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Archive for July, 2010

Leave a comment at the Letters & Journal Facebook page and you could win a discount coupon to use on your next purchase from journalingarts.com. The coupon is good for 20% off your entire purchase minus shipping and does not expire.

Each month Letters & Journals will give away a prize basket to one lucky newsletter subscriber.  JournalingArts.com has donated a Leuchtturm Master Book for July’s prize basket. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter for a chance to win the July giveaway. You can check out June’s prize basket here: http://lettersandjournals.com/magazine-2/contests.

Each month Letters & Journals will give away a prize basket to one lucky newsletter subscriber.  The drawing for the June basket will be on July 1, 2010 and the winner will be notified by email. Odds of winning: 1 in 142.

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Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner hack uses a a paper clasp and paper folds.

The Moleskine Volant Daily Planners are are easy to use because of their thin profile and small size, but they lack an elastic strap and a ribbon place marker. This simple set of hacks will bring your Volant planner up to speed and add a pen holder, too. These solutions were shared with me by my good friend Alex, who will be a freshman in college this fall.

A Colorful Paper Clasp Will Keep Your Planner Closed and Add A Pen Holder

I was struck by the simplicity of this hack. Not only does a paper clasp do a great job of keeping  the Volant planner closed, it can also be used to keep a pen with your planner. You can also use it to anchor your planner to larger books or notebooks. Paper clasps come in a variety of sizes and colors enabling you to to create the perfect combination of  function and design.

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

Just clip on a paper clasp in your favorite color, fold back the arms, and your planner will stay closed and relatively flat. If you leave a little room between the bottom of the clip and the pages, you can slide a pen along the side. If you prefer to attach the pen using a pen clip, no problem, just slide the clasp towards the top of the planner and clip your pen on the corner of the clasp.

Origami-Inspired Paper Folds Keep You On Track In Style

Organization doesn’t have to be boring to be effective. Simple paper folds for days that have passed create a  beautiful place holder in your planner.  By folding the corners into the middle of the planner, alternating between the top and bottom, a v-shaped indentation is formed. This leaves a perfect, thumb-sized place to open to the current day. If you have days or pages that have passed that you want to refer to quickly, no problem, just color the folds for easy recall.

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

By folding the page corners of previous days into the planner in an alternating pattern, you can create a beautiful tab for the current planning day. Add colors and change the folds to create the look that suits you best.

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I thought it would be appropriate to create a pencil sketch in Ecosystem’s Sketchbook since this is what it is designed for. According to the folks at Ecosystem, this journal is named the Artist and it shares the same great features as their planners and journals. It is made from 100% post consumer recycled paper and is entirely made in America.

Pencil sketching was predictable on the paper. I was able to create crisp lines and smooth shading.

The paper is bright white, fairly smooth and has just a little bit of tooth. The slight texture is visible in areas where the shading was the darkest, but this is typical with most papers and it adds a bit of softness to the illustration. I was able to create crisp lines and smooth blends without any issues. Overall, it is quite nice to sketch on although it would be nicer if the paper were a little bit thicker.

This is another image from an Affirmation Journal I started to aid in creativity. More will follow soon.

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In the coming months, Moleskine will be releasing new colors and sizes in the Volant line including: gray and purple in two-tone sets and in three formats, Extra Small, Pocket and Large. You’ll have the choice of plain or ruled pages with the classic rounded corners and ivory paper of Moleskine.

The set in blue, sky blue, red and pink is also available in XL format: 96 big pages 19 x 25 cm. The last 16 pages are detachable, perfect for loose notes.

Find your perfect match.

volant235_1.jpg volant235_2.jpg

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Fiorentina Leather Marbleized Journal

Fiorentina's new red Marbleized Journal is now in stock at JournalingArts.com.

Fiorentina has added a few new products to their line including a colorful selection of Marbleized Journals. These journals are gorgeous and feature legendary Amalfi paper. The covers are decorated in rich hues of red, metallic gold and black, accented by a leather strip that wraps around the spine. Each journal contains prestigious Amalfi handmade paper that weighs 200 gsm and is fountain-pen friendly. Like other Fiorentina journals, it has been hand-crafted in Italy with the finest Italian design and materials. It measures approximately 5 ¾” x 7 ½” and is non refillable. Now available at JournalingArts.com.

Fiorentina Marbleized Journal

Amalfi Paper

Fiorentina Marbleized Journal

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Moleskine's New Mini Planners

The Moleskine Mini Planner is a new product for 2011. Both weekly and daily planners have similar outer dimensions size as an iphone.

The first shipment of Moleskine Mini Planners is in stock at JournalingArts.com.  The weekly planners available for purchase are blue, lime green, black and pink. Maroon and Sky Blue are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. If you prefer a mini daily planner, black and pink are in stock now, ready for immediate shipment.

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Affirmation Journal spread created with acrylic paint and pen and ink.

Affirmation Journal spread created with acrylic paint and pen and ink.

I have been using a variety of mediums in an affirmation journal I am in the process of creating. This spread was created using acrylic paint. The abstract design was inspired by the hand design on the cover that I previously blogged about. To get a better idea of the flow of this journal, please see my earlier reviews Illustrating the Cover of an Ecosystem Large Sketchbook and Color Laser Transfer in an Ecosystem Sketchbook.

The watercolor paint and parts of the laser transfer from the previous page had bled through the paper a bit leaving me with a hand shape and backwards letter on this two page spread. This inspired me to continue the theme and to create an abstract flower.

The laser transfer from the previous page bled through a bit, which inspired me to create an abstract hand image for this spread.

To start, I outlined the hand shape on the left page and applied paint within the pencil lines. The remaining color and design was added on top using a brush.

To start, I added paint on top of the had image that showed through the page.

Ecosystem Sketchbook

I painted only on the left page, so I could press the pages together and create a mirror image.

When I had finished painting the left page, I closed the journal and pressed the painting onto the right page, creating a mirror image.

I pressed the pages together by closing the journal. When I opened it again, I had a good background for my image.

The paper buckled quite a bit during the painting process, but flattened out somewhat when the paint dried. There was a little bit of show through on the backside, but nothing major. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend using acrylic paints with the Ecosystem Sketchbook. The paper ends up very wavy and the pages were weakened where it is perforated. Perhaps in the future I will try again using a primer of some sort.

Once the initial layer was dry, I repeated the process using additional pinks, golds and yellows.

I used pen and ink to create the text. The ink was very compatible with the paper in the Ecosystem Sketchbook. There was no feathering, show through or bleed through and the lines were crisp and black against the bright white paper.

The final illustration including text.

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