Bleedthrumanade in Moleskine & Review of the Moleskine Squared Notebook

About 10 days ago, I won the European Paper Haiku Contest (If you haven't already, check out the fabulous Haikus!) and I was amazed when my prize arrived a few days ago.  I also ordered an Elephant Poo Poo journal and had it within a few days.  Super fast delivery!

I felt such service deserved an equally timely response.  Unfortunately, I've got several commitments pending and couldn't do just desserts to all three items that I  won - A Moleskine Squared Notebook, 2 Moleskine Volant Plain Notebooks and a Moleskine Wine Passions Notebook.  So I decided to do one at a time.  

Today I'm going to do a short review of the Moleskine Squared Notebook.

The Specs:

  • 240 pages (120 leaves)
  • Hard cover 
  • Back pocket & cloth ribbon marker ( 
  • Acid-free paper
  • Round corners

I received the 5x8 1/4 (13x21cm) size with a beautiful, bright red cover.  (That's the only trouble with doing these reviews.  I wanted to rip off those plastic covers iMMEDiately!  But it's easier to photograph the stuff before I do that--patience, patience.  Hmmm.  My parents didn't name me either Patience or Grace.  For good reason, lol!)

So I took my photos, quickly, and ripped off the plastic so I could examine the 'squared' (aka graph) paper.  I've had squared Moleskines in different formats and was curious about the quality.  Here are my findings:

Look and Feel:
The red cover is fabulous-a traditional, heart-red color.  The finish looks textured, but it smooth to the touch.

The paper is smooth but definitely not slick.  It's thin and may get folds (I'd be careful erasing) but won't tear easily.

The graph is about 5 squares to the inch.  I know I'll be using this for working out tangle patterns (and hope to have one for you soon!).

The line color is a gray and the paper is cream--an elegant combo, but it is dark enough that I wondered if it would be intrusive.
I grabbed up a Pentel R.S.V.P.-a fairly standard ballpoint pen, and tried it out.

The grid lines are better than some I've seen.  I found them a good guide while writing, and had no problem, but visually I found them a bit distracting while reading.  It was the surrounding area that competed, so I think the more writing on the page, the less distraction.  Ink color would also be a factor.

Next up I grabbed my Copic Markers.  Most people wouldn't be using a notebook like this for alcohol markers.  Bleed-through is assured, but I love bleed-through.  And it tells me a lot about the paper--I get a feel for brilliance, texture and absorption.  Cheap paper will curl and might even buckle a bit.

This Moleskine did well!  The color went on bright (not the most brilliant, but bright) and about 90% of the color bled through.  That's actually pretty good for a journal not designed for marker use.

It tells me there would definitely be some shadowing with dark, wet inks and probably some bleed-through.  But with ball-point, gel, and drier inks only the darkest would shadow.

There was no curl whatsoever.

The bleedthrumanade (got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-thru? Make bleedthrumanade).  I did do a little ink work before I remembered that I wanted to scan these in before continuing.  There was no feathering of the line on the front, but where I layered and really wet the page, you can see a little feathering on the back.  You won't see that with ball-point or gel pens, but might with some fountain pen inks.

Notice that the color is lighter on the back (right side).  Since most people aren't trying for bleed-through, this is a good thing.

The grid lines are still very noticeable at this point.  But then I did my tangles (patterns done following steps ala a method called zentangle.  You can find more information on this at or

I'm assuming a person wouldn't buy a squared notebook unless they want the grid lines, and this is a nice choice for those who do.  If you are using dark, wet inks you might not be able to use both sides, but should have no problem with more ballpoints or gel pens.  It works well for color, and overall, is an elegant choice for your journaling needs!

I want to thank European Paper for this fabulous prize!

Look for a review on the Volant Moleskine in the next week or so.


  1. congratulations!! I love Moleskine too, the journals are such a pleasure to use :) and i love your tangles on the bleed through sides :)

  2. Congrats! Your tangles are incredible, as always, and your Haiku was wonderful, a well-deserved win! What a fun package that is. Looking forward to the next review!

  3. Will your Bleedthrumanade technique work with other types of markers?

  4. Thank you all!

    Other brands of markers would work, but they should be alcohol markers, and the paper needs to be thin enough with a surface that allows the bleed-thru. For instance, you wouldn't want to use marker paper because it is designed to prevent that! Watercolor paper is usually to thick.
    I've used Sharpies, Letraset Promarkers, Copics, Prismacolor and some off-the-wall brands. But pigment ink, and water-soluable pens or markers would not be likely to work (i.e. Tombows, Pitt Artist pens, Big Brush pens, Letraset Aquamarkers).


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