23 Sept 2020

archer and olive 160gsm a5 dot grid fabric cover notebooks

As I've decided to give bullet journaling a go at some point in the near future (this might be a case of just 'shut up and get on with it' as I've been putting it off for a few months now), I need the right materials for it. And by materials, I mean notebook. I can't imagine not using my fountain pens or pigmented fineliners in it so I knew it had to have good quality paper and be of a size that would be portable enough for daily use.

A5 is a sure bet for me - it's a size I'm very much used to and having toted an A5 notebook to work everyday for a whole year, I know it works.

In terms of paper, 90gsm is standard for the Leuchtturm 1917 and Rhodia notebooks. I know I like it but I do wonder if there would be too much showthrough for me to be comfortable with. Enter some research I did which led me down a rabbit-hole... which then led me to Archer and Olive. This is not a sponsored post - I'm just a happy customer.

Archer and Oliver is run by Bonnie Kuhl from across the Atlantic.What really enticed me was that Archer and Olive are named after Bonnie's two cats. If that isn't adorable, I don't know what is.

When this notebook arrived, I was impressed by the packaging. It comes in a beautiful thick cardboard box which I will definitely be using in the future to store little trinkets in.

The notebook is wrapped in a single sheet of card and there is a card sleeve displaying the notebook's qualities too. It's great that all of the packaging shown here is readily recyclable. Unfortunately, what you can't see is that it actually came wrapped in plastic which I put in my recycling bin anyway but am still dubious about its capacity for re-use.

I opted for the 'morning sun' design for a few personal reasons and I really do like it's bright, happy, yellow hue. The fabric cover feels very hardy and the elastic closure looks like it is sturdy enough to put up with me potentially overstuffing this notebook.

Although this notebook is only 160 pages, it is as thick as my notebooks that are 192 pages. This is because of the epic 160gsm paper.

This notebook comes with two ribbon page markers which is ideal for what I intend to use it for: bullet journaling. One ribbon can be for 'today' and the other can be at a page of importance (i.e. goals for the year).

It also comes with a pen holder which is stretchy enough for my fountain pen of choice: my Pilot Kakuno. It's surprising how such a cheap fountain pen (it only cost me about £8 at the time) is one of the ones I reach for time and time again.

The interior is as you would expect: a page at the front for your details and then the dot grid pages, ready for use as whatever your heart desires.

I'm not going to lie: I'm very excited about using this. I also have a dot-grid Papier notebook which needs using and it'll be a tough choice to see which one gets used first. There is a part of me that thinks I should use the Papier first because if I use this 160gsm paper first, nothing else will compare. As a self-confessed paper snob, this notebook will do nothing to change that part of my personality!

2 Sept 2020

ink: organics studio fountain pen ink - aldous huxley old world blue

I'm a sucker for sheen and Organics Studio is known for the infamous Walden Pond ink which sheens like mad. I'd never tried an Organics Studio ink before so thought I'd give it a go when I saw this one: Aldous Huxley Old World Blue. To me, it's more of a turquoise ink than a true blue but that may a result of extra fine nibs. I like how the box also has a brief biography for the person the ink is named after too. At £8.75 for a 55mL bottle, I do feel that this is a reasonable price for an ink with plenty of character.