Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Quiver Leather Pen Holders

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

Bob Koch from Quiver Global recently sent me a pair of their double-pen leather holders to try out with my Webbie and Habana journals. They were initially designed for hard cover journals such as Moleskine, Eco-System and Piccadilly. They make both a single-pen configuration and a double-pen configuration in either brown or black leather - I only had the opportunity to test the double-pen models which are designed to sit on the front (or I suppose.. the back) of the book. The one pen models are designed to ride the book's spine. An interesting design for sure.

The fountain pens I loaded (comfortably) into the holders were above on left, a pair of Pelikan M200's and on the above right, a Sailor Sapporo and a vintage Parker sub Debutante. The double pen holder also works quite well with just one pen in it.  It is easy to clip your pens to the leather.

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

The small double-pen holder fits books that are 5.4-6.25" tall, which works quite well for the small Quo Vadis Habana. The Habana's do not specifically have a hard cover- it's firm but flexible and is covered with a leather-like material. The elastic on the Quiver holders are quite stiff when I put it on my Habana, so it is possible that you might bend (crease) the cover - which doesn't bother me, but it could to some. It is also possible that the holder will leave marks on the top & bottom of the cover where the leather sits. Once again, this doesn't bother me, but for those who wish to keep their covers pristine...

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

Same situation with the Rhodia Webbie (Webnotebook) which has a firm cover covered by a soft rubbery material. You might get marks on the cover where the leather sits at the top & bottom of the book.

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

When you do not have pens in the holder, the holder section sits snugly against the journal. Before I added pens to take these pictures, I had the holder on my Webbie sitting under a few other journals. From this image, you can see that the leather caused some creasing on the front cover. I'm not sure if that would leave a permanent mark, but I know I would be happier with a pen holder leaving a few marks than a perfect cover.

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

When you put pens in the holder, you can see the way it pulls the leather away from the journal. Note that you will need to remove the pens when writing on a flat surface.

I've heard that some chemicals used in the leather tanning process can damage metal pen clips and wrote to Bob for an answer - He said that in some circumstances that's accurate but very rare. The 'chrome' tanning process Quiver uses is a widely accepted industry stadard. Unfished raw metals can sometimes interact with the processed leather. If you're concerned about your particular pen please contact your pen's manufacturer and inquire about the type of metal they use for their pen clips.  

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

If you are familiar with my journal reviews, you probably know that I almost never write on a flat surface. That I either write in hand, (if I am standing) but mostly write on my leg. When using the small Habana and having one pen remain in the holder, it makes for an extremely comfortable anchor point for holding the journal.

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

But it doesn't work to keep a pen in the holder when you lie it on a flat surface.

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

If you want to write on a flat surface, you will need to remove your pens/pencils from the holder. It sort of throws off the "lie flat" aspect which is pretty important to me, (will probably be more evident on smaller journals) but since I hardly ever write on a flat surface, I'm pretty happy with these holders. I personally like the look and feel of the brown over the black leather.

Prior to writing this review, I did have the opportunity to use the small double-pen version on my Habana and I liked it a lot. I do not currently have a large Webbie in use, so those pics were taken with a finished book. I am currently using a Pentalic sketchbook/journal and it has a soft vinyl cover. I tried putting the large holder on it but it didn't really work as they are designed to work with hard cover books. (But I had to try...)

Note that there is some width to the leather on the top & bottom of the holders. I wonder if that could put stress on the cover where it meets the spine - especially on a book of lower quality...  In my opinion, I would not slide the holder all the way to the inside cover crease. I'd leave it out a little further to avoid stress on the cover.

Looking at the single pen model, I love the way it looks but can't understand how it would lie flat with a pen removed....

Small single-pen holder $19.95
Large single-pen holder $24.95

Small double-pen holder $14.95
Large double-pen holder $19.95

Why do the single pen models cost more than the double? A single pen Quiver has more leather, stitching and most importantly, two spring steel stays which help it hug the notebook covers.

Each Quiver pen holder is individually hand crafted in Mexico by highly skilled leather craftsmen.

Visit Quiver online.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

I finally found a Quo Vadis planner that is perfect for me! It's called a Monthly 4 and it's shown here with a lilac "Club" cover which is textured vinyl. Karen (at Exaclair) had asked me a while back if I would like to pick a new journal for the year and though I'm not typically a planner person, I absolutely *love* "month at a glance" styled planners. Thanks Karen!

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

Details on the inside wrap band state that the 90g Clairefontaine paper is ink friendly, with no bleed-through or smudging - 

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

This should actually say no bleed-through or feathering, as Clairefontaine paper is superb with water based fountain pen inks, but inks in general do take a little bit longer to dry on this super smooth high-quality paper. If you don't allow a moment for the ink to dry, it could smudge. The dry time will of course vary depending on what kind of ink is used, what size nib, relative humidity... etc.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

The Club cover is refillable, and the cover itself can act as front and back pockets to the planner.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

More than just a planner, the Monthly 4 contains extras such as world maps, an address book and blank note pages.It also comes with a complementary elastic bookmark which I forgot to include in the photos. It's one just like this. The inclusion of the bookmark is not a deal breaker for me with a planner of this size. I would probably want one of I was using a thicker daily planner - one similar to a diary.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

The paper used in this planner is made from sustainable resources in the USA at the factory in Hamburg, NY.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

The planner starts off with the last 6 months of 2010 -

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

and then the full 2011 at a glance. I know this is an 18 month planner, but I wish they would include the full previous year instead of just the 6 months shown in the above image. I like comparing details from one year to the next.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

I've never loved this feature- the ability to tear off the corners so you know where you left off. I'm impatient to tear them off cleanly and I end up making a mess. I'll just leave them be...

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

Ahhhhhh. My *preferred* planner format: month at a glance. Quo Vadis makes a smaller version of a monthly planner called an Exaplan which I tried one year... it was just too small, The Monthly 4 at 7 x 9 1/2 " is perfect. Enough room for exactly what I want to use it for - which is typically to block out dates for specific events, and also to note which days I have blog posts scheduled to run on each blog.

I am happy that they thought to include the phases of the moon. I tend to get a bit wonky (headaches &  vertigo/sinus issues) around a full moon and knowing when they are when making plans is a big help.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner in Lilac

And I just love that Quo Vadis has included some additional note space on the side of each monthly layout. It is not important to me what each is supposed to be used for, I just like that there is space to take notes.

Other than wishing that I could get the full previous year at a glance, I'm really happy with the way this planner is laid out and I'm already expecting that I would use one again in the future. You can buy this planner with a Club cover for $21 at Alko Business Supply . Many more cover options are available and the planner is refillable.

See Laurie at Plannerisms review of the Monthly 4.

 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I am most thankful for : My friends!

10 days 155

I love you all very much. Every moment of my life is richer with each of you in it. I am so very happy you are all a part of my life - you are my family.Thank you for being you!

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With Jim Donovan

10 days 031

10 days 033

Me w/ Jaqui MacMillan  - awesome drum teacher

Me & Kim

Me & Debbie

Me & Kim

Me & Jeff

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What a Compliment!


One of the most wonderful compliments I've ever received was having my artwork confused with John Buynak's. John was once a member of the band Rusted Root and had heavily contributed to much of the artwork used on album covers, promotional posters and concert t-shirts. I've never met John, but I am good friends with one of his old bandmates, Jim Donovan, who I met not long after he left the band in 2005.

So when my friend Kim recently asked me if I had created the art for some of their early album covers (Circa 92-98) I smiled, then said, "Thank You! But no, that's John Buynak's art. Isn't he amazing?" Kim thought since I knew Jim that it was within the realm of possibility that I was the band's artist. I was truly honored by the compliment as I've been a fan of John's art since the mid 90's.

John & I are friends on Facebook and it always tickles me to no end when upon occasion he has *liked* one of my pieces. Please be sure to visit John's website above to see more of his amazing art.

When I Woke Rusted Root Live Evil Ways Rusted Root

Examples of John's album cover art for the band. PS - the "Live" album is *Spectacular!*

Monday, November 22, 2010

Spirit People : Inspired by Rock Art

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These figures, which I have dubbed "Spirit People" have been turning up again and again in my art. I think they were originally inspired by my love of petroglyph (cave) art and have been modeled after various forms I had seen that represented deities and shamans. Sometimes they seem to come from within me, sometimes from somewhere else... as though there is something to be learned.

090307 Spirit Guides - Deities

The image above was requested to be used by Braden Barty (Billy Barty's son) in the movie Spirit Space; A Journey Into Your Consciousness

0607 6th attempt - little people

I initially learned to make them after trying a simple watercolor exercise that I had seen in a book I found at the public library. The movement to make them is swift but with the simplest of variation, you can make them look altogether different and as expressive as you wish.



I finally took th etime to look back through my work to put a specific set together of these images and I was surprised by how many of them there were. Please enjoy.

Spirit Space; A Journey Into Your Consciousness  Easy Field Guide to Southwestern Petroglyphs (Easy Field Guides) Rock Art and Ruins for Beginners and Old Guys

Friday, November 19, 2010

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

This is my first acrylic painting on canvas. It is 16 x 20" and entitled "Transformation and Acceptance." It displays a plethora of emotions that I have been tapping into while relentlessly working on my personal evolution. Anger, frustration, jealousy, dependence, control, fear, hatred, depression, resolve, understanding, joy, acceptance, surrender, love, impermanence... It is through this process- of tapping into a higher sense of self and allowing myself to create from that spot, that I can really let go and transform.

Transformation and Acceptance

It all starts here. The piece was created with various kinds of acrylic paint while using a dry brush technique. (I mixed no water with the paint.)

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

I have come to learn that no matter how hard it is to go into the dark parts of our selves, you can never really know how good the sun feels until you agree to go all in.

Transformation and Acceptance

These images have been popping up time and again in my work. I call them "Spirit People" and in this instance, they are representing me through all the different stages of my transformation. (With more yet to come.) The most prominent one is representing my current stage, ages 40-50.

Transformation and Acceptance

I wonder whose face this is?

Transformation and Acceptance

Transformation and Acceptance

There are three things written in this piece. Across the top it says, "You are stronger than it." Golden words of advice from my friend Jim Donovan. Down the right side it says, "You can't roll back." Along the bottom is a Sanskrit mantra - "Om Droom Soha Om Amri te Ayer Da Dey So-ha." It is a mantra for breaking patterns and for releasing old karma.

I will be placing this piece for sale on Etsy - if you are interested, I highly suggest contacting me ASAP. It's going to be worth a fortune someday. :o)
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