This review comes very late, but then again, this blog didn’t exist before 2011. I received this nice little square diary packed in a clear plastic box from a good friend in late 2009, which may sound ironic given that this diary IS designed for the year 2009.
How typical. Picture of the Eiffel Tower of Paris. Labelled “Bamsamkinbyul photo diary — Parisgraphy” (I had to recheck the spelling of the Korean name — I’m not good with long Korean names). Don’t we all love everything about Paris et la Tour Eiffel?
I am not being sarcastic here because I desire to see the Tower for real myself. It’s been a dream of mine to go to France, about to be fulfilled next year (woohoo!).
This photo diary comes with 5 Korean rubber stamps, for use in the diary and anywhere else. Needless to say, I found no use for them because I am not Korean, don’t understand Korean and don’t pretend to be Korean. However I am eyeing the stamp with the little weather signs and wondering if I can make good use of that one. Below the stamps there is a cuboid piece of cardboard with strips of red, white and blue, undoubtedly representing the French colours but otherwise looks useless to me.
Anyway, a look into the pages made me nostalgic of what is yet to happen: my visit to beautiful France. On every page is a different picture of parts of Paris, things like les cafés, les immeubles, les plaques de rue, les livres, les musées, les plantes… everything captured in a dreamy manner. If you’re dreamy enough this notebook could be your perfect indulgence in your world of dreaminess.
Now for practicality: the notebook itself is wrapped with a removal plastic book cover, giving it a nice protection from weathering. The picture taken above is brand new and those below were just taken today, two years after storage in the deep dark abyss of my wardrobe. No difference. As good as brand new. No scratchies nor crawlies on the item.
I had no choice but to spoil the pristine condition by making ugly markings in it, both to prepare it for use for next year and to test out the quality of the paper. But first let’s talk about the stickers that came with the notebook. This is something which I really loved about this diary: you can use these beautiful, once again Paris-themed labels for your book. Which means you could place any label anywhere you want: along the top, the side or the bottom of the pages. A nice little customizable aspect of the book. I chose to place the labels down the side because I’m a boring person.
There are labels for all 12 months as well as one for the yearly planner page, one for the notes pages at the end of the book, and two labelled “etc” (yes, it’s French again) for your own free use. I used all except the two “etc” labels.
Another nice customizable aspect of the book is that there are no fixed dates printed in the pages. You are able to write the months and dates on your own. You can even write them in any order if you like to be creative. Once again, I wrote in chronological order because I am a boring person. There are pages for planning for the year, the month and the date. I think this is called a photo diary because it is used for travelling purposes (probably to Paris, where I can check off all the photos in the book “Been there, seen that”) since there are also pages at the end of each month for writing “when-where-with’s”. I can imagine recording mini diary entries in this little book of my travelling around France for one year.
So here goes:
- Pencil lead: does not bleed nor feather (duh!)
- Pentel Tradio: bleeds through a little, does not feather (refer to the “January/Janvier” part as well as the days of the month). Or rather, feathers so little that it’s almost not noticeable
- Hero 1382 with Lamy Blue ink: the slightest feathering, a bit of bleed-through
- Lamy Al-Star with Pelikan Violet 4001 ink: same as above
- Rubber stamp ink: no feathering, a bit of bleed-through
- Refuses to use ball point at this point in time
I understand its inability to withstand fountain pen ink because the paper is so thin it feels fragile, but I’m glad that the feathering, though exists, is minimal. I have done the above paper review by writing with a very light touch. I cannot imagine how it would be with my normal or a heavy touch. So I decided to try:
Firstly I wrote on the very last page of the book my particulars in case this precious is lost and found by someone else. You can see from the reverse side that there is quite a bit of bleeding through. Those were written with my Platinum Plaisir fountain pen with its own ink. I also decided to try out my Korean rubber stamps and some random flower rubber stamp from Daiso with lousy Daiso stamp pad ink. Both feathering and bleeding (to my absolute horror) onto the last page.
So the conclusion of this pretty little thing is: use a ballpoint pen or a pencil. Fountain pens don’t seem to go well with it, at least not those I currently own. I will still use it anyway just for the purpose of indulgence.