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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review of the Paperblanks Dayplanner 2012

Like most people, I'm drawn to journals, dayplanners, sketchbooks, and notebooks that have beautiful covers.  All too often, though, when I look closer, and actually see the quality of the paper and the covers and the bindings, I set the journal down with regret, and move on.  Most of them are all flash and no substance.

There is one brand of these items though, where both beauty and quality are found and that is Paperblanks. A variety of papers are used, and the binding is always Smythe-sewn, which means it will lie flat, OR hand-sewn, which means it will lie even flatter.

They come in mini-sizes, midi-sizes, maxi-sizes, slims, grandes...the list keeps going.

And the covers....  Oh my!  The covers are drop-dead gorgeous.  They feature artwork from artists such as William Morris, Alphonse Mucha and Leonardo Da Vinci.  They are inspired by things as diverse as Japanese Lacquer boxes and the Book of Kells.  The materials used range from bookboard to leather to silver filagree.  They're embossed and inset, and printed in gleaming colors, and...well, you really need to peruse the catalog!

I've filled up two Paperblanks sketchbooks in the past, and haven't decided what my third will be--though I keep eyeing the silver filagree--so I was pleasantly surprised when I won a Dayplanner from a Paperblanks giveaway on Twitter.

I won a 2012 Dayplanner Week-at-a-Time Horizontal Format, 5"x7" with 160 pages.  It has a fold-over cover decorated with the artwork of Laurel Burch. It is gorgeous from the fabulous art to the incredibly embossed detail.  The cover gleams with silver and gold and copper and jewel-like tones.

The quality doesn't stop with the cover though.  The Smythe-Sewn binding allows the book to lie flat, though the pages have some spring.  The paper is ivory, smooth but not slick.  More about that later.

The extras:
2012 Year-at-a-glance
Holidays & Celebrations 2012 (All around the world. 13 pages worth!)
2012-Month-at-a-glance

Useful numbers and websites
     International Emergency Numbers
     Canadian & USA Various websites for information, weather, entertainment, parks, Health,        immigration, government, shopping, accomodations, travel, media, airlines
Conversions-clothing sizes, Measurements, Tempertaure
International Dialing Codes
World Time Zones
Travel planning
Birthdays & Important Dates

2013 Year-at-a-glance
Holidays & Celebrations 2013 (Canadian & U.S. only)
2013-Month-at-a-glance
8 ruled pages for notes
Memento Pocket
Removable address book
Two Ribbon Markers



The bulk of the dayplanner is a Week-at-a-glance.  I really like having two markers.  I keep one at the current Month-at-a-Glance and one on the current week.

The paper was different from either of my previous Paperblanks, but they were both blank sketchbooks, so I wasn't surprised.  As you may know, I turn every journal-type book into an art journal, lol, so I put this one through some of my basic tests.

As usual, I started with alcohol markers, coloring up one side of a page with Copics, to create a bleedthrumanade (Got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-thru, make bleedthrumanade).  I need some new Copics so some of my colors weren't very saturated, but I got about 75% bleed-thru with the juicy colors.  The color was bright, but not brilliant.  Afterwards, I used Micron Pigma pen to draw Zentangle®-inspired artwork on both sides of the paper.  The lines were dark and crisp with no feathering.
Bleedthrumanade front
Bleedthrumanade back
Next up, I primed a page with black gesso and colored it with Neopastels II water-soluble wax pastels.  You color that on like it's crayon, and then wet it with a water-brush.  I was surprised because the color tended to slide around, leaving black streaks, and I couldn't build up the detail.  I've used the Neopastels on this gesso before, without this problem, so I think it is the paper.  Fair enough--it's a dayplanner not a watercolor book, lol.  The painting came out all right, just not as detailed as I'd planned, and I sort of like the black streaks-happy accident!


For the last test--well, you've heard of winning the battle and losing the war?  I decided to use a rubber stamped image and Tim Holtz Distress markers.  I would have been alright, except I took the fancy to color it to match the dayplanner's cover, lol.  To get the gleam I used metallic copper embossing powder--which didn't take well, and smeared some of the detail from the stamped image.

The battle won? I did manage to get close to the cover colors--not exact, not as brilliant, but close enough.  The war lost? I didn't do justice to the stamped image- one of the Viva Las Vegastamps! featuring the artwork of Mary Vogel Lozinak from Plate 1400 (check out the blog hop coming up in May--you can join in!).

I did some Zentangle®-inspired artwork around the image using the distress markers and an American Craft art pen for the line-work.

Mary Vogel Lozinak stamped image----Laurel Burch Artwok Cover
The Tim Holtz markers caused the paper to pill a little bit.  They are water-soluble, and a little 'wet' for this paper.

For the last test I used a Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, medium point, with Noodler's North African Violet, and a very broad-tipped rollerball that I can't identify because the wording has rubbed off.  It's a cheapy, but has very 'wet' ink.

Both inks smeared when I did an immediate test.  Neither smeared 15 seconds later.  There was more show-through on the back and some minute spotting. I couldn't get either to show-through on a scan, though.  It wasn't bad, but could be distracting to some.

I'm very pleased with this dayplanner, though in the future, I'll probably buy the blank sketchbooks.  For my art purposes, I'll just use my Copics and Promarkers for coloring, or simply draw on the pages.  I'll be carrying it in my purse and probably won't use fountain pens, but I wouldn't hesitate to do so, though others might because of the show-through.

I've already had some oohs and ahs from the people around me when I've taken it out to write or draw in it.  The price on this particular dayplanner was $16.95 US, $18.95 Canadian.  That's a whole lot of value at a very competetive price!


4 comments:

  1. have a 2012 calendar Paperblanks, very nice I did not start to paint it but soon I will. Your ideas are always beautiful.

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  2. I have their notebook with exactly the same cover art. Never thought to use it as an art journal, though, just the usual boring stuff, you know writing in it. You have given me a whole new perspective on notebooks, planners and such. Thanks.

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  3. Love how you incorporated the VLVS! Mary Vogel Lozinak the Tim Holtz Distress Pens are the perfect colors! This is a wonderful work of art!

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  4. Thank you all! I love using my dayplanners for artwork. It's too heavy carrying one book for notes and one for drawing, so it just makes life easier!

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