Origami-inspired pen case to go with Traveler's Notebook

Making a fountain pen case to go with my traveler's notebook

As per previous post, I have been thinking about my Traveler's Notebook a lot. This time it's about storage! I wanted things to matchy match!

Much cardstock was cut up while trying to figure out if I wanted to make an insert for a pen loop. I looked at a lot of pen cases and pen loops online! I finally settled on making something up on my own, that sat outside of the TN, to match the tallest and fattest pen I might ever carry (Opus 88 Omar).

At first I was going to make a smaller pen wrap, but then the scrap fabrics that I had were fat quarters, so I wanted to maximize the size and not cut things down unless I really needed to. In close second place was a square sized face towel that someone gifted to me...but I ended up using the fat quarters!

First I cut the 2 fabrics into squares, and then sewed them together. These are probably a decade old, but luckily very well matched! I chose the patchy fabric mosaic pattern to be the outward-facing surface, and matryoshka pattern to be the inside.

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Then I folded the left/right corners towards the middle, then folded the bottom edge towards the upper-centre. Then I made a few small/X shaped stitches to keep things held together. The top flap is meant to be loose/tucked in, and the flap jutting out on the right side is also intention. I wasn't sure where I was going with this (I didn't make a pattern or have anything specific in mind) but I kind of liked the wabisabi folded look. Vaguely origami and furoshiki-inspired! I wanted it to be slimmer than my TN when laid on top. Can also use the TN elastic to hold it in place on top.

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Inside of the cloth are removable fountain pen (or whatever pen what has a clip) inserts. These were made with left over HWA cover stock again. Can make the loops as small or as large as you want, for whatever size pen you have. The loops are also made out of card stock, and threaded through slits of the backing card stock—a lesson learned from Cross Structure Binding HWA! It's pretty secure and doesn't slip easily. You can also make different inserts for different situations.

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I tried stuffing both inserts (back to back) into the pen case and it also works, just gets a big chunky! Otherwise you can also put inserts into any pencil case, if you're the kind of person who doesn't want your fountain pens to be touching each other. I'm not really that kind of person, haha, but I also haven't gone outside to write much since pandemic started.

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Or clip the pens directly onto the fabric. Have a pen sticking out for quick access. Or dunk all your stuff inside without inserts.

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Anyways, I think it's a fun match with my TN. Both have browny tones, inserts, customization, and versatility. It also looks like a stealth handkerchief that's poorly folded. Or a fancy pen burrito. I had fun making it up as I went along!

Laughing because the inside insert I made is very neutral tone, and the TN was more chill. Now with this bright warm cloth case, the vibe is completely different, and it matches matches the risograph cover notebooks more. Whoops!

I also stamped the interior notebook and the back cover with the new(ish) cling stamps I made, and an Aranzi Aronzo Rakuda-chan one.

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Traveler's notebook inserts and others

Making endless inserts and accessories for my Traveler's Notebook (TN) but not actually taking it outside anywhere.

I'm back again with more Traveler's notebook (TN) mods. Maybe this is what it's like to work on a car in the garage but never drive it.

As seen in a previous post, I had this green painted cardboard thing, but the texture of the dried paint was extremely unpleasant to my hands, so I got rid of it. The 021 Connecting Rubber Bands were a bit bulky in the middle of the notebooks (if carrying 2).

After staring at my many notebook covers, I decided to make one for the TN, to sleeve in 2 TN-sized notebooks on either flap. As always, I'm using left over cardstock originally for HWA covers HAHA. The ginkgo ecoprint papers are from StudioPetaBooks, and washi tape is my very last pieces from a design by Wai. The fit of the DIY paper cover over the regular sized TN notebooks is VERY snug but otherwise this works pretty well.

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I put a little notch in the top/bottom centre of the paper cover for the single built-in elastic band of the TN cover to fit through.

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This design means that I don't have the holder for fountain pens anymore. Something to figure out later...

Fun fact: I wrote draft 1 of 4⭐Town 4⭐Real in two TN sized notebooks! White Midori MD paper is a treat and shows off FP ink shading so well.

On the opposite spectrum of aesthetics, I was also looking for more ways to repurpose my old risograph print. I previously made strange paper weave art with some of it and it now hangs on my wall.

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This time I used them to make 4 notebook covers for 2 paper stocks: Kobeha Graphilo and Cosmo Air Light. I painted over parts with Platinum carbon black ink. Then I used 3-hole pamphlet stitch using leftover threads from HWA book binding. It felt nice to maximize what leftovers I had.

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I also cut a bunch of the risograph into smaller bits to make business cards for the recent TCAF. Also thanks to everyone who got books through TCAF's digital marketplace; we're preparing books now. The last of what we have is up at the webstore (open until August 31, 2022).

I am very behind on my paper tasting posts, but I have done a lot of tasting!

Yakuzine behind the scenes

Genius nuggets about making Yakuzine, a Ryu ga Gotoku / Yakuza video game series zine.

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After re-reading my own copy of Yakuzine (autobio + Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza video game series zine) I felt inspired to share some of the ideas behind the project/execution! The (sometimes) nice thing about self-pub is that you can put in so many easter eggs, but of course, the labour...

The digital version is FREE to read/download on itch!

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The rest of this post may have SPOILERS.

The cover

The concept for the cover was by PowersWithin. The precise convo was as follows:

Me: Do u have ideas for the zine cover

Powerswithin: maybe it can be a troll ver of a physical game cover ....

Powerswithin: (sends Kiwami playstation game box art)

Powerswithin: And everyone is just crying

Me: Ouuuu

Me: I mean this isnt a lie

Powerswithin: it's tru they all cry

Powerswithin: (sends image below)

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Me: Is our zine PG 😂

Powerswithin: Questionable....

Me: We only played on PC!

Powerswithin: THE IRONY

Me: Ty for this inspo

Since the Kiwami 1 cover became the basis, I tried to keep as many elements as the original as possible, but with "deviations" as necessary. My first pass before futzing with the copy.

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After sharing with Ittybeatty and PowersWithin, we refined it into the final version. Diving back into using vectors for certain elements reminded me of how out of practice I am.

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Back cover

I also riffed off the marketing copy on the original, but changed it to be more descriptive of what's in the zine.

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I haven't used this many emboss/deboss gradient text effects in a long time.

Title and credits pages

The beginning and ending of book has decorative morning glory and sunflower elements, based on the orphanages in the series. Bless Clip Studio Paint (CSP) default decoration brushes for having them...

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Because we love Majima Everywhere, so snuck him in...

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The book was a beast to put together because of its multi-series-ness and the mix of content that is autobio and headcanon. I personally tried to differentiate by drawing them differently.

Autobio (left) uses hard lines and is manually lettered. Headcanon (right) uses a grainier line and lettered with a font.

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After trying to draw Movie Majima I realized something that I couldn't unsee.

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Weird conversations

We had many conversations about Yakuza that didn't make it into the zine, but here is a sampling of our fever.

Tummy paddies

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Rubber toger

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If Etsuko can join, maybe I can too???

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I'm glad I got to make this super indulgent zine with IttyBeatty and PowersWithin. Hope Yakuza fans will also enjoy and feel our overflowing love for the series!

Now if only I had more time to play Yakuza...

TCAF 2022 report

Perhaps my last time tabling at Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Leading up to TCAF I wasn't sure if all my books would make it, but they did! Ah, supply chain issues. Big thanks to PowersWithin for helping carry books to setup on Friday and Linda who helped SOOOOOO MUCHHHHHHHHHHH the entire weekend!

I was at my table 95% of the time, except for 1 bathroom break/day, and maybe 15 minutes where I went to do my rounds very quickly on Sunday (aka visited POME mag, NobleComix, and Steph Blakely). I didn't take my mask off the entire time I was there. I was bothered by my glasses steaming (because it obscured my vision and also meant the seal around my nose wasn't as flush as it should be; it got better on day 2). I'm used to 2 meals/day now. Con tabling life is not an easy life, and only gets worse as you get older.

As expected, the show floor (on the 2nd floor at least) wasn't as insanely packed as past years, which felt appropriate given the circumstances. The stamp rally was an interesting addition to the mix. Everyone had very beautiful stamps! I didn't get to collect any and ran out of stamp rally prizes late day 1!! Thank you to Peow Studio / Patrick for organizing and letting us take part. I'm 100% sure that someone only bought stuff from our table because they said "if Peow has them in the stamp rally they must be good" hahaha.

I was glad that BLTease and HWA finally got their convention debut (originally meant for 2020). Two zines, Martial Spirit and Shrimperific are out of print now (I've put my contributions up online). The handful of copies of Cat Block by Wai also sold out! It was good to give our older anthologies (SLOTH, Human Plantation, Cry to the Moon) a final hurrah!

I was delighted to see fellow poss and shrimp lovers. You could always tell when someone was a shrimpkeeper because they would eyezoom to Shrimp Goss immediately. I wasn't sure how Yakuzine would do, but we ran out of the handful of books we brought.

My other memory is having a brief chat with Michael Deforge on Saturday morning. He gave me a $5 bill that had a strange chunk missing in the bottom middle. It felt like the perfect bill for him to hand to me. IDK if he actually knows who I am or if he was creeped out that I recognized him.

It was great to see familiar upper-half faces again IRL—ones that I haven't seen in so many years. Linda, Saicoink, Jade, Jade, Keelin, Lis, Nozmo, Mimmy, Yeti, Miguel, Christine, Elissa, Fawn, Gary, Peter, Miles, past patrons, and so many more (I'm sorry if I missed your name). Had a nice chill dinner with Jade and Alex on Saturday, then bone soup pick-your-own-ingredients (?) with POME mag Rachel, Jenny, and Ashley.

It was nice to be reminded of how much people love and support comics and their creators.

Thanks to everyone who supported us all these years. I appreciate everyone who came by and for all the sweet conversations, small or large.

The comic I wrote was announced! I had a lot of fun writing the story and it will be brought to life with fantastic art by KAIfee.

Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red: 4⭐Town 4⭐Real: The Manga.

Published by Viz Media (see their social media post, which has KAIfee's b/w artwork). Releases in Spring 2023.

From Variety—Official synopsis

4Townies are hyped to see 4Town performing their favorite hits live, but how will Canada’s greatest boy band spend the day leading up to their epic Toronto concert? Hang with Robaire, Jesse, Tae Young, Aaron T, and Aaron Z as they enjoy a rare break in their busy schedules! Jesse and Tae Young embrace their artistic side and visit a ceramics museum, Aaron T gets his fashion on at the mall, and Aaron Z and Robaire stay in the dance studio to master their moves before the sold-out show. Only the realest fans deserve to get this up close and personal with Tween Beat Magazine’s Hottest Band of the Year!

It's all about 4*Town from Turning Red!! I can't say much else beyond what is already revealed, but glad that this is no longer a secret! I was wondering if my fanart was too leading (since I rarely draw fanart except for...Yakuza). I hope people will enjoy it when it comes out! My favourite reaction(s) to the announcement so far is this person who assumes I'm a ghost writer and the social media manager of Viz who is being appropriately cheeky to replies who aren't into the announcement, hahaha.

Thanks to everyone who for being kind and supportive! I owe many replies. I could freetalk so much about this project. Please support KAIfee too!