Gartner Stone Papers Journals

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Today, we’re going to take a look at Gartner Studio’s Stone Papers Journals. These small books (4.75″ x 6.25″) feature an interesting feature… The paper inside is made of polypropylene coated limestone, and is waterproof and tear-resistant! So, are there any shortcomings to such an awesome idea as that? Yes, there are; but, perhaps the benefits outweigh the shortcomings?

One thing I noticed about this notebooks is that the paper is extremely smooth. There is absolutely no drag at all, either when you run your finger over it or actually write on it with any type of pen, and while it does have  little bit of a sheen, it’s still easy on the eyes. As you can see in the photos below, I tried a bunch of pens on it (almost every one I had with me at the time), and I can honestly say that there was no bleedthrough at all… My problem, however, lies in that fact that any type of liquid ink (rollerball, felt tip, fountain pen, and even Sharpie) just rolled onto the page, feathered, and spread. So, while it worked great for ballpoints and gel pens, liquid ink pens are out of the question.

Definitely an interesting offer from Gartner, and a must-have for anyone who is worried about the durability of their paper when they’re on the go (camping, hiking, hunting, outdoorsy people – this notebook is for you)!

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News,The Ampad Gold Fibre Retro Writing Pad, and the Papermate Precision…

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And, we’re back! At least for a while… As you guys know, I took a bit of a sabbatical, and also let the domain pensnpaper.com die. This was partially due to some disinterest on my part, but also because I didn’t want to pay the $20 per year domain name and mapping fee from WordPress. So, I purchased the domain of http://www.pensnpaper.net/ from my own  webhost and plan on using it instead. So, as I said, we’re back!

Up for review today is the Gold Fibre Retro Writing Pad from Ampad. This 5 x 8 pad is spiral bound at the top and contains 80 pages of perforated, 20 lb., medium ruled, ivory vintage paper. The design harkens back to the steno pads from several decades ago, and to be honest, it’s actually very aesthetically pleasing. The brown vinyl-coated cover is much sturdier than that of regular notebooks, and feels like it would hold up to much more stress.

As for the quality of the paper, it’s decent. The 20 lb. is not quite heavy enough for my liking, since all of my fountain pens either bled through or feathered. It also didn’t handle the rollerball I had with me very well. However, it’s excellent for gel pens, ballpoints, and pencils. The gel pens were especially smooth on this paper, seeming to roll ink onto the paper of their own volition with no scratchiness at all.

Next up, we have the Papermate Precision 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil. This pencil is interesting in that it’s “Precision engineered to enhance writing quality”, and I must admit that it somewhat lives up to its claim.

This pencil features a grey and white color scheme with a comfortable rubber grip. The 4mm metal sleeve gives you extra room in order to draw templates or trace around the edges of a stencil easily. The round body flattens out toward the plunger end, and I must admit, it’s also very pleasing to the eye. Easy on the hands, easy on the eyes… What’s not to like?

Midori Traveler’s Notebook from MyMaido.com

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Up for our last review for a while (my sabbatical begins as soon as this review is completed), is another awesome offering from MyMaido.com. As I mentioned in my last review, Andrew from MyMaido was awesome enough to send me some sample products, and I promised to finish them before I took my break.

The Midori Traveler’s Notebook is a revolutionary minimalistic notebook, created just for those on the go. The construction is simple. A rectangle of leather with several holes punched in it and an elastic band and book mark threaded through them and secured with a brass rivet contraption. The notebook simply slides in under the elastic band, which holds it securely.

With a price tag of $57.95, it’s easy to hesitate at checkout button, but it, thus far, seems to be worth it. The leather cover is creamy and smooth (which scratches easily, but the Midori insert says that it builds character as you go along), and the elastic band (an extra is provided, by the way) is tight. As for the notebook itself, I really couldn’t dig up too much information regarding it’s construction/paper weight/material. I do know that it has a soft texture and everything that I tried on it wrote well… While there was some show through, there was no bleedthrough, even when using my wettest fountain pens, so I can gladly say that the paper held up to my standards and I would gladly use it every day…

The main draw for this “notebook” (more a notebook cover to be honest; you’re paying for a square of leather and some hardware) is that it’s refillable. The refills are also available at MyMaido for $5.95 each (graph, ruled, and blank), and there are also calendar refills and sketchbooks refills available, although they cost more ($11.95-$13.95).

I definitely recommend that you check this fine notebook, as well as MyMaido, an awesome supplier, out soon! You can view the whole Midori Traveler’s Notebook Original Size line here. Many thanks go out again to Andrew, who graciously sent me this sample to try out.

Check out this link for another awesome review of the Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

Until next time…

Note: I am not an employee nor and I am in any way affiliated with MyMaido.com. This review is in no way affected by the fact that this item was a free sample from MyMaido.com.

Daycraft Illusions Notebooks and a Giveaway…

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Daycraft Illusions Notebooks

Today, we have another set of notebooks to take a look at. These beautiful and interesting notebooks were provided by Mr. Foreal Lee of Daycraft in Honk Kong. He mentioned to me, after I had reviewed several of their other offerings, that the brand new Illusion series would be coming out in February, and asked whether or not I might like to give them a try. I gladly agreed, and here you have the review…

 The Illusions line consists of a small (more of a medium actually) and large notebook. The small notebook is 5.83″ wide x 8.27″ high (148 x 210 mm), while the large is 8.27″ wide x 11.69″ high (210 x 297 mm). Both notebooks contain 176 pages of 100 gsm white debossed linen paper which is narrow ruled (1/4″ or 6.5 mm) in the small notebook and wide ruled (11/32″ or 9 mm) in the large notebook. Both covers are laminated paper, printed with an illusory pattern. The small notebook has a wheel pattern which rotates when you defocus, while the large has a hidden heart on the cover.

The paper in these notebooks, I must admit, seems to be fantastic! It’s thick and I experienced very little bleedthrough or showthrough. Even the Sharpie, which normally bleeds through about anything, had a bit of trouble bleeding through this one! The lines interestingly end in alternating arrows, placing limits on the page. The only pen that experienced feathering was the Pilot Petit 1 in Wine Red, but even then, it wasn’t horribly bad.

Some other features include lay-flat binding, which actually seems to work very well, as well as a pocket in the back cover for notes. After taking a look and trying out these notebooks, I can highly recommend them to anyone who writes with a variety of different pens or fountain pens on a daily basis.

So,  I asked, and got permission to give away the large notebook. Since I haven’t had time to set up another Google form, for now just comment on this post and I’ll use Random.org to select the winner. Comment before Monday, March 7th @ 11:59 pm, and I’ll select and announce a winner on Tuesday, March 8th. One entry per person, and, unfortunately,  only open to people in the USA. Good luck folks! 🙂

Kikkerland Writersblok Medium/Small Notebooks

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Kikkerland Writersblok Small/Medium  Notebooks

Thanks to the kindness of Laura from Kikkerland, I still have these fine notebooks as well as some Leuchtturm notebooks to take a look at, so today I plan on discussing the Writersbloks as well as giving two sets of them away at the end of the post!

So, in essence we have a small and medium version of the same notebook up for review today. The small notebook is 5.5″ tall x 3.5″ wide, while the medium is 8.25″ tall x 5.25″ wide. The rule is relatively small, being approximately the equivalent of college rule notebook paper. The paper itself is actually pretty thin, especially for a notebook. While pencils, ballpoints, and certain gel pens do well on this paper (I personally used a Pilot Frixion point on one for months with no issue at all), rollerballs, porous points, Sharpies, and fountain pens however, bleed through very quickly and easily.

The notebook itself features a card cover and a single 40-page signature (equaling out to 80 pages of writing space, 160 front-and-back) which is sown together through the cover. It also features a pocket in the back cover in which to store notes or other small slips of paper. Included is a label for the front of the notebooks (where a label “space” has been provided in the form of a raised rectangle) and a small card proffering some information about Writersblok, including the fact that 2% of their profits from the Writersblok notebook line go to the support of literacy and creative writing programs.

So, my opinions… The notebooks themselves are very handy to use for quick note taking or for a pocket notebook (the small size) or in any other use where you’re looking more for functionality instead of quality. As I mentioned, they don’t stand up very well to pens that use a larger quantity of ink, but when used as a quick-jot notebook, bleedthrough and showthrough are probably not huge issues. All-in-all, an excellent notebook for someone who’s on the go or who wants a notebook they can use without fear of messing up.

Laura, the rep from Kikkerland, also mentioned that these notebooks were made by Kikkerland to be affordable. Priced in 3-packs at $4.00 for the small, $7.00 for the medium, and $10.00 for the large, I believe they have achieved this goal. Laura also mentioned that, ”

We also donate 2% of sales to literacy programs such as WRITEGIRL and 826NYC…as well we donate hundreds of notebooks to these organizations for students to practice writing. This info is on the belly-band that goes around the sets of 3. We make very little on the notebooks, we just wanted to make them for fun, and for cheap.”

Click here for Kikkerland’s Writersblok product page, which contains more information about the purpose of these notebooks, as well as the charities they support.

So now, I’m planning on giving away two sets of these. I have a set of purple/blue-ish purple small and medium (the purple small cover’s color is a bit off) and a set of the sky blue small and medium. I’m trying a new giveaway format, which is still done by random.org, but will use the Google form below. Just fill in the name you want to be known by, your e-mail, your color preference, and if you wish, any comments or questions. The giveaway will end on Friday, February 18th, at 11:59 PM EST, and the two winners will be selected and announced on Saturday, February 19th.

Click Here to be taken to the Google Docs Entry Form…

  • The usual rules apply:
    • 1.) One entry per person, please.
    • 2.) I can only afford to ship in the US at this time.
    • 3.) Contest will end Friday, February 18th at 11:59 PM EST
    • 4.) Two winners will be chosen at random from the entries receive using random.org’s random number generator and the winners will be posted on Saturday, February 19th. If a winner does not reply to my e-mail within a week, another winner will be selected.

Good Luck!

Note: I am not an employee nor and I am in any way affiliated with Kikkerland. This review is in no way affected by the fact that this item was a free sample from Kikkerland.

Daycraft Cantoon Journal and Signature Sketchbook

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So, up for review today, we have two more notebooks from Daycraft. First off, we have their Cantoon Journal. This small cardboard cover journal has a small cartoon, which Daycraft claims is a mnemonic (or memory aid). Unfortunately, I can’t read Chinese, and thus have absolutely no clue as to what it says. The notebook is 4.13″ wide x 7.09″ high and is made completely from “Satogami” paper (a google search seemed to reveal that this is a high-quality paper used for origami as well as other “craft” purposes). The cover is 190 gsm while the 100 pages are 116 gsm, which is a very high gsm for a small journal (compared to the Quo Vadis/Exacompta/Rhodia 80/90 gsm). The paper readily accepted almost all the fountain pen inks I had, although the Noodler’s Bulletproof Lexington Grey feather something awful.

There is one thing a bit deceptive about this journal. When I first looked at it, I was taken in by the “unique” binding that was used. The front and back covers looked to be “zig-zag” sown together, but on closer inspection, the thread was merely decoration, since the books is perfect-bound. However, the book does, with a little prompting, lay open relatively flat.

The Cantoon Journal is an interesting little quad journal that, if not for the character on the front/mnemonic (which I have no clue what it means), I would carry it around with me.

Next up, we have the Daycraft Signature Sketchbook. This interesting little sketchbook (about 5-3/4″ x 4-1/4″) features a plum-colored “foam” cover glued to the cardstock cover. The “foam” is spongy and actually pleasant to the touch, and I must admit that it’s a unique notebook in the way it feels in your hand. The only branding present is a small Daycraft stamp embossed on the back in the bottom-left corner. The paper is cream-colored 100 gsm and is acid-free and has no colored edges. There’s also a small ribbon that you can use to mark your pages. The main problem I have with this sketchbook (other than the color… A guy with a purple sketchbook… Yeah…) is the fact that this book doesn’t lay flat, which in my opinion is a must for a sketchbook. As always, the Sharpies bled through the page, but most other pens didn’t have as much of an effect, although there was a bit of show through (which probably wouldn’t happen if you sketch with a pencil, rather than a pen). All in all, a neat little sketchbook.

So, there you have two great little notebook from Daycraft! Thanks so much to Daycraft for sending me the samples, and my apologies for how long it took me to get around to reviewing them!

Note: I am not an employee nor and I am in any way affiliated with Daycraft or Tai Shing Diary. This review and my opinions of this product is in no way affected by the fact that this item was a free sample from Daycraft.

Bloc Rhodia No. 11 Graph Paper Pad

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Bloc Rhodia No. 11 Graph Paper Pad

So, imagine my surprise the other day, while I was on vacation, when I visited the Target in North Myrtle Beach and found that they stocked several Rhodia products! Needless to say, I quickly grabbed up one or two of each product that they carried (two No. 11 graph pads, one reverse pad, and one a5 stapled lined notebook) and walked out of the store one very happy blogger. The one up for review today is the Bloc No. 11 Top Staplebound Graph Paper Pad, which I also used in the review Tuesday. The notebook itself is a7, which is 2.9″ x 4.1″ (7.4 x 10.5 cm), but the paper, which is perforated, is actually 2-3/4″ x 3-1/2″ (6.985 x 8.89 mm) with 3/16″ (4.7625 mm) square grid graph (which is listed as 5 x 5 mm on the pad itself).

Titled “The French Orange Notebooks with a cult following”, the Rhodia notebook line was actually at first a sideline product, but eventually gained notoriety for its high quality paper and high standards of excellence. Each Rhodia pad features a card cover, which is “perfectly waterproof and flexible” and is scored to fold back over the back (see the photo in the photo gallery below). The paper itself is superfine 80g white vellum with a smooth satin finish printed with violet lines, and it stands up very, very well to fountain pens with almost no showthrough and absolutely no bleedthrough! Did I mention that there were 80 pages and that they’re micro-perforated?

I must admit that I was impressed with this little notebook. I used almost every fountain pen/ink combination I had on hand with it, and not a single one had a bit of bleedthrough and there was very little showthrough (I could’ve easily written on the backside with no interference from the ink on the front). The only “pens” this paper had any trouble with was, of course, the ultra fine point and regular Sharpie markers (but this is nothing new). I can definitely say that once my two pads (I got one orange and one black) run out that I will purchase more online, or perhaps even in my local Target!

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