Tag: journals

Save the Carrot!!!

There’s a part of me that’s always going to be silly, I suppose. So there will always be a part of me that will want to play Carrot Fantasy even when I’m incredibly busy. Especially when I’m incredibly busy, actually.

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That’s what my last journal entry is about. It’s about saving the carrot. I’m not sure why I love this tower defense game, but maybe it has something to do with how cute the little monsters are, and that the carrot wiggles and giggles when you tap on it. Haha. Anyway…back to my excel sheets and paperwork.

Review: Contrail Street Journal

Review: Contrail Street Journal

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I saw these cute little journals on my way to a mini pen meet last Sunday at Glorietta, when I dropped by Powerbooks at Greenbelt. They’re kinda hard to miss because the covers are just so pretty! I wasn’t familiar with the brand, so discreetly printed at the back of the cover, but the paper seemed nice so I bought three. A quick search on Google showed that Contrail is made by Itoya, a Japanese stationery company. I’ve had such good experience with Japanese stationery that I was pretty sure I’d like this one too, and I was right.

I just love the design of their covers. Really. I love the colors that they used, and the patterns. These are very tastefully designed covers. I also like that the binding is neatly stitched with white thread. It looks very cleanly done.

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I’m not sure what you call these lines. They’re grids but rectangular instead of square, and they spacing is pretty tight. I imagine it could be designed specifically for Japanese characters? I’m not sure. I’m not too crazy about the guide lines, but they don’t bother me much. I like that the lines are light brown, you can just ignore them completely when you write.

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The paper is pretty good. It’s not smooth, it definitely has texture to it, but there’s very little feathering using my fine to broad nib. Some feathering can be noticeable with my 1.5 mm stub, though. Here are a few close ups:

The texture is beautiful. It’s not going to show off sheen, but it will show off some shading. It’s hard to explain why but sometimes I miss enjoying texture on paper because oftentimes when the paper has some texture to it, fountain pens bleed all over the place. It’s pretty rare to find paper that allows you to enjoy texture while you write without excessive bleeding and feathering.

The paper handles brush pens very well. It distributes the ink smoothly, and allows the pen to glide on the paper without difficulties.

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There’s a bit of ghosting at the back, though I would not consider it bothersome. There’s also a bit of bleedthrough where I wrote with my 1.5mm nib. It could be because I used a very wet ink (J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor). It’s not so bad either, in my opinion.

The size is about 3.25 x 5.75 inches. It’s pretty small and can comfortably fit in your backpocket or your bag. I heard they’re also available in National Bookstore, at P149 per piece. These are great for everyday writing and small brush calligraphy projects. I’m so happy we have Itoya here in the Philippines now. What a great time to be a stationery fan!

Journal Art Catch-Up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been so busy these past few days that I haven’t had time to update my blog. The little free time I have, I just spend with family , reading, writing, and the occasional update in IG or FB. For an introvert, I have a semi-bustling social media life, which sometimes I find strange, but other times I completely understand. While I’m very communicative (even quite chatty) in social media, I’m the exact opposite in person. Maybe it’s just a lot easier for me to communicate that way.

Anyway, even if it’s a seriously busy time at work, I find that it’s during these times when you really need to make a conscious effort to slow down. I find that doing this, breaking the monotony of work, in order to read the Bible, write my thoughts about it and a variety of other things, can spell the difference regarding how stressed out I will be during the day.

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I also realized that doing a little bit of artwork whether it’s as simple as scrawling something on a page with your brush pen or little watercolor paintings in your journal, or using stamps and washi tapes to decorate your page can be so relaxing. Of course, I know many people prefer to just write on their journal instead of decorating it or painting on it. It’s all good. I just personally prefer to have a visual of the little things that happen in my life. Like picking an espresso machine (and justifying it to myself through in an entire page’s worth of journal entry).

IMG_3944Documenting the simple joys has become an exercise in looking for the bright spots of life. I used to be so paranoid about putting only my best drawings in my journal when I was younger, but I realized that life isn’t made up of perfect moments. Sometimes pages get scrunched up, torn in some places, stained with a bit of coffee splashes…in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t matter. After all, you don’t live for the perfect moments. So fill up that journal with your drawings, no matter how imperfect you think they are, or how it isn’t at par with what you expect from yourself. I think it would also be pretty cool to see how your style evolves and improves through the years.

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The Velveteen Rabbit, one of my favorite books when I was a kid.

Back in my college years, there was never any color in my journals. I only used black ink and drew little creepy line art to match the perpetually sad poetry I used to write. Now my journals are filled with splashes of colors.

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That weekend I learned how to make Cafe Americano for my husband. 

These little watercolor paintings are so much fun to do. They’re a bit challenging because you need to include just the right amount of details with your brushwork to make it shine. I am also enjoying how great Tomoe River paper is for watercolor paintings (I use a Hobonichi for daily journals and planning, and made an insert for my traveler’s notebook as a supplement). The crinkling of the paper doesn’t bother me one bit.

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Ah. These past weeks, I also discovered the joy that is a Palomino Blackwing pencil. A friend of mine sent it to me as a gift, and I’m going to write a review about it soon. It’s amazing how pencils aren’t all the same.

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So there, these past few weeks have been pretty busy, but there are a lot of great moments too. I’m particularly excited with the range of paper, watercolor, brush pens, pencils, and other art stuff available locally. It’s an exciting time for art and stationery lovers in the Philippines. I can still remember when the options were very limited. Oh, how times are changing. 🙂

Write on!

DotDotDot–Discovering Stippling

It’s my first time to try the stippling technique, although I’ve always been fascinated by it. I was so completely intimidated by it that it took me this long to try it out. I’m glad I did, though. It only goes to show that you really will never know if you are going to enjoy something unless you try it. Of course my first attempt was a fish. I love drawing fish. It’s one of the most relaxing things to do, for me at least. For a first attempt, I’m pretty happy with it, and I’m surprised that I am able to draw different shade better with this technique. I don’t know how else to explain it but that it feels comfortable for me.

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I used the sketchbook insert from Midori for these drawings. I like the texture and the thickness of the pages. For once, I’m not worried about wrinkling the paper when I erase the pencil drawing.

IMG_3607Here is a closer look at how the dots were drawn for the koi’s eye. I’m fascinated by how grouping more dots together makes for a darker shade, and scattering them makes lighter shades. It’s a little painful on the hand, but it’s alright. I guess it’s also good that it forces me to slow down and think about what I’m drawing. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s very relaxing. I did a few more after this one.

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A dragonfly.
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A very chubby, fluffy sparrow (need to work on my proportions, lol)

My second favorite so far (after the koi fish, of course), is this drawing of a Philippine Eagle which I did today, during my break time.

There’s a lot of textures in the beak, so I spent a lot of time on that. I dunno why but it’s so therapeutic just poke-poke-poking on the paper with a pen. Haha. Here’s a photo of the eagle before it was finished.

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Here it is towards the end of my lunch break. I added a few more details on the wings after I took this photo, but I didn’t change it much. I kinda like it the way it is already. 🙂

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Of course, a Superman drawing for my husband. 🙂

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Stippling is lotsa fun! I wish I tried it sooner. 🙂

Yummy, Yummy Paper

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I love these Tomoe River journals. It’s part of the reason why I’m so excited about using my Hobonichi Cousin this coming year. It will double as my planner and art journal.

What I love most about this paper is that it’s delicate looking (what with all that subtle show through) but it’s tougher than it looks. It actually looks like tracing paper, and you can slip in a lined pad underneath so that you can write straight lines on the blank pages. I like that even when I include simple watercolor paintings on it, the journal entry I wrote on the back of the page doesn’t get smudged. You can even make watercolor paintings on either side of the page and both paintings will hold up really well.

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Sometimes I put layers of washes on it and rub my brushes vigorously on the paper and it just takes it. It’s even better than some of the watercolor papers that I tried. It’s a great paper for including art in your journal entries. I also read somewhere that the properties of the paper will make sure that the colors of your paintings don’t change over the years. I’m really hoping that’s right.

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Note to self…my detail brushes need to be replaced. They’re already beginning to fan out. These tiny brushes are super cool to use on small paintings. 🙂

(Curnow A5 Tomoe River Journals are available at Pengrafik.com)