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Archive | May, 2012

NEW Amalfi 8-Count Note Card & Envelope Packs

30 May

Have you used Amalfi paper before? If so, you’ll be thrilled to hear it’s now available in grab-and-go personalized packs of eight note cards and eight envelopes! And if not, we’ve got a new set of note cards to introduce to you! We guarantee it will add a sparkle to your stationery collection.

Grab the luxurious Amalfi stationery you see and feel in wedding announcements and invitations in your own small set of 8 flat cards perfect for everyday correspondence. From one of the most renowned paper makers in Europe comes five sets of 8-count stationery packs. Simple sets of correspondence notes made by hand from the finest cotton since the 14th century. Their soft texture is incomparable and filled with elegance as each Amalfi note card and envelope is crafted with the utmost care, using many of the methods first developed in the Middle Ages. The deckled edge gives it a soft touch and makes it a superb choice in premium stationery to write on to your penpals, friends, family, and business contacts.

Check out the full brand story on our blog here to read all about Amalfi paper made by Cartiere Amatruda! Below are the NEW Amalfi 8-Count Note Card Sets.

Amalfi Informal Folded Notes (3.5 x 5.25 in.)

Amalfi Informal Folded Notes (8 ct.) (3.5 x 5.25) on

Amalfi Informal Folded Notes on

Amalfi Folded Notes (4.5 x 6.75 in.)

Amalfi Folded Notes (8 ct.) (4.5 x 6.75) on

Amalfi Folded Notes on

Amalfi Long Folded Notes (4.25 x 8 in.)

Amalfi Long Folded Notes (8 ct.) (4.25 x 8) on

Amalfi Long Folded Notes on

Amalfi Flat Cards (4.5 x 6.5 in.)

Amalfi Flat Cards (8 ct.) (4.5 x 6.5) on

Amalfi Flat Cards on

Amalfi Long Flat Cards (4.25 x 8 in.)

Amalfi Long Flat Cards (8 ct.) (4.25 x 8) on

Amalfi Long Flat Cards on

See all Amalfi Stationery HERE!

Caran d’Ache: A Creative Beauty with Swiss Charm

29 May

Caran d'Ache Brand Story on

Caran d’Ache is a Swiss company that manufactures fine writing instruments that pay homage to the tradition of Swiss innovation, precision, and excellence. Combining several sought-after raw materials with modern technologies and expert craftsmanship, Caran d’Ache creates distinctly perfect pens down to the last detail. Caran d’Ache is, in fact, the only Swiss manufacturer of “pencils, fine-arts materials and luxury writing instruments.”

The Beginning of Excellence

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Chinablue Fountain Pen on

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Chinablue Fountain Pen on

Caran d’Ache opened in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1924 after Arnold Schweitzer acquired the Ecridor Pencil Company (originally founded in 1915) and renamed the company. The name Caran d’Ache comes from the pseudonym of a famous 19th century French satirist named Emmanuel Poire. That pseudonym came from the Russian word for pencil, “Karandash,” which stems from the Turkish words “kara dash,” literally meaning black stone (referring to graphite). The deep roots to writing materials in Caran d’Ache’s name are backed up in their authentic products.

In 1930, Caran d’Ache launched their Ecridor mechanical pencils in both silver and gold models. Next came the Prismalo, the first colored pencil with water-soluble lead, in 1931. Ultimately, Caran d’Ache’s first fountain pen was launched in the Madison Collection and thus began the company’s intimate workings with myriad writing instrument types. Their creativity and skill has blossomed over the years, and to this day Caran d’Ache handcrafts some of the most exquisite pens and art pencils in the market.

Noble Materials

Caran d’Ache pens and mechanical pencils use quality materials that make for a writing instrument unlike any other.  One of these materials is Rhodium, a rare metal valued approximately at 10 times the price of gold. It is an amazing material to use in a writing instrument because it does not oxidize, and therefore preserves the silver shine of the pen.

Another fine material used in Caran d’Ache pens is 18 Carat Gold. This soft metal is used to decorate, engrave, and polish each gold pen, creating unique art. Each gold nib carries the certified mark of the raw material, as well as the trademark of the craftsmen.  Caran d’Ache is also one of the few pen manufacturers to use Chinese lacquer, an ancient material steeped in the traditions of Eastern craftsmanship. This magnificent glimmering lacquer goes through an incredibly complex application after the natural process of extracting the sap of a Tsi Cheou tree.

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Ivanhoe Silver Fountain Pen on

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Ivanhoe Silver Fountain Pen on

Another innovative practice at Caran d’Ache is the creation of a coat of mail for certain pen bodies to create a unique grip. This material is made from woven links of stainless steel. Once a legendary technology to protect medieval knights, now this material is also engrained in the history of one of the highest regarded companies of Switzerland, Caran d’Ache.

By combining ancient tradition and elegance with modern and artful design, Caran d’Ache creates authentic pens that live up to the Swiss standards of quality and precision. Their products inspire the timelessness and passion of an imagination that is set free at the grasp of a pen.

Treat Yourself to Amalfi Stationery: A Centuries Old Delight

25 May

Amalfi Brand Story on

Luxurious Amalfi stationery, from one of the most renowned paper making centers in Europe, has been made by hand from the finest cotton for centuries. Its soft texture is incomparable and filled with elegance and character. Southeast from Naples, Italy, Amalfi is one of the oldest papermaking centers in Europe.

A Little Bit of Papermaking History

Paper mills in the Amalfi region actually have been traced back to as early as the 13th Century. As the demand for paper increased into the 15th Century the number of mills grew past the few local families who started the Amalfi papermaking trend. The industry boomed in the region and it quickly grew a reputation for high-quality cotton paper. The mid-1700s brought new manufacturing / machining processes, and sadly the decline of handmade paper began (peaking in the mid 1800s).

The classic Amalfi paper mills that had lasted for centuries in the region struggled for years against modern advances in papermaking and in 1954 were almost completely wiped out by a catastrophic flood. Out of the 16 paper mills in the area, three remained after the flood. The one we know and love today that goes by the name of “Amalfi Paper” on our site and is produced by Cartiera Amatruda, was saved by none other than Luigi Amatruda, a descendant of one of the oldest papermaking families on the Amalfi coast.

Amatruda Namesake

Amalfi Watermarked Stationery Set 20 count on

Amalfi Watermarked Stationery Set 20 count on

Records of the Amatruda family actually date back to 1198 in Amalfi and the oldest Amatruda watermark comes from around the 14th century. Located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, this stationery is still handmade by Cartiera Amatruda. The Amatruda paper mill is in the ancient Mill Valley of Amalfi, in a spectacular bridged position over the Canneto River. The first floor of the current longstanding Amatruda paper mill dates back to the 15th Century and the paper manufacturing tradition of the Amatruda family dates back to 1380.

Each naturally deckle-edged Amalfi sheet is handcrafted with the utmost care, using many of the original papermaking methods from the beginning of the Amatruda mill. Sized for the best possible writing quality, Amalfi paper is special in its depth of connecting the past with the present.

Finely Crafted Process

When the Amatruda family first opened their mill, they used cotton, linen, or hemp rags (today it’s 100% cotton), which were then put in stone tubs (also known as vats). The rags in the vats were pounded and reduced to pulp by a series of wooden mallets, working due to the power of the surrounding waterways.

A mould with a net of wires in the shape of the family’s watermark (usually in the middle) was then dipped in the tubs multiple times to form a sheet out of the pulp. After squeezing the water out and drying the sheets, papermakers would go over each piece to smooth out any imperfections and pick the most valuable cards.

Use Amalfi in All Occasions

Amalfi Folded Notes 8 count on

Amalfi Folded Notes 8 count on

Amalfi paper is best known for use in wedding invitations, life-cycle announcements, graduations, and other special events. Today however, we also offer it in personalized packs with 8 sheets and 8 envelopes of your choice between folded or flat cards. Perfect for everyday correspondence, the new 8-count individualized grab-and-go packs are the right amount for a touch of excellence.

With such an amazing history, Amalfi 100% cotton paper sheets and cards are a joy to give to family and friends, as well as to gift yourself with. To this day, Cartiere Amatruda keeps the papermaking process 100% natural, meaning no dyes, chemicals, or the like. As a favorite among letter writers, letterpress professionals, and stationery aficionados, we personally recommend Amalfi paper to anyone looking for an extra touch of elegance in their correspondence or special occasions.

On Sale! Moleskine Travel Collection Bags

23 May

Moleskine Messenger Bag

Moleskine Messenger Bag for Sale on

Moleskine Messenger Bag : The Bag That Tells Your Story

 Moleskine Utility Bag

Moleskine Utility Bag on

Moleskine Utility Bag : Travelling Collection

Moleskine Reporter Bag

Moleskine Reporter Bag on

Moleskine Reporter Bag

 See all Moleskine bags in their Travel Collection here!

Exacting Excellence with Exacompta

22 May

Exacompta Brand Story on

Exacompta is a French company with roots in the professional world and connections to Clairefontaine, Rhodia, G. Lalo, and more. Founded in 1928 by Charles Nusse, great-grandson of Clairefontaine founder Jean-Baptiste Bichelberger, the company got its start mass manufacturing high quality ledgers for accounting firms in Paris.

Famous Roots & Branches

See all Exacompta 2012 and 2013 Planner Refills on

See all Exacompta 2012 and 2013 Planner Refills on

The brand quickly became a popular choice due to their high quality paper and sturdy bindings (let’s face it – with direct roots from Clairefontaine, Exacompta was always destined to use the best paper). The Exacompta company name was inspired from a combination of the French words comptabilité and exacte, which mean accounting and exact, respectively.

Those two values are represented clear as day in all their fine products, and took hold in their early days. Their original books were bound with durable and smooth paper and became synonymous with excellence. Nusse grew his personal company, Ets Charles Nusse, with Exacompta and in 1950 Clairefontaine was added to the group. Today, Exacompta is still run by the Nusse family, and they are now part of a larger group of several European paper manufacturing companies, including Rhodia and G. Lalo.

Working by the French philosophy “savoir vivre,” meaning knowledge of good life, Exacompta set out with an objective to make even the simplest tools well-designed and a pleasure to use. Through this mindset, Exacompta has carved a unique niche between paper and professional by manufacturing notebooks, datebooks, and filing accessories.

Professional Office Tools & Accessories

Exacompta notebooks and datebooks are perfect for the professional setting. Simple and sleek, most of the notebooks and datebooks are also refillable, making them customizable by nature. Fill your Exacompta with undated calendar sheets, plain pages, graphed pages, or mix and match to create a notebook that fits your needs!

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on

Exacompta datebooks can be filled with two unique types of paper that reiterate Exacompta’s original accounting focus. The first is Registre Azur. This paper has a mint green tint designed for ease on the eyes. The other paper is Ivoire Satine, a fine, lightweight paper with extraordinary strength.

Though notorious for their paper products and journals, Exacompta also makes phenomenal office accessories that aid in organization. Business professionals and students can find the perfect match for their organizational preference choosing between the Exaboard, Exafolio, and Exacard. Exacompta filing accessories are wear- and water-resistant and will protect important documents, plus accessories from the Green Filing Series are made from 80% polypro recycled materials!

With a focus of products that encourage professional development through organization and protection, Exacompta helps business as usual carry on with ease. A refreshing dose of simplicity in today’s complex world.

Monday Morning Review Round-up

21 May

Ink Reviews

PenInkCillin: Waterman Purple ink review

East, West, Everywhere: Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün (Old Golden Green)

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Tyler Dahl: Tidbit Notepad

Filofax Fixation: Moleskine Beijing City Notebook

Plannerisms: Paperblanks Grande Weekly plannerWoman’s Success Choice Planner 2013

Notebook Stories: Review and Giveaway: Monsieur Notebook

Gourmet Pens: Daycraft Executive Pocket Diary

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Multi Pen Dimensions: Moleskine Click 0.5 mm Rollerball Pen

Well Appointed Desk: Incense Cedar Sierra Slip-OnMuji 0.5 Retractable (Don’t LIME if I do)

Pen & Design: Noodler’s Konrad Flex Pen

No Pen Intended: Sailor A.S. Manhattaner’s NY Artists Guild Fountain Pen & Uni-ball Jetstream Color Series Ballpoint 

East, West, Everywhere: Zebra Airfit Jell

From the Pen Cup: Monteverde One Touch Engage Retractable Ink Ball Pen

Gourmet Pens: Zebra Jimnie RT Ballpoint Pen

Paper Lovestory: pilot frixion vs muji erasables

Economy Pens: Deleter Neopiko Line 2 – .2 mm

Lead Head Pencils: The Pen that Finally Fits In


How to Write: Thank You Notes

17 May

Thank you notes do not serve the purpose of simply naming (and sometimes also describing) a gift someone sent you. More often than not though, that is exactly what we send out, if we manage to send anything at all:

“Dear Friend, thank you so much for the beautiful red silk scarf. I love it.”

Not so great, right?

This post in the How To Write series is meant to help you write thank you notes well. And we begin by understanding one subtle difference: a thank you note is different from just a thank you. They are not one and the same.

Four Tips for a Proper Thank You Note

First, one should always acknowledge the specific item you received. The reason this is important is because it shows you paid attention to the specific gift the giver chose for you. This is especially important in group giving situations; like a party where someone receives a significant number of gifts. You want to thank each person for the specific gift they gave you and show that you paid attention to who gave what.

Second, it is very good practice to mention why you love the gift, or why the gift was meaningful to you. If you received a beautiful red silk scarf and you appreciate its quality, mention that aspect of it. If you received something like a gift card, something appropriate and apt to say is that you are so glad the giver gave you that option.

Third, anytime you can make the note about the giver, you should. Even in just a small way. For example, if your incredibly artistic friend whom you admire so much gave you a gift, you could write something like, “Thank you so much for the beautiful red silk scarf. I have always admired your eye for beauty and your ability to create it, too. This scarf will serve as a great reminder to me of your talent I so admire and our friendship.”

Sometimes, we receive gifts from people we aren’t exactly fond of. Sometimes, people give gifts not by choice, but by obligation. Hopefully, those instances are rare for you, but how do you thank someone who gave you a gift you don’t like? And you know they don’t like you? The answer is simple: you do the same way as above.

However, that brings me to my fourth tip: tell the truth. If you love the gift, you want to express that sentiment. If you didn’t like the gift, don’t hype it up, just say thank you in a short and sweet note. Don’t include any untruths in your note.

An example of a Thank You Note in an office setting.

Appropriate Timing

When do you send thank you notes? Anytime someone gives you a gift valued at about $5 or more is a good practice. If someone gives you something, no matter how small, and includes a tag or card, then 100% of the time should you send a written thank you note.

If you are ill and people stop by, leaving you things to make you feel better or perform some other act of care and concern, you should write a thank you note. If someone close to you passes away, you should write a note to anyone who came to the funeral or visitation, left flowers or made a donation. But as with all notes, send a thank you note anytime you intuitively feel you should or anytime you just want to.

Thank you notes are a simple and elegant thing. They serve as powerful acknowledgement of our appreciation and respect, and they allow us to take time to really, truly offer thanks to someone else.


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 fourth article in the How to Write series. Read the others here:

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes

How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes


Fresh from Clairefontaine: Collection 1951 Notebooks

16 May

Clairefontaine 1951 Vintage Notebooks on

Introducing Clairefontaine’s Collection 1951 Pocket Vintage Notebooks to fans!

Based off Clairefontaine‘s original notebook from 1951, you can choose from the pocket size, 3.5 by 5.5 inches, or the large size, 5.75 by 8.25 inches. They even have the original textured, brightly hued covers, plus Clairefontaine’s renowned 90 gsm paper for a smooth writing experience. The side staple bound notebook comes with 48 sheets of ruled paper, plus a labeling box on the front of the cover for efficient organization.

Clairefontaine Pocket Vintage Notebooks - Set of 2 - on

Clairefontaine Pocket Vintage Notebooks - Set of 2 - on

Available in a set of 2 notebooks, choose from black, red, blue, green, turquoise, pink or purple covers … or choose them all! The Clairefontaine Collection 1951 Pocket Vintage Notebook will fast become your go-to notebook for daily use in the office, at home, and on all your adventures!

Clairefontaine Large Vintage Notebooks - Set of 2 - on

Clairefontaine Large Vintage Notebooks - Set of 2 - on

Quo Vadis: Planners Made Perfect

15 May

Quo Vadis Brand Story on

In 1952, the commonplace planner was kept in a diary style format, with activities logged on one page for every day. A French doctor by the name of F.G. Beltrami was struggling to manage the activities of both a hospital and a dental school in one of these diary-style planners as the format simply didn’t suit his needs. Frustrated with the lack of planning abilities in a diary, Beltrami attempted combining the ideas of a calendar and journal.

Quo Vadis Datebook Refills on

See all Quo Vadis Datebook Refills on

After some brainstorming and blueprints he began hand-stamping his own weekly layout on the blank pages of a journal, resembling what is known today as the “Agenda Planning Diary.” Noticing that friends and family were also delighted by this planner, Beltrami decided to leave his profession as a doctor in 1954 in order to start selling planners; thus, Quo Vadis was born!

The phrase “Quo Vadis,” derives from Latin roots, and literally translates to “Where are you going?” With Beltrami’s new planner format, you could see “your week planned at a single glance” and actually answer that question! This insight built the foundation for Quo Vadis and transformed the modern planner, but with nearly every notebook company following this format today, how does Quo Vadis stand out?

One reason is that they use Clairefontaine paper. Produced from a mill in Vosges, France, this paper is a delight to write on due to its smooth surface and eco-friendly features. Also, a large number of Quo Vadis planners are refillable, meaning that when that one journal you absolutely love is full, you don’t have to quit using it! Quo Vadis are truly the planner experts. Features such as micro-perforated tear-off corners allow you to easily find the date, and little details like the time frame for each day make organization amazingly easy.

Quo Vadis Habana Large Ruled Journal 85g on

Quo Vadis Habana Large Ruled Journal 85g

As an extremely busy man, F.G. Beltrami had a true sense of the importance of time management. An excerpt from an old promotional brochure for Quo Vadis, posted on the official QV blog, expresses his advanced understanding of it:

“Too much to do, and too little time to do it. It seems like that is what work, and modern life in general, is all about. That is why we have to fight back, and regain a sense of control.

As a doctor, I have a pragmatic outlook on people. We are all just simply… people. We all tend to do what is easy rather than what is more difficult.

I believe in taking simple steps to accomplish what is truly important.”

As an organizational companion, Quo Vadis helps you remember all the little things that always add up! With myriad daily, weekly, and monthly formats (not to mention journals, too), Quo Vadis is a staple you’ll always want to have on hand. Whether it’s a lunch meeting this Thursday or your personal goal to be at the top of the company by the end of the year, with Quo Vadis planners, you know where you’re going!

Monday Morning Review Round-up

14 May

Notebook Reviews

Gentian Osman: The Fabriano EcoQua Notebook

Plannerisms: Guest post from Mstraat: Graphic Image weekly notebook

Ethereal Voices: Moleskine Pocket Storyboard

East, West, Everywhere: Fabriano EcoQua A5 dot rule

Life Imitates Doodles: Paperblanks Dayplanner 2012

Gourmet Pens: Rite in the Rain Notebooks & Field Pouch & Tactical Clicker All Weather Pen & Field Notes Memo Books

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Rhonda Eudaly: The Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm in Pink Ink

Palimpsest: TWSBI Diamond 540 Fountain Pen Review

A Penchant for Paper: Pentel EnerGel Euro 0.35mm Black

Economy Pens: Staples Strata .5 Needle Point

Tyler Dahl: Pilot Petit 1Guest review: Pilot Petit 1

PenInkCillin: TWSBI Diamond 530 parts

Gourmet Pens: Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point Raden

No Pen Intended: Ohto Rook Fountain Pen & Pentel RSVP Ballpoint Pen & Bic “For Her” Gel Ink Pens

Does This Pen Make Me Look Fat?: My Very Favorite Pen

Ms. Logica: The Blackwing 602 Pencil

Dave’s Mechanical Pencil: Eversharp Dollar Mechanical Pencil

Pencil Revolution: Indelible Pencil Comparison, Short Version

Contrapuntalism: Eberhard Faber “Van Dyke”

Happy Mother’s Day!

13 May

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

11 May

1 –>  One of our favorite bloggers to follow, Dana from Save Snail Mail, had such a sweet and inspirational post last week! She  went to her local market with ready-to-send letter sets so passers-by could sit down for a moment, write a letter, and pop it into the mail. All in one easy step from a fellow snail mail lover.

2 –> Heather from A Penchant for Paper has some great tips on Developing a Daily Writing Habit.

3 –> Julie O. hosts the May Carnival of Pen, Pencil, & Paper!

4 –> Stephanie at Rhodia Drive chats about the consistency of her favorite pen and paper choices.

5 –> Pentel found an amazingly creative dress / pen combination you’ve got to check out!

6 –> Dorie Clark, a contributor at, discusses journaling as the #1 productivity tool you’re missing out on.

7 –> Matt had a lovely post on his blog, A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook, with a great tribute list of books about mothers for Mother’s Day (which is this coming Sunday!).