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Archive | October, 2012

NEW from Palomino: Luxe Folio Cover + Sketchbook

31 Oct

Palomino Luxury Medium Sketchbook & Folio Cover (5 x 8.25) on

We’ve fallen head over heels for the new Palomino Luxury Medium Sketchbook & Folio Cover (5 x 8.25). It’s a fantastic, luxurious, and hip Folio Cover for Palomino sketchbooks that can be bought separate and inserted in the cover. The high quality, super soft faux leather cover also offers a place to store your writing tools, has a magnetic closure, and brings a strong presence to your office desk, in your briefcase or backpack, and at home.

  • Features holders for eight pencils (the Palomino Mixed Grade Graphite Set fits perfectly!), one eraser, and one sharpener.
  • Comes in a Palomino embossed gift box.
  • Easy to travel with to keep your essentials nearby.
  • Replaceable sketchbook has 96 acid-free pages of 120 gsm weight.

Guest Post: Top 5 Areas for Inspiration Away from Home

29 Oct

Creativity never stops, even with summer fading into memory and fall approaching rapidly. While the weather is cooler it still doesn’t stop people from drawing inspiration from their daily lives. Whether you’re writing, sketching, or art journaling you can draw on your creativity at any moment. Many people have certain places where they are more creative than others, but sometimes you have those moments when you just draw a blank.

Well, what’s better than getting inspired from everything that is already around you? Based on my experiences, these are my top 5 areas for inspiration away from home:

Parks - Are you an outdoorsy type of person? Whether you flourish outside or need a little push, parks are a wonderful area to get inspired. People are constantly moving, you’re surrounded by nature, and the fresh air can all help to stir up some creative juices. Just take a few moments to capture snippets that you see because those snippets can develop into something more. The best part is you can always refer back to your observations for later use.

Malls/Restaurants - Do you enjoy a lot of active stimuli? Malls are great for that because you can observe a wide variety of people in a short amount of time. People are constantly walking by and engaging with friends or family. Take notice of the details of the situation as those people can be used as inspiration for your creativity. I put restaurants next to malls because they are in similar realms where you can observe several groups of people in a short amount of time. Whether you’re dining at a nice place or getting a quick lunch you can partially eavesdrop on conversations as something you hear could spark an idea.

Libraries - Besides the obvious (observing people around the library), you can read! Most people at the library probably already have their noses stuck in a book. When you’re out of creative juices, pull out a novel, magazine, or book that sounds interesting to you. Who knows, reading the literature and exploring it can lead to your own ideas. For those not in the mood to flip through a book, use a computer and just start browsing the web. The libraries where I live provide computers for research, you just need a library number which is free to obtain. (Computer availability may vary depending on your location.) If you’re still stuck you can always ask a librarian, they are always there to help you out.

Take a Walk - While you’re out and about shopping or getting some exercise, keep a piece of yourself alert to your local surroundings. If you’re taking a walk around your neighborhood you can let your mind wander or you might want to get to know the people who live near you. Your neighbors might have a quirk or a story that may inspire you. You might also gain a lifelong friend. If you live in a city, getting lost in it can be fun. You can observe the artistic architecture of various buildings or the meticulous landscapes surrounding them. Cities are usually bustling with activities, you just have to dive in and interact with them. Some of the greatest minds were inspired by their local surroundings.

Fairs/Museum - Another inspiring place where you are surrounded by many people or by culture are fairs or carnivals. You can observe people, enjoy the music/conversations, and eat good food – all wonderful inspirations! There is always something going on and it’s up to you to find out what it is and how you can use it for inspiration. Museums are wonderful to gain inspiration from because they contain works by some of the greatest creative minds. Surrounding yourself with their works can be an indirect way to get you to open your mind and allow it to imagine the impossibilities into possibilities.

Gathering inspiration from these places can be a cinch on good days. You might want to note that most of these places can get crowded. If you can’t handle large crowds you can always move to a more quiet area. You can find yourself a less traveled road for your observations if you’re a creative introvert who doesn’t enjoy large crowds or too much interaction.

I usually find an empty area or sit on a distant bench for observations. Of course, everyone has their own preferences and may dive into the experiences only to distance yourself later or vice versa. There is no wrong or right way to get inspired. As long as it works for you then you’re doing it right. Just don’t forget to take notes or you might forget! (You have a notebook or sketchbook on you, don’t you? If not go get one!) Now my friends, go forth and create!


Meet the Writer: Lis (Aisazia) Huey is a Notebook/Sketchbook/Comic/Manga lover. A swimmer and a dreamer. A story enthusiast with the dream of telling and sharing stories through art. She has been an avid fan of web comics, indie comics, and fantasy/sci fi novels since high school and since then has always wanted to create one of her own. She feels that everyone has at least one story to tell, but some may have more than one. She hopes to be able to share her hopefully fresh and original stories and entertain my audiences at the same time. To find more about Lis, find her at:, and


We’re Crazy for Rhodiarama! Take 15% OFF for a Limited Time

27 Oct

Rhodia Rhodiarama Pocket Webnotebook (3.5 x 5.5) on

It’s time to share the Rhodiarama love! For a limited time, you can get any color of the Rhodiarama Pocket Webnotebook for 15% off when you use code WEBBIE15 at checkout.

Share the love with your friends & family while this coupon lasts!

ACME Studio: Pens as Famous as Their Designers

24 Oct

Shop all ACME Studio Pens on EuropeanPaper.comACME Studio pens are functional pieces of pop culture and design that lend inspiration to everyday life. Constant reminders to keep an open mind, ACME’s tasteful and fun pens embody ideas from some of the world’s most groundbreaking design minds.

ACME Studio is a design company that was founded in 1985 by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife, Lesley Bailey. The company began when Adrian and Lesley launched a limited edition jewelry collection with Peter Shire, a member of the world-renowned Memphis Design Group. Writing utensils become a natural complement to ACME’s ideal of inspiring creativity in daily life, and became a waypoint for the company to collaborate with creatives in every industry.

ACME’s commitment to design led to such collaborations as with Frank Lloyd Wright, Stefan Sagmiester, and Michael Graves, to name a few. The diversity of artists from a multitude of design backgrounds ensures ACME’s outstanding catalog of unique pens that live up to the collaborator’s standards.

Read the full ACME Studio Brand Story on our blog here and shop the full line here!

Smile! 20% Off Cavallini Erasers

22 Oct

Get 20% off Cavallini Erasers this week on

Add a bit of humor and lightness to your day with Cavallini & Co.’s sweet and simple erasers. Each high quality rubber eraser is individually cello-wrapped and made in Spain. Leave no trace and easily erase mistakes with the 2.5 by 1.5 inch rubber erasers. Whether you use it on office documents or art projects, these erasers will wipe away all issues and leave you with a clean slate and a fun smile.

Take 20% off Cavallini Erasers with the coupon code OMG20 at checkout for a limited time only. Choose from the following designs:

Cavallini Erasers on

Cavallini Erasers on

Cavallini Erasers on

Cavallini Erasers on

Love Cavallini’s Calendars? Fall for Cavallini 2013 Planners, Too

20 Oct

Shop all Cavallini 2013 Planners on

Portable and easy to find with their distinctive vintage cover designs, Cavallini’s 2013 Planners will all inspire new ways to plan your year.

With a horizontal layout of one week across two pages and monthly planning pages, you have plenty of space to keep track of notes, appointments, and daily inspirations. Small features such as the black elastic closure and soft cream paper enhance the weekly planner and make it distinctly Cavallini. The Cavallini 2013 Weekly Planners also include sections for addresses and notes, plus transit maps for Paris, London, and New York. Enjoy planning out the new year with Cavallini’s perfectly pocket-sized weekly planner.

Exclusively from Japan: Apica 25th Anniversary Premium Notebooks

17 Oct

Shop Apica Premium and CD Notebooks on

It’s love at first write! Exclusively available at, Apica Premium Notebooks are in celebration of Apica’s 25th anniversary.

Indulge yourself with the incredibly smooth paper of the Apica Premium CD Notebooks and you’ll be challenged to find another notebook with such a high quality vellum. Use the thin, sophisticated notebook for class notes, at work during meetings, or at home for personal journaling.

The silky smooth, acid-free paper can handle pencil, ballpoint pens, and rollerball pens, and some fountain pens. For an added touch of class, we love the Baroque flourishes that frame the identification panel – perfect for writing in your name, project, subject, date, etc. Plus, the classy header on the front cover says it all: “Choose the paper like you would a good pen.”

With the sophisticated designs, modern styling, and a variety of colors and sizes, we guarantee you’ll fall head over heels for the whole Apica Premium CD Notebook series.

The Apica Premium CD Notebooks are available in three sizes (A6, A5, and B5) and each size comes in three versions: black cover with plain pages, blue cover with ruled pages, red cover with graph pages.

Become Enamored with Cavallini

15 Oct

Shop all Cavallini Calendars, Note Cards, Datebooks, Journals and more on EuropeanPaper

When I think of timeless elegance, the first thing that always comes to mind is Cavallini. Excellent quality, sturdy, timeless and classic.  You’ll never forget Cavallini after you see the decorative calendars, stationery, and other paper products adorned with detailed images of vintage prints, maps, and iconic places from around the world. Each is striking and unique. When I want to write a letter to a dear friend, something out of the ordinary, I immediately pick up a Cavallini product.

While Cavallini is known for their gorgeous paper and notecards, they pride themselves on their wide selection of stunning calendars.  Each calendar is a unique collection of striking art prints.  As you flip through each month, you immediately get transported to old-world New York, Paris, and everywhere in between.  You can get sucked into their Garden prints; you can even go Around the World.

I remember a few years back to when I was gifted a Cavallini desk calendar from a friend.  The thickness of the paper between my fingers, the crisp colours and texture, would transport me every month to a different place.  As an added bonus, the prints were so beautiful, it looked like I had hung up professional art prints in my office!  After the year was done, I carefully cut the prints out and saved them. I still have them, tucked away in my art space.

After that gift, I began to seek out Cavallini products – the rounded paperclips that perfectly and elegantly hold your papers, plus many other calendars – they reminded me of times gone by, of old suitcases covered in travel stickers. Recently I gave a friend who loves to travel the Amalfi coast calendar. She was ecstatic, and told me she didn’t want to use it because it was so beautiful!

It is a reminder of the past the way it should be seen – worn and captured perfectly.


Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and editor in the process of starting her own editorial services company, The Crafted Word. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking. 


Flash Sale! 25% Off Rhodia No.16 Notepad

12 Oct

Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 16 Notepad (6 x 8.25) Flash Sale on for Oct. 12-15

This weekend only, you can grab the Rhodia No. 16 Top Staplebound Notepad (6 by 8.25 inches) for 25% OFF!! Use code FLASH25 at checkout and save instantly. This coupon code is good for October 12 through 15 only, so hurry while supplies last.

The Rhodia No. 16 Top Staplebound Notepad is known for its 80 gsm, 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.

What You’ve Been Waiting For: Colored Moleskine 2013 Planners!

10 Oct

Moleskine 2013 Planners on

Moleskine fans, your wish is granted! The below Moleskine 2013 Planners are now available in different cover colors than just classic black and red.

DAILY – With plenty of space to fill in meetings, notes, and daily inspiration, the Moleskine 2013 Large Hard Cover Daily Planner (5 x 8.25 inches) is the dated day-per-page planner/diary you’ve been looking for. Match it with your style and choose from Green, Violet, Orange, Magenta, Black or Red covers!

Stay organized with a fresh new page per day with the date in the upper hand corner of the page, plus a matching elastic closure and cloth ribbon placeholder. Each 2013 Large Hard Cover Daily Planner includes an address book insert, plus sewn binding to lay flat when open, and a rear expandable inner pocket to keep extra papers and receipts tucked safely inside.

WEEKLY – The Moleskine 2013 Large Horizontal Weekly Planner (5 x 8.25 inches), dated from January to December 2013, is not only available in the classic Moleskine Black Cover, now you can choose from Green, Violet, Orange, or Magenta covers, too!

This popular planner style is perfect to have the week in a quick view as it’s formatted with each week on a two-page spread: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the left page, Thursday, Friday and Saturday/Sunday on the right side. With a matching elastic closure and cloth ribbon placeholder, the 2013 Horizontal Weekly Planner will keep you organized while you’re on the go. Plus, the expandable inner pocket houses an address book insert that you can remove and use it again in the years to come.

Looking for a different size or style of Moleskine? Shop all Moleskine 2013 Planners here!
… And as an added bonus

For a limited time, Save 15% off Moleskine Writing Instruments with the purchase of any Moleskine Planner! Use code WRITE15


Learn Your Scales: Differentiating Between Pencil Graphite Grades

8 Oct

My students frequently ask me what the letters and numbers on the back of their pencils mean. The simple answer is that they refer to the graphite’s degree of hardness or softness. For this post I’ll write in general terms because many manufacturers use their own proprietary method of designation, and the letters can vary from company to company, and country to country. In America and in many European countries, the standard is that H designates a harder pencil, B designates a softer pencil, and an HB pencil is in the very middle of the spectrum of hard and soft.

Photo Courtesy of Leslie Herger for Pencil Grade Article for

Photo Courtesy of Less Herger

Most pencils that you buy for school or writing are usually an HB, even if that is not designated on their barrel. An HB pencil is very good for writing.  The lead sharpens quickly, and wears evenly, and is more difficult to break. In terms of pencil hardness, it’s middle-of-the-road. The coloration of the lead is that typical silvery gray color that comes to mind when you think of a pencil.

Stepping up the hardness a notch is an H pencil. These are a little bit harder than an HB pencil. When you apply the same pressure to an H and an HB pencil you will notice that the line of the H pencil is lighter than the HB pencil. Applying more pressure to the H pencil won’t make a darker line than an HB pencil.  An H pencil simply cannot lay down as much lead as a softer pencil. A 2H pencil makes an even lighter line.  Many brands of pencils have up to an 8H.  An 8H pencil produces a very light line, and wears at a very slow pace.

Why would one chose to use a harder pencil? A harder pencil wears more slowly than a softer pencil, the line doesn’t tend to smudge, but it erases with relative ease. The lighter line from a harder pencil is very useful to an artist who may want their initial sketch to disappear into their final media and not be seen or noticed. They are also a great choice if you want a pencil that writes smoothly but doesn’t smudge as easily as a softer pencil. One of the downsides to using a hard pencil is that it can leave an indent in the page if used with a lot of pressure.  This can make them more difficult to erase.

A grade B pencil is softer than an HB pencil. The lead tends to go onto the paper more smoothly and with less pressure. When more pressure is applied you can add a lot more graphite without gouging into the page. The B pencil is darker than the HB pencil. The B pencil is a useful tool for shading. A 2B pencil is even softer than the B pencil. Even less pressure is used to get darker areas of shading. Pencils can range up to an 8B or 9B in softness. An 8B pencil produces a very dark smooth line with very little pressure.

Photo Courtesy of Leslie Herger for Pencil Grade Article for

Photo Courtesy of Less Herger

Softer pencils are used by artists to get darker dark areas in drawings. If you are writing with softer pencils you will find you can write for a longer session with a B pencil as the graphite is smoother and takes less pressure to apply than an HB pencil. The trade-off is that the B pencil wears more quickly, requires more frequent sharpening, and smudges much more easily than the HB pencil.

Artists select their pencil types to best suit their individual artistic needs.  Watercolorists use a HB or H pencil with a light hand to allow them to lay down washes of color without the pencil interfering in the final piece. Someone using pencil as their main drawing tool might use 2H (hard) all the way up to 8B (soft) to avoid the glare that accompanies using heavy pressure with pencil.  An acrylic or oil painter, on the other hand, can use whatever pencil is handy or skip it for charcoal, which also comes in degrees of hardness and softness.  Either way, the paint will cover it up.

For fine detail work I use a KUM long point sharpener to bring my pencils to a long-wearing point that resists breakage. I find it works equally well on 2H all the way down to 6B pencils, which is not something I can say for every pencil sharpener.  If I’m going to be shading I’ll use a sharp craft knife to remove only the wood from my pencils.  I like to use a sharp H pencil to start my drawings, work very lightly, and then add additional areas of dark with progressively softer pencils. I discovered that process this process works for me through a lot of trial and error and experimentation over the years.

I encourage all of my students to play with their pencils, and get to know how they work. Through experimentation and time you’ll find a process of using the many grades of pencils that suit your individual artistic needs the best. Grab some pencils and a sketchbook and try them!


Meet the Writer: Less Herger is the owner and writer behind and co-founder of She’s been making art for as long as she can remember and can’t imagine a day without her pen and ink.


Have a Ball & Add to Your Lamy Family

3 Oct

Add to Your Lamy Family with Rollerballs & Ballpoints on

We’re thrilled to add more Lamy pens to our site, just for you! Now the uber-popular Lamy Safari Fountain Pen is available in a Rollerball and Ballpoint version.

Meet your new favorite rollerball: the Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen is ideal to use in all writing situations, whether it’s at home, in the office, or on the go. Made of sturdy ABS plastic, the Safari Rollerball’s unique design has a flexible wire clip, plus molded triangular grip for comfort when writing. The Safari Rollerball Pen uses Lamy’s M63 Refills and comes with a black refill already inserted in the pen so it writes right out of the box!

Love the smooth style of Lamy pens? Grab the Lamy Safari Ballpoint Pen to use around the office, for letter writing at home, and in your everyday life. Made of sturdy ABS plastic, the Safari Ballpoint’s unique design has a flexible wire clip, plus molded triangular grip for comfort when writing. The Safari Ballpoint Pen uses Lamy’s M16 Refills and comes with a black refill already inserted in the pen.

Plus, check out the transparent Lamy Vista Rollerball Pen! The Lamy Vista gives you an intimate look inside the rollerball pen as you write. With a clear, non-fade plastic pen body, the Vista Rollerball comes with Lamy’s Black M63 Refill that is a smooth writing experience right out of the packaging.