Sunday, August 21, 2011

BookJournals by Ex Libris Anonymous: A Review

One of my favorite ways to unwind from a busy day at work is to sit down with a glass of red wine and read blog posts on topics of personal interest.  I love fountain pens, inks, paper, notebooks, writing - both fiction and non-fiction, and a smattering of other topics.  I follow a great many more blogs on Google Reader than are shown on my blog roll, but you get the main idea.

Not long ago I read a review that sparked my interest.  Julie (Okami) from Whatever had a review of a handmade journal that was, well, brilliant!  Her review is here.

An appropriately designed business
card accompanied the order.

BookJournals are made from old books.  Plain and simple, yet as I said, brilliant.  I ordered two that very day.  Not only are they unique - no two are alike - but they are very reasonably priced.  I paid $13 (USD) per journal.  They were shipped quickly and I had them in about a week.  Jacob Deatherage even followed up with a personal email to keep me posted on the shipping status.  Fantastic customer service.

So, let's take a look at what I received, shall we?

First up is a children's book "The Ghost on Saturday Night" by Sid Fleischman.  Or it used to be anyway.

This book is  8.75 by 5.5 inches and a bit more than half an inch thick.  Inside there are a few pages from the book but mostly filled with blank paper for you to write on.

I chose this one because I'm a believer in ghosts.  I saw one once and it comforted me to know this proof of some sort of afterlife with no religious dogma attached. 

That and the cover is cute.

Backside of "Ghost"

Inside pages

BookJournal details
The second journal I received was made from a 1934 DIY cabin building book.  I must confess that the major reason I chose this one is because books from the 1920s through the mid-1940s is "my era."  No, I was born much later(hem, hem) but I feel an affinity for that particular era. 

So, how does the paper do?  I tried out several fountain pens filled with different inks on this very smooth, very white paper.  They performed exceedingly well, I must say.  Not much feathering to speak of.  (I was having trouble with a couple of the pens writing on the dry side but since I experienced the same issue on other paper, I knew it was the pen/ink and not this paper.)  There was no shadowing on the backside either, so I can write on both sides with ease.
Tiny, tiny bits of bleeding

I did not try a Sharpie pen here for two reasons.  First, we all know that they bleed through every paper there is.  Second, I don't own any for that reason.  The only bleed through I had was from several spots on the Spirit of Bamboo ink test.  This is a wet writer and I deliberately held the nib to the paper in a wee pause during writing. 

All in all, I give these journals a big, hearty thumbs up recommendation to anyone who would like something out of the ordinary and performs very well.  Please head on over to BookJournals and check out their selection.

Update: I changed "no feathering" to "not much feathering" because I didn't see it until I enlarged the picture after publishing.  And please forgive the horrible formatting.  Blogger was VERY hard to work with this morning!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

If you recall, I wrote about our water lines being moved from the gravel covered alley to the asphalt covered streets in front of our houses. The city then patched the cracks with tar. About a month or so ago the street was repaved with a fresh coat of deep black asphalt. It looked like they had taken a brush of black gesso and painted the streets.

They remained pristine for approximately 19 hours.

Sometime in the wee hours, a driver used our sidewalk to add some turning room to their U-turn. This left some deep black tire tracks on the sidewalk in front of our house and torn up dents in the street where the tires turned sharply. **sigh**

But I digress. I want to describe the difference in moving the water lines from the graveled alley to the black asphalt-covered streets.

Yep, you are ahead of me. For everyone else, think summer in Phoenix, Arizona.

I burned myself on the cold water during that first morning’s shower. Fortunately it eventually “cooled” a bit and I was able to finish in somewhat more comfortable temperatures. After I was done with the less than lady-like language, and during the first lather (rinse and repeat) of shampoo, I started to smile.

Dang! I can save some natural gas and turn down the temperature on the water heater. Might as well use the solar power to benefit my checkbook, eh?