Midori Traveler’s Notebook

This is another journaling/planner system I’ve become interested in. It’s a popular option because of how customizable it is, but the standard Midori brand cover is leather and not cheap. A less expensive option is the “fauxdori”, which are popular for reasons involving money, veganism, and/or just wanting something different than a plain brown or black leather cover.

Fauxdori TN

I found this knock-off “boho string journal” being sold at Michael’s under their store brand Expressions for $15 last month, it came with a blank white paper insert and a brown kraft paper insert. But I figured it would go on sale and I’m in Michael’s at least twice a month. Sure enough, the next time it was in there it was 40% off, so I scooped it up. I ditched the white paper notebook, the pages of which felt overly thick and too pulpy to be fountain pen-friendly, but I kept the kraft paper. Kraft paper is more or less all the same. I also didn’t like the charms it came with–too “15-year-old girl’s diary”–so I swapped them for a St. Joan medal and a fleur-de-lis I had on hand, leftovers from chaplet-making.

Fauxdori TN

Here it is after I added a Field Notes graph notebook (the large “Arts & Sciences” edition) and weekly planner with memo and lightweight paper journal, both Midori TN brand. So I guess my “fauxdori” is at least semi-authentic. The pen is an eyedroppered Pilot Petit filled with Sailor Yama-dori.

Fauxdori TN

The kraft paper notebook will function as a kind of scrapbook. In a TN, the different notebooks are attached to each other with large rubber bands, and the middle is slipped through an elastic that runs down the inside spine of the cover. So you have different notebooks with different layouts, but they all function as one journal/planner.

Fauxdori TN

The Field Notes may just be for, well, notes; but I’m going to do some research on bullet journaling this weekend and that may be something I want to get into. I’ve stayed away from it before now because it seems like it involves a lot of color-coding and I don’t really want to haul around an entire craft store with me.

Fauxdori TN

The weekly planner (to which I added a lucky money envelope, a finishing touch on a lot of my journals/planners) and the journal will be used primarily for photography projects and road trips… things that involve actual travel, so to speak. My Hobonichi Techo functions more as a mini-journal and I don’t see there being a lot of overlap between the two. I like to think of the Hobo being a journal of internal life and the TN as one of external life.

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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.)

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.

stitching, zombies, and fountain pens

My little exercise in bargello went well! I might even frame this. I think I can now say I have mastered the stitch.

This is a fairly large project I’ve been meaning to make for a while. It’s a true sampler in that it “samples” different techniques. Already in this little start, in addition to regular cross stitch I’ve also used: Padded satin stitch; rhodes; Smyrna crosses; mosaic stitch; rice stitch; and one of my personal favorites, blackwork. It also uses variegated and metallics in addition to regular floss. The darker metallic was supposed to be a copper, but I couldn’t find it at Michael’s (and since I stopped driving, going to a bunch of different places looking for one 99-cent item is too much of a pain in the rump), so I improvised by blending a strand of reddish-brown regular floss with a thin gold embroidery thread. I think it worked out quite well.

Saturday I needed to go to the Hub to mail Granny’s pillowcase from the UPS store, and thought I’d pop into Borders and get a new book. During my morning channel-surfing I caught parts of both Shaun of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead. So with that in mind I decided on World War Z, which so far is a decision I do not regret at all because it’s fucking awesome. I think I’ll read his other book too, The Zombie Survival Guide.

Was George Romero the first guy to come up with the whole zombies-attacking-and-eating-people thing, or did he just popularize it? Because in Vodoun, zombies aren’t really scary. The fear is of becoming a zombie, not of zombies themselves. Zombies are seen as more pitiful than anything to fear. And they certainly don’t eat people. That must have been just a weird mistranslation between cultures or something.

Lastly, I finally found a place to buy my favorite pens, the Pilot Petit 1. Before I had to trek all the way to Japantown, but thanks to the Pen Addict blog, I discovered JetPens. I ordered a couple of pens and a bunch of colored ink refills (it’s a fountain pen) on Friday, and I got them the next day! It helps that they ship from Mountain View, which is in the next county south from mine. Anyway, if you’re into pens, I recommend them.