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Archive | November, 2011

JUST IN: Rite in the Rain

30 Nov

Rite in the Rain on EuropeanPaper.comJUST IN: Rite in the Rain Notebooks are now available on European Paper Company! Keep reading for more information on Rite in the Rain; then check them out on!

“Outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people.” Founded by Jerry Darling in the 1920′s, Rite in the Rain (RITR) products were originally created for the logging industry and have spread throughout all outdoor industries for work and individual use alike.

Widely reputed to protect journal entries, sketches, notes and doodles in not just wet weather, but humid and hot situations too, Rite in the Rain paper is formulated specifically for the outdoor rigors of adventurers, military personnel, and weekend warriors of all ilk.

The RITR Breakdown:

  • The Rite in the Rain Soft Cover Notebooks – also called Rite in the Rain Field-Flex Perfect Bound Notebooks – are the most durable and weatherproof go-to notebook for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the world. Check out the pocket-sized soft cover notebook here and the larger-sized soft cover notebook here.
  • The Rite in the Rain Hard Cover Notebooks – also known as the Rite in the Rain “Professional’s” Perfect Bound Notebooks – are made to withstand the elements with their rigid covers and weatherproof paper. They are the perfect indestructible notebook for outdoorsy people. Find the 4.25 x 6.75 in. hard cover notebook here and the slightly larger 4.75 x 7.5 in. hard cover notebook here.
  • The Rite in the Rain Spiralbound Notebooks are made with a Poyldura cover material containing post-consumer recycled material to withstand the elements while staying eco-conscious. Shop the Spiralbound Notebook by clicking here.
  • The Rite in the Rain All-Weather Standard Clicker Pen is the ideal ballpoint pen for outdoor use with any Rite in the Rain Notebook. Click here for more on the pen.

Ideal for a variety of all-weather applications with outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the world, Rite in the Rain Notebooks & All-Weather Pen are perfect as a gift or for yourself.

Shop Rite in the Rain products on!


Paper for the Holidays: Gift Giving Tailor Made

29 Nov

Thanksgiving is over (and your belly is probably still full from the feast!), and November is almost gone with its crisp autumn breezes and crackly, colorful leaves. If you haven’t started planning for the major gift-giving holidays, now is a good time to start, plus it will make those busy days and long lists much easier to handle.

Paper is one of the best gifts to get anyone. It can be practical or luxurious, simple or fancy. With some thought, it can also be tailored to fit anyone’s wishes.

The Big Event

Do you know someone who has a big event coming up in the next few months? Perhaps they are getting married, expecting a baby, or graduating college?  If so, paper is the perfect gift.

Why not put together a special package? Start with a set of boxed note cards and a set of thank you cards. Blank notes allow your family or friends to send out everything from event announcements to address changes. The set of thank you cards are a perfect follow up for any gifts given for these life-changing events.

Mudlark Eco Stephanie Boxed Note Cards on

Mudlark Eco Stephanie Boxed Note Cards

Suggestions: Mudlark offers a variety of colors and designs for everyone. Quotable Cards can also be a great choice, with quotes that reflect each person’s attitudes

Buying Tip: When ordering note cards or stationery, keep in mind the weight of the paper (found in the product description). Written in “gsm,” (grams per square meter), the heavier-weight papers will be higher quality, more durable, and have less risk of ink bleed-through. While sheets of paper may be as low as 80 gsm, cards will frequently be greater than 200 gsm.

A Happy New Year

The beginning of a new year is always exciting. Everyone makes big plans for what they want to accomplish. Help them achieve their goals by getting them just the right datebook. Pocket planners slip into a purse or a briefcase, while large planners provide plenty of room for notes, comments, and much more.

Moleskine 2012 XLarge Weekly Planner

Suggestions: If you know someone who doodles, often with pens, you might choose a Rhodia datebook with Clairefontaine paper because it will hold up under those constant scribbles and heavier inks. On the other hand, if you know someone who prefers to take notes or draw with pencils, a thinner paper Moleskine would be the perfect choice.

Buying Tip: Of course, another terrific way to help people keep track of time and obligations is by getting them just the right calendar. Yep, we’re thinking of none other than Cavallini’s lines of wall and desk calendars.

Journal the Year

Moleskine Passions Wellness Journal

One way to help others (and yourself) start off 2012 is by keeping a journal. It’s a simple solution to many people’s New Year’s resolutions: just by keeping an informal daily or weekly journal, you will keep track of your goals much more efficiently.

Suggestions: Moleskine has a line perfectly geared for people’s passions, aptly titled the Passions Books. These include specially organized journals for those who love everything from cooking, reading, traveling, and gardening, to drinking wine, watching movies, and listening to music. Each journal is unique and sure to please the people on your list.

Eco Warrior

You might know someone who likes something more unique—and more environmentally friendly. This is a broad category and can include products that are made with tree-free paper, recycled paper, or alternative fibers, as well as products that come from companies with sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

Valley Eco Pulp Stationery on

Valley Eco Pulp Stationery

Suggestions: For the adventurous, why not grab them a set of Valley Eco Pulp Stationery and choose between sets made of bamboo, banana trunks, coconuts, mango leaves or pineapple husks fiber. For the sweet, Mudlark has an eco line of boxed note cards with designs to match every personality.

The holidays are a chance to not only show someone you care but also to show that you know them well enough—and care enough—to find a gift that’s right for them. Paper can be a fabulous choice for many of the names on your list, and paper products are easy to buy in order to avoid that last minute panic.

Quick Tips for Making the Paper Gift Extra Special:

Add a sheet of first-class Forever stamps.
Slide in an address book with family and friends already listed in it.
Take an extra step and provide personalized address labels.

What quick tips can you share?


 Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.


We Think You Belong on the Nice List …

28 Nov's Cyber Monday Holiday Gift Guide


Happy Black Friday: EPC’s Holiday Gift Guide

25 Nov's Black Friday Holiday Gift Guide

Featured gift items from above …

For HerG. Lalo Verge De France Medium Tablet and Envelope Set

For HimMoleskine Star Wars Pocket Ruled Notebook

For the WriterCaran d’Ache Varius Collection Chinablue Fountain Pen

For the OrganizerMoleskine 2012 Large Daily Planner

For the ArtistCavallini 2012 Wall Calendar – Japanese Woodblocks

For the TravelerMoleskine Messenger Bag

This is the last weekend we’ll have free shipping on orders over $30, so don’t miss out! We’ll also have a special coupon for Cyber Monday so stay tuned …


Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving from European Paper Company

Warm wishes from all of us at European Paper Co. for a lovely Thanksgiving Day with friends & family!

Instead of Friday Blogger Tuck-ins this week, here are several links for y’all when you get moments of rest and relaxation over the next couple days. Enjoy!

1 –> Azizah (aka @GourmetPens) has been rolling out pen reviews in quick succession.
Review: Pilot G2 Retractable Gel Ink Pen Navy Blue
Review: Uni-ball Vision Exact 0.7mm Fine Blue
Review: Pilot Dr. Grip Pure White Dual Layer Grip Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm
**You have got to read the second one, if only for this line: “That’s right folks. Right there in public, in the store, I fell inappropriately in love with this pen, so it went home with me that afternoon.”


2 –> Courtesy of 365 Letters, we read about another letter writing project called “The World Needs More Love Letters.” Write a love letter, leave it where it can be found, and brighten someone’s day! Per their website: “Love letter writers document the letter writing and dropping through photographs, blog posts, and social media.” You can also check them out of Twitter @MoreLoveLetters.


3 –> Stephanie on Rhodia Drive did a call out for pics of their dotPads in use – check out the post here and send your pictures in to be featured on their blog! Also, a special congrats to Stephanie (@BiffyBeans) on her new art space!


Take a Mental Holiday with Cavallini & Co.

23 Nov

Cavallini Brand Story on

Cavallini’s Roots

Cavallini and Co., one of our most distinctive brands, is devoted to vintage. Classic illustrations of major cities and the natural world create a certain allure to Cavallini’s products.

Cavallini & Co. was founded by Brad Parberry in 1989. Parberry had spent a year of his college experience in Florence, Italy, where he saw a beautiful line of calendars and saw an opportunity in them for the U.S.  He found the source company that had created the calendars in a phone book, gave them a call, and the rest—as they say—is history. From this lucky finding in Florence and a single phone call, Cavallini established a relationship with the Italian calendar designer that lasted for twenty years.

Parberry began the company, originally in his San Francisco apartment, by selling two calendars that looked very much like the wall calendars Cavallini sells today. Those first calendars were designed in Italy by the company he’d befriended. As the company began to flourish and grow, Parberry began finding his own vintage images and created designs for all of the calendars he was offering. As a personal touch, Parberry chose his grandmother’s family name to represent his new paper products and christened the company, “Cavallini.”

Distinct Italian Style

To this day, the company is located in San Francisco and, as such, they have several San Francisco-themed products in their inventory. But Cavallini has a wide and worldly influence when it comes to the images and themes included on their items, such as images from London, Paris, and New York.

All of Cavallini’s products, from its rubber stamps to its charming postcards, carry the feel of days gone by. Its line of New York-themed products, for instance, feel as if they’ve stepped straight from a store in the 1920′s and into Cavallini. The city is portrayed in an art deco style, almost as though the notebooks are advertisements for the World’s Fair. Likewise, many of their city-themed products look like those large canvas suitcases that characters in old films plaster with travel stickers.

All of the products offered by Cavallini are designed at their San Francisco offices by a team of graphic designers who collaborate to create the products and the ideas behind them. From there, a graphics team pull images from Cavallini’s vast archives and put together the finished items.


Sookie Koban, an employee with Cavallini, says the company is possesses  a large archive filled with vintage images that they’ve collected over the years. These images, Koban says, come from “postcard shows, antique stores and from vintage books.” When using these images, Cavallini endeavors to “retain the integrity and authenticity of the images” they collect.


When it comes to signature items, Cavallini prides itself on its line of calendars. Koban describes Cavallini’s calendars as “unique in the marketplace as they focus on beautiful art prints.” The calendars are all printed on Italian cream laid paper, a fitting choice since the company began with the calendars Brad Parberry first found in Florence.

The driving philosophy of Cavallini, as described by Ms. Koban, is “to [create] unique high quality products.” This philosophy is evident in every product that Cavallini offers. With each vintage styled creation, Cavallini promises to give its customers an office supply that will stand out among the others on their desks. The imagery used by Cavallini may have otherwise been forgotten, but they bring new life to it through their notebooks, thank you cards, and other office ephemera.


Meet the Writer: Mary Egan is a recent graduate of Lewis University and is currently interning with a publishing company in Chicago; she also has more pens and notebooks than she knows what to do with. She is the founder of the Jet Fuel Review, a student-run literary journal, and still blogs for them at Lewis Lit Journal.


Choosing a Notepad: Top vs. Side Staplebound

21 Nov

The Invention of Staples

Did you know that staples have been around for over 100 years? The concept began in the 1850s when eyelets were used to hold papers together. Patented in 1859 by W.H. Rodgers, metal eyelets were used in place of the modern day stapler. Next came brass paper fasteners, introduced in the mid-1860s, which were used to bind several pages together.

Innovation came rapidly in the 1870s. Machines to insert and fasten individual staples were patented; then quickly followed by machines supplied by a whole magazine of staples.

Today, in the case of top and side staplebound notepads, pages are held together by heavy-duty staples, which provide for stability and strength.

Choosing a Notepad by Kelly McLendon on

Click to see all Notepads on EPC

Top Staplebound

Most top staplebound notepads have micro-perforated paper near the closure, for easy and clean tearing. These notepads can also have scored covers or non-scored covers. Scored coverings are best for easier folding, as the cover is meant to be folded back time and again without tearing the cover. Non-scored can still be bent back, but tend to wear down the cover. Many top staplebound notepads have a stiff back cover to avoid pages getting crinkled, but also to support writing on-the-go. Try writing or drawing on one of these notepads on the bus or on a flight and you’ll feel how the sturdy back cover gives you a surface of strength to put ink on.

A favorite of architects, designers, and scientists, top staplebound notepads are ideal for quick sketches, doodling, a grocery list while you’re out, or even a science report in the classroom. An on-the-go example would be Rhodia’s No. 08 Pad, or if you’re in need of a large space for a design project, check out Rhodia’s No. 38 Pad.

But if you’re a musician, Clarefontaine has you covered when you’re in the studio or in the rehearsal hall. The Music A4 Top Staplebound Notepad features 12 staves per page to compose your latest masterpiece.

Side Staplebound

Some notepads are stapled on the top, whereas others are side stapled. The side staple notebooks give a little retro throwback with their school composition book feel. All modern side staplebound are made with reinforced staple binding for extra strength as well. These notebooks have many purposes and are able to be utilized in both the office and the classroom.

When you need bright colors to organize your classes or work, Clarefontaine’s Classic Side Staplebound Notebooks are my personal go-to notebook. In colors like red, lime green, blue, purple and more, you can use these as part of your color coded organizational system. The acid-free paper is exceptionally smooth and allows for easy and clear writing.

But if you’re looking for something portable, the Rhodia Side Staplebound Pocket Notebook is a quick grab-n-go notebook. Notebook portability is important, especially when you are out and about and an idea pops in your head. Taking the Rhodia Pocket Notebook on trips is also a must have. It can fit in your back pocket or in your luggage without taking up much space at all.

Which do you prefer?

If you use a staplebound notebook and/or notepad, which do you prefer, and what do you use it for?


 Meet the Writer: Kelly McLendon is a freelance writer and journalist with a passion for paper products—particularly eco-friendly ones. Follow her articles on our blog to learn all about paper products.


Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

18 Nov


1 –> Dana on Save Snail Mail seems to pop up on this list every Friday :) And for good reason. This week Dana brought our attention to a cool new project titled “Handwritten Letters,” which has seen its way around the internet significantly enough to exceed the creator’s (Mary Kate) expectations of participants. While the participation page is now closed (as she received well over her intended 365 people), it will be a neat project to follow. Basically, Mary Kate is an illustrator who has pledged to design one letter of the alphabet each day for a year and send it off to a lucky recipient!  Did you sign up to receive a letter?


2 –> Tiger Pens wrote an awesome blog post the other day titled “How do you Recycle Ink Pens?” We highly suggest you hop over and check out the great information they shared.


3 –>  We’re sending good vibes to DIY Sara regarding her broken ankle. Now we can’t wait for next week’s pumpkin pie after the image she posted. Yum!


4 –> Misty of Confessions of a Pen Thief shared a really cool video on how stamps are made … but you’ll have to go over to her blog to watch it :) –> {click here}


5 –> Ana over at The Well Appointed Desk is hosting a pencil giveaway! She’s choosing two winners to receive a fab assortment of new pencils. But you’ll have to hurry – the giveaway closes tonight & the winners are announced tomorrow. Go here to enter.


10 Winners; 10 Academic Planners … Did You Win?

18 Nov

Moleskine 18-Month Pocket Soft Cover Weekly Planner on EPC

Moleskine 18-Month Pocket Soft Cover Weekly Planner on EPC

The closer we get to the end of the year, there’s always more talk of datebooks, organization, renewal, and resolutions. We want you to be prepared. So we’re giving away 10 Moleskine 18-Month Pocket Soft Cover Weekly Planner to the following 10 lucky winners who will each receive one (1) of these academic planners.

Drumroll please …

Troy M.
Kyle D.
Troy P.
Sophia A. R.
Maia D.

**If you are a winner, please leave a comment on this post so we have your email & can get in touch with you ASAP! If you’re not a winner, we’d still love to hear from you ;) **

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and spread the word! We’ve got loads more giveaways, contests, etc. on the way, so check back frequently. To keep in the loop, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to our RSS feed, and/or sign up for our weekly newsletter. If you have any ideas or feedback, definitely let us know in a comment on this blog, or you can email us at!

Check back later today for the Friday Blogger Tuck-ins post.


Penmanship & Calligraphy: Where it all Started & Where it is Today

17 Nov

Penmanship & Calligraphy Series by Cole Imperi on
This post is not meant to be an in-depth look at the history of penmanship or calligraphy by any means, but it is meant to provide a little insight and maybe a new perspective.

At the root, writing is a way to both preserve and mark. It exists because humans communicate and writing is just one form of communication. We communicate all kinds of things through writing: things like recipes, an address, or notes in our kid’s lunch boxes. Because of writing, we have ancient texts like the Bible or the Rig Veda, for example. We have maps that show us names of places long gone and love letters and family trees. Hundreds of languages and dozens of alphabets exist. Communicating via the written word is rich and diverse and always has been.

To understand the actual act of writing, we need to be familiar with the tools: the 26 letters within the English alphabet. Did you know we have four cases that are taught in most schools here in the US today? We don’t even notice, but many people who have English as a second language definitely do notice. We have:

  • Capital print
  • Lowercase print
  • Capital cursive
  • Lowercase cursive

Granted, many of the letters (like ‘O’ for example) don’t have much variation between the cases, but some truly do (like Z or Q). By comparison, Hebrew has two cases, a print and a cursive. There is no capital/lowercase. Most languages use multiple cases and the purpose is generally to provide more clarity in writing and reading. Unicase refers to languages, like Hebrew, that don’t make a distinction between upper and lowercase. Arabic is also like this. (You can read up on letter case on Wikipedia and capitalization on’s Hot Word for more details we won’t go into here.)

Humans have been embellishing letterforms about as long as we’ve had them. In fact, initial forms of writing began with pictures (called ‘pictograms’). Pictograms turned into ideograms (A sun symbol might mean sun, but also day). Phonograms came next (symbols representing sound) and we made the jump from inscriptions on cave walls to stone, clay or wood. With the development of the reed brush, we made the jump to writing on papyrus, wax tablets, and animal skin. Fast forward through the last millennia and our alphabets developed quickly. Punctuation and spacing were added in as well as grammar rules. All the while, we kept extra embellishments in tow, whether that was images accompanying text or beautifully illuminated drop caps.

Sennelier Calligraphy Pad on

Sennelier Calligraphy Pad; specifically designed for calligraphers.

In the 20th century, shorthand was taught in school and in places like Secretarial college. (In high schools across the US, it was basically replaced with typing classes.) Writing shorthand is called stenography. It’s an abbreviated way of writing and it lets you write as fast as people speak. This has mostly disappeared today due to computers; however, it can be argued that texting has appeared as a new incarnation of shorthand.

Looking at things from a broad perspective, really not much has changed. Writing styles are still evolving (hello graffiti) and we still use different styles of writing for different purposes (like calling up Edwardian Script in Microsoft Word for party invitations or writing in large capital letters on your ‘GARAGE SALE’ sign). There are still people who have a career in penmanship (hello calligraphers) and exquisite writing is still highly prized.

I’d like to make the argument that we are pretty much in the same exact spot we’ve always been, it’s just we have new applications and tools. We have text messaging, email, thousands of typefaces to choose from, graphic design, and a multitude of other bits and bobs.

And we still have those brushes, pencils and ink, just like we always have.


Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.


Editor’s Note: This is Article #2 in a series of 6 on the topic of penmanship & calligraphy by Cole Imperi. Read the other article here:

Article #1Where to Start


Blogger Link Love

16 Nov

We’re finally getting around to adding loads of other bloggers’ links (check out the right hand column & scroll down a little for what we currently have listed), but we want more! We want to help connect paper lovers with pen enthusiasts, journaling addicts with crafty DIYers, and brands with their consumers. If you’d like to be added to any of the lists, let us know in the comments of this post. If you’re already on a list, but see an issue (name is wrong or link is dead), please let us know in the comments as well.

Help spread the word! While it’s definitely not required to link to us if we link to you, we’d certainly appreciate it. Want to do a guest post, possibly product reviews, or host a giveaway on your blog?
–> Email leah[at]europeanpaper[dot]com <–


Traveling “Outside of Myself” with a Moleskine Journal

15 Nov

Amy Rudberg sketchbook pages on

A sampling of pages from Rudberg's art journal.

One day I received an envelope from the Art House Co-op, which owns and manages The Brooklyn Art Library gallery in New York. I had applied to participate in their annual Sketchbook Project, which allows people from all over the world to create their writing and art in “sketchbooks.” Expecting an artist’s book with thick pages, I was surprised to find a small blank Moleskine journal in the envelope.

Since I had never completed a full artist’s book before, I needed inspiration—some creative spark—to get started. Created in the 1990s, Moleskine was based on the iconic black hardcover journals used by famous artists and writers, such as van Gogh, Picasso, and Hemingway, in their travels. Like these artists, I could showcase my work in a journal, but unlike them, my travels would take place in my imagination.

I stared at the journal and thought about how I was going to create my art in about half the size I was used to working with (this Moleskine was 5 x 8.25 inches). I could use any medium as long as the journal maintained the same dimensions when closed. (Some people in the past got around this restriction by creating poster-size pages that worked like fold-out maps.) I was determined to honor the tradition of using the Moleskine as a journal and not as an altered book.

The journal itself—a large plain Cahier—was simply a cardboard cover with stitching down the spine, and 40 blank sheets (80 pages) inside. On the front inside cover was an “Art House Library” pocket, with an inserted card. The card said “Shh… this is a library.” My name, location, a theme that I selected from a list (“Outside of myself”), barcode, and online location for my journal were printed on the inside back cover.

The inside cover of Rudberg's art journal.

I named the journal “Beside Myself” with the subtitle “modern life, nature, and everything else in between.” I wanted to review and provide commentary on what I had learned so far about art and life. I would pretend to be my doppelgänger looking over my shoulder while I worked.

I created a series of drawings and gave them playful names such as: my brain on art; unisex head and Warhol sketch; my favorite soap and emoto phone; one continuous puzzle and protection against the evil eye; heart is where the home is and heart coral; life is a maze and play the game of life; and odd couple Norma Desmond and Bozo the Clown.

In this journal, I included a range of media: prints, etchings, screenprints, and mixed-media art, using ink, colored pencils, paint, digital media, glue, tape, and acrylic medium. I then applied a fixative spray to each page so that the pages would not stick together. The pages remained intact and sturdy no matter what I did with them.

As I worked with my journal, I noticed that it was developing into a living thing – a personification of my creativity and an expression of my inner spirit. It was a sad day when I had to mail back my Moleskine journal, but I knew that it would continue to live on in my heart and in the “cloud.”


Meet the Writer: Amy A. Rudberg is a freelance writer/blogger and artist who lives and works in Chicago. Her interests include papermaking, printmaking, mixed media, and digital art.