Friday, June 24, 2011

Notebook Review: Daycraft's Juicy Notebook

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.

Below is the back of the first page with ink tests. Note that there is only minimal bleed which is seen only as tiny blue dots. Again, that's okay. This is still way, way better than the first Daycraft notebook I reviewed last year.

The second page revealed more bleed. Private Reserve Avacado on my no-name Maki-e pen is the one bleeding here (on top), as is Noodler's Midnight Blue (lower part of the page).

Here are some macro shots of the inks on the Juicy notebook paper. I was surprised to see under a 10x loupe that the 1670 ink feathered. But Vert Pré did not, and even showed some shading. 

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.

And what else is good about this notebook? It is sold here in the Philippines at Scribe Writing Essentials! Daycraft notebooks have been available at Scribe's flagship store in Eastwood Mall since last year, and in several PowerBooks outlets this year.

Daycraft products are also widely available now. Aside from Daycraft's distributors, their products can also be bought in stores from these countries: (click on country name to see retail stores) Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Macau, Poland, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.


  1. Always good to know there's another notebook that's fp friendly - especially to the wider nibs!

  2. And is also available near us - sa Scribe lang! Thank you for reading the write-up Mona!

  3. Anonymous8:07 PM

    I like the Daycraft sketchbooks and I love watermelons. So this notebook is for me. :)

  4. Karlo2:14 AM

    Great review. Pentangeli emailed me and said you mentioned my name. Hahaha. You didn't have to but thanks anyway.

  5. freehold: Daycraft has definitely improved the quality of the paper they use on their notebooks. This one is a winner!

    Karlo: Thank you. I only wanted to acknowledge your 'donation' to my 'stuff for review' stash.