Hobonichi Techo 2016

ht cover

So this is my first year with the coveted Hobonichi Techo planner, and I love it. Technically I was able to start using it halfway through December, but you only get half pages until New Year’s Day. On January 1st it goes to the full page-per-day format, one of the things users love so much about this particular planner. My only complaint is the quotes at the bottom of every page, I don’t have much use for them and I’d rather have the space to write in.

ht day

The pen I chose to go with it is my Sailor Lecoule, partly because of the color and partly because it’s one of my few F nibs, allowing me to write small and still have it be legible. It’s filled with Iroshizuku Ku-jaku (Peacock), and I’m planning on using the same pen/ink throughout the year. Some people use different pens to color-code their planners, but I like to write on the go, so I’ll probably just stick with one.

HT month
(not my photo)

One of the great things about the Techo (besides than the ultra-thin but fountain pen-friendly Tomoe River paper) is that it’s sort of two things in one. At the beginning of the planner you have the small box-per-day monthly layout, and the page-per-day format after that. (Also some blank dot-grid pages at the back.) I’m not a particularly busy person, so I like to use this section for more traditional planner-type writings. I use the big pages for short journal entries, lists, and photos. (In fact, just before Christmas I dusted off my Polaroid and bought 10 10-packs of the 2×3″ Zink paper that goes in it.)

Some people get really artistic with the large pages, sketching a visual diary, or making miniature scrapbook pages. Except for photographs, I’ve always been more of a words journaler. Howver, I did buy some stickers and small post-its, and last night I ordered these stamps from Amazon:

stamps

In the course of Googling around to see what other people do with their Techos, stamps seem to be a popular option. (Also with Filofaxes, which have apparently morphed from the yuppie must-have accessory I knew it as during my ’80s childhood into something more fun and youthful.) I looked at a lot of stamp sets and most of them just had too many stamps I would never use. These are Korean (a lot of the sets I saw were Korean or Japanese), but most of them have symbols that make their meaning obvious. I might never use a couple of these, but most of them I could see using a few times a year, and some of them a few times a month. I especially like the little + and – change purse ones; using those in the monthly pages could help give you a good idea of your finances for the week or month at a glance. The 40-stamp set was $8.85 (free shipping with Amazon Prime) and they come in a little wooden box.

(My first choice for stamps was Pilot Frixion, because they are both self-inking and erasable, and I did buy a couple of them from JetPens just before New Year’s. But no American retailer seems to carry more than a few of the designs, if I wanted all of them I’d have to buy them from Etsy or eBay and pay a huge mark-up.)

Vacation #2: Windsor Ruins, B&W

This is slightly expired Fuji Neopan shot in my wide angle Vivi Ultra W&S knock-off. I shot this combo for the first time last spring and loved it, and this is a good subject for a wide angle lens anyway.

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

This is the last batch of vacation photos, but 2016 is already shaping up to be a busy travel year. I’ve got Krewe of Muses (already booked my Airbnb accommodation for that) and the Little Rock pen show in February; back to Lynchburg for the Monacan powwow in either April or May (they won’t commit to exact dates until it’s a bit closer); and at some point during the year I hope to spend some more time on Dauphin Island. I’ll probably do the Dallas pen show again, too.

My hopefuls for 2017 are FINALLY going to Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri, and visiting my brother in Chicago (during the Chicago pen show), if he’s still there and if his crazy boyfriend will simmer down long enough.

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Le Feu et L’Eau

Fire & Water is a local arts festival in Arnaudville that I went to on Saturday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day: low humidity, sunny, about 72 degrees. It’s put on by NUNU Arts & Culture Collective, which was started about 10 years ago by the painter George Marks, when he moved back to Arnaudville from Baton Rouge. It’s a small town, I don’t think there’s even 1,500 residents, and it had been slowly sliding away since the 1960s. But if you go there now, there are galleries and studios and a couple of really good restaurants and the Bayou Teche Brewery. You can buy some art or watch a demo or even take a class.

I really enjoyed the show and seeing what other artists in my area are up to. There was a little bit of everything: painting, pottery, quilting, mosaics, poetry and short stories. And photography; John Slaughter had a table, and there was someone doing tintype portraits (which I had done a few years ago). I bought a copy of John’s new book, a collection of photos of Catahoula hounds, the Louisiana state dog. They are some gorgeous photos, I really admire people who can photograph animals. He was nice enough to sign it for me, too.

CatahoulaWEB

I picked up some information about joining; I let my membership to NOPA lapse a couple of years ago because I just felt like I wasn’t getting anything out if it. I live too far away from New Orleans to really be involved in that arts community, which took me a while to come to terms with because I do love the city and it has given me some amazing photos that I am truly proud of. However, I have no desire to live there full-time; I’m just not a city person and I never was. The planning meetings for NOPA were always on weeknights, and even though the workshops were usually on a Saturday I rarely went because I’d have to get up at like 5:00 in the morning to be there on time.

So long story short, I’ve been looking for a more local arts community to join. NOPA had the advantage of being focused entirely on photography, but it was just too far away. Lafayette has a similar group, but their website says their focus is specifically on digital photography, which doesn’t make me feel like I’d be welcome. I’m not going to decide anything until the new year, but an artist’s membership is just $25 annually, so it does seem like I could try it and not be out too much if it doesn’t work out for me.

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Mystery slide roll: Laura Plantation

I found another mystery roll in my desk, this time a roll of Fuji Velvia. I had no idea what was on it and anyway it was expired, so I took a chance and had it cross-processed. Cross-processed Velvia always comes out red-orange with purple skies, while Lomography’s slide film is usually more blue-green. I expect theirs is made with the knowledge that it’s probably not going to be processed in slide chemistry. (Or if not made, purchased and repackaged–I’m not sure how much of their films are in-house creations.) Has anyone ever made a list of how different brands look cross-processed?

Slave cabins

Laura Plantation

Kitchen building

Maison de Reprise

River Road

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Mystery roll: St. Charles Borromeo church & cemetery, Grand Coteau, LA

This was the second half of that mystery roll.

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo

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Mystery roll: Our Lady of Tickfaw

This was from a roll of Ektar that I had rolling around in a desk drawer for so long that I forgot what was on it. I’m pretty sure I shot it in the Smena 8M, judging from the wonky framing on a couple of the shots (that crappy viewfinder). Half of it turned out to have been shot at that weird, busted Marian shrine up in Tangipahoa Parish.

Our Lady of Tickfaw

Our Lady of Tickfaw

Our Lady of Tickfaw

Our Lady of Tickfaw

Our Lady of Tickfaw

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Vacation #2: Margaret’s Grocery, Vicksburg, MS

One of the things I did in Mississippi was go up to Vicksburg for a day, I’d never been and it’s only 90 minutes from Natchez. It’s mostly famous nowadays for its Civil War battlefield, but I’ve never been particularly enamored of that aspect of the south. I’m a westerner by birth and upbringing, and frankly I think the south would be a lot better off if everyone down here could quit harping on something that happened before their great-grandparents were born.

This structure is north of the town, it used to be a grocery store that the owners turned into a weird folk art installation. Sadly, they have both died and it’s now kind of falling apart.

Margaret's Grocery

Margaret's Grocery

Margaret's Grocery

Margaret's Grocery

Margaret's Grocery

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