A while back I reviewed the ecosystem artist’s journals, and I absolutely loved them. Imagine how thrilled I was to find out that they have come out with a NEW version- a sketch book! Lucky for me, I got my hands on one to review.
The reason I love these books- and are including them in my GO GREEN month- is that they are 100% recycled materials. Yes, you read that right. Amazing! And when you can combine eco-friendly practices with a high-quality, affordable product, it’s just plain stupid to buy anything else.
Just a note: the Sketchbook is so new, it’s not even listed on the website yet!
So here are some quick bullet points about ecosystem notebooks:
There’s an ecosystem for everyone. Select the ones that reflect your unique sense of style.
A variety of calendar formats help you to be an ecologically friendly provider of professional or personal advice.More
Grid paper enables you to continue as an environmentally aware person who creates strength and order with lines.More
Clean, blank pages allow for your imagination to produce works that are beautiful and kind to the earth.More
It’s made in the US, too, which helps narrow the carbon footprint…and gives Americans jobs. Nice.
So of course, I have to give a sketchbook a full work out- which means using it a bunch of different ways (because I use my sketchbooks for a full range of media, I really push a sketchbook to the limits!)
Like ALL the ecosystem notebooks, there is a lovely patterned front page with a place for your name & info. The sketchbook come with a hard cover to protect your work.
And in the back cover, you get the same pretty paper PLUS a handy-dandy pocket! (That’s where I keep sheets of deli paper. But more on that later.)
Additionally, you also get your special code (it’s in the lower right leaf shape) that, when entered onto the website, tells you specifically where all the materials in your book come from.
So let’s get crafting! First I tried some direct-to-paper techniques with a stamp pad, just to see how the paper accepted the ink.
I found that the paper accepted the ink beautifully- the fiber is dense enough to prevent bleeding. The surface of the paper is very smooth, too, and bright-white- so your colors stay true and “pop.” (Quite a feat for 100% recycled paper!)
Next I tried some Radiant Rain sprays and daubers- a slightly “wetter” media than the stamp pads.
I noticed barely-perceptible paper buckling- and that completely went away when I interleafed with deli paper (see, I told you I’d get back to that) and flipped the book over. When it dried, that paper was pretty smooth.
Next up, I decided to paint some pages with acrylic paint- probably the thickest paint I’d use in my journal. I used some metallic EcoGreen Paints for their low-VOC properties. Gotta stay green, you know!
I found that yes, the paper did buckle- but the paper took the acrylic paint remarkably well. I was even able to stamp on it and make a REALLY cool background for photos & ephemera in my sketchbook!
Now for some stamping and alcohol markers and pencils, oh MY!
I stamped and colored this crocus just to see if the PrismaColor markers would bleed and/or bleed through. They did not bleed on the paper- I was able to stay within the lines- but of course where I layered colors in DID bleed through the back:
So next I used the same PrismaColor Marker and did a quick Zentangle, then colored it in with some PrismaColor pencils. I wanted to see how the colors blended on the surface of the paper.
Now you’re probably wondering what the paint is around the perimeter. Well, I figured I needed to cap off my review with the wettest media I might use- Pearl-Ex paints. So I added a LOT of water to my palette and got to painting.
Bottom line- ecosystem Sketchbooks are wonderful. I found these online in “large” for $12 USD! I think that twelve bucks is a more-than-reasonable price for a sketchbook, especially one with as many features and the earth-friendly component that ecosystem life has. If you’re guessing that CraftTestDummies would award it my coveted “Seal of Approval,” you’d be right!
I like this Sketchbook so much, it’s hard to give one away…but I will! I’m including it my GO GREEN linky party giveaway prize pack. So if you have a blog or a photosharing site, and have a recycled/upcycled craft to link up, you could win this fabulous Sketchbook along with other “green” craft products!
Thank you to ecosystem life for providing the sketchbook for review and to the extra to giveaway!
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