In my sizeable collection of notebooks and sketchbooks I have maybe one or two handmade ones. I tend to not buy handmade notebooks because the paper quality is oftentimes sacrificed in favour of cool covers or bindings. However, when I saw the Peekaboo Pride notebook on Pencil Revolution’s Etsy store, I couldn’t help but give it a try. The binding looked amazing, and I trust Johnny Gamber when he says that the paper inside is good.
The notebook is small, 10cm x 12.5cm, and beautifully made. Every little detail is well designed, starting from the band that the notebook came wrapped in. You see the care and character in every part of this little notebook, which is precisely why you’d want to buy a handmade notebook in the first place.
The cover is made of “Kraft-Tex” which is a textured, durable, flexible, card-stock like paper. It’s ripe for customisation if you enjoy customising your notebooks.
The spine is where the notebook really shines, and it’s what gives the notebook it’s “peekaboo” name. The notebook is made of six signatures the colour of the pride flag, and the cutouts in the spine allows you to see their colours. The threads used for binding are also pride coloured, and the result is stunning:
The cover of the first signature has a Pencil Evolution stamp embossed on it. That, together with a label inside the inside of the back cover is the only branding on the notebook. Very subtle and tasteful.
I just love the back label. There’s such pride of craftsmanship here:
Here’s a look at the colourful signatures from inside. Everything about this little notebook is perfect, and makes me smile:
And inside each signature you get glimpses of the multicoloured thread used to bind this notebook.
I was worried that the paper wouldn’t be fountain pen friendly, but I had nothing to worry about. The Neenah’s Astrobrights paper is very fountain pen friendly, despite not being coated paper. That means that inks dry quickly on the page, and it means that you can use this little notebook for pen and ink wash sketches.
There’s no bleed through, even with the Sailor Fude nibs that lay down a lot of ink, and there’s very little show through.
The paper was so well behaved that I decided to see how well it would take to an ink and wash sketch. Here’s the basic sketch, done with a Staedtler 0.1 pigment liner.
Then I laid down ink washes, and the paper behaved beautifully. It didn’t deteriorate, the colours popped on it, and it was fun to use.
Here’s the other side of the paper. It’s amazing that there’s no bleed through and very little show through. This paper behaves better than my Stillman and Birn Alpha with ink washes.
The Peekaboo Pride notebook is phenomenally well made, with excellent paper, and it’s just a joy to use. I’m close to finishing my pocket Stillman and Birn Alpha, and this little notebook will be the next sketchbook in line to replace it. I won’t be using it for watercolour (no paper this thin has a chance of handling watercolour washes), but it’s great for pen and ink sketches, and for ink washes.