The Moleskine notebook—lined, gridded, or blank—is standard issue for artists, magazine writers, improvisational jazz musicians, lovesick poets, liberal-arts students, liberal-arts professors, advertising executives with brightly colored designer eyeglasses, flamboyant billionaires, and people who aspire to be any of those people. They’re everywhere. Travelers love them, too, particularly the thoughtful sort who eavesdrop in restaurants and jot notes-to-self about chatty cab drivers and memorable hotel pillows.
We love Moleskines. What we need now is a really nice cover.
Sold by The Grommet, our new favorite purveyor of maker-made ephemera, the Etched Leather Map Journal from Milwaukee-based Sarah Kirkham and Anna Warren—proprietors of Tactile Craftworks—may be the most exceptional Moleskine wrapper on the market. The crafty pair hand-cuts thick hide from a local tannery and laser-etches the surface with an antique map of one of 18 U.S. cities—a list that presently includes Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Austin, and New Orleans. (Kirkham and Warren are open to suggestions for future cities, so, yes, there’s still hope for Tampa.) High-tensile nylon thread holds it together, a brass button holds it closed, and a loop on the inside holds your pencil.
The $98 map journal comes with a removable 240-page Moleskine notebook (lined) and a pencil to get you started.