Tag Archives: jane davenport

Review: Jane Davenport Travel Watercolor Tin- Brights

This 12- half pan set of watercolors is housed in a tin that is very much like the Schminke tins you can find all over the place. The big difference is that it is branded with Jane Davenport’s logo and is painted a pale teal color.

The 12 colors are convenience mixes and have silly names like  70s eyeshadow, ink, and buzzy. These silly colors tell you little about the shades. 70s eyeshadow is cerulean blue, ink is Payne’s Gray, and buzzy is bright yellow. (Some of the colors are not blends but you get my point.) In use I found the colors to be vibrant, highly pigmented, and quite nice. Though the silly names are silly they have general colors in the set that you’d find in most typical watercolor sets. You can find the actual pigment names by clicking through to the JD website and looking them up. The pigments themselves are decent. The JD website doesn’t explain their lightfastness rating at all. But through looking up the pigments I was able to determine that one * is fugitive and will fade quickly while three * means that the pigment is pretty lightfast. Best friend, mystic, and royal are all fugitive pigments and should not be used in work you intend to sell. They are fine for work intended for reproduction.

The pigment rewets with ease and a generous amount of pigment is lifted with a damp brush stroke, more when the pan has been wetted previous to the stroke. The paint is quite nice. The colors that should granulate do, and the colors are intense. I was more pleased with these paints than I expected. Honestly, I had hoped for a cute refillable tin, but I’m happy to use these paints.

As for the tin, it’s pretty decently built, not overwhelmingly nice, but better than you can find at this price point anywhere else. I will likely discard the inner clips and fill with pans stuck in with bluetack. I find myself looking for a few favorites- quin gold and indigo. My travel brush does not fit inside, though others will.

The bottom line is this- if you are looking for an affordable and very decent set of watercolors for travel, this is a fabulous deal. The set is very inexpensive when purchased at Michael’s with a coupon. You really cannot beat the price for watercolors of this quality despite the fact that 3 of the colors are fugitive this is still a good value.

No affiliate links this time. These are available directly from the JD website or Michael’s here in the US. I used a 40% off coupon for my set which made it very affordable and even a deal. I bought the goods in this review with my own cash money and no one influenced my review. Continue reading

First Impression: Butterfly Effect Book

This is my first impression of the Jane Davenport Butterfly Effect Book. Also known as a traveler’s notebook or Fauxdori, or one of many other names for a version of the Midori Traveler’s notebook- an ingenious take on an old fashioned version of a binder. If you want more info on the original Midori notebook system head over to my friend Patrick Ng’s blog Scription. Patrick really took the Traveler’s notebook to the next level with ingenious marketing and gorgeous photography.  He’s a master and an amazingly nice guy.

As much as I have always loved the Traveler’s notebook system I’ve never been able to spring for one. US$50+ for a flap of leather with some holes punched in it and some elastic always seemed a tad high, especially when I can head to eBay buy myself a large chunk of leather for $50 and make myself a full sized Traveler’s notebook as well as a few Field Notes sized. Which is the great thing about Patrick and Midori, they have always embraced the DIY esthetic, in fact when Patrick saw an image of my own boiled bucked skin version of the notebook he told me I shouldn’t denigrate it by calling it a knock off.

In the end I don’t use my Field Note size Traveler’s notebook, it no longer fits my needs. But my friend Jazmin pointed out that Michael’s is now carrying the Butterfly Effect Book(BEB)- a true knock off of the traveler’s notebook. This one fits the bill for people who don’t want to buy leather and who want to be able to decorate their notebook in wild and fun ways that you might not wish to do on leather*. 

Moving on. Inside the BEB package you get the white nylon canvas cover, a 16 page insert of unknown paper type, elastic closure and a single large book holding elastic.

First the cover is white nylon. I know this because a corner was frayed and I was able to sear it with a lighter to keep it from continuing to fray. It melted easily. It also feels like nylon. There are two pieces of nylon with what feels like thin cardboard sandwich between them and then stitched. From a little flexing and how the canvas moves on the outside but not the inside, the cardboard is glued to the inner canvas but not the outer. This makes sense from a bookbinding standpoint. If you don’t glue the inner fabric it’s going to bunch in ugly ways. 

The holes for the elastics are while painted eyelets. The eyelets on mine are well finished on the outside but the inside the aluminum shows through the paint. The closure elastic feels sturdy and is nice and thick. The interior elastic is too thick and the same thickness as the closure elastic. Further if you want to paint the exterior of your cover you will need to remove the interior notebook holding elastic by cutting it, or risk getting it covered in paint. Since it is so thick, I’m going to cut mine and replace it with thinner 1/16th elastic to create less of a bulge in my notebooks. Of course my local Michael’s didn’t have the full range of add ons so I was not able to get any differently colored elastics. The only color available was light teal. Luckily I adore teal.

The included insert is 16 pages, or 8 leaves, or 4 sheets of stapled paper. I’m not sure which of the 2 inserts was included because it’s not on the label anywhere. I’m going to assume it’s the marker paper because it’s heavyweight and smooth and doesn’t remind me of watercolor paper at all.  I’ll use it but it doesn’t feel like a Traveler’s insert to me. Rather it feels like… Someone stacked 4 sheets of paper, folded ’em, and then stapled and rounded the corners. Davenport inserts are $6 for 4 folded sheets of paper. *DAFUQ* In the next aisle you can get a 100 sheet package of cardstock for $4, and in another aisle you can get a corner rounder for about the same. Or you can go to the sketchbook and art paper aisle and spend your $6 and buy a whole sketchbook and tear it down to size. Because again *DAFUQ*

Overall, this cover is a value if you plan on decorating the inside and outside with acrylic paints and don’t want to use leather. At $13 MSRP it’s not a bad price. However the line is subject to Michael’s coupons which range from 60% to 25% off. I picked up mine for 60% off or $5.53, which is a killer deal. Would I pay full price? Probably not. For the same price you can also pick up a line of pre-decorated covers with Davenport’s cutesy version of Suzi Blu/Willow/Insert another online instructor’s “girls.” these may not appeal to many people outside her “Davenpeeps.” I didn’t make that up, apparently that’s what she calls the people who follow her online.  I certainly would not buy her inserts which are highway robbery and aren’t even the right Midori size of 11x21cm or 8.5×4.5 inches, they are 8×4 inches.

Overall a fun experiment for under $6.

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