Friday Faves: Laura’s Fall List

Hello! I’m following up on our Friday Faves series today and sharing my current fall favorites with you.

Fave read: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Fave watch: Outlander (via Amazon)
Fave listen: Every Little Thing (via Gimlet Media)
Fave eat: Apple Cider Donuts!
Fave drink: Tea Pigs Fennel & Licorice Herbal Tea ($9.99 via Tea Pigs)
Fave write: Diplomat Traveler Flame,  Medium Nib ($52 via Pen Chalet)
Fave ink: De Atramentis Deepwater Obsession Black-Red ($14 via Vanness Pens)
Fave paper/notebook: Rhodia Goalbook Purple ($25.95 via Vanness Pens)
Fave analog activity: Knitting! I’m currently working on a Boxy by Joji Locatelli in Wooly Wonka Fibers Gaia Sock in Mulberry

Where to start? FALL is here! I for one am overjoyed to cuddle under blankets and watch and listen to my faves. I’m a bit late to the Outlander hype, but after visiting Scotland this summer my husband suggested we watch and I’m hooked (not even for the reasons you would think)! Sure Sam Heughan is droolworthy, but so is the amazing knitwear. Yup that’s me, knitter at heart.

As you can tell from my favorite eat and drink, I’m full of love for fall. There’s a cider mill near our house and they have amazing cider donuts. I have to stop going back… And if you’ve got a bit of a sore throat or fall allergies, Tea Pigs Fennel & Licorice tea with a touch of honey will clear that right up!

My current faves on my pens and ink are my Diplomat Traveller (love that flame finish!) and Deep Water Obsession Black-Red. And no matter how many notebooks I try I always go back to the Rhodia Goalbook. It’s perfect for all my lists!

Finally, KNITTING SEASON IS HERE! I am on a mission to knit ALL THE SWEATERS.  I’m currently trying to finish a Boxy, an oversized comfy pullover knit in supersoft merino. This is one I want to wear all fall long!

Ink Review: Sailor Studio 370

By Jessica Coles

For this week’s ink review, we have an ink that is a bit on the unusual side for me – Sailor Studio 370, a light green.

Sailor Studio 370 is in the same family as the previously shown 670 (aka pickle juice) but 370 contains less yellow – it’s closer to a light pine green or moss rather than pickles. I would say that the color on the label is not very helpful for a color reference.

Rather than being the neon green from the label, Sailor Studio 370 is a soft, muted yellowish green. Not quite avocado but close.

However, in the studio lights, the yellow undertones show through more than they do in person.

Comparing Studio 370 to other green inks helps to place the color in the spectrum – Blackstone Australian Bush and Rohrer & Klingner Emma are very close. Taccia Uguisu is also close although brighter.

370 writes a bit on the wet side compared to most Sailor Studio inks that I have tested. Shading is not as dramatically obvious as other Studio inks but there is plenty of shading present!

The ink is not so light that isn’t legible, however, I would classify it as a pastel ink. It dries more quickly than the more saturated Sailor Studio inks and like most of them, not water resistant.

370 is quite a lovely ink! Where the ink pools as it is drying, blue shows up strongly as does a slight brown halo. The contrast between the two makes them look like different inks!

If you have ever tried to purchase Sailor Studio inks, you know how tough it can be to find a store selling it, pay for the shipping and wait for the slow boat to make its way overseas (unless you are lucky enough to live in Japan). Good news! Sailor has recently started allowing sales of these small bottles of sunshine by select retailers in the US. However, Sailor did put a restriction on these sales – orders for Sailor Studio inks can only be taken over the phone. Dromgoole’s was kind enough to provide this bottle of 370 for review and you can find ordering instructions here. The entire staff is great to talk to when ordering and if you order before the Colorado Pen Show you can pick up your ink at their table  – no shipping cost! Order your Sailor Studio inks now over the phone and have them waiting for you in Denver!


  • Paper: Nanami Seven Seas Writer ($26)
  • Pen: Lamy Pastel Blue, medium steel nib ($175)
  • Ink:  Sailor Studio 370 ($18 for 20ml bottle)

DISCLAIMER: The ink included in this review was provided free of charge by Dromgoole’s for the purpose of review. All other items were purchased by me. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Endless Notebook Reviews

Link Love: Endless Notebook Reviews

I have to wonder if I’ve used this title before? But, ironically, we have a lot of Endless Recorder Notebook reviews this week. It seems that Endless is making a real effort to get its name out to the stationery community right now. There’s also lots of enthusiasm around Inktober this week and art supplies and artists using fountain pens. So if you’re looking for some creative inspiration for using your fountain pens and ink, this is the Link Love week for you!





Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

OMG! It’s Inktober!

OMG! It’s Inktober!

I can’t believe its the first of October already! It totally snuck up on me this year. This is probably late for many people to start thinking about the annual Inktober challenge but, at the same time, I don’t think that this should be something that is so intimidating to do that you can’t start right now.

First, let’s talk about what is it for anyone who might not be familiar with it.

Inktober is an annual drawing challenge that was started several years ago by an artist named Jake Parker. The point of the challenge, for him, was to force himself to ink his drawings, which he felt made them feel more finished. Pencil sketches felt like more preliminary, rough drawings where inked drawings felt like committing an idea to paper and seeing it all the way through.

The rules, as Jake created it are:

  1.  Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
  2.  Post it*
  3.  Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2019
  4.  Repeat

Since the original inception, Inktober has taken many forms and mutations. Each year, Jake publishes his list of work prompts. Many other groups and people create their own list of prompts. YOU can create your own list of prompts.

(*For the full details, check out the rules and prompts)

Day 29 "Y is for Yarn!" Knitter's Alphabet (I'm behind again!) #inktober #aspink #denik #copicmarkers #artsnacksinktober

I have done Inktober for the last three years. The first two years, I posted some of the images on Instagram, last year, I showed them to my husband. I set specific challenges for myself by limiting the types of tools I used, the colors I used (I did not limit myself to black only) and I created my own prompts. I like to use alphabetical lists.

You can do whatever you want. The goal is to create a habit, build your confidence and improve your skills.

This year, I think I will do another alphabet challenge. I just received a new sketchbook in the mail that might be the perfect vehicle to use as my Inktober book this year and I am debating between challenging myself to use acyla-gouache (which is weird gouache/not gouache) or liquid ink. I want to limit my palette again like I did in 2017 but not go all black and white.

Are you going to try it this year?

Here are some great Inktober resources:

Day 6 "E is for Entrelac"

Analog Tools

If I’m 100% honest, pens and inks and notebooks are really my second favorite analog tool. Any of you who know me, know that my first and favorite analog tools are my knitting needle(s). I’ve always found knitting soothing. It’s a way for me to exercise some creativity, and turn off the technology and at this point, it’s a weird day that I don’t know at least a few rows.

Over the last year or two, knitting has become an even bigger part of my life. While it has been a cherished hobby since I was a child, in the last two years it has become a career and a calling. I’ve dipped my toes into marketing for craft companies, sample and commission knitting, technical editing of knitting patterns and even pattern design. Today I want to share two of my newest (free!) designs with you.

A few weeks ago I released a shawl knit out of one of the softest yarns I have ever worked with, Manos del Uruguay Alma. The yarn is a fingering weight singles yarn of supersoft merino. The shawl itself is light and airy, and so squishy and warm. I took two colors: Mercy (dark orange) and Inspiration (melon) and combined them into a color blocked shawl with fun wedge shaping (worked in short rows). I’m delighted and thankful that Ana helped me by shooting some photos! The Salmon Run Shawl is now available for free if you sign up for the Eucalan Newsletter. (Eucalan is a delicate wool wash perfect for keeping hand knits clean).

The second pattern I created this fall was just released this past Friday. Last fall I learned about Lion Brand’s Hat Not Hate campaign. Lion Brand asks knitters to donate blue knit (and crochet) hats and teams up with schools around the country to distribute hats to students in October of each year for National Bullying Prevention Month.

This year I was inspired to design my own pattern that anyone can use to knit hats for yourselves, for Hat not Hate or for any other charitable cause in your area. I selected my yarn for this one carefully – Ana’s and my dear friend Christine dyes gorgeous yarns at Treasure Goddess Yarns. I selected her “Swimming with the Fishes” colorway because I wanted a bright, beautiful hat.

Undaunted is now available for free on the Knitter’s Pride blog (no need to sign up for this one!)

Thanks for letting me gush about knitting – I’ll get back to pens and inks and notebooks in my next post!

Notebook Review: Field Notes National Parks

Review by Tina Koyama

If you hang out in the Field Nuts Facebook group as I do, you’ll know that fans of Field Notes Brand notebooks have been clamoring for years for an edition honoring our National Parks. Iconic America, the great outdoors, back to our roots – the National Parks seem to fit right in with the basic principles behind Field Notes’ simple pocket-size memo books.

It turns out that Field Notes Brand has been thinking about the idea for as long as we’ve been demanding it; the Chicago company was just looking for the right way to execute it. For its summer 2019 quarterly limited edition, Field Notes finally gave us what we’ve been wanting: the National Parks series. A collaboration with artists associated with Fifty-Nine Parks, the series includes poster art featuring nine beloved parks. To further support the cause, Field Notes is donating 5 percent of sales of the books to the National Parks Service.

The nine books are offered in three three-packs: Series A (Yosemite, Zion, Acadia), Series B (Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Mount Rainier) and Series C (Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone).

series A

In addition to the gorgeous cover art, the cover stock is one of my favorite features of this edition. The 100-pound French Pop-Tone paper is colored – each book in a different hue – and the printing involved “a custom, five-color process that started with under-printing white ink. This allowed us to incorporate the color of the paper into the artwork.” I read this information before receiving the books, but I didn’t appreciate what it meant until I had them in hand. Colors pop beautifully, and images are sharp and vivid. (Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’ve never been a fan of the deliberately low-res landscape images used in America the Beautiful.)

series B

As soon as I got my packs (OK, I ordered several sets, and so did my spouse guy, and he isn’t even a notebook user), I ripped them all open to decide which I would use first. Should I pick my favorite park? Ooh, that would be tough. . . Yosemite? Joshua Tree? Zion? Or vote my allegiance to my own hometown park, Mount Rainier? Or simply choose my favorite cover art? Oh, no – tough again! Rocky Mountain’s stag is a beauty, but the bison roaming near Old Faithful . . . ! Or stunning Half Dome. . . !

series C

After much shuffling around and changing my mind, I chose Joshua Tree, which gets points for being one of my favorite parks so far (though I still have many to explore) and for having an especially gorgeous cover. I was delighted to open it and see that its cover stock is purple! It’s been my daily-carry for several weeks, and the cover’s edges are beginning to wear beautifully, exposing a bit of the stock’s color.

Joshua Tree cover showing some wear

The space for “Pertinent Coordinates” that typically appears on the inside front cover has been replaced, appropriately, with a space for a visitor’s official National Park passport stamp. (This is the best reason I’ve seen yet for “collecting” Field Notes!)

Joshua Tree inside front cover

Other cover stocks are not quite as bright as Joshua Tree’s purple, but they were all selected to bring out the best in each cover art.

colored cover stocks

The inside back covers also depart slightly from Field Notes’ tradition. Instead of the more typical “Practical Applications,” information about the featured park is provided (plus the usual paper and printing specs).

inside back cover info

The back cover recognizes the collaboration with Fifty-Nine Parks. Now, I didn’t check every single Field Notes I own, but as far as I recall, this is the first time a quarterly limited edition was made by collaboration and acknowledged as such.

back cover

The graph-ruled innards are 60-pound Finch Paper Opaque Smooth. It’s not a paper I would generally choose to sketch on (I much prefer the 70-pound innards of Sweet Tooth, Workshop Companion and Dime Novel), but it works in a pinch. I used a Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen to make a sketch, and wherever my pen point paused, the ink went right through to the reverse side (and even a bit onto the facing page).

Tombow brush pen bleed-through

But I accepted long ago that sketching with brush pens is not what these simple notebooks were made for, and I don’t expect 60-pound paper to meet that need. More typical writing instruments fare perfectly well on this paper. I grabbed several implements on my desk to make test scribbles. Nothing feathered, and only the Derwent paint pen and pause points of the Zebra fountain pen bled through. The Finch surface is perfectly compatible with all the pencils, ballpoints, gel pens and other utilitarian writing instruments that most users (including me) typically grab to jot in Field Notes.

ink and pencil tests

reverse of ink tests

A long-time user of Field Notes, I have several all-time favorite editions – for their designs as well as for what they represent – and National Parks is right up there with Night Sky, Lunacy and Coastal. In fact, National Parks has moved to the top, if only because this one edition has nine cover designs to put into rotation. I can’t imagine tiring of it.

Rumor has it that the National Parks quarterly edition might be only the beginning of a full series possibly featuring all 59 parks (similar to the unlimited County Fair edition honoring the 50 US states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico). I certainly look forward to using (and more important visiting) all 59 someday.

P.S. Below is my solution when I like a cover design but don’t care for the 60-pound paper inside: I just Frankenbook it. At left is a Pitch Black cover that was Frankenbooked for me by a fellow Nut; at right is a Graduate Hotels edition cover featuring my alma mater’s Suzzallo Library that I Frankenbooked myself. I have big plans for a lot of red Sweet Tooth paper going into National Parks covers.

Frankenbooked covers

Disclaimer: All Field Notes Brand notebooks reviewed and mentioned here were purchased. (Ed. Note: No compensation was received for this review, all opinions are the reviewer’s.)

tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.