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Archive for November, 2009

Rhodia’s Paul Smith, Limited Edition Notepads were recently reviewed by the Inkyjournal blog and I thought you would like to know more about these one-of-a-kind notepads, so I have posted his review. You should check out his blog, www.inkyjournal.blogspot.com for more great information on journals, fountain pens and ink.

I bought some great , No 12 Rhodia Pad’s. It is a special edition from Paul Smith. I bought these beauty’s at Journaling Arts. Journaling Arts is a great store for all your notebooks, journals. Cynthia Niklas does her job with passion. My package got lost in the mail. She offered great service by sending a new shipment.

Rhodia Pad no 12, Paul Smith

The size
I choose this size No 12 (8,5 cm x 12,0 cm or 3,3 x 4,7 inch) because it is just right for taking it with me. The size is not the actual size of the writing area of the paper. It leaves a 12mm (0,47 inch) piece of paper for tear off.

Rhodia Pad no 12, Paul Smith

The paper
I am not so fond on the Rhodia paper. It has a very smooth surface. I use a fountain pen often. Because of the very smooth surface the drying time of ink is twice as much as other notebooks. A great advantage is that the ink never bleeds-through the paper.

Rhodia Pad no 12, Paul Smith

Paul Smith
This is what the Rhodia website states about him:

Sir Paul Smith is a fan of Rhodia!
In a small Rhodia pad he never parts with, Paul Smith notes at any time of day whatever affects him, moves him, amuses him. From a situation, an object, a detail on a piece of clothing, even from a phrase, he draws a thread that feeds his overflowing creativity. ‘You can find inspiration in everything and if you can’t, look again’, says the English fashion designer (éditions Violette), one of the fashion designers most in vogue at the beginning of the 21st century who, thanks to his success with twenty-eight shops throughout the world with 600 employees, has been awarded the title Sir.

Throughout the world, he offers his clothes “with a twist’ in his own shops or in highly selective points of sale. After the success of the first collection signed Paul Smith which came out in 2005, Paul Smith celebrated 75 years of his fetish pad by signing a new Limited Series where his fancy and his particularly English sense of style led him: on the famous card marked Rhodia orange or black, a true support for the fashion designer’s creation, his falsely naïve pencil sketches, underlined with his emblematic stripes.

Paul Smith’s stripes? “They convey freedom, youth, humour. You can like them fresh, reminiscent of the sea or downright pop. In any case, they are never neutral.’


Paul Smith also has a website for his fashion-business. It is a site where you also can shop online.

How I use them?
I just use them for ink-testing on my blog. At work I use them for giving some written notes to someone else “Make an invoice so and so”

Rhodia Pad no 12, Paul Smith

All photos in this blog are copyrighted and the property of inkyjournal. All rights reserved.

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Leuchtturm's Mini Address Book is available online at http://www.journalingarts.com.

Leuchtturm’s Mini Address Books have finally arrived and are in stock at www.journalingarts.com. Keep your load light and your contacts organized with this tiny address book. It can be easily tucked into a wallet , without adding extra bulk.

Be sure to read my review of Leuchtturm’s Mini Address Book here: Review of Leuchtturm’s Mini Address Book.

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As an artist and art journaler, I am always on the lookout for high-quality, convenient journals I can use for making art. For basic doodling with pencil I can use anything, but when making art, I need a journal that can handle marker, watercolor, charcoal, ink, colored pencils, as well as pencil and pen.

The cover is made from thick, textured cardboard that begs to be embellished with metallic markers and collage. It opens flat and would be an excellent choice for creating an art or travel journal.

The cover is made from thick, textured cardboard that begs to be embellished with metallic markers and collage. It opens flat and would be an excellent choice for creating an art or travel journal.

When I received a package of journals to review from Karen at Exaclair, there was an Exacompta Sketchbook in the box. It appeared innocuous enough with its textured black cover, but the silver edged pages, cloth spine and the silver embossed cover intrigued me and urged me to explore the paper within. Was it as nice on the inside as the outside?

The pages have silver edges that sparkle against the black background and add a sense of elegance.

The pages have silver edges that sparkle against the black background and add a sense of elegance. You would never guess that the sketchbook retails for about $12.00.

The Paper

According to Exaclair, the Exacompta Sketchbook contains heavy weight 100g paper that is ideal for use with a fountain pen, calligraphy nib, rollerball or felt-tip pen. The cream-colored paper is pH neutral, made up of 25% cotton, and has a bit of texture to it. The cotton fibers and a water mark can be seen when held up to the light and the sketchbooks are sewn and bound, meaning the books open flat while pages won’t become loose and fall out with use. I didn’t use a calligraphy nib or fountain pen in this review, but I did used a very wet Tombow roll pen, markers, charcoal and watercolor. I was pleased with the results, the paper performed beautifully.

The paper color is soft ivory in color, which is easy on the eyes and the perfect backdrop for pencils and charcoal. It is fairly thick, but it is not near as thick as Moleskine Sketch paper. Rather than being smooth, the paper is slightly textured with a laid finish.  If you look closely, you’ll find the texture is more pronounced on the front side of the page than the back, making the vertical pattern more visible on some pages and the horizontal texture more visible on the others. If you want a consistent paper texture on a 2-page illustration, you will need to use the center of one of the paper signatures where the 2 pages are from a single side of the sheet, thus having the same texture all across.

This charcoal rendering of the wolf was done across 2-pages. The lft page is the backside of the page and is smoother than the right side, which is the front side of the page. On the left, the vertical texture in the paper is more visible while on the right, the horiaontal textures are more prominent.

This charcoal rendering of the wolf was done across 2-pages. The left page is the backside of the paper and is smoother than the right, front side. On the left, the vertical texture in the paper is evident while on the right, the horizontal textures are more prominent. While some of you might find the paper's texture and pattern distracting, I like it and think it adds some vertical energy to the rendering.

Charcoal
Charcoal is my favorite medium for this paper. It goes on smoothly and does a good job of picking up the paper’s texture. The charcoal stick makes a lovely, rough sound as it leaves a mark that really adds to the sketching experience. The deep color contrasts well with the paper and it is very satisfying pressing the color onto this paper. The texture can be enhanced by blending or rubbing the charcoal into the crevices and wiping the surface free of the excess powder. For areas that need to be to be dark black, extra pressure will push the charcoal down into all of the nooks and crannies.

In this close up image, you can see the horizontal texture of the paper on the right page. On the left page, the vertical texture is more visible.

Ink and Markers
I also used ink and marker on the paper to see how well these mediums performed, and like most other journals from Exaclair, the paper performed beautifully. The ink from my Tombow Ultra Roll Pen went on smoothly without skips. This is a wet pen and yet there was no bleedthrough and only a minimal amount of showthrough. I was surprised to find that the raised lines created by pen pressure were more visible than the ink on the backside of the page. I was pleased to use a paper that handled ink so gracefully, and was thrilled to know I can use both sides of the paper for my work.

The results of the marker test were similar to the ink test in that there was no bleedthrough and very little showthrough. The color appeared rich and saturated and the surface remained intact and unblemished. I was able to use multiple layers of color without the surface of the paper turning to mush.

Markers and pen in a Exacompta sketchbook. The paper's surface seemed unaffected by the watercolor markers and Tombow roll pen. There was no bleedthrough with either medium and little, if any of showthrough.Watercolor Paint
Then came the real challenge; wet, sloppy watercolor. So many have sketchbooks failed this test so I was interested to see how well the paper performed with this medium. The first light layers of wash went on with minor buckling, but the paper produced colors similar in brightness and clarity to watercolor paper. After the paint dried, the paper flattened a bit, but there was still some buckling and cupping. Unlike some coated sketchbook papers, there was no beading up or resistance. Each subsequent layer went on like the first and I was able to apply multiple light layers to achieve a reasonable depth of color, but the more layers I applied, the less stable the paper became. After completing the yellow areas, I managed to remove some of the surface of the paper, creating some small lumps of colored paper.

The watercolors were bright and lively on this paper, but I don’t plan on using watercolors with this paper for anything other than quick color sketches or for testing certain effects. The paper buckles less than most, but it is still enough to make using watercolors a less-than-rewarding endeavor.

Watercolors are clear and bright on the paper, but the paper buckled from the wet medium. While it was less than expected, I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than light, quick watercolor sketches. In the areas that received the most wet paint, the surface started to break apart resulting in some lumpiness on the page.

Final Impressions
I love this sketchbook. The paper is exquisite and it is a good value if you are inclined to bargain shop. The street price is about $12 although you can purchase it online with a Madeira leatherette cover for about $20.

This would be an excellent sketchbook to use for art journaling. It handles a variety of mediums, lies flat when opened and is big enough to comfortably draw in and small enough to transport. The cardboard cover can be easily customized with paints, collage, metallic pens, fabric giving you limitless options for creating a journal as unique.

Pros

  • Superb, Clairfontaine paper
  • Excellent choice for art journaling
  • Handles a variety of mediums well, especially wet pens
  • No bleedthrough and minimal show through, so you can use both sides of the paper
  • Colorful ribbon bookmark for easy page retrieval
  • 200 pages of high-quality paper for just $12
  • Opens flat
  • Cardboard cover can be easily customized

Cons

  • Paper buckles when using watercolor paint
  • Hard to find in stores

Exacompta Sketchbook “Livres d’Or” Sketchbook Specifications:

  • 10 signatures of 20 pages
  • 100 gsm which is roughly a 65 lb. paper.
  • Multicolor ribbon.
  • Black cover & silver edge
  • Cloth binding to match cover
  • Textured hardboard covers
  • Sewn binding

According to Karen at Exaclair, this Sketch Book is going to get more of a prominent spot in Exaclair’s 2010 catalog. The paper comes from the same mill in the Netherlands that produces Clairefontaine’s fine art paper – http://jherbin.com/schut_mill.shtml. Thank you, Karen, for supplying me with this great little sketchbook to review. I really enjoyed it!

Have you used this sketchbook? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it!

Exacompta SketchbookThe Exacompta Sketchbook has a textured, black, cardboard cover that begs to be embellished with metallic markers and collage. The logo on the front cover is in a silver foil and measures just over an inch. This would make an excellent art journal or travel journal.

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Win this Rhodia 2010 Weekly Planner by entering the Rhodia 2010 Planner Giveaway by follwing the instructions below. The contest ends November 20, 2009.

Win this Rhodia 2010 Weekly Planner by entering the Rhodia 2010 Planner Giveaway by follwing the instructions below. The contest ends November 20, 2009.

I reviewed the pocket-sized 2010 Rhodia Weekly Planner in September and now I am giving it away! If you would like to win it, enter the Rhodia Planner Giveaway by following the instructions below.

  1. Leave one comment on this post anytime between now and Friday, November 20, 2009 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. You are limited to one entry. You may link this contest on your blog, or share it with anyone who loves Rhodia notepads or any other notebooks and planners. If you have a blog, a link back would be great, but it is not required.
  2. I will pick one winner at random from the comments section of this post. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. The True Random Number Generator at random.org will be used to pick the number of the winner.
  3. The contest winner will be posted on this blog and on Twitter Monday, November 23, 2009. The winner will have one week to claim the planner by emailing me at cynthia@journalingarts.com. I will need your complete shipping address including country as well as an active email address.
  4. I would be happy to ship internationally, so feel free to enter the contest if you are overseas.

Thank you, and good luck!

 

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I love pocket planners, but most don’t include a usable monthly calender with the current week. This has always frustrated me, so I created a set of small Monthly Calendars that are available as a free download at www.journalingarts.com.

Free Calendar Downloads for Your Moleskine, Ciak, Cartesio and Rhodia Planners are available at www.journalingarts.com.The Monthly Calendars measure 4¾” x 3¼” and were designed to fit into Moleskine, Ciak, Cartesio, and Rhodia planners and will also fit into the back envelope for storage. Use one as a bookmark and you’ll always have your month to view where you need it.

Use the Monthly Calendar as a Bookmark to Keep Your Monthly Overview Where You Need It.

Slide a Monthly Calendar into your Moleskine planner and use it as a bookmark to keep your monthly overview close at hand.

Each season is designated by a color and design. The free downloads are in color, but will print beautifully in black & white on your laser printer.

Each season is designated by a color and design. The free downloads are in color, but will print beautifully in black & white on your laser printer.

There is also a free download of lined Notecards that was designed to fit on the back of the calendars, but can be used alone for adding Notecards to your planning. You can print these out on the backside of your calendars by printing on both sides of your paper. The Notecards and Calendars were designed to line up properly when printed on both sides.

Free Notecards download can be used alone or with the Monthly Calendars for additional organization.

Free Notecards download can be used alone or with the Monthly Calendars for additional organization.

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With the introduction of Leuchtturm notebooks to the US market this year came a new selection of journals and planners with strong organization abilities. The 18 Month Master Book Planner takes this theme to a new level in planning and includes some extras you won’t find in other planners.

Leuchtturm's Master Book Planner Measures a whopping 8¾" x 12½" and is at home on your desk or table. Thee size is also consistent with a laptop computer and may fit comfortably in your laptop bag along with your computer.

Leuchtturm's Master Book Planner Measures a whopping 8¾" x 12½" and is at home on your desk or table. The size is also consistent with some notebook computers and may fit comfortably in your laptop bag along with your computer. You can order the Leuchtturm Master Book Planner at http://www.journalingarts.com.

The first thing you’ll notice is the size. It measures 8¾” x 12¾” or 22.5 x 31.5 cm and is larger than a standard sheet of paper. You won’t be able to carry it in your pocket or purse, but you may find that it will fit alongside your computer in your laptop bag. The size makes the interior print easy to read, gives you lots of room for scheduling and  gives the act of planning a sense of importance.

The Planning Pages
There are 18 months of planning that start September, 2009 through February 2011. This is different than the popular Moleskine 18 month planners that are dated July 2009 through December 2010. Because if this, it may be better suited for business than school, but would work well for students who start school in September. The additional month or two of overlap in January and February would be convenient, however, if you were migrating towards a more traditional 12 month planner for 2011.

An example of the right planning page from a 2-page spread. Vertical daily columns. small monthly calendars and plenty of room for notes.

An example of the right planning page from a 2-page spread. Vertical daily columns. small monthly calendars and plenty of room for notes.

The planning pages are laid out in a vertical planning format in 24-hour time starting with 7 and ending with 22, giving you 16 slots each day for appointments. Each week is spread across two pages with the week number in the lower corner of the right page. Below each day is a boxed area for notes that measures about 2″ x 3¾” which is more than ample. Each day is clearly noted by a large date and a smaller day. The right column has small monthly calendars for the previous month, current month and following month, with the current week shaded in gray.

Because the pages and type are larger than normal, you would think that the pages would feel overbearing, but the use of a subtle gray ink keeps things toned-down but still readable. Like all of Leuchtturm’s notebooks, the overall design is clean and orderly and will appeal to your organized side.

The Extras

Project Planner
In addition to the planning pages, you find this planner has some unique extras including a 2-page project planner for all 18 months. There are two grids, each with 14 spaces arranged vertically, spanning the dates from September 2009 through February 2001.

The Master Book Planner includes a 2-page project planner that spans 18 month.

The Master Book Planner includes a 2-page project planner that spans 18 month.

Monthly Calendars and Monthly Planning Section
There are two sections with monthly calendars. The first includes three pages of small calendars, January 2009 through December 2011 along with their respective week numbers. There is not much room here for notes, but this format would be most useful for highlighting  or color-coding weeks/months to be consistent with the Project Planner or other scheduling system.

Leuchtturms 18 Month Master Book Planner provides a 2-year overview using small monthly calendars.

Leuchtturms 18 Month Master Book Planner provides a 2-year overview using small monthly calendars.

The next section has vertical monthly planning, six months per 2-page spread dated September 2009 through February 2011 across six pages . Each column represents a month and indicates the date and day of the week allowing one line of planning for each day. Because of the size of the planner, this section is more useful than most allowing plenty of room for scheduling.

For more detailed monthly planning , there are vertical monthly planners with a slot for every day of each month. Because of the large size, there is plenty of room for your plans.

Blank pages for Notes
In addition to the notes sections throughout the planner, there 22 acid-free, plain, blank pages for notes, doodling, phone numbers and the like. According to Leuchtturm, as of August of 2009, the paper in all journals and planners is ink-proof, meaning that there will be no bleedthrough on the reverse. I haven’t had the chance to try this out yet, so I can’t confirm or deny it.

The expandable pocket will hold 8½" x 11", letter-sized paper without requiring it to be folded. Other items such as magazines, reports and large photos will fit, no problem.

The expandable pocket will hold 8½" x 11", letter-sized paper without requiring it to be folded. Other items such as magazines, reports and large photos will fit, too. Items shown in the pocket are a template insert and labels that re included with the planner.

Large Envelope Hold Letter Sized Documents and More
One plus of using such a large planner, is the envelope in the back will hold an unfolded sheet of letter-sized paper in addition to thin magazines, large photos and a variety of other things.

Miscellaneous
There are also a few other features including:

  • Labels and stickers for archiving
  • Ribbon book mark
  • 8 perforated, plain detachable sheets
  • Grid and lined template insert

Final Thoughts
Leuchtturm’s Master Book 18 Month Planner is big and would work well for business and family scheduling. The large size is easy on the eyes and there is plenty of room for detailed planning and note taking. But because of its size, it is not portable or convenient to carry and is best suited for  a desk or table. However, if you carry a computer in a laptop case or backpack frequently, you may find this planner convenient enough to take with you.

If you do decide to give the Leuchtturm Master Book Planner a try, you will find a clean, orderly planner which will allow you to organize even the most chaotic schedules with ease. It opens flat to give you easy access to your schedule and is large enough to hold additional items in the back pocket. The project planner allows you to see your long term plans and progress at a glance and the extra plain pages in the back give you the ability to get your thoughts and ideas on paper at a moments notice.

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