Stocking Stuffer Drawing Books

Here’s something on my holiday wishlist: Peter Jenny’s Learning to See series. They’re lovely little pocket-sized books with exercises for those learning to draw, or re-learning, or looking for inspiration. The perfect companion to throw in your bag with a small sketchbook and pencil or pen, and list price is only $12 each.


Notebooks by Mazzottibooks

Mazzotibooks is a bookbinding and letterpress studio in London. They make some unusual notebooks with wooden covers and sewn tape bindings. I thought this one was particularly beautiful:
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At £55.00, it’s also particularly expensive! But if you want something handmade and special, it might fit the bill.

 

See more at Notebooks – mazzottibooks.

In Search of Notebooks: Paris and Amsterdam

I recently took a trip to Paris and Amsterdam. Searching for notebooks wasn’t the sole purpose of the trip, of course, but I did a better job than usual of preparing for the journey with some research on places to buy notebooks.

In Amsterdam, I had less time to devote to stationery shopping, as I’d never been there before and wanted to see all the sights. But I did make a point of visiting P. K. Akkerman, a stationery and pen shop I first heard of via this blog post. The shop has since moved from the location described in that post, and I didn’t get to see the ladies with the precise manicures and hairdos, but there was quite a nice selection of notebooks, and an even better display of amazing high-end pens.

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One of the other stationery shops I’d hoped to see in Amsterdam had also either moved or closed, so my other notebook spottings were all in newsstands or museum shops. At the Stedelijk museum, I saw a wonderful exhibition of the artist Marlene Dumas, and bought a lovely item that is part art book, part notebook, I guess– some of Dumas’ paintings are interspersed with blank pages in a small softcover booklet.

In Paris, I had more leads to follow and spent a good part of a day wandering around tracking them down. My favorite shop was Marie Tournelle, a small store that is just crammed with cute stationery and school supplies.

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The museum shop at the Centre Pompidou also has an amazing papeterie section. I loved visiting the Sennelier store– the selection of sketchbooks wasn’t all that dazzling, but the rest of the art supplies will blow your mind, and it’s wonderfully old-fashioned. I loved the color charts along the stairs.

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Papier + had some beautifully bound journals with rainbow pages– expensive, though.

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A store called Merci had a small stationery section with a few cool things– along with some great (expensive) clothes and shoes and selected home and garden items. And to top it all off, there was even an interesting notebook sitting right on the desk in the AirBnB apartment I stayed in in Paris. It looked like it was quite old, with numbered graph paper pages separated with thin sheets of tissue, as if it was meant to be a lab notebook where you’d make copies of each page.

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Here’s the stack of notebooks I brought home from my trip. Not a bad haul! I’ll do a more detailed review on the notebooks themselves soon.

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See my Flickr album for even more photos.

Stolen in Seattle: A Hobonichi Techo

I feel this person’s pain, and hope someone is able to help! From a local Seattle blog:

“After a car break-in over the weekend, Aidan is just hoping to get one thing back:

Saturday night (last night) our mini cooper was broken into in the Skylark Cafe/Bar parking lot. … They took my messenger bag and my coat… [The bag had] a black journal/sketchbook in the bag that is incredibly important to me. It’s a yearly book and I’ve had one per year since I was sixteen (aka over ten years). I will pay to have it returned. The inside of the book has my name and contact number/email all over it….

We followed up with Aidan to ask for any further descriptive information:

My sketchbook is a Hobonichi Techo yearly planner sketchbook. It’s 4×6″ and it’s very fat. The journal itself is thin but mine is overstuffed with pasted movie tickets, receipts, photos, etc, so it barely closes. It’s black and has a big hero six sticker on the front, as well as a Ninja Turtle Michelangelo popsicle pin (though that might have fallen off). …

The journal resembles these photos: This and this. If you have any information, besides contacting police, you can reach Aidan at: lostsketchbookseattle@gmail.com”

Read the full report at West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen Aidan’s sketchbook?. See my Hobonichi Techo review here.

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Moleskine Monday: Declining Distribution?

I started doing a little Christmas shopping this past weekend in some local Brooklyn shops and noticed something interesting: not many Moleskines! In a couple of shops that used to stock Moleskines among other journals, I spotted Leuchtturm or other brands (including Denik, which I’d never heard of), but no Moleskines. These were the kinds of shops that try to carry interesting and trendy items, so I guess it’s gotten to the point where Moleskines are too widely available to be cool enough for some of these shops. Has anyone else noticed the same thing in other independent gift/stationery shops?

A Wonderfully Messy Sketchbook

I love this image of an Ellsworth Kelly sketchbook!

I found it in a blog post by Zan Popp, who uses it as an example of famous artists’ sketchbooks, and muses about sketchbooks in general:

“What I really like enjoy about my sketchbooks is that I allow myself to be messy. I don’t have to get the idea right the first, second or even fifth time.  I work on an idea until I am satisfied and happy with the outcome. My sketchbooks are playgrounds where I play and struggle with ideas and concepts, structures and materials. Some start out as great ideas and quickly fail, while others start out weak and grow into strong structures. By keeping my successes and failures in these books, I return to ideas, keep experimenting and hopefully growing.”

Read more at Sketchbooks: What’s in yours? | Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Moleskine As Photography Book

A photography book made from a Moleskine Japanese album, called “Le Ban des Utopies,” by Cyrille Weiner. There’s something very beautiful and simple about it…

 

See more at le ban des utopies | silverpoetics.

Courtney Wotherspoon’s Sketchbook

I always enjoy the Sketchbook Sneak Peek series at Design Sponge. Here’s one from a while back, featuring Courtney Wotherspoon.

What are your go-to sketch book supplies? Are there any brands or media that you’re particularly drawn to?

Pens, Uni-Ball Deluxe Micro, always black. Sometimes a blue ballpoint pen sneaks in if I can’t find my favourites.

Cut paper bits and glue stick, Derwent HBs and 2Bs that I end up sharpening down to the size of golf pencils, and sometimes a brush and acrylic ink, though I often don’t want to wait for it to dry before I turn the page and move on the next.

I started off filling large sketchbooks, upwards of 11″ x 14″, where I attempted to fill and complete entire ‘pieces’. Over the years, I’ve gone smaller and smaller and am now usually in a 5″ x 7″ or a mini 3″ x 5″ Moleskine. Some pages will be filled with colour, cutouts and imagery and others might just hold a single solitary pencil line.

See more at Sketchbook Sneak Peek: Courtney Wotherspoon | Design*Sponge.

Europa Memo Pad

I spotted this neat little notepad in one of NYC’s few remaining independent office supply/stationery shops, I now forget which one. I thought the map design was cute, and also couldn’t believe it was only $1.49!

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Notebook Addict of the Week: Rene

This week’s addict calls himself a “hoarder!” Yet he also has a generous spirit in his addiction: “I typically give most of these away, especially the Moleskines, to students as they want to write in what I’m writing in. I do journaling with them also so we kinda compete.”

From top left:

A three pack of pocket notebooks from Target in box

1 Moleskine pocket notebook

1 Rhodia Notebook, staple bound

2 Clairfontaine 1951 notebooks, a black and blue

1 Fabriano sketch notebook

2 Large Rhodia notebooks, staple bound, black and yellow lined

1 Scout Notebook with “Squishy” from Monsters University on its cover

1 3-pack of Doane Utility notebooks-black

Moleskines (1 japanese album, small notebook unlined, cahier kraft, 2 packs of large notebooks, all lined, in black and blue, below that are Kraft unlined medium sized, 2 3-packs of Kraft an unlined and lined X-Large, which they don’t make anymore apparently. A Lego Moleskine with Jango Fett attached, 1 White lined notebook hardbound, one Black unlined hardbound).

3 Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks, hardboound

3 different sized Apica notebooks

3 unnamed notebooks given to me by my wife for christmas. Have to do some research into these.

2 Cottonwood sketch books (Top one has a Think Geek monkey sticker)

1 red Piccadilly soft cover journal

1 sketch book with robot sticker

1 Staples brand notebook (given to me as a gift)

1 package of blank books by Lakeshore, staple bound and 2 hardcovers ( I used these for gifts to my nieces and nephews).

 

See the original post at Rene’s blog. Thank you for sharing your addiction (and your notebooks) Rene!

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