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Archive | December, 2011

Penmanship & Calligraphy: Library Hand + Call for Submissions

15 Dec

Do you feel like your handwriting is sloppy? Uneven? Erratic? You’re not alone. With a little practice, and a bit of guidance right here, right now, it will get better.

Library Hand is a style of handwriting that was once taught in library schools and now, I’m teaching it you via the internet. Library Hand will teach you to write letterforms that are even and open, and it will teach you to slow down when writing. Have you ever seen a card from a library catalogue that was handwritten? Take a look by clicking here. These are all written in Library Hand and we’re going to adapt this style into our own handwriting.

All Library Hand styles feature rounded letters and uniformity between the letterforms. The most popular was probably the style by Melvil Dewey (of the Dewey Decimal System). However, once the typewriter came on the scene, Library Hand started to fade away. And today, with computers and texting, handwriting just really isn’t a priority unless you put it at the top of your list.

Before We Start

As with any style of writing, whether it is Spencerian or Gothic, you will have a much higher success rate if you understand the foundation of the letters. Trying to produce a thick Gothic letter really won’t work with a ballpoint pen, for example. Every style of writing has its own rules and sometimes its own tools.

The Foundation of Library Hand:

  1. There is no shading. That means the thickness of the line should be the same at all times. Use a simple ballpoint pen to guarantee this effect.
  2. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s with care. Make all your dots on all your i’s the same and all the crosses on all your t’s the same.
  3. Keep your letters and numbers at the same angle. Straight up and down is best.
  4. No flourishes! No fancy stuff!
  5. Write slower at first, and with purpose. Pay attention to each letter as you write it.

Tools of Library Hand:

Ruled paper (a.k.a. paper with lines)
A ballpoint pen, pencil or fine-nibbed fountain pen with no flex

Library Hand: Beginning to Write

I’ve included two printable pages for you. One features the ‘cursive’ Library Hand alphabet and one features the ‘print’ Library Hand alphabet. (Click on the links to open the PDF’s.)

Library-Hand-Alphabet1

Library-Hand-Alphabet2

The first step is to print the included documents and simply trace over the letters and the sample sentence. Now, trace over it again.

The second step is to grab some lined paper. Use whatever lined paper you are used to writing on. When learning a new style of writing, don’t start by choosing a paper with a width of line you are not accustomed to. Now write the sample sentence without tracing the original document.

Click to enlarge.

To the left is a page from my Moleskine focusing on the Letter ‘O’ back when I was beginning with Library Hand. With the ‘O,’ most of the guidebooks tell you to write the capital ‘O’ right to left. Alternately, the Capital ‘Q’ would be written left to right.

No matter how close you get to the letterforms shown in the alphabet diagram, you will end up with your own style of Library Hand. That is totally normal, and encouraged. If that ‘O’ is just not working for you and you want to make a complete circle, then by all means, go for it.

Click to enlarge

The image to the right shows me writing ‘Personal Style’ with a ballpoint pen on a piece of cardstock. I held the pen at a different angle each time I wrote the words and you can probably spot a few tiny embellishments I added or took away. Pay attention to the differences in the Capital ‘S’ in style, the ‘yle’ in style and the Capital ‘P’ in Personal. Do you see slight adjustments in each one?

When it comes to Library Hand, the goal is to apply a simple structure to letterforms. A simple structure anyone can apply to their own handwriting.

Library Hand: Where and When to Use it

Library Hand was developed for use in places where information needed to be presented legibly to all who read it. Today, you can use this style of writing whenever you like. It’s wonderful for taking school or meeting notes for reference later, leaving sweet messages to your significant other, or labeling anything and everything. In a world where handwriting just kind of happens, Library Hand is a style you can use that will instantly make what you write a little more special (and readable).

>>> Call for Reader Submissions!

If you are giving Library Hand a shot, please email in a snapshot or scan of a writing sample by 12/22/11 to leah@europeanpaper.com. Include your name and a link to your blog or website if you like. We’ll post up your entries in the last installment of this series. <<<

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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 #4 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“ 

 

Rhodia “Fab 5″ Giveaway #4 [Closed]

15 Dec

Getting down to the wire! Second to last day to enter for a chance to win a Rhodia Notepad! Today is Giveaway #4 for another Rhodia No. 18 Notepad. We will be having one Rhodia giveaway each day this week, so check back to enter each day!

Today’s Giveaway:  Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 18 Notepad (8.25 x 11.75 in.) - Orange Cover; Blank Pages.

Rhodia Pads are a favorite with architects, designers and scientists. The pads are staple-bound, made of 80 g acid-free pH neutral paper, are micro-perforated on top for easy and clean tearing. The stiff back cover provides the support required, and the staples do not appear on back. Each pad contains 80 sheets.

To enter: Comment on this blog post!

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.
(Sorry, but these giveaways are only open to those in the U.S.)

 

Rhodia “Fab 5″ Giveaway #3 [Closed]

14 Dec

Today is Giveaway #3 for a Rhodia No. 18 Notepad. We will be having one Rhodia giveaway each day this week, so check back to enter each day!

Today’s Giveaway:  Rhodia Top Spiralbound No. 18 Notepad (8.25 x 11.75 in.) - Black Cover; Lined Pages.

The Rhodia Classic Top Spiralbound No. 18 Notepad (8.25 by 11.75 inches) has a double wire binding at the top that won’t snag or unwind, plus 80 g acid-free, pH neutral paper with a smooth, satin finish – very ink-friendly. All 80 sheets of this A4-sized notepad are micro-perforated at the top for easy and clean tearing, so you can jot down a note, share ideas, and keep your thoughts at hand.

To enter: Comment on this blog post!

Bonus entry: Tweet “Rhodia No. 18 Notepad Giveaway on @EuroPaper #RhodiaHappyDance http://wp.me/p1PnL4-dx”

  • 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.)

 

Matchmaking Datebooks: Finding the Right Planner for You

13 Dec

As the year comes to a close, the organized among us will be looking for new planners (and the unorganized likely will receive planners as gifts). Whether you’re using a planner to remember school assignments or to plan out a busy day at work, there is a format perfectly suited to your needs. Each planner is different because each person is different. Learning about each format can help you decide which one fits your personality and your needs.

Daily Format

For those who like to focus on short-term goals and plot out each day carefully there are daily planners. In these types of planners, you are provided with one page per day. This will give you plenty of room to pencil in all of your agenda items for the day in question. Each page usually contains an hour-by-hour breakdown of the day for the most detail-oriented. If it’s important for you to remember dates, some daily planners come equipped with each day’s number on the page. If that’s not important to you, or you simply don’t prefer it, planners also come in the undated variety.

You might ask yourself why anyone would want a planner that was undated. With pages that have no labeled dates, a planner can become a journal that forces you to stay within the bounds of a year still with 365 pages. In this format, you don’t have to use just one page for each day. Instead, you can use multiple pages for note-taking regarding one very eventful day and then skip days without important occurrences. If you’d rather not be tied down to just one page per day, an undated planner would be a good fit for you.

Daily Planner Suggestions:

Moleskine daily planners come in an assortment of colors and styles. Moleskine’s daily planners also come in pocket size and standard diary size and are offered in many different colors, as well as hardcover or soft cover.

Quo Vadis planners are bound in handsome grained leatherette and come in pocket size as well as standard size. The Quo Vadis planners are also refillable and their pages come from paper made in sustainable forests, making them the best option for the eco-conscious.

Leuchtturm’s daily planner is offered in a hardcover version that boasts interior pages made from acid-free, archival paper.

The Exacompta Journal 21 Datebook comes in a standard size with a soft, leatherette cover. Its pages, too, are refillable and are made from sustainable forests.

Weekly Format

Perhaps, for you, daily planners focus too much on the minutiae of each day. If this is true, weekly planners may be best for you. In most formats, a set of two pages is devoted to one week of the year. These can come in either vertical or horizontal format — a distinction that refers to the orientation of each week’s block of space on the page. Other planners devote only one page to a week, providing for a more compact planner.

Vertical planners with an hour-by-hour breakdown allow you to plan each and every moment of their day. These planners are perfect for the busiest people who need to squeeze every bit of time from each day. If, on the other hand, you need to remember only the most important events of each day—like when big projects are due, or crucial meetings—the horizontal format is more suited for you. This format gives you room to jot down events with accompanying times and locations to remember. If you find that you need to take notes during these events—such as business meetings or college advising appointments—you can choose the planner plus notes format, which is a week on the left page, and lines on the right page for notes.

Weekly Planner Suggestions:

Moleskine’s lines of weekly planners include both horizontal and vertical formats and come in all sizes and colors, as well as both hardcover and soft cover. Moleskine’s weekly planners also come in a cahier (pronounced Cai-Yhay) format, which offers an inexpensive option for shoppers.

As with Exacompta’s daily planners, the weekly planners are all refillable. Quo Vadis, too, offers refillable pages and their planners come in handsome “President” and “Minister” formats.

Leuchtturm’s offering in the weekly planner category is a hardcover, standard sized format with a choice of six colors for the cover. Finally, Rhodia offers its eco-friendly “webplanner” in a small size as well as a medium size.

Monthly Format

If you’d rather have a more long-term outlook, monthly planners are for you. Customarily, monthly planners are laid out with one month per every two pages. These planners can come either in a vertical format, opening like any other book, or in horizontal format that opens in a checkbook format. The large squares of a calendar layout provide ample room to schedule events and take notes in each day’s box. Because these planners lay out the entire month in two pages, they are the quintessential planner to see a large scope of time in a quick glance.

Monthly Planner Suggestion:

Moleskine offers a soft cover monthly planner in a large size. This planner is laid out in the vertical style and devotes two pages to each month. Between months there are lined pages on which you can take notes.

No matter what format or brand you choose, a planner is essential for getting your affairs in order for 2012. As for me, though I prefer to take life one day at a time, I find it most convenient to use a weekly format planner with note pages. That way, I can see the entire week on one page and have my cadre of post-it notes plastering the note pages. What kind of planner do you prefer?

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 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.

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Rhodia “Fab 5″ Giveaway #2 [Closed]

13 Dec

Today is Giveaway #2 for a Rhodia No. 16 Notepad. We will be having one Rhodia giveaway each day this week, so check back to enter each day!

Today’s Giveaway:  Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 16 Notepad (6 x 8.25 in.) - Orange Cover, Lined + Margin Pages.

This classic notepad, made in France, has a major cult following! The pads are staple-bound, made of 80 g acid-free pH neutral paper, are micro-perforated on top for easy and clean tearing. The stiff back cover provides the support required, and the staples do not appear on back.

To enter: Comment on this blog post … that’s it!!

  • 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.)

 

Rhodia “Fab 5″ Giveaway #1 [Closed]

12 Dec

Let’s get this Rhodia party started! Today is Giveaway #1 for a Rhodia No. 12 Notepad. We will be having one Rhodia giveaway each day this week, so check back to enter each day!

Today’s Giveaway: Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 12 Notepad (3.375 x 4.75) – Orange Cover, Lined Pages.

This classic notepad, made in France, has a major cult following! The pads are staple-bound, made of 80 g acid-free pH neutral paper, are micro-perforated on top for easy and clean tearing. The stiff back cover provides the support required, and the staples do not appear on back.

To enter: Comment on this blog post … that’s it!!

  • 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.
(Sorry, but these giveaways are only open to those in the U.S.)

 

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

9 Dec

1 –> One of our past giveaway winners, Troy, posted about his prize! Check out his pictures of the Moleskine Academic Pocket Weekly Planner on his blog Penpal from Northeastern Colorado.

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2 –> [vimeo http://vimeo.com/24844097]

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3 –> Ink/Pen/Pencil Review Round-up:
Papermate Inkjoy Ballpoint Pen Review by StationeryReview.com.
Pilot B2P 0.7mm Retractable Gel Ink Pen by GourmetPens.com.
Review: Stainless Steel Sharpie Pen Fine by GourmetPens.com.
J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe Ink Review by PenInkCillin.com.
Schrade Tactical Fountain / Ballpoint Pen by Multi Pen Dimensions.
Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen by Good Pens.

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4 –> An interesting find by Ana at The Well-Appointed Desk: “USB converter Underwood … This vintage typewriter has been modified to work as a USB keyboard for Mac, PC or iPad.” See it here.

In other typewriter news, Dana at SaveSnailMail.com made a great steal of a Royal KMM Typewriter for only $3 (they normally run close to $2K)! Check it out here. We look forward to hearing all about Dana’s adventures with it :)

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5 –> We love all these great images of washi tape used in holiday wrappings from The Sweetest Occasion. Have any holiday-inspired craft projects with washi tape you’d like to share? Put it in the comments!

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6 –> A couple Rhodia notepad reviews: One from Life Imitates Doodles on the No. 16 dotPad and the other from Gourmet Pens on the No. 11 Squared. Speaking of Rhodia, they just posted up on RhodiaDrive.com asking if people are interested in doing a 2012 Journal Swap using large dot grid Webnotebooks. See their full post here, but it should be quite obvious that they received quite a lot of positive feedback!

And if you’re a Rhodia fan, check our blog all next week when we’ll be giving away a Rhodia Notepad each day! See our post on it for more details. Have a fab weekend!

 

5 Fab Rhodia Giveaways! [Closed]

9 Dec

5 Days : 5 Notepads : 5 Winners

Starting on Monday, December 12, we’re celebrating this festive month with 5 fab Rhodia giveaways!

Monday‘s Giveaway (12/12):
Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 12 Notepad (3.375 x 4.75 in.)
Orange Cover; Lined Pages.

Tuesday‘s Giveaway (12/13):
Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 16 Notepad (6 x 8.25 in.)
Orange Cover; Lined + Margin Pages.

Wednesday‘s Giveaway (12/14):
Rhodia Top Spiralbound No. 18 Notepad (8.25 x 11.75 in.)
Black Cover; Lined Pages.

Thursday‘s Giveaway (12/15):
Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 18 Notepad (8.25 x 11.75 in.)
Orange Cover; Blank Pages.

Friday‘s Giveaway (12/16):
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!**

  • 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 the 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.
    • (Sorry, but these giveaways are only open to those in the U.S.)

 

Fabriano Box Winner!

9 Dec

Fabriano Stationery Winner on EuropeanPaper.com

The randomly chosen number was 17, which turned out to be …

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 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!

Check back soon for another surprise as well as for the Friday Blogger Tuck-ins post. :)

Giving the Right Gift: Eco-Friendly Lokta Journals

8 Dec

Cherry Blossoms Large Lokta Journal (5.875 x 8.25)

Cherry Blossoms Large Lokta Journal on EPC

As the holiday season approaches, we are inundated with advertisements to buy, buy, buy! Something for all our family members; something shiny and new for our significant others; something small for all our co-workers; and something for ourselves, of course. The choices on gifts are essentially endless, and the options can overwhelm anyone into simply picking up a gift card, slapping a bow on it, and calling it good.

However, if we stop for a minute and take a breath from mass consumerism, we can remember a time when it was not this difficult to pick out or create a gift for those we know and love. If you think about it, most kids hand-make cards and gifts for their parents. The time and energy that went into these gifts were worth far more than anything they could have bought, and they end up being the most cherished gifts a person could receive for a long time to come. So why don’t we continue this into adulthood?

The main excuse is time (or lack thereof), of course. Many adults become so busy with work, taking care of their home and family (and maintaining their sanity), they just don’t have the time to sit down for arts and crafts. Don’t fret though, instead of buying some shiny object that comes across media outlets, there is a way to show you care (even without having the time to do it yourself). I’m talking about eco-friendly products made of handcrafted materials. For example, an eco-friendly journal can have all the flair of a fancy new gadget, all the hard work of a gift delicately crafted by your hand, and all the meaning of something given from the heart.

One of the most commonly handcrafted papers is Lokta paper.  Also called Nepali paper it is made from the bark of the Lokta bush that grows naturally in the Himalayan foothills.  The process is incredibly sustainable, doesn’t require any chemicals or machined manufacturing, and a lot of individual energy from local Nepalese villagers goes into making every one of the pages in a Lokta journal. Here’s a glimpse at the process:

  • Stripping the Bark:
    • The inner bark of the Lokta plant must be stripped by hand and thoroughly cleaned, then chopped into small sections.  The batch is then soaked in water for up to 6 hours to soften the fibers.
  • Cooking Process:
    • After the sections of Lokta bark have soaked, they are cooked in a water and soda solution for 1 to 2 hours.  This process helps break down the cells and allow the bark to become more malleable be formed into paper.
  • Forming the Paper:
    • When the cells have lost their rigid structure, the pulp is pounded with flat rocks to break it down further.  It is then poured into a flat wooden mould and allowed to dry in the sun.

The finished product is a paper that is not only pleasant to the eye and to the touch, but also one that is incredibly strong.  Since the paper is not bleached or cured with any chemicals to alter its look there are individual variances in every strand that enhance the natural look and feel of the paper.  Plus, the Lokta plant is a renewable resource as it regenerates after every pruning (which takes about 2 to 4 years to fully grow back), so a person can not only be satisfied their journal is providing jobs for the Nepalese that will last for years to come, but that the environment is not being destroyed in the process.

Finding the right gift can be a burden.  In today’s society is often too easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the season and forget about finding a gift that has real meaning behind it.  While there are a lot of great gifts out there, the one with a story, hard work, and meaning behind it will surely stand out above the rest.

 

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 Meet the Writer: Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana, where he enjoys amazing access to the great outdoors the area has to offer. With years of wandering in the backcountry, and a love for the environment, he transfers his experiences exploring the great outdoors to guides and stories of surviving in the wilderness.

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Giveaway: Fabriano Medioevalis Box [Closed]

7 Dec

Fabriano Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

Fabriano Medioevalis Folded Cards : click for more.

Giveaway Alert! We’ve got a lovely box of Fabriano Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards (200 x 300 mm) that is so lonely; it needs a new home!

From our site: “Built on the foundation of quality and tradition, Fabriano’s elegant Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards have myriad uses. The luxurious soft feel of the 260 gsm cards is sure to inspire for any event. Combined with the Reception Envelopes, they are perfect for letterpress, offset, inkjet, laserjet, ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, light washes, stamping, rubbings, stencils, engraving and printmaking.” … Or really anything else you can come up with!

Fabriano Medioevalis Reception Folded Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

Fabriano Medioevalis Folded Cards : click for more.

This beautiful Cartiere Milliani Fabriano Decorative Box includes 100 moulde-made cards to be used any way you like. Plus, you can use the box afterward to hold other paper, letters, or mementos. **Disclaimer: This box does have one corner we repaired (there was a slight tear), but the paper inside is pristine.**

To enter: Leave a comment on this blog post with an accurate email address & what you would use the Fabriano paper for … that’s it! You’ve got 48 hours – we’re announcing the randomly chosen winner at 9 a.m. (MST) on Friday, 12/9!
(Sorry, but this giveaway is only open to those in the U.S.)

 

Green Gifts: Thoughtful Eco-Friendly Products for Friends & Family

6 Dec

Whether it’s during the major holiday season or for birthdays or life events, give your friends, family, and coworkers thoughtful gifts that have a minimal ecological impact. Pretty and sleek, eco-friendly stationery and office supplies come in a variety of colors and designs. With so much range, you can find the perfect, environmentally-responsible gift for everyone on your list!

For the Harried, Hurried Exec

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on EuropeanPaper.com

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder

For the busy professionals in your life, give the gift of organization with the Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder. Your environmentally-conscious professional friends will appreciate the 80-percent recycled material. With slots that hold up to 120 cards, you’ll also help them reign in those unruly stacks of business cards. You also can send this to your business contacts as a creative, professional holiday gift. Slip your card into the proper alphabetical slot, and turn the sleek card holder into a fun – and functional – business gift.

For the Daydreamer

Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal on EuropeanPaper.com

Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal

Give the writer, dreamer, or goal-setter a unique gift: a journal made from elephant poop. That’s right; the Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal is made from elephant dung that has been cleaned, processed, and turned into ecologically-responsible journal paper. This one-of-a-kind gift will impress the eco-friendly journal writers on your list. Personalize the journal by writing an inspirational quote or heartfelt message on the inside cover.

For the Creative Genius

Eco Vintage Journal on EuropeanPaper.com

Eco Vintage Journal

The blank tree-free pages of the Eco Vintage Journal beg for sketches. The artist in your life will be inspired by the hand-painted images adorning the cover of each journal. Because many artists develop preferences for materials and media, it can be difficult to find just the right thing. These journals give an artist plenty of blank space with room to scrawl in a travel-friendly size.

For your Nearest & Dearest

Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Memento Boxed Note Cards on Europeanpaper.com

Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Boxed Note Cards

For a gift that is as wallet-friendly as it is eco-friendly, pick up a recycled paper notecard and pen a love letter. Though it sounds too simple, a heartfelt, handwritten note will give the recipient a lasting memory and a keepsake that will last longer than another scarf-and-gloves set. Write a note to your mom telling her how grateful you are for all she’s done for you. Pen a romantic note to your partner detailing why you love them. Send a letter to your friends explaining why their friendship means so much to you. Tie a bow around the envelope and leave it under the tree – or draw a bow on the envelope flap if you’re sending it through the mail. This simple, eco-conscious, budget-friendly gift can be a meaningful gift that may even spark a new tradition.

Lama Li Eco Hemp Pencil Bag on EuropeanPaper.com

Lama Li Eco Hemp Pencil Bag

For the OCD Organizer

Give the gift of storage to your favorite organizer. The Lama Li Hemp Pencil Bag is handmade from uber-eco-friendly hemp. At four-by-eight inches, it’s big enough to tote pens, pencils, and highlighters, while being small enough to tuck into a purse or laptop bag. Plus, it’s a gift with good karma: Proceeds from sales help support rural economic development projects inNepal.

For the Fountain Pen Aficionado

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Blue Marble Fountain Pen on EuropeanPaper.com

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Blue Marble Fountain Pen

Channel an American legend with the Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Fountain Pen. A classic refillable pen is an eco-chic alternative to traditional writing instruments. Americans buy around 106 billion (yes, billion!) ballpoint pens each year. All that plastic eventually ends up in the landfill. Spend more on an elegant pen that will last a lifetime, stay out of the garbage, and inspire your grateful recipient.

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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