The rainy season has definitely started here in the Philippines, but I'm stuck in summer's ambrosial delights - fruits! At home, we still get to enjoy these colorful, sweet, and juicy summer pleasures: plenty of bananas, cantaloupes, green and yellow mangoes, pineapples, and watermelons. Soon, most of these fruits will be gone from the stalls and we will all wait till next summer to enjoy them again.
Luckily for me, one watermelon has remained to keep me company until the next summer. It's Daycraft's Juicy Watermelon notebook that Foreal Lee, Retail and Marketing Manager of Hong Kong's Tai Shing Diary Ltd. sent to me a few months back. With a very apt tagline of 'Pick A Fresh One', Daycraft's Juicy notebook line comes only in A6 size, but has five 'delicious fruit flavors' to choose from: orange, watermelon, strawberry, pineapple, and honeydew melon.
The Juicy Watermelon notebook's cover is soft, fine Italian polyurethane (PU), designed to resemble the rind of a watermelon.
This notebook opens to a wedge of watermelon. You'd want to grab a juicy, wet bite when you see the front and back inside covers are watermelon red with watermelon seeds.
The Watermelon notebook, like the rest of those in Daycraft's Juicy line, have 128 pages of 6.5mm lined cream-colored paper with distinctive 'fruit' designs. The 'fruity' spread below has apples on the lower left of the page and watermelons on the upper right of the page. The 6.5mm spacing is just right for my handwriting.
Here's the watermelon design up close. I think the fruit designs are cute. And because they're printed lightly, I can write over them and still read the text I've written.
The notebook's back cover has the same watermelon rind design as its front cover, but bears the clearly pressed Daycraft logo centered at the bottom.
Like most of Daycraft notebooks, the Juicy line is case bound, so the pages are threaded and glued together to make it durable.
The pages have round corners which I like very much. Pointed/Squared corners are more likely to snag my arm while writing, so the rounded corners are safer and better.
And now the best part of the review is here: pen and ink tests! I always do a number of tests when I have a new notebook. These tests help me choose the best pen and ink combination for any particular notebook. I grouped the tests according to the ink brand this time.
The first page has the ink tests for J. Herbin, Diamine, and Caran d'Ache. There was no feathering on the page and all the inks dried fast. Most of my pens have medium nibs and put large amounts of ink on paper, which is why I am concerned about the inks' drying time. Surpisingly, they all dried fast, including the saturated J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary ink. I'm loving this Juicy Watermelon notebook's paper already. The Herbin inks looked bright and happy, but Diabolo Menthe is the runaway winner here. It looked so beautiful and yet so cool. Diamine Royal Blue appeared so bright that I instantly filled two more pens after seeing it again. And then there's Caran d'Ache Saffron which will always be the perfect orange ink for me.
I tried Private Reserve, Waterman, Pelikan, Noodler's, and Mont Blanc inks on the other page. This time, I saw some feathering in Private Reserve and Noodler's inks, but that's okay as I already expected that. PR Black Magic Blue is a gift from fellow fountain pen collector Karlo Tatad and it surprised me because of its close resemblance to one of my favorite blue inks, Diamine Majestic Blue. Pelikan Blue-Black is another surprise for me because I did not see any feathering even though it's on a BB nib. I also tried two of my Zebra Sarasas here and they looked good on this cream-colored paper.
I love the shading that Saffron produced, as well the Blue Sky; and both CdA inks behaved properly: no feathering, no bleed!
After all is said about this excellent little notebook from Daycraft, I realized I forgot to mention that this Watermelon notebook comes with a felt bookmark instead of the usual ribbon pagemarker - cool! It is shaped as a curled stem of the watermelon fruit. Other notebooks in the Daycraft Juicy line have their own respective bookmarks according to their fruit designs.