Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Van Der Spek Black Leathers

I just want to do a quick comparison of black leather samples I received from Van Der Spek facebook page.  One of the member who ordered the samples is kind enough to pass the leather samples to next person.  Once I decided on what to get, I will do so as well.

I am not a black binder person, yet, I am very impressed with Water Buffalo leather, especially the texture and matte finish!  My next custom order is highly likely going to be a black one.

Leather sample set, Janet black, Mandarin, Green Apple, Water Buffalo, Menta Nappa, Nero, Red Italian

Janet Leather, Water Buffalo, Nero
Janet Leather, Water Buffalo, Nero 
Janet Leather

Water Buffalo


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Grey Gillio Giramondo

Since I learned and started  using the traveler's notebook back in 2014, I have fallen in love with the system and given up all my ring binders.  I love the rustic and freedom of the traveler's notebook, yet, I miss the functionality the ring binders offers.  A traveler's notebook is basically a piece of leather with elastic strings holding the notebook.  I have been searching for a leather notebook that offers high quality leather with pockets.  Let me tell you, the journey isn't easy.  I have gone through several sleepless nights browsing on etsy, instagram, pinterest and facebook and purchased several different notebooks from various artisans.  None of the notebooks won my heart  until I met Gillio Giramondo.
Here is my Giramondo in Grey Epoca Leather 

Gillio Giramondo comes with a sturdy box and dust bag just like a premium designer handbags  
Inside of the notebook has four credit card pockets on the left with a full length large pocket and a secretarial pocket on the right.  My Giramondo is an older version with black felt inside where the current version is full grain leather

A closer look of the Gillio mark on the left side

The back of the secretarial pocket show the raw finish of the leather

Gillio has two riveted holes top and bottom which offers four elastic strings to hold the notebook.  The closure is at the back

Two full length and two shorter length elastics

A side view to show the thickness of the leather and also the edge finish.  The left side is a slightly thicker than the right side as the left side has four business card holders.  The edge is finished with some sort of seal. 

The edge seal and the stitching is the matching color of the leather.

 What's in my Giramondo?

Notesbooks from left to right: a six pockets folder, 1 week on one page with notes, 1 lined notebook, 1 blank notebook, pencil board, project life card, 2 business card size washi tape samples, oli clip, pen and a monkey knot bookmark

My notebooks--Top left: Journal, Top right: Week on one with notes, Bottom: common place

Inside layout before all the notebooks move in

My everyday carry

The total thickness of the notebook is around 1.25".  I still have room to put more notebooks in without overhang. 

Why I love my Gillio Giramondo

Leather Quality and Craftsmanship
Giramondo is made out of Italian Epoca vegetable dyed leather and it comes with a certificate and serial number.  Some people might not care, but I think the serial # and certificate shows the quality and confident Gillio stands for their product.  The Giramondo I own shows wrinkles on the surface, yet, the touch is smooth.  The craftsmanship of my Giramondo is impeccable.  I am super picky when it comes to leather goods.  When I got this notebook, I exam every corner, connecting point, edges and sewing and cannot find any flaws. 
Certificate with Serial #

Wrinkles on the leather

Functionality, Design and Weight
Unlike traditional traveler's notebook, Gillio incorporates ring binder ideas into Giramondo.  It comes with credit card pockets, full length pocket and secretarial pockets.  I do not need to buy other folder inserts to hold my loss papers.  The design of the notebook is very clean, classic and simple which make it as a timeless piece.  On top of all those, the weight of this leather cover is a lot lighter compare with others I own.

Resources Center

If you are interested to learn more about Gillio products, here is a list of sites I go to:

Gillio Official Website: To see a complete line of what Gillio offers.  Don't forget to check out Gillio Blog on the site as well
Gillio Facebook Page: To see all the announcement and promotion info
Gillio Market Place: Second hand market place to get pre-loved Gillio products. 

Blogs Reviews
Gillio Giramondo & Van der Spek Nomad - Comparison Review - Travellers Notebook Times
Review of the Gillio Giramondo, plus giveaway and discount  - My Life All in One Place
Gillio Giramondo Review & Setup - The Peaceful Parent
Gillio Giramondo Epoca Burgundy: Set Up - Thevinnese.net

YouTube Reviews
Travelers notebook set up in my Gillio Giramondo - Nancy Zarroli
Gillio Giramondo Unboxing & Side by Side comparison with Midori Travellers Notebook - Little bird studio
The Gillio Giramondo - My Journal - The Littleink


Monday, March 21, 2016

Midori MD A5 Notebook

So I have been hunting for a A5 grid notebook for my newly purchase Van Der Spek Codex Cover.

I have eliminate Hobonichi A5 as I don't use the monthly for my journal.  Also I am not considering Leuchtturm as I don't want a hard cover notebook.  After doing some research, I have few options to go with
  1. Seven Seas "Crossfield" (Click Here) $26 + shipping
    • Paper type: Tomoe River
    • Pages: 480 pages
    • Notebook thickness: 15 mm thick
    • Grid Size: 5 mm cross grid
    • Cover: Fabric coated semi soft material
  2. Nitoms Stalogy 365 Days Notebook A5 (Click Here) $25.75
    • Paper type: Unknown but has been tested as fountain pen and watercolor friendly
    • Pages: 368 pages
    • Notebook thickness: 14 mm thick
    • Grid Size: It does not specified on the website, yet, looks like it is a 3-4mm grid Cover: Soft cover like Hobonichi
    • I discovered this by watching MissVickybee youtube (Click Here). 
  3. Midori MD A5 Notebook (Click Here) $13.76
    • Paper type: Standard Midori paper which is fountain pen and watercolor friendly
    • Pages:  176 pages
    • Notebook thickness: 10 mm thick
    • Grid Size: 5 x 5 mm
    • Bounding Method: Thread bound
    • Cover: Thick paper stock
I went with Midori MD as I want something simple and lower cost to start with.  Here is a close look of the notebook

Cream paper stock cover.  comes with stickers to label the notebook

A rice paper like package material covering the notebook. 
stamped Midori MD logo
It lays pretty flat and comparable with Hobonichi

The grid size is 5mm x 5mm

The bookmark is glue on and can be removed by just simply peel it.

A little instruction to show you how to remove the bookmark

It fits nicely in my Van Der Spek Codex Cover
The paper just feels like the Midori Traveler's notebook paper which should be fountain pen friendly.  I don't have one so won't be able to do the ink test.  I am not sure if I am going to do watercolor in this notebook as I am doing daily challenge in my A6 Hobonichi.   This will be a good starter notebook for me to ensure I am going to stick with my journaling before I spent more money on buying more expensive notebook.  This is my first A5 and we will see how things turn out.

xoxo kat

Monday, March 7, 2016

#hobonichichallenge March 2016 Week 1

Who is joining March 2016 Hobonichi Challenge?
I use it as my watercoloring and journaling promps...
It is so fun and keep me want to draw and journal on daily basis. 
Go on IG and search for #hobonichichallenge for photos and details