Tag: alunsina journals

Today’s Art Journal Page


Earlier today, I wrote an entry about being in pickle. I included a pickle jar haha. I always like to include simple watercolor paintings in my journal entries when I have time. It could go both ways since watercolor is a pretty unforgiving medium. Sometimes I make mistakes on my paintings and leave them as is. After all, mistakes are a part of life. I often go back and leaf through the pages and find a terrible watercolor painting and laugh at myself for it, haha.


Part of what makes it enjoyable, for me, is that I don’t take myself too seriously. 🙂 When art journaling stops being fun, perhaps one should consider taking a step back and taking stock of why it’s not fun anymore. I don’t edit myself when I write in my journal. The grammar doesn’t need to be perfect, either. If there’s one place where we can write honestly and be able to embrace ourselves, successes and failures included, it should be in our personal writings.


I used Kuretake Gansai Tambi 12 for my watercolor paintings. I only recently tried this out, from Scribe Writing Essentials, and I’m really loving it. The colors are so vibrant, and when they dry on paper, they have a nice glossy texture on them. They are so much fun to use on my journal’s tomoe river paper because the resulting painting is always so nicely colored and has retained the same color and texture even after drying out a while.


The container of the date is stamped on by Marryl Crafts‘ clear stamp and oh, look at this beautiful color of stamp pad. It’s called VersaMagic Tea Leaves from CraftyLanePH, and since it’s chalk ink-based, it doesn’t bleed through the paper. The opposite side of this page is completely clean, no bleed throughs or anything like that.

Happy Sunday, everyone! 🙂

Another Day, Another Blank Page


Keeping a journal is a simple but very meaningful daily exercise. There are a lot of studies that show the many benefits of keeping a journal, and being somebody who has kept one for as long as I can remember, I can attest to this. Keeping a journal entails a conscious effort to find a quiet mind space. You can be in a busy cafe and still be alone with your thoughts. You can be in the middle of a busy day and you pause for a while, collect your thoughts and write. It’s completely relaxing. Many of my best ideas for poems, short stories and articles just popped in my head while I was writing a journal entry about a completely different thing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo how exactly do you start keeping a journal? You just do. At the heart of it, keeping a journal is supposed to be simple and satisfying, not a burdensome chore that you force on yourself.

I can give a few tips on how keeping a journal can be more enjoyable, though. It’s a pleasure to share these with you:

Picking a Notebook
For people who love keeping journals, picking a notebook is part of a very fun ritual. My very patient husband can attest to the fact that I used to spend hours upon hours, hopping from one store to the next just trying to pick the right notebook. I open each one up, feel the paper, sniff it, check the spine…it’s so much fun. I rationalize that since the notebook will be with me for a few weeks and I’ll pour out my thoughts to it, it’s gotta be something I will enjoy carrying around.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI keep several journals with me. I keep a few small ones for random thoughts and for when it’s not practical to bring a big bag that fits my big journal. The photo above is of my traveler’s notebook from a local business (Alunsina Handbound Books).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy current go-to large journal is also from a local manufacturer, Elias Notebooks, which I just recently discovered through a friend. I also have their small notebooks for other types of writing. It has saved me hours and hours of looking for the right notebook because…it is the right notebook, for me at least. I guess the bottomline is just pick a notebook that you’ll be happy to write in frequently. Don’t overcomplicate it if you don’t want to, or overcomplicate it as much as you want, as long as it makes you happy.

When I was in college, I wrote my journals in Alibata because I didn’t want people looking in it and reading what I wrote. Now, I don’t really mind. If you’re conscious about other people finding your journal, you may want to consider replacing people’s names with letters. like “B talked to me today about…” or not writing about people too much. Remember that as much as reading your journal is a breach of your privacy, some people just don’t get it. I personally don’t write too much negative thoughts in my journal. I concentrate on edifying thoughts. I write about negative life experiences in a way that could be helpful in either understanding it or processing my thoughts about it so I can leave it behind faster.  Continue reading “Another Day, Another Blank Page”

What’s in my bag?


I read a few “What’s in your bag” posts in my blog feed this week, so I thought it would be fun to do my own. This would be my “I can’t bring a lot of things” bag. It’s smaller than my usual messenger bag, but it can hold what I would consider my barest essentials.

I have improved significantly in terms of the number of pens that I carry in my bag. I now have 7 (plus a ballpoint pen), from what used to be 18. I’m still working to reduce that to just 6. Six pens, and I’ll be all set.

I sometimes have house and car keys with me, but I admit I almost always forget to bring them because my husband brings his keys. I have a lighter but I don’t smoke. It’s for…making fire. Haha. I use it for wax seals, lighting up mosquito coils and birthday candles. Hahaha. Of course, a swiss army knife because Gibbs’ Rule #9 says “Always carry a knife”. I remember back in my college days, I always have a balisong on me. Not because of Gibbs but because I collect knives.

The journals! Oh, the journals. I don’t like going out of the house without my journals. I have a large journal for my everyday writing, a devotional journal, a commonplace book of Bible verses that I like, a prayer journal, a poetry journal, and an ink journal. I have to at least have my everyday journal with me when I go out. On the photo, I have my large everyday journal and prayer journal (brown and purple, from Elias Notebooks) and my Alunsina traveler’s notebook.

When I carry my bigger bag, I also have a sketchbook, my tablet and a small case for my pencil and eraser. ^_^

I’m tagging my pen bestie, Ke$hia to show what’s in her bag. 🙂

(I bought the bag from Jie-E Store, the traveler notebook from Alunsina, and the journals and pen cases from Elias Notebooks, the black leather pen case was made by Rhona Carantes from Baguio. Unfortunately, she doesn’t make leather pen cases anymore huhu.)

Alunsina Handmade Leather Journal and Kislap


A couple of days ago, I got a much-awaited package in the mail. I’ve been waiting for my Alunsina leather journal and Kislap since last year, but these handmade notebooks take time to make since they’re made by hand and December is their peak season. They’re worth the wait, though.


I ordered the large journal which I intended to use as my quiet time journal for 2015. As always, I love the details of Alunsina’s handmade books. The stitches, the buckles, the smell (ohh, the smell)…everything’s just beautiful.

alunsinaklj-9      alunsinaklj-8

I’m not an expert on binding and the kinds of stitches and whatnot but I’ve always been fascinated at how they do the bindings for their journals. This journal that I ordered had two different colored and textured leather. I chose it because it had a simple design and the lock opens easily. The flap doesn’t get in the way of writing either.


The paper is fountain pen friendly, although the coating makes it hard for fine writers to leave ink. It handles my wet writers beautifully, though and as you can see in the photo above, there’s some show through but no bleed through. I used my Parker 51 inked with Burma Road Brown on it, which has a nib that’s medium to broad. The lines are written with Parker Sonnet with a ridiculously wet nib (which is why I don’t use it often). The paper handles my wet writers just fine. It has the feel of paper that’s slightly thicker than parchment and much smoother, if that makes any sense.


The Kislap (Kwaderno at ISang LAPis) is a traveler’s notebook like Midori, but I dunno, I really like this more MTN. Not to mention that it’s cheaper than Midori’s version. I picked this type and color of distressed leather because it looked like it  had more character to it. Again, the details of this notebook are just so beautiful.  Continue reading “Alunsina Handmade Leather Journal and Kislap”

Review: Alunsina Handbound Books – Small Leather Journal

The journals come with this cute pouch.

I’ve always loved Alunsina journals. From the first time that I saw them through a friend on Facebook, I’ve only used their leather bound books for my journal. However, when I switched to fountain pens, I had to regretfully stop using them too because they’re not fountain pen-friendly. So when they announced last month that they have switched their paper to something more fountain pen-friendly, I knew I had to try it.

I heard that they were at the Makers’ Market at Zonta Alabang so I dropped by specifically for them and bought a Kislap traveler’s journal for my husband and a small journal for myself. I already ordered a Kislap for myself and a full-sized journal but I had them personalized with my name so it’s gonna be delivered to my place instead.

IMG_0616      IMG_0608

I love all of the little details of this journal. From the color of the threads that they use, how they sew up their paper to the leather cover, the clasps and buckles that they add, even the way their paper doesn’t look machine cut. It looks very handmade and I love that look.


I love that since all journals are handmade, no two journals are exactly alike. Each journal has individual characteristics and though they may make several journals of the same design, none will have that generic look. Each will be unique in its own way. The small leather journal that I chose is teal-colored, vegetable-tanned cowhide leather. I figured that since I ordered brown distressed leather for my Kislap and some combination of dark-colored leather for my full-sized journal, this small one could use a little color. 🙂  Continue reading “Review: Alunsina Handbound Books – Small Leather Journal”