Friday, September 26, 2014

our new design

Hey guys! If you haven't been over to the blog in awhile, I'd love it if you stopped by and took a look at Journaling Journey's new design from Marcia! I'm really loving it!

Monday, September 22, 2014

notebook review: monologue

Today I am reviewing for Monologue, a Singaporean owned and operated notebook company. From their about page, "Monologue evolved from a long line of craftsmanship and tradition since the founding of our parent company dating back to 1945." Danhong from Monologue sent me a generous representation of the company's notebooks.

I decided to start with smallest first, which is the A8 notebook, which translates to 3x2 inches. A micro notebook!

See what I mean? 

 It has 96 cream-colored lined pages and a nifty little bookmark.

The paper is very smooth.

The bleed through on this one is pretty significant. None of the pens held up to the bleed through test, so I suppose the best writing instrument for it would be a pencil or a ball-point.

 Next up in the review is the A5 ruled notebook. It's a nice purple color, although it's showing up a bit more bright/bluish here than it actually is in real life (my camera does not interpret color very well). In real life, the purple is a true purple, very deep and rich.

 I really really like the little elastic pen holder nestled conveniently at the back. This is very useful, because so often pens are lost in the process of carrying a journal around, or else you try to hold them to the front with the cap of the pen, which ends up breaking (this has happened to me before.)

 The paper feels like high quality, somewhat thin without being actually thin, and feels quite smooth. However, the shadow from the backside of the pen test is very significant.

 It has a nifty pocket in the back to hold important documents and such. I have already been using this journal for a while, and the pocket seems to be very high quality (not the sort that will fall apart and rip.)

 I have been using this as a journal, so here you can see how the pen shadows through the back. This may be a problem for some, but not for others. This isn't my first preference of paper quality, however the journal is still usable.

 This is an A5 size from Monologues Platinum line. I really like the dark grey cover and the little place for the elastic to sit.

 The 96 pages are white and the paper is lined. This journal also contains a pocket like the purple A5 as well as a bookmark and a pen holder.

The bleed through test. It seems like there may be ever so slightly less bleed through than with the purple A5.

 I love the color of this sturdy-feeling little A6, and the way the elastic is positioned is unique.

 It is filled with 96 cream-colored ruled pages, and includes a brown bookmark and a pocket in the back cover for storing things. This notebook has a nice autumnal color theme going.

 I found this A6 notebook to be very interesting, as you will see. It is a hardcover, covered with a nice dark blue suede.

 It comes with a nifty Monologue Pencil, as well as a bookmark and a storage pocket in the back cover. It is filled with 96 cream pages. Half are lined.

 And the other half are blank, which is really interesting. I don't think I have ever come across a notebook quite like this one. The inclusion of the pencil made the pages narrower than usual.

 This is the pen test, which is also a representation of the orange A6.

 Again, I am not impressed with the bleed through/shadow issues Monologue's paper seems to have.

This is an A5 sized sketchbook. The cover feels quite durable. It is a softcover, but the cover feels somewhat stiff. I am not sure that it would be a good sketching surface. The whole sketchbook feels quite sturdy, though.

It is filled with 128 pages of heavier weight white paper, and includes a handy tear out feature.

I like the paper in this sketchbook a lot. It's heavier than that of the journals, and is not as smooth, so you get a nice, rougher texture for sketching. 

The bleed through does not seem to be a huge issue for the sketchbook, however there is still that shadow, although it is not quite as severe.

My thoughts:
Monologue's notebooks seem reminiscent to Moleskines to me. There isn't a lot of defining features about them, and by that I mean they seem like pretty standard notebooks. They seem durable and well-made (although after a month of use the pen holder on the purple A5 is showing signs of wear, and after a few days of use, the elastic broke on the little A8.) I don't feel like I can give an incredibly high rating on the paper. While it is a nice cream color and luxuriously smooth, the bleed through and the shadow are very intense. The sizes of the notebooks are varied, however, which is a plus, as there is a size for everyone (especially the A8; I do not think I have ever seen a journal that small.) The inclusion of bookmarks, storage compartments in the back cover, pen holders, and elastic closures are definitely a huge plus for me. These accessories are quite useful to any journaler.

Check out Monologue:
Monologue is currently working on their official website, so I was told by Danhong to link to their Facebook page, which you may visit here

I would like to thank Monologue for providing these journals to review!

Disclosure: I received these journals from Monologue in return for my honest review of the product, and the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the gathering of ideas

Sometimes when you're out and about and away from your journal, something you'd like to write about will pop into your head, or you will see something you want to record. But the problem is, you're away from your journal. So what can you do? You can carry your journal around everywhere with you, as long as you have a purse or a bag big enough for it. This is especially useful if you are going to be on a long trip or spending time in waiting rooms. However, whipping your journal out in public can be a little strange.

Another good idea is to get yourself a handy-dandy notebook (see above). It is small, inconspicuous, and personal. You can slip in in your jeans pocket or in your purse. So when you get an idea, or the beginnings of a poem, or ideas for your book, or something you'd like to record, you can take it out and jot  down what you need to. At a later and more convenient time, you can transfer it to your actual journal and elaborate on it. 

I do a little bit of both. Lately I have been slipping my real journal into my purse whenever I go out, but I also carry a little notebook around at times as well. It all depends.

Do you carry your journal with you?

Monday, September 15, 2014

notebook review: rossi journals

Today I am reviewing for Rossi journals, Italian made and designed (handmade in Tuscany, might I add.) Rossi is a family-owned company that was founded in 1931, and continues to make fine stationery products to this day.

 I had to take a picture of the package.
It is always so nice to receive mail from overseas!

The packaging was a delight to behold when I opened the PO box; I love the special Rossi tape!

 Joka from Rossi sent me eight journals in total!
I must say, this is the most generous package I have ever received from a notebook company.

 Such a darling little journal! I really like the design; 
I listen to a lot of classical music and this is right up my alley. It is softcover.

 It is filled with unlined cream paper.

 This is a smaller-sized notebook; softcover as well.

 It is filled with cream colored lined paper.

 I love the design on this softcover journal and the fact that you can write a title on the cover. 

 I tested pens inside this journal; the paper is more or less the same throughout the journals, so this is a representation of pen bleed through on the entire lot.

 There is some shadow see-through on both pens, except for the Sharpie permanent marker which bled through the other side (but it's hard to find paper that Sharpies won't bleed through). The paper is neither thin nor thick. It is smooth, but not quite as smooth as some journals I have used.

 This is a hardcover journal of a medium-size.
The cover feels quite sturdy and the elastic closure is a nice touch.
However, I feel the black elastic doesn't flow as nicely with the journal design as perhaps a cream colored one would.

 I love the fact that all of Rossi's paper is cream colored.
 I only use journals with cream colored paper, so this was a huge plus for me.

 I love the design on this softcover journal, as well as the space to write a title or description for what's inside. The covers on the softcover journals are made from a very sturdy paper. Although they are not sturdy enough to use as a stable writing surface, they seem like they will hold up well.

 It is a thinner journal, not full of many pages, but it's a nice paper size.

 This is a thin softcover journal. The design is quite interesting, but I enjoy interesting things.

 The paper is unlined, so I suppose it could be used as a sketchbook, although I'm not sure how well that would work out, considering it is not a hardcover.

 I'm not a fan of this particular cover design, but I like the concept of a higher quality spiral journal. The softcover is made of a high-quality feeling heavy textured paper, and has an elastic closure.

 It is filled with lined pages, and even has a handy flap in the front that you can mark your place with. The paper in this notebook feels less smooth and ever so slightly textured compared to the other journals, which I really enjoy. (Sometimes when paper is too smooth and fine, your pen shows up differently on it.)

 I really like this journal. It is a very nice size, and has a sturdy feeling hardcover with an elastic closure.

 Again, the same lovely cream colored paper and very nicely sized pages with great line space width. I would have liked the inclusion of a bookmark in this journal.

My brother actually pointed this out (and I have to say I agree) that Rossi projects a 1950s vintage vibe (as is visible from the label.)

A catalog was included with the package, filled with the lovely stationery supplies the company makes.

 There are several pages devoted to Rossi's many notebook styles and designs.

Rossi also makes beautiful stationery.

See what I mean about the 1950s vibe?

I have to say that I am very pleased with Rossi journals.The quality seems very high, from the binding, to the covers, to the paper, and the designs are very unique with a classic, vintage feel. These are not your bland, run of the mill notebooks. 

However, I have to say I would love to see an inclusion of a bookmark with the hardcover journals. While this is not a huge deal, a bookmark is a useful addition to almost any journal. Also, I would have liked to see a little sticker or something on each journal with a description of it--how many pages it contains, the size/dimensions, whether or not the paper is lined/unlined, acid-free, etc. Most journals I have come across include a little description of some sort with the journal (which makes reviewing easier.)

Check out Rossi journals:
Rossi has a website which provides an overview of their company and products. Rossi also has a blog that contains interesting trivia and updates about the company and products, as well as a list of US retailers, both in-store retailers and online ones. 

I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Rossi company for providing me these journals to review!

Disclosure: I received these journals from Rossi in return for my honest review of the product, and the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

All words and photographs belong to Journaling Journeys, unless otherwise stated.
Blog design by Marcia.