It all started right around the new year, I needed a small 2015 calendar, visited the online world of planners (filofax, etc.) and went down that rabbit hole. I came up with a lovely planner that I love. It opens completely flat (!) and is a pleasure to use and write in every day.
In the mean time, I was reading a lot of pen, paper, and pencil blogs. I upgraded my everyday pens. This is my current fave, the Pentel Hybrid Technica Gel Ink Pen - 0.4 mm - Black. I feel like a found a new best friend. And it's refillable. And I would have never thought to try a .4, but it's PERFECT.
Then I went down a fountain pen spiral, but I haven't bought one yet. I watch videos about fountains pens. I still have the Scheaffer my brother gave me when I was 20.
During all this, I kept seeing the Midori Traveler's Notebook around the interwebs. They look lovely. They are elegantly simple and straight forward and totally customizable. As a bookbinder, I wanted to not buy one, but to make one. Then I found the world of Fauxdoris, homemade versions people have crafted to better fit their needs and budget. Here's a great guide on the original Midori Traveler's Notebook, over at Jet Pens.
The standard Traveler's Notebook sizes are limiting. They don't fit Moleskines or Field Notes, which I like to use, so I made my own fauxdori with some leather I got here locally (tandy leather) and found a great short video on how to make one. There are many videos out there, but they are long, and this is short and easy. I had a lot of supplies on hand from bookbinding and sewing, so all I needed was the leather. The design with the elastic bands is so fun to execute, I wanted to stand up and start clapping after I made these.
I made these four for gifts and and am now kind of obsessed. I would like to make one that fits Scout Books, which I think is almost the exact size of the Midori Passport, which would then allow me to use the Midori inserts as well, which have really nice paper options. This is important for using fountains pens, or inky pens because of the potential bleed-through factor. Homemade inserts for the Traveler's Notebook are a thing, too. So many people are making their own. Etsy is full of this stuff. The whole Traveler's Notebook world is a such a huge trend with so many off-shoots. But it's about writing stuff down on real paper. It's tangible and real, you hold it in your hands, and I find this very exciting. It's not a phone app for keeping notes!