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Happened to be in Walmart and found "Junior Composition Books" 5x7" for 67¢ ! 80 micro-perforated sheets with college ruling available in a variety of colors. They had some from Indonesia and others from India; the Indian paper felt a bit smoother. Got home and tries some ink with great results, no feather and very little bleed through. Nice find!
I asked Paperthinks to send me a few sheets of paper for review, mostly because I didn't want to commit $20 to a journal that might not be FP-friendly. They agreed to send me an out-of-date 2014 planner, but surprised me by sending me a tiiiiny notebook to sample instead. It was a highly classy move on their end. I only wish the paper was as classy as the technique What did I think? Well, read my.... Paperthinks Pocket Notebook Review! Sample provided free from Paperthinks, because I asked nicely. So points for customer / potential-customer service! Item MSRP's at $12.95 on the Paperthinks Site. The Pocket Notebook measures 3.5 x 5.0". The cover is 100% recycled leather, which is nice and appeals to my eco-friendly personality, and the one they sent me is an attractive shade of navy blue. There's an adorable 1/8" wide black ribbon sewn in the middle, and a surprisingly expandable pocket in the back for storing scraps of paper. There's no elastic closure, but it doesn't seem to need one; it seems to want to stay closed all by itself. In terms of branding, the words Paper thinksTM are written, fairly small, on the base of the spine, in an elegant and unobtrusive gray-on-navy arrangement; there is a small logo on the inside of the front cover, opposite a front page that has spaces for Name, Phone, and (oddly enough) emergency contact info. As to the paper, there are 128 sheets (256 pages) of pH-neutral, chlorine-free, acid-free, and "selected recycled fibres", ruled, ivory paper in this notebook. There are 20 lines on the page, with the top 7/16" as a margin, and 3/16" side and bottom margins. The website states that the notebooks are Smyth-sewn and lay flat, which I did not experience to be the case; toward the ends the pages may lie relatively flat, but in the middle it's humpsville, and it's a fight to keep whichever cover has less pages against the desk. This might get better with time, but unfortunately, I don't like the paper well enough to find out. I've only written a few test pages so far, with the 4 pens I have. While my photo-taking skills aren't great, and I've decided not to include them unless someone requests it, here's what I used, and the results: --Pilot Metropolitan (Asian M) with Diamine Ancient Copper: Hairline feathering, which remains quite legible, but some pretty bad bleedthrough at the bottoms of the letters. The reverse side would be basically unusable, but you could get away with using this verso-only. --Noodler's Ahab with J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Gray: All's fair in love and pens, and seeing how a flex pen does with cheap paper is just.... sad. Lots of ink or Ahab's finest receding hairline, didn't matter. The paper still feathered all over the place, and, on the deepest flexes, bled through to the page beyond. Though the ink DOES sparkle nicely on this paper (it doesn't on everything, including Office Despot pads), so that's a plus. --Lamy Safari (Western M) with Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun: This didn't feather particularly badly, partially because I think the nib is just kind of "vague", but it also didn't behave particularly well; the ink is too light-colored for terrible bleed-through, but it still tried pretty hard. Could you use the recto? Probably. But the ink looks "chalky" here, in a way it doesn't on other cheap paper. --Lamy Safari (Western XF) with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts: This was the best-behaved combination I have currently inked (across various papers). The lines don't feather more than the occasional hairline, or bleed through at all, or even show through particularly badly. You could get away with writing on the recto (back of the page) with this pretty easily, if you kept it to the XF nib. With this combination, and this combination Overall: I like that it's recycled and eco-friendly. I want to like this notebook, really I do. But I can't. It doesn't lay flat, it's a little thick for my tastes, and the paper just isn't suitable for fountain pens. As to the paper, with a fine enough nib and a well-behaved ink this MIGHT be a usable journal or notebook. But with most inks and nibs the recto is a complete goner, not to mention its feathering problems. I'm sure it's great with ballpoints, and maybe even rollerballs, but here on the Fountain Pen Network it just doesn't cut it. Spend your $13 on something else. The 3.5" x 5.5" Markings by C.R. Gibson Moleskine-esque notebook sells at Staples for just $7, and, if it's anything like it's bigger sister, it handles FPs MUCH better. Photos: Courtesy of paperthinks.us http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0493/0109/products/PT03558_1_1024x1024.jpg?v=1405440746 http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0493/0109/products/PT91118_02_d80f16e4-8113-4c3a-9026-7d48e3a40861.jpg?v=1405440746
I am delighted to share perhaps my most favorite FP and handmade notebook. Unboxing of Pilot Prera (Japanese import): (w/ Lamy Safari) Prera w/ BPN (Black Pocket Notebook): I handmade the 3.5x5.5" BPN using very VERY cheap materials: construction paper (cover), 12 printer papers, 3 staples (binding) No scissors were available, so all cutting was ripping with my hands--hence the ragged edges. I hope to use USA 100% recycled paper & staples in the future...there are surprisingly good papers for this FP! Thanks for viewing!
writermk posted a topic in Paper and Pen ParaphernaliaI had recently stopped using my MTN because it just wasn't pocket-sized, meaning that I couldn't have it always with me. To solve this, and much to some of your dismay, I'm sure, I trimmed it down to a 3x5 inch size. I actually did it without messing anything up, and now I have a truly pocketable MTN. It was a nerve-wracking operation, and I was sure I'd mess something up (and did not), but here it is! Let me know your thoughts. Okay, it's not an absolutely perfect cut, but that slightly rustic feel suits the MTN, IMO. I made a thick notebook with 120gsm paper, printed with fine lines. I also made a storage card with paper-flap in the front and closing envelope-style pocket in the back. I am currently printing out a hipster PDA day-planner template. The beauty of choosing 3x5 size is that I can use all the popular Hipster PDA templates and fit index cards inside.