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Archive | December, 2011

Thanks to All Our Fans! Love, EPC

31 Dec

A HUGE thanks to everyone who follows this blog or shops on our site for your support of European Paper Company in our debut year!

Since launching the site in September this year, we’ve created over 60 blog posts from our staff and 6-8 rotating freelance bloggers, our Facebook page has jumped to over 1,300 fans, and we’ve added numerous products to the hundreds already available for sale on our main site. And we couldn’t have done it without YOU!

Thanks for sticking with us in 2011, and cheers to an even better year in 2012!

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

30 Dec

1 –> Read all about the postage rate increase over at Missive Maven’s blog. Basically though, before January 22, you may want to use up those international and postcard stamps you currently have.

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2 –>  You’ve still got time to submit your snapshot or scan of your own Library Hand. Read our post Penmanship & Calligraphy: Library Hand + Call for Submissions for more details. The last article in the Penmanship & Calligraphy series will be in two weeks!

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3 –>  In typewriter news: a typewriter you can eat over at Letter Writers Alliance, plus a fantastic tale of typewriters over at Good Mail Day.

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4 –> Ink/Pen/Pencil Review Round-up:
Converting Monteverde Refills to Fit Retro 51 Tornado by GourmetPens.com.
The Uni-ball Signo Bit 0.18mm by Rhonda Eudaly.
New Iroshizuku Inks by Julie at Pen Paper Inks … Whatever Blog.
Uni-ball Style Fit Mystar 5 Color Multi Pen by No Pen Intended.
Ohto Multi Pen Hexagonal Barrel 3 Points by Multi Pen Dimensions.

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5 –>  Misty (a.k.a. the Pen Thief) also has a great post on what to do with your used and unwanted postage stamps. Read her suggestions here.

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6 –> 

What do you think of the new image for international stamps for 2012?

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7 –> And to end on a flourish, have you seen the World’s Most Expensive Pens? Oh my heart be still ;) Thanks to Margana at Inkophile for posting about it first!

This is the last Friday Blogger Tuck-ins of the year! We’re thinking for 2012 we’ll split out the pen/ink/notebook reviews for another weekly post since there are so many! Thoughts? If we do, which day would you like to see it posted on?

 

2012 Limited Edition Datebook Winners!

30 Dec

{Drumroll please …} And the winners of our 2012 Limited Edition Moleskine Planner giveaway that started on Tuesday (read the details here) are …

(If you’re curious: We had 33 comments on the original post, and 15 Facebook submissions. So when we chose random winners using random.org it was between 1 and 48.)

Didn’t win, but still want one of the planners? You can find them on our shop! Just click the links:
Moleskine 2012 Peanuts Pocket Daily Planner (3.5 x 5.5)
Moleskine 2012 Pac-Man Pocket Daily Planner (3.5 x 5.5)

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway(s) and spread the word! We’ve got loads more giveaways, articles, tips & tricks, etc. on the way, so check back frequently. To keep in the loop, follow us on Twitterlike 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 info@europeanpaper.com!

 

Penmanship & Calligraphy: Tips & Resources

29 Dec

Spend all the time in the world you want tracing letterforms and copying words from calligraphy books; ultimately that is not where your ability to write well will come from. Certain principles will aid you in writing well if you follow them; I’m going to share my five core penmanship principles. If you put these into play, your penmanship will improve and your natural style will shine.

Write Often

An occasional birthday card and thank you note is just not going to cut it. If you really want to improve your penmanship and/or be able to write in a calligraphic style of some sort, you need to be writing regularly. And by regularly I mean basically all the time.

That grocery list is a chance to practice, as is the ‘honey do’ list. In fact, those are wonderful practice spaces because you are not only writing something useful, but if you make a mistake it is not a big deal. Whereas making a mistake on your last sheet of fine cotton paper is definitely a problem.

I can also tell you that practicing your penmanship on things that have no use (like just writing out poems or tracing letterforms) tends to discourage practitioners rather than encourage them. We all want to write well and we all want to see our work in use. A notebook full of alphabets written 20 times is not much motivation.

Tip: Great penmanship goes anywhere.

Slow Down

If everyone just slowed down when they wrote, we’d all see improvement. Letters would become more defined and our natural style would become more visible. When we write fast, letters tend to blend into one another and legibility is reduced.

Let’s not forget the very basic purpose of writing: to communicate. When we write fast and hurried, lots of the message is lost.

For example, receiving a birthday card with a scrawled message inside looks, well, scrawled. It looks hurried, it looks rushed. It looks like my friend wrote on the inside of the card literally as it was being put into the envelope.

Tip: Slow down!

Notice Symmetry

If you write often and slow down, you might notice some things about the way you write. Maybe you dot your i’s funny or your h’s have a neat hook at the top. These are not bad things. Notice what you do naturally and carry it through your writing like you are creating a personal alphabet. Your own style of calligraphy.

Strip everything away and then slowly add in. Do not start out by working on swashes and curlicues, zigs and zags. Build your foundation first, and then add on the decorations.

When you write a ‘w’, is the bottom rounded? Or pointed? Does it look like two ‘u’s stuck together or two ‘v’s? If you round your ‘w’ maybe you should see if you can round the bottoms of some other letters. Like the lowercase ‘t’ for example. Can you put a little hook in the bottom of your ‘t’ to mimic the ‘w’?

Tip: Look for what you do naturally and then repeat it.

Use the Right Tools

This one is a little tricky. How do you know you are using the right tools? Trial and error. If you write often, slow down, and notice symmetry, you can then determine what type of paper or writing utensil might be best for you. If you write small, you’ll probably want to go with a fine-tipped pen so your writing becomes more legible. If you write in a very simple, minimalistic way without much embellishment, you might want to try writing with a stub-nibbed fountain pen or a chisel-tipped pen just to see how that might change your writing.

Aside from the visual effect a certain pen or paper would have on your writing, the ‘right’ tool for you is also determined by the natural way you hold your pen.

Most Americans tend to grip their pens and pencils really tight. I was one of those people! I used to have calluses on my fingers from where I held the pen. When I switched to a fountain pen and loosened my grip, I saw immediate improvement and felt immediate improvement. I am partial to fountain pens because they do all the work; your hand is merely a guide.

Tip: Consider how you grip the writing utensil and try loosening your grip or holding the pen at a different angle.

Don’t Compare

The way I write is not the way you write. Someone else will always have better handwriting than you if you are looking for it.

These are five of my most important tips for writing well and I hope you’ll give a few of them a try. If you want a little more fuel to add to your penmanship fire, I’m including some of my favorite haunts on the web for you to peruse.

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Meet the WriterCole 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.

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Editor’s Note: This is Article #5 in a series of 6 on the topic of penmanship & calligraphy by Cole Imperi. Read the others so far here:
Article #1 “Where to Start
Article  #2″Where it all Started & Where it is Today
Article #3 “A Look at Several Calligraphic Styles
Article #4 “
Library Hand + Call for Submissions

 

 

New Products in Calligraphy

28 Dec

If you’ve surfed through our shop recently — EuropeanPaper.com — you may have noticed we’ve added some new calligraphy items! It’s still a relatively small category, so if you have any suggestions or product requests, let us know in the comments. Shop Calligraphy on EPC here.

We’ve got items for beginners as well as advanced calligraphers. Here is a sample:

Click the image to shop this product on EPC.

Brause Introduction to Calligraphy Lettering Cards

Learn and practice several calligraphic styles with the easy-to-use Brause Intro to Calligraphy Lettering Cards. The Calligraphy Lettering Guide is the perfect addition for any beginner or intermediate calligrapher. For each lettering style, arrows show the order and direction of the pen strokes. The lettering styles included are: Carolingian Script, Modern San Serif, Gothic, Gothic Black Letter, Gothic Fraktur, Chancery Cursive, Italic Script, Roman Alphabet, and Unical.

Click the image to shop this product on EPC.

Brause Advanced Calligraphy Set

A complete line of Brause’s superb steel nibs for calligraphy and writing, the Brause Advanced Calligraphy Set is a must-have for the professional calligrapher. With one natural wood nib holder and 9 steel nibs for script and calligraphy, the Advanced Calligraphy Set is incredibly well-rounded for all projects. The 9 steel nibs included are: 1 Cito Fein, 1 Steno, 1 Pfannen, 3 Banzug (1 /2 /3 mm) & 3 Ornament (1 /2 /3 mm).

Click the image to shop this product on EPC.

Clairefontaine Calligraphy Pad

Clairefontaine’s classic Calligraphy Pad is made with 130 gsm paper that has a satin-like texture, suitable for classic calligraphy with nibs or brushes. This paper was developed by the Schut Mill in the Netherlands in the late 19th century after a trip to Japan by the Schut family. They called it “Simili Japon” paper because the ivory toned calligraphy paper is similar to Japanese paper with its specific surface that enhances the performance of writing instruments. With 25 sheets of this beautiful paper, you’ll have enough space for all your calligraphic needs.

 

Get Ready for 2012 Giveaway! [Closed]

27 Dec

We hope you all had a fantastic weekend filled with family, friends, and food! Now we’re at that odd juncture of holidays and work where no one is quite focused on the daily grind — instead we’re all in a stupor from the sugarplums, massive plates of food, and holiday sweets. But it’s worth it! :)

Anyway, we know this is the last-minute panic for all those who haven’t bought a 2012 datebook yet. But if you’re an EPC fan, don’t worry – we’re here to help! We’re giving away 2 Limited Edition Moleskine Pocket Daily Planners – 1 Pac-Man datebook and 1 Peanuts datebook! [So we'll have two winners.]

Moleskine 2012 Peanuts Pocket Daily Planner on EuropeanPaper.com

The 2012 Moleskine Peanuts Pocket Daily Planner is a limited edition planner commemorating the well-known syndicated daily and Sunday comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz. With a new page per day layout, (and the black hard cover debossed in white with your favorite cartoon character) the 2012 Peanuts Pocket Daily Planner provides planning from Jan 2012 to Dec 2012.

Moleskine 2012 Pac-Man Pocket Daily Planner on EuropeanPaper.com

For the millions of Pac-Man fans, Moleskine released a limited edition 2012 Pocket Daily Planner. The exclusive debossed cover commemorates the vibrant yellow 80′s cultural icon famed for being the hungriest video game hero of all time. Inside is a new page for each day to keep track of all your notes and appointments in 2012.

Both the Peanuts and the Pac-Man Diary / Planners are pocket-sized: 3.5 x 5.5 inches. Like the Moleskine Classic Journals, Moleskine Planners have a sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, black elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket.

Giveaway Details:

  • For 1 entry, comment on this post with which datebook you’d rather win.
    • Don’t forget to include a valid email address when you comment.
  • For a 2nd entry, head on over to our Facebook page and post about the giveaway on our Wall.
    • Include the shortlink in your post http://wp.me/p1PnL4-fw and tell us which datebook you want to win.
  • This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.
  • You have until midnight on Thursday 12/29 to enter. Winners will be announced Friday 12/30! Good luck!

 

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

23 Dec

1 –> One of our past giveaway winners, Azizah, posted about her prize! Check out her pictures of the Moleskine Academic Pocket Weekly Planner on her blog Gourmet Pens.

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2 –> Millie at MsLogica.com shows you how to make a fab pencil wrap. Check out her post here!

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3 –> Make your own Moleskine Messenger Bag with Moleskinerie’s template here. Or you can buy the real thing on EPC here. ;)

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4 –> Ink/Pen/Pencil Review Round-up:
Noodlers Blue Nose Bear Ink Review by Pocket Blonde.
Noodlers Firefly Yellow Ink Review by Peninkcillin.
Diamine Eclipse, Amaranth, Ancient Copper and Damson Ink Review by PensandPaper.co.uk
Review: J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink by Gourmet Pens.
Pentel Slicci 0.25mm in Red by Rhonda Eudaly.
Swan Neck Pen Review by Multi Pen Dimensions (check it out particularly if you’re left-handed).

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5 –> If you haven’t seen this yet, it is a MUST for the holidays! Star Wars Snowflakes!! Enjoy :)

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And most of all, Happy Holidays to you all!
Thank you so much for the support by following our blog, commenting on our bloggers’ articles, and purchasing your paper products from our store! We can’t wait for 2012 with you all!

 

Happy Holidays from EPC!

21 Dec

We hope you're enjoying the season!

A Gift for All Year Long

20 Dec

Christmas proves to be challenging for me most years. I don’t enjoy shopping, but I want to give personal and meaningful gifts, especially to my family. I’m a firm believer in organized living, with a little crazy chaos, so planners with my own personal added twists allow me to share myself with my family and give gifts that last all year long.

Planners and Datebooks on EuropeanPaper.comConsider these creative ways to personalize a planner for someone you love:

  • Pre-date a planner. My elderly father struggles to remember dates so a pre-dated planner that he can keep open on his kitchen counter reminds him of important family days. Since most of my family doesn’t live near my father, he likes to mail cards. A strategically placed note the week before someone’s birthday allows him time to purchase and mail a card, using the addresses I’ve included in the planner. Then a notation on the special day serves to remind him to make a call, if he’d like. My sisters also appreciate the time I spend filling in important dates in their organizers which saves them significant time and energy.
  • Something to look forward to. Like so many other people, my husband enjoys concerts, plays and other special events. As well as pre-dating his planner, I note the details for date nights that I have planned throughout the year. Many tickets may be purchased in advanced, often online, so it’s not difficult to paperclip tickets in the day planner on the appropriate day. You could do this with sporting events, airline tickets, hotel reservations or any other diversions for the coming year. If you can’t afford to purchase tickets ahead of time, you can note the event and purchase the tickets later. You can even surprise the one you love by adding to the day planner as the year progresses.
  • Sentiments mean so much. My daughter thrives on positive messages. She likes to know that she is loved and thought of regularly. Giving her a planner with sweet notes written on different dates throughout means the world to her and provides thoughtful reminders of her specialness. I also include favorite sayings, quotes or verses to encourage her. Using a variety of notes from family and friends turns the planner into a touchstone as she is away from home at college. A gift card to the bookstore or ice cream shop never hurts either!
  • Other unique touches. An ordinary planner can become an amazing gift with a few little additions. A treasured photo secured to the front inside cover and random photos throughout the planner brings smiles 365 days a year. If your recipient enjoys humor, consider adding jokes or comics at different places during the year. An orange and red leaf tucked into the first day of autumn or a child’s school valentine slipped into February can offer sweet surprises to a practical gift.

As with any present, the personal touches added to a day planner can take it beyond conventional and straight to irreplaceable. Imagine one gift that can be adapted to many people in your life and continues giving throughout the year! It’s a perfect gift.

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Meet the Writer: Beth Hempton is a freelance writer and educator residing on Johns Island in South Carolina. She writes about education, health, food and lifestyle topics for websites, blogs, e-zines and print magazines. Having worn many writing hats from authoring curriculum to newspaper journalism, she views writing as a life skill and as an art form.

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Rhodia “Fab 5″ Giveaway Winners

19 Dec

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway(s) and spread the word! We’ve got loads more giveaways, articles, tips & tricks, etc. on the way, so check back frequently. To keep in the loop, follow us on Twitterlike 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 info@europeanpaper.com!

 

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

16 Dec

1 –> One of our past giveaway winners, Margana, posted about her prize! Check out her pictures of the Moleskine Academic Pocket Weekly Planner on her blog Inkophile.

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2 –> Molossus over at Life Imitates Doodles gave Library Hand another try after reading our post Penmanship & Calligraphy: Library Hand + Call for Submissions. We have to admit, she did a fabulous job at it! Check out her attempt at writing in Library Hand here.

3 –> If you haven’t heard of the Doodling in Math Class series on Youtube from user ViHart, you have got to check it out. It doesn’t really have to do with the world of pen and paper specifically, but we bet you’ll get a kick out of it. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK5Z709J2eo]

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4 –> Ink/Pen/Pencil Review Round-up:
Retro 51 Tornado – Natural Bamboo Rollerball by GourmetPens.com.
Uni-ball Signo Gel RT 0.7mm by GourmetPens.com.
Noodler’s Ahab Flex Pen Review by PenInkCillin.com.
Sheaffer VFM Matte Black Medium Point Fountain Pen by No Pen Intended.
Uni-ball Style Fit Mystar 3 Color Multi Pen by No Pen Intended.
The PaperMate InkJoy by Rhonda Eudaly.
Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo by GreaseMonkeyHands.

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5 –> Stephanie from Rhodia Drive has a friend named Alex making these suh-weet Rhodia-inspired bracelets. Check out their blog post on how to get one.

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6 –>  TonyB over at Tiger Pens’ blog wrote about 7 Crazy Things People Do with Sharpies … and yes, people have really done these things. Maybe it’s the Sharpie fumes that get to people?

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7 –> Nifty over at Notebook Stories posted pictures of (some of) her notebook collection. Over 100 notebooks are shown, and there are more in hiding! You’ve gotta check it out here. How big is your collection?

And if you’re a Rhodia fan, today is the last day to enter for a chance to win a Rhodia No. 19 Notepad! See our post on it for more details. We’ll post the winners on Monday – have a fab weekend!

 

Rhodia “Fab 5″ Giveaway #5 [Closed]

16 Dec

This is the last day to enter for a chance to win a Rhodia Notepad! Today is Giveaway #5 for a Rhodia No. 19 Notepad.

Today’s Giveaway:  Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 19 Notepad (8.25 x 12.5) - Black Cover; dotPad. **This is the only No. 19 Notepad we have with dot page styling so it’s extra special!**

Like all Rhodia Notebooks and Notepads, the Rhodia Classic Staplebound Notepads are known for their 80 g extra white acid-free and ink-friendly vellum paper, all micro-perforated for easy removal. Rhodia’s Staplebound Notepads have reinforced staples at the top, a scored front cover that neatly folds back, and a stiff back cover allows for easy writing or sketching on-the-go. The famous orange cover dates back to the 1930s – it was a standard hue for cardstock at the time and remains unchanged to this day. Over time, Rhodia has become the most popular pad in France.

To enter: Comment on this blog post!

Bonus entry: Tweet “Today Only! Rhodia No. 19 dotPad Giveaway on @EuroPaper #RhodiaHappyDance http://wp.me/p1PnL4-dJ”

Giveaway Details:

    • At 9 a.m. (MST) each morning  next week (Mon-Fri) we’ll announce the giveaway for the day.
    • All you have to do is comment on each day’s blog post to be entered!
    • You can enter each day one time (that’s 5 chances total over the week to win a Rhodia Notepad).
    • We’ll randomly choose a different winner per day (5 winners total) and publish their names on Monday, December 19.
Check out our original post from last Friday for the full giveaway line-up by clicking here.
(These giveaways are only open to those in the U.S.)