Rosa Bonheur Sketchbook

I love the random things I sometimes find from online archives, usually via Google alerts. This one is from the Getty Research Institute: Rosa Bonheur Sketchbook, 1847

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Read more about the artist: Rosa Bonheur Wikipedia entry

Jodi’s Finished Sketchbook

A tantalizing glimpse of a finished sketchbook:

“Just finished a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. Woo hoo! Nothing beats the feeling of the last mark of your pen on the final page. I know not long ago I said I’d finished another sketchbook but it’s not like I just whipped through a new one. I had actually been keeping two concurrently – a ‘good’ one and an ‘everyday’ one. The one just finished is the ‘good’ one.”
The “everyday” vs. “good” sketchbook idea is one I’ve been debating myself– for a while, I had one where I let myself play and doodle, and one where I only allowed myself to draw things I was actually looking at and trying to capture accurately. Now I’m back to one sketchbook that is a combination of both.

See more at Jodi’s blog: Jodi Wiley Sketchblog: Another sketchbook down.

Notebook Addict of the Week (Again): Shane

This week we have another repeat addict. Shane’s collection has grown since he was an addict of the week in February 2011. Here’s an update on his collection:

Found these Peanuts journals over time online. They were originally put out in the late 90’s when I purchased the Charlie Brown edition. These are so hard to find and the next journal I start will be the Pigpen (my favorite out of all of them) and I will plow through all of them in a row, even Peppermint Patty since the seller accidentally sent me that one and I had no idea they even put one out for her.

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I love me a superhero journal with a retro theme. Constantly searching for them.

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A few more Super-journals.

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Some Disney themed journals/notebooks. The Disney Store does an excellent job of putting out several journals throughout the year and they quickly go on clearance making room for new batches, and then I make my move!
The Charlie Brown shirt design is a favorite, simple and to the point. I have yet to experience writing in a Moleskine, but my Star Wars themed notebook is waiting its turn, and I wanted a plain red journal and Picadilly provided one at a great price at Barnes and Noble.

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I love that he collects so many journals within particular themes– that takes true dedication! Thanks for sharing your addiction again, Shane!

Grids and Guides Notebook

I stumbled across this in a bookshop and just loved it! Wish they would make a pocket sized version too!
Grids and Guides: A Notebook for Visual Thinkers


“Map out graphs, schematics, sketches, and dreams with this sleek and durable workbook. Inspired by vintage laboratory notebooks, Grids & Guides features 144 pages of graph paper (eight designs repeating throughout) interspersed with a multitude of scientific charts, tables, and infographics featuring everything from the periodic table to alternative alphabets to Newton’s Laws of Motion. This journal is the perfect tool for right-brainers and left-brainers alike.”

Review: Soundless Soliloquy Notebook


I bought this notebook from Soundless Solilquy’s shop on Etsy over a year ago. It just looked like a nice simple notebook with some attractive colors available, so I decided to give one a try. It’s a very cute and handy size that manages to be very pocketable, more substantial than a Moleskine Cahier or Field Notes, yet slimmer than a softcover Moleskine or most of the other pocket notebooks out there. Shown below with a hardcover pocket Moleskine for size comparison:


I picked a 3.5 x 5.5″ pocket notebook with a gray faux leather cover. It’s very understated and plain– no branding on the outside, and even inside, the logo is in a sort of textured clear gel (I’m sure there’s a name for this, but I don’t know what to call it!) so you might miss it if you’re not paying attention.


The corners are neatly rounded, and there is a black ribbon marker. The sewn binding opens nice and flat.


Inside, the paper is a cool bright white. It feels fine to write on, but show-through and bleed-through were a bit worse than average. The paper didn’t feel particularly special– it could have been regular office printer paper. If you’re used to Moleskine paper, Leuchtturm paper, Clairefontaine/Rhodia paper, or anything else a bit more upscale, you might find this paper a little underwhelming.


What I do love about this notebook is the size and feel of it, and that it seems very carefully made. I seem to remember paying $20 for it, but the price on Etsy now is $25– either way, it’s high for what it is, especially since the cover isn’t real leather. I do believe in paying a bit more to support small scale craftspeople, but in this case, I think something more like $12-15 might be reasonable. I don’t think I’ll buy another one, but I like this one enough that it will be in my “to be used someday” pile. It’s also worth mentioning that Soundless Soliloquy offers to work with you to make a customized perfect journal– if you could specify upgraded materials with this level of skilled and careful binding, that would be worth paying some extra money for!

Field Notes Unexposed… Exposed

The latest Field Notes limited edition was rather intriguing– an all-black sleeve hiding a surprise inside, of 3 randomly selected notebooks from among 6 designs.


If you want a spoiler that reveals what’s inside, you can find out here, or on various other blogs that have been letting the cat out of the bag. I had the same initial guess that they would somehow involve light-sensitive paper covers, which would have been cool… oh well!

Notebook Addict of the Week: Heath

This week’s addict is the blogger at Pen Paper Ink Letter.

Heath is another addict who uses many notebooks at once: 7 of them! Heath says “I get that seven notebooks sounds like a lot but each has its own purpose. I have flirted with moving to a few more but keep coming back to this strategy.” Note that he didn’t say he’d ever considered using a few less! Read the original post for descriptions of his strategy for using notebooks for different purposes.


Read more at Notebook Strategies | Pen Paper Ink LetterPen Paper Ink Letter.

Finishing a Couple of Sketchbooks

I’ve had a few sketchbooks in various stages of completion for a couple of years, and I just put two of them to bed. One was a Moleskine sketchbook that I used almost entirely for lunchtime sketches while sitting in parks in NYC– mostly quick pencil sketches, with watercolors added to a few later. After a few months, I ended up taking the sketchbook with me on trips to Arizona and the beach in Delaware. Here’s a few favorite pages:

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This other sketchbook, a HandBook Artist Journal, was started on my first trip to Paris. I think I was a bit intimidated by the artistic heritage of Paris, or perhaps by feeling it was a bit of a cliche to sit around sketching in a small notebook in Paris! (At least it wasn’t a Moleskine.) I only used a few pages in Paris,  after which it just became a receptacle for weekend doodles, sketches and collages, most of them pretty lame… it was good to just play around and see what I come up with, but I’m much better at just drawing things that are in front of me.

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After finishing these, I’ll be on to more of the same! A fresh Moleskine sketchbook, and another half-started HandBook that I first used for a few not very good drawings on trips to Istanbul and Lisbon, and then in Corsica, where all I drew was a few ridiculous caricatures of the people I was traveling with. Now it will be my new weekend doodle and collage book. I’m always trying to force myself to keep drawing and doodling and creating something– anything– even if I’m not always pleased with the results.

Vintage Office Supplies

I recently went to a wonderful little stationery store in Montclair, New Jersey, a lovely town not far from NYC. The shop, which is just called “Montclair Stationery,” is a bit of a time warp, as it harks back to the days when most towns’ main street had an independent stationery store that carried a little of everything. And this shop not only has a little of everything, some of its everythings have probably been on the shelves for decades! I bought a couple of notebooks there, and their notebook selection was pretty good, but not as exciting as all the vintage staples! I couldn’t resist taking photos of all these wonderful old boxes of staples and staplers that are all probably long out of production. Even if they’re still made, you know the packaging is nowhere near as cool now!

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If you’re ever in the area, please stop by this lovely little shop. I’m so glad they haven’t been put out of business by Staples and Amazon, and hope they never will be!

Pat Perry’s Sketchbook

A great find via Doodlers Anonymous. I love the color and the fine lines, not to mention the enigmatic subject matter.

See more at Blog: Inside the Sketchbook of Pat Perry – Doodlers Anonymous.