Tag: elias notebooks

Review: Elias Traveler’s Notebook Insert

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I think many people have been waiting for Elias to come out with these inserts for a while. I’m so happy that they finally made these. Traveler’s notebook inserts aren’t very easy to come by in bookstores. They’re not always readily available, so it’s always good to find online stores that sell them. I bought a set of three inserts from Everything Calligraphy last week, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Here’s to give you an idea how thick the insert is. These are 40 pages of 90gsm, acid-free, ivory-colored, fountain pen-friendly paper. I suggest you buy the pack of 3, since it’s a little bit cheaper. I like the cover of the inserts. It’s easy to slip into a traveler’s notebook because the cover is sufficiently thick. I also like the color which is a very dark blue. I wish they would offer options, though, like craft or white. I like that the cover is plain and there’s a simple “ELIAS” logo at the back. Plain covers can be decorated with stickers, stamps, and other stuff.

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Note to self…buy white chalk-based stamp pads. ^_^

The paper and cover are stapled together. It’s nice enough for daily use. As usual, the paper is excellent. I can’t quite describe how pleasurable writing on it is, except to say that it’s creamy. It makes your nibs feel smoother.

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The word “February” was written with a brush pen, and it works great with those too. It’s smooth and shows off the gradients with the strokes. It works fabulously with fountain pen inks, and I’m glad that one can enjoy the same paper quality as with those in their bigger journals.

Here are a few writing samples below.

It also takes my Pilot Parallel pen without issues. The paper stays smooth even when I scrape at it with some very fast writing, like what I did below. There’s no feathering or bleed through either.

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Here is an example of Pilot Parallel pen over watercolor. It’s pretty neat. 🙂

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Overall, I love the quality of the paper and I think the price is really good. I’m glad we journal junkies have more options now, especially for the regular TN size.

Elias travelers notebook inserts are now available at Everything Calligraphy.

Elias Notebooks’ Newly-Launched Notepads

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I was so excited to learn that Elias Notebooks has finally launched their notepads. I needed something to use for my letter-writing project and I thought that I’d try out their small pads. Turns out they’re the perfect size for correspondences. I got the lined pad and dot grid pads.

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The notepad uses perforated sheets so that it’s easier to tear out. It’s pretty convenient, and the pages tear out easily when I tried it.

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They’re blank on the other side so that it’s more presentable when writing letters. They look very neat when folded up.

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Of course, the paper is wonderfully smooth. It’s the same paper that I enjoy writing on in my journals. If you’re unfamiliar with Elias’ journals, read this review.

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I am looking forward to using this for my letters. I’m happy that Elias came up with these pads and I think it’s a great addition to their product line.

Elias’ notepads are P230 for the small ones and P380 for the large ones. Check out their FB page for more information.

Diamine Purples and Blues Roundup

Blue and Purple ink samples from Elias Notebooks

Blue inks are a revelation to me. I’ve never considered myself a blue ballpoint pen user. In fact, I hardly carried blue pens before I got into fountain pens. When I discovered Diamine inks last year, I was surprised at the sheer number of variations of blue ink. I’m surprised to find out that I even have more blue inks than my favorite colors (brown and green). Here’s a roundup of the ink samples that I got from Elias Notebooks.

Blue and Purple ink samples from Elias Notebooks

My collection of bottled purple inks is pretty dismal. I was only able to try out different kinds of purple through the ink samples offered by Elias Notebooks. I think my favorites would be Bilberry and Amazing Amethyst (in that order). I love Bilberry because of its golden sheen and its blue-violet hue, but Amazing Amethyst is also a very pretty purple ink. I actually wrote a separate review for it, I’ll post that soon. I do have a large bottle of Bilberry and it’s pretty fascinating that the gold sheen shows up even when I use it with pens that have fine nibs. Damson is a dark berry-colored ink, a very serious purple that would be great for regular writing.

Diamine Purples and Blues are available at Elias Notebooks

I forgot to include Diamine Denim in the list, which is a shame because that’s my favorite blue, and it’s what I use for signing official documents in the office. I think a close second would be Prussian Blue. It’s an interesting shade of blue with a bit of grey. I made a mental note of purchasing a small bottle of Beau Blue, which will be great for highlighting or making little notes in books that I read. Definitely not very suitable for daily writing, but inks as light as this are good to use with xf or Japanese f nibs to annotate or underline pages with thin paper (like Bibles).

Diamine Ink Samples are available with Elias Notebooks

Watch out for individual reviews soon. 🙂

Used in this ink roundup:
Paper – lined large journal from Elias Notebooks
Ink samples from Elias Notebooks
Pens – Cross Century II (M), Lamy Studio (F)

Elias Notebooks’ New Pen Cases

I’ve always believed that if you value something, you should make the effort to keep it safe. I value my pens as my companions in writing, so I make the extra effort to find suitable cases for them. I started off with pen wraps (and I still use them sometimes), then an assortment of leather cases.

Elias Notebooks recently released a single slot pen slip, and two- and three-slot leather pen cases. I got the single pen slip and two-pen case and I’ve been using these for several days now.

Olive Green and Maroon Suede Pen Cases from Elias Notebooks
Olive Green and Maroon Suede Pen Cases from Elias Notebooks

These colors (olive green and maroon in leather suede) were specially produced to celebrate the launching of the De Atramentis inks that they are distributing. I got the De Atramentis Olive Green and Van Dyck Brown inks so I’m really happy to have matching pen cases too (the maroon case can pass for a reddish brown or a dark purple).

Perhaps one of the challenges of finding pen cases for fountain pen newbies like me is the fact that these cases can be so expensive. Nothing wrong with expensive cases, of course, but it’s always good to have a more affordable option that also looks good. I’m glad that Elias isn’t ridiculously expensive at all (P300 for the 2-slot pen case, P400 for the 3-slot case and P150 for the slip). These prices are reasonable and very accessible even for pen newbies.

Olive Green and Maroon Leather Suede Cases
Olive Green and Maroon Leather Suede Cases

I like that the pen cases has dividers. It’s a challenge to find these in bookstores, the options are so limited. There is an overabundance of pencil cases, but finding a decent one with dividers in it is quite a challenge that FP-users who find great products eagerly share their finds through the Fountain Pen Network Philippines Facebook group and forum. The pen community is a pretty cool place to find information about accessories, pens, papers, etc. I actually heard about Elias through a pen friend in that community too.

Two Parker 51's with gold-filled caps
Two Parker 51’s with gold-filled caps

The two-slot pen case comfortably fits some moderately fat pens like Parker 51’s. I can also fit in what I would consider to  be larger pens (at least in my collection) like the Sheaffer Lifetime Senior, TWSBI Micarta, and Bexley Corona. It’s a snug fit, but it offers very little resistance when I pull the pens out. Leather is soft suede in texture, I can comfortably slip the clips without feeling that the clips are being over-extended. I love the olive green color of this case a lot. I also like that the suede looks soft and the interior is also soft enough not to scratch the pens.

Elias Notebooks' Logo
Elias Notebooks’ Logo

Of course, the logos are a nice touch for both cases. I like that for the two-slot pen case, the logo is on the flap where it’s visible. I love the novels Noli and El Fili. What a very suitable logo for fountain pen accessories. 🙂

Single pen slip
Single pen slip

As for the single pen slip…I wasn’t really sure if I would ever like using a slip. I’ve never carried just one pen, so I never bought one for myself. This is my first slip and I’m so happy I got it. It’s a complete “duh” moment when I realized that sometimes you really have no time to carefully unwrap a pen wrap, or unzip a pen case, or pull out a flap or whatever. Sometimes you need to whip out your pen in a jiffy–no fuss, no frills. A slip lets you do just that, while still protecting your pen efficiently.

Pen slip on a stack of journals
TWSBI Micarta in a pen slip on a stack of journals

Surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed this case the most these past few days. I also brought it along for short trips when I don’t think I will need all my other pens but I still want to bring one just in case. It’s very easy to use and the price is very budget-friendly. I already ordered a green slip, to match the two-slot pen case.

Pen cases on a stack of Elias Journals
Pen cases on a stack of Elias Journals

Overall, I think that the price is right for these pen cases. They’re very light and convenient to carry around, and I love the material used on both cases. I also like that they look simple and durable.

In these photos:
All notebooks are from Elias Notebooks
Two Parker 51’s with gold-filled caps
Parker 75 in sterling silver cisele
Bexley Corona
TWSBI Micarta
Pilot Capless
De Atramentis Van Dyck Brown and Olive Green (also from Elias)

Note: Prices of these cases are current as of today. They may change in the future.

Journal Tips and Writing Prompts for May

Everyday, I try to set aside a time to write in my journal. I discovered that if you are actively looking for time, you find a lot of it spread out even in busy days. I wrote in another blog entry that I often write at length about my meditations on the Bible for that day. I absolutely love it when I have long stretches of time to do this, and I always feel very refreshed afterwards.

Sometimes, I like to put pictures in my journals and write about the memories that go with the photos.

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I have six nephews and nieces, and I oftentimes have them in mind while I write. I want to think that I’ll pass on these journals to them when I’m gone and they will read about my thoughts on the world during my youth, and they’ll see photos of themselves and see how much they’re loved and cherished. I know everything is digital these days but there’s still something so great about seeing printed photos. Being able to hold them in your hand and see where time wore out some places, that’s something.

I prefer to use a glue stick to put photos in my journals, but you can also use washi tape. I wouldn’t recommend liquid glue because it deforms the paper too much. Adding printed photos to your journal is a visual reminder that, in my opinion, shouldn’t take away from how you recall the details through your words.

For those who need a few more writing prompts for their journal entries, how about these (and you can add photos too, if you want):

  1. Write an open letter for your future self.
  2. Write a happy memory you have of your mom.
  3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  4. Describe the street where you grew up.
  5. Write an open letter to God.

Happy writing!

Reds, Pinks, and Oranges!

Red inks are a revelation to me. I’ve never seen much use for them except for correcting papers and since I don’t teach anymore, I saw no use for such reproachful-looking inks. However, I discovered that if I opened myself for new things, I’d find that I might actually like them. My first red ink was Diamine Oxblood. That took the dislike of red inks away pretty effectively. It’s still my favorite red ink. I ventured into oranges and pinks, and it’s been pretty interesting so far. Below are some samples of red, pink and orange inks.

Diamine Ink Samples are available at Elias Notebooks

See how vibrantly red-black Diamine oxblood is? It writes dark too and dries up darker. When I write with it, it does look like you’re writing with flowing blood, not superficial ruby-red blood. It becomes darker as it dries up too, like real blood.

I’m not very well-versed with pink inks but I think Amaranth is pretty. It reminds me of old rose, except it has a slight purplish hue to it. I like it a lot. There are a few inks that would make pretty highlighters or used for underlining and annotations, especially Hope Pink, Cerise and Peach Haze. Diamine Pink is adorable. It’s such a soft, subtle shade of pink that is a lot of fun to write with. Among the pinks that I tried, I would say that my favorite is Amaranth. I can see myself use it for everyday writing and annotations.


The reds are also pretty diverse. Aside from Oxblood, Diamine Strawberry is also interesting because it has this weird glow about it. It’s like luminescent red. It looks like it has some gold sheen to it, which would be more apparent with wetter writers. Then there are the interesting red shades like Ancient Copper, which looks like you’re actually writing with rust.

I’ve heard that some people have had issues with Ancient Copper crusting on their pens. I personally only experienced mild crusting in my Parker 88 (which has a nib that has no breather hole), though the crusting did not interrupt the flow. To be safe, I would recommend you use this with a pen that has good flow and to make sure that you thoroughly wash and flush out the pen to prevent Ancient Copper from mixing with other ink residues.

Monaco Red and matador both have this brick red shade to them and they’re pretty vibrant when dry. I’d say my favorite red would still be Oxblood, but I am definitely digging Ancient Copper, Wild Strawberry and Matador too.

I wrote a few ink reviews of individual colors, which I’ll explore more in the future. 🙂

Do you have a favorite red/pink/orange ink?

Used in this article:
Several Diamine ink samples from Elias Notebooks
Paper – Lined, large Elias Notebook
All samples are written with a Cross Century II, medium nib

Note: I realize that swabbing is a good way to have a general idea of the color of inks, but writing out the swatches gives me a better visualization of what the ink will actually look on paper when used with a fountain pen.

Reds in Rotation! And a few other things…

I’ve given up on carrying just 6 pens. I figured if I really wanted to just carry six pens, I should be able to do it haha. The thing is I have a lot of new green inks, and I MUST TRY ALL OF THEM AT ONCE! I know, I know, I have a problem. Sigh.

Anyway, back in rotation this week are two great writers. A marbled red Waterman Hemisphere and a Pilot 78G, both with medium nibs but both write very differently. I have gone without red inks for a few weeks so I guess it’s time to put away the pink and get back to my favorite shades of very dark red.

These past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming because I have new things to do at work, new reports to do, etcetera etcetera. My stress level is climbing and I realized that all the constant buzzing of social media isn’t helping me at all. So I decided to unplug unless I’m working. I forced myself to seek out the peace and quiet–extend my daily devotions, find time to write again, and read a few chapters whenever I can. It’s worked, so far. I stayed home as much as I can, I went out to celebrate my husband’s birthday month with him…but mostly, I just wanted to stay home, reflect and enjoy the quiet moments.

Monday na uli. 🙂

In this photo:
Waterman Hemisphere (Marbled Red, inked with Diamine Oxblood)
Pilot 78G, red (Inked with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo)
Large dot grid journal by Elias Notebook
Maroon Single pen slip by Elias Notebook

Ink Swab: Diamine Wagner

This is a very beautiful, interesting-looking ink color. It’s certainly a color that would make you look twice. In wider/broader nibs, it’s a rich golden olive green color, but in finer nibs it tends to be more of a yellow-green shade. I like using it in my medium, stub and CI nibs that are wet writers because it shows off the shading quite beautifully. The review in the photos was written with a Bexley Corona and a 1.1mm Goulet nib.

Elias Soft-Cover Journals are Here!

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Last week, the soft-covered journals of Elias Notebooks became available and I got a first look at it during the March pen meet of FPN-P. However, they only had the blank journals available, and I wanted to wait for the lined and dot grid journals. I got it in the mail yesterday! I’m so happy.

This design is called gold mosaic, and it’s really pretty in person. Basically, it’s the same awesome Elias paper but with a soft leather cover instead of the hard cover. Personally, I like both the hard and soft covers. The hard covers are a bit more formal-looking. The soft-covered ones are lighter, easier to carry. I love them both.

What’s in my bag?

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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.)