2018 was my first foray into full-on DIY planner/journaling; also known as bullet journal-ing. My book was a $5 everyday special from Michael's called a Purple Dot Journal by Artist's Loft. I loved this book. It held up extremely well to watercolor and Crayola supertips and the bevy of pens I tried in it. There were a couple of times where ink bled through to the other side but not enough to stop using the journal. I highly recommend this journal for people just joining the community and for all kinds of journaling.
The cover is hardback and plain. I decorated this with gold and silver paint pens, a black sharpie, and donated stickers of women from around the world and cute little owls from my BFF.
However, this year, I decided to make my everyday book a Seven Seas "CROSSFIELD" A5 Grid Journal. It has the famous Tomoe River paper and 480 pages of it. Now I can include all my research notes and endlessly drone on and on when I journal. I can't wait. The Tomoe River paper comes highly recommended for fountain pen users. It is the 2nd reason I chose this book. I am a calligrapher and like to write with actual calligraphy pens and ink, on occasion, and the Artist's Loft pages couldn't take it. I ended up gluing some pages together because of some extreme bleed-through.
I LOVE the crinkliness of the watercolor pages, the embossing gives the page texture, and I embrace the ghosting whole-heartedly. (Nanami has a fix for "show through", if you're interested.)
FIRST & SECOND
One of the very first things I do when I get a new notebook is to designate four pages in the very back for a Pen Test. It doesn't matter that I've tested the same pens in another book that is exactly the same, I do it again anyway. This serves 2 purposes:
1.) I use new pens I didn't have when I obtained the first book and
2.) It breaks the anxiety EVERYONE usually feels about first writing in a blank book.
Pen Tests let you know just how much ghosting there will be and if any of your pens will bleed through. Here are my pen tests for 2019.
I also run a water brush over all the writing to see if the water and ink from the pen will cause bleed through. It looks like I'm golden with every pen, so far. The next thing I do is a book blessing and protection.
Erma has been drawing she was a small child. She received lessons in chalk pastels at age 7, taught herself calligraphy at age 11, and learned the basics of figure drawing at age 13. She became a professional calligrapher in 1995.