Quinn’s Art Supplies

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is a blog post fromQuinn Creative which is worth the read.


New post on QuinnCreative

Art Supplies Worth Having

by QuinnCreative

Super-specialized art supplies are fun and can ease the tedious part of creative work. What makes special supplies most useful is combining them with the basics you love and use every day.

Here are my four new favorites for everyday journaling use.

Open notebook showing yellow first page (others are white) and pocket insert that does NOT come with the notebook.

Open notebook showing yellow first page (others are white) and pocket insert that does NOT come with the notebook.

Notebook: Mnemosyne 183. Unlined, 70 sheets (140 pages). Now that I’ve abandoned six journals for one–the Commonplace Journal, I needed something practical. So it has to:

  • fit in a purse (or carry-on)
  • fold over on itself
  • have paper that’s thick enough for sketching and writing
  • have paper that doesn’t have severe show-through
  • have pages that can be removed (and leave as a note for someone)

I’ve loved the Strathmore Mixed-Media journal, but the wire binding is just too bulky, and the paper seemed a waste for client notes, which go into the Commonplace Journal most.

Showing double-truck spread of Maruman Mnemosyne notebook. Right page has been deliberately blurred.

Showing double-truck spread of Maruman Mnemosyne notebook. Right page has been deliberately blurred.

Maruman is a Japanese company that makes notebooks for writers. Mnemosyne is the Greek goddess of memory. The notebooks are made with meticulous care. For example, the small-diameter wire binding is “short”–doesn’t go to the very top or bottom of the page. So you can easily hold the gutter side of the page when you tear out the perf’d page cleanly.

I got the notebook at JetPens, which has a huge variety of sizes, lined- graphed- and blank notebooks. Here’s what they say:

The way a paper interacts with a specific ink is as unique as a snowflake. Fountain pen users will prefer paper that produces the perfect inkblot levels, paper that absorbs too much ink would not be good. On the other hand, a ballpoint pen user might seek a paper that allows their pen to guide more smoothly across the page. Japanese paper manufacturers pay attention to these preferences by tweaking numerical values ever so slightly during the manufacturing process to create the perfect page for their customers.

Very little show-through on this book.

Very little show-through on this book.

It’s true–the pages are thin, and have an almost smooth, fabric feel to them. It has a black plastic front cover, and a chipboard back cover, which makes writing easy, even when folded over to save space.

Pack of 5 x 8 inch Post-It Pockets. A must-have for every journal-keeper.

Pack of 5 x 8 inch Post-It Pockets. A must-have for every journal-keeper.

Post-It Pockets. There are items I like to carry in my Commonplace Journal–the gift certificate to an art store, the business card I just got, a postcard (with stamp) to send to someone on the spur of the moment, the names and phone numbers of doctors and emergency contacts.

These plastic pockets work like Post-It Notes--they attach to the inside front cover of your notebook and peel off when you need to move it. A flap is held shut with velcro, so you have easy access to the contents.  These fit in a 5 x 8-inch notebook perfectly, and they do come in different sizes.

Pentel Hybrid Technica ballpoint, extra fine (size 04). I’m not a gel pen fan. I like Pentelpen1ballpoints. And this gel pen is perfect is you like extra fine pens. It’s crisp, black script is perfect for detail. It does what most gel pens don’t–it dries as soon as it’s on the page.

It’s a great sketching pen, too. Smooth, even, no blurring when you cross-hatch. Archival, acid free. Writes when you touch it to paper, so no “scribble start” with this pen.  If you draw and write in your journal, take sketchnotes, or doodle, (and like a superfine pen), this is perfect.

Drawing in a 9 x 12-inch wire-bound notebook is a nice way to create and keep your pieces the same size and together. It’s also hard, because you work consecutively, but not emotionally sequentially.

notebook1You also have to put the book aside to dry if you are doing something messy and wet. Patience is not always my strong suit.

Canson has solved your problem–they make a wireboound book with repositionable pages. (The link takes you to Dick Blick art supply.)

You carefully peel out a page, top to bottom, and let it dry or decide where you want to put it. Then you put it back in, carefully “clicking” the pages back into place.

Notebook2It works along the same lines as Rollabind or Circa, which uses removable disks to hold notebooks together.

This makes the book doubly useful. You can arrange the pages by date, media, technique, color, emotional content. You can rearrange them to your heart’s content, as long as you are careful.

Note: I paid for each of these products. I am not being compensated in any way by any company for the content of this blog.

Quinn McDonald loves basic art and writing tools.


Dear Fellow Journalers,

I owe an apology to Quinn! In re-blogging her post about art supplies, I inadvertently left off some KEY information, such as when her post was first seen on wordpress:  June 2, 2014 and the all-important pictures. The link to her post is: https://quinncreative.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/art-supplies-worth-having/   I honestly don’t know what happened.

I always strive to give credit where credit is due because I believe that we are all on this journey together. Please check out her amazing site, and her books!


Random Thoughts for Today

Hot Tea

Hot Tea

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

Ray Bradbury

The Pursuit of Happiness in January

Dear Fellow Journalers,
The last days of any year for all of us, is a time to review the events and opportunities of the last year. For me, it’s a time to organize my craft room after the Christmas Card-making blitz and it’s a time to eat way too many cookies!

One of the things I have discovered this past year is that I’d forgotten how much I like to write. A good friend of mine recently told me how surprised she was when she first read some of my posts. She had no idea that I wrote and that she looked forward to my weekly paper adventures.

Since one of my goals this year is to reignite the flame of creating, I decided to research the topic “breaking Crafter’s Block.” We all go through it – “dry spells” they call them. The stack of watercolor paper that sits untouched, the just bought “gotta have” dies, embossing folder or newest acrylic paint color – they all sit waiting for us to create something new from the blank canvas on our desks.

We desperately want to create but we don’t know what and we know we won’t be happy until we do create something. Crazy, isn’t it?

So fellow journalers, I’ve decided to devote the first post of every month to a few words on spiritual and crafting inspiration to help you unlock your potential for the month. I’ll be using Henry S. Miller’s “The Serious Pursuit of Happiness” for the spiritual part and many of my journal prompts for the crafting parts.

January is a month of hope and plans. Journaling is one of the first tools used to teach aspiring writers how to tap into their creative flow. Resolve to write one positive goal each morning of each day of January and plan to make the plan a reality. Old photos (scanned, if possible) are great starting points and if you take the time to create your cover first, you will have to write now! Don’t make this a chore – open your eyes and heart for the possibilities that await you! There was a TV personality that said that she finds inspiration all over even in commercials! I wonder if she was talking about color concepts. Journals can be made from composition books you can find at dollar stores. Cover them with patterned paper, stickers, and flowers – virtually anything you want. But beware – making journals can be addictive – almost like eating chocolate chip cookies!

Copyright – 2015   by Uniquelyyourscraftjournal

All rights reserved.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given

To Sallie and uniquelyyourscraftjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You may reach Sallie at uniquelyyourscraftjournal@outlook.com

Random Thought- Letting Go

     “Surrender to what is.

       Let go of what was.

       Have faith in what will be.”

          Sonia Ricotta


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