So, wickedlittletown over at Dreamwidth had the idea to take photos of favorite notebooks… here’s mine!
My favorite size is A5, I love A4s as well but I don’t need large ones like that very much anymore.
EDIT: added Notebooks 5 because I forgot two important ones!
My functional, every day type of notebooks. The top row are all by Nikki Strange; the two A5 ones I use for making quick notes while at doctors, or at the unemployment office etc. The A4 one I use when I need to write a lot – usually assignments given at a rehabilitation program or some such. These do okay with fountain pens (at least the inks I’ve used on them so far) but don’t show sheen/shading, and very wet inks/wet pens might feather on this paper. But I’ve found it acceptable so far.
The bottom row are my most used notebooks. The first one I made myself, inspired by Lotus Blu Book Art‘s watercolor notebooks. I printed an image bought off on Etsy on cotton rag paper, used that as cover and 52gsm Tomoe River paper for the paper. It’s a simple pamphlet stitch, which I learned by following Lotus Blu Book Art‘s video tutorial on how to do it. It takes about 15 minutes so it’s really quick! This one is my inked fountain pens log – whenever I ink a pen, I use that pen to note what pen it is, what nib and which ink. This way I have examples on how the pen/nib/ink combo looks on 52gsm Tomoe River, and can easily reference back if I love or hate some combo.
The green one is a hard cover Rhodia Goalbook, which is for various record keeping and tracking – books read, new books I’ll want to read in the future, online orders I’ve made and am waiting to arrive, ink bottles I have, ink samples I have, vacuuming dates… all sorts of stuff that I can’t rely on my memory for. It’s an okay paper for fountain pens, but doesn’t show sheen/shading as well as Tomoe River or Oxford paper (below).
The last one is my most used notebook – my illness log. I log and track my symptoms here every day. It’s a hard cover Oxford Black n’ Red, it’s thin but surprisingly heavy notebook. It came in a pack of three, and I’ve almost filled the first of them up and I’m very glad I have two more waiting to go. It takes fountain pens beautifully, shows sheen and shading well; it’s my favorite paper right after 52gsm Tomoe River. It is rather boring (just white, lined pages) and because the content which I write is always neutral or bad it started to make me feel bad, which led me to pretty it up with stickers (MU print on stickers) and washi tape. So now it’s looks very nice, with pretty ink, stickers and washi tape. And now I’m happy keeping this particular log.
More behind the cut!
Next up are my second most used notebooks!
The black one is like 20 years old, I don’t even remember where I bought it. It went unused for a long time, but for a couple of years now I’ve been using it to aid screencapping my favorite actors. I usually don’t want to cap an entire movie/episode, so while watching the thing, I jot down the beginning times and approx. length of every scene my favorite is in. So it’s a whole lot of actor, movie and episode names and times like 00.06.20 – 10s and 01.47.50 – 7m. I’ve found this speeds up capping a lot!
The bottom row were all made by Lotus Blu Book Art and are for art. The first two are for watercolor (originally the cover of the first one was uncolored, but I colored it when I first started playing with watercolors). The yellow ones conver is actually historical wallpaper Moneeza used as cover! They are made of cotton rag paper. The last two notebooks for drawing/journaling, and made of Fabriano drawing paper if I remember correctly. The red rose one I use for writing down quotes, lyrics, aphorisms, jokes, poems etc. I hear or read that I want to remember. It’s also a way to relax by reading and writing them. The yellow rose one is where I practice drawing.
The violet one is one of Lotus Blu Book Art‘s drawing/journal notebooks, and this one I use for writing fiction and fanfic. Or more like brain dumping it these days. The other four I haven’t quite decided what to use for. The two Sari notebooks (top row) can’t handle fountain pens at all, but the bottom row can do it acceptably as long as it isn’t a terribly wet ink/pen combo. I’m thinking that either of the other two in the bottom row, I might use for a sort of “one positive thought a day” type of thing. Just can’t decide which one. The black one with red roses has tea dyed pages which appeals to me a lot.
And now we’ve arrived to my so far unused notebooks! The first one in the top row is by Nikki Strange and while it’s so very pretty, I don’t like the paper. It’s different from the paper used in the notebooks in my first photo; too thin and feels unpleasant to my fingers, kind of like fresh newspaper which stains. The next four (green, yellow, pink, blue) and the red rose one in the bottom row are again by Lotus Blu Book Art notebooks for art/journaling with Fabriano drawing paper – she made an ombre series of them, and a few with PJ Redoute botanical art covers, and I bought many of them because I couldn’t not buy them. I will eventually use them all once I fill up the ones I’m currently using.
Bottom row: first one is a notebook from the Sakura Dream line of notebooks by Clairefontaine, it’s got lovely paper for fountain pens – I just need to figure out what to use them four (I have others from that line, shown in the last picture). The two in the middle are by Lotus Blu Book Art: the yellow one is a watercolor one and also uses historical wallpaper as a cover. The white cover one with a bouquet of flowers has interesting new paper called Extract, which is made from used coffee cups by G. F. Smith.
Here are the rest of my unused notebooks: the rest of the Sakura Dream line notebooks by Clairefontaine.
The green ombre one is another Extract notebook with a cotton rag paper cover, bought on a sale with the other Extract paper notebook shown in the previous photo. The last one is a real book, also by Lotus Blu Book Art, that I managed to snag half-off in a sale. Moneeza used to make a lot of these books for use as wedding albums, photo albums, scrap booking and such. The paper is suitable for mixed media.
I can’t believe I forgot these two! The first one is Cosmo Note, with Cosmo Air Light paper and which is toted to be fountain pen friendly. I haven’t really written on it yet, just a few lines with a few different ink/pen combos and so far it looks like a good alternative to Tomoe River. I added one MU print-on sticker to the cover to spice it up a little because it’s stylish but just gray.
The other one I made myself, this time printing a digital paper I had bought on Etsy on 150gsm cotton rag paper for the cover (springled with some thinned golden acrylic paint because the golden bits didn’t print as well), and 52gsm Tomoe River for the paper. I only started using this last week, and so far I’m playing around with fountain pen inks on it, using it for painting instead of writing.
So there you go! All my favorite and prettiest notebooks! I also have some Rhodia and Ayush notepads which I didn’t photograph because I don’t consider them part of my collecting/hording. They get used up so quickly for quick notes while on the phone and such.
I’ve always used up a lot of notebooks, but I didn’t used to care whether they were pretty or not. But maybe five years ago, I started to need to have them be pretty to look at. Don’t know why, really. I guess it’s something to do with being ill for so long and wanting to have pretty things around me. Notebooks bring me easy joy for relatively little money (say, compared to buying a painting or something like that) and there’s so much to choose from.
I LOVE all the notebooks and blank books Moneeza of Lotus Blu Book Art has had available for sale! I wanted to buy ALL of them, but had to choose which ones fit my budget. She upgraded the materials she uses in her books a while back so now most of her creations are too expensive for me, but she makes such amazingly beautiful books that I love to follow her Instagram and website just to see her new stuff. I hope that some day I can afford to buy one of her Storyteller watercolor books… you could say that’s my Holy Grail at the moment, but otherwise I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve got. And happy that I can make my own Tomoe River and cottog rag paper pamphlet stitch notebooks using Moneeza’s tutorial!