A Box Full of Notebooks

Bari's Box of Notebooks

All of my babies were scattered around the house. I honestly wasn’t sure how many I had out of storage and which types. Well, I found this old box I painted Chinese characters on as a child and decided it’d be perfect. Unfortunately, all the notebooks I already had more than filled it, so I already need another box, hoho.

Bari's Box of Notebooks 2

From Midori refills to cheap spiral bound notebooks to a notebook that was purchased for me in Russia, I felt like I was playing Tetris when I stacked them all in there.

Bari's Owl Notebook

I have two leather journals in my collection (aside from my Midori’s cover which is leather of course), and this owl notebook was the first in my collection even before the MTN.

leather covers

I have been eyeing that thick little dark brown book with the circular metal piece in the front for literally about two or three years. I finally picked it up since I had a coupon and have yet to decide what to do with it. I’ll probably hoard it for another year or so. XD I love its form: thick like an old occultist’s grimoire, heavy as a brick and full of nearly square blank pages. I wanna live in this thing. ❤

a book that's a box of its ownlokta journal 1

Above is my notebook of lokta paper with a lokta leaf in its cover. It’s the journal I keep a lot of birding studies in, so I drew birds all over it. In addition to that mountain bluebird, there’s phainopepla and a ruby-throated hummingbird on the back, which are all species I saw in California. It has the most beautiful green accents.

lokta journal 2 fabric covered sketchbookMidori and refills

Of course, here’s my Midori and all of its refills. Obviously, it is well-loved despite not currently in my “in-use” stack.

long, thin watercolor sketchbook with linen cover

I absolutely had to pick this linen-covered watercolor notebook up over the weekend. If it was half its height, I’d be thoroughly unimpressed, but just look at the shape of this thing! The paper feels quite lovely, and it is very portable and light. Below, I had to photograph my Moleskine Japanese album which is over four years old. :X Bahahahahahaha!
Moleskine Japanese album

stone paper notebook

This stone paper notebook was another impulse buy, but I had never heard of stone paper and the notebook was surprisingly cheap. It turns out that stone paper is made from marble waste (or other types of stone waste) which means that not a single plant died for this notebook, not even a lokta plant. XD Because the paper is technically made of rocks, it’s very heavy, but it feels awesome. The paper is creamy smooth and slick as well as waterproof like advertised. It’s also extremely rip resistant, but I’ve yet to test how well certain inks work with it.

stone paper


Beauties from Taiwan

Damn, I love my Midori. That wonderful envelope came from Taiwan, and I couldn’t resist cutting it up and gluing it down. Currently, I’m playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and it is fantastic!

Heterochromia Iridum

I went back to using my Midori for my daily notebook. Right now, I’m using it with two inserts, and the lightweight insert is serving as my journal right now. Despite how flimsy the paper is, I love how it feels, and it’s very sturdy for its thickness. Even so, I can’t stand seeing black ink through the pages, so I’ll be alternating between pencil and pen which is fun. Heavier mediums won’t really be an option, but it takes ink and light applications of watercolor surprisingly well. My love for this notebook just doesn’t end. ❤

I drew some anime-style chicks this week, and I’m almost finished with Revolutionary Girl Utena! Also I’m fairly certain my cat steals away all day to troll the blue jays. I can hear them bitching from inside my house, so she must be doing a good job.

The crepe myrtles are blooming, and I just love them. They range in colors from pastel pink to deep burgundy to white to lavender and are very long, abundant bloomers. During summer, it’s like flower petal snow underneath the large pink one in my yard. The flowers are fascinating in texture and shape, and each petal is almost a flower of its own. I did a brief study in my Midori. Also in the MTN, I will be beginning a super serious daily French journal. The two-month diary grid will start in August.

My journal page for yesterday was full of blue and splatters. I was quite inspired by some art postcards I bought. I’ll be sending the first one out tomorrow! It’s a lovely mineral illustration. 

One of my longest standing obsessions is the love of notebooks. I won’t bore you with the trillion reasons why, but I have carried one around since I was a small child. Granted, I was far less picky back then.

I use a Paperblanks notebook for my daily art journal, for technique experimentation and to write about whatever I damn well please. This notebook was given to me by my closest penpal friend, Léo. I’ve quickly fallen in love with the brand due to its range of sizes and designs, sturdy paper and beautiful accents (metal closures for example).

I also use a silly little full-color owl notebook for all my penpal information: addresses, preferences, ideas for gifts and letters, incoming/outgoing lists. I even use it to draft letters if I’m feeling particularly nervous. For less artistically intense letters, I can just rip (carefully) the signatures from the notebook and bind it with thread into several mini booklets that are already owl themed. ❤ I very much enjoy this.

My Midori is a different beast because it hides three notebooks (refills) each with a different purpose. I use a two-month diary grid refill for my daily French journal, a grid insert for creative writing and a sketchbook insert for artwork. Despite being too small for my art journal, I’m addicted to it.

Last but not least is that thin little map notebook which is a special project for my friend. I found the idea while wandering Instagram’s “happymail” hashtag, and it is originally the idea of “letter_writer”. We each bought a fairly thin notebook with between 60 and 70 pages. Over the course of several months, we plan to fill our own notebooks with primarily text. Both of us will decorate the pages a bit to liven things up, but the idea is to avoid filling entire pages with paint in lieu of words. After we’re done, we will mail our notebooks to one another. This project is extra awesome because much of our interaction is language exchange. For these notebooks, we will each be writing in our native tongues: she in French and me in English. I’ll have an awesome translation project to complete this fall! ❤

Full Midori Insert

I finished my Midori refill this past week, and I just love how it feels out of the cover and full of tape, paper, glue and stickers. Being a meager 64 pages, it had only just begun to obtain that thickness that I love. After spending a while with the Midori, I’ve decided that notebook itself is too small for a daily art journal, and I’ll keep it for fine sketches and written journaling only.

I moved most of the things from the Midori pocket into the beautiful PaperBlank that Eléonore gave me. There are so many pages, and there is so much room in each spread! It’s very wide, and the pages are lined and heavy. My first entry was after a long day, so I just painted, glued and doodled till my heart was content. The paper held up very well under several layers of acrylic paint with glue and ink on top. Today, I’ll be pulling out the watercolors, so we’ll see how that goes!

In my Pocket

I absolutely love getting a look into the memento pockets and ephemera stash boxes of other journalers and artists, so I thought I’d give everyone a peek into the overfilled pocket of my Midori. I’ve stowed paint chips, washi samples, feathers, travel mementos, a sketch, a photo of my cat, odds and ends and most importantly little bits from my penpals: stickers, a snowy photo, tags and paper pieces!