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Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Apr 16, 2014 10:22am
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Hello all! I am brand-new to letterboxing, and I can't seem to find the answer to this question. What is the best size for the journal I'll be stamping in? What is the average size of the stamps I'll be finding? I have a beautiful hand-bound book that my sis-in-law made me, but I'm afraid it may be too small. Its 4' x 4 1/4'... I don't want to find an awesome stamp and not be able to keep an imprint because it was bigger than my journal pages!

Thanks! :)
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 10:43am
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I have been happy with my 6" x 9" size, although I do see larger ones out there. I like it because it's totable and it has good paper. Don't buy anything with textured paper! I also like to write in mine, tell about the day, the trail, notes.... Good luck in your search. Oh, and my journal is hard back, which is a must, imho. No curled pages!
All best,
Lampwick
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 10:46am
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Letterbox stamps vary a lot in size, especially since it seems that different carvers prefer different sizes. It depends on what area you're in, and who is planting there.

I would err on the side of a larger logbook than what you have. In my area of upstate NY, there are a LOT of letterboxes that have stamps at least 4'x4'. I've been using a logbook that is 5'x7' and that has worked fine. Bear in mind that if you find smaller stamps, you can always put more than one on a page. (I've seen some letterboxers who cram each page as tightly as possible with stamps, though I like to spread them out a little more.)

There was at least one instance when I found a letterbox with a stamp that was huge--something like 10 inches long, and very detailed. But the planter noted this in the clues, so I knew to bring some extra paper. I taped the sheet into my logbook afterward, folded.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841739 by Lampwick
Apr 16, 2014 10:49am
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Don't buy anything with textured paper!

I wish I had known this when I first started letterboxing! My fellow newbies and I got the bright idea to tie together some sheets of nice paper and make our own logbooks before we started. I had some lovely heavy white paper with a neat canvas texture. That's when I discovered that textured paper and detailed stamps don't work together!
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 11:01am
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4x4 is too small. You want about a 5x7 or 6x8 size. I have stamps that are 4x5 or 2x6, etc. Plus, if you find a series of stamps, you can sometimes fit 4 or 5 stamps on one page.

Also very important to see the smoothness and thickness of the paper. You ned it to be very smooth to take a good stamp impression, and very thin paper will show the stamps through the other side.

I also totally agree with hard cover, and my preference is spiral bound so I can open it very flat.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 11:32am
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I.K.'s notes are spot on. ;)

We do have a few boxer's in the area that carve larger than 4"x4", but I've only had one instance where my 6" x 9" logbook did not fit the entire image. It's the same instance that I.K. talked about -- the planter explained that it was an incredibly large stamp and even left full sheets of paper inside her box to aid those finders who forgot to bring larger paper.

In any event, try to use a logbook that has an open binding (spiral or otherwise) so that you can utilize as much of the page as possible. Some people even have coptic stitched binding which allows the book to lie open perfectly flat.

I highly recommend Gargoyle Girl logbooks at her Etsy site. She uses good, quality paper and creates logbooks in a variety of sizes to accommodate what you need. I love the one I'm using and will likely need to buy another one soon.

Another common form of logbooks is to use sketchbooks from arts & crafts stores. I've seen a lot of Strathmore logbooks on the trails. Just be sure that the paper doesn't have too much texture to it.

- Kham
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 1:00pm
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I am on my third Canson Sketch book like in this link, only I get the 4" x 6" version at Blick each time I fill up one. It's easy to carry. Has great paper. Durable. Will all fit together on a shelf. And generally appeals to my personal preference for black, hard bound bookery. I get about 250 stamps in one. My second one is almost full and I just got a new one today. And large stamps I stamp on a larger piece of drawing paper and glue it inside, folded up.

http://www.amazon.com/Canson-Basic-Sketch-White-Sheets/dp/B000KNHSUW/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1397678121&sr=1-1

AB
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 1:21pm
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We use this 4x6 spiral bound sketchbook by Pro Art and love it! AC Moore has them for about $4, I think. Great paper and we love a spiral bound logbook.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 1:39pm
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I use a standard writing journal that I purchased at Barnes and Noble. I like it because it has travel quotes on some of the pages. I have personally carved big stamps to plant that may not fit into your book, but that is rare to come by from what I have seen. This was a special carve for a special place. (Pele).

Hope your book serves you well Ddraig!
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841742 by FloridaFour
Apr 16, 2014 1:45pm
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Ok, this is going to sound so weird, but before I buy a logbook, I wait until no one is looking and run the paper across my lips. So much more sensitive than my fingertips. I did this on impulse and was surprised at how bumpy some papers were that felt smooth to my fingertips. Haven't gotten kicked out of Michael's yet, but I haven't lost hope.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841775 by Wry Me
Apr 16, 2014 2:06pm
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before I buy a logbook, I wait until no one is looking and run the paper across my lips.

Do you ink up first, then call it a "Find"?

I would definitely want that to count.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841778 by wassamatta u
Apr 16, 2014 2:20pm
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Do you ink up first, then call it a "Find"?

Lipstick - the new way to ink! ;)
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841779 by Bubbaloo Magoo
Apr 16, 2014 2:43pm
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Lipstick - the new way to ink! ;)

And with that, a new series is born. Thanks for that!
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 4:03pm
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I found that I gave up with buying books all together. Too many of them had textured paper that didn't quite work well or the pages didn't stamp as clean as I liked. I'm a neurotic about having to restamp or ruining a page of lovely stamps because one didn't work. I've taken to stamping on index cards, then cutting them out and gluing them in a book. I can toss out the ones that don't stamp well, cut them in cool shapes and arrange them however I like in the book and write around them. Makes for less to carry and if I ever get caught in the rain, sleet, or snow, I don't have to worry about damaging my beautiful book.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841741 by Intrinsically Knotted
Apr 16, 2014 4:36pm
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That's when I discovered that textured paper and detailed stamps don't work together!

Correct. The smoother and heavier the paper, the better. I get mine at a school supply/specialty paper store by the ream. Hammermill "color copy digital cover" 60 lb is my favorite. Nothing bleeds through it and every detail of every stamp looks its best. I pay $20 for 250 sheets but it makes dozens and dozens of log books.

Doublesaj
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841775 by Wry Me
Apr 16, 2014 4:39pm
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Ok, this is going to sound so weird, but before I buy a logbook, I wait until no one is looking and run the paper across my lips.

And no one complains about the lipstick marks?

Doublesaj
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841811 by DoubleSaj and Old Blue
Apr 16, 2014 4:45pm
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...it makes dozens and dozens of log books.

How do you bind your books?
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841812 by DoubleSaj and Old Blue
Apr 16, 2014 6:06pm
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And no one complains about the lipstick marks?

I worry more about the "Oooooh, baby, you're the one for me."
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841813 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 6:50pm
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I found this video very clear for binding books using coptic stitch. It makes a nice book with as many pages as you want, and you will be able to open it up to lie flat which is essential for stamping.
How to Make a Sketchbook

It suggests buying a sketch pad to use the cardboard backing as the cover and the sketch paper for the pages, but DON'T use sketch paper! It's still textured. Also, the video talks about using waxed linen thread. I've tried dental floss instead, which worked pretty well.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841838 by Intrinsically Knotted
Apr 16, 2014 7:29pm
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plain old cardstock and candlewicking thread works as well. i make a lot of my logbooks. . . well, i made all of them until my daughter went through her closets and gifted me with 3 sketchbooks.

frankly, the sketch paper is ok for stamping. i'm not expecting to archive any of this; i simply want a record of my having been there.

~tigs
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841842 by tiggermama
Apr 16, 2014 7:50pm
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I agree, the sketch paper is not horrible for stamping, but I'd still prefer something smoother. One of the first series I found after making my current logbook was the Woodland Folk & Legends series, which has incredibly detailed, gorgeous carves by 3 Blind Mice among others, and I would have preferred a clearer imprint.

On the otherhand, one of my friends who came on that hike stamped the same stamps into her identical logbook (I made two), and they came out much better. So maybe I just need to learn better stamping techniques!
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841813 by Ddraig
Apr 16, 2014 10:22pm
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How do you bind your books?

With a Bind-It-All (BIA). IMO, spiral-bound is the way to go for large, personal log books as well as the tiny ones you put in the boxes.

Doublesaj
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841805 by PiggyJaunt
Apr 16, 2014 11:36pm
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I started with 3 by 5 index cards, which work almost always, and are easy to carry. But switched to a 5 by 8 book, and am taping the cards inside, cutting off any excess blank card areas. But all those cards are making the book kinda thick.

If portability is your most important feature, use cards. With cards, it makes no difference if you make a bad copy of a stamp. Just do another one, and you can discard the bad copy. If you walk a lot for the boxes, cards are much easier to carry. 4 by 6 cards would be great. If you mostly drive, carrying a book is not a problem at all.

If having a hardback for stamping ease is more important to you, go with a book. If you attend events, you will need a 5 by 8 to accommodate event stamps. With the book, I just accept that there will be both a good and bad copy of some stamps. I like being able to see a whole series at once. But I miss being able to walk carrying a tiny hip bag and almost no weight.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841737 by Ddraig
Apr 17, 2014 6:05am
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My absolute favorite logbook is the Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook in the large 5" x 8.25" trim size. The paper is heavy and very smooth. It has a special elastic band to hold it closed and a ribbon marker to hold your place, and it lies flat very easily.

Once I bought the wrong kind of blank-page Moleskine (not the sketchbook) and was disappointed in the lightness of the paperweight. I'll never make that mistake again!
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841885 by Parhelia
Apr 17, 2014 6:39am
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I use the same book. The paper is thick enough to stamp on both sides and the little pocket in the back is also handy.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841885 by Parhelia
Apr 17, 2014 6:49am
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Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook in the large 5" x 8.25" trim size

I use this too. I can usually get three stamps along the left margin of each page with room beside each stamp to record the name of the stamp, planter (and carver, if different), location, date planted, and date found.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841838 by Intrinsically Knotted
Apr 17, 2014 8:10am
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this video

It is a very good tutorial. There are others on AQ under "Toolbox". I punch my signatures from the inside out. Measure and mark one signature and use it as a template for the rest of the signatures. Place a sheet of foam to punch into through the paper. Old Reader's Digest books are a good size for covers. For paper I use Cougar brand, 11"X17" , smooth, Text, 100lb, White from a print shop. The paper is folded twice making four page signature. The top fold is trimmed off and edge to fit the cover. If they do not have this text paper use "cover" paper.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841742 by FloridaFour
Apr 17, 2014 8:57am
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If you want to invest in the best go to Oberon.com ...handade leather bound cover with hard cover replaceable log book inside. Had mine 8 pluse years...love it!! Plus when book is full and replaced you can shelf them as a real book does. :-)
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #841784 by Wry Me
Apr 17, 2014 5:38pm
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Smacks forehead, geeeshhhh don't encourage her please.... I just know I am gonna get a paper cut on the lips now, I just know it.
Re: Best size for letterboxing journal/notebook?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #842011 by DustySandStorm
Apr 17, 2014 6:00pm
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Therves ooo wite.