated system to attach the refills. As I haven't found anything about the brand on FPN yet I feel it's high time. I've never liked ring notebooks like Filofax but the idea of something refillable always appealed to me. That's why I own two Midori Traveler's Notebooks and three A5 sized handmade leather journals of various colors. The X47 is a very different animal as it doesn't breathe "handmade and rugged" but "businesslike and classy". http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Necke6IoktI/UkZ43LC7SKI/AAAAAAAAAws/Q4dIkE7-1r4/s1600/x471.JPG They are handmade though, sewn here in Germany. A5 and A6 size are available. There is a range of leather colors and surfaces to choose from. I chose glossy chestnut brown calfskin and it's beautiful. Boyfriend is working with leather and if you've touched and worked with hides, good ones and poor ones, you can feel if it's good quality. For me, a glossy surface notoriously rouses suspicions because many poor quality leathers try to hide behind a ton of lacquer and dye. These are the leathers that feel like painted cardboard. My X47 isn't like that! It's nice and supple and feels good. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GkCd_lzgcGQ/UkZ7TXbtM4I/AAAAAAAAAw4/BsuGLY578_g/s1600/X472.JPG The notebook offers a few goodies. For instance if you choose the A5 size you can insert an extra A6 cahier into the inside of the front cover. The one currently sitting there is a little smaller than A6, but it's wise to put something there, else the gap could be bothersome when writing on the first pages of the first refill. There is also a stamp sized space with a leather flap but I have no idea what that's for. It's definitely too small for business cards (plus there is space for business cards at the inside of the back cover). Any ideas? The leather is really thin so there's something stiff between the layers of the front and back cover. It will prevent the whole thing from becoming too soft and wobbly over time. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Mi77-B4cofA/UkZ8Vo29n0I/AAAAAAAAAxA/kwpAAfj7Bh0/s1600/X473.JPG Refills are inserted using slim aluminium rods. The curvy parts are attached to the leather, the straight parts can be taken out and have two thorns which go through the spines of the notebook refills. Near the lower edge of the next picture you can see such a thorn. The ready made refills you can buy at X47 already have such a straight rod attached to their backs so exchanging them is quick and easy. You can also remove those rods and attach them to any notebook you'd like, in my case a Midori MD light, a Rhodia and a Semikolon. Another cool detail: sewn-in ribbon bookmarks. The ends of those have been covered in resin or something similar so they won't fray. I don't know if I would mind them fraying but I'm a little impressed by the thoughtfulness. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pbqfCY9pwAo/UkZ-h0xVUTI/AAAAAAAAAxM/zQZOprNfnqw/s1600/X474.JPG This picture also shows the color better, a very nice reddish brown. The glossy surface makes it even more lively. I have to say I like this system, it's very slim and elegant. Even though it makes using your own paper a little more complicated than with a Midori I feel it's worth it. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xA-ZTw347O8/UkZ_kXpxNmI/AAAAAAAAAxU/BVWmpiPtzRI/s1600/X475.JPG There's also a pen loop large enough for a slim fountain pen - part of it is elastics but anything fatter than, say, a Pelikan M400 would be a really tight fit. The notebook weighs 570 g with said 3 refills, which is a little heavier than a larger sized Midori TN - which is still quite a bit smaller than A5 -, but lighter than my handmade notebooks. I'm still not sure if this very classy style is really for me but no matter what, this is some really nice piece of work. Hope you've enjoyed my review. P.S.: The decorative pen is an Omas Extra Lucens.





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