Review: Field Notes Shelterwood Edition



I have been a casual fan of Field Notes for a while, but it took me a while to hop on board. When I first discovered them, I had just missed the beautiful Night Sky edition. Plus, I already had a small pocket notebook that a friend gave me as a gift, so I figured I would finish that first before buying any new ones. The release that finally got me in on the Field Notes game was SHELTERWOOD, the Spring 2014 Edition.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Field Notes — four times a year, a seasonal limited edition is released. It is a one-time-only, limited run of a good couple thousand copies, and it lasts until the edition is entirely sold out. As of now (Spring 2015), Shelterwood has been long discontinued, but I still wanted to review it because it matches the aesthetic of my new site :)

Shelterwood is a beautiful edition that is made of real American cherry wood veneer, sliced super thin and glue-bonded to their usual kraft paper covers. Because they’re made of real wood, each one looks different! A pack of Field Notes includes three memo books, and here you can see the varied wood grain of the three I received.


Field Notes Shelterwood Review


Field Notes Shelterwood Review


The cover text, which is printed with “Ghostflower White” ink, is subtly semi-opaque so the wood grain shows through. It gives the cover a rustic look — according to the Field Notes page, “like a faded whitewashed fence”. To keep with the theme, I filled in the inside cover information with white ink as well.


Field Notes Shelterwood Review


Field Notes Shelterwood Review


My favorite pen to use with this edition has been the Pilot Hi-Tec-C in Kurikawa, or Chestnut Brown. It’s a dark brown-black (lighter than it appears in this photo) that fits perfectly, in terms of both size and color.

I always enjoy reading the Practical Applications listed on the back — “Treehouse Blueprints” is my favorite. I’ve been using one for blog planning!


Field Notes Shelterwood Review


Field Notes Shelterwood Review


The inside paper even handles brush pen pretty well! I’ve heard this paper is great with fountain pens too, but I’ve mainly just been using pens and markers. This is a Pentel Fude Touch pen in green.

Overall, I have to say I loved my first foray into Field Notes! Unfortunately Shelterwood was discontinued some time ago, but it was replaced by the Cherry Wood edition, which is similar but with graph paper inside instead of lined. Personally, I prefer lined paper, so I’m glad I picked up an extra pack while I did!


Field Notes Shelterwood Review

Owl Ink Inspiration Boards

I wanted to share some inspiration behind the site! I love reading design blogs that share their clients’ inspiration boards; in particular, I recently enjoyed THIS ONE by Breanna Rose and THIS ONE by Noirve. It’s a great way to peek into the design process — how ideas form, starting with images and color palettes, and evolve into the final product.

So, here is my inspiration board for Owl Ink!

Owl Ink Inspiration Board

I really like birds in general, but owls are my favorite! Since I wanted the name “Owl Ink”, I thought I’d stick with the nature theme and use a color palette that is inspired by the forest and mountains — an owl’s natural environment! I had fun looking for the perfect images that depict my vision for the site. The three images were found on Pinterest, and unfortunately did not link to actual sources.

In terms of fonts… well, first I had an ambitious idea to hand-letter my own font, but quickly realized I did not have that much experience yet… so I will likely save that for a future project/blog post.  Of all the free script fonts I found, I loved the slightly sharp, yet still graceful feel of Roskrift, so that’s my logo font until I can hand-letter my own! I am currently crushing pretty hard on Montserrat (it’s all over my personal blog), so that was a no-brainer. Then I picked two sans-serif fonts for the body text. It appears that Quicksand only shows up on certain browsers, so the slightly taller Trebuchet MS is my second pick.

For my logo,  I really wanted to tie the “OWL” side and the “INK” side together. I knew some awesome pen and ink related logos off the top of my head already, so i just went on to find some inspiring owl logos and icons.

Owl Ink Logo Inspiration

1. The Pen Addict 2. Wise Design by Mike Bruner 3. Owl Icon by Nicholas Petersen 4. Fountain Pen Day

I sketched a few ideas out in pen and pencil (A Uni-ball Signo and a soft Palomino Blackwing — my new favorite sketching pencil :D) and thought of different ways to tie the concept, name, and visuals together into one cohesive logo.  I had the idea of combining the body of the owl with a pen nib, and went from there. You can see here that the owl evolved quite a bit before I settled on the current style!

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my creative process! Thank you for reading! :)

Designing Owl Ink

When I first came up with the idea for this site, I had ambitions to code it entirely by myself using HTML and CSS. I partially wanted to do it as a learning experience, and also because I wanted to control how the site looked, down to the favicon, link colors, and all. One weekend, I sat myself down and actually did that — I wrote out a pretty basic HTML skeleton and a stylesheet to match. I was quite proud of what I was able to come up with, for a complete noob at least!

These are two screenshots of my original, self-coded site :)


However, in order to have a functioning blog, I realized that I would have to build the site in conjunction with a blogging platform — such as WordPress. After quite some research into WordPress, asking bloggers and friends their opinions, I decided to pull the trigger on the more customizable, self-hosted service. I’m learning on the go, and it’s been fun!