Thursday, 8 June 2017

New Traveller's Notebook from Meadowgate Leather

new TN!! Undyed leather
I already had a Traveller's Notebook by Meadowgate Leather - my everyday carry (EDC). It has extra card slots, my diary, a notebook and a wallet insert and is just glorious! I blogged about it here. Now I have two!

As many of you know, as well as my EDC, I also use a small notebook for everyday planning/bullet-journalling (of a fashion) that's just under A6 size. I use Clairefontaine notebooks, which are the same size as Field Notes (but made of nice paper and there are lots of pages in them). I use a page per day and down the left-hand side of the page, I have timed slots and on the right, I jot down tasks I'd like to get done and any notes that crop up in the day. The timed slots are used for appointments and for time-boxing. I also have a Word. notebook with lists of people to write to, emails to send and general stuff that doesn't need doing on a specific day. Until now, these books have sat naked on my desk. In all honesty, they probably didn't need any protection as they just sat on my desk, but, you know me and stationery... why should I not buy things, when they're lovely and I could just buy them?

I've been tempted by undyed leather for a while. My good friend Stuart (writing buddy, and he of Pocket Notebooks) had an undyed A6 TN from Meadowgate Leather last year and it's steadily been turning a gorgeous caramel colour. So, I finally got round to getting my own undyed Field Notes size (plus good overhang) cover from Meadowgate, with red elastics. This is the listing here.

Ordering from Meadowgate Leather is easy-peasy and there are so many ways to tailor your order - colour of stitching (if you have a TN that has stitching), colour of elastics, pen-loop/no pen-loop, position of pen-loop, size of pen-loop, amount of overhang, name tag... LOTS of options. I went for: undyed leather, Field Notes size, medium pen-loop stitched facing outwards and 3/4 up the back cover, red elastics, bigger overhang than standard and... I asked if Mike (the owner) had any especially scarred or interesting leather and if so, could he use it on my TN.

The TN arrived very swiftly and is beyond gorgeous. It was nigh on impossible to photograph and get an accurate representation of the colour, given that it's Scotland and 5 inches of rain fell the day I was trying to take pictures. The pictures with flash are too pale and those without are too dark... click on any to enlarge.

Front cover - reasonably accurate colour
Back cover (more on the marks soon)
Interior - I'll explain the R in a moment!

You remember that I'd asked for scarred/interesting leather? It just happened that Mike had had some leather arrive with a big branding mark on it. Perfect timing! I don't especially like the fact that any animal gets branded, if I'm honest, but it didn't get branded on my behalf. Anyway, that's what the R in a circle is - it's much more prominent on the interior, but if you look closely at the picture of the back of the TN, you can see it.

Mike's undyed leather comes with no treatment at all - no wax or protection. I decided that I would put some leather cream on it as protection as it might not get a lot of oils from my hands given that it mostly sits on my desk. Naturally, any treatment will cause some colour changes to the leather. All of the above pictures were taken before treatment. The next was taken with just the RHS (front) cover with leather cream on:

This is with all of the cover (minus the pen loop) treated (cream on, not yet buffed):

And this is after the cream has been buffed:

It's been on my desk for 2 days and I left it out yesterday, closed. Here's a picture of the front cover now...

front cover 2 days later

Can you see the faint paler horizontal line? That's where the elastic was fastened. I suspect this TN is going to turn an even more fabulous colour with time!

So, what's in it? Currently, only two of the elastics are used - one with my Clairefontaine day book, one with the Mist Word. notebook. If I'm honest, the interior elastic feels a bit too big/tight for small notebooks and I may swap it out for 1mm elastic instead. I'll see.

Anyway, just as I was the first time I ordered from Meadowgate Leather, I am absolutely thrilled with the product. Mike is a treasure to deal with and his products are incredibly well made. If you can't see quite what you're after on the site, just send him a message and ask. That's what I did with my first TN, to get card slots in the back and the front. He will do his best to make you just what you're after. His prices are very reasonable and the craftsmanship is superb. Go on... go and check him out!