The Parker Jotter is perhaps the most classic refillable rollerball body available. It’s been around for more than 60 years and hundreds of thousands pens have been sold. They retail for around $4 for the basic plastic pen to $20 for the full stainless steel models. In college I picked up the classic plastic and stainless model at a salvage store for around $3 each. I used them extensively until they were lost.
Recently I picked up the blue enameled steel model for $20 at my local Staples. They are cheaper via Jetpens in a wide variety of colors. Via online vendors there are many colors available, my local Staples only had 3 or 4 colors available.The best thing about such a long running pen is that refills are available from a variety of vendors and styles . Refill are available in ballpoint, rollerball, as well as gel ink. Not only are a variety of formulas available, but a rainbow of colors. The Jotter uses a standard Parker refill aka G2*. Jetpens offers a wide variety of refills that fit as does Amazon. The Well Appointed Desk has a massive post about pen refills to help you find just the right fit. I have a few pens that use the standard Parker/G2 refill so buying a gel refill is great. Sadly the Parker gel refills, as I’ve written about before, they don’t last a long time. Those are probably the only gel ink refill I blow through faster than an Inkjoy.
The Jotter is an extremely slim and small pen. It borders on pocket size. It fits into a breast pocket easily and stays clipped to the placket of a shirt. The clip itself is sturdy and has stayed tight during my testing and use. It’s classic design is neither eye catching nor ostentatious. It fits into professional situations, though some colors might not blend in so well. That said, even a neon orange would probably pass the muster in most office settings. The short slim size will be far too thin and short for many, especially those with larger hands. I do not find the slim size comfortable for prolonged writing, rather I use my Jotter for quick notes in my pocket notebooks and occasional progress notes at work.
The nock has a satisfying click that unlike the previously reviewed Alloy, is neither soft nor spongy. I expected that the enameled stainless steel would be slippery in extended or even perhaps short term use, it wasn’t. The plastic version is also not slippery. You can get 10-packs of the plastic version for around $40.
In short, I like the Jotter but I fear that my aging hands and wrist do not like the slenderness of the pen. Writing for long periods of time are out. Though when I was younger I took many class notes with the Jotter ballpoint refills I couldn’t possibly do that now. I like the fact that I can fit many different types of refills from ballpoint to gel ink.
I was given another glimpse into just how powerful art journaling can be last night. I had an idea for Put it on Paper, something that I had rolled around in my brain once before and pushed off as not possible and not a very good idea at the time, but I’d made note of it in my art journals, made some doodles and wrote it down.
I quickly flipped through the last 2 journals where I knew the info to be, tabbed those pages with a little Post it flag, and then used my iPoo Touch to snap some pics, shelved the books and took the info with me, in my pocket. I sketched out a quick idea in my art journal of what I thought this idea could look like and emailed it to Jane. As I relaxed into bed, I reviewed the pages on my iPoo and made some fresh notes and doodles about the content of the proposal.
How amazing is it that I can carry 4 journal’s worth of info in my pocket? I read somewhere that someone scanned their notebook pages into their computer and used a specific program to make them searchable. How cool is that?
If you have an art only journal consider carrying an everything art journal with you everywhere, it will prove itself to be indispensible in short order. (Check out a variety of pockete sized notebooks for this, or make your own pockeet noteboook using my tutorial here.)
These jotters almost didn't make it to Artfire. I'm so in love with the shades of green on the covers of these notebooks these almost remained mine.IF I didn't already have a box full of jotters these would have been mine. My loss is everyone's gain 'cause they are on ArtFire here.
You can also follow the link to the images of these on Flickr and see more pictures of jotters and other notebooks.
I just finished listing 8 new sets of jotters to etsy. Each has 6 jotter notebooks in the set. I have 3 different styles 100% recycled, Graph Paper and Wausau Ivory paper. Each se tis unique and one of a kind, as the covers are made from recycled materials- old advertising posters from a major retail establishment, cut up so that they no loner look like ads, just abstract designs. A few have letters and words on them, you’ll have to head over to etsy and see them.
This is a leather jotter or moleskine cahier cover. Golden yellow distressed sheep hide, smooth texture. Elastic closure. Jotters slip into the cover and slip out when you want them to. This is a one f a kind item I’m not intending to make more. One off for a friend of my mother as a Christmas gift.
So this little beauty is a miniature moleskine. It’s stitched with hand waxed cotton thread. The spine was clamped and glued by hand with acid free flexible glue. The cover is a vinyl plastic coating just like a real moleskine. Inside are 32 pages of cream colored heavy paper. The bookmark is naturally colored hemp and in the back is a pocket. Holding the whole thing shut is an elastic.
Based on a recent discussion thread on the HedgehogsForever group I decided to try my hand at making a hedgehog with expanding pockets inside instead of pages. It went reasonably well.
The experiment with the expanding pocket notebook was to see how hard and how long it would take me to make one. The results are cool but they take forever and are complex to make as well. There are a lot of steps one could foul up. And of course the one I made is good, but I fouled up in 2 spots- first I trimmed the cover too small and secondly I made the pockets a smidge too small for what I wanted to do with it- keep my jotters in it in my bag. I forgot to add ¼ inch to the dimensions to make it work correctly.
I used stiff cowhide for the cover, backed it with my favorite paper of all time- a green Japanese paper with a screen print of clouds. I love it. I used cardstock for the pockets, folded and scored them to open out to a pocket ½ in wide. It worked well. From the outside the pockets look just like a regular hedgehog. I made the pocket 3 inches deep instead of 3.5 to keep the size of the pocket true to a hedgehog.
IF I were able to fit my jotters in it comfortably I would certainly use this experiment, but as it won’t fit them I’ll keep it kicking around for awhile. I’ll figure something out for it.
Phew it’s been a busy week here at Comfortable Shoes Studio. I’ve been crazily busy with the DayJob as well as in the studio. Yup, fresh new books. I’ve got a stack of graph paper jotters, a group of cardstock hedgehogs, a couple of kraft paper hedgehogs and a 100% cotton hedgehog all headed for etsy.
I’ll post links to etsy when I get them loaded up. I’m pretty excited to get some leather books back up to etsy, it’s been awhile and the recycled notebooks seemed to be taking over my shop. While I was in the studio I cut several large notebook sized covers from this chunk of sleek black cowhide I’ve got, they will be fantastic with either white or red stitching…. Keep an eye out for those too. I’m going to work on designing the spines today.
I occasionally get feedback from people who buy my books on how they like them, use them and things I could do better. I got one a few days ago from someone who buys my books on eBay and uses them as I do on a regular basis. Here’s what he had to say:
Leslie: I worked Saturday till
3AM, then tonight till midnight. A GREAT HELP was one of your jotter
notebooks. I was formulating a new *** ****** product our company
already has orders for. Moving between the lab and the warehouse,
applying the stuff, making observations and changes, and with all the
junk sitting around, it was impossible to use a full-size notebook to
write in. The jotter was perfect, and everything involving the new
chemical that arrived on Friday is in that little book–which would be
worth a pretty penny to a few people I know of. — D
I love getting emails like that. First it tels me I’m doing something right with my books and tells me that I’m not the only one who uses my little notebooks regularly. OKay so I use it like I’m addicted to it, but I’m okay with that.