EDC TN: June 2016

My Purse

I’m a little disappointed that I will not be able to show you anything different here. There is a new setup in the works for my purse, but certain things haven’t arrived yet so I am actually still using the same setup as I have for the last two months (SLC TN Wallet + Hobonichi Weeks).

My Work Bag

I really enjoyed using the Foxyfix Wanderlust in Espresso so I continued using it. I also wanted to see how an undyed leather develops its patina, so I fielded the PocketJot Natural to hold the rest of my active inserts. I have not wanted to change my pen case in a long time, so I continue to use my purple Nabel pencase.

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My Work Desk

I went back to using my Midori Blue limited edition, because honestly I like it better than the black one. It also matches the colors of my company, which gives me a certain satisfaction since I’m using this as my work notebook.

 

Alunsina Graph Insert

My current journal is the Alunsina Graph Insert (pocket sized), which is this cute little notebook with a blue cover. Alunsina’s branding is tastefully done in gold foil.

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The back of the cover is just as plain, with only the email address of the company also gold foiled at the bottom.

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The paper is cream colored, with grids that are rather on the wider side at 6mm sizing. The color of the lines is in soft brown, which is quite visible but does not detract from the writing. I tested this paper with several types of writing instruments.

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Most of these did not really even show through the back, and certainly there are no bleedthroughs. The Sharpie and the brush pen are the ones that showed through the most. This is pretty good since the insert can be used for drawings and lettering. I’d say that the paper is on the lighter side, probably around 70-80gsm.

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I also tested it with a Zig Kuretake Fudebiyori brush pen, which is not as fine as my usual brush pens. It actually showed through a bit more than the Sharpie and the Zebra brush pen, and arguably there is a tiny bit of bleedthrough. It does not bother me, and I was still able to satisfactorily use the back of the page.

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Overall I’m quite pleased with the Alunsina Graph Insert as my journal. I’m happy that I have a backup, and that it is rather easy to acquire since it is usually stocked at Common Room along Katipunan.

 

What I Packed: Cebu 2016

My family went on a very delayed beach vacation to Mactan, Cebu last weekend, and as per my habit I take photos of what I took with me in the stationery department. While I had my Hobonichi Weeks and my TN Wallet as is expected, I also brought along my Chicsparrow Outlander with journal inserts as well as the Midori Mini. I felt that I wanted to journal while at the resort, and I wanted TNs that could stand the rigors of travel.

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My pencase contained only regular and brush pens, because I did not want to have to worry about fountain pens and flying. I brought along my cute little Crayola gel pens (which did not get used), a Sharpie (also unused), a Coleto (unused), two dual-ended markers, a brush pen, and a mechanical pencil. The rest of the case contained much of the same contents as in this post.

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I’m glad that I actually did get to journal during the three-day vacation, and even while waiting for our delayed flight. Having a journal is really quite handy and comforting!

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Quotes Insert Flipthrough

One of the things I enjoy doing in my free time is collecting quotes. Another one is practicing my hand lettering or my brush calligraphy. A third one is joining challenges that allow me to practice some creativity. Onica Hanby over at Instagram has started a quotes challenge and I was able to join the first two months which happily allowed me to do three things I enjoy doing all at the same time! The challenge is basically to find a quote that mentions the assigned word or pertains to the assigned word per day, and to write it in a manner that you prefer.

I chose a dedicated insert for this challenge, and appropriately named this insert my Challenge Book. I decorated my chosen quotes with stickers and/or washi tape, and as much as possible use interesting writing styles, lettering, or brush calligraphy. After finishing two months of this challenge, I decided that instead of showing photos of all the quotes I made a flipthrough video instead.

That’s right! I decided to start a Youtube channel, although there’s nothing really in there but this video right now. I’m hoping to be able to make more videos soon, but I hope you did enjoy looking through the quotes I made for the months of April and May. You can also look at my entries on my Instagram.

 

Tiny Stationery

Aside from my fascination with stationery, I am especially attracted to miniature or tiny stationery items. It’s not easy to find, but there are a few out there available that are quite functional.

 

 

For example, there are tiny binder clips, clothes pegs, even traveler’s notebooks and inserts, and scissors. Some are difficult to find or expensive, but the rest are easily available at bookstores. Another fun find is this set of Crayola brand mini gel markers.

 

Look what I found! Teeny tiny Crayola gel markers! Aren't they adorable??

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

Why am I so taken with these miniature things? I just think they are adorable and the fact that they are functional really tickles my fancy. Have you any tiny stationery in your collection?

 

Gav and Sav Pouches

I’m a huge nut for any sort of containers, and that goes for anything that can hold anything else such as pen cases, desk caddies, shelving, pouches, bags, and the like. One of my favorite local TN artisans also make good quality pouches that are at the same time insanely cute. Gav and Sav knows that I love cats, so it was no wonder that I attempted to get all kinds of pouches that they have in this cat print I have in TN form. I’m very happy with my collection of three different pouches.

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This first one is the biggest one, measuring around 10.25″ x  9.25″. It has a simple zip closure on the long side, and the inside fabric is just a plain baby pink one. The outside fabric, of course, is entirely made of the cat print fabric.

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This pouch is quite versatile; the size allows it to hold a lot of small things such as pens and stationery items, or a large thing such as a traveler’s notebook or two. This size can hold even a standard size TN.

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The second pouch I have is a smaller version of the first (7.75″ x 5.75″), with the cat print fabric outside but with a striped canvas fabric on the inside. It also has a simple zip closure, and the zipper came with this adorable pink ribbon.

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I like using this pouch as quick access container for things such as coins. I’ve also once or twice use it as a holder of washi tape.

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The last pouch is actually quite interesting as it is different from the other two. It is a drawstring type of pouch where you would have to pull the side straps to close it. The cat print is shown only on what I consider as the front of the pouch, where the zip pocket is located, and on the actual drawstring and piping. The size, by the way, is 9″ x 10.25″

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This pouch is quite versatile, and can actually serve as a very small bag given its front and back pockets. The size is also quite generous, and can also fit a standard size TN.

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The back of the pouch is a second pocket that has a single velcro closure, which is not as secure as the front zip pocket, but useful nonetheless. This is a great quick-access pocket.

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I’m really quite happy that I was able to score these pouches. They match my cat print TN, and I really like having matching sets. Being made entirely of fabric, these pouches are also washable which is a bonus.

Check out Gav and Sav’s products through their Instagram.

 

Jot Misfits

Around the same time that I ordered the Chicsparrow Outlander, Jot had a massive Misfits sale at their Etsy store. I like Jot TNs a lot and I got two previously. It was not hard to imagine that I fell headfirst into that sale.

What are Misfits? They are basically Jot traveler’s notebooks that did not make it one way or another through Jot owner Cori’s exacting standards. They were sold at a steep discount because of that. I found myself getting four (yes, four!). The first two are PocketJots, TNs that are pocket sized. The first one is called Natural, because of the undyed state of the leather. I don’t have many undyed leather TNs and I wanted to see how the patina will develop over use.

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The PocketJot Natural came with black elastics, and the inside of the cover is also left undyed and has a nice suede feel to it. The leather itself is very pliable and soft, and retains marks quite easily.

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The second PocketJot I got is in Premium Brown. This is a new leather type that Cori started offering, and I thought it was the perfect time to try them out. This chocolate brown leather is a bit stiffer than the Natural, but still quite pliable. You can also see just how easily this leather retains marks, with only a few weeks of use. Such a character it will develop!

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The Premium Brown also came with black elastics (4 inner elastics for this and Natural), and the inside of the leather also has that suede feel. There are some identifying marks on the inside, and as I understand this came from the original leather that this piece was cut from. I’m really enjoying this feature; it makes my TN rather unique!

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Cori had several sizes of Misfits available, and I was not able to resist this cute little guy. It’s called SweetBabyJot (micro size) in Coffee Bean. This is my second TN of this size (the first was a Zenkraft), and I loved the color striations of this one. It helped that the leather was named Coffee Bean!

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It came with black elastics (2 inner). The inside of the cover is quite intriguing. The texture is rough, and there are several shades of brown, black, and white on there. The leather is on the pliable side.

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The last of my purchase is this intriguing little thing. It is called MiniJot (passport size) in Sidekick Prototype, and it is rather unique. It is generally black, with a dark red inner color that runs across the spine to the other side. I could not resist getting this because red and black is my favorite color combination.

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Check out the design on the spine. I think it’s quite cool!

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This leather is pliable as well, and has a suede-y inside. It is cut in a manner that allows it to have 4 inner elastics but can hold 8 inserts quite comfortably.

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Really, it looks like it can hold even more, maybe up to 10 inserts without overhang. Quite an interesting little piece! Cori mentioned in her listing that this was supposed to be a prototype design for someone else that did not succeed, and lucky for me she put it up for sale anyway!

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At the moment I think she has no more Misfits on sale, but she assures that she will have another Misfit sale around the same time. Do watch out for it! Check out Jot’s current offerings here.

 

Snail Mail Love

Since I’ve been a kid, I’ve always enjoyed sending and receiving snail mail. It was a little sad that the advent of the internet made it an outdated form of communication, but I always try to find a way to have some snail mail in my life. I have discovered some services that enable me to easily participate in snail mail activities, and I want to share them with you.

Swap-bot

Swap-bot is a service that allows users to host and participate in swaps of different types. Perhaps the easiest types that are available are postcard swaps, where basically you swap postcards of a specific theme or write specific things on postcards with your randomly assigned partner/s generated from the participants of the swap. Other swaps that I usually join include crafting supplies, planner supplies, and letters or notecards. I’ve been swapping for just over a year, and I’ve received some amazing stuff through these swaps, such as this beautiful piece of mail art (aka decorated envelope). Do note that most of the time you will be sending to international recipients, so keep that in mind as postage fees might be steep for heavier packages. I just use the “ordinary” post at the Philippine Post Office. If you want to learn more about the site or if you’re interested in joining, check out their About page.

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Postcrossing

Postcrossing is a straight up postcard trading platform. The idea here though is that you will be the one sending first to a randomly assigned recipients and depending on how many you send, that unlocks postcards being sent to you in return. The more postcards you send, the more you are allowed to send at one time. I have just recently joined Postcrossing and I don’t have a lot of received postcards from that platform yet, but I am definitely enjoying it. There is even a local Postcrossing Facebook group for more community participation.

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Letter Writers Alliance

Lastly, Letter Writers Alliance is more geared toward pen pals and letter writing. And the biggest hurdle to this is that it requires a membership (with a fee!) before you can request for a pen pal from the service, but the fee is quite reasonable and you get some neat things from it. This is the newest service I have tried, and thus far I’ve only requested for pen pals once and have yet to receive letters from them. The other interesting thing about LWA is that they have a pretty nifty members-only shop where they sell really nice snail mail supplies.

Do you know of any other snail mail services that I have not mentioned? I’d love to check them out, so kindly leave links in the comments below!

 

Review: Nemosine Singularity Clear Demonstrator

One of the newest fountain pen brands I was introduced to is Nemosine. I’m not entirely sure what type of company it is, but they do seem to manufacture really nice pens. I got the Singularity model, in the clear demonstrator variant. The first one I got was with an extra fine nib, from Pengrafik, and the second one with a medium nib is from Everything Calligraphy, both going for a very reasonable price of Php1000. That includes the pen, a pack of cartridges, and a converter, all packaged in a nice slim cardboard box.

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You might be asking why I got two of the same pen, and the reason being I enjoyed my first Singularity so much that I wanted to get another one. The nib writes super smoothly, and the converter seems quite serviceable. The pen itself looks very nice, with the clear barrel that lets me see the ink in the converter.

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The ink sloshing around in the barrel is really mesmerizing! I did have a previous experience with clear demonstrators, but that was the Platinum Preppy and there’s a lot of writing on the barrel even though you could see the inside. Here, the barrel is completely clear, with nothing obstructing the view. A nice light-colored ink would usually be preferred in this type of pen.

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The nibs themselves are quite beautiful! Each nib has a cool butterfly design etched on it, with N on top for Nemosine and the nib size at the bottom. These nibs are German made, and write smoothly out of the box.

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Here are some writing samples from both pens. The inks I used are Diamine Amazing Amethyst for the extra fine and Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake for the medium. The medium nib really shows off the shading of Yu-yake, while the extra fine actually produces quite a fine line even by Japanese standards. Both are a pleasure to write with.

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The cap has silver accents and clip, and rounds out the overall beautiful design of the pen. Here I have it on an Elias pen case.

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It’s pretty clear that I am a big fan of the Nemosine Singularity clear demonstrator, and I don’t regret at all having two. This model also comes in blue and purple demonstrators, as well as the solid colored non-demonstrator versions in several colors. I’m very happy that this is readily available locally, and replacement nibs and converters are available as well.

 

Updated TN Wallet Setup

I’ve moved a lot from the last wallet setup, so I figured I’d do an update. My last TN wallets were the Midori Passport and a Macata TN. I am currently in the Sunday Leather Craft TN Wallet as I’ve mentioned and previewed here.

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As I mentioned in the previous SLC TN Wallet post, I have nine cards in the eight card slots of the TN Wallet. Five of them are in the front. There is enough room to fit two cards per pocket, and the cards actually give a nice structure to the TN (where otherwise it would be quite soft and pliable). My insert of choice in this case is a Field Notes Snowblind edition, and you can see how grubby mine has become. I’ll show you what I use this insert for.

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On the front cover I have two medium PostIt notes that hold my shopping lists. These are usually non-urgent items, and I like to put that here in my wallet for easy access. I used sticky notes because I like the ability to swap it out when I’ve used up a shopping list.

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I have various random things in this insert mostly, since I do my planning in the Hobonichi Weeks. Samples of these random things are book recommendations and the most current updates to my diabetes numbers.

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I also have some random recipes, tentative lists, some notes on a badminton racquet I was eyeing, and some random doodles by my daughter.

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At the back cover of the Field Notes insert I attached a Leuchtturm pen loop to hold my pen. This pen loop is not as elastic as I had hoped, so I had to find a really thin pen to go with it. I was able to find this Pilot Birdie Ballpoint Pen which is super slim and light and writes smoothly enough. I do have a Pilot Birdie Fountain Pen which is just as slim but this insert is not friendly to fountain pens unfortunately.

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The next insert I have is my standard wallet inserts: the Alunsina felt card holder and the Midori Refill 004. In the front of the card holder I have two cards (which I really have to move out of this wallet), and the zip pouch of the 004 are two packets of my favorite sugar substitutes. I used to hold my cash in this zip pouch but it is getting alarmingly damaged. I did buy a replacement refill but I now could not remember where I put it. >_<

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The other side of the 004 and the back of the card holder holds my most used cards (five), while my cash now resides in the slip pocket at the inner portion of the 004.

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Lastly I have four more cards at the back of the TN, and random papers in the full length pockets behind it.

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Overall this makes for a relatively compact package, and I can theoretically be able to have everything I need with just this TN (and my phone). I like how rugged the leather is; it looks like it can take on any situation. Perhaps the only way this could be better is if I also had my planner in this TN, but as it is I’m quite happy about my current setup.