Mid-Week Mini

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Show and Tell Confidant Notebook Review

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Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition Confidant notebook to review on the blog. All the thoughts shared in this post are my own.

The latest Baron Fig Confidant limited edition is called the Show and Tell which is a collaboration with dribbble which is apparently a place where designers share the things they are working on.

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The Confidant is a gorgeous purple colour with the interior page layout debossed front and centre. The bookmark comes in the same purple colour as the notebook and the logo/icon is printed on the inside cover.

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The page format is the really unique feature of this limited edition and not something I think I have seen on any other notebook. The top half of each page is blank with the bottom half ruled. This really reminds me of my primary school notebooks where we would draw a picture of what we did at the weekend and below write some commentary around it.

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This is the intention with this page layout and gives this limited edition its name. There is space to doodle your designs, outline plans, draw mind maps and so on and then below a little bit of space to write out some form of description. The layout makes this notebook unique and perhaps limiting to some people, but I love the idea. There are so many interesting ways that you could use this notebook. I am pleased that Baron Fig chose to use the Confidant for this page layout choice. The hard bound covers and the additional pages means you could really use this for long term projects or journaling.

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This limited edition is an example of how Baron Fig are thinking differently with their limited editions and not solely looking at a cover design, they’re considering the whole notebook. This is a great release and a notebook I will really enjoy playing around with.

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If you’re interested to hear how the design came into being listen to the Eureka podcast, episode 14, where they guys discuss how they came to this. Notebook chat starts about 18 mins in.

Thank you again to the guys at Baron Fig for sending me this notebook to review.

My Experiences Holiday Sketching.

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A holiday is the perfect opportunity for sketching. Pretty scenery, plenty of time on your hands, (despite small people) and good intentions.

I have never been that great at sketching while on holiday. I’m conscious of people I am traveling with and wasting their time, plus there is the issue of confidence. However on a recent trip I decided to really try and dedicate some time to sketching elements of my holiday.

Tools.

For this trip I have been using a Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. I really like the hard back cover of this notebook and the size works really well too.

In addition to coloured pencils and my watercolour palette I brought along my aquwash brush pens, a few Faber-Castell PITT Artist pens and some graphite pencils. These are all thrown in my Superior Labor pen roll.

Alongside these main tools I have a brass bullet sharpener, a Faber-Castell eraser and a penco big clip.

Sketching in action.

For the first time, I have carved out moments during my holiday to pull out my sketchbook and draw. I have been putting the base down in pencil and then inking and painting later on. The idea was the capture as much as I could with pencil and give myself a base to then spend time on later in the day adding the colour.

I’ve used my watercolours a lot during this trip. The Pentel Aquwash brushpens have really made it easy to paint and not worry too much about my tools although my painting still leaves a lot to be desired.

 Watercolours and ink.  

Watercolours and ink.  

I have struggled with using my coloured pencils with the Moleskine paper. The texture of the paper means you don’t get complete coverage on the page which has been a little frustrating and has meant I haven’t used them too much. I think coloured pencils could be my thing so I will try a different sketchbook and really test out this medium.

 Coloured pencils on the left, the rest are watercolours  

Coloured pencils on the left, the rest are watercolours  

I’ve managed to sketch something everyday which I’m really pleased about. It’s made me look at a place I visit each year in more detail than I think I have before.

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Sketching exactly when I wanted to wasn’t always possible therefore I took photos to work from when I had time. It was less about capturing exactly what I saw, more about finding a way to reflect and remember things from our holiday.

 Inking before adding any watercolour.  

Inking before adding any watercolour.  

Final thoughts.

I’ve really enjoyed sketching on this trip. I honestly didn’t think I would do as much as I have, I’ve almost completed half a sketch book. I have found it a little tiring at times with evenings spent inking and painting but overall it’s been great fun. I have caught the sketching bug and plan to sketch regularly and not just be lured in by the exotic holiday scenery, but sketch the local, everyday things I see and pass.

 Oh and here’s me sketching the view.  

Oh and here’s me sketching the view.  

Mid-Week Mini: Futura #2 Pencil Review

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I was given the Futura #2 pencil by Priya from The London Parchment after she visited CW Pencils. This isn’t a pencil I would normally choose myself but I have been using it and surprisingly enjoy it.

The colour of this pencil is bold and striking. Pink lacquer on the body, a pink ferrule and eraser. The eraser is awful, the old style of eraser that is always associated with pencils. The lacquer on this pencil is a beaut and one of its top selling points.

 Love that Futura type

Love that Futura type

The second is the Futura’s semi-hex barrel. It’s really comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time.

 Look at that pencil point!

Look at that pencil point!

The type on the pencil is pretty impressive especially on a small scale. Futura is embossed on the pencil and filled in with black ink which contrasts the pink.

What surprised me the most with this pencil is how enjoyable it is to use. The graphite is soft, a standard number 2 pencil and the graphite is dark. It sharpens really well too, the exposed wood casing is actually quite pretty. It also smells great too, very nostalgic.

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I am really surprised by how much I enjoy this pencil. I would not have bought it for myself probably put off by too many of its elements however looks aren’t everything. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, there is a lot to like about this pencil. Thank you Priya for introducing me to this pencil!

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Confidant Colours Review

Baron Fig contacted me a while back and asked if I would like to review one of their new coloured Confidant notebooks on the blog. All the thoughts shared in this review are my own.

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For my second mid-week mini I am resorting to paper again, (sorry, not sorry) and talking about the Baron Fig Confidant notebook, now in colour.

The set-up is the same as the standard Baron Fig line, the only change is the addition of three different colour choices: yellow, fig wine and blue slate. You get the same cool Baron Fig off-white paper that takes all your favourite writing tools and the same material/linen covers.

 The colour features on the very useful Confidant boxes

The colour features on the very useful Confidant boxes

I think the addition of this to the standard product line-up is fab. The colour sent through to me was the gorgeous yellow which is so bright and bold.

 All the yellow

All the yellow

There’s nothing new other than the colours for this release as its an expansion on an existing range of notebooks, however there are a few things I would still like to see.

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Dot grid only.

The paper on the colours notebooks is just dot grid. There is no ruled or blank page options which is a bit of a shame. I understand that dot grid is the choice of the masses, but having one of these with blank pages as a sketchbook would be pretty cool.

 The Baron Fig dot grid paper

The Baron Fig dot grid paper

Flagship only.

The second is that the expansion of their colours is just on the Flagship (A5-ish) size. Again it makes sense as this is the most popular but expanding this out to the smaller pocket and larger size would be really nice. If they’re flat additions that are here to stay then this should be plausible.

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Overall thoughts.

A stellar addition to the Baron Fig line-up in my opinion. It’s not a major change but I enjoy colour and when you just need a notebook grey is a little dull. These colours are aligned to the Baron Fig look and feel and yet give their range something extra.

Thanks to the guys over at Baron Fig for sending me one of these notebooks to use and enjoy.