Thursday, 29 October 2009

You are not alone...

I know blogs are meant to be written on the go, sitting in airports and cafes with your laptop. Well I didn't have my laptop with me yesterday and instead I wrote this in my notebook at the time...
I'm sitting having a coffee in Borders in Glasgow. I know it's Starbucks and I would usually go to an independent coffee house but it's a monsoon outside. Torrential rain but warm and this is the closest option to spend time before my meeting. The cool thing about this is that the coffee shop bit is on a balcony and I'm overlooking the books and Paperchase. A scone, a coffee and a view of Paperchase. Not a bad way to kill half an hour. Now some folk are in for a gift or a card. something specific. Several of those walking around are clearly 'one of us'. Picking up notebooks. Opening them up, touching the paper lightly and almost tenderly. They don't need another notebook. Not really. They put it back, then pick up anther notebook the don't need, going through the same looking, opening, touching, putting back routine. It's quite quiet and a couple of staff members are tidying up the shelves, getting in the way, blocking the route to another notebook. Then I notice to my right there is a stationery section separate to Paperchase. More general supplies. I'm nearly finished my coffee and I know don't need another notebook. know it. I still have time to kill though and I'm thinking
'Have I got all the right pens. Perhaps I need some different colours..'

This is what I ended up buying....

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Doane Paper Utility Notebook

At the suggestion of Nifty from Notebook Stories we exchanged notebooks across the Atlantic. A great, fun idea so thanks Nifty. Nifty wanted the Blackwell Pocket notebook and one thing that I wanted to try but can't easily get hold of is the Doane Paper Utility Notebook so that's what I asked for. Nifty sent two, and because Doane seem to include extras in the order I also got a 5x8 writing pad.
I haven't used it much yet.I've mainly jotted notes in it in pencil. One thing I miss in the utility notebook is the red margin. Don't ask me why I just like it and I understand that it wouldn't be practical to put it on 3.5x5.5 pages, but still I miss it. So I've just started jotting things down in red pen and it looks great. I haven't been too traumatised by the red pen from school days! I shall no doubt come back to talk about the notebook again. The paper is better than it looked initially but my red liquid ink does come through the other side, however I have a red felt tip that may be better.

Inspired by the new traffic light covers I decided to brighten up the cover of one of the notebooks with some Moo stickers. I love them! Imagine taking your own photographs, making them into stickers and combine them with notebooks. Perfect. Moo have a European and a USA store so everyone can try them.

I based my choice on the traffic light colours and it does brighten up the notebook. What do you think?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Notebook Have a Look-Be Bear Notebook

Most of my articles about notebooks are for ones that are fairly easily obtainable. No matter if we think some of them are luxury items you can still buy some of them at the train station along with your Irn Bru and enormous bag of crisps. This small notebook is one I picked up but cant quite remember where. It could have been in Hawkins Bazaar type shop in Glasgow or it could have been in one of the trendy shops with stationery items from Asia in Cockburn Street in Edinburgh. It's tiny really, about the length of a credit card but a but broader and it has thick cardboard covers and an ungainly white plastic spiral binding. The covers are probably thicker than the paper contents of the notebook and it all ends up a bit out of proportion. The paper in it isn't great but fine for brief notes and that is how I use it. It sits beside my computer and is where I write down all the reference numbers for online orders or telephone numbers I need that I've sourced on the net. It is useful and functional and I'm never tempted to pop it in my bag and take it away from it's home. I used to write these sorts of things down on post its but invariably someone would come along after you and remove your bit of info so that they can write something else down or take the post it off somewhere else. The thing that I really like about this wee cute notebook is the cover and the Be Bear character. I have seen a few Be Bear branded items about that are too cute for office use for me anyway) but good for use in the home. The paper quality is never great but that's not what it's about. It's about cute characters.....and it only cost about £1 so you can't go wrong.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Things to come.........

Recently, after a while in notebook wilderness I have a couple of new notebooks to put up on the blog. Firstly I received two doane paper utility notebooks from Nifty at Notebook Stories as a swap for a Blackwell pocket notebook. It was a really fun thing to do, swapping notebooks that neither of us could have easily got hold of otherwise. Thanks Nifty for suggesting it.

Secondly I received a 3 pack of the green Field Notes notebooks from the Paperie. I'd had a bad day and clicked the buy button in a weak moment. They also have the lovely autumn colours but I cant justify another £9 right at the moment.
There is something better about getting a notebook that's not easily available. Much of the interest around these notebooks is company marketed but I'm a consumer and happy to fall into that trap.

However I'm writing in my doane paper notebook already and enjoying it. I do like the grid+lines concept. I have printed off their design which is available on their website and popped it into a circa notepad. I love that you can print their design off even though they are selling the products. Of course it is an idea that works as I've ended up using their utility notepad even though I could print the paper off.

So if I can take some photos of each and how I've used them I shall put them on Trains, pens and planners soon.

Moleskine Cahier Cover Design

There are quite a lot of lovely design cahier notebook covers on Etsy. This is one I did myself so not good enough to sell to anyone else but I'm happy enough with it. I used stamps and embossing powder for the bear on the front and paw on the back and just a silver pen to pick out the Moleskine. This particular cahier I use for doodling but I once again need to say how dissapointing the paper is. You can really only use one side of it. I got a nicer cahier with better paper and a lovely Paisley pattern desin on the cover in The Art Store in Glasgow. Might put that on the blog at a later date. The clip that holds it closed is from Asda. Cheap and cheerful stationery from there.