Sketches and Songs

This sounds like great fun– a live music night at a bar, where a sketchbook makes the rounds so various artists can contribute drawings of each musician, with the that musician’s lyrics on the facing page.

“Creative expression is alive and well in Tavern 489, a Stamford restaurant where music and visual art come together every other Tuesday night. The importance of original music and creativity needs to live on, and if we can be a little part of that and incubate that, that’s a good thing, Monte says. Since April, T489 Original Acoustic Music Night has brought together singers and songwriters, music fans, sketch artists and sometimes unsuspecting visitors who were only stopping by for a whiskey or a beer. Sketch artists, from their perch at a long table or the bar, fill pages of a handmade, leather-bound notebook with portraits of the performers — often in less than 30 minutes.”

Read more, and see more sketches, at Through sketches and songs, Stamford music night celebrates originality, creativity

Save

Moleskine Monday: Contrast Collection

The latest new products from Moleskine: contrast color schemes.

“A new collection of notebooks in contrasting colors to match the contrasting perspectives and personalities that define who we are.”

Read more at : Contrast Collection – Moleskine ®

Save

Tina Koyama’s Field Notes Sketches

Tina Koyama has some great posts about how some new types of Field Notes inspired some new sketching styles. After not loving Field Notes initially, she’s been using the Sweet Tooth edition and the Byline reporter’s notebook and having a lot of fun! I especially love the black and white ink on the red pages.

“Of course, the release of Field Notes’ Sweet Tooth edition is what really changed my attitude. Something about that brightly colored paper liberated me to try a different kind of sketching than I normally do in my “regular” sketchbook. Different media, different subject matter and mainly a different approach – quicker, more casual, more ephemeral.

And now it has happened again. Field Notes just released its limited Byline edition, which is homage to the classic reporter’s notebook. Long, narrow and topped with a spiral binding on its short side, it’s meant to be held easily with one hand while the other pens quotes from sources during press interviews. Although I appreciate the historical reference, I had initially dismissed the edition as anything I would use. The longer shape certainly doesn’t fit in the pocket of my bag where other pocket notebooks fit so nicely, and I couldn’t imagine the paper would be sketching-media friendly. (As it turns out, the paper is actually friendly to almost everything I’ve put on it so far.)”

Read more at: Fueled by Clouds & Coffee: What I’ve Learned from Field Notes and Still Seeing Red

 

Save

Save

Save

Vintage Notebooks from My Collection

Most of my notebooks are ones that I’ve bought new and filled with my own notes and sketches. But I also occasionally succumb to my weakness for collecting other people’s used notebooks when I see them at flea markets or on eBay. Here’s a few that I’ve picked up along the way.

old notebooks - 1

This Rice-Stix notebook is quite interesting, and if I had a time machine, I’d like to go back and walk through that warehouse to look at the huge variety of things they sold. The floor-by-floor index in the notebook would be quite handy.
old notebooks - 2old notebooks - 3old notebooks - 5old notebooks - 4

This is technically not a notebook– it’s a bank book. I had a bank book for my own little savings account when I was a kid, but by the time I was in high school, the local bank had been bought out by a big conglomerate and switched to all electronic record-keeping.
old notebooks - 9old notebooks - 10

This is just a little jotter with barely any pages left. It looks like it was meant to be refillable, as the pad clips into the cover.
old notebooks - 16old notebooks - 17

Below are the interiors of the Carson Pirie Scott notebook seen in the group photo above. Again, an index by floor so you could organize your shopping list. Why don’t supermarkets and department stores today give away notebooks like this?
old notebooks - 8old notebooks - 7old notebooks - 6

The Westinghouse diary is similar in format to many others I’ve seen, and I have similar ones in my collection from General Electric, Harvard Coop, and the Sandoz Corporation. This format seems to have been popular for decades, at least from the ’40s through the ’70s. Maps and population charts were pretty standard, as well as other handy reference tables such as area codes, time zones, and information customized to the company’s employees, in this case relating to engineering.
old notebooks - 11
old notebooks - 15old notebooks - 14old notebooks - 13old notebooks - 12

These are not all the vintage notebooks I own, just a few relatively recent purchases that were at the top of the pile! Here are some others from my collection that I’ve featured in their own posts:
U. S. Government Printing Office Memorandum Notebook
Western Suede-covered Diary from 1949
eBay Gem: A Decorator’s Pocket Looseleaf Notebook

Save

Grandma’s Teenage Diaries

A very cool story about someone finding his grandmother’s old diaries… and what lovely diaries they were, with colorful patterned covers and red edges…

“My parents recently found five journals in one of those listless cardboard boxes that leaves an attic only when somebody dies or the house is sold. (Don’t worry, everyone survived the sale of the house.) The journals were written by my paternal grandmother when she was living with her widowed mom in Gloversville, N.Y. It was July 1910. She was 16, an only child. The first entry begins “Dearest Anybody,” which I took as permission to start reading.”

Read more at: Letter of Recommendation: Grandma’s Teenage Diaries – The New York Times

Save

Review and Giveaway: Flexbook Notebooks

I was very excited when I saw this new brand in my local stationery store (NYC’s A. I. Friedman). I was immediately smitten with the design and intrigued that the notebooks were made in Greece– a new country to add to my collection. After getting in touch with the company, I was happy to receive a lovely assortment of samples to review. Let’s take a look!

Flexbook - 1

Flexbook notebooks are made in Greece, but sold by a French company called Prat Paris. Inside the notebooks, you get Italian Fabriano paper– talk about European unity!

Flexbook - 2Flexbook - 5

The simple design caught my eye– I’ve always liked the look of a cloth-taped spine, and the Flexbook is available in a few different color combinations. The cover itself is a fairly stiff cardboard– I would call this a “softcover” notebook, as it’s not a thick wrapped board, but it’s not floppy or flabby. There is an elastic closure, and subtle embossed branding on the front and back. On the back there is also a round holographic stamp. The label notes “All original Flexbook patented binding products carry the holographic label,” and I have to say I’d rather they’d chosen some other mark of authenticity, or located the holograph on the inside of the cover– I don’t love how shiny and blingy it is against the otherwise very classy and understated exterior.

Flexbook - 15Flexbook - 11Flexbook - 16

The pocket size notebook is almost the same size as a pocket Moleskine, just slightly smaller.

Flexbook - 6Flexbook - 3Flexbook - 4

Inside the notebook, you get plain black endpapers but no inside pocket or ribbon marker. At the front there is a page with branding info and a space to write your name and contact details.

Flexbook - 7Flexbook - 8Flexbook - 9

The binding is indeed very flexible. The notebook opens flat throughout, except on the very first page, which is glued to the endpapers pretty far in. And you can fold the covers all the way around without damaging the spine. However they’ve glued and reinforced the spine, it delivers as promised.

Flexbook - 14Flexbook - 10

The 85 GSM paper inside is a creamy white and very smooth. I found it a pleasure to write on and all my usual pens worked well. Fountain pens didn’t feather at all, though they took longer than usual to dry, as you’ll see from my smear tests, especially with the J. Herbin ink in the Lamy. The only pens that bled through were the Accu-Liner and the Super Sharpie. Show-through was about average.

Flexbook - 12Flexbook - 13

Blank and ruled versions are available in various sizes. In addition to side-opening notebooks, there are also top-opening pads with perforated paper. A sketchbook version with heavier paper (170 GSM) is also available in 2 larger sizes. Pricing on these is slightly less than Moleskine– list for the 3.5 x 5.5″ version is $12.55. You’re trading better paper for the ribbon marker and back pocket you’d get in a Moleskine, but I think many notebook users will be happy to make that swap. On Amazon, unfortunately, these are priced higher than list from a 3rd party seller. But you can get them at a 10% discount (at least at time of writing this post) at BLICK ART MATERIALS.

I will be giving away a sample Flexbook notebook to each of two lucky winners, who will be randomly selected from entries received in any or all of these ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “Flexbook Notebook @NotebookStories”, and follow @NotebookStories

On Facebook, “like” the Notebook Stories page and post something containing the words “Flexbook” on the Notebook Stories page.

On your blog, post something containing the words “Flexbook Notebook” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.

The deadline for entry is Friday July 15, 2016 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner. Please allow a couple of weeks for me to check all the entries and determine the winners.

Save

Save

Notebook Addict of the Week: Jennie

This week, we have another repeat addict. Jennie Sisler was previously featured back in 2011. Here’s a more recent look at some of her collection!

“I could have a problem here.”

This time around, she reveals the root of her notebook addiction:

“If anyone is to blame for this, it’s my dad. He worked for a paper company for 42 years and even though his particular plant made corrugated box inserts, he taught me about  how paper is a renewable resource (eat that, plastic bags!) and instilled a love of all things paper-y in me from an early age. So Daddy, I’m sorry but this is your fault!😉

Read more at: I Might Have A Problem | Jen’s Rambling Thoughts

Save

Beautiful Bullet Journals

I’m amazed at some of the spreads you see online of people’s bullet journals– some of these are works of art that go way beyond just detailed organization and tracking!

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.41.24 PM

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.41.13 PM

See more at These Instagrammers’ Bullet Journals are organizational masterpieces

Some Famous People’s Notebooks

This is an oldie but a goodie and worth linking to again! A collection of wonderful notebooks belonging to various artists, authors,  musicians and others:

Nick Cave’s notebook:

Keith Haring’s notebook:

See lots more at: A Peek Inside the Notebooks of Famous Authors, Artists and Visionaries – Flavorwire

Save

Save

Notebook Addict of the Week: Joshua

This week’s addict is Joshua Blevins Peck, a librarian, writer, musician and photographer who has amassed quite a collection of notebooks all devoted to one topic– recording all the movies he watches, over 4000 of them so far! I’d say he’s a movie addict as well as a notebook addict.
Here’s what Joshua has to say about the source of his notebook addiction:
“I watch a lot of movies and in 1998 decided to keep track of every movie I watched that year, while writing short reviews, tracking what city I saw it in, who I saw it with and numerous other stats I enter into its pages. I called the project Kinetoscope as a nod to early film history. 18 years later and I’m still doing it! I’ve logged over 4,000 films seen in 59 cities, in 10 countries and with 129 different people. My notebook of choice has been quite varied over the years, but in 2016 I discovered the Hobonichi Techo and with its amazing Tomoe River paper perfectly blending with my fountain pens–it will be my notebook of choice as I continue onward with my addiction.”
FullSizeRender
You can see more of  Joshua’s creative work at  joshuablevinspeck.com

Thanks for sharing your addiction, Joshua!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin