Six years of studying complete

Today marks the end of a six year journey. I have handed in my last ever (maybe) piece of homework. Over the last month specifically I have had to put all my spare time into writing which has meant that the blog has suffered.

This year I took a creative writing course which meant that I got to use a lot of paper, ink and pencils. Whilst I have no real measurement for the amount of ink and pencils consumed over this time, I do have a selection of used notebooks. I always enjoy seeing peoples used stationery items moreso than the new stuff and thought I would share some photos here with you.

On the whole I have used A5 composition style notebooks from a number of different brands. I found these a great size to carry around and the slim-line nature was far more comfortable to write in for longer stretches of time.

The majority of the notebook I used were ruled, my preferred grid. The last few notebooks I used were Baron Figs that only had a dot grid.

Some of these have been used for note taking from course materials while the remainder were used solely for drafting and editing some of my creative writing.

Normal blog service will resume over the next week after I have had time to enjoy some celebratory drinks and catch my breath.

Baron Fig Metamorphosis Limited Edition Confidant Notebook

It’s not the biggest secret that I am really enjoying Baron Fig products at the moment. Their range of notebooks have become my preferred choice in both the pocket and flagship sizes. I am currently in my last Infinity Edition notebook which is perhaps the first time I’ve used a whole 3-pack of notebooks after I bought them. But this review is concentrating on the latest Confidant limited edition, the Metamorphosis.

Presentation that feels a little bit special.

Metamorphosis presentation box

Metamorphosis presentation box

When you buy a standard Confidant notebook it arrives in a lovely presentation box that does a good job of making you feel like there is something a little bit special with this notebook. The Metamorphosis edition comes in a pink presentation box with the idea behind this edition printed on the front.

Inside you get a nice info sheet that includes a Van Gogh quote ‘great things are done by a series of small things brought together’. I really liked the idea of this and the colours used so it is currently taped on my office wall.

Whilst the presentation boxes could be seen as an unnecessary addition, that we are paying for, they do serve a purpose of protecting my notebook while it’s on its way to me from the US. I hang onto these boxes and use them to store my used notebooks.

Limited edition design.

The Metamorphosis has a Millennial pink cover and a gorgeous royal blue bookmark. The choice of colours for this edition compliment each other really well. The trendy Millennial pink is subtle and looks really nice on Baron Fig’s signature fabric cover.

The original Confidant and the limited edition Metamorphosis

The original Confidant and the limited edition Metamorphosis

The paper stock inside is dot grid. This isn’t my favourite grid and with Baron Figs paper I do find the dots quite large, but once you start using the paper they quickly fade into the background. I’d really love to see a limited edition Confidant with ruled lines, but I know this wouldn’t be the most popular choice among the masses.

The paper works well.

At some point Baron Fig have improved their paper. I can now use most fountain pens which I love, but the paper suits almost any standard writing tool. It works well with pencils, gel pens, rollerballs and ballpoints and fine liners. That makes the Baron Fig paper versatile and enables me to use this notebook in most situations without having to consider what pen or pencil I may be carrying with me.

Overall Thoughts.

I love the size of Baron Figs notebooks, they are slightly smaller than standard notebook sizes but I like this subtle difference. The Metamorphosis Confidant is a really beautiful edition and I am thoroughly enjoying using my notebook. In general the limited editions that Baron Fig are releasing on their paper products are interesting and have a simplicity to them. I haven’t bought half of what they have released but I like what they are doing and the direction they seem to be taking.

Travelers Notebook 10th Anniversary Edition Review

The 10th Anniversary mark on the TN

The 10th Anniversary mark on the TN

When Travelers Company announced their 10th Anniversary special edition notebook I was pretty excited. I have become a fan of the Travelers Notebook over the past few years using it daily for numerous different things. So, when they announced the tiny 10th Anniversary edition I was disappointed. I couldn’t see how I would use it and didn’t think it was worth the high price tag.

The regular, passport and mini Travelers Notebook size comparison

The regular, passport and mini Travelers Notebook size comparison

Then two surprising and lovely things happened. Liz from Wonderpens sent me a staggering package which contained lots of goodies including one brown 10th Anniversary edition notebook. Then a few months later my husband bought me one of the camel 10th Anniversary editions to mark our 10 year anniversary. Without meaning to I received two of these tiny weeny notebooks.

The notebook itself

Beautifully designed tins

Beautifully designed tins

The packaging for the 10th Anniversary edition is the best part of this edition. The notebooks are presented in a beautifully designed tin the colour of which varies depending on the colour notebook you have chosen. I have the red tin which came with the brown Travelers Notebook and a blue tin which came with the camel.

Great for storing regular size inserts 

Great for storing regular size inserts 

The tins are the size of the regular Travelers Notebook which makes them very useful for storing your inserts. They are decorated with various different scripts using well known Travelers Company phrases. There is an image of the Travelers Notebook on the tin which is the exact size of the notebook inside.

The contents of the 10th anniversary tin

The contents of the 10th anniversary tin

Inside you have all the usual elements of a Travelers Notebook. There is a selection of different grid papers that allow you to make an insert exactly as you would like.

I just can’t figure these notebooks out

The thing I can’t get my head around is what to actually do with my miniature Travelers Notebook. I have had these for months and not done anything with them. I have filled my brown Travelers Notebook with a kraft insert but I haven’t done anything with it. The camel notebook is still in it's packaging.

For a 10th Anniversary edition of a well loved product it is definitely different and unexpected. I imagine in some regions that this product sold very well and to a degree whatever they released their loyal followers would have bought it. Personally I would have loved to have seen some of the similar items that can be found in the Travelers Factory in Narita airport, a special edition insert, charm or notebook with a cover design. These things are hard to come by outside of Japan without paying crazy import costs or buying from an etsy seller.

In the UK I have noticed that the price of the 10th Anniversary editions have dropped from the initial crazy price of £40 down to £24. The fact that they are still available shows that perhaps this wasn’t the product Travelers Company customers were looking for.

I’d be interested to see if people actually use their 10th Anniversary editions for anything other than a charm and if so how they are using them. Interestingly while doing a bit of research for this post I saw Baum-kuchen have a recent post on the Travelers Notebook and Eunice has shown the ways she has used her notebook. As with everything Euince produces the photos in this post are gorgeous and include some interesting ideas, particularly the inclusion of photos in the mini TN. This does show one way that it can be used but perhaps isn’t a representation of the masses.

My Mini TN with a new pound coin 

My Mini TN with a new pound coin 

I still love Travelers Company and the products they produce, I just wish I could have had something more useful and less gimmicky.

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Hardbound Notebook Review

I have been using the Leuchtturm1917 A5 hardbound notebooks for some time and I have just realised that I have never reviewed them on the blog. Today I am fixing that error.

I see the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks as the Moleskine upgrade. It seems to be the notebook choice people progress to once they dip their toes in the Moleskine waters and realise how disappointed they are with the paper quality. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are readily available through various different outlets, specialist or mainstream, and sit in a similar price range to the Moleskine notebooks. The key difference is they outperform the Moleskine notebooks in almost every way.

They’re so pretty.

Ok, maybe this shouldn’t be point number one in a review but I am a magpie and pretty things catch my eye. The range of colours for these notebooks is really impressive and has to be a big selling point for Leuchtturm1917. I have used a number of these notebooks over the years and each time I have bought a different colour. I am currently using the orange dot grid notebook as a bullet journal. Recently for Leuchtturms’ 100th anniversary they released three metallic colours in gold, silver and copper.

Good quality paper

The paper in the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks is an off white colour with a faint grey ruling. I have found with some other notebook brands the colour and darkness of the grid pattern too dark and therefore off putting, but with the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks the grid is faint enough that it blends into the background when you have scribbled all over the page, but dark enough to guide you.

Leuchtturm1917 dot grid in the background, Life Pistachio with white paper in the foreground

Leuchtturm1917 dot grid in the background, Life Pistachio with white paper in the foreground

The paper quality itself is really impressive too. When testing out different pens and pencils in this notebook I have found that it can handle most things. I have successfully used fountain pens, drawing pens, coloured brush pens and pencils. With some broader nib fountain pens and wetter inks there can be some show through but the finer nib fountain pens work just fine. With gel pens, ballpoints, rollerballs and pencils this paper works perfectly.

The additional extras

The extras you get with the Leuchtturm1917 notebook are what really make it a popular choice. At the front of the book are a few pages which are set aside as an Index.

This works hand in hand with the numbered pages throughout the book. All very handy for reference purposes, or for bullet journaling.

You also get two bookmarks with the newer editions of these notebooks. I have found this a really useful feature, one bookmark is never really enough.

2 very useful bookmarks

2 very useful bookmarks

In the back of the notebook there is the handy pocket in case you need to keep hold of any bits of paper.

In the background is a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop in matching orange

In the background is a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop in matching orange

A lot of notebooks claim they lay flat when in use, but I think Leuchtturm1917 notebooks actually do. For a notebook packing so many pages (249 plus the index) I think this is pretty impressive. It lies flat on the desk when in use and due to the elastic on the cover stays closed when you want it to.

Useful elastic closures

Useful elastic closures

Overall thoughts

I have used these notebooks for long form writing, for note taking at work and for school, as well as for bullet journaling. I have tried a number of their different grid formats and I have always really enjoyed each different notebook I have completed. Everything about this notebook makes it a joy to use, I can’t sing their praises enough.