Art, Journals

Stone Paper


I went to Target this morning to pick up glue sticks, and while I was in the stationery section, I looked through their notebooks. I was looking for something with graph paper, but this one caught my eye instead. I’d never heard of stone paper! The first thing I noticed was that the notebook is heavy. It’s also (allegedly) acid free and 100% tree-free. The paper itself has a suede-like texture and is incredibly strong, like plastic sheeting. I tested both Sharpie and another brand of broad-tipped permanent marker on it, with absolutely no bleed-through. It does take slightly longer for gel pen to dry than it does on normal notebook paper, but given the rest of the positives, that’s a small point.

The only real negative is that it’s perfect bound, not sewn. That means that there’s no working across the gutter, and depending on how strong the glue is, pages may fall out. I’d be careful using wet media in it, because it could degrade the glued binding.

Pen Test

Art, Doodles

Staff Meeting Doodle

Staff Meeting Doodle
Sharpie felt tip pen in composition notebook
9 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches

Some of this one is old, but most of it was done during today’s webinar on RDA. (The less I say about the webinar, the better. I’d say it was a total waste of time, but I did get a lot of doodling done.)

I don’t normally recommend Sharpie markers, but these are not from their regular line. Their fine tip felt tip pens are permanent, acid free, and completely odor free. Because the carrier is (allegedly) archival, the ink shouldn’t break down and cause haloing. I bought a two-pack of the pens, and have been using them pretty extensively. The tips are holding up really well and the ink is long lasting. I’m getting much better mileage from them than I do from fine point Pitt pens. I’ll be buying more, the next time I’m at Staples.

Art, Doodles

Instant Review: Doane Idea Journal

gel pen on 60lb graph paper
6 x 7 inches

While looking at the photo streams of people who had added me as a contact on Flickr, I came across some notebooks made by Doane Paper. Spiral-bound notebooks containing gridded paper, to be precise. Be still my beating heart!

I have this thing about graph paper, you see. My very favorite notebooks in college were those half-sized ones with yellow paper, made by Cambridge, I think. The pages were plain lines on one side and graph paper on the other. I’ve searched and searched and haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement. The color of the paper is less important than the grid, so I thought I’d give one of the Doane notebooks a try.

I ordered their 8 x 10 inch Idea Journal on Wednesday and received it today. Not bad. I was happy to see that the packaging was all reused. Recycling is important, but I think all too often, people forget the “reduce” and “reuse” parts of the equation. The notebook itself has rigid, raw chipboard covers on front and back, with a generic sort of design on the front that really appeals to me. The paper itself is 60lb, so it’s heavier than standard notebook paper. This makes it nice for doodling, because ink doesn’t bleed through to next sheet. It’s not so heavy that it feels bulky, though. It’s a good compromise for a notebook that will be used for both writing and doodling.

They also included a free 5 x 8 inch writing pad, with grid paper. Nice touch! I’ll definitely be ordering from them again.


Pens and Nibs



One of my coworkers is helping her mother clean out her home, in preparation for moving to a retirement community. Apparently, her parents had a hard time throwing anything away, so there is a lot of stuff to sort through. She’s been bringing me odds and ends of art supplies, as she comes across them. Today’s treasure was a small Faber Castell tin with dip pens and nibs, along with a handful of old watercolor brushes.

Crankypantsing, My Garden, Pets, Photography

Rust and Lilies


1. If you’re a supervisor, shouldn’t you know that it’s kind of inappropriate to say “Good job, girl!” to a black employee? Aieee!

2. Slowly but surely, all paths to the library are being eliminated by road work. This morning, 10th street at the bypass was closed. WTF?! They really shouldn’t make it difficult for me to get to work in the morning, because I just might take it as a sign to turn around and go back home.

3. One day last week, I came home to a note from FedEx on my door, telling me that they’d left my package with Charlene. Okaythen! Who the hell is Charlene (an apartment number might have been helpful), and whose package is FedEx trying to deliver to me? Because I hadn’t ordered anything, so I knew it wasn’t mine. Nor did I have any way to find out who the package rightfully belonged to, to inform them that Charlene had their goods.

Of course, my iPod is being shipped FedEx. Hopefully, they won’t leave it with Charlene.

4. Windsor and Newton’s Galeria line includes an iridescent acrylic medium. I didn’t buy any, but I did make note of it. Ooooh! Shiny! I did get a tub o’ acrylic structure medium for the new painting, as well as a few new brushes and two big, fat tubes of cerulean blue and naples yellow paint. There shall be painting this weekend!

5. Across-the-hall neighbor trapped a kitten, and I got to go over and hold it. She’s super cute and not nearly as wild as my neighbor first thought. I’m betting that her owner moved out and left her. That tends to happen a lot in college towns. I held her for about 30 minutes, and she was perfectly comfortable. She purred, but not in an anxious way, and when I rubbed her ears, she leaned into it. So if any local folks are looking for a nice cat, I can hook you up. (Yeah, fat chance, I know!) She’s all black, short-haired, with two little white toes on one hind foot, and a small white patch on her belly. And a DC-10 motor.

6. Harriet could not be any cuter, not even if she tried. I have no new photographic proof of this, because I was too in awe of her ubercuteness to take peechurs. She was in a Mood, last night, though, so there was much kidney beaning, boinging, and wrinkly-snarly-smiley face making. (Lamprey face-making, even. Totally ridiculous.) And much rolling around with legs in the air, flippy-flapping like a happy trout. I should also mention the snorting and the nubbin wiggling. There was quite a bit of that, too.

She was very happy about something, and when Harriet is happy, it’s impossible not to be happy right along with her.

Surprise Lily Keeps Surprising


RoseArt Metallic Gel Markers

Someone on Flickr asked me about the gel markers I use. They’re nothing fancy. I bought them in the kids’ school and art supply aisle at Target, for about US$5.00 a package. They’re fun, though, and they claim to be “archival,” but that’s such a nebulous term that I don’t even want to guess what they mean by it.

What’s neat about them is that they’re gel markers. The pigment is opaque and sits on top of the paper. They’re permanent and fast drying, but if you work quickly, they’re blendable. And like Pitt pens, the solvent in each fresh layer will melt previous layers, so if you want to blend an area that’s already dried, just apply more marker to it. The melting can make it tricky to build up layers, but once you get a feel for it, it’s not difficult.

Left: dual tip
Center: chubbies
Right: single tip

The markers on the left and right have tips about the size of a regular Sharpie. The fine-line tip on the dual-tip markers is kind of useless, I think, because it clogs and dries out quickly. I’ve had the dual tip and chubbie sets for a few years now and they still work fine, so I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth.


Thank You,!

I got an email this morning from, telling me that my card had been used to open a new account, and that as they thought this was suspicious, they’d cancelled the new account. Now, not having fallen off the turnip truck yesterday, I did not “click” on the provided “link,” but went to Amazon’s website to confirm. I couldn’t find any info there, because the transaction had already been cancelled by Amazon. But, I went to my bank’s website to check my account, and there were, indeed, charges pending to Amazon, Yahoo, and iTunes.


I’m pretty careful about computer security, so I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out how someone could have gotten my card number. And then I remembered that I’d had to do some computer troubleshooting over the weekend. My printer had stopped working, and I suspected that my firewall may have started blocking my USB ports again. I couldn’t get it to play nicely, so I turned it off long enough to make certain that that was, indeed, the problem.

In the couple of minutes it took me to test my theory, some jackass must have accessed my computer.

In all, there were five transactions: one to for $1, one to the Apple iTunes store for $1, and three to Yahoo Voice totaling $11.42. None of those are large amounts. Hackers usually test out a card by charging small amounts, to see if it’s live. If I hadn’t noticed there was a problem (and with small initial charges, many people wouldn’t!), I’m sure Mr. Jackass would’ve soon hit me with a large charge. With my luck, it would’ve happened on Friday, when my car loan, insurance, and student loan payments are due to be automagically taken out of my account.

Thankfully, since Amazon emailed me, and I was able to report it promptly, my bank said that I won’t be accountable for any of the charges, even if they cause overdrafts.

No serious harm done, considering what can happen to folks who get hacked, but that’s really not how I wanted to spend my morning. And to top it off, when I tried to go back to work, I couldn’t find a parking spot. Meaning, I’m getting another unintentional afternoon off, but also meaning I’ll have to work Friday to make up time.


Oh, and it’s pouring down rain. Just to make things even more bettererererer.

Alsotoo, I won’t have a replacement card until next week. I’m glad I bought gas a few days ago, because otherwise, Id have to go to the bank and withdraw cash the old fashioned way, then I’d have to pay ahead at the gas station, which I hate doing.

On the bright side, I stopped on my way home for a little retail therapy. I needed a new black printer cartridge, so after looking online, I realized that OMG, there’s a Staples and a Barnes & Noble right by my house. Duh. I don’t know why I don’t pay attention to these things. I only drive past them every single damned day.

Anyway, I stopped at Staples and got my printer cartridge plus some spiffy new pens (Uniball Signo retractables with pigment based ink). I killerated a couple of my favorite Sarasa gel pens last weekend (I did a lot of writing), so I felt justified to indulge my pen fetish. The pigment based ink means that the ink enters the paper instead of sitting on top. It dries fast, so it’s good for doodling. I gave them a quick test, and they seem to write very smoothly.

Art, Bookarts

A Note on Paper

Whenever I make a book, I list what kind of paper I’ve used. I didn’t this time, though, because I used a bunch of odds and ends. There’s some 90lb cream Stonehenge and some 140lb Cartiera Magnani hot press. There is also some buff Arches cover that I’ve been carrying around since school. I trash picked it in one of the printmaking rooms, I think. Some of the Arches had test images printed on it, so there will probably be found art in some of the spreads.

I’d forgotten how much I like the texture of Arches cover. It’s a nice weight for bookbinding, too. I’ll have to pick some up.