Noodler’s Black dilution series

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I thought I would do a dilution series with Noodler’s Black since I couldn’t find a nice one in my brief internet searches.  I really like this ink in many instances, but sometimes it can be overwhelming on the page.  I was hoping for a nice grey color.

I diluted with filtered water, although I suppose distilled is supposed to be the safe standard choice for water.  The samples are written with a fine nib Pilot Metropolitan.

To be honest, there isn’t much of a difference between the 50%, 33%, and 25% dilutions at first glance, but there is a bit more shading in the lower concentration inks.  I also think the feel of the ink is different than the original, but I can’t quite put my finger on what’s difference.  I’m currently using the 25% dilution to take notes, it looks very similar to pencil (which is what I was hoping for).  It also is fun to use for sketching, as it isn’t so saturated and can achieve some shading.

elastic composition notebook closure

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In my last post, I mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of poly composition notebooks.  They tend to be difficult to keep open, yet difficult to keep closed too.  So, I fashioned a quick elastic closure to add onto my notebook to keep it tidy in my bag.  It also doubles as a makeshift pen loop as well.  I’m a big fan of the way that closures on notebooks look (e.g. the Midori Traveler’s Notebook), so I’m liking the resemblance that this closure has to those notebooks.

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First, I decided where to place a hole for the elastic to exit the cover.  I decided to make my hole close to the spine, so that it’s mostly out of the way.

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I inserted a cutting mat behind the cover to avoid cutting the paper inside, and then used my Martha Stewart paper punch to make a small hole (I used the smallest size, a few millimeters in diameter).  You could use anything sharp to make the hole as long as it’s big enough to accomodate the elastic, but not so large that the knot will slip through.

I then cut a piece of elastic roughly double the width of my notebook.  You’ll be able to adjust it later. Tie it into a loop.20160825_153918

I then used a loop of thread on a needle to pull my elastic through the cover.  Basically, you make a loop with thread, and this acts as a giant needle eye for thick threads or elastics.

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Once it was pulled through, I made sure the loop fit the book nicely. Here’s what it looks like from the inside:

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It does create a small bump under the pages as you get closer to the end of the notebook, so if that bothers you, then perhaps moving the hole closer to the spine could prevent it from affecting your writing. I’m pretty happy with the placement of mine, and I can’t wait to use it this semester.

Give it a try on those hard-to-close notebooks!

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a simple add-in notebook pocket

20160825_152133There are things that you learn when you’ve been a student for a long time.  Maybe they’re not very complicated or fancy, but they’re the little things that make your life so much nicer.  Little things that you do just for yourself.

Here’s something that I started doing  during my freshman year of college.  I am a big fan of hand writing my notes, and I also am a hater of three ring binders.  I love the compactness and neatness of composition books, but is is convenient to be able to carry around extra papers in folders or binders, so I devised a simple plan to make composition books able to carry a bit more.

I always add a pocket to the front notebook cover to hold extra papers, index cards, etc.  This is especially useful for tucking away a class syllabus into for easy access and reference (although  if it’s standard size paper you’ll have to cut it down a bit and fold it in half).  Either way, I can attest to the usefulness of having an extra little pocket in your notebook.  It seems kind of silly to do, but you may find that you use it quite a lot.

This is a pretty self explanatory process, but essentially, I first fold a piece of paper in half, just to make the pocket thicker and more durable.  I usually keep the folded edge on the top of the pocket.  Then I cut the pocket down to size, leaving about a 1/4 inch border around it so that I can tape the edges down to form a pocket (make sure not to cut off the folded edge).

I’ll admit, this works much better on the cheap 50 cent notebooks with paper covers, and this poly one that I’m using here is coated on the inside and doesn’t like to stick to washi tape (I bought a whole package of them on accident! I really don’t like the plastic notebooks).  For use this semester, I’ll probably have to switch to an uglier, stickier tape, or perhaps use a file to rough up the surface of the cover.

Of course, use any material you like for the pocket (a more durable option would be cardstock or perhaps even recycled cardboard from a cereal box, be creative with recycling).  I’m even thinking fabric could be a fun option too!  If you want a more low-key pocket, opt for some plain ol’ masking tape.

Try it out!

 

a warm hello

Hello!

Somehow you have stumbled upon my blog (or perhaps I have directed you here haha).  This is my first try at a personal blog and I’m hoping to keep track of my struggles and my successes on a new art-centric journey.  I’m a biology graduate student who’s always had a yearning to express myself creatively, and I’m hoping to somehow tie my diverse interests together someday.  If for nothing else, this blog will serve as a place to explore new ideas, and as a record of what I’ve tried, what worked, what didn’t, and what I’ve learned.

I suppose I’d like to think of it as hybrid between a sketchbook  and a lab notebook.