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  1. Hey all, we all love fountain pens and we all want to write with them. So at one point we need to find ourselves some nice paper. In my case I also wanted a nice notebook which contains the paper. Eventually I discovered the Midori Notebooks and loved them. Simple design but a very thought through, cool looking little system. The problem that I had was the price. I just did not want to (and shouldn't at the time) spend 50$ for a notebook. So I had the idea to google a little bit and see, if there were people who made their own versions of that Traveler's Notebook. And I was lucky. I found , which explains in detail how to cut the leather and this website, which teaches you how to make your own refills and provides printable templates (if that's something you want to do). I could tell you myself how I did it, but I think these two sources are doing a pretty good job explaining everything. I just would repeating it here. I liked the passport-size, but I did not wanted to be dependent on Midori refills. So I changed the format in the way that now I can refill with small Moleskine or FieldNotes notebooks. After that, I bought some nice leather on ebay together with a cheap leatherpunch and was ready to go. Here are the first four I made. http://i1367.photobucket.com/albums/r799/manoart/PhotoGrid_1381243254004_zps0c384e16.png I must say, I'm pretty pleased with the end result and I hope you try it yourself if you have the time and the passion. It's also great as a gift if you can't or do not want to spent the 50$ or more and it comes with this special self-made charm. Enough rambling. Have a good day, Manuel
  2. Ace Hotels collaborative events in Los Angeles and New York. A special edition TN cover will be available. The events will be held in Downtown Los Angeles on 10-12 November, and in New York on 17-19 November. In addition, new collaboration items will be introduced. TRAVELER’S notebook™ Ace Hotel Collaboration Model Camel A leather cover with the logo of Ace Hotel pressed on the back, and a grid printed kraft paper refill is set together. This time, a camel color will be newly released. We made this with the hope that travelers can use this as a backpack in which they can store their travel memories http://www.travelers-company.com/topicsinfo/topics-2017/ace-hotel-la-ny
  3. A year of travel with my regular brown MTN (Midori Traveler’s Notebook) has gone by and I could not resist an urge to get another, this time perhaps a more portable one. Not the ultra portable (thumb drive kind) 10th Anniversary Notebook Mini (below), which stupendously completes itself within a span of 5 centimetres. This one had to be a passport, possibly with the recent branding of Traveler’s Company, Japan. If you would prefer a blogger view and enjoy pictures, do click on the below link: The Traveler’s Notebook Review You can find a review of the regular sized MTN here. Or should I say TN! Midori as many of you know is in fact is a 66-year old Japanese company specializing in paper products and creative design stationery. You may also bump into MD Paper, while searching for quality paper products across the Asian market. If you are not very familiar with the Traveler’s company brand, I can rest assure you that it is a rather recent development of 2016. The traveler’s notebooks which were marketed earlier under Midori brand of products, have been rebranded under Traveler’s Company, Japan. Additionally this Traveler’s Company is hosting a few other older product lines including spiral notebooks, kraft paper envelopes & the usual brass stationeries. The core part of the notebook i.e the paper is manufactured in Japan whereas the leather cover is finished by hand in the old city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Traveler’s Notebook comes in two different sizes – Passport & Regular. Though it used to come across two standard colour variants i.e black & brown, there is a third Camel colour available now, which was released as limited runs before. Also a few other limited colour runs (say: Blue) are released by Midori from time to time. DESIGN & PERFORMANCE (6/6) Multi-tier packaging. Not expensive, but Differentiated! A polyethylene plastic wrap, diaphanously enclosing a package wrapped in traditional brown paper, increases the excitement of unwrapping a gift. And you can also use the brown paper for a bit of nib smoothing! A note on the front of the package in traditional Japanese paper, reveals that the leather cover ages with time and use. Another at the back pictorially explains the four enclosures inside - Cotton Bag, Leather Cover, Blank Refill & Spare Rubber Band. It also makes a promise that the paper of the enclosed refill (notebook) is resistant to bleed-through (although there is some ghosting), but you can say that there is always a tomoe-river refill available, to simultaneously feel & enjoy ghosting to the maximum! On opening the brown envelope, you can find the notebook enclosed within a white cotton bag. You get two spare rubber bands (green & brown). You can also remove the brown one from the enclosure, to use it with the TN. Now the TN Passport is unveiled. You are right, it’s the Camel one . The leather enclosure is secured by a matching orange rubber band going through a perforation at the back, expresses both sense and simplicity in design. The cover is made of cowhide, ensconcing an elemental texture and I can say from experience that it acquires character over time. It’s supposed to scratch, change colour over time to transform into your signature dated companion. A note explains that the leather has been naturally dyed to retain the texture and wetness could result in coloration of immediate things touching it. To remove blemishes, you can use a normal leather cream (the white one), the one you might have used on your shoes/belts. The TN carries a single stitched notebook with blank pages (Refill#003). Two strings running across the notebook and the leather cover through multiple perforations are anchored by a small tin clasp, placed at the top-left end of the notebook system. The rubber band fastens the notebook and the rather loosely held non-elastic one is meant to be a bookmark. As stated in the other review, the economy of this notebook is primarily based on an Add-On model: base + spares, like the Gillette razor-blade model or a Sony PS. But again, Sony too sells its PlayStation at a loss and makes up for the same with the entire gaming economy. So, the ecosystem for the traveler notebook consists of two categories of refills – Notebooks and Accessories. Notebook refills primarily come in 64 pages (both sides) across lined (001), grid (002), blank (003) and lightweight Tomoe-River paper (005) variants. You can accessorize your traveler with pocket-sticker (022) or a camel color pen-holder (015/016), once you purchase the refills, but your only concern could be regarding the price which ranges between $4 to $10. There are several other inserts that are available for the TN. Some older ones have been discontinued. You can find a complete list of refills for the passport sized TN here. I had ordered two passport sized refills along with this TN - Refill#002 & 005, both have a simple wrap with a coloured stamp conveying the necessary details including the type of paper and number of pages in it. Adding a refill notebook to TN is pretty easy, by using one of the spare elastic bands to connect the new notebook with an existing one. The elastic band needs to be secured & adjusted around the spine of both these notebooks. Embossed at its bottom-left corner of the back cover is the newer 2016 branding of TRAVELER’S notebook & TRAVELER’S COMPANY, JAPAN & MADE IN THAILAND instead of just the usual MIDORI & MADE IN THAILAND. And that is the only visible change. PHYSICS OF IT (4/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The dimensions of the TN Passport size are 10 X 13.5 cm , with a thickness of 1.2-1.5 cm with two standard 64 page passport refills. A passport is quite portable compared to a regular sized TN. However, I am more at ease with the regular size, given my writing style and preferences. The TN Passport could score very well for other who have a smaller handwriting size. ECONOMIC VALUE (3/6) The traveler notebook and two 64-pages refill cost me around USD 46, with shipping from Japan. While the price might still be low for a comparative analysis (with other shops), it’s still a notebook and a rather small one for me. And once you are locked in, you might have to purchase refills typically costing anywhere between $4 to $10. That’s TN’s formulae for gross margins. TN is also facing increasing competition in e-com from newer & newer faces like 1, 2 and many others. OVERALL (4.3/6) Exquisite Design. Yes. First Mover. That too. MD paper is nice, thick and smooth for all your beloved nibs & inks. I tested a medium nib of Pilot Custom 823 running on Iroshizuku Yama Budo ink inside. And it ran smoothly leaving behind the right amount of ink for shading. The thickness and texture of the MD paper makes even a relatively wet ink dry up pretty fast (less than 18 seconds). Although there is a bit of ghosting. It’s a subjective opinion and you might like the passport more than the regular. I find the regular handy. Then on the inside cover of each refill you have a midori styled passport page to note down your passport details. It’s illogical to travel with this & without your passport, but I still like that act. So if you have already developed a similar cerebral logic and love the style, then get it! Else wait for a year or two and get a limited run to add to your pen & paraphernalia collection. Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen & paraphernalia reviews here. REFERENCES MTN Regular Review Traveler’s Company, Japan 10th Anniversary Notebook Mini Midori Passport Refills Leather Maintenance for TN
  4. Ok, I couldn't resist, after having the brown one for about a year with the Midori N°13 insert with its beautiful fountain pen paper, I had to get the camel when this color finally was available again... Here is the link to my unboxing: I hope the link works! JS
  5. Here is my review of the Galen Leather TN from two Istanbul makers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjiTXZ_ykac
  6. I love my TN, I love Tomoe River paper. I want to be able to use both at once. Has anyone found any source of Traveler's Notebook regular-sized inserts made from Tomoe River paper? I've been Googling, but the only things I've found are tutorials for binding your own inserts - unfortunately I am a giant klutz and can be guaranteed to gratuitously mess up any attempt at cutting and sewing paper I start. (Believe me. I've tried.) Now, I'm pretty sure the answer is "no, nobody is making such a thing" - but I'd love it if you could prove me wrong!
  7. Fans of Traveler’s Notebook (TN) in Taiwan got their early Christmas gift from Midori (now known as Traveler’s Company after they changed their name last year) last week. The only stop of the Traveler’s Notebook 10-year anniversary is now taking place at the Eslite Xinyi Bookstore in Taipei until May 15. The exhibition venue is not big at all (probably enough space to take about 80 people comfortably and is basically a section of the bookstore set aside for the expo), so trying to squeeze an exhibition and merchandise sales area on the same venue is fine for a slow afternoon, but hellish for the first day when people are trying to get their hands on limited products. The good thing about the 10th anniversary showcase in Taiwan is that visitors have a chance to see many of their now-gone limited products on display, such as the JR express train and Hawaiian Airline collaborations. Of course, since this is after all a showcase on their 10th anniversary, there’s ample supply of their 10th anniversary tin box with mini TN at the site. They are even considerate enough to set up a box to collect return postcards that comes with the limited sets, which gives you a chance at the 10th-anniversary limited gift lottery for next year (save you postage). As for limited products, the official TN website has a list of their collaboration with Eslite bookstore (refills, brass pen, brass coins, etc.) which is available at the venue. What they didn’t tell you is most of the refills and small trinkets are gone by the second or third day. You cannot believe how crazy people can get at these events…. It took me 1.5 hours in the queue to get INTO the venue on the first day. The other cool thing is that Midori actually brought some of the merchandise from Traveler’s Factory to the showcase. Examples include mini color pencil set, colored notebook refills, ‘charms’, stickers, and on. Though the price is at a premium, it doesn’t stop people from abusing their credit cards. Furthermore, some of the limited products from previous collaboration were also available at the site. I noticed refills, stickers, and other gadgets from the Braniff, Pan Am, and Star Ferry campaigns. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the Blue edition notebook or penholder which I was looking for. For people who didn’t feel like spending money, there’s two tables with customize options for your notebook, with stuff like used stamps, seals, stickers, trinkets for notebook wrapping line, and so on. You can see a bunch of people gathered at these table to stamp their books. There’s also a limited number of free badge giveaway, but as expected, supply was not enough to last through the first day. Another thing which Midori brought to this exhibition is a 2-day make-your-own-spiral notebook event. Basically, they brought two craftsmen from their office in Japan to take part in the “Spiral Ring Notebook Viking” event. Basically, there’s a limited number of opening on each day of the two day event where participants get to pick the papers they want from a whole inventory of great papers (yeah, there’s even Japanese traditional paper with gold specks) and the craftsmen will bind your notebook together for you. In addition to several Taiwan-event-limited covers (spiral notebook covers with different design), there’s also new paper materials available (brown paper with patterns) which debuted at the workshop in Taiwan. Of course, they give you a slot measurement paper which gives you an idea about how many pages you can grab that’s reasonable for making one notebook. Suffice is it to say that I saw several people that went for 2 notebooks (max is 3 per person) were struggling to keep their trophies in order for the binding. So once you got all the paper you want together, you can hand it over to the binding craftsman from Japan who kindly does the notebook binding for you. You even get an additional small sleeve bounded inside your notebook (you choose added to the front or back) where you can store small stuff like stickers and name cards. It was a satisfying experience overall. It's quite a rare opportunity to see so many paper types on display, and even more fulfilling to see types you never seen before get placed inside your own customized notebook. Too bad there's only 2 days for the spiral notebook-making event. Anyways, this is just a rough roundup of the showcase. If any of you are in town before May 15, try to take some time and drop by the expo grounds. At least you'll be able to find a good inventory of TN products outside of Japan.
  8. Hi Folks, As a lover of the MTN, I'm in the process of designing a planner for the system. I will later run a campaign in Kickstarter to fund the cost of publishing it. I'm writing this post to ask for support of experienced and heavy users of either planners or MTN system. If you like to have fun while designing the best planner for the MTN system, send me a PM. Many thanks in advance. Best regards, AM
  9. A $3 Homemade Traveler's Notebook: http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/2014/06/a-3-homemade-travelers-notebook.html
  10. I've been meaning to post pictures of my Traveler's Notebook for ages now, but I found myself putting it off. I realised why: my MTN is one of the most personal things I own. It's always within arm's length, I use it several times a day, and I feel kind of shy sharing it with you - but I keep saying I'm going to, so here it is. The charm is a jade bottle gourd my husband bought me on honeymoon a decade ago. It's supposed to symbolise longevity and good luck, and it makes me think of him when I fiddle with it. It's designed to be tied onto a thread, like a bead with no hole. There's a craft card envelope, the plastic zip envelope, free diary, plain notebook and squared notebook in there. I use another jade charm (a tiny one) as the bookmark for my diary, and a piece of grosgrain ribbon whose ends I sealed with a lighter as the bookmarks for the two notebooks. My name, email and phone number are the first thing you see when you open it, in case I lose it (under the bit of washi - like I said, I'm shy, so I'm hiding them in these photos). I drew the tree and used Midori stickers for the leaves and bird. The paperclip is also a Midori one; there are several scattered through there, and they often come in handy. I also have some tiny bulldog clips on there, which I find myself using surprisingly often for all kinds of things. I keep my business cards, blotting paper and stickers in the craft pocket. I live in the UK but travel a lot for work, and I keep emergency US dollars (and coins, which I should remove because they make it bumpy - I just dropped those in there last week at an airport) in the plastic envelope. I haven't moved anything out of there for the photo, and what you see's pretty representative: emergency cash, business cards (including John "Oxonian" Sorowka's card, which I'm sure many of you also have - Greg Minuskin's is floating around in there somewhere too), and work receipts. The back side of the craft pocket is kept (mostly) empty so I can use it for passports and airline tickets when I need to. If I'm away from home, passports live in there. If I'm at home they live in a box on my desk. Free diary cover. Plain notebook cover (I made a blot when I was labelling this, so I stuck this picture over it). Work notes cover - more Midori stickers. Midori stickers aren't the only things I stick in there. Whenever I finish a diary page and there's some space on it, something tends to get glued into the spaces. I really don't know what I'd do without my Traveler's Notebook. The flexibility suits me down to the ground, I like that it just looks better the more I beat it up. It's become a friend: it's ended up with a lot of personality of its own. I use it as a place to braindump, a place to think, and a place to play with pretty things (and to test inks and mess around with my pens). I can't imagine being without it.





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