Tuesday, 29 November 2011
A few weeks ago I received another nice parcel from Daycraft in Hong Kong, some of whose notebooks I reviewed a few months ago. It contained three pocket notebooks, the first of which I review here. This is the Astrology Notebook.
Open the packaging, and out comes a very handsome pocket notebook indeed; it has black PU covers, adorned with a fairly accurate rendition of the constellation Gemini set out in Swarovski crystals. The shape of the constellation is picked out by fine grooves between the stars.
At the time of writing (end of November 2011) Gemini is well-placed low in the Eastern horizon in the evenings. It's a bright constellation and not easily missed once you recognise Castor and Pollux, which are represented on the cover by the two largest crystals, towards the top left in the picture.
Naturally, as an amateur astronomer I must dismiss astrology as pure superstition; and of course I do think it's complete hokum. But I couldn't say the same for the Astrology Notebook. It is beautifully made. The stiff board covers look robust, and in strong light, reflections ping off the crystals. You could easily lose track of the time playing with it to see all the different colours. On the day I took these photos, the Sun was shining, which allowed me to take advantage:
The Astrology Notebook measures 148mm by 102mm (roughly 6 inches by 4 inches) and holds 176 pages of what appears to be Daycraft's usual 100gsm paper stock. Every page is printed with a cross-hair design in feint grey which gives you a choice of orientation: you could use it as a regular notebook, or perhaps as a reporter's notebook, which would be my preferred option.
There is a clear sheet enclosed in the inside cover which shows the twelve constellations of the Zodiac, which looks like it could double as a window sticker. The inside cover also has printed on it the astrological symbol for Gemini, and some character traits attributed to Geminis (Versatile and clever. You're someone with sense. You can also be nervous and sometimes too tense. )
Like all the Daycraft notebooks I have reviewed, this is a well thought-out and executed notebook. It looks too nice to write in, almost; it would certainly make a nice Christmas present if you were looking for a stocking-filler. I wonder how robust it may be, however, and how long it may take before the crystals were knocked off. Anyone buying the Astrology Notebook may be well advised to keep it in the smart presentation case it is sold in if they intend to use it as an everyday carry notebook. Would I use it? Of course, but I'd have to prise it from my daughter's hands as she's already claimed it for herself.
My thanks to Mr. Foreal Lee from Daycraft for the review samples.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
The ninth entry in the stationery archeology strand features another gift from my penfriend Richard in Georgia, USA. (Thank you very much!) This pair of moulded glass inkwells appear to date from the late nineteenth Century, or perhaps the early twentieth. I cannot see any markings or date on them, so that's my guess.
The bottle on the left is very delicate, and seems to have been sand-blasted or weathered somehow to leave a matte finish. The bottle on the right is sturdier, but has a number of bubbles in the glass and a pronounced ridge where the two halves were mated at the factory. Both are moulded from the same green glass.