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Archive | April, 2012

Monday Morning Review Round-up

30 Apr

Ink Reviews

PenInkCillin: Private Reserve Electric DC Blue

Seize the Dave: De Atramentis Aubergine

Notebook Reviews

East, West, Everywhere: Kokuyo Campus High Grade MIO Paper A5 Notebook

Ethereal Voices: Canson 5×8 Sketchbook

Plannerisms: Planner Pad

Tyler Dahl: Apica Mini

Pen/Pencil Reviews

On Fountain Pens: kikki.k: Kontor Fountain pen and Silver Flower Gel pen

Rhonda Eudaly: Blue Timber Wood Studios Cigar Style Artisan Pen

Gourmet Pens: PaperMate InkJoy 700RT 1.0mm Ballpoint Pens

Stamp Reviews

Your Postal Blog: Remaining Stamp Releases for 2012 & The José Ferrer Stamp

Letter Writer’s Alliance: Twentieth-Century Poets, The Civil War:1862, & José Ferrer


Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

27 Apr

1 –>  A Penchant for Paper: Nearly Three Years of Pen Reviews

2 –> Rhodia Drive: Our dotGrid is Good for …

3 –> Recording Thoughts: Finding the Right Pencil Lead

4 –> Save Snail Mail: National Stationery Day in the UK

5 –> Simplicity Embellished: Where My Inks & Ephemera Live


6 –> Woodclinched: A Party for the Pencil

7 –> Your Postal Blog: Wine & Beer in the Mail?

8 –> Nathan of Noodler’s Ink released the below video earlier this week highlighting not only the winners of his international art contest, but also a new ink called Rome Burning! It’s an almost 30 minute video, but if you have a moment even, check out what you can!

Mudlark’s Balancing Act: Art & the Environment

26 Apr

Mudlark Brand Story on

Mudlark Papers is a family-owned company based out of Bolingbrook,Illinois. Founded in 1994 by Doug Hamilton, Mudlark makes artful and inspiring lifestyle products while remaining mindful to the environment. Their stationery products and accessories are made with sustainable and natural materials that live up to the standards of any true eco-friendly company. The calming balance of their products is unparalleled by most other stationery brands and begs to be shared with family, friends, and pen pals.

Note Card Nirvana

Mudlark Eco Coralina Memento Boxed Note Cards on

Mudlark Eco Coralina Memento Boxed Note Cards

The staple product at Mudlark are their beautiful boxed note card sets. These cards come in a set of 20 and all feature unique cover designs that are perfect down to every little detail. The blank cards are a perfect space to write a quick invitation, greeting, thank you, or reminder. Included in the set are 20 plain envelopes so you can send a note card to all of your friends and family. Each set comes in a matching keepsake box, a perfect complement to the note cards.

By now, we’re pretty sure an infinite amount of uses exist for the keepsake boxes, but here are a few ideas: Store your family’s secret recipes, favorite photos, personal notes, and mementos. It can also be used for storing office accessories, change, or small collectibles. The boxes even have an enlightening quote on the inside cover reminding us of little truths in life, such as “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” by Walt Whitman. These sets are refined, artsy, and elegant while remaining really fun and useful. We also carry some Mudlark travel accessories for all you steadfast nomads traveling in style.


Mudlark Eco Clare de Lune Boxed Note Cards on

Mudlark Eco Clare de Lune Boxed Note Cards

While Mudlark already stands out stylistically, their environmental practices back up the earthy name of the brand. The beautiful thing is that Mudlark is not jumping on this trend; they have always operated this way because it is the right thing to do. Their stationery products are made from at least 80% post-consumer fibers. All inks printed on the products are soy-based, which requires less irrigation in the agricultural process and creates less pollution in the printing and recycling processes. Furthermore, their products are packaged in air pillows, cleverly avoiding the use of packing peanuts that are harmful to our environment.

The word sophisticated carries a heavy load of stigma … dare we use it? Absolutely, because Mudlark is sophisticated in the best ways possible: Cultured and refined, yet mindful and balanced. The act of writing becomes even more relaxing when all we can think to say is “Om.”

Moleskine Folio Series

25 Apr

The Moleskine Folio Book Collection represents the largest Moleskine journals dedicated to creativity, free expression, and design. In fact, they’re huge! The Folio Collection is available in A4 and A3 sizes, offering generous space to be filled with drawings, projects and writings.

Like the Moleskine Classic Journals, Moleskine Folio Books have a sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket.

All paper used in the Moleskine Folio Collection is certified as responsibly harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Moleskine Folio A4 Ruled Notebook

  • 8.5 x 12 inches
  • 176 pages (88 leaves)
  • Sewn binding
  • Back pocket & cloth ribbon marker
  • Elastic closure
  • Acid-free paper
  • FSC certified paper
Moleskine Folio A4 Ruled Notebook (12 x 8.5) on
Moleskine Folio A4 Ruled Notebook (12 x 8.5)


Moleskine Folio A3 Plain Notebook

  • 16.5 x 12 inches
  • 176 pages (88 leaves)
  • 100 g/m2 paper
  • Sewn binding
  • Back pocket & cloth ribbon marker
  • Elastic closure
  • Acid-free paper
  • FSC certified paper
Moleskine Folio A3 Plain Notebook (16.5 x 12) on
Moleskine Folio A3 Plain Notebook (16.5 x 12)


See all Moleskine’s A4 and A3 Folio Notebooks, and while you’re there, check out the Moleskine Folio Office Series. Post-it notes, binders, folders, and so much Moleskine love.

Paperblanks: Past Meets Future

24 Apr

Paperblanks Brand Story on

Paperblanks is a notebook company with a goal in preserving the art of writing itself. Their beautifully crafted notebooks pay homage to a time when arts and literature stood at the forefront of culture and journals were the most sacred of objects. Striving to create a product that you want to write in and feel good about using, Paperblanks’ overwhelming attention to detail and focus on preserving the planet and our shared human culture makes them one of our favorite brands.


Have you ever had that one favorite journal you don’t go anywhere without? Its cover captures figments of your imagination, the handcrafted paper delights your every sense, and the secret compartments have room to hide your deepest secrets. That is essentially every Paperblanks journal. Their journals beg you to open the cover and put the tip of that pen down, and while it can be hard bring yourself to do so (because you’re afraid the journal might lose its perfection forever), when you finally break through you just can’t stop writing.

Paperblanks Embellished Charlotte Bronte Manuscript Wrap on

Paperblanks Embellished Charlotte Bronte Manuscript Wrap

Paperblanks’ journals are inspired by classic leather-bound journals from centuries ago, but don’t be fooled into thinking they are flimsy imitations. Paperblanks original cover designs are embossed with textures and patterns that give them a unique handmade appeal. Covers have captured the work and times of artists such as Shakespeare, Goethe, Charlotte Bronte, and Mozart.

All Paperblanks journals are held to high standards. The binding is either hand-sewn or smythe sewn, creating a journal that lays flat. Because the book blocks are never glued directly to the cover, but are instead sewn together, pages will not come loose or fall out. The paper itself is also held up to Paperblanks’ high standards. Their manufacturing process involves a phase called supercalendaring, where it is pressed between two rolls to achieve the smoothness that Paperblanks paper is known for. It is also acid-free, with a high opacity that guarantees minimal bleeding and feathering. Paperblanks has a true respect for the journal as a piece of art, and it shows in their products.

Global Citizenship

Paperblanks notebooks are not only journals you will want to use, but journals you can feel good about using. Their large commitment in both social and environmental advocacy speaks to the aspirations that they have for future generations.

Social Advocacy

By donating journals to charities around the globe, Paperblanks helps create funds and resources to build strong communities. One non-profit Paperblanks donates to is the Nepal Library Foundation, an organization with a goal of building long-term socioeconomic success in Nepal through education. A similar fundraising model is used in Paperblanks’ contributions to SEVA Canada, a non-profit organization that provides eye care clinics in remote developing countries.

Paperblanks also donates journals for use in youth writing workshops, such as Writegirl, a Los Angeles-based company that puts on one-on-one mentorship programs to develop creativity and encourage self-expression for young women. Paperblanks also awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to students wishing to further their artistic studies abroad.

Environmental Responsibility

As a company with the future in mind, Paperblanks operates with a strong environmental conscience. The company is a willing participant of Climate Care, an initiative where a self-imposed carbon tax is paid in proportion to the release of greenhouse gases by a company. Through this initiative, Paperblanks has funded the use of energy efficient stoves and lighting in developing countries. Paperblanks also supports the David Suzuki Foundation, which focuses on climate change through science education and policy making, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, which works to preserve wilderness, parks, and wildlife in Canada.

Paperblanks Handstitched Bamboo Pocket Journal on

Paperblanks Handstitched Bamboo Pocket Journal

Furthering their efforts of sustainability, Paperblanks uses paper that is made from sustainable forest pulp and is in the process of gaining FSC certification (a tough process for any manufacturer). Their paper is acid-free and the binder boards are made from 100% recycled material. Paperblanks also has a commitment to the well-being of their employees. The working conditions exceed international standards and the facilities are routinely updated to ensure safety and minimal pollution. Paperblanks encourages employees to minimize waste by reusing and recycling whenever possible, knowing that every bit counts.

Paperblanks’ strong belief in the written word as a fabric that holds our society together shines through in their social and environmental initiatives. Though their distinctive notebooks are reminiscent of the past, their actions will lead us to the future, and that is why we are so excited to bring you Paperblanks notebooks.

Monday Morning Review Round-up

23 Apr

Ink Reviews

Stationery Traffic: Pelikan Blue Black

PenInkCillin: Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm

Pen/Pencil Reviews

On Fountain Pens: Noodler’s Ahab Flex Nib Piston Fill Fountain Pen

East, West, Everywhere: Pilot Plumix

Rhonda Eudaly:  Stabilo Bionic Worker

Simplicity Embellished: Disposable Fountain Pens

From the Pen Cup: The Rotring Skynn

Gourmet Pens: Itoya Paper Skater Gel Pen

No Pen Intended: Pilot Acroball Smooth Writing Ballpoint & Pilot Prera Clear Body Fountain Pen

Office Supply Geek: Pilot G-TEC-C .4mm

Multi-Pen Dimensions: Schrade U.S. Army Tactical Pen

FPGeeks: TWSBI Micarta Fountain Pen

Tiger Pens: Pentel Sterling Executive Rollerball

Crazy Suburban Mom: Whitelines Spiralbound Notebook


Earth Day Sketch Contest Winner + Submissions

21 Apr

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway 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!

5 Things To Do on Earth Day

20 Apr

Happy Earth Day from

Earth Day is this Sunday April 22nd! Try one or all five of the below suggestions to be a little greener this year.

1) Take a walk. Whether it’s to the grocery store, post office, or around the block, remember what Earth Day is all about: getting outside and enjoying nature.

2) Eat raw – grab fruit or veggies on your way out the door in the morning instead of that processed toaster strudel, breakfast bar, or the like. Keep fresh, raw foods with you during the day for anytime a snack attack surprises you. Plant a small garden for an even more sustainable raw foods choice. Plus you can document it all in a Moleskine Passions Garden Journal to keep track of the plantings.

3) Carpool to the bar next time. You’ll need a DD anyway for the group, or if you go with coworkers, snag a ride there, back home, and on the way in the next morning. Reciprocate the favor the next time you all go out (and you could even write your coworker a thank you note).

4) Buy sustainable / eco paper products. Look for FSC and PEFC paper certifications when you’re shopping for your next journal or datebook (academic planners are coming up!).

5) The average American drinks 2.5 cups of coffee a day – almost none of which is local. The financial and environmental burdens of your fave roast can be significantly cut down by downsizing your habit to one coffee a day, or even one every other day. Supplement your morning drinking patterns when you’re writing letters or journaling with green or black tea instead.

How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes

19 Apr

Writing thank you notes and get well soon cards are easy compared to ‘professional’ correspondence (also known as business correspondence). At least, most people would tell you this. Writing a quick thank you note to grandma is way less complex than writing to thank an interviewer for their time in interviewing you for a job you still hope to get.

Professional correspondence is different from personal correspondence in that personal correspondence refers to writing between family or friends while professional correspondence refers to writing between people who interact professionally (at least primarily). Imagine you have a colleague that works for a competitor. You both know each other and get along great and have met at a few lunch events. If you put that person on a ‘friend’ or ‘colleague’ scale, what side would weigh heavier? That is how you know where to write from; a personal zone or a professional zone.

However, written correspondence in a professional setting can be tricky. Here’s why:

  1. You may not know the person that well. For example, you don’t know if they would appreciate a more casual tone or a more formal tone.
  2. The occasion that is motivating you to write may not be a familiar one. Many of us sit through only a handful of job interviews a few times in life. Raises and promotions are also less common. What do you say in unfamiliar waters?
  3. You are writing because you know you should … and you don’t know what to say. You know you need to thank your boss for letting you leave two hours early every Friday, but what do you say beyond ‘thank you for letting me leave two hours early every Friday”?
  4. There’s pressure. You want everything to be perfect, but if you write something and it is taken the wrong way, or you spell something wrong, it’s hard not to let it gnaw at you afterward.

In professional cases, more often than not, you’ll find you need to write whether you’re looking for a job, have employment, or own a business. This means you should write after an interview; a promotion or raise; you find some potential new business and want to turn it into actual business; a client or colleague does something for you; or you gain a client or customer.

These are all examples of positive correspondence situations. Negative correspondence is another beast entirely and there are different guidelines there. An example of negative professional correspondence would be a letter of complaint.

My guidelines for positive professional correspondence:

  1. Use nice paper. No notebook paper here. You always want to make a good first impression right out of the envelope.
  2. Write as close to the ‘event’ as possible. For example, if you have a job interview in the morning on a Wednesday, your thank you note should be in the mail Thursday.
  3. Be your professional self. If you are very laid back, very relaxed, very casual and funny person, there’s no need to ‘hide’ any of that behind formal language. Be exactly who you are, but through a professional lens. For example, a colleague of mine is a complete class clown. He’s very adept at what he does for a living, too. His stationery of choice? Each beautifully engraved note card tells a classic joke. It’s his way of being himself, but professionally.
  4. It’s generally better to err on the side of more formal than casual. Imagine that you are the note’s recipient. How would you react?
  5. Better to write a little less than too much. When you write to someone you may not know very well, less is often more. Plus, the more you write, the more chance there is something can be misinterpreted or misunderstood.

Finally, how does one write what needs to be written? Your best bet is to write a few drafts on notebook paper first (save your good paper for when you know exactly what you’ll be writing). And as for what to write, the simplest formula is to start by stating why you are writing, explain what that means to you, and end on a positive, upbeat note. Once you get the words right, write them out neatly and slowly on your professional stationery.

Here’s an example of a note written to thank someone for an interview, but they don’t yet have the job:

I hope this How-To was helpful. Professional correspondence might be a new area for you or an old friend; either way, please leave your own advice and any questions in the comments!


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 the second article in the How to Write series. Read the other here:

How to Write: Sympathy Notes


Our #EarthDay Sketch Contest Ends Tonight!

18 Apr

Our Earth Day Sketch Contest ends tonight! If you haven’t entered yet, check out the details below, and get your sketch in before midnight!

Enter our Earth Day Sketch Contest with one sketch / drawing of your choice that you feel embodies Earth Day. It can be literal or abstract, colorful or black & white. We want to see them all!

Scan your sketch or take a photo of it, and email it in a jpeg format to by April 18, 2012.

Please include your name, valid email address, and any commentary on your sketch you want to include.

The winner will be announced April 21 and will receive the following:

  • Cretacolor Black Box 20pc Drawing Charcoal & Pencil Set
    •  This drawing set includes ten different charcoals. It also includes two Monolith pencils, 6B and 9B, and six Nero pencils, unique drawing tools that combine natural waxes and black chalk to produce a smooth, glossy water-resistant line in rich black. The sleek 7.5×7.5 inch tin also provides an eraser and blender.
  • Stillman & Birn Delta Series Spiralbound Sketchbook (7 x 7 in.)
    • With 180 lb (270 gsm) extra heavy weight ivory paper.

*By submitting your photo, you confirm you own the rights to it, it is of your own work, and you give us permission to use it on our website or in any marketing material for European Paper Company.


Join the Moleskine Community

18 Apr

Moleskine Brand Story on

Moleskine‘s ubiquitous little black notebook. You see them in coffee shops, nestled into purses and totes, and at the office and others’ homes. But what is it about Moleskine that galvanizes creatives and professionals across the world to identify with these black notebooks? We think the answer’s clear: Moleskine is synonymous with community.

Whether it connects you back to reality or piques your imagination, Moleskine is a source for inspiration. And the inspiration doesn’t just come from the blank pages and classic black covers of the notebooks themselves, it also manifests in the reality that hundreds, even thousands, of others are using their Moleskine notebook at the same time as you. It’s that underlying current of creative energy we believe makes Moleskine so appealing.

The Legend Explained

Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook on

Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook

The nameless little black notebook so many legendary artists and thinkers have used over the past two centuries was originally made by a French bookbinder whose name was lost to obscurity. The notebook was even spotted among such greats as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, and the man who ultimately coined the name ‘Moleskine’, Bruce Chatwin.

The original notebook faded over time and was last seen in the 1980′s, but was ultimately picked up by a small Milanese publisher named Modo&Modo and the brand name Moleskine was officially trademarked in 1997. A little less than a decade later, the trademark was acquired by an Italian company that took on the name for itself. Moleskine SRL now has the sole objective of bringing back to life the notebook that captured that minimalist style and quality that literally has centuries of experience. As they say, “To the initiated, there is no substitute.”

Ethical Commitments

Moleskine S.p.A. creates and sells FSC-certified products.  All Moleskine notebooks are made with acid-free paper, making them environmentally friendly. In addition, Moleskine produces their packaging in such a way as to keep waste to a minimum.  Much of it is designed to be reused, for example the B-sides of the paperbands which are printed with useful tools, or the wallet packaging, which can be turned into environmentally-friendly photo frames.

On the foundation front, Moleskine primarily supports lettera27, a non-profit working toward a universal right to education and access to knowledge around the world. However, Moleskine also does a phenomenal job supporting young creatives via myriad organizations.

Where they are really seen supporting the creative community is through MyMoleskine, a hub for Moleskine fans around the world to share their art, hacks, and general passion for the brand. Several projects such as the Cover Art series have risen from this meeting place to showcase artists’ work on Moleskine notebooks – a platform previously thought unattainable by the general creative public.

Moleskine Collections

Beginning with the tried and trusted classic design, Moleskine’s Classic Hard Cover Journals are known for their quintessential features: sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket.

Moleskine Lego Pocket Ruled Notebook on

Moleskine Lego Pocket Ruled Notebook

Moleskine’s Volant and Cahier series are also staples in the Moleskine arsenal, the first being perfect bound with bright covers and the latter side-stitched with craft covers. Moleskine has also taken a creative page out of their fans’ notebook and and expanded with their ever-increasing Limited Edition selection, through collaborations with LEGO, Star Wars, Le Petit Prince, Pac-Man, and their published book series “The Hand of …” They’ve even developed hobby-specific notebooks known as the Moleskine Passions Journals.

It’s hard to encapsulate all of Moleskine in the proverbial nutshell as they’ve also expanded their offerings with their fairly recent New Collections. The Moleskine New Collections are sets of striking pieces that focus on writing, travelling, and reading. Perfectly compatible with the legendary notebooks, they were designed by Giulio Iacchetti to incorporate signature Moleskine function and aesthetics: the elastic band, the rounded corners, the black color, the simple design. The offerings include bags, pencils, pens, computer cases, reading glasses, a rechargeable reading light and an e-reader stand.

Moleskine ultimately corresponds with travel, culture, imagination, and identity. Moleskine connects with individuals because it is a symbol of modern-day nomadism, a romantic notion turned into reality each day through every far-reaching fan. And we’ll admit, we’re all Moleskine fans.

Be Inspired by Moleskine’s Pen & Pencil Additions

17 Apr

Be inspired to write, journal, and doodle with Moleskine’s Writing Collection. With the focus on daily inspiration, writing, and travelling, each piece is the perfect complement to Moleskine’s legendary notebooks. Designed by Giulio Iacchetti to incorporate signature Moleskine function and aesthetics, the Writing Collection is part of the greater New Collections by Moleskine. The myriad, distinctive accessories enhance the activities of the modern-day nomad in each of us. Below are the latest additions to the Writing Collection – what is your favorite?

Moleskine Click Roller Pen:

The natural travelling companion of the Moleskine notebook, in a new version with a retractable point and no cap.

Moleskine Click Roller Pen on

Moleskine Click Rollerball Pen

Moleskine Highlighter Pencil Set:

Set of two fluorescent colored lead pencils made of linden wood, plus a sharpener and a special cap.

Moleskine Highlighter Pencil Set on

Moleskine Highlighter Pencil Set


Moleskine 3 Black Wooden Pencils:

Indispensable tools for sketching, drawing and dreaming, Moleskine pencils are made of high quality cedar wood.

Moleskine 3 Black Wood Pencil Set on

Moleskine 3 Black Wood Pencil Set


Moleskine Click Mechanical Pencil:

With its elegant, rectangular shape, inspired by the design and personality of the Moleskine notebook, this refillable mechanical pencil combines convenience with total writing comfort.

Moleskine Click Mechanical Pencil on

Moleskine Click Mechanical Pencil