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Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Notebook Review.

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Pebble Stationery Co. sent me a pack of their pocket notebooks to play with and review on the blog. All thoughts shared in this post are my own.

Notebook design.

The Pebble Stationery Co notebook is 3.5 x 5.5”, (think Field Notes in size). There are two notebooks in a pack with 52 GSM white, dot grid, tomoe river paper. To protect the thin contents the Pebble Notebook has a thick grey textured cover with an embossed, and a little large, bit of branding in the bottom right corner of the notebook.

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The inside cover is a fresh blue colour with space for personal information, should you wish to fill this in. I always like this feature in notebooks. Not only is there a fail safe if I misplace one, but it helps me keep track of my notebooks and their contents should I need to reference them in the future. On the inside back cover there is some information on Pebble Stationery Co.

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As the paper is the super dreamy tomoe river paper you get 80 pages in a very slim profile notebook. The dot grid is subtle with a small light grey dot. On the right hand edge there does appear to be one dot missing in the sequence. This could be a quirk specific to this print run but it did catch my eye.

And finally the corners of the notebook are rounded off nicely which helps with the wear of the notebook. There aren’t any damaged corners here.

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Paper performance.

Part of tomoe river papers charm is the fact that it handles fountain pens so well and is really thin. As expected the paper in the Pebble notebook takes ink well. The nib or rollerball glides over the page giving you a really nice writing experience.

Pencils and tomoe river paper aren’t a natural fit. They work fine but the enjoyment level is lower.

One small thing I found with the Pebble notebook is the ghosting is quite prominent. It feels more prevalent than other tomoe river notebooks I have used in the past. Inspired by Fran Meneses YouTube videos I recently started working my way through the Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and I have been tracking each album I’ve listened to, and if I liked it in my Pebble notebook. I have purposefully used different writing tools to test out the paper and the ghosting with everything other than a pencil was obvious.

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Overall thoughts.

It is nice to see more pocket notebook options available in the market. It has felt like there is a gap when it comes to high quality papers that work with fountain pens in a pocket notebook format so it’s great to see Pebble Notebooks solving that problem. The design and style is really simple and makes it feel like a classic notebook.

Thank you Pebble Stationery Co. for sending me these notebooks to use.

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Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Nomad Sticky Notes Review.

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The Nomad sticky notes are Baron Figs stylised version of the 3M yellow sticky note. Baron Fig took the sticky note and added their spin to it.

The Nomad’s a 3 inch by 3 inch in size and they come in a 3-pack which is really useful as you can dot these around in places you need them.

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They are the Baron Fig off-white colour with their dot grid print. A dot grid sticky note is not something I have seen anywhere else and really useful.

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The Nomad sticky notes also have rounded off corners, which means no bumped or curled edges and basically keeps the neat among us a little happier. The make-up of the Nomad sticky note is very similar to the Strategist note cards, only smaller and with a sticky backing.

The big issue I have with the Nomad sticky notes, is their stickiness. Try and stick a few to your desk, mine is wooden, and quickly they curl at the edges. Try and add these into a notebook and they often fall away from the page when you re-open it. For photography purposes I stuck this onto the wall of my office and you can see the beginnings of the curl.

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Sticky notes are always useful but unfortunately in my experience the Nomad falls down on the very premise of their existence. These would be great sticky notes if they were more sticky.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Atomic Pocket Notebook

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Baron Fig kindly sent me one of their latest pocket notebook Vanguard limited editions, the Atomic, to review here on the blog. Thoughts shared in this post are entirely my own.

The Atomic was the final limited edition release in a wave of limited edition releases from Baron Fig lately. As it’s probably the simplest its the first one I am tackling on the blog.

It’s been a long time since Baron Fig released a pocket limited edition notebook. The Atomic has a light blue cover with an Atomic symbol on the front. As with all things Baron Fig there is more than meets the eye with the backstory to the edition and this one reminds us that small things can still be complex.

White stitching on the binding 

White stitching on the binding 

The design of this edition is pretty easy going, it has a nice colour and has that ever familiar dot grid paper inside. The Atomic is actually an old limited edition that Baron Fig are now only just releasing (see Jonny from Pencil Revolutions post on the details behind this). The bellyband on this edition even references the original pocket Vanguard name, the Apprentice.

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In one of my previous posts I said that Baron Fig always thought beyond just the simple cover change with their limited editions and found ways to push boundaries. The Atomic felt like it didn’t fit this mould and thats because it’s a Baron Fig product from two years ago.

I really like the fact that there has been a limited edition pocket size notebook from Baron Fig, its been a long wait. I would really like to see some of the experimentation with the Flagship notebooks transferred to the pocket size. Getting all that creativity into a small size will be tough, but that’s surely half the fun.

Thank you to Baron Fig for sending me these notebooks to review.

Atomic in my Rose Quartz Guardian

Atomic in my Rose Quartz Guardian

Dark Star Collection Notebook Review

The Dark Star Collection Notebook in hand

The Dark Star Collection Notebook in hand

Dark Star Collection are a UK notebook brand that I discovered through a post by Hey Matthews blog. They have a strong social media presence and have been lauded for their high quality paper stock. Being a bit of a paper junkie I had to give this notebook a test run. I was also drawn to the brand as they were British and felt a strong desire to support a home grown stationery brand.

A nice and simple title/cover page 

A nice and simple title/cover page 

Initial impressions.

First up the notebook looks good. It's simple in terms of design with a standard card stock cover and a simple logo, which looks like a tattoo I have. There is a nice little cover page allowing you to note down the intended use of the notebook.

Close up of the binding and glue holding the pages together. I think the excess glue here, which is coming away may be the source of my page problem

Close up of the binding and glue holding the pages together. I think the excess glue here, which is coming away may be the source of my page problem

A used page beginning to come away from the notebook binding

A used page beginning to come away from the notebook binding

There is a thick black binding on the left hand edge of the notebook, which kind of looks like gaffa tape. This binding is designed to allow the notebook to lie flat when open however it has not been without faults. The binding is designed to help this notebook lie flat. Lie flat notebooks have become a big selling point that are discussed a lot. Baron Fig talked about this with their Confident notebook and now Dark Star Collection are focusing on the same selling point. This notebook does lie flat and also closes after use. The only issue I have found with fulfilling this lie flat feature is that the binding of this notebook is not strong enough to hold the pages together securely. I have found some of the pages are becoming detached from the binding. You can see from my photo above a large lump of glue at the top of the binding. As I am working my way through the notebook this is becoming detached which I think is contributing to some of the pages becoming lose, as you can see on the right. As I work my way through the notebook I think this could get a lot worse and I am guessing I will loose some pages. So the lie flat works, but you may not keep all of your pages.

Lie flat view

Lie flat view

Paper quality.

The paper stock is a high quality dot grid with an off white colour. I have been using this notebook as a morning pages / journal to document everything going on in my life right now. Being a new mum and trying to remember all the small things going on with the little man is a challenge. My mind is a complete sieve at the moment so I have dedicated this notebook to capturing all the stuff, big or small, interesting and mundane. I have been using all my different fountain pens in this notebook and the paper has held up well. There is some tooth on the page and I have noticed that you get some feedback when using the fountain pens. With my finer Japanese nibs it can feel a little scratchy but with the German nibs the performance is a little better.

Pen and pencil test

Pen and pencil test

Some shadowing with fountain pens 

Some shadowing with fountain pens 

I have tested a number of different pens and pencils on this paper. Whilst it performs well with fountain pens and there is limited bleed through and feathering I actually think that the performance with pencils is really good. This is one of the only notebooks that I can say the performance with both fountain pens and pencils is good.

Overall impressions.

I think that the Dark Star Collection notebooks are one to watch. The brand is new and through their social media account the guys there are always looking at ways to improve the quality of their notebooks therefore I am not overly disappointed with the binding problems I have experienced. The paper quality is good and as I can use my fountain pens and different inks this is a winner for me. This notebook cost me a mere £6.99 which is a fab price for a good quality notebook.

I love finding a UK based company and want to support more local companies. I think we need more UK stationery makers emerging.

I would love to see some additional notebook sizes and ruling options at some point in the future. A pocket notebook (which seems to have been teased on their Instagram account) would be interesting as would a larger size.

The reverse of the notebook. Unfortunately the branding and information on the back has not been aligned with the binding width taken into consideration.

The reverse of the notebook. Unfortunately the branding and information on the back has not been aligned with the binding width taken into consideration.