Gfeller Casemakers Moleskine Leather Cover Review

Molesine Pocket Notebook In Gfeller Casemaker Case

I carry my Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook with me every day, and by the time I am done filling the notebook and move on to the next, I have usually stuffed it full with clippings, curled pages, photos and other detritus of life. The binding is swollen from all that extra bulk, and the book is usually starting to come loose at the binding. I needed a way to keep my notebooks in better shape for the 6 to 8 months that they travel with me, as I fill them up. I have tried various covers and ways to protect the binding and the book itself, but so far nothing has been a perfect fix for my problem.

I have experimented with making my own covers, but this new cover from Gfeller is the best solution that I have found. I will tell you up front that they are not cheap. I debated buying mine for several years because of the price, but I finally decided to spend the $75 and buy one, and I am very happy with the slip cover. I admit, I was somewhat surprised at how thick my Moleskine became when I put the case on, it adds a certain bulk that wasn’t apparent from the photos that I looked at online before buying. The English kip leather that they use for these cases is very durable and though each layer is very thin, by the time you add up the outer casing, and the inner lining, that adds 4 layers of leather to the thickness of the notebook when closed. My Moleskines are usually quite stuffed already, and so they can get very chunky.

Moleskine in Gfeller Casemaker Case 3

The construction of the cover is very detailed, I searched in vain to find where the stitching begins or ends, there are no sharp edges or rough places, it has been carefully made, and very well designed. The inner flaps extend beyond the outer edges so that there is no bump to write over, and the slot cut into the leather so that the elastic strap can still be functional is perfect.
Moleskine In Gfeller Casemaker Case2The leather was very pale and almost cream colored when I first received it, but over the past few weeks I have noticed it turning steadily darker to a middle caramel color right now, and according to Gfeller, it will continue to darken with more exposure to UV light, which certainly won’t be a problem in Florida! I also expect the soft leather to conform to the edges of the Moleskine, and take on a distinct character.

I like objects that wear well, and take on a unique patina with use, much like how a good pair of leather boots become comfortable and well worn with use, I expect to have this cover for many many years. Who knows what adventures it will be a companion on? A Moleskine wrapped in leather like this seems like just the thing that Indiana Jones would carry with him on his journeys. Its rugged and functional -which are the attributes that I respect most in the things that I enjoy owning.   EJH

Moleskine In Gfeller Casemaker Case

Moments To Reflect

IMG_1091

Life is always full of things to do, places to go, and people to avoid. I never seem to have a moment to stop and to think, to pause and to reflect on the passage of time. I am constantly finding myself transported forward in time, as the days and weeks slip from my fingers while I am not looking. Someone wise once said: “Life is yours to waste”.

How much more time will go by before I next realize how much I have missed? When my life is over, and my breath is nearly gone; will I then understand the whole story? Will I look back upon my past -my life that I chose to live one small insignificant decision at a time, and understand that I did something meaningful? Did I raise good kids who became wise adults? Help my fellow man? Live my life well? Did I have a goal and a purpose? As the small grains of sand that are moments slip through my fingers; I wonder if they will add up to anything of value, or merely fall onto the dust pile of the ages?

A year ago, I lost my brother in a car crash, he was younger than I, and I have had the thought many times since: as my memories of him fade, and time crawls by that life and memory and time are temporary; that the powerful play goes on, and that I may contribute a verse.

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, 

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) 

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

 

― Walt Whitman – Leaves Of Grass

I know that no matter what happens, I too will one day die as well…

I don’t fear death, I am indifferent to life and death, I was not consulted at the beginning of life, and I won’t be at the end, so I don’t feel particularly attached to either state, but I do not want to live so that I have regrets when it comes time to die. In all estimations of average lifespan, I have about half of my life left, so I wish to life like Marcus Aurelius.

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” 

― Marcus Aurelius

-EJH

Winsor & Newton Bijou Box: My Review After 6 Years Of Ownership

DSC_1385

The Winsor And Newton Bijou box is an exquisite objet d’art, I find pleasure in simply owning this little jewel of a watercolor set. It is made by a UK art supply company and is rather hard to obtain in the USA, so i had this one shipped from London many years ago. If comes with 8, colors of artist grade watercolors. (It is important to note that the pigments in the artist grade line -as opposed to the student grade paints, are vibrant and burst with color)
This is a simple object, it is an enameled metal box will space for 12, 1/2pans of watercolor paint, and a tiny, tiny brush. Thats it. It has no buttons, no lights, and takes no batteries. It’s design hasn’t really changed much in decades, (other than the lid which seems to have only 2 mixing areas now, as opposed to the 4 areas that mine has) the design is perfect as it is, there is no ned to change it. I love this little box.
There is a thumb ring that folds out on the bottom, so you can use it as a tiny little pallet, it has a lid that you mix your paint in, and a very small brush, (which I don’t use much since I use a waterbrush) this is good design and a mature object. There is no where else to go with this design, it is perfect, perfect, perfect.

I love to use it in conjunction with a watercolor Moleskine, and a waterbrush, this is the art trifecta. A perfect set for creativity and inspiration. This is one of those items that I would replace without question if it was ever lost or broken.

-Ezra

DSC_1375

2014-05-21_1400645700

DSC_3947

 

Moleskines Before They Were Famous

Moleskines are now cliche objects of perceived creativity. They have a cult following and are everywhere. You can’t go into a coffee shop without finding someone sitting with macbook on one side, and a Moleskine open beside it.

My first Moleskine was back in 2004 or 2005, I found it by stumbling on a conversation thread on a Daytimer forum. I used to use Daytimer planners religiously, but they were more for job scheduling and not for creativity. I didn’t really journal or keep any sort of permanent notes, I wrote on legal pads and in spiral bound notebooks. The concept of using a permanent notebook for archival journaling was not in my mindset.

I did write a lot at the time, but it was exclusively on the computer and was fiction writing only.

Now I use Moleskines everyday. They have become constant companions to me and I reply on having them near to capture my day and whatever scraps of poetry I come up with.

During the 8 or 9 years I have been using Moleksines they have become very popular, and now you see them everywhere. I remember when they were mostly unknown, and actually bound in Italy, seems like they have lost out for becoming popular.

I miss the days before they were iconic and everywhere.

 

 

My New Favorite Pen: The Kuretake Letter Pen

I am enamored with my new pen: the Kuretake Letter Pen.
It has a really fine point that allows for heavier lines when pressed hard, it makes really beautiful lettering, and gives my normal handwriting a bit of pretty flair.


I just loooove it!


(BTW: I got it from www.jetpens.com )

Whats In Your Moleskine Pocket?


My Moleskine is a vital part of my life, it serves as a permanent record of the daily thoughts and ideas of my life. I hope to one day pass on all of my accumulated journals to the fire of forgetfulness.

In the pocket, I keep a $20 bill for emergencies, and a couple of Moo cards for interactions with new people.
I never go anywhere without my Mole!


The Value Of The Pens In My Case

20120217-221344.jpg

$190.75

That number is the value I place on creativity. Or a hinting at the value I give to my writing. That is the cost of the pen case, and pens I carry everyday.
I use these pens like tools, they are the hammer and saw of my mind, the wrench that I use to fasten my mental state to the parchment of my life. Each of these tools has a function different than the others, and like a carpenter; I have a lifetime of choosing the tools that fit my work best…
There are 6 pens in my pen roll.
From right to left; they are:

Lamy Safari Yellow Fountain Pen, with EF Nib. (I have black ink in it. This pen is for dark thoughts, and deep dreams)

Kuretake No. 40 Sable Hair Brush-Pen. (Black Ink here as well, this is for expressive moments, and light flourishes)

Kuretake Letter Pen (This is by far my favorite pen, I use it for letter writing, for recording my thoughts. the tip is fine, and lets me move as freely as my thoughts. I keep Sepia Ink in this one.

Lamy Al-Star Graphite ( I have a blue-black ink in it, and have the 1.1mm Calligraphy nib on it. I use this pen for writing poetry, and for long thought out quotes. There is something about the calligraphy nib that drives me to write well, and poignant. I don’t doodle with this pen.)

Pentel Tradio Stylo with Blue Refill (This is a pen that lets me draw, scribble, and jot. A Pen for light moods, and free thoughts)

Kuretake Water Brush (This is not a pen in the true sense, but I use this in conjunction with my Winsor & Newton Bijou Box to full the world with rainbow colors).

I got all these pens from Jetpens.
-Ezra

New Lamy Safari And New Moleskine

freshmoleskineandlamy

Last Month, my new Lamy Safari cartridge fountain pen arrived, I chose the medium point, and the color is a very nice dark grey. It came with a cartridge of blue ink ( not my favorite ink color) I will use this one up, and then replace it with black.

This Blue seems quite light. It goes on dark, but by the time it dries, it is very pale, the medium nib is a bit wide for my taste, and if I were to get another, I would certainly go for an ex-fine nib. The pen is larger than I imagined, very ‘industrial’ looking. It is turning out to be a ‘go everywhere pen’ I keep it clipped to the front pocket of my jeans. The clip seems to be the best part about this pen, it is very rugged, I don’t worry that it will break like I do with some of my other pens. It feels good. When I am writing fast (which I often do) I don’t have to give it any thought, it grips well, and stays at a great angle for writing. Overall, I like it. But I am still looking for a nice metal body fountain for my bag.

Perhaps I will go for the Lamy Al-star….

Perhaps.