"leather-bound journal addiction"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So, who in the world doesn't know what a Moleskine is, right?
Especially if you're one of the creative breeds working in relation to arts or writing, you will know that Moleskines are the crème de la crème of the creative industry's 'must-have' accessories.

I personally find it a little overrated.

After all, there are still a lot of other quality notebook brands out there with the same quality for half the price. I personally love PaperBlanks. However, I had the best possible chance encounter with an unheard of brand recently, which lead to the end of my search for my 2012 journal.

It was purely by accident that a colleague of mine told me to utilize this journal for the time being until I find my perfect journal. Little did I know I was already holding it in my hands. It was a Leuchtturm1917. A German brand that was renowned for their coin & stamp business since the pre-war ages, it's only natural that they now branch into making fine-creafted journals.

So, what makes this journal so perfect?
Aside from the fact that it's a £65 leather-bound journal that I got for free, it also has many great additions that a Moleskine does not have.

On par with the Moleskine, but slightly thinner.

Yes, the blank pages are numbered unlike Moleskines which has to be done manually. This is great for when you need to reference and refer back to your notes.

Because the pages are numbered, you can list down everything in an orderly fashion in the first 3 pages specially made for contents. Also something which the Moleskine does not have.

An included sheet of guide, one side with ruled lines and another with a graph - to aid writing or even drawing on the blank pages. Very, very useful.

To store cards, post-its, etc. The Moleskine has this too.

Easy-to-tear pages at the back just in case you need to share any notes. How thoughtful, right?

So yeah, those are a few useful things which I love about this Leuchtturm journal.
However, mine had a gold foil engraving (Leuchtturm engraves custom orders) of the Antoine Martin brand logo, and I'm always particular about how my journal looks like. So,  decided to have a little DIY fun with this.

I brought out my acrylics and started creating my very own notebook cover. I wanted to have my name written on my notebook, but I don't want just any simple, marker-scrawled typography. So I decided to go with a nautical theme.

I have included a step-by-step here just so you can do something similar if you want to stand out like I do.

To created a nautical-esque theme, I decided to go with a striped background. To create those perfect stripes, I utilized cellophane tape.

Then, using acrylic paint, color the first layer of paint over the uncovered areas. Let the acrylic dry (about 3 minutes) and paint a second coat to completely cover the logo. If there's nothing to cover on yours, then just ensure that the second coating is rich and even.

Leave it to dry for about 5 minutes (or use a hairdryer for faster results) then carefully peel off the cello tape one buy one. You have to really sure that the paint is completely dry before doing so. Then, cover the red striped with cellophane tape. You're gonna start painting the other stripe color now.

Like before, paint over the uncovered areas, at least two coats (three if you're using light colors like white) and always make sure that your paint is completely dry before peeling the tape off.

And there you have it, a pretty nautical striped book. If this isn't good enough for you, then you can always add something else on to make it more personal. For me, I decided to add a ship, this being a nautical themed cover.

The first step is to draw a rough sketch on a piece of paper. Then, carefully, use a blade to cut the first area that you want to paint. Remember, the paper only acts as a painting guide. The paint will bleed through if you do not do it properly. I decided to go with the body & the masts first.

Then, I followed  up with the sails and the bird's nest at the top. Once you're done with painting the entire ship, start adding in the shadows and shades to the sails and body. You would not want a flat looking ship so add those extra details. One important detail for me was to inscribe my name at the side of the ship. That way, if I ever lose this book, no one could ever claim it as theirs unless their name is also Michelle.

And so, after all that drying and peeling, this was the final result. :)

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  1. People still use pen and paper for things other than immigration departure/arrival forms ?

  2. Yes, people still do. In fact, it's a proven fact that people who utilize pen & paper are a lot more creative than those who just rely on technology alone. We weren't born by robots after all.


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