watercolours

Travel Kit: Edinburgh

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I am heading off to Edinburgh for a long weekend of relaxation, whiskey drinking, eating lots of tasty food and soaking up the sights of this city. Part of any trip gets me thinking about what stationery items I want to take...and then trying to take only what I need, a task I am always awful at. In this post I will share my stationery travel kit for this trip.

Travelers Notebook + inserts.

I will be taking my trusty black TN with my weekly refill + memo insert.

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I have also thrown in a mishmash Travelers notebook refill which is an extended journaling notebook for those times I want to be creative or have more to say.

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I have a Baum Kuchen + Superior Labor pouch which hold some stickers, washi tape, postage stamps and other bits and bobs that all help me with my journaling.

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Nock Co Sinclair + Field Notes.

My Nock Co Sinclair has become a staple carry. In here I have the Haxley sketchbook where I have been playing around and experimenting with my doodles. The small size of this sketchbook somehow frees my mind and I am less concerned with trying to get things right. The additional pages are also good.

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I also have a East coast Coastal Field Notes for general note taking. I have some itinerary plans included in here for the trip.

Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook + watercolour palette.

I want to try and draw while I am in Edinburgh. I am taking my relatively new and untouched A5 Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook. To go with this I will be using my new(ish) watercolour Winsor and Newton palette. I have a Pentel waterbrush which will more than likely be my main paintbrush due to its convenience. I want the focus to be on just painting and not have any obstacles in my way.

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Field Notes Signature Ruled Notebook.

This has been my journal lately. The paper quality in this notebook is better than the standard Field Notes which means I can use lots of different writing tools. The slightly larger size, different binding and additional pages makes it a really convenient notebook.

Writing Tools.

This felt like one area where I could limit what I was taking with me on this trip and carry only the essentials. I have the Baron Fig Key Squire, a Zebra Sarassa Clip in grey-blue and 2 pencils that always sit in my Sinclair, so nothing changes here.

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On top of this I will have the Caran d’Ache mechanical pencil and the Worther Shorty which will be useful for sketching. I will also have my Lamy AL Star and a couple of Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens for the inking.

I will also take with me my Lamy LX fountain pen inked up with Sailor Blue Black because I love this pairing and enjoy writing with it.

Other Tools.

The final things I will be bringing with me is the Penco big clip which is always handy for holding open notebooks. I will also have a couple of smaller Tools to Liveby clips for my Field Notes. I will be bringing an eraser, the Carta Pura which I really enjoy using and I find doesn’t leave a lot of residue.

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I will be taking a standard sharpener with me. I don’t have anything better at the moment but will need to have something with me for obvious reasons.

I will have my Sudio Neat Glif for my iPhone in case I need to prop up my phone for reference doodling.

These extras will all be thrown in my Hightide Pen Roll. And then all of these things will be carried in my new Baron Fig backpack. The compartments, pockets and open fully system make this a really interesting travel item kit. I think this could work really well, but time and testing will tell.

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Overall Thoughts.

This doesn’t look minimal in any way, this is still a lot of things to bring on a short trip but I am a stationery addict and this is me being restrained. I love to have things with me and not fall short. I like to record things and draw at times so I need lots of different tools to do this.

Stationery Travel Kit - Isle of Wight

This weekend as you read this post I will be taking a weekend break to the Isle of Wight, a small island on the south coast of England. Of course being a stationery addict I am taking a number of stationery items with me, which I will detail out in today’s post. So grab a tea and croissant and read on.

Paper

First and foremost I need the right paper tools. This comes in the form of my Travelers Notebook which includes three inserts and my Raydori which also includes three inserts.

My Travelers Notebook is for reflective evening writing. In here I have my weekly refill where I note down something interesting from the day. I also have a blank notebook which is used for travel journalling. I use this whenever I go away somewhere and I make notes on what I have seen and done.

In my Raydori I have two pocket notebooks and a monthly view planner. This is part of my standard carry and comes with me always and this trip is no exception.

Writing Tools

To accompany the paper items I have with me a number of writing implements, obviously. I have two Pilot Coleto pens for general note taking. I love the Coleto 0.4mm refills and I have multiple colours in two pens with me at all times. I have the Kuretake Cocoiro Zig Letter Pen in black, my Ateleia Brass Pen with a Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm black refill and a Stabilo Point 88 fineliner in grey.

Doodling Tools

I have the Uni-Pin in 0.2 and 0.3mm which is used for drawing / doodling purposes. I have the Kuretake water brush pen with the detailer tip. I plan to use this for painting, either on the move or later on reflectively. Either way the Kuretake water brush pen is very convenient to use when travelling. I have my travel Winsor and Newton watercolour set and a range of Blackwing pencils for drawing or outlining something I want to paint. Watercolour paints are not normally part of my travelling kit however I have been inspired by Wei Taillandier on YouTube and this year I am trying to start a habit of drawing and painting.

Hightide Pen Roll

The contents of all this goodness can be found in my new Hightide pen roll which is a recent addition this week. After reading the following interview with Pocket Notebooks featuring Priya from The London Parchment my eye caught the Hightide pen roll and I had to give it a go myself. I also went for the bold yellow. I figured it looks good and should be easier to spot in my bag.

Sandqvist Stig Backpack

I will have all of these items in my trusty backpack whilst roaming (weather dependent) around the Isle of Wight.

Final thoughts

As I am only away for two nights this travel kit gives me everything I need. The addition this time round includes some very basic painting tools. This year I wanted to learn how to paint and draw so whilst travelling I will have both time and hopefully some inspiration. It’s also a great way to record and remember the areas I have visited.

Winsor and Newton Watercolours

After being inspired by various Instagram accounts and numerous YouTube channels, this year I decided to give watercolours a try. I wanted to incorporate a creative element into my Travelers Notebook and watercolour paints seemed to be one of the simplest choices and something I could play around with. 

I picked up an entry level Winsor and Newton watercolour set from a shop here in the UK called The Range. This set comes with 12 watercolours and a small brush that fits neatly inside so that it can be used on the go. You can buy different paint colours to swap out depending on your preferences however at the moment I have not made any changes and I am using this set as I bought it. 

The set is really basic but perfect for a beginner such as myself looking to try something out for a small investment, in this case around £10. 

Initially I wanted to use the watercolours to try some lettering, both detailed and brush lettering. This is very much a work in progress, but its interesting to use paints in this way. Any lettering attempts I have made have been with nibs and ink therefore trying out a different technique with paint has been a lot of fun. 

Lyrics from an Adele song tested with brush lettering

Lyrics from an Adele song tested with brush lettering

I have tried a combination of dip pen lettering and watercolours to copy of very cool design I found on an Amy Tangerine YouTube video. I really like the effect of the watercolours to create this very simple but impactful design. The watercolour paint is placed on the page and blown outwards with a straw to create a sort of splattering effect. It was also the perfect activity to allow me to test out all of the colours in the pallet.

After stumbling across another YouTube user I tried combining drawing pen doodles and watercolours. This aspect of watercolours appeals to me as you can doodle on the move, providing you're using the right paper, and then come back later and add some colour to your sketch. This is one area of using watercolours I think I will play with longer term. 

Drawing pens and watercolour paints 

Drawing pens and watercolour paints 

As you can see from all of these images I really am learning. Playing around with the watercolours has been a lot of fun and I have managed to do a fair amount with a very basic set. 

I am yet to mix colours and be more creative with the Winsor and Newton set. I plan to watch more YouTube videos and practice to learn and improve. The act of sitting down and using watercolours is incredibly soothing and a crafty activity reminds me of being young. 

Winsor and Newton watercolours and my Travelers Notebook

Winsor and Newton watercolours and my Travelers Notebook

There are some great YouTube videos and tutorials around showing you how to use watercolours but two channels I cannot get enough of are The Art League and Wei Taillandier. Be sure to check out these channels for some very helpful and inspiring videos. 

This year I will spent time with the watercolour paints to try and improve my skills. It's great fun and allows me to be creative in new ways. 

New Things for 2016

For 2016 I decided to make a small, humble lists of things I want try, and in some cases develop, throughout the year. These aren't resolutions as I think that word just sets you up for failure. These are a list of things I want to do to develop and make my use of stationery more enjoyable.   

Incorporating a daily photo into my journaling 

My 2016 Hobonichi Techo

My 2016 Hobonichi Techo

One of my aims for the year is to take a photo every day. I have tried to do this in the past, a photo a day, or a photo at a specific time every day but I have always failed.

This year however by including the photo in my Hobonichi journaling I have been more aware of what I have done through the day and what photo depicts that day well. Because it is linked to my journaling I have found that I am sticking to it and conscious that I actually want to have that photo in my Hobonichi. In months to come I should be able to flick through my Hobonichi and see photographic reminders of what I have done.  

I have been saving a photo sized space in my Hobonichi Techo with an old photo being used as a handy spacer. At the end of every month I will print the photos I have taken each day from an online resource and then stick or washi these in. I have allocated a 'to print' folder in my Photos app on my phone which has a collection of the photos I have taken so far. At some point I will look at investing in an instant photo printer, but only if I stick to this new ritual.  

Learn to use watercolours

My small Winsor and Newton watercolour set

My small Winsor and Newton watercolour set

I am going to try and play around with watercolour paints this year. I definitely won't become an artist or landscape painter, but I would like to try and add some watercolours into my journaling and specifically into my Travelers Notebook. I have seen a few Instagrammers that do this and it looks great and is something I have wanted to try for some time. I have a Winsor and Newton small watercolour set that I picked up after Christmas that includes some basic colours to get me started.  

Instagram for nerdiness

This year I have set up a Instagram account for my blog and I will be posting all my stationery nerdiness there. I wanted to have a dedicated account where I could post photos of how I use my stationery and follow likeminded people. 

Play around with calligraphy 

I want to try and improve my handwriting this year. I like writing in cursive and I have tried using a dip pen a few times. I was inspired to try my hand at calligraphy when watching the Ink - written by hand video made by Ryan Couldrey (if you haven't watched this video, do it now. It's great!). I am a real novice by I love trying things out with the dip pen. I have done some lettering for a family member and really enjoyed it, so this year I want to improve and learn some more. 

Use more of the ink I own

A selection of my inks

A selection of my inks

I don't rotate my inks very well and therefore don't use the small collection that I own. So this year I want to ensure that I use more of what I own and re-ink my fountain pens regularly. This also ties in with the plan to practice calligraphy as I can use different colours with my dip pen. 

Do you have any stationery goals for 2016? If so I would love to hear about them. I will endeavour to post updates here that relate to my goals for this year, that way you can all keep track of my progress.