Pebble Stationery Co. Midnight Edition Notebook

In my last post, I was talking about my search for Tomoe River pocket notebooks. Another great option is from Pebble Stationery Co! They Kickstarted their first pocket notebooks in 2018 and have since expanded to A5 Cahiers and leather covers. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Midnight limited edition.

Specs:

  • 2-pack for $12.99
  • 52gsm white Tomoe River paper
  • 4mm dot grid
  • 80 pages
  • pocket size, 3.5” x 5.5”
  • covered stitched spine
  • 350gsm cardstock cover
  • black edged pages!

The Midnight is a very appealing notebook to me, because of its superior paper and the “stealthy” design. The cover is made of a thick cardstock with embedded sparkles in it, making it look like a starry night sky! Pebble Stationery Co. is printed in metallic black in the bottom right of the cover. The edges are covered in a matte black ink, further adding to the stealthiness. The binding is stitched with blue thread. The overall effect of the notebook is sleek and beautiful! It reminds me of the long-gone Field Notes Night Sky, which had foiled starry back covers. I love how the sparkle is subtle and most obvious under direct light. Compared to the Elemental Paper Electron I just reviewed, the cover is thinner and lighter but should still hold up.

There’s a thin belly band keeping the two notebooks together. Inside the cover is a place to write your name, contact information, dates, location, and content. The inside is a pleasing icy blue, matching the stitching. Inside the back cover is more information about the Midnight Edition. The notebook lays relatively flat once I press down on it but the cover springs up afterwards.

Inside is 80 pages of 52gsm Tomoe River paper! Because of its slimness, the Midnight packs in more paper than the average Field Notes. The ruling is 4mm dot grid, smaller than the 5mm that I’m used to. Because of this, my handwriting skewed smaller in this notebook than in a Field Notes or Story Supply Co. The dots themselves are light gray and inconspicuous. They’re much more subtle compared to the large Baron Fig dots and most comparable to the dots in Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.

There’s lot’s of shading and sheen as always in the 52gsm TR paper. I didn’t even try the gel pens this time, they would smear everywhere! Dry time is very long, from 30 seconds to a minute for fountain pens. I tried hard not to rub my hand across the paper this time. Show through was heavy. It’s still not the most practical paper in a pocket notebook. But if you want the best paper, Tomoe River is it.

Compared to the Electron, the Midnight feels a bit more fragile. I would be more careful with how I store this notebook. Before the pandemic, I carried notebooks in a zippered pocket in my backpack. The Midnight would do well there, but I’d be careful storing it in a pants pocket. Both of them are more expensive than the average Field Notes but that is because of the great paper. The Midnight only comes in a 2-pack which is a bit low but there’s almost enough paper inside for two more notebooks if they had the same page count as Field Notes! My other issue is that the company is situated in Australia so it took about two weeks for my notebooks to arrive but I was expecting delays anyways.

If you’re looking for a well-designed pocket notebook with quality Tomoe River, Pebble Stationery Co. has you covered! I love the unique elements like the black edges and the starry cover. The Midnight is a limited edition and will run out eventually so get it while you can. Pebble Stationery Co. also donates a pencil to a child in need for each notebook pack you buy, which is wonderful!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review.

Elemental Paper Electron Notebook Review

I’m always searching for pocket notebooks with quality paper. So far, I’ve tried Field Notes, Write Notepads, Story Supply Co, Fabriano, even a mini Leuchtturm1917. The stapled Write Notepads are my favorite because they’re slightly bigger, use bright white fountain pen friendly paper, and have beautiful designs. But I use mostly Tomoe River for my story notebooks. So I thought, why not try TR pocket notebooks? There aren’t many options out there, excluding plain inserts. I like my pocket notebooks to use sturdy covers and look pretty! Today, I’ll be reviewing the Elemental Paper Electron Notebook which has 96 pages of white 52gsm Tomoe River paper. 

Specs: 

  • 3-pack of notebooks for $16
  • 52gsm white Tomoe River paper
  • blue lines, with spaces in between
  • 96 pages
  • pocket size, 3.5” x 5.5”
  • sturdy leatherette cover
  • stitched binding

The Electron notebooks come in packs of three, with a sturdy slipcover to contain them. There’s interesting information about electrons on the back cover. The covers are made of a “leatherette” material, which is soft and supple in my hands. It’s a lovely navy blue cover with E-, the sign for electron, imprinted in the bottom right edge. On the back, is Elemental with a periodic table around the E. I love the design, especially the stitched binding that makes it lay more flat than staples would. 

I can bend the entire notebook, which is a good sign if you stuff yours in your backpack. I carried an Unobtanium pocket notebook in my bag for several months and it held up perfectly, except for some gouges on the cover. One issue with leatherette is that it can scratch easily. I don’t really care how dinged up mine get. It adds character and I usually put a big sticker on the front anyways. The cover also sticks up after opening it, but most pocket notebooks don’t.

Inside are matching navy blue endpapers with an electron shell diagram and blank periodic table where you can print your name. I like that the Electron has endpapers because it helps protect the thin Tomoe River inside. There’s 96 pages inside, two times more compared to the Field Notes’ 48.

The white 52gsm Tomoe River paper is a nice change from the usual porous Field Notes I use. The Electron has 6mm blue lines, which aren’t too distracting. There is also a dash subtracted from the line every 6mm, another quirky but visually interesting aspect. I really like how Elemental Paper plays with ruling, like using bright green reticle in the now sold out Uranium and the dashed lines in the Electron. Most notebooks use the same gray lines or dots but I like to see different rulings. 

There is plenty of shading and sheen, even in such a tiny space! However, the main issue with using TR paper in a pocket notebook shows up very quickly. I’m left-handed and it’s already a struggle to keep my ink from smearing in an A5 notebook. Here, it’s even worse because the page is so small! The Pilot Precise V5, Pilot Juice, and Papermate Inkjoy smeared  under my hand. The Papermate Inkjoy dried quickly but it has a bit of bleed through. I would only use fountain pens in this notebook.

Fountain pens take a long time to dry, from 30 seconds to a minute. This is annoying for a pocket notebook that you will be opening and shutting quickly. However, if you know what you’re getting into, TR is still the most fountain pen friendly paper ever. I’m just not sure if it’s right for me as a leftie. There’s also plenty of showthrough, which can be distracting but is normal for 52gsm TR paper. I still like it better than the paper in the Unobtanium, which sucked up fountain pen ink and feathered everywhere. 

Overall, I love the design and paper of the Electron. Despite it being harder to use without smearing, I will enjoy using this more with my fountain pen inks instead of sticking to ball points in Field Notes. There’s still 500+ Electrons left before they sell out at Elemental Paper’s website!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review.

Elemental Paper Uranium Notebook Review

The last time I reviewed a notebook from Elemental Paper, the Nitrogen, I loved the thoughtful design but was disappointed by the quality of the paper. Since then, Elemental started using Tomoe River paper, my favorite! I loved the Proton and sold out Iodine and was excited to see new notebooks. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Uranium. It has interesting qualities that make it stand out among other A5 Tomoe River notebooks. It uses a lime green reticle grid that glows under black light! I’ll dive into this notebook more in the upcoming paragraphs.

Specs:

  • 52gsm white Tomoe River paper
  • $18
  • bright green reticle grid (reticle means tiny crosses)
  • 352 pages
  • A5 size
  • gray linen cover
  • two bookmarks (one glows under black light)

The Uranium feels luxurious, with a gray cloth cover, green foil stamping on the spine, and the emission spectrum printed on the edges. It makes a great impression. It reminds me of the stylish design of my Baron Fig notebooks. Uranium comes in a sturdy slipcase that protected it from any damage in transit. The front shows the element from the periodic table while the back has more information on Uranium’s properties. The cloth feels nice to run my hand across. Of course, it is more susceptible to staining and dust than a plastic or paper cover. One negative for me is that the cloth is stretched unevenly across the notebook, which didn’t occur in my Iodine or Nitrogen. However, this might just be my notebook. Two bookmarks, one yellow and one green (it glows under backlight) extend from the cover. They are long enough to grasp easily, a positive compared to the stubby Baron Fig bookmark. The Uranium is a standard A5 size so it should fit into external covers.

The inside shows more thoughtful design! The endpapers are bright green and have a Bohr model one one side and a periodic table where you can fill in your name on the other. The back has a small logo and information about Elemental Paper. The Uranium lies completely flat, except for the first and last pages which are glued.

The paper is white 52gsm Tomoe River paper, which means it will handle any fountain pens you throw at it! I saw plenty of shading and sheen in Iroshizuko Kujaku. I see more sheen and shading on 52gsm than 68gsm, which is my usual go-to. I haven’t used 52gsm in a while, so I forgot how long it takes gel pens to dry on this paper. My Pilot Juice pen smeared all over! I don’t recommend using those. Papermate Inkjoy dried quickly but it actually bled through in spots. So did my rollerball Pilot Precise V5. So I’d stick to pencil, fast drying pens, or fountain pens on this paper.

I tried several different inks on this paper, and there was some clashing with the bright green reticle. Of course greens and blues blended in more while my Bungubox Sweet Love Pink looked a bit strange! However, I still love the idea of this colored grid and it doesn’t bother me too much. The reticle grid seems to be ink repellent but doesn’t stick out as badly as the large dots in a Baron Fig do.

The grid itself is a perfect size for me, large enough to guide my writing but not dominating the page. I compared the Uranium with my two Nanami Crossfield notebooks (the old edition had larger reticle crosses) and it was most similar to the old edition. The crosses on the new Crossfield are so small and dark that they look like dots. As a lover of the old edition, this is a great replacement for when I fill up that Crossfield.

One negative is that there’s a lot of show through. 52gsm white paper especially seems to have this effect. This is what turned me off from 52gsm in the first place. However, the ghosting becomes less prominent when you write on the backside, until it becomes less noticeable. If you hate show through, I’d recommend the 68gsm, but 52gsm is still great.

Overall, I love the Uranium notebook! It’s so delightfully nerdy that it makes me smile when I look at it. It’s also a good replacement for the old Crossfield if you loved a bigger reticle grid. This edition is selling fast, and there’s only 140 notebooks left! You can buy it on their website here. Sadly, this is one of the last notebooks Elemental Paper will be making, as they decided to close their business to focus on family. I’m very sad to hear that, and I wish the creators luck on their future ventures!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

GLP Creations The Author Notebook

I have quite a hoard of 68gsm Tomoe River notebooks! From the Hippo Noto to the Taroko Enigma to the Endless Works Recorder, there is now many notebooks that use this wonderful paper. GLP Creations’ Author notebook makes a niche through its availability on Amazon. It also is a slim A5 size, smaller than the regular A5. This makes it portable and light, especially with only 192 pages.

Specs:

  • 68gsm white Tomoe River paper
  • $27.99 on Amazon
  • 192 pages
  • comes in lined, dot grid, and blank
  • 5.3 in x 8.26 in, slimmer in width than regular A5
  • softcover

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My Author notebook has a teal, pebbly faux leather cover. It’s soft to the touch and flexible. With its flexibility, it should last in my bag. The notebooks come in teal, red, gray, black and brown, navy blue and green, with the option of blank, lined or dot grid. The ribbon is long, but it isn’t sealed off so it might unravel. There is an aqua elastic band that will keep it closed. I don’t find it to lay as flat as the Endless Works Recorder. Whenever I try to flatten it down, the front cover flips the book closed. There’s a logo on the backside. The back pocket is nice but doesn’t expand much. Comparing it to a Taroko Enigma, the Author is narrower but the same length.

The inside has a few pages of stiff cardstock where you can print your name and address and fill in a table of contents. I think it’s formatted well except that the headers are jet-black. I’d prefer for headers to be a light gray.

The inside has the same 68gsm Tomoe River I know and love. If you want to see a more in-depth review of the paper, read my Hippo Noto review. Fountain pens shine on it, showing shading and sheen. I like that the page numbers are a light gray, matching with the lining. However, the lines are dotted and thick, distracting to me. I’d prefer if they were much thinner, like the lines in Hippo Noto notebooks.

Overall, I enjoy the slim A5 size and flexible teal cover of this notebook! The paper inside is delightful of course. However, the lines are thick and the price is quite expensive for the number of pages you get. If you’re looking for a slim and portable Tomoe River notebook, I would recommend the Author!

I bought these notebooks with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

Fabriano Ecoqua Pocket Notebook Review

After being pleasantly surprised by the paper in the Fabriano Ecoqua Gluebound, I bought a 4 pack of pocket notebooks at my local Plaza Art. Write Notepads and Story Supply Co. are my favorites for pocket carry but I’m always searching for more options.

Specs: 

  • 4 pack, in “warm” and “cool” colors
  • 85gsm “Bioprima” ivory acid-free paper
  • $9.50-11.00
  • 32 sheets, 64 pages
  • 3.5″ x 5.5″, pocket size
  • 4mm dot grid
  • staplebound

The Fabriano Ecoqua Pocket Notebooks come in a set of four “warm” colors, red, orange, yellow and green. There is also a “cool” set available. They have a bellyband and a packet with more information about Fabriano. The cover is made of a thick textured paper that stands up to daily carry well. “Fabriano” and “Made in Italy” are printed in faint silver ink on the back. The paper corners are rounded off. Compared to the gluebound, I think these notebooks would hold up well in my bag. Two staples hold the notebook together. It could use another staple because it’s hard for this notebook to stay flat.

The paper is the same as the gluebound, ivory with light 4mm dots. The paper holds up well to pencil, gel pen, and fountain pen use. There is shading and a bit of sheen, and no feathering! Show through is minimal. The Inkjoy and Zebra Sarasa shows through more than my fountain pens. The pages are slightly textured, providing a pleasant tooth when writing. The second half of the notebook has perforations for tearing out pages. It tore out cleanly when I tried.

One issue I found was that the dry time for fountain pens was longer than I’d like. It took 10 seconds for the ink to dry. This is okay for larger notebooks but in pocket notebooks, I write quickly then close the book. Write Notepads also has a long dry time of 10 seconds but Story Supply Co. takes only 3 seconds! I also found it hard to make the Fabriano stay flat because of its two staples and thick paper. Finally, part of my notebook cover is discolored but that’s not too much of a problem, just annoying.

These notebooks are a great deal for the price! I love how they include four books instead of three, contain great paper, and come in fun colors. I recommend them if you want quality notebooks for a good price.

I bought these notebooks with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

Endless Works Recorder Notebook Review

I’m always on the search for new 68gsm Tomoe River notebooks. After I bought a Hippo Noto, I fell in love with this fountain pen friendly paper. Luckily, more brands always seem to be popping up! Today, I’ll be reviewing the Endless Works Recorder notebook.

Specs:

  • white 68gsm Tomoe River paper
  • $22.95
  • 96 sheets, 192 pages
  • 5.8″ x 8.25″, A5
  • 5mm dot grid, also lined and blank available
  • numbered pages, elastic closure, inner pocket, table of contents, 16 perforated pages

The Endless Works Recorder comes off as well-designed. I didn’t receive a cloth bag like some reviewers did, but it was packaged nicely and I got a sticker with my purchase. The cover is a red pebbly leatherette which seems sturdy enough to last in my bag. There is a dash and three dots on the bottom of the front cover, which is the logo for Endless. On the back is “Endless” in capital letters. The branding isn’t too obvious. Even better, the notebook has a sky blue elastic band to keep it closed. I wish more notebooks had this feature. There is a matching blue bookmark too. I like how slim and light the notebook is with only 192 pages, though it doesn’t come cheap.

The inside has a thoughtful dot design along with the dot dash logo. There’s a space to put your name. The table of contents is only two pages, but it should last long enough. I wish the headers weren’t such a dark color. The back pocket works perfectly well. The notebook also lays flat!

The Recorder notebook has the same 68gsm TR paper I enjoy so much. There is plenty of shading and sheen. The show-through is quite obvious but I get used to it as I use up a notebook. The dots are a bit dark for my taste, however, and the page numbers are also dark and obvious. I think the dots could be one row longer on the horizontal. I also noticed that the page numbers are placed unevenly as I flip through the book. That’s quite annoying to me. Kelli at Mountain of Ink pointed this out in her review.

I like this notebook, but it’s a little expensive for the number of pages inside. However, I’m happy to see any new brands that use 68gsm TR paper. Endless needs to fix some of the quality control and design issues and it will have an even better notebook. You can buy this notebook from several stores, including Endless, Pen Chalet, and Dromgoole’s.

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

 

 

Fabriano Ecoqua Gluebound Notebook Review

I bought the Fabriano Ecoqua Gluebound notebook at my school bookstore some time ago. I’ve seen the Fabriano brand in art stores before but not commonly elsewhere. So I picked it up, not realizing that it was gluebound! It’s not my favorite binding but I think the notebook will be useful for people who want to tear out notes or make lists. Here’s my review:

Specs: 

  • 85gsm “Bioprima” acid-free paper
  • $5.20-6.50, based on where you buy it
  • 90 sheets, 180 pages
  • 5.8″ x 8.25″, A5
  • 4mm dot grid
  • gluebound

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The Fabriano Gluebound is a slim A5 notebook with a textured paper cover. Mine is gray, but there are several bright colors to choose from. Fabriano is printed faintly on the front in silver ink and it looks classy. The corners aren’t rounded so they could get dinged up easily. Some of the paper sticks out from the edge. I don’t think the notebook would last long in my backpack with its thin, light construction. This is more of a desk pad to me.

Inside is a slim block of 85gsm paper. It’s cool to see the binding on the side. The notebook lays flat easily due to being gluebound. However, I’m not sure how sturdy the binding is. I’ve seen reviews where people say the pages tear out by themselves, but that hasn’t happened so far for me. The pages are easy to tear out and don’t leave any pieces behind.

Now, onto the paper! The dot grid is smaller, 4mm compared to the average 5mm. However, the dots are light and fade into the background easily. The paper has some texture to it, that my finer fountain pens catch on. However, I like some texture when I’m writing. It’s not as toothy as Baron Fig paper, but not as smooth as Tomoe River.

I was surprised by the quality of the paper! It shows some shading and even a bit of golden sheen in my sample of Taccia Momo. I didn’t see any feathering or spreading of ink. The paper is ivory but shows off the ink well. Pencils do well on the textured paper. However, I felt like my finer pens felt more scratchy. The showthrough isn’t bad either. The juicy Zebra Sarasa and Pentel Energel left more showthrough. I’d use both sides of the page. It took 10 seconds for fountain pen ink to dry. It’s a good budget option for fountain pens.

I’d suggest using this notebook for taking quick notes and making lists. Don’t use this as a journal or repository for important writing because the pages are meant to be torn out. I’ll use this for making lists of my homework and tasks to complete. They are also easy to find online or in art supply stores. There are several types of Fabriano Ecoqua notebooks, including in pocket-sized, staplebound and spiralbound versions. I bought a pack of Fabriano pocket notebooks so look for a review of those soon!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

Goulet Notebook with 68gsm Tomoe River Paper Review

Sorry for not posting recently! My school closed because of coronavirus so I’m back at home now. Things are scary right now and I’m glad I’m with my family. I also have all my notebooks and fountain pens. Self-isolation gives me more time for reviewing at least…

Goulet Pens is a staple of the stationery sphere online. I bought my first fountain pen, a teal Pilot Metropolitan, from there in 2016! Not only does it sell pens, notebooks, and ink, but it also sells its own brand of Goulet Notebooks. Their brand fills a niche of slim, Tomoe River inserts that can easily be slipped into a cover. I’ve seen plenty of them on Etsy but I’m glad that Goulet makes their own that are simple and inexpensive. I don’t use inserts, but I bought a Lined A5 Goulet Notebook with 68gsm Tomoe River paper to try out. I prefer lines, but they are not always available with 68gsm paper.

Specs: 

  • White 68gsm Tomoe River paper
  • A5 size
  • 7mm lines
  • 64 pages
  • rounded corners

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The Goulet Notebook comes in a plastic wrap with a sticker on the front. Otherwise, there’s no branding. There’s no easy way to tell what the front or back is, so I stuck on a cute bee sticker that was included with my purchase. The notebook is slim and light. It’s a standard A5 size so it will fit into a cover. The cover is textured but not very sturdy. There’s 64 pages inside, which isn’t as many as the 96 pages inside of the 52gsm version. However, this paper is thicker and the type I prefer to use.

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The inside is luscious 68gsm white Tomoe River with lines, my favorite! However, it doesn’t live up to the dotted light-gray lines in the Hippo Noto. The lines are a bit too dark for my taste. The pages lay flat easily.

The paper is perfect of course. All my fountain pens showed shading and sheen. None of my nibs felt scratchy on the paper. There was no feathering. It took 20 seconds for my fountain pen ink to dry. The best part is that 68gsm TR has much less show through than its 52gsm cousin. I compared the showthrough on the back page of the Goulet Notebook with the back page of a Nanami Cafe Note B6. There’s much more with the thinner paper, which makes it annoying to use. It is easier to use the back once you write on it, but I still prefer 68gsm for its thickness.

Overall, the Goulet Notebook is a good choice if you want inexpensive Tomoe River paper, enjoy slim notebooks, or need inserts for a cover. But if you want a bigger journal, you should look elsewhere. The Goulet Notebook comes in several sizes and with 52 and 68gsm paper. Sadly, Goulet Pens isn’t fulfilling orders because of coronavirus. But when they are back, this notebook is a great choice to add to your cart.

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

My Favorite Back to School Supplies

As a student, the stationery I use is essential to me! I like incorporating my favorite hobby into school while having pretty lecture notes. Although some students at my university use laptops, plenty of us still use paper and pens. Actually, writing notes by hand helps students to retain information better. So I wrote up a list of my favorite notebooks, pens, and pencils, among other items, that I use in my daily life.

Some factors that influenced my choices were price and accessibility. A student’s budget is much different than an adult’s when it comes to stationery. You can find notebooks for cheap, but they may not have the best paper. But other fountain pen friendly notebooks, like Tomoe River, are unsuited for taking quick notes. I like to splurge on stationery so my recommendations may be more money than some people are willing to pay for. For current students, check out your college bookstore. They stock Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks at mine! Here’s my daily carries:

Quo Vadis Scholar Weekly Planner, $16

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I found this planner at my college bookstore. They have a huge collection of Quo Vadis planners, from A6 size to 6 x 9 inches and with pretty covers. This is my third one, after using one each year! The Scholar has thick, bright white Clairefontaine 90g paper. It comes in a weekly format with plenty of space for each page, which is much more useful to me as a student than a page-a-day planner. Monthly spreads are helpful for writing down exam dates and paper due dates. A review of the Scholar is coming soon!

Kokuyo B5 Soft Ring, $11.75 at JetPens

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I love these notebooks because they have soft plastic rings that don’t bite into my hand as I write (yes I’m a leftie). They have silky, thick ivory paper with light 7mm lines, perfect for fountain pens. The paper doesn’t take too long to dry either. Mine have 80 sheets/160 pages, enough for my copious note taking.

Clairefontaine A4 Spiral Bound, $7 at Goulet Pens

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For Latin class, I need a giant notebook for me to stuff all my notes and tears into. The Clairefontaine A4 does the job. It has enough space for writing down all the declensions and conjugations my heart desires. It’s also super sturdy and lasts the entire semester in my bag. It has 50 sheets/100 pages.

Pilot Metropolitan and Kakuno, Lamy Safari

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The Pilot Metropolitan and Kakuno are often considered the best beginner fountain pens. They’ve been part of my collection since the beginning. I don’t feel too bad about losing them so they are carried around the most. I love their smooth M nibs that show off shading and sheen. The Lamy Safari is light but balanced in my hand. I love its slightly pebbly texture. It has a juicy M nib.

Blackwing pencils

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This is certainly the more expensive choice of pencils, but I have no self control when it comes to limited editions. I love how smooth these pencils are. They put down lovely dark lines. The limited edition pencils are gorgeous. My favorite is the Blackwing 54, which I reviewed here. It has a Surrealism art theme. I use them for Latin and math classes, where I can erase my mistakes easily.

Papermate Flair

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If I don’t use a fountain pen, I use a Papermate Flair. They’re cheap, come in numerous colors, and take only a few seconds to dry. I like color coding notes in Latin with them, or with their cousin, the Papermate Inkjoys.

Nock Co. Holdout, $25 

IMG_0646The Holdout is a sturdy case that can hold three fountain pens. I don’t need to carry my entire collection around (but sometimes I still do lol). I love Nock Co. cases because they are made of flexible canvas instead of leather. I don’t worry about tossing it into my backpack.

Other Supplies:

  • Mini stapler
  • earbuds
  • sticky notes/tabs
  • Blank index cards for Latin and Art History
  • Anker battery charger

Self explanatory. My mini stapler has saved me when a paper is due but there’s no stapler in the vicinity! Earbuds are essential on campus when you’re studying in the library, walking to class, sitting on the grass chilling out, etc. I also carry around flashcards in a plastic case because Latin and Art History classes use up SO MANY of them. Another essential is a battery charger. My phone loses battery so quickly that I carry one around in case. I bought an Anker one on Amazon for around $25.

I hope you enjoyed my daily carry post! It was fun to write.

Notebook Shopping at Target

I loved back to school shopping as a child! It was the one time where I was allowed to pick out a giant stack of notebooks, pens, pencils and other stationery. I stalked the aisles, grabbing enough supplies to last the whole year and then some. Some of my favorite notebooks had floral designs, T.V. show characters, or glittery covers. There were fun trends too, like the year everyone bought Japanese erasers and bendy rulers! As much as I love fountain pen friendly stationery, the designs are often muted and boring in comparison. So I decided to look for that childhood wonder at my local Target. The mission was to find cute, but fountain pen friendly composition notebooks. Yes, I was inspired by Les from Comfortable Shoes Studio and her reviews of back to school notebooks. 🙂 I tested paper using an EF Blackwing, Sharpie Pen, Papermate Flair and Papermate Inkjoy, along with my currently inked pens.

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My go to used to be Studio C, which always had pretty covers but also had paper that showed off shading and sheen! Unfortunately, they went out of business and don’t show up on shelves anymore. 😦 My stockpile won’t last me forever, so I was looking for a replacement. Here are the specs for one of mine:

Studio C College Ruled Composition Book

  • 100 sheets
  • $3.49

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The one I tested was from the Silver Linings collection. I love the silver tape and motivational quote, “Live Your Dreams” on the front cover. The inside is just as lovely as the inside. The lines are college ruled and a pale blue. The paper skews cooler than the other notebooks I tested. It is wonderful for fountain pens, showing shading and sheen! The notebook is durable. The cover is made of thick cardstock that doesn’t bend easily.

Mead College Ruled Comp Book

  • 70 sheets
  • 99 cents

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The hot pink cover and tape lured me in, despite the ugly page of coupons attached. The plastic cover is sturdy enough despite not being cardstock. It also has a plastic page sandwiched in between the cover and pages which is nice. However, the paper inside was disappointing. It was rough under my pen. In my drying test, the ink was absorbed in under three seconds. The lines are a dark blue and don’t blend in. Nibs were a size larger on this paper. There was no shading, only a flat color. I saw feathering too. There was show through and bleeding too. I don’t recommend this paper! Even my Blackwing felt unpleasant.

Mead Five Star College Ruled Composition Book

  • 100 sheets
  • $2.49

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I was really hoping this could live up to the Studio C, but sadly it doesn’t. It has has 100 sheets but is a lower price. The cover has white tape and a pretty image of swirling paint.  The plastic cover sticks to the front and back pages so I have to pull them apart every time I open the notebook. My writing size stayed close to normal instead of increasing in width. There was also shading. But there was feathering in my larger nibs. My blue inks, like PenBBS #44 and Bungubox June Bride seemed to bleed through to the back more than Kobe Arima Amber. I could still use this with smaller nibs and red colors apparently. Show through is okay except for blue and green inks which bled more!

More than Magic Wide Ruled Composition Book

  • 80 sheets
  • $1.99

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This was the best notebook of all! I only wish it came in college ruled and had more pages. More Than Magic is a Target brand that sells sparkly, holographic, cosmic- themed school supplies. I was attracted to their “stand” instantly, guess I’m still a child at heart. 😀 The notebook has holographic tape and writing that says “Find your light” behind a purple space background. Inside is another quote, “You are amazing”. The lines are wide ruled and not too dark for me. This was the best paper yet! All my pens behaved well, with shading and a bit of sheen. No feathering either. It took longer to dry fully, 15 seconds, but that means ink had time to pool and create shading. There was a negligible amount of show through on the back.

West Emory Composition Book

  • 50 sheets
  • Forgot the price

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I know this wasn’t a real composition book despite being labeled one. But I couldn’t resist the holographic cover. This notebook had light gray lines and space at the top for headings. Sadly, the paper also was absorbant, so ink took only five seconds to dry. My lines increased in width. There was splotching where ink usually pools. Show through wasn’t bad except for the PenBBS #44, which is a very pigmented ink.

Overall, if you’re looking for cute, colorful composition books I’d check out More than Magic, Mead Five Star if you experiment with inks that work, or Studio C if you find any remaining stock!