Leather

Mid-Week Mini: Baum Kuchen x Superior Labor Leather Pen Holder.

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I bought the Baum Kuchen x Superior Labor leather pen holder on a whim. I was in the process of buying a few other items from Baum Kuchen and I thought this pen holder was pretty, but also would be a useful when I need to carry around a couple of pens.

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The pen holder comes in a natural, undyed leather. It is a 2 pen sleeve with stitched detailing and a brass clip on the reverse side engraved with a very apt analogue quote (there is a clip-less option too).

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The branding is on the reverse of the pen sleeve which means everything is simple and classic in its design.

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I have been using my pen sleeve for about three months and the colour has changed quite a bit purely from sitting on my desk rather than being exposed to lots of sunlight. In the photo below you can see the colour in comparison to a Superior Labor portfolio in the light brown colour.

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The leather has moulded nicely around my fountain pens which have been faithful partners on the pen sleeve. If I were to swap these out for alternative pens, or pens without clips, the fit wouldn’t be so snug and I’d need to be careful not to lose anything.

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I haven’t used the clip at all. I did think I would clip this onto my Travelers Notebook but the position of the clip makes this look a little odd and is unbalanced. As I don’t move around with these items much I also don’t feel the need to clip the pen sleeve onto a notebook. You can do it and its sort of useful for moving things around but that’s about it.

Overall thoughts.

Superior Labor produces really nice products and this collab is the same high quality. I am surprised by how much I have used it and it’s quickly became an item that I use on a daily basis.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Card Sleeve Review

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Baron Fig sent me a sample of their newest product, the card sleeve, to review here on the blog. As usual all thoughts shared are my own.

In the past few weeks Baron Fig launched the latest addition to their product offering, a leather card sleeve expanding the number of leather goods they have to offer. The card sleeve is a very simple, slim wallet. It comes in a range of the signature Baron Fig colours, Fig Wine, Yellowgold, Charcoal and Rose Quartz. I have a Fig Wine card sleeve which I have been using for a few weeks.

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The card sleeves packaging is really nice and simple. It arrives in a card envelope with a familiar line drawing of the item on the outside. The sleeve is wrapped in tissue paper protecting the leather.

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The card sleeve is very minimal. I actually use a card holder normally which over time has expanded with all the cards I cram into it. This had two card sections on each side and then an opening in the middle allowing me to carry more than 10 cards and some cash. The Baron Fig card sleeve forces you to minimise what you’re carrying.

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There is one opening on either side, the main one having a diagonal cut off giving you easy access to the card(s) you use the most. It also adds something different to the design and shows off some of that Fig Wine colour.

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The colouring on the Fig Wine and Yellowgold is subtle with most of the card sleeve actually being charcoal and accents of the Baron Fig pallet showing through. The only exception to this is the Rose Quartz which is the inverse and full on pink!

Using the card sleeve has been good. You can see there are some scuff marks on the leather due to scratches from my keys, being thrown around in my bag and so on. This doesn’t bother me at all, but does shows that the leather is soft.

The number of pockets has taken some personal adjustment reducing down what I carry. I have taken out some cards, which on the whole were loyalty cards or ones I don’t use very often. I have managed to squeeze two cards in one pocket, three in the other and kept the central space for cash.

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My one criticism of the card sleeve is the size of the Baron Fig logo on the front of the card sleeve. It’s the same size as my pocket Guardian but this is hidden on the inside cover. It would be nice if this was a bit smaller and less visible, but that’s a small niggle I have.

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I really like the card sleeve and have personally always appreciated a simpler, usually smaller, wallet carry. The Baron Fig card sleeve is a nice slim profile wallet made from the same high quality leather as the other Baron Fig leather goods.

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Thank you to the guys at Baron Fig for sending me over their card sleeve to review.

Baron Fig Rose Quartz Guardian Review.

Baron Fig contacted me to see if I would like to review the newest colour addition to their Guardian line-up, Rose Quartz. The views expressed in this review are my own.

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The Guardian is not a new Baron Figs product, it’s a leather notebook cover designed to wrap around their Confidant or Vanguard notebooks in each of their different sizes - pocket, flagship and plus. The Rose Quartz colour is the latest addition to the Guardian line-up and the main purpose of todays review. The Guardian covers are vegetable tanned leather which after a little Googling, proves to be the most environmentally friendly way to tan leather and gives it a soft textured feel.

The Rose Quartz Guardian exterior view that's fully stitched

The Rose Quartz Guardian exterior view that's fully stitched

I opted for the pocket Guardian because its the size I use the most. The first thing I noticed when I received my Guardian was that it arrives flat in an A5-ish sized package, which I thought meant I’d received the wrong thing. In fact it’s a little bit of care and attention to shipping as it keeps the leather in pristine condition avoiding any strange folds or ripples to the leather occurring in transit.

The first thing I noticed with the Guardian is how soft and thick the leather feels. The thickness is in part due to the pockets that come on the inside of the cover, two credit card slots and two folds for the notebook cover.

The interior with two credit card slots on the left hand side

The interior with two credit card slots on the left hand side

The Guardian is finished very well. There is a matching colour stitching around the edge of the cover and sealed edges. The only branding can be found on the inside cover with a kind of large Baron Fig logo, but at least its on the inside.

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As the main purpose of this review is to talk about the new colour addition I suppose I should spend some time talking through that. The Rose Quartz is very pink. It reminds me of the Baron Fig Metamorphosis limited edition Confidant notebook from 2017, which I really liked. The millennial pink colour of that notebook was very popular and worked well on a linen cover. When applied to leather the colour is a lot more bold and pink. I have seen a Rose Quartz Squire in the flesh and that is a lot more toned down and subtle, whereas the Guardian it is bright. I don’t think it’s a bad move adding this colour to the Baron Fig range, it’s proven popular in lots of different areas from technology to stationery. I think you just really have to like pink and want this colour. It’s all or nothing.

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My one small criticism of the Guardian is that it doesn’t ship with a notebook. Baron Fig assume that whoever buys a Guardian is already a Baron Fig user and not a new customer. And as their notebooks are built in their own unique size these covers can only be used with Baron Fig products.

Overall thoughts.

I really like the Guardian leather notebook cover and have enjoyed using it over the past few weeks. I haven’t overloaded mine or really use the card slots. It has simply been a notebook cover and this keeps everything very simple and slim. It's a high quality and well made leather notebook cover. Too often these sorts of covers can try and do too much and as a result be overcomplicated making them hard to use. The Guardian doesn’t fall foul to these issues.

I’d like to thank Baron Fig for sending me the Rose Quartz Guardian to review.

Galen Leather Travelers Notebook Insert Review

Galen Leather contacted me to see if I would like to review one of their new products, the Travelers Notebook leather insert. I have been using my insert for a couple of months now, the views in this post are entirely my own.

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The Galen Leather Travelers Notebook insert took me a little by surprise. The insert arrives in a simple kraft box with the basic Galen Leather information on the front.

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Inside you receive a notecard telling you who made your product and an all seeing eye charm. The presentation is special but kept very simple. Touches like these aren’t essential but they set the tone of a product. It suggests attention to detail and makes the receiving of something luxurious quite special.

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Honestly I was wowed when I actually felt, looked at and touched this leather insert. It's really beautiful. The leather is ever so slightly worn, with a smooth, soft texture that marks slightly to any rough touch. It's hard to convey how nice this insert in through the photos, when you have it in your hand and use it you really appreciate how good it is.

Inside there is a lot going on. The left hand side has a whole load of credit card sized pockets, the top one being very deep. On the right hand side there is a zippered section and another long pocket. So there is a lot of space and room for things in this insert. There is also a secretarial pocket and a very clever pen loop with an elastic back section making most pens fit in here nicely.

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There is no question that everything about this insert has been considered carefully and finished really well. I can see why Galen leather chose to design something like this, its fits in with their existing portfolio of products and suits the growing(?) Travelers Notebook market.

My TN set-up

My TN set-up

But does it work as an insert?

I don't think the use case and positioning of this insert is 100% right. I have been using this as intended, as an insert in my Travelers Notebook that holds my weekly refill for journaling and my little one's journal.

Bulky, bulky, bulky 

Bulky, bulky, bulky 

The issue is that the insert is thicker as the TN itself and when filled with papers, ephemera, stickers, book darts etc then the insert becomes very fat. Loaded up and in use for people on the move this insert would be one bulky burden.

In its intended use, the Galen Leather insert isn't for me because it isn't really an insert, it's a standalone product. Moving forward I plan to use this with a Hobonichi Weeks for 2018. The Weeks is slightly smaller than a TN insert and will slot in nicely into one of the long pockets. I can carry a small amount of the things that I need and also slot a pen in so I have something with the Weeks at all times. This would also make a great travel wallet, but as an insert in a TN it falls short.

Overall thoughts.

There is no question that the Galen Leather Travelers Notebook insert really is very special. I was genuinely surprised when I opened the box, the leather is stunning and the hand stitched finish is really impressive. I like the fact that someone has personally created and taken care over my final product. I just won't be using this in my Travelers Notebook.

I'd like to thank Galen Leather for contacting me and sharing their beautiful work.