I got this passport sized traveler’s notebook from 11_11Handmadeph because I thought it would be nice to carry something smaller for a change. My journals are always so big and heavy. I figured I wanted something that’s easy to whip out and lighter to carry around. I decided to try 11_11Handmadeph because I met the maker behind it a couple of years ago during the Fountain Pen Day at SM Aura, and one of the members showed me her nice, fat, white TN that she had with her. I think that’s called natural colored leather, and the patina on that piece was gorgeous. I made a mental note to try out this journal when I decided to give a passport-sized TN a try. It’s a bit hard to buy leather TNs through shopping online because I really like to touch the leather first and make sure that I like how it feels first, so I’m grateful I got to touch one of 11_11Handmadeph’s journal before I decided to get one.
I like that the seller (Anne) was responsive and accommodating to my questions. She showed me photos of the color that I liked and we finalized the transaction in a matter of minutes. It was shipped promptly and I received it in this carefully wrapped package.
Part of what I really like about handmade goods is the kind of personalized care that makers put in everything, including the wrapping. I was excited to open the package, and of course I was so delighted to see the handwritten note and this little slip of paper that introduced the product and provided a guide on how to take care of it properly.
My first thought when I touched the leather of the journal was that I’m glad the quality of the leather is the same as I remember it. It was delightful to touch the smooth texture of the leather and see the little creases and natural markings that show the unique character of the leather hide.
This leather is just the right thickness that I like. It doesn’t feel floppy or overly tough. The cover retains its shape when I open and close the journal. I also like the quality of the elastics they used on it. It feels firm and secure. It’s also not overly thick. I like the color Anne picked for this journal, it matches really well.
I also really liked how the holes in this journal are placed. Unlike my other traveler’s notebooks, the holes are placed along the spine and not at the rear flap. This means that I don’t feel the knot of the elastic when I lay the journal flat while writing.
The holes for the inserts don’t look too intrusive, and it gives me four strands of elastic inside. Plenty of room if you’re into chunky TN setups, but it’s really more than enough for me since I usually only use 3 inserts. I like how the edges are neatly burnished and rounded.
It also has this cute little bookmark. I’m supposing it has a letter P on it because of my name, I thought that was a nice touch. The velvety part of the leather inside was not too fluffy, I’m not sure what the term is. Overall, it just looked nice and clean. From the way the elastics are laid out to the burnished edges, rounded corners, the cut…everything about it is just nice and neat. I love that.
The journal comes with two inserts; one with cream-colored paper and one white. They’re pretty nice too. The paper is fountain pen friendly, it took even my broad nibs without any bleeding at the back. I can’t wait to customize some inserts for this journal.
Overall, I really am quite pleased with this journal. The product is well-made and uses good quality leather, and the maker behind it was really pleasant to deal with.