Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Miscellany: Doodles, Lamys, Sketchbooks

Because the July miscellany didn't contain the usual links, I'm a bit behind with links, and most of these are from July rather than August.  Not to worry, I'll probably be caught up by next month.  Enjoy!

That's all for this month.  Stay tuned for new reviews and posts in September!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Childhood Favourite: Prang ColorArt Crayons

Occasionally I feel like looking back at the supplies that I used and loved when I was a child.  I've written before about my Bensia non-sharpening ("pop-a-point") pencils and my Laurentien coloured pencils.  Today, I'm going to share with you a supply that probably most of you used at some point - wax crayons.

I had a lot of wax crayons when I was a child, but my favourites were always these 64 Prang ColorArt crayons.  I loved them so much that I could hardly bear to use them, and so I still have them today.  A few of the crayons look like they have hardly ever been used.  I loved these crayons because they were a complete set (most of my collection was just odds and ends, I think), they came with a sharpener (which I also hardly ever used), and they came in this awesome plastic case.  It has a handle for carrying, and inside the crayons fit into eight trays, each of which can be removed separately.  I think I spent more time as a child rearranging the crayons and the trays in the case rather than actually using the crayons.  I was a weird kid.  But I'm still rather obsessed with organizing things today...

I love the smell of wax crayons.  I also love the rough line they leave on the paper, and all the bright colours they come in.  The colours I appear to have used the most of were gold, brick red, cherry red, bittersweet, bright red, orange red, fluorescent yellow, blue, and fluorescent pink - a selection that puzzles me today.  No green?  And what was with all those reds?

A few years ago I made this chart in my sketchbook of all of the colours in this set:

Although today I may take these crayons out now and then to look at them or even to use them on a journal page, mostly I will just continue to keep them.  It is items like these - more so than toys, photos, or school papers - that connect me best to my childhood and that bring back good memories.

What supplies remind you of your childhood?  Do you still own or use any of them today?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Giveaways at Planet Millie

Planet Millie is running an awesome series of giveaways to celebrate 10 years of blogging and the 3-year anniversary of her current blog!  Check out the giveways for water, earth, and fire.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Link Love: 5 Favourite Projects

For the month of August I've decided to participate in Daisy Yellow's mission to share the link love.  Each Friday in August has a different theme of links to share.  This Friday is favourite projects from blogs that you love.  For some reason, I found this was the hardest series of links to compile, but I finally settled on these as my favourite projects:

  1. iHanna's 365 in 2013 project - iHanna is making 365 collages in 2013, one for every day of the year.  This kind of project just amazes me, and, while I would love to try something like this one day, I don't think I'm quite ready for it.  Check out her most recent collages in week 33 - lots of bold colours, papers, and paints.
  2. No Pen Intended's DIY Moleskine Cahier-style notebooks - While I've made somewhat similar single-signature notebooks in the past, mine weren't this awesome.  The pockets are a nice touch.  And even more awesomely, she currently has some of these available in her Etsy shop.
  3. Mary Ann Moss's pattern books and visual journals - Mary Ann's pages are so spontaneous, colourful, and exuberant.  You can see some more of her pages here.  And more here.  I love every single one of them.
  4. Melinda's DIY planner - If you've been around my blog for a while, you'll probably know that I'm a fan of DIY planners.  I believe that by making our planner pages to fit our lives, we can be more productive.  I love how Melinda plays with so many different layouts.  That's something that I need to do more often, rather than just using the same old layout all the time.  Check out some more of her pages and layouts here.
  5. The Alchemy Notebook - Not from a blog, but these pages are amazing and very different from most visual / art journals that I see online.  These pages partly inspired some of my own pages in my less is more art journal - I love the earthy colours, minimal backgrounds, and how they look like ancient manuscripts.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Less is More Art Journaling

These are the first two page spreads in my current art journal.  If you've been following my blog long enough, you may notice that these pages are very different from those of my earliest journals.  The pages are emptier, there's more white space, the colours are more muted.  I'm calling it my "less is more" art journal:

"Sharing Diffusion."  Found text, Faber-Castell Pitt pen, watercolour pencils, gold gel pen, photocopied book page, acrylic paint.
"Forget Everything."  Found text, Faber-Castell Pitt Pen, collaged paper, watercolour pencils.

In my earliest art journals, I tried to cram as much onto a page as I could with layers of collage, acrylic paints, gel pen doodles, and lettering.  It was the kind of style that I saw most often on other blogs.  But I began to realize that those pages did not fit the way I wanted to live my life.  I want to build my life around concepts such as simplicity, minimalism, and wabi-sabi.  I am becoming more interested in sketching and watercolours and less interested in collage and acrylics.  I like muted neutral and earth tones more than bright colours.  None of these aspects of my life were being represented in my journal pages.

The journal that I named "Number Four" marked a turn towards simpler, single-layer pages, but I still wasn't sure what my style was, or even if I wanted to continue keeping an art journal.  After my last art journal was finished, I didn't start another one.  Then I discovered Quinn McDonald's book, Raw Art Journaling, and I was reminded of why I had started keeping an art journal in the first place.  Her style in the book - focused on simple techniques using ordinary materials - began to give me ideas of what I wanted my next art journal to become.

I started this art journal this spring, and I quickly settled on a name for it: the less is more journal.  Less is more art journaling recognizes that less (using fewer materials, fewer colours, fewer layers, fewer images) can create more meaning on a page.  I use only a few simple materials - mainly my Faber-Castell Pitt drawing pens and my watercolour pencils - and I use collage and acrylics sparingly.  The PooPooPaper notebook that I am using for this journal has rough pages that aren't ideal for watercolours - sometimes the pigments bleed through to the other side - but embracing imperfection is part of what I want my life to be about, so it works for me.  I try to create pages that are rich in meaning for me, even if they don't look fancy or elaborate.  I create the pages slowly, over days, weeks, or even months, and I don't worry about completing them chronologically.  I've been working in this journal since February and I only have a handful of page spreads completed.  But that is okay.  Less is more.

What do you think about less is more art journaling?  Is it something that you would be interested in trying?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Link Love: 5 Popular Posts from My Blog

For the month of August I've decided to participate in Daisy Yellow's mission to share the link love.  Each Friday in August has a different theme of links to share.  This Friday is popular posts from your blog.  The five most popular posts on A Penchant for Paper so far this year are:

  1. How Small Can You Write? - I've always had small handwriting, ever since high school when my friends and I would compete to see who could write the smallest.  I usually don't write quite as small as I did in this post though!
  2. Rhodia Pencil - I continue exploring different wooden pencils.  This one looks great, but I'm not sure about how it writes.  I think it may be a pencil that I'll be more comfortable using for sketching.
  3. Handwritten Post: The Story of My Pen and Paper Addiction - Yes, there's a story behind it, as there is behind most things.  And this is also my first (so far, only) handwritten post.
  4. Laurentien Coloured Pencils - These pencil crayons are classics for many Canadians, as they are for myself.  Judging from the comments I've received on this post, there's still a lot of love out there for them.
  5. My Productivity System - For me, having some kind of productivity system in place is essential for me to get more done, and, ultimately, be more creative.  I've added some refinements since I wrote this post, but these are the basics.

I always enjoy looking at the top posts on my blog; if you're a blogger yourself, you probably know that it's hard to predict which posts will become the most popular.  Some posts that I expect will receive many comments and views get relatively little notice, while others that I quickly dash off and don't think much of end up in lists like these...

If you enjoyed this post, you can also check out my top posts of 2012.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pencil Review: General's Kimberly

The General Pencil Company is an American company that makes their pencils in the United States, and they have been doing so since 1889 - relatively rare in a day when most pencils are being made overseas.  I had never even heard of General's pencils until I started reading pencil blogs, so I was delighted to come across this Kimberly drawing pencil in B at the thrift store.

I loved it right away because it has a green body with gold lettering - one of my favourite colour combinations.  I also love the metal cap on the end, which to me gives the pencil a vintage feel, although according to this informative post at pencil talk, the cap is actually a later addition.  Regardless, it sets the Kimberly apart from nearly all commonly encountered pencils.  The Kimberly comes in a range of grades, from 9H to 9XXB.  Mine is a B, which puts it roughly in the middle, slightly softer than an HB.  It sharpens very cleanly and I love the cedar smell of the wood.

Metal cap.  Also tooth marks.  They're not mine.  I told you this came from the thrift store.  Just ignore them.  That's what I'm trying to do.

I really like this pencil - although it's not fancy, I have no complaints about it.  It just performs well.  For writing, it is reasonably dark, not as smooth as the Rhodia Pencil I last reviewed, but with an enjoyably scratchy sound on the page.  For sketching, I feel that the B is not quite as dark as I would prefer; in the future, I think I would select a slightly softer grade.  I am much happier with my sketches for this review than I was with my sketch for my review of the Staedtler Mars Lumograph, so maybe the Kimberly has improved my pencil sketching ability?  Maybe, but I think it's more likely that I'm just happier sketching seashells than I am lamps!

I actually think that I might enjoy sketching with this pencil more than I did with the Lumograph.  I can't quite identify what it is, but there is something about the Kimberly that I really like... more feedback with the paper or... something.  I'll need more experience with wooden pencils to say for sure which one I prefer, but I think the Kimberly could possibly become my new favourite pencil.

Overall, if you're looking for a quality, American-made pencil, look no further than General's Kimberly.  The more I use it, the more I like it.  I highly recommend it, and I'll be looking for more products from the General Pencil Company in the future.

Related review: pencil talk.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Link Love: 5 Topics I Love to Read About

For the month of August I've decided to participate in Daisy Yellow's mission to share the link love.  Each Friday in August has a different theme of links to share.  This Friday is topics you love to read or write about.  Five of my favourite topics are:

  1. Journal pages and the journaling process: I love seeing other people's journal pages, and if they include a video of their journaling process along with their post, that's even better.  Check out Jenny Frith's recent journal pages and video - I love the way her pages look and develop.
  2. Reviews of interesting products to try: I love reading and writing product reviews!  I especially enjoy reading reviews of products that I'm not already familiar with, such as this Pentel Sign Pen reviewed by Azizah of Gourmet Pens.  This is a simple, classic, inexpensive pen that looks like it would be great for doodling.  I think I'll have to try out a few of the colours...
  3. Weekly planner or diary pages: Productivity is a topic that I've been interested in a lot lately, so I love seeing how others use their planners to organize their daily lives.  Angela of Paper Lovestory shares her pages every week (here's her most recent week), and I'm always amazed at how colourful and interesting her pages are with stickers, washi tape, post-it notes, and different colours of ink.  Millie also shares her planner pages occasionally, and here are her most recent weeks; I like how she uses her planner to track the books she's read and the films she's watched.
  4. The creative process: I like thinking about the creative process, and how other people's experiences are similar to (or different from) my own.  Quinn McDonald (the author of Raw Art Journaling, which I reviewed here last fall) often ponders interesting questions about the creative process.  Here she is talking about making space - a task that is a continual work-in-progress for me.
  5. Nature photos and writing: Although this is not as relevant to the topic of this blog, nature photography is one of my main hobbies.  Two of my favourite nature photographers and bloggers are Bo Mackison of Seeded Earth and Cate Kerr of Beyond the Fields We Know.  (I also occasionally share my own photos at my other blog.)

What are your favourite topics to read and write about?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Green Pen Comparison

Green is my favourite colour, and I almost always choose pens in different shades of green over those in other colours.  Here is a quick round-up of the green pens currently in my collection:

Of these, all three of the Uni-ball Signo DX pens would be among my favourites.  The lime green is my favourite shade of bright yellowy green (although it looks duller in the photo), and the green black - although it hardly looks green at all in comparison with the lighter shades - works well when you want a basic colour that doesn't call attention to itself, yet is still a bit different from the usual blue or black.  The emerald green was the most surprising to me; I usually don't like bluer greens as much as yellow-greens, but something about that colour combined with the 0.28mm line width (the others are 0.38mm) was just right.  The green Pilot FriXion Point, Pentel Slicci, and Dong-A Miffy gel pens are also favourites, although these greens are more standard shades.

Sadly, two of my favourites are no longer available.  The Pilot Petit1 Mini Fountain Pen is no longer available in dark green (and mine is very nearly out of ink), and the olive green Pilot Hi-Tec-C has also been discontinued.  I'm especially disappointed with the Hi-Tec-C, since I don't have any other pens in a similar colour, other than the olive green Staedtler Triplus Fineliner - but I prefer to use those pens for sketching more than for writing, and the Fineliner is not nearly as fine as the Hi-Tec-C.

My least favourite would be the French green Staedtler Triplus Fineliner, which is simply too light for me to use for writing or even for doodling.  The Uni-ball Vision is another pen I don't care for.  It's a blue-tinged green, the ink bleeds and feathers too much, and the pen itself is too scratchy.  The yellow-green Uni Mitsubishi Pure Color-F Double-Sided Sign Pen was also a slight disappointment; although I love the pen itself, the yellow-green colour is simply too light for me.  All three Gelly Rolls are okay, but are not pens that I would actually write with regularly; the Gold Shadow is too inky and the Moonlight too bright.

I have a hard time deciding between the two green highlighters.  The Platinum Preppy highlighter is more of a true green, while the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic is a yellower green.  I like them both!

What pen colours do you collect?  Have you found the perfect green?  Do you have any pen or ink recommendations for me?

(And, just for fun, you can check out my green pen comparison from 2009 and marvel at how my collection has grown.  Also see The Well-Appointed Desk's green pen comparisons from 2012 and 2013.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Question & Answer With A Penchant for Paper

Thank you all for taking the time to send me your questions.  It's been fun to receive them, and now here are your answers!

Plant City Bob asks: "What do you think is the dollar threshold where a fountain pen's writing performance does not get any better if you spend more money? For example does a $100 pen write as good as you're likely to get regardless of what you spend?"

If writing performance is the only criterion, I think that for me the dollar threshold is relatively low.  For example, I was happy with the writing performance of the Platinum Preppy, a $3 disposable fountain pen.  My Lamy Safari also writes very well.  I think that with more expensive pens, you're spending more for other features (metal body instead of plastic, gold nibs, fancy finishes, different filling systems, etc.) rather than just the writing quality.  Personally, I doubt I would want to spend more for any pen than I did for the Lamy Safari just for improved writing performance, although I might spend more for other features.  That said, I don't have a lot of experience with fountain pens yet, the Lamy Safari is the most expensive pen I own, and I can't afford to buy lots of expensive pens anyway.  Maybe if I had every pen in the world at my disposal I would think differently, but right now I am happy with how my cheap pens write and I see no need to spend more money for better writing performance.  In the end, I think it mostly comes down to your personal preferences for writing performance.

An anonymous commenter asks: "How much do you spend each year on pens alone?"

Although I don't keep track exactly, I do not spend much, and I have been trying to spend less.  I think about each purchase - even if it's just a $3 pen - very obsessively carefully before spending anything.  I also simply can't afford to spend too much money on pens.  This year, I haven't bought any pens (or other stationery items) since my massive recent acquisitions post in March (and most of that stuff came from the thrift store, so it cost relatively little).  I estimate that I probably spend $30 to $60 on pens and other stationery a year (more if I buy a single big item, such as last year when I bought my Lamy Safari), which is probably more than the average person, but probably not nearly as much as the average pen blogger.  Right now, I'm focusing on using the supplies I own rather than on buying any new ones (I still have a lot of pens and notebooks that are just sitting around waiting to be used).

MiataGrrl (Tina) asks: "(1) What is the most extravagant or frivolous stationery-type purchase you have ever made? :-) (2) If you were to be stranded on a desert island, what is the one writing/drawing instrument and paper you would take -- and why?"

(1) I don't tend to be very extravagant or frivolous when buying anything.  My family thought my $30 limited-edition green Lamy Safari was extravagant - but I know that most fountain pens are way more expensive than that so it didn't seem like an extravagance to me.  Pens such as the Stardust Gelly Roll (glittery lime green ink!) are probably as frivolous as I get.  I don't really have a good use for pens like that; they're just fun :).  But they're a cheap indulgence.

(2) If I was going to be practical, I'd take a wooden pencil (probably my current favourite, the Staedtler Mars Lumograph) and a Rite in the Rain notebook to a desert island.  These would allow me to continue writing and sketching under any weather conditions.  I could also use the pencil shavings to start a fire (assuming I could find a sharp rock or something to sharpen the pencil with) and use the bright yellow cover of the notebook to flag down passing ships.  If I wasn't going to be practical (if, say, the desert island had a five-star motel on it), I'd bring a dot grid A5 Rhodia Webnotebook with an orange cover (my current favourite notebook), and a 0.35mm black Pentel EnerGel Euro gel pen (my favourite all-round pen for everyday writing).

Jack/Ohio asks: "There's a debate between proponents of keyboarding, often schoolteachers, and proponents of handwriting in print and cursive, often pen manufacturers and writing enthusiasts. The keyboarders cite uniform legibility and other virtues. Handwriting proponents cite low cost of pens and paper and other virtues.  Where do you stand? Should handwriting be de-emphasized in school curricula in favor of keyboarding, or should the printing-and-cursive curriculum remain, with keyboarding regarded as an additional skill?"

I believe that both handwriting and keyboarding are important skills and that both have a place in modern society.  (For me, handwriting helps me to learn new subjects, be more creative, and write more freely, while keyboarding/typing is essential for communicating with others online, editing, and producing finished documents.)  I use both skills regularly everyday.  I think that schools should continue to teach both skills, and to educate students about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Also, youth culture these days tends to be very computer-focused already, so I think that most students will become computer-savvy whether they are taught it in school or not.  I received fairly minimal computer instruction in school (and I'm only in my mid-twenties, so that wasn't that long ago :), and taught myself how to type, but I get along fine today.  Computer technology changes so fast as well, so what students are taught in elementary school may no longer be as relevant by the time they graduate anyway.  I think that schools should focus on timeless skills (such as handwriting) that students may not otherwise be exposed to.

Fleur (The Netherlands) asks: "(1) What is your all time favourite paper / notebook?  (2) How do you make sure you stick to your planners? I'm a teacher and every year I make my own planner and decide to be super organised this year, but somehow I never seem to stick to it. So any tips in that department would be welcome!"

(1) My all-time favourite notebook would be the A5 Rhodia Webnotebook Dot Grid with an orange cover (I currently have the black cover, but I like the orange better!).  It's just perfect - good size (not too small, not too large), amazing paper, and a dot grid format that offers the structure of a grid with the openness of a blank page.  There are other great notebooks out there that I haven't tried yet, but the DotWebbie (and Rhodia paper and pads generally) is my favourite for now.

(2) The main way I remember to use my planner is to keep it near me all the time.  I do most of my work at my desk, so I keep my planner open on the left side of my desk, where I can easily refer to it throughout the day.  As soon as I sit down at my desk in the morning, I open up my planner and plan my schedule for the day.  When I finish at the end of the day, I leave my planner in an obvious place so that it's the first thing I see the next morning.  At university, when I went from class to class, I would take my planner out and have it sitting beside me.  As soon as I received a new assignment, I would write it down.

It's important to set up a habit.  Choose a particular time of the day to enter things into your planner.  It's helpful if you tie this into a habit that you already do, such as eating breakfast, drinking your morning coffee, checking your email, etc.  Right after you do that habit, then take out your planner.  Once you have a planner habit established, it should become easier to stick with it.

I've been using some sort of planner consistently ever since elementary school, so it is difficult for me to answer this question since I have rarely had that problem.  If anyone else has any tips for Fleur, please share them in the comments.

B2-kun asks: "What is your favorite sketching kit for field work: sketchbook brand and size and actual drawing tools?"

My Heinz Jordan Permanent Sketchbook (roughly A5 size with a plain black cover), Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens in Fine and Super-Fine, Lyra Rembrandt Aquarell watercolour pencils (I'd like to try out some other brands of watercolour pencils, but for now these ones are good enough for me), and my Pentel Aquash Waterbrush (medium brush with a compact body).  Or just the super-fine Pitt Pen and the sketchbook if I want to be more minimal.

Jack/Ohio asks: "Is there a market for adult remedial penmanship?"

I think there are a fair number of people who would like to improve their handwriting (I would be one of them!), so possibly.  There seems to be a market for just about anything if you can sell it the right way.

An anonymous commenter asks: "I am a big fan of journaling too, though I never actually made it frequent. When I started keeping a journal in the beginning of July this year, it immediately clicked. However, sometimes I find that the entries need that extra "wow" factor - embellishments maybe? I already glue down ticket stubs and all that but I find myself wanting something extra. Could you maybe help?"

Try different colours and kinds of pens.  Try writing with markers or crayons, or practice with a calligraphy pen.  Doodle around your words; try drawing mandalas or zendalas.  Try sketching; sketch your pen, your desk, your hand, or anything else.  (It doesn't matter if you think you can't draw; try it anyway!)  Make prints of photos you take and glue them in.  Cut out pictures you like from magazines and glue them in.  Use stickers.  Paint the page with a wash of watercolours to add some colour before you write in it.  Experiment with acrylic paints, rubber stamps, stencils, pencil crayons, and anything else.  Just keep trying different things until you find a combination that makes you happy. 

You can also check out my "intro to visual journals" series from last year, especially the first post and "getting started."  I would also recommend Quinn McDonald's book Raw Art Journaling, which is a great introduction to keeping a visual journal and doesn't require you to have any special skills or supplies.  Also check out Daisy Yellow's blog for inspiration, especially her Art Journaling 101 post.

Jack/Ohio asks: "Imagine your writing table in 1913: inkwell, dip and fountain pens, blotting paper or blotting sand, etc. Look at your writing table in 2013. Imagine your writing table in 2113. How will your writing table in 2113 be different?"

This is a hard question!  I'd probably still have some wooden pencils, because they seem to me to be a basic item that will always have a place.  And some fountain pens and inks.  Maybe fountain pens will be more mainstream in 2113, since the growing need to reduce waste will encourage more users to explore long-lasting, refillable options rather than cheap, disposable pens.  As for the computer side of things... I have absolutely no idea, as I'm not really into computers (my current laptop is 7 years old and I don't even own a cell phone, let alone an iPad or anything like that).  I'm not very good at making predictions for the future!

Windi asks: "What is that one song that you'll never get tired of listening to?"

I don't listen to music often, but two songs that come to mind are "Utopia" by Brendan Perry and "The Drunk Priest" by Damanta.  Absolutely love both of those.  (Sorry that was two instead of one, but I can't decide between the two of them!)

Jack/Ohio asks: "(1) Imagine a world in which your words are rationed, maybe 1000 words a year, or pick another figure. What do you write about? (2) Is there anything used by the writing community that's at least worth a brief post, but is often overlooked, ignored, or underrated? (I'll nominate scrap paper. I'll have stacks of it cut into fourths at my local copy shop for next to nothing. I once had a pile of 3" X 8" ads cheaply bound with reinforced tape and cardboard backing. I still use 'em.)"

(1) If my words were rationed, I'd write fiction, specifically my current novel.  That is simply the most important piece of writing to me right now, and the one that is closest to my heart.  (And if you're interesting in reading more about my current novel and my other writing projects, you can check out this post on my other blog.)

(2) This is another hard question!  It seems like if you look hard enough, you can almost always find someone writing about just about anything...  Scrap paper is a good one; I use that everyday myself for rough notes and to-do lists.  Maybe binder clips (and other kinds of clips and fasteners); I use them every day as well to hold together stacks of scrap paper.  Pencil accessories such as erasers, pencil sharpeners, and refill leads don't get mentioned much.  Also, the stationery community generally seems to be moving more towards fountain pens and inks and so I don't think cheaper ballpoints and gel pens are being talked about now quite as much as they were when I started this blog.

Armando asks: "(1) Do you use your pens until completely empty? It is hard to say for felt tip pens but is funny to watch gel pens, last week I finished one in just 3 days.  (2) Which is the best felt tip pen you use?  (3) Some time ago you made a review of the Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen, which I really like to use. Have you tested the Marker version?  (4) How many journals you use to carry, besides for drawing, just for writing?"

(1) I nearly always use my pens until the ink is completely empty.  The only exceptions would be pens that are so awful I can't bring myself to use them (such as these, which I ended up giving to the thrift store) and any that break or become unusable in some way (such as some of these disappointing pens).  It can take me quite a while to use up any one pen, since I have so many of them on the go at a time.  Three days is fast!

(2) The Staedtler Triplus Fineliners would probably be my favourite felt tip pens.  I've used those pens for years.  They come in lots of different colours, are a neat triangular shape, and the ink is supposedly "dry safe" (though I've never tested that particular property).  The Stabilo Point 88 pens are also nice; they come in a lot of colours and are very inexpensive.  And I love the Uni Mitsubishi Pure Color-F Double Sided Sign Pens, but I haven't been using these as long, and they're probably a lot harder than the other two to find outside of online stores.

(3) I haven't tried the Marker/Sign Pen version of the Platinum Preppy yet.  I have tried the Preppy Highlighter, though, which I think would probably be fairly similar to the Marker, except with a differently shaped tip.  Have any other readers tried the Platinum Preppy Marker Pen?  If so, what did you think of it?

(4) I have only one main journal for writing, which is currently in an unlined orange covered Rhodia Webnotebook.  I used to write in it daily, but now I'm more irregular.  I also have a black-covered dot grid Webbie, that I write in less often for specific projects.  When the unlined notebook is filled I want to switch my journal into the dot grid notebook, because I prefer writing in it.  I also have a poetry journal, a commonplace book, and a few others, but none of these get used very often.  (You can also check out last year's notebook round-up, but some of the notebooks in that post have since been filled up.)  So the answer to your question is usually just one, sometimes two, and occasionally more!


That's all for now, and thanks so much for the questions, everyone!  (And a special thanks to Jack for all of his questions.  They were great!)  If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.  (Though please note that I'm going to be away this weekend, so I may not be able to respond to your comments/questions until next week.)  I may do another one of these posts one day, but remember that you can always send me an email at any time if you have a question.

Thank you all so much again, and see you next week!

Link Love: 5 Favourite Tutorials

For the month of August I've decided to participate in Daisy Yellow's mission to share the link love.  Each Friday in August has a different theme of links to share.  This Friday is tutorials.  Five of my favourite art/creativity tutorials are:

  1. How to Make a Watercolor Chart by Jennifer Frith - I love grids and charts and playing with watercolours, so this is just about perfect.  I made a similar chart with my watercolour pencils a while back, but I didn't measure or use a ruler and just drew the boxes freehand - it was a lot messier than this but it still worked!
  2. Paper Flowers and Painted Tacks by Holly Becker - These would look great on my bulletin board - and I have a lot of leftover origami paper from my days of folding origami that I could use to make them with.
  3. File It, a tutorial on making neon-coloured mini file folders from Artsyville - I don't use file folders very much, but these might come in handy to organize my stash of papers and ephemera.  I love the brilliant colours that she used.
  4. How to Make Your Own Planner by iHanna - One of my very most favourite posts EVER, and the original inspiration behind my own DIY planner.  iHanna's tutorial is very detailed and has a lot of photos, so check it out if you're interested in trying a DIY planner for yourself.
  5. Making a Ring Storage Box by Planet Millie - This last tutorial has nothing to do with paper, but I thought it was awesome anyway.  I would make one for myself except that I only own two rings that I never wear!

That's all for this Friday!  If you're looking for my question and answer post, don't worry; it's on the way and I'll be posting it later today.
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