Saturday, October 21, 2017

Service Women Stamp

The zipper pouch of my traveler's notebook plastic insert houses paper ephemera, such as an old map print and a decorative paper for French men's watches; things that I find interesting. I was able to add this 1952 3c "Service Women" stamp, a deep blue paper that shows women in uniform from the Marines, Army, Navy, and Air Corps.

It's so small in proportion to the size of the insert, but it was something that really touched me. That's why I found it nice to flip open my Midori and have it as one of the first things I look at. Girl power, am I right?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Rossi 1931 Notebooks

Today I will be reviewing for Rossi 1931, an Italian stationery company founded in Borgo San Lorenzo, Florence. They produce greeting cards, journals, decorative and writing papers, and other fine stationery.

I was kindly sent ten notebooks to try out, and was excited when a huge package from Italy landed on my doorstep. 

The first three notebooks varied in size, but had the same cover material. The smallest notebook had blank pages, while the other two were lined.
The paper was a smooth and creamy off-white, on which I decided to test my most used pens -- the Pilot G-2 07 and Sakura Pigma Micron 05. 

As you can see, there is some bleed through with the Micron. I was pleased to see only some ghosting with my Pilot.

Again, minimal ghosting of the Pilot G2 is present, but nothing obstrusive.

Moving on to this style of notebook, you can see that the cover design is similar. However, the A5 size has blank pages and a sewn binding, whereas the smaller one has lined pages and spiral binding.

This A5 notebook made me smile, with its lobster cover and red underwater design. Again, this one also has blank pages and a sewn binding.

The hardcover lined notebooks pictured above made me swoon--I loved the French words and the vintage look. The larger one has gold detail, and both of their elastic closings are similar to the Moleskine.

Speaking of gold detail, this hardcover blank notebook was also a pleasure to page through. Do you see the gold-lined pages? 

This Pinocchio notebook has a fun and playful look. With the spiral binding and elastic, it looks like a very classy notebook to bring to school or work.

Overall, I am very impressed with the quality and design of these notebooks. I would be slightly wary about the type of pen to use, but Rossi notebooks work well with my primary writing utensil. While I've always been minimal with my journal covers, the decorative aspect certainly appeals to a number of vintage and stationery aficionados.

Disclosure: I was sent these notebooks in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mushrooms and autumn

It was the first day of autumn, yesterday. I saw a mushroom peeking out from the uneven grass of someone's yard. It made me realize how much I missed painting these things of fall: fungi, colorful leaves, fiery trees.

I cannot wait.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New books, Pentel paints

It's been a little difficult waking up early again and getting back into the swing of classes, but 18th century satire should help. I've been wanting to read Candide by Voltaire for quite some time, so it was nice to find it at a used book sale earlier this week.

My brother also gave me his Pentel watercolor set, which had sat unopened for a long time. I squeezed the tube paint into a small plastic palette, and have been using it since. 

I've been doing a bit of what one would consider to be urban sketching. It just feels so liberating to draw with light, fast pen strokes to capture the essence of a subject. There's a lot for me to still learn, but for now the lack of "rules" has been enjoyable.

Earlier, I mentioned that I've been exploring different drawing and painting styles. I enjoy the slow, layer-over-layer style of watercolor painting, but trying out new things is always a good experience.