The Colouring Notebook and a Different Kind of Advent Calendar

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Hi everyone. Tonight I wanted to tell you about a Colouring Notebook that I purchased on a whim; I saw this video and promptly went to the link and ordered one. I don’t do that too often but I just had to have one.

I have been watching JournalJoy’s videos for a while now and always enjoyed them. A few times I have been tempted to buy a notebook she has reviewed but usually the companies either do not ship internationally or the shipping is prohibitively expensive. But this time everything was in my favour; Colouring Notebook ship internationally and right now the price is only $14.95 US! You can order one yourself at https://coloringnotebook.com/. You can choose blank, lined, or dot grid. Mine arrived in a little over a week. The postmark on the package said Ukraine.

I have some adult colouring books which I use on occasion but as soon as this arrived I started colouring in it right away. The 100 gram paper is very smooth and creamy. There are about 50 beautiful illustrations in it, interspersed with lined pages for writing. I will not be using my fountain pens in it due to feathering, as mentioned in the video. But my gel pens look fantastic in it, for writing or for colouring. I used my Staedtler Triplus 0.5mm markers for colouring and there was no bleed through.

I’m thrilled with it and would recommend it for a Christmas gift or a treat for yourself. It adds a new dimension to your journaling. I didn’t post any pictures of mine as I thought the video did a wonderful job.

And the second thing I wanted to talk about was the Hannah Braime Becoming Who You Are Advent Calendar. I get weekly emails from Hannah and her site is an amazing resource for journal writing and self-awareness. Her articles and classes encourage authentic living with compassion and courage. Her weekly emails are free for subscribers, as is her library with tons of thought provoking material.

I signed up for her Advent Calendar where I will receive a prompt each day, focusing on the year that has passed and the year to come. I’m so excited! Maybe I will write about them in my new Coloring Notebook.🙂

A new pen and notebook from Amazon

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Last week an Amazon package was delivered to my door, which is always exciting. I had ordered a Fuliwen pen after seeing a Youtube video, and a Valery refillable notebook which I had found when browsing notebooks.

pen-on-desktop

I am unfamiliar with the Fuliwen brand. Amazon says this pen was made by a “famous company in China called Fuliwen”. I thought the barrel and hardware was very pretty, although now that I see it in person I am not a fan of the pearl bead on the clip.

uncapped-pen

The section is an interesting shape, one which I have not seen before. The material is advertised as celluloid but I would be surprised at this price point: $19 Cdn.

nov-13-nib

The medium nib is on the small side for the size of the section I feel. It is stamped Straffen, which I read are made by X-Fountain Pens. I cleaned it and tried to find a blue ink that would match the barrel.

all-the-blues-desktop

Clockwise from top: Noodler’s Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, Parker Blue Quink, Paradise Pen Blue, Waterman Serenity Blue, J. Herbin Blue Myosotis, and Lamy Blue. I chose Parker Blue as the best match to the barrel.

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And here’s the writing sample. I chose a Clairefontaine notebook. The pen is very smooth with no skips or hard starts, and it started writing as soon as it hit the paper. I was using it in my regular journal later on that day, and it suddenly went dry. I shook it a few times and it resumed writing. But it will never be a favorite pen of mine. That pearl bead is ugly, as I mentioned before, and the pen can’t be posted, which this pen needs, due to it being super light. It just doesn’t fit well in my hand either. But I can’t fault it’s performance, other than running dry once, which was soon fixed.

I also purchased this notebook and cover, made by Valery.

front-of-notebook

It’s not leather but a very nice imitation. I really like the white stitching and the tree motif on the cover and in the charm bookmark. There is another charm on the spine of an eagle with wings unfurled. It doesn’t seem to fit in with the tree motif; kind of sinister really. But luckily it can be removed.

empty-notebook-cover

Here is the inside of the notebook cover. The cords could easily be loosened to release one or both of the charms if needed.

inside-notebook

The notebook is pretty standard, lined with very thin paper. I do not know the gsm. I didn’t have high hopes for the pen test but it stood up fairly well.

nov-13-pen-test

I’m just realizing now I deleted the photo of the opposite page. Oh well there was no bleed through and just a touch of ghosting. And very little feathering. Safe for our fountain pens.

Overall I am happy with the pen and notebook. Taking a chance on unknown products can be fun.

Happy writing everyone.

Sheaffer Skrip Ink

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A couple of dear friends were in town this past week and one day we found ourselves in Windsor, Nova Scotia. We had amazing fish and chips at Frydaddy’s and then wandered up and down the main street. I found myself drawn to a small stationery store called Brooklyn Office Supplies Ltd. I hoped for a fountain pen or two, since a nib is featured in their logo. Unfortunately they no longer carry fountain pens. The proprietor told me they can no longer order them, which is a shame. They do still carry cartridges and bottled ink, so I picked up two bottles of Sheaffer Skrip, one in black and one in blue.

two-sheaffer-botles

You’ll notice some tape on the cap of the black ink. I didn’t notice when I bought it that the cap was broken. I taped it up but it is not an airtight seal so not sure if the ink is ok. Above you can see a writing sample using both inks, written with my glass pen. Both ink colours are vibrant and true. Unfortunately that black ink is stuck onto my glass pen now. I can scrape some of it off with my fingernail but it is a slow process. Keep in mind the black remained even after the blue test. Perhaps the broken cap has allowed air to impact the black ink somehow. Lesson learned: examine ink bottles before buying them, especially in independent stores with low traffic.

glass-nib

I am happy to add two new inks to my collection, from a brand I have never tried before. At this point though I would not put the black ink in any pen that might show a stain. Both inks showed mild feathering in my Eccolo notebook.

sheaffer-ink-test

I will always try to support independent stationers and if you are in the neighborhood visit Brooklyn Office Supplies Ltd. as they have a charming shop with knowledgeable staff. Just make sure any ink bottles you buy are intact!

New Journal (s!), Old Desk

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Last Monday I wrote about my struggle to choose a new journal after finishing my Franklin Christoph notebook. I was torn between my William Hannah Kingfisher and a large Eccolo journal I bought at Staples. The truth is I couldn’t decide so I chose both of them!

two-journals

Let me explain. I LOVE the William Hannah notebook and it will become my daily journal. The paper is amazing for fountain pens and the notebook just makes me happy. BUT – I have a love of pasting things into my notebooks and I wanted the Eccolo (pictured above) because it wasn’t so precious, and it was larger than the William Hannah, so I can stick all kinds of stuff in it without feeling I’m ruining the pages. So both of them have been brought into my rotation.

eccolo-journal-desk-page

Here you can see the Eccolo. I’ve pasted pictures of old desks and tea sets from old issues of Victoria magazine. You can just see my journal entry peeking out. It’s quite personal so I felt the need to put the magazine cutting on top of it.

eccolo-journal-folded

Here’s another page from the Eccolo. It’s more rough and tumble than the William Hannah but my heart really belongs to the William Hannah. I couldn’t show the pages because they are ultra personal. But trust me, that journal now goes everywhere with me.

I thought you might want to see more of the desk these journals are sitting on. This is my rolltop desk, which I have owned for more than a decade. In my previous home it lived in the living room and was rarely used. Now in my present home I have a much larger office and I can use both of my desks. You’ve seen my black desk in a few posts, and my computer and extra monitor live on it. When I work from home I use the black desk. It’s just a simple desk with a very large, flat top, perfect for typing. However my rolltop desk is perfect for writing and I am so happy I can use it in my new setup.

rolltop

I took this photo without too much thought, apparently, as I cut off the drawer that is underneath the lock. When my office is completely set up I will take a better picture. For now, this is the top of the rolltop desk. It is made out of oak and is a rich brown colour. The lock works and miraculously I still have the keys!

top-of-desk

I have a banker’s lamp on the top (thank you Christine!) and I try to keep it relatively clear of stuff. Right now I have my letter box, a few books and a card file stationery box.

front-of-desk

You first saw this desk in my post about my glass pen. Here is the main part of the desk. I have a white desk blotter to protect the writing surface. The banker’s lamp gives a lot of light but the cubby holes can be a little dark so I added the fairy lights and the candle holder (with a battery operated candle) to further illuminate the area.

left-side-of-desk

I have my glass inkwell on the left, with some small notebooks just above it. I keep my Harrod’s pen set and some page flags in the next slot, followed by a couple of ink bottles (Gypsy Rose Deep Ocean and Noodler’s Raven Black). You can also see my glass pen sitting in the pen rest built into the shelf.

right-side-of-desk

On the right side you can see another ink bottle (Waterman Inspired Blue) and a resin stamp box in the shape of a stack of letters. On the top shelf is a notepad and a tin model of a typewriter. Behind the typewriter is an amethyst. The drawers contain various office supplies that are small enough to fit in them, like post it notes, page flags, paper clips, scissors, etc. Finally I have a blue leather pen case and my ampersand paperweight on the desktop. And that’s my writing desk. I try to keep the surface clear so I can write whenever I want, and keep my computer desk covered in the latest project, either work or home related. So far it’s working out really well.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of my desk, and thanks very much to those who gently encouraged me to make my choice of the next journal (or as it turns out, journals) that I will be using. Happy writing!

I’m Still Here

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I wanted to write a quick message: I am still here! I am sorry for the empty field that is my posting of late. I have lots of ideas and little time it seems. But I am working on it. I know I’ve been saying that for months (!) but it’s true. I am just finishing up one of my journals – the Franklin Christoph Notebook – and I am trying to decide which journal to move into next, as my daily journal. I started the Stone Journal for the ink display with the glass pen but I’m not sure about it being a daily journal. Is the time right to jump into the William Hannah Notebook? I’m intimidated by it’s beauty but drawn to it every day. Or maybe into a rough and tumble Eccolo? Or a cheaper (so less pressure) Staples special? Or my beautiful dragonfly journal? Wow I’ve had that one for two years now and haven’t written in it yet. So many to choose from.

I need something to write in tonight so I will open myself to my journals and one will choose me. This weekend I will let you know which one. Happy journaling everyone.

A Glass Pen and Ocean Ink to be Thankful for

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Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I wanted to share a new pen I recently acquired. A friend was in town and we went to a local shop called Into the Mystic Folklore. It’s a beautiful space in Dartmouth that sells crystals, jewelry, tarot cards, tea, etc., along with psychic readings and singing water bowls. It’s a magical place and I am thrilled my friend introduced me to it.

Nestled between healing bracelets and gargoyle bookends were glass dip pens. A local artisan, Janelle Tyler, makes and sells them through her company Gypsy Road Glass, Silver & Stone. To my delight she also makes ink in the cutest bottles, so I grabbed a couple of those too.

box-and-ink

There were multi-coloured pens with different types of nibs, from broad to fine. I chose a clear one with a medium-fine nib.

gypsy-road-box

pen-in-box

The pen comes with a pamphlet that talks about the history of glass pens. I did not know that in the 17th century there was a shortage of feather quills for writing. The average London banker would use up to 20 feather quills a day – can you imagine?! And the average goose was only capable of producing 8 to 10 good feathers for quills. Through trial and error German glass blowers perfected the spiral nib seen on glass pens today. The original ones would have been brittle and fragile but the pens made by contemporary glass artisans like Janelle Tyler are made from a harder material, the same glass that modern cookware is made from.

I also bought two bottles of ink, both with the colour Deep Ocean. I do not know if she offers any other colours. The appeal of the glass pen to me is the fearlessness you can have with new inks – there is no chance that a questionable ink could muck up the mechanism, because there is no mechanism to muck up! And you could write a letter with a different ink for each sentence. The nib wipes clean quickly with water and a paper towel. And you are not limited to fountain pen ink – any ink will do. So much fun!

close-up-of-nib

Here you can see both the ink colour and the nib. I wrote in my Things Remembered Engraved Journal with stone paper. I love this journal but have read with misgiving the fibres can sometimes clog up the works in traditional fountain pens. So the glass pen was perfect for this writing session.

deep-ocean-ink-with-pen

I love the ink colour. It’s a rich blue green perfectly named. The actual writing experience was a little challenging. The paper is a little toothy and on the upstroke the nib would sometimes catch and stop moving. But you can see there was no skipping and one dip would last for almost three sentences.

glass-pen-on-wood-rest

This little ledge is the perfect resting spot for my glass pen. I haven’t photographed this desk before but as I unpack my office there are only so many clear spots available to shoot! I will do a proper room tour when I am all set up.

So if you are wondering about glass pens I would recommend one, for their beauty and versatility with ink. I can’t believe I have waited this long to buy one. And if you are in the Dartmouth area check out Into the Mystic Folklore. You will find something that catches your eye, I guarantee it!

Avery Mini Binder and Accessories

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Hello! On a beautiful fall Sunday I am putting a new system together to keep track of my work tasks. In my August 14 post I talked about enlisting a notebook to help me keep track of work tasks. And it has worked somewhat but not perfectly. I find I have tasks that have many stages to them, if that makes sense, and I need to know what stage each task has achieved. So I found myself thinking of a binder system, like my ARC notebooks or my William Hannah notebook, so that I could organize the pages and move things around as needed. Currently I cannot find my ARC notebooks (still buried in a box somewhere) and my William Hannah notebook is not going out of the house. I am obsessed with keeping it pristine and beautiful for my personal journaling. So I resigned myself to the hunt for my ARC notebooks. But before I could find them I came across an Avery Mini Binder in green, with some accessories, that I purchased at WalMart a few weeks ago and forgot about. And I think it will work perfectly!!

I had heard about these mini binders first from the Pen Pixie on YouTube but only saw them in real life recently. I can’t remember the exact price I paid but you can find them on Amazon, Staples and WalMart.

binder

I bought the green binder; on Staples’ website it is “chartreuse”. It is 1″ thick, with 1″ rings, of which there are 3. It measures 5.5″ x 8.5″. I’ve seen black, white, blue and purple binders on the Staples site.

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One of the great features of these binders is how flat they lay when open. Very comfortable to write on either side of the paper, despite the rings.

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Lots of accessories with these binders. I bought, from right, Sheet Protectors, Filler Paper, Insertable Dividers and Binder Pockets. On Amazon there are A-Z dividers and calendar pages available as well. This system could give Filofax a run for their money as a planner system! Speaking of Filofax, these pages do not fit into my current planner, my Finsbury. But I could not check them in my Franklin Covey planner, as it is still packed away.

instructions

Helpful printing instructions are included with the tabbed dividers. I just wrote on mine but it’s nice that they included these.

notes

I think this will work better for my needs, as I can organize my notes and keep my tasks separate. Right now they are all jumbled together. So I will spend the next couple of hours going through my faithful notebook and transferring tasks and notes to this new binder. I must go put the kettle on. Happy planning!

Grateful for the Wonder

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This weekend we moved into our new, permanent home. And our things have been delivered from their storage. So many boxes! I have a small mountain of them in my new office. I am beyond excited to unpack and say hello to notebooks, inks, books and desk friends that I haven’t seen since April. It seems like a lifetime ago that I packed up my office in Calgary. And in some ways it is.

Moving to Halifax has been amazing and terrible at the same time. Any of you who have made a great move, or indeed pulled off any great change, will know what I mean. We are so happy here and know deep within that this is where we need to be, spiritually, physically and mentally. But the process of “getting back to normal” has been a minefield of emotion. My job has been wonderful but frustrating in that it demands so much of my time; there is so much that needs to be done the only solution I can find is to work lots of evenings and weekends. The process of buying and furnishing a home has been daunting and time consuming. All of that takes away from “me” time, where I find myself unable to keep up with my previous schedule on this blog. I lose time for journaling and reading too, which makes me sad and fractious. To add to this my back conditions (scoliosis and sciatica) have been acting up ALOT of late. I am without my usual network of chiropractors and massage therapists but I’m slowly building a new team. I am blessed with a wonderful husband, family and friends who have helped enormously on this journey. You know who you are and I sincerely thank you.

The great lesson of this move and my life for the last few months has been to be grateful for the wonder. I am aware of the magical more than ever before. Positive forces are at work in my life that I acknowledge and honour. This next chapter will be the best yet. And I intend to share as much as possible here, with you.

So end my musings for another Sunday. I am sorry for my absence and I am working on that. I hope to resume normal operations on this blog before the end of this month. I’ve said that before but I feel better able to accomplish it now, with my old familiars jumping out of every box I open.

 

new-office