If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I love testing and reviewing notebooks. Especially notebooks that are meant for bullet journaling. All through the years that I've been bullet journaling, I've tried lots of brands of dotted grid notebooks, and I get so excited when I find new notebooks that I haven't seen before. So, when the people from Pad & Quill contacted me to review and give my honest opinion about their notebooks, I immediately said yes.
Hello, friends and Happy New Year!
This is the first blog post for 2018! I am so excited for the new year and all the amazing opportunities and experiences it's going to bring. I hope you had a good time during the holidays, and that you took the time to be close to your family and loved ones. That's exactly what I did and I'm so grateful of all the lovely moments and memories we created during that time.
Today's review is about a bullet journal notebook by Mint Printcess on Etsy. I always like to test and review bullet journal notebooks, so when I was contacted to do a review for Mint Printcess I said yes straight away.
Today I'd like to talk about my latest obsession and that is the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. What can I say? I'm in love with them! They are so versatile and easy to use, adding colour to my every day life. In this post, I'll show you the colours I've got, I'll talk about their characteristics and then I'll show you some of the techniques I use, so that you get the most out of them.
The Tombow Dual Pens are water based, odourless and acid free. That means that they are easy to blend and that your designs will last for a long time. They come with two types of tips:
A flexible nylon brush tip
And a fine tip
The two tips give you lines with a wide range of thickness. With the flexible tip you can create fine, medium or bold strokes by a change in the brush pressure, or you can use the fine tip for more consistent lines.
As you can see in the image above, you can get lines with thickness from 1 cm to 1/2 mm. That makes them great for any project, including colouring, hand lettering, doodling, journaling and much more!
I'm using them constantly to practice my hand lettering.
I get my hand lettering practice sheets from the Brush Letter Practice Guide.
And I also use them every day in my bullet journal:
They don't bleed through the pages, they are easy to blend and they add colour to my pages 😊 They come in 96 amazing colours. Each marker has a number that indicates that colour.
I'm currently building my collection slowly-slowly, and I hope that very soon I'll have all 96 of them. 😉 I started with the basic colours, then bought the more light and pastel ones, and from there I add as I go along. The ones I've got so far are:
You can also get a colourless blender, that you can use with the colours to create a gradient effect and blend them. In the Tombow website
you can find and download the Dual Brush Pen Colour Selector, in order to see the swatches and choose the colours you want. You can also download the Dual Brush Pen Colour Tracker to swatch the colours you have like I did below:
Tips & Techniques
The Tombow pens are water reactive and they will turn into water colours. All you have to do is use the Tombow blending palette, any plastic surface or a porcelain plate (like I did), some water and a brush. I used my Pentel brush, because I just love it, but you can use any brush you want.
Take some colour on your brush and then start colouring on your paper. The result will be a really nice gradient effect:
You can do the same with more than one colours:
You can also use the blender pen instead of a brush, even without water and have similar results.
One more way to use the plastic surface or plate like before, is to use two different colours. Place one colour on the plate and then use a lighter colour to pick some up like in the picture.
Then start colouring on a piece of paper and you'll see the transition from one colour to the next.
The more colour you pick up, the bigger the ombre effect you'll get. In the picture I only picked up a tiny bit and you can see the result. One good thing about these pens is that the tips self clean after blending, so you don't have to worry about ruining them. 😉
You can also touch the tips of two different Tombow pens and have a similar ombre effect too. I like to touch the two tips for about 7 seconds and then start drawing.
Using the above techniques you can colour any page you want and add more depth and dimension like I did in my colouring page below:
I was thinking of creating Colouring Secrets: an e-course that will cover tips and techniques on how to colour using coloured pencils, markers and watercolours. If you'd be interested in a fun and affordable ($20) e-course on colouring, enter your info below and I'll notify you when it launches!
COLOURING SECRETS E-COURSE
If this is a product you'd be interested in buying, enter your email below and I'll notify you when it launches!
Have you used the Tombow Dual Brush Pens before? What do you think about them? Any colours you'd suggest I buy next?
In September I was lucky enough to be sent the William Hannah Notebook for review, and I have to tell you... it was love at first sight - literally! I love my bullet journal and I'm a big fan of the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. However, since seeing Nicole's and Cristina's disc binding journals, I really wanted to give that type of notebook a try. So, when David from William Hannah approached me, I was over the moon!
I was able to choose any combination I wanted, so even though my favourite colour is blue, I went for the Bordeaux & Fuchsia Notebook. The William Hannah is an A5 size notebook that comes in 15 amazing colour combinations. I have to say that all the notebooks look amazing and I had a difficult time deciding on which combination to go for. I must have spend at least an hour on their website deciding on the colours.
When the postman delivered the box, it felt like Christmas came early! The packaging was fantastic. It comes all wrapped up in a black box with the WH initials.
The notebook itself is absolutely amazing and of high quality. The cover is made of leather that is so incredibly soft (and smells so good!), and the inside lining is made of high quality Italian suede.
I love the metal accents that give character to the notebook.
The attention to detail is exquisite!
The disc binding mechanism is made out of 303 gauge stainless steel that promises never to tarnish. I really like the stainless steel bar that they use to keep the discs in place inside the cover. That gives the notebook stability and security. That was one of my basic worries with the disc binding notebooks, but it seems that the WH Notebook won't have any problems like that.
You can easily remove the paper by pulling down from the top.
After choosing the colour of the leather and the suede lining, then you can choose the layout, quantity and line colour of your pages. The quality of the paper is amazing - extra thick 115gsm acid free luxury paper - which is so smooth that your pens literally glide on it.
In the above page is my Pen Test Pages for Leuchtturm1917 and the William Hannah notebooks respectively. The pens write so beautifully on the WH notebook - it's a dream!
And there is literally no ghosting in the WH one! ( In the above page it's the Leuchtturm1917 on the left and the William Hannah on the right).
The colour of the pages is slightly whiter than that of Leuchtturm1917 - something that I personally prefer. And the space between the dots is 5mm, the same like Leuchtturm1917.
You can choose from plain, dotted, lined and grid paper. They come in packets of 10 sheets, so that you can get a variety (like I did) to try them out. You can configure it in any combination of 60 sheets (or more if you wish). You can also choose a different ink colour of your pages - if you look more closely in the above picture, I chose pink and purple for some of my pages. They also have a To-Do list and a Year at a view calendar.
As you can understand I love this notebook!
- It has great product quality.
- Excellent paper quality and thickness.
- Flexibility - you can take the pages in and out and rearrange your notebook as you want.
- Gives you the choice of separation between all the categories that you might have in your bullet journal.
- You can use it over and over again - you just need to add pages.
On the other hand though, there are some disadvantages compared to the normal notebooks.
- Price - It retails at £95 (+ shipping) which is quite expensive, but then again you get to use the notebook over and over again.
- The separation of the pages could be a bit restricting for certain types of spreads that require the pages to be connected.
- You can add a specific number of pages at a time.
For me the pros definitely outweight the cons. I trully believe this is an amazing product that you can invest on and have for life. I can't wait to start drawing and making my bullet journal spreads in it! If you like the William Hannah Notebook, make sure you put it in your Xmas Wish List ;) Don't forget to visit their website for more information.