Unboxing the Dark Brown Macata by CN Papercrafts

One of the first local makers of traveler’s notebooks that I’ve tried is CN Papercrafts, and their Macata still remains one of my favorite brands. It’s been interesting to watch just how much they have grown in the year since I first got my first Macata, and I am happy to announce a blog collaboration with them! Nissan, a planner-passionate like me, and her supportive boyfriend Christian, set up their own two-person company to sell their handmade traveler’s notebooks and inserts. They specialize in good quality faux leather notebooks and inserts that are affordable. Shopping is now made easy with the launch of their new online store at CNPapercrafts.com, do check them out!

I have the honor to try out any product in their lineup, and I chose the Dark Brown in pocket size as that is something I haven’t tried yet. The notebook came wrapped in bubble packaging, and I have to say that I really like how neat and professional this looks! They have also updated their logo and business card, and I appreciate the little touch about the watercolor.

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This is what the notebook looks like, unwrapped. Dark Brown Macata has interesting striations that suggest texture, and I could feel it when running my fingers across the surface. It is quite different from the other Macata notebooks that I have, which are smooth-surfaced. This one came with matching dark brown elastics, a small strip of dark brown faux leather for the closure, gold eyelets, and charms with gold hardware. Overall, it looks quite professional and classy.

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Check out this beautiful piece of material. I still can’t believe it isn’t leather! The closing elastic originates from the spine as is standard. I love that my notebook’s corners are rounded! The faux leather is quite a bit more pliable than my other Macata notebooks, and seems to hug the inserts better.

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The inside is some sort of felt-like material that reminds me of the linings of bags. It feels nice to the touch! The eyelets are installed expertly and securely. This notebook comes double-stringed, which ends up giving me four inner elastics to string my inserts on. The Macata holds four inserts quite comfortably without overhang, and looks like it may have room for up to six.

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My notebook came with four inserts. Each have kraft covers and branded with the CN Papercrafts logo at the back. I like this so I can remember which maker made the inserts I am currently using.

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Three of my inserts are a 70gsm white unlined insert (top), a 100gsm cream unlined insert (middle), and a 100gsm white dotted insert (bottom). Each are staple-bound and have 32 pages each and have square corners.

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The fourth insert is a weekly insert with 100gsm white paper, also staple-bound and has 32 pages. This is the insert I’m really excited about, as it has the same format as my Weeks! The week is on the left side and the right is a grid area for notes. This and the dotted insert are CN Papercrafts’ own design, which is why they have their name printed discreetly at the bottom right corner.

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My Dark Brown Macata also came with this cute little charm with a gold wing and a cream tassel. It goes really well with my notebook and gives personality to an otherwise very serious book.

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The notebook stands up by itself when fully loaded. It’s a compact package that holds quite a lot!

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I’m setting up this Dark Brown Macata to be my main planner and wallet for the next few weeks to give it the full trial, and I’ll be posting about the setup. Watch this space as I #WriteBeautifully with my Macata!

All items in the Macata package were sent free of charge as part of the collaboration.

 

Loridori Pocket TN

It has come to my attention that I have not yet talked about this very nice traveler’s notebook that I have had for some time now. Let me present to you the Loridori!

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The Loridori is a handmade leather traveler’s notebook by Lorraine of @calligraphyspot. I had gotten this particular pocket TN in a raffle in one of the Calligraphy groups.

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The leather is thick and on the rather stiff side, much like a Midori leather. In fact, I would consider this TN the closest one I have to a Midori TN. The surface of the leather is a bit suede-like, and feels very luxurious. It also has that incredible leather scent! It also came with that beautiful little charm.

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The inside of the leather is rough, and the TN is stringed in the same manner as a Midori (single strand). The TN itself is not cut too large, and I expect it can hold maybe 3 inserts.

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At the moment I use the Loridori to hold my traveling journal (which I will show in another post!). It’s still a work in progress, but its travels have been completed. I feel like the Loridori really matches the insert.

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It’s a very classy pocket TN and will definitely remain in my collection!

 

 

StudioThree14 Charms

Being a member of Facebook groups can be fun and informative, and many really give you a feeling of belonging. There are downsides too, especially in the informative area: you are constantly bombarded with pretty things that you absolutely must have! Bad for your pockets, and bad for your peace of mind!

One of the things I fell for in this case from one of the TN groups are adorable charms by StudioThree14, particularly the mermaid charms. I had to get one for myself! Unfortunately when I visited the site, there were lots of other things that were just as cute and suddenly I found myself buying four! The nice thing about it though is that the items are very reasonably priced, so it didn’t feel so bad buying them. The shipping was just as nicely priced as well, and a happy bonus was that it shipped pretty fast! I got my international order in less than a week!

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Here are the four charms I ordered, and they came very attractively packaged in cute cardstock with bows, which were protected in brown paper bags. The charms all came with matching lobster clasps, so I was able to immediately put the charms into use. I also got a nice handwritten note (I always love these!) and three really cute paperclips as a freebie. Carla, the owner/maker, is really nice and lovely to talk with!

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Of course, the main point of this order is to get a mermaid charm and the one I chose is a pink ombre one. I thought it went well with my Licorice TN by Foxyfix.

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I also got a couple of filigree cat charms, because cats! Both cat charms were copper, and I thought this cheeky cat went well with my Camel TN.

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I didn’t know what to use the last two ones I got, which is a second filigree cat, and this other one which is a nice little tree bubble charm. I ended up putting them both into my Outlander Jitney Red TN.

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The charms range between $5 to $10, and there’s a huge range of choices. I think you can even request for a custom designed charm. The store also offers bookmarks and jewelry using similar charms. Do visit StudioThree14 and check out the beautiful charms!

 

Easy Pen Loop Substitute for Planners and Journals

Not all of planners or journals have their own built-in pen loops, and not all of the time we are willing to bring along a separate pen case. While there are available adhesive pen loops out there, it’s either hard to find, expensive, or does not entirely work with our chosen pens. Here is a quick and easy substitute for pen loops: binder clips!

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Binder clips are quite versatile, and come in different sizes and designs. What I do is to choose an appropriately sized binder clip that would match both my intended pen and the planner or journal that needs the pen loop. I would attach it somewhere in the upper third to halfway down the planner/journal, and not push it all the way in. I would then hook the pen’s clip into the exposed area of the binder clip, and there! Instant pen loop!

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The disadvantage to using binder clips as pen loops is that this won’t work for pens without clips. In this case, a proper elastic pen loop would really be necessary.

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The biggest advantage to binder clips as pen loop is the wide availability, and in addition it would be easy to swap out and change on a whim. Have you tried using binder clips to hold your pens?

 

Imajica Custom Tassel

I like putting planner charms on my traveler’s notebooks. When a tassel maker opened up custom orders, I immediately pounced and got in on the action. Before that, let me tell you about Imajica. Imajica is run by an awesome artist named Carissa, and she makes all sorts of cute planner accessories such as the aforementioned tassels, planner clips, dashboards, page flags, and other similar things. About two weeks ago, she opened up an experimental pre-order for custom tassels where she will work closely with the client to jointly create the tassel of their dreams. How could I resist that chance?

Carissa was very responsive and kept me updated on each step of the creation of my dream tassel. It was shortly finished and I was on bated breath for its arrival. It came in this really cute packaging.

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Inside was my tassel, and a matching planner clip. I had told Carissa that I wanted something that’s black and red as that’s my favorite color combination, and that it would somehow be gothic. She was excited to work on it because it was completely different from her usual tassel style (pastels, mermaids, that sort of thing). Let me tell you: I am absolutely floored when I saw this. It is beautiful, and looks so much better in person!

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I was actually taken aback by the sheer size of it. It was much larger than I had anticipated, and thought it would not look good with my pocket sized TN. To test it out, I brought out my black Midori TN and the tassel looked pretty good against the black leather.

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I really wanted it on a pocket TN though, so I immediately moved into my Foxyfix Wanderlust in Licorice. It still matched and look awesome against the textured black leather. It can be observed though that the tassel is in fact slightly longer than the length of the pocket TN but I didn’t really care. It was still beautiful!

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Here is a shot of the tassel, arrayed out. I really like all the different ribbons that Carissa was able to find for me, and every time I look through the tassel I seem to be finding something new. I love the touch of the beads and crystals, and the silver metal heart fit so well with the theme. I am simply smitten!

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She did a great job with the matching clip as well!

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What can I say, I am really in love with my custom tassel! It was awesome to work with Carissa, and I hope that she does continue to offer the custom tassel service. The second batch just closed, so watch her Instagram for the opening of more batches if you want to get your own. You’ll have to fight me for a slot, for I intend to get more!

 

The Sunday Currently #25

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Currently! How are you all doing? It’s been a pretty long and stressful month, but I’m happy that I was still able to do some fun things.

Reading

Sabriel by Garth Nix – The first in a trilogy about the journeys of a necromancer named Sabriel. She is not your normal everyday evil necromancer, but she’s a necessary one to keep the Dead, well, dead. It’s a really well-made world and the writing is very compelling. I really liked how different the approach is to necromancy in this book, and I’m excited to finish the rest of the series.

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Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1: The World According to Peter Parker – A version of Spider-man where a lot of other notable superheroes appear and Spider-man himself is a young teenager. It’s a pretty interesting world and maybe in another time I would have wanted to see what happens, but I’m at the stage where I want a nicely packaged story where I don’t have to wonder about things too much. That’s mostly my problem with ongoing comics runs; it’s hard to drop in the middle of it and be engaged.

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Image credits: Amazon.com

Watching

Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass – In preparation for the second movie, my family watched the first one which we missed. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised about both movies. I really like how Alice was presented, although the “real” world in which she lived in seemed unrealistic where she was acting pretty much like an independent woman of current times, except that was back in maybe the 1900s. Regardless, I enjoyed it a lot and feel really bad that the reviews of the second film aren’t so good.

Ghostbusters – Oh man, where do I start? This turned out to be such an amazing film and super enjoyable to watch. The tone was quite feminist, almost to an extreme (like what the f is that thing with Chris Hemsworth??), but it does bring up a lot of interesting conversation especially with my daughter. I really like that this is what she grows up with, and emphasizes the idea that she can be whatever she wants, with hard work and determination.

Jessica Jones – My husband and I watched the first episode, and my immediate reaction is curiosity. There’s not really a lot of things that I end up knowing by the end of that episode, and it did make me want to watch more. Unfortunately this show is quite adult (sex and violence) and it can only be watched if the daughter is not in the house. That’s going to make it a bit challenging to continue watching, which is the same difficulty we encountered when trying to watch Daredevil.

Eating

Currently enjoying the Carbonara Longganisa of Coco Hut. It’s very creamy and comes with a perfectly poached egg. As a pasta lover, this is pretty awesome!

 

Wanting

More free time, honestly! I still have quite a long list of personal things I want to do (such as read books and crafting) but I find that I run out of time in the weekends trying to catch up on lost sleep on the weekdays. Sigh.

Feeling

I’ve been feeling very confused recently. Right now, I’m very happy about my current planning system in the Hobonichi Weeks and also quite happy that I can combine it with my wallet system because of the SLC custom cover. However, I keep thinking that my chosen TN size is still pocket, and I really wish I could have the Weeks in pocket size. I have a big collection of pocket TNs, and it’s a shame that I can’t use them to plan with. I am quite reluctant to start another collection in personal size, just so I can have variety in my Weeks covers. I’m considering creating some sort of planner with Tomoe River paper so that I can have a whole year’s worth in pocket form.

 

 

Stamp Favorites: July 2016

I’m a big fan of stamps, and I use a lot of them for both planning and journaling. Let me show you what I’ve been using the most for this month.

1. Hero Arts Clearly Kelly Coffee and Donuts Rubber Stamp Set

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I’m a huge coffee addict, and it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this set. As you can see here, I only have the “coffee” half of the stamp set since that’s really what I’m after. I love how nice and small the images come out, and work well with even the small spaces of the Hobonichi Weeks. I use the coffee bean stamps for crafting too. I bought this from Bee Happy.

2. Bo Bunny Postale Clear Stamp Set

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This is a snail mailer’s dream stamp set! I love how there are so many variations of stamps here, and there’s even a couple of choices for postmarks. I also got this set from Bee Happy.

3. Vintage Stamp Rubber Cling Stamp Set

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Okay, I have to confess that I have forgotten what this stamp set is named, but I love how vintage the stamps are. I got this from a sale at Living Well at SM Aura, and I really wanted to get something else (the typography set!) but I only ended up with this one. I don’t really mind, as I’ve been using this a lot to decorate my snail mail and journals.

4. Mommy Lhey Best Year Yet 2016 Clear Stamps

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This should really be used at the start of the year on New Year spreads and similar stuff, but I really like the sentiments and they are mostly timeless. I use them to decorate my journals and I really like how the script looks on the page. I got this on preorder from @lionachinky at IG.

5. Uppercase Alphabet Rubber Stamps

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This is perhaps my most-used set this month. Any alphabet stamp set is really versatile, and can be used as highlights or titles in journals and snail mail. It’s a pretty neutral serif font that goes well with anything. Perhaps my only complaint about this set is that the actual stamp is situated somehow on the right of the holders. I bought this at Common Room.

What are your favorite stamp sets recently?

 

EDC TN: July 2016

It’s been nearly a month since I got my Sunday Leather Craft Hobonichi Weeks wallet cover, and I’ve been carrying it ever since. It’s such a convenient piece since it’s able to hold my phone (and various other stuff) in the gusseted pocket.

 

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A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I also switched over to the Zenkraft Rustic Roadie A6 for my pocket inserts because I’ve been missing it, and I also brought out the Midori Passport Camel for something I’m currently testing.

What’s your July carry?

 

Cool Finds For My Planner

I’m a big fan of stationery, but it’s especially so if it’s stationery specifically meant for my planner. I found three things that go really well with my Hobonichi Weeks.

1.Tiny Stickers

The first is this pair of tiny stickers, which I got at Powerbooks for Php190 for the glittered stars and Php150 for the transparent circles. The glittered stars comes with two sheets while the transparent circles have three, but what’s really great is that both sets come with a plastic pocket that you can stick onto anything. I felt that these were really nice for marking dates on the monthly view, or for marking special events in the case of the glittered stars.

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Here is what the pocket looks like, and how one sheet of the transparent circles looks like. You can really see underneath the circles which is exactly how I wanted it! There are several other variations of these stickers available: there are hearts, squares, etc in various color combinations and even sizes.

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2. Cat Page Marker

I found this cute little cat page marker at a temporary bazaar at my workplace, for Php100. I suspect that might have been a bit overpriced, but I thought it was not too bad. It’s basically just a long copper chain with a cute cat charm at the end. I felt it looked really good with my SLC Weeks Cover.

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The other end of the chain has a pretty sturdy clip that’s supposed to anchor the page marker. As you can see the chain was actually quite longer than the Weeks, but I fastened the clip to the pocket underneath the Weeks to adjust for the extra length.

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3. Metal Stencil/Ruler/Bookmark

Lastly, I found this interesting looking stencil at National Bookstore. If I recall correctly it costed PHp85. It’s a clock themed stencil with a nice 8-bit one that comes in really handy even outside of telling time. There’s actually a ruler on the other side of this stencil, and the clock at the top also functions as a bookmark/clip. It’s quite a multitasker and I really like it!

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What are some of your interesting planner finds lately?

 

More Pilot Pens in Rotation

It is no secret that I love Pilot pens, both fountain and otherwise. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that I got a few more Pilot pens that found themselves in my current rotation.

These pens are the following, pictured from top to bottom in the photo below: Pilot G-Tec-C Maica, Pilot Birdie Ballpoint, and Pilot Fineliner.

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The Pilot G-Tec-C Maica, as the name suggests, takes G-Tec-C refills and packages them in a slightly more interesting barrel. It is all plastic except for the part that unscrews and reveals the refill. The cap has no clip, but has a tiny protrusion to keep the pen from rolling off the table. I think this protrusion is meant to look like the handle of a teacup. The end of the cap also has some shiny material that makes it look like a gem, and the overall feel of the pen is something royal or princessy. It also comes in a good range of colors.

The Pilot Birdie Ballpoint is an all-metal pen and is really slim and tiny. I bought this mostly to fit in a Leuchtturm penloop, but it turns out that it actually writes pretty well. The tip is revealed by clicking on the knocker. The clip is quite serviceable.

Both the Maica and the Birdie Ballpoint are available at National Bookstore. The Birdie is only available in select branches, and you have to ask over the counter for it. Refills are also readily available for both pens.

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The Pilot Fineliner is one of the items that I got in a Maker Monthly box. It is a felt tip marker that has a certain amount of give, and you can actually achieve a sort of brush calligraphy with this pen because of that. The pen is made mostly of plastic, except for the clip. As far as I know, this pen is not available locally.

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All three pens write beautifully. As I mentioned earlier, I am a big fan of fine tipped pens, and both the Maica and the Birdie produce a tolerably fine line. I think the Maica comes in a narrower tip, but the 0.4 works pretty well for me. The G-Tec-C refill is excellent and rarely skips. The Birdie on the other hand has some starting issues, and can sometimes skip.

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The Fineliner produces a pretty pigmented black, and with my regular hand can even produce a relatively fine line. I like using this marker for writing addresses on snail mail, and for making small brush calligraphy.