Saturday, 16 January 2016

My new Traveller's Notebook is here!

Traveller's Notebook from Sunleaves on Etsy

It's arrived! It came all the way from Russia (and had some fabulous stamps on the package!).

Stamps - removed and stuck in my journal

Hang on (some of you might be saying...) - don't you already have a splendid Traveller's Journal from The Stamford Notebook Co.? Well, yes I do... but this one was because I'd decided to put my goals to projects to next actions in notebooks and wanted to keep those all together (but didn't need to keep them in the carry about TJ). If you seriously can't remember me wittering about it, check out this post and then this post and then come back.

I know. I probably could have just left the plans in the booklets and done without a new TN, but... no... does not compute! So, I bought this one.

It arrived splendidly wrapped, in a box with shredded paper (inside a postage bag with the fab stamps!).

Inside that, the TN was inside a cardboard package, tied with string and the string attached to the cardboard with a seal:

Once I got into that bit (and you know, I amazed myself by stopping to grab photos...), there it was:

The TN from Sunleaves

My photos, taken in winter in Scotland, aren't getting the colour quite right. It has a slightly greener cast than this - pretty much the colour of Diamine Steel Blue ink if any of you have that. It's absolutely fabulous!! Neither of my pictures are showing it especially well, but my initials are also embossed on the bottom right corner - very subtly actually. Unless you knew they were there, you wouldn't see them immediately.

The cover is fairly stiff. Not quite as stiff as my Stamford Notebook Co. one, but fairly firm. Inside, the reverse of the cover is natural and not fluffy suede (thankfully as I don't like fluffy suede). The leather smell is gorgeous (if you like that kind of thing).


As you can see from the picture, there are two elastics and also a leather cord for a bookmark, tied to one of the elastics. I have to confess, I have already removed the notebook elastics as they were too thick, and replaced them with some 1mm elastic from my stash.  The elastic it came with was the same as the closure elastic (3mm) and just far too thick for the notebooks:

Original elastic (3mm)

It wasn't just that the elastic was too thick and made the middle of the booklet bulky, the knot was impossible to work around. Anyway, elastics changed, all is well.

Apart from the fact that the notebook elastics were too thick, they were well made, with plastic on the ends to prevent any fraying. As you might be able to see in the picture of the interior, the closure elastic has ends like a treasury tag which lie flat along the spine - no lumpy knot in the middle of the back! I took another picture (after I'd changed the elastics) to show it better:

Closure elastic
(like a treasury tag)

The cover came with two notebooks - a lined one and a squared one. Each has 48 pages. I haven't done my customary pen test yet as I'm not using them - I'm using the Midori 013 notebooks in it at the moment. The notebook cover is cream card with a linen-effect texture. The spacing of the lines is TINY in the notebooks. I quite like narrow ruled but these are 4mm. Yep - 4mm spacing - both the line spacing and the squares:

4mm line spacing
4mm spacing for the squares too!

I may well be okay with the 4mm spacing in the squared notebook, but I'll struggle with the lined, unless I only use every other line. (Though my friend Helen (waves! hello!) has very petite writing so I may send it on to her if she has need of it...?)

Well, that's the overviews. Likes and dislikes?

1. the colour! It is absolutely gorgeous! Deep and rich and beautiful. It's closer to colour J on the chart than K (I ordered K) but I'd been torn between the colours anyway, so I'm perfectly happy!

Image is from the Sunleaves site on Etsy and reproduced
only to indicate the colour range offered
No copyright infringement intended

2. the closure elastic: It's a) thick and b) I like the way it's attached to the cover.

3. the cover: it's thick and sturdy and doesn't have fluffy suede on the inside.

I'm less of a fan of the vertical arrangement of the notebook elastics. I'd rather they were lined up horizontally, so that the length of the elastics inside was the same, with a bit of horizontal space between them to allow for the thickness of the booklets. I tried to thread the replacement elastic so that the lengths inside were still the same length but offset, but that led to warping of the cover and the booklets sitting strangley, so I re-threaded it so that one booklet has its elastic coming from the two inner holes and the other booklet has the elastic coming from the two outer holes. How do others cope with this?

Elastics for the notebooks arranged vertically
In the Stamford Notebook Co. TJ the elastics are attached horizontally

With hindsight, I also wish I had asked for it to be a little wider than standard. Two Midori 013 notebooks fit in absolutely fine. A third in as well would cause the edges of the notebooks to be flush with the cover and probably get bent. Maybe the inserts with fewer pages than the 013 insert would be less bulky and so three would fit okay?


  1. Nice! The elastic cord issue could be dealt with by punching two holes, one on either side of the top & bottom hole and string the the elastic cords that way. Just saying! I may have strung one or two that way before!

    1. The master himself!! Thanks for stopping by!
      I do have a leather punch and I could do that but I was more after finding out how people string the booklets in with the vertical hole arrangement. I don't really want to put more holes in it...

  2. Very pretty! I'm sure this will help inspire you with your goals! Your methods of goal-planning and acting are really helping me still, by the way, and thank you! I can't comment on the elastic issue I'm afraid - I'm such a dunce dealing with anything practical like that!

    Yes, my handwriting is a little on the small side :D I use a standard Traveller's Notebook size now for my journal, and counted I write an average of 750 words per single side. I couldn't get any feedback on FB on the average but I'm guessing that's quite a lot :D If you don't think the small lines on the notebook would work for you, could I buy it? I can PP you. You already send me so many gifts (and the letters are the best gift of all - sorry, I know my last one to you really wasn't up to scratch :(

    1. Hi there!
      Glad my ramblings are still helpful!
      750 words per page. Wow! Er, with 0.5mm line spacing and my EF pen, I'm only getting about 275 words on a standard Midori page! No worries about the booklet - I'll pop it in with my next letter. A.x