Choosing Keeping Old Fashioned Notebook Review

As part of the review team at United Inkdom, I was asked to take a look at a little bundle of 3 old fashioned looking notebooks supplied by Choosing Keeping. They are made by hand in Italy, and bound in embossed leatherette paper, with red paper edges. There are 32 sheets of paper or 64 pages per notebook and the paper weight is circa 70gsm. So on first sight I was expecting my tests to create total destruction. I was wrong. Very wrong. Using my own CMYK fountain pen ink colours and Kaweco fountain pens I did my stuff. This paper stood up to a decent bashing with NO show through and very limited buckling. In actual fact, this surface was very robust and receptive. Take a look at the Goldfinch and the swatch on the Bockingford. If you are looking for a slightly retro antique look for your art journalling, this works very well.

I can’t emphasise enough, the relevance of paper stock for getting the most out of your fountain pen inks. Some of the lack lustre art that I see online is a continual source of frustration for me. I hate to think how disappointed the artists must feel. Bog standard cartridge paper really is a bare minimum – its actually quite a dull surface. To really make the inks come to life, its essential to experiment with as many paper surfaces as you can and keep a record of the outcomes you experience. High end watercolour papers, art papers and handmade papers should all be tried. A top tip here – St Cuthberts Mill offer a sample pack of their watercolour papers as do other art suppliers. Ask them. There may be a very small charge, but it’s worth it.

Notebook dimensions:
Large (Green): A5, 15 x 21 cm
Medium (Red):  11 x 15 cm
Small (Denim Blue): 9 x 13.5 cm

And here are the prototypes of my CMYK fountain pen ink kit which will come with a mini book of instruction for colour mixing; tutorials using bleach, metal dusts and carbon; and, top tips for getting the best out of your ink art. Will keep you posted. Should hopefully be ready this summer.

If you’re interested in fountain pen inks and want to know more about to utilise them in creative ways, I’m running 2 workshops this Saturday 17th March at my studio here in Rochester the results of which I’ll post next week.

If you like what I’m up to, you can also follow me on social media:
Instagram: @quinkandbleach
Twitter: @nickistew
Facebook: Fountain Pen Inks & Bleach

I also have a portfolio of test art pieces at: