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!

 

 

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!

 

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.

 

Shades of brown

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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?

 

TN Setup: July 2016

As I have mentioned in my last EDC post, I have moved back into the Foxyfix Wanderlust in Espresso. I have decided to streamline my carry and only bring along the most active of my pocket inserts. Let me show you how my TN is currently set up.

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As you can see from the photos, the TN has gotten a lot more dings and indentations in the leather. It’s starting to show use and character! Here’s a view of the top of the TN, where my tabs and bookmarks are shown.

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When first opened, the Foxyfix vinyl dashboard is revealed. In the front part I have a scrap piece of decorated cardstock as well as my car maintenance booklet whose front cover fits just right in the dashboard.

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Inside the dashboard, after the car maintenance booklet, is my first insert. This Word. notebook serves as my current Book of Lists, and holds stuff like wishlists, addresses, package tracker, quotes, and things like that.

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The back of the vinyl dashboard is yet another piece of scrap cardstock. The next insert is an Alunsina lined insert which serves as a record of my hobby expenses. I used a pink paperclip to denote my current place in this book.

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The next insert is my blog planner, which is a small unlined Moleskine cahier notebook. I’m still continuing in my current format, which I find to be really how I like planning my blog.

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The last insert is an Alunsina graph insert which is my current journal insert. I’m nearly to the end of this book, and I’m already considering what my next one will be.

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And here is the very back of the TN. I’ve started decorating the journal insert since I’m about to finish it, and I really like how this vintage-y sticker looks against the bright blue of the insert.

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At this point I’m very happy with my current setup. This will probably change as soon as I feel uncomfortable with one part of it or another, but at the moment this is what works for me.

 

After 1 Year of Traveler’s Notebooks

This post is about two months late, but I’d like to share my thoughts after a year of delving deep into the world of traveler’s notebooks.

How It All Started

My very first TN was actually the Alunsina Mini-Kislap, a local maker of beautiful hand-tooled leather journals, and I got it around February of 2015. It was my first foray into traveler’s notebooks. Shortly after that, I got my first Midori (brown passport size). From there it went pretty much downhill.

Settling Into A Preferred Size

At some point around the middle of that first year, I went on a buying spree and basically tried out all the locally produced brands of TN in standard size. It was after doing the write-up that I realized standard size was not really something I was comfortable with. It took me about a month to finally accept that pocket size is my preferred size.

Venturing International

Once I had determined my preferred size, I started looking to try out international brands as well. I was able to try out Speckled Fawns, Zenkraft (although not pocket size), Jot, Chic Sparrow, and Foxyfix. My main conclusion from this is that there are really a lot of leather variations out there, and at this point there aren’t a lot of variety available locally.

My Current Collection

At this point, I really do have quite a lot of traveler’s notebooks of various sizes. I honestly cannot really keep them all in rotation, and while I do need a few to hold my completed journals, I probably have too many for comfort and sanity.

Happy national notebook day!

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I’m looking at a future downsize at some point. I really need to evaluate my needs against my wants, and whittle down the collection into a more manageable size.

 

Creative Journaling: Pocket Size Edition

Instagram can really provide lots of beautiful inspiration, and the field of creative journaling is not exempt. I really love looking at other people’s journaling pages, and for some time I was hesitant to try it on my own. I just mostly did haphazard layouts without an overall theme to the page, and attached my ephemera randomly. This week I decided to try out layouts with specific themes, in my pocket sized journal (Alunsina Graph insert).

Before the ink: decorated a journal spread with a washi tape I got from @beehappycrafts. Loving all the envelopes!

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Today's journal spread, before the ink.

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My first two attempts took advantage of two of my newest washi tapes of envelopes and tickets. It’s basically just a series of different prints of envelopes and tickets, and I cut them up individually and interspersed them throughout the page.

 

Today's journal spread. Loving that cute sticker up top!

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At some point I also incorporated some kawaii elements such as this adorable anime-ish sticker which served as the focal point of the layout.

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In my latest vacation I printed out some photos and attempted a bit of scrapbooking. I find it hilarious that I journaled about my journal in my journal.

I really enjoyed this little experiment, and I think I will continue doing themed spreads and scrapbook photos. I am planning to incorporate other techniques such as brush calligraphy and mixed media.

 

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.

 

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.