TWSBI A6 Notebook

TWSBI A6 Notebook

I enjoy small notebooks mainly due to the fact that i’m not really the journal type – strange I know considering I have a blog, but I digress. So the whole lined with enough space to write an entry has never effected me. That being said I do love doodling, and the smaller size allows me to complete a design in a relatively small amount of time.

TWSBI Notebook Front

TWSBI Notebook Front

It may seem expensive for an A6 notepad, but you get a lot of pages… I’ve used a few notebooks and so far the TWSBI has been my favorite for a few reasons.

1) It has a leatherette type cover, and for me, a person who is incredibly accident prone I spill things. Thanks to the fact that this cover isn’t card stock, I can just wipe it clean an move on.

TWSBI Notebook Finish

TWSBI Notebook Finish

2) It has a back pocket very similar to Moleskine but much sturdier and more expandable then their cashier notebooks. Not sure about their other ones, never used them.

Back Pocket

Back Pocket

3) It has a lot of pages, 240 i think – and every single one of those pages is perforated, this is the most amazing thing about this notebook. Hate something – no problem, just tear it out, without effecting the binding.
4) The paper quality is good, really good. I would say that its perhaps better then the standard Rhodia graph pad – but as you’ll see in the pictures, I really put the ink down and it handles it with minimal bleed-through if any. I’ve also used watercolours, gel pens, nail polish, water brush pen, etc… and it handles them just fine.
5) Comes with an elastic and a bookmark, I find the elastic useful as it keeps the notebook closed – bookmarks are debatable.

TWSBI Notebook Back

TWSBI Notebook Back

6) The paper also has a very smooth feel, but the paper is also quite thin and therefore translucent. So if you like using both sides of the same page, this may not be the best choice for you.

Below are a few pictures that demonstrate how I use the paper. I’ve included both the front of the page, as well as the back.

Below is using the TWSBI 580 filled with Diamine Carnation, easily one of my favorite inks.

Ink to Paper - Diamine Carnation

Ink to Paper – Diamine Carnation

Here is one using nail polish, gelly roll and watercolour.

Mixed Media - nail polish, watercolour and jelly roll.

Mixed Media – nail polish, watercolour and jelly roll.

This one was a complete ink overload, I spilt some J.Herbin Emeralds Of Chivor… so instead of wiping it up, I decided to paint the whole page with it using a paintbrush. Once that was almost dry I then went back in with a diluted solution to get the dripping effect. And once that dried I copied a mermaid in using a Sakura Micron Marker.

Mermaid surrounded by J.Herbin's Emeralds of Chivor

Mermaid surrounded by J.Herbin’s Emeralds of Chivor

Using watercolours in multiple layers

My first attempt at watercolour urban sketching.

My first attempt at watercolour urban sketching.

Done using only Diamine Chocolate Brown. The main doodle was done with a Lamy Safari(M) and then faded out using a water brush pen.

Diamine Chocolate Brown

Diamine Chocolate Brown Bubbles

Lastly I figured I should include a page that contains actual words, written with a fountain pen…after all, that’s what this book is marketed for. So I decided to write out a lyric from Of Monsters and Men with Noodlers X-Feather.

Of Monsters And Men - Lyric.

Of Monsters And Men lyric in Noodlers X-Feather.

And a poem by Thomas L Peacock called “Beyond The Sea”. The ink used in the poem was Diamine Majestic Blue, and the watermark background was done using Diamine Beau Blue.

Poem by Thomas L Peacock - using Diamine Majestic Blue and Diamine Beau Blue

Poem by Thomas L Peacock – using Diamine Majestic Blue and Diamine Beau Blue.

As you can see in the above pictures, the paper stands up exceptionally well to the abuse – but there are a few caveats:

1) If you plan on wetting the entire page excessively you need to put a paper towel beneath the page. All the pages are perforated and the liquid will seep through the perforation. Additionally if you wet right over edges, the colour will start to seep under the edge of the paper.

2) Leaving a large amount of water on the page will cause it to start going through the paper. ie: damp paper is perfectly acceptable but leaving wet pools will cause it to bleed.

3) Please don’t do what I did and push a large amount of liquid ink/paint right up into the binding, it’s liquid – it is going to get into the crevices of the binding.

Brusho crystals.

Brusho background with some traced crystals.

4) This is NOT watercolour paper, so it will bend and buckle when wet. To its credit though it does flatten out.

And just because i’m me, i managed to make all the above mistakes in one go. (I got really excited about some Brusho that and didn’t follow any of my own advice.)

But could have been worse though right?

M.

Advertisements

Rhodia Paper

Rhodia has become available in South Africa! Whoop:) Whoop:) (don’t judge my happiness). If you’ve ever found yourself on the the FPN you know about Rhodia paper, there is no way around it. Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Tomoe River are constantly discussed, and I have yet to come across a single post, that I was reading – where the paper quality doesn’t come up. Yes i’m sure that there are posts that may not mention paper at all, I just haven’t come across one yet. But I digress.

Rhodia A5 Pad Front

Rhodia A5 Pad Front

The Rhodia pad i have follows a standard pad format, but the front and back is covered by a cover that is thicker offering slightly better protection and feels like a plastic/paper hybrid. The front also has three scored lines that give you the option of preserving some header space should you so desire. Although it could just be there for decoration… It has the Rhodia logo on the front, while the back gives you information about the paper, and an overview of their other paper sizes, colours and formats available.

Rhodia A5 Pad Back

Rhodia A5 Pad Back

So in this case its: 80gsm paper, 80 sheets of paper, graph format, N16/A5/14.8cm x 21cm, white paper, black cover and lastly made in France.

Rhodia Grid Close-up

Rhodia Grid Close-up

The paper is divided into 5mm blocks without any margin lines, and perforated at the top. No margins is going to be subjective preference but I like it. I sometimes find margins to be a waste of space, and this allows me to customize my margin size. The colour of the graph is lilac, instead of the traditional blue that we see here, but the intensity is about the same.

The paper is easily one of the best I have tried. Its just so smooth – it writes kind of how Moleskine feels to the touch, if that makes any sense? My understanding is that its coated, so the dry time is a touch longer then normal. The way I decided to demonstrate this paper was to write in both cursive and print using different inks and nibs, I though that this would test the paper quality best.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample

From top to bottom I used:

TWSBI EF Nib and Sailor – this ink still showed sheen and slight colour change, pretty awesome considering the thinness of the nib!
Pilot Parellel 1.5mm and Noodlers X-Feather
Lamy F Nib and Diamine Bilberry – Also had some gunmetal coloured sheen.
Lamy M Nib and Diamine Silver Fox
Noodlers Konrad Broad/Flex and Diamine Magical Forest
Rhorer and Klingner Glass Pen and Diamine Damson
Pilot Parellel 6mm and Diamine Blue Pearl – The sheen, the shading, the shimmer its all just so pretty.

Back of page.

Back of page.

And this is the other side of the page, not a drop of bleed-through, no show-through and only very light ghosting. I’ll be honest, I was not expecting the other side of this paper to be completely usable.

If you would like to give this paper a try, it can be purchased here: Rhodia

M

Moleskine Cashier Notebook Review

This is considered a high quality or exclusive paper if you’d prefer in SA. It costs about R90 for a set of three, and that to me is costly. Specially when I take into consideration that I can get three A5 notebooks, with better quality paper (in my opinion) and more pages from Typo for R120. Even though I have mentioned Typo, I wont be comparing the paper in this review – I will be focusing solely on the Moleskine.

Cashier notebooks are about 1/4th in size of a standard A4 piece of paper. They get sold in packs of three, and you normally have the option of lined or blank paper.

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Closed

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Closed

I use fountain pens whenever possible, and quite honestly – I would never pay so much for a notebook if all I wanted to do was write down my shopping lists. With that in mind, I expect the Moleskine paper to perform better with my fountain pens then normal schoolbook or copier paper. It doesn’t – in all cases there is ghosting, when drawing there is bleed through and somehow certain fibers seem to suck ink more then others, causing vein like threads – but it’s not feathering.

Original Felt Pen Image

Original Felt Pen Image

Felt Pen Ghosting

Felt Pen Ghosting (No Flash)

Worse Case Of Bleed Through

Worse Case Of Bleed Through

That being said, it has never been advertised as fountain pen friendly – so maybe i’m being a tad judgmental. If I take fountain pen ink or liquid type ink out of the equation, then there is nothing that I dislike about the paper.

In general I love the usefulness of the design. Its thin and small enough to carry around in your pocket, the cardboard cover is flexible but not flimsy and comes in an array of colours. It opens flat and has a super useful back pocket. Additionally it has 16 pages at the back that are perforated, so you can actually tear the page out neatly should you need to. The paper has a specific feeling that I can’t explain – you have to feel it to understand, and using it is a pleasure. Additionally it is sewn bound, which gives it that little bit of old school that’s generally missing in today’s mass productions.

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Open

Moleskine Cashier Notebooks Open

As much as my above statement about price and expectation is true, something about this particular Moleskine model is addictive. I don’t know if its the great marketing, the feel of the paper or the size. I just always find myself doodling in them, even though I know the result wont be perfect. And that I guess, is a review in itself.

Fountain Pen Vs Felt Pen Doodle

Fountain Pen Vs Felt Pen Doodle

You can find Moleskine from any of the below retailers:

Superbalist: http://superbalist.com/search?q=moleskine

Skoobs: http://www.montecasino.co.za/storedirectory/Pages/Skoobs.aspx

Write Gear: http://writegear.co.za/product-category/notebooks/moleskine/

Exclusive Books: http://www.exclus1ves.co.za/search/?logSearch=true&q=moleskine

 

M