To some, paper is paper. But for others, paper offers an appreciation as a multipurpose medium. An avenue of expression.
I remember vividly, standing mesmerized by Lisa Frank folders for the first time. The bright colors and animal theme spoke to me. Her designs stood apart from her competitors on the school supply aisle. I imagine this is where stationery lovers are introduced to their beloved, during school supply season. Wide or college ruling, mechanical or wooden pencils, blue or black ink…slim pickings for a future connoisseur.
As my love for stationery evolves, so does the desire for a particular substrate. Ink, paper, and other tools tempt my pocketbook, varying in quality, color, and size. The exploration of stationery is finite. Herein lies a challenge. Where does one start?
I began with paper. First I set out to discover my ruling type. I purchased cheap grid notebooks, dot ruled journals, and plain paper. My amateur self chose college over wide-ruled but my curiosity led me to see what the hype was about using other ruling styles.
My first ever premium notebook purchase was a Clairefontaine notebook with Seyes-ruling or French ruling. This style of ruling uses a combination of grid and lines originally intended to help those learning handwriting maintain consistent height and spacing of letters. While the ruling and quality of paper impressed me, I had chosen a cover and size that wasn’t for me. My search continued.
Down the rabbit hole I went. I was floating in a paradise of paper. Admittedly, I got distracted and purchased pretty notebooks with poor-quality paper. I needed focus. With so many options and no preference for ruling, I switched my attention to finding a brand that I align with. I set down some guidelines and off I went.
What I Gathered
Impulse buys taught me that I do not want the ruling to stand out. It distracts me. I prefer white over cream-colored paper. I also concluded that bleed-through is not acceptable. Ever. With these specifics in mind I forged forward on my quest.
In Support of Community
I will not list all of the brands that impress me. But I will say that commercially produced stationery is no longer an option. Not for my personal use. Instead I scout out other passionate stationery enthusiasts to make my purchases. On my mission, looking for a brand to support, I stumbled upon Galen Leather.
Enough can’t be said about this company. You should check em out. Their story is beautiful and the craftsmanship, top notch.
By this time I caught wind of the cult-like following of Tomoe River paper. With child-like exploration I dove head first into the frenzy. I could barely contain my excitement when I saw The Everyday notebook filled with this glorious paper on Galen Leather’s website! And even better, the notebook boasts 400 pages of this luxury paper. I pulled the trigger and never looked back. If you would’ve asked me 5 years ago if I would spend thirty dollars on a notebook, I’d think you were crazy.
But wait! There’s More
In true Candace fashion, while I was satisfied, I couldn’t extinguish the flame to try the dot grid. My exploration continued once more. I took to the world’s largest retailer, Amazon. I popped Tomoe River dot grid notebook in the search bar and up pops the Namani Crossfield Seven Seas notebook. featuring cross grid. Yes. Instead of a dot, there is a faint cross that helps guide horizontal and vertical lines. Much to my surprise, this notebook has 80 more pages!! I couldn’t resist. I sent the link to my boyfriend and within a few days, I held it in my hands. Finally, paper peace, packaged in a flat-lay notebook (click the link above for specs).
I have arrived.
Are you looking to spoil yourself? If so, I highly recommend both of these notebooks. The paper is fountain pen friendly, no bleed-through, thin, smooth…ah Best of all, you can use watercolor with beautiful results. My quest is a self-funded exploration. I am not an affiliate. You don’t have to be a paper lover to appreciate these notebooks. Give one a try!!
What excites you?