Midori Traveler’s Notebook (Part 2)

So a while back I wrote about this planner/journal system and how my introduction to it was a cheap knock-off from Michael’s. Yeah, I went a little bonkers with that. A couple of weeks later I decided to upgrade a bit to a fabric cover that I bought on Etsy, then I discovered that a lot of people make covers in Fields Notes size (I am already a committed Field Notes junkie), then I started adding charms and folders and bookmarks and more inserts… long story short, I am now the owner of 5 TNs total: one standard size, one passport, and three FN-size. I use them all, although of course I don’t carry them all around with me. I’d have to be She-Hulk to manage that.

Last week I saw a post in a Facebook group for buying/selling TN gear where someone was selling a TN brand Airport Edition, the cover that is only sold at the Traveler’s Factory stores in Japanese airports (as far as I know, just Narita and Tokyo). Apparently I thought WELP I GUESS I HAVEN’T BLOWN ENOUGH MONEY ON THIS HOBBY YET, because I wound up buying it, although I did get her to knock $20 off her asking price and include the shipping. BEHOLD:


The charm is a hamsa, that I added myself.


It came with this insert. The other is my lightweight paper insert; I’ve taken to covering the boring covers with craft paper.


More covered inserts.


I found these vintage camera magnet bookmarks at Barnes and Noble and of course as soon as I did there was a 100% chance they were coming home with me.


I use the weekly planner to keep notes about photo shoots: what/where/when, weather/light conditions, films/cameras used, etc.


The kraft paper insert with some stuff from my recent Virginia trip.


The folder (from Analog Stationers) holds tourism brochures as well as loose items that haven’t made it into the kraft insert yet.


Everyday Carry

The JetPens blog has a fun, detailed entry on Everyday Carry, with some suggested items–I like the section of “EDC Example Kits” towards the end. EDC is one of those things that I never heard until I started using and collecting fountain pens but which makes absolute sense. I’ve always loved things like pencil cases, of course I love pens and other stationery items, and I find a weirdly soothing effect in organizing/compartmentalizing my possessions. Most everyone has an EDC, even if you don’t carry it to such philosophical heights. Some people take it to extremes, as if they were expecting the zombie apocalypse to break out at any moment, but mine is pretty simple.

I use the Nomadic Easy Classification case to hold:

  • A weekly-ish rotating cast of 2 or 3 fountains pens (usually one mini and lately my Vanishing Point has been staying in there permanently).
  • A Field Notes notebook and ballpoint.
  • Mechanical pencil.
  • Fine-tipped Sharpie.
  • Foldable mini scissors.
  • Flash drive.
  • Photography business cards.
  • Cell phone.

I guess my journal/planner is a separate part of my EDC, I bought the Hobonichi Techo planner with the blue/green cover for 2016 and I am really impatient for the year to end so I can start using it! This will be my first experience with Tomoe River paper.

the lost art of paper & pen

Wow, I haven’t been posting much of anything other than photos lately. I’ve been writing more in my paper journals, but it’s never anything I think anyone would be interested in. Except for in the various LJ journaling groups I belong to, which is where I found something called Lost Crates. Basically you sign up, take a short personality quiz, and for $38 per month they send you a bunch of notebooks, pens and other stationery supplies.

I Googled it and read some reviews of people who’ve gotten at least one shipment, and most people seemed to feel that what they got was worth the money, so I joined. I like the idea of letting people pick out things that I might not normally think to try for myself. $38 every single month is a lot (although that includes the shipping), but I figure I’ll do it for a couple-three months until I have a stockpile (well, more of a stockpile; I love pens and notebooks), then quit until I’ve used most of it up. You can quit and re-join as often as you want without extra fees.

I also joined the Fountain Pen Network, which is a forum for people who like fountain/dip pens, stationery, and weird bottled inks; not to mention the lost art of correspondence. There’s  a place to swap addresses for people who want to write letters to each other; I got my first postcard today. Nothing real deep, it’s just fun to receive mail and people so rarely bother to send it nowadays. (I also joined the Letters Writers Alliance!)

Stuff I have recently purchased:

  • Field Notes “County Fair”, Louisiana edition. Field Notes are the new Moleskine, only better because they’re made in the USA and use Futura font. If I like them I will get California, too.
  • Behance Dot Grid Journal.  I like graph paper cahiers better than lined journals, I’m interested to see what it’s like to write on dot grid paper.
  • A lap desk. I had daydreams of some wooden Victorian contraption, but in the end went for simple and plastic. Also easy to shove under the bed for the 23 hours a day I don’t need it.
  • International Girl Aerogrammes. I have letters to send as well as receive.
  • Noodler’s Ink in Baystate Blue. People who use this ink are fanatical about it, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.
  • Heeding the advice that the ink stains everything it touches (it’s waterproof) and people recommend you not use it in your best fountain pen, I also bought one of Noodler’s Ink fun little retro-styled resin fountain pens, in turquoise.

And currently I’m debating between getting the Pelikan P58 and the Lamy Al-Star. (Currently the Lamy has a slight edge, because it’s thicker and therefore probably more comfortable to grip.) I want a more “work day” fountain pen than my Waterman. Something that I don’t freak out over when I drop it or forget it at work.

So, what are you obsessed with lately?