Skip to main content

My Favorite Multi Media and Writing Notebooks and Journals

Stillman and Birn Beta series hard bound notebook
Journals and notebooks have been a large part of my life for many years. In the late 1970's when I first considered 'journaling', which at the time was probably called having a 'diary', I just added notes to a calendar. From there I progressed to having a day planner that gave me more space to write - a small page a day. Next came the real journals (which I have tried blank, ruled and squared). 

Finally, when I began to do 'visual journaling' more often than not I found that I needed more than one kind of notebook. I now use a 'regular' journal for my daily writing, to do lists, things to buy or look for, books to read, films to see etc etc (see my favorites below) as well as a mixed media journal.  

My mixed media journal needs to have good quality, nice paper that is tough enough take the demands of wet media and, at times, 'distressing'. As always I had grand time trying a variety of brands. I finally found what I consider to be the best hardbound mixed media notebook around - the Stillman and Birn Beta series notebook. It's beautiful, clear white, 180# paper that holds it own against any mixed media or water techniques that you might want to use.
A mixed media piece in the works. I have used glues, lots of water and distressing on this page already with absolutley no bleed through or warping 
This chart indicates the many series that Stillman and Birn makes, what they are generally used for and how heavy the paper is. Stillman and Birn notebooks are available in either hard bound or spiral bound.

So - my mixed media journal is set. I am a fan of Stillman and Birn journals. I don't think that they have a peer when it comes to multi-media work with no bleed through or warping issues.

My daily journal writing, list making, note keeping journal also has a set of special requirements. I use fountain pens exclusively - so the paper in my journals needs to be fountain pen friendly with no bleeding , or worse yet, feathering issues. My long standing favorite daily journal/notebook is a Quo Vadis Habana journal. The are available as blank (my favorite), and ruled and come in three different sizes. I use the larger size. Quo Vadis makes a large variety of planners and notebooks...too many to include in a post.  I love the paper in Quo Vadis Habana notebooks - it's so smooth! Writing in them is a dream - thoroughly pleasurable. 

Check out their wonderful Face Book Page at:

This is the information about Quo Vadis Habana journals from their website:

Each Habana offers 80 sheets of exceptionally smooth, 85-gram paper.
It's the finest paper in the world for writing, and we know you'll love it, too.
Habanas also feature...
  • A firm, leather-like cover that's perfect for on-the-go writing
  • Elegant round corners for cover and pages
  • Sewn binding for enhanced stability and flexibility
  • An expandable inner pocket for notes and cards
  • ribbon bookmark so you never lose your place
  • Matching elastic band holds the notebook securely
Our paper, our commitment.
Habanas are made with acid free, chlorine free and pH neutral paper made in France from certified sustainable forests.

Quo Vadis Habana journals - Luxurious paper and a soft, warm to the touch cover and I love the color choices! My personal favorite is Anise - guess which one that is!

Another brand that I enjoy is the long time standby, Moleskine. Moleskine is touted as being 'the' writers journal" and was used by writers such as Hemingway, is is a "go-to" brand for many folks. My favorite thing about this brand is the size of their large size journal which comes in a soft cover or hard cover in blank, ruled, grided, colored, patterned, plain or 'character-ed' covers. It's fits easily in my carry all. There is nothing not to love about Moleskine, and I have used them a lot throughout the years.

The only 'con', for me, about  Moleskine is that their paper is not the most fountain pen friendly paper in the world. There is a significant amount of bleedthrough. I generally try to ignore it and use both sides of a page, but one could always just use one side to obviate the bleed through issue. Moleskine has such a large line of notebooks/planners and journals in colors, characters and multiple sizes that one could never go through them all. Check them out!

Moleskine FaceBook page:
Moleskine - long standing quality and vast selection of formats.


Popular posts from this blog

Circular Knitting Needle Comparison

When I use something a lot I have to admit that I try to find the brand that works best for me. I never thought that I would ever be a scissor snob until I found Dovo brand scissors and, of course I love my trusty Fiskars too. I became a scissor snob thank to Dovo. 
Now I seem to be searching for the perfect knitting needles - the perfect one for me at least. I have been enjoying the 'chase' and I think I am close to knowing exactly what my preference is, and want, in a knitting needles. 
I only use circular knitting needles. When I first taught myself to knit myself  that's what I used and my preference has not changed. I began knitting with Addi Turbo needles. That is the brand that my LYS sold and I have always loved how slick and fast they are. I have sets of Addi clicks interchangeables in both lace and regular.  Over time, I have discovered what I want in a knitting needle: metal, the pointiest tip possible, a fast knitting, slick, metal needle and a very flexible c…

Fabric Stiffeners and Hardeners For All Occasions Plus A Recipe For Home Made Starch Alternative

I have had to become better acquainted with various ways to harden, stiffen or prevent fraying in cloth lately. It has been an enlightening journey, and I thought that I would pass it along the lessons that I have learned about a variety of excellent products that suit any need to 'tame' fabric for a variety of reasons. 
Fray Check. Who among us has not used this ubiquitous little potion over the years? It works like a charm to 'glue' up those raw edges on some of the most beautiful fabrics I use; ensuring that I can sew the fabric without fear of endless unraveling. This product has remained a favorite since I first discovered it many years ago. The only change that I think Prym/Dritz has made to it over the years is a finer application tip.
I have re-discovered my admiration for this product as I was making a holiday gift from some beautiful cotton that was especially prone to fraying! I have also recently learned that Fray Check can be removed with rubbing alcohol.…

Aurifil's New 80wt Appliqué Thread

The changes that getting older bring can be amusing at times. When I was younger I eagerly awaited hearing about a new job or pay raises, what the weekend might bring, what art I hoped to make soon...those kind of life experience kind of things. Lately though, my 'awaiting moments' are far more simple. Thread! Yes, I have been eagerly waiting to try Aurifil's new appliqué smooth, strong, 80wt cotton. It seems that my 'making' life has been dominated by hand sewing and hand appliqué lately. Therefore, anything that tends to make my stitches look smaller and blend better is on my radar. Over the years I have used a lot of varieties of appliqué thread. Who doesn't love stitching with silk thread?! It's soft, lustrous and blends so well! My issue with sewing with most silk threads was that it tended to break a lot. I tried to love Superior Threads Bottom Line poly and Wonderfil's Invisifil poly. The problem? I really tend to be old school and …