Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover

I won this gorgeous leather Field Notes cover from Colsen Keane on their Instagram account, so be sure to follow them for future giveaways! I've had it for a few weeks now and have toted it with me everywhere. SBREBrown took it to the Tilburg Pen Show with him (I ever so kindly allowed him to use it since I steal all his pens... seemed fair).

Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Some cute charms could be tied to the bottom of the bookmarks, Hobonichi-style.
ABOUT

Size: 4" x 6"
Price: $75.00USD
Where to buy: Colsen Keane

APPEARANCE & IMPRESSIONS
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
This stunning cover is a thick, gorgeous leather cover - it's a solid, robust cover that isn't floppy or soft at all. It has rounded ends with very cleanly drilled holes in it to hold the elastics. It smells wonderful, like new leather boots or a new leather bag that you want to roll up and stuff in your nostrils. ... No? Just me then? Anyway, it smells divine, but not at all with a chemical smell. The leather is a warm, rich orange and brown that is gorgeous. It looks like it's cracking but it's not - it's actually smooth leather! Inside is even more colourful and softer to the touch.

Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
They're like ripples of sand. Isn't it gorgeous?
The brown elastic to hold the cover closed is attached in the back cover with a knot. The set up includes two individual Field Notes notebooks, and two separate bookmarks for each notebook. The notebooks are individually secured, which makes them fold together neatly and they line up nicely, which is very aesthetically pleasing. Thumbs up. The cover is approximately 4" x 6", and holds pocket notebooks of 3.5" x 5.5", such as Field Notes, Calepino, Doane Paper, and Clairefontaine pocket books.
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
For when you need a fountain pen-friendly refill! 
The edges of the cover are unfinished, not painted to hide lower quality leather or anything. It's just a raw, natural look. The back of the cover has the Colsen Keane logo very tastefully imprinted - and it's a cute logo. I thought it was a mushroom for awhile...
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
PERFORMANCE & FEEL

The cover has no oily feeling, but it does transfer oil to the Field Notes kraft cover inside, which is a very absorbent type of material. I didn't have this issue with non-kraft covers.
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
The cover holds two Field Notes via two separate elastics that are attached to the cover's spine individually. This makes it easier to write in each notebook. I like this set up more than the Midori Traveler's Notebook set up, which attaches additional notebooks with a rubber band (or by punching additional holes in the cover yourself). I also love the design of having two separate bookmarks for each notebook. My Midori only has one bookmark by default. These bookmarks are burned at the ends to seal them. They are easy to pull out as it's one string, and you could replace it with a brightly coloured bookmark if you want.

The knot in the back cover can be annoying to write on when you get near the end of the Field Notes notebook inside.

It's an absolutely pleasure to use this cover. Just amazing. If the leather is bent, all the lighter colours in the leather come through underneath. When it's put back straight, it looks smooth again with small orange veins that grow the more it gets used, bent, and broken in. The cover does scuff easily but they also rub out easily, leaving behind a tiny bit of character that adds to the leather.
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
I can't wait to see how mine changes more and more with use! It's tough and hardy, but leather is a natural material so changes are inevitable and much desired!
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
COMPARED TO

Being a leather journal cover, it makes sense to compare it to some others I happen to have at immediate hand. I'm sure you're all curious to see how it looks beside other leather covers anyway. The most popular is the Midori, of course. The Passport size is the closest size match.

Midori Traveler's Journal Passport Size
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
The leather of the Colsen Keane cover is much richer, thicker, and firm. It also smells way better. 
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
The inside of the Midori leather cover is not as unique and leathery as the Colsen Keane. While I like my Midori, it just doesn't look as outstanding side by side!
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Thickness comparison - note the difference in the edges. 
Mitchell Leather Deluxe Journal Cover
The Mitchell Leather Deluxe Journal Cover is my favourite journal cover to date. Ever since I got them, this particular one has been with me no matter where I go. It's just perfect. In comes the Colsen Keane, which is pretty darned sweet. Excellent leather quality, solid, smells just as good, looks great... sigh. Now I'm going to have to carry both.
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
Look at the incredible character!
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
A Stack of Leather
A look at the colours of a couple different leather journal covers:

Midori Traveler's Notebook STAR Ferry - Passport
Midori Traveler's Notebook Brown - Passport
Colsen Keane No. 410 Scotch Grunge Field Notes Cover
Mitchell Leather Deluxe Journal Cover
Midori Traveler's Notebook Brown - Large
Pelle Burnt Cognac Journal - Large
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
PROS
  • Handmade in the USA.
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Great gift idea - fill it with someone's favourite pocket notebook, and replace the bookmark string with someone's favourite colour of string: bam! Personalized notebook. (Oh, they can personalize it with initials as well). 
  • Firm cover makes it easy to use on the go - easier to write on.
CONS  
  • I would love a pocket inside.
  • Bulky for carrying in a snug pocket. (But no issue in a bag/briefcase.)
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover
OVERALL 

I'm totally crazy about this cover. It's a perfect pal to go along with my Mitchell Leather Journal Cover(s). I love the leather, I love the smell, I love the firmness of it and the design, but also that it's not too formal and polished. It's well made, and doesn't look haphazardly thrown together at all. Huge thumbs up to Colsen Keane on this beauty, and a huge thank you for the giveaway.

Make sure you're following them on Instagram!
Review: @ColsenKeane Scotch Grunge Field Notes Leather Cover

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