Whether it’s for a close family member, a faraway penpal, or your busy boss, Rhodia No. 12 notepads are easy to gift! Staplebound with 80 gsm acid-free paper, Rhodia notepads 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 for drawing, doodling, note-taking, and list-making. At 3.375 x 4.75 inches, the Rhodia Top Staplebound No. 12 Notepad is the perfect little notepad to pop into your luggage, stash in your purse or briefcase, and leave on your desk at work!
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.
What do you get the mother that says she’s already got everything she needs in the world (a.k.a. you)? Or the mother allergic to most flowers, averse to chocolate because she’s training for a marathon next week, or so crafty she puts that Hallmark card to shame just by looking at it?
Simple: you get her something that connects with her personally on a daily basis and keeps you two in touch that much more. Such as a Fisher Bullet Pen for the mom-on-the-go; a Moleskine Passions Recipe Journal for the relentless cook; a Paperblanks Embellished Wrap Journal for the mother still working on her novel; or G. Lalo Verge de France Correspondence Sets for the mother halfway across the country.
These are just a few ideal Mother’s Day Gifts we personally know and love. Click the image below to go to EuropeanPaper.com and browse around for that perfect gift for your own mum.
Two of my favorite things on the planet are books and letters. About two years ago, I created a way to combine them—a Book Letter. It sounds simple enough, and it can be as elaborate or straightforward as you’d like to make it, but I promise it will be something treasured forever by the recipient of your choice.
What is a Book Letter?
I love writing letters and far prefer the long missive that goes on for some pages, like a long, in-depth conversation with someone you enjoy spending time with. Short notes have their place, of course, but long letters are definitely more of a treasure to hold onto and re-read. However, long letters take time and thought, and in this busy age of quick text messages and emails, it is quite rare for people to write extremely long letters, especially in one sitting.
Enter the Book Letter. Basically, you take a small notebook (2 by 4 inches, or pocket-sized, which is 3.5 by 5.5 inches), dedicate it to one person, and start writing letters in it whenever you get a chance. They can be long or short, and once the book is filled up, it’s time to send it off to the lucky person. This is the first iteration of the Book Letter—simple, efficient, and practical.
If you’d like to develop a more complex Book Letter, give it some depth. Keep an eye out during your daily routine for items the recipient would like. Perhaps such items like a newspaper clipping of a review for a play they like; snippets of a friendship poem you came across online; a quote that reminded you of the person, some funny cartoons and other small paper “tuck-ins.” These can be glued into the small notebook, taped onto a page, or just tucked in.
Once you get the hang of it, each Book Letter will be easier and quicker to create. Start deciding ahead of time what else will go in your Book Letter other than just your handwritten letters. Keep a small collection of items to tuck in the next Book Letter, as well as some small notebooks whenever the feeling grabs you to start a new one.
My Book Letter Process
Personally, when I start a new Book Letter to someone, the first thing I do is decorate the inside page with the name of the person I am sending the letter to. I typically use calligraphy pens and stickers to do this and often add the date.
Next, I choose a theme for the book letter—anything from Victorian elegance or going “green” to highlighting a specific season or holiday. (I use scrapbooking supplies for much of this.) Once I’ve chosen the theme, I go through the notebook, page by page, and add stickers and borders. If I was remotely artistic, I would add sketches and drawings. So if you are artistic, this is a great place to show off your talent.
Now it’s time to decide what “tuck ins” will go with this letter. Maybe it’s pictures of my kids opening their Christmas presents or watering the plants in the garden. Maybe it’s a newspaper article or a magazine column of interest. It might be a funny cartoon that made you laugh or a copy of a quote from a book that had an impact on you. Truly, there are no limits. Just choose something that reflects who you are and who you are writing to.
Finally, I start writing the letter itself, skipping around the tuck-ins and filling up the pages. I write a few pages and then put the letter away for a day or two before adding more words. Eventually the Book Letter is ready—a true gift for whomever it is sent to.
Ready to try your own book letter? Start by choosing a small notebook. Some great examples include Apica’s CD-10, 11 and 15 Series, Moleskine’s Volant Notebooks, and Rhodia’s Pocket Unlimited Notebooks. These notebooks come in all sizes, with as few as 10-12 pages or as many as 150. They can be lined or unlined. What kind you choose is up to you, but remember that filling up much more than 30 pages or so can be challenging. I recommend starting small.
Book Letter Tips
Next, add stickers, pictures, drawings/illustrations, whatever you would like to decorate your pages. Finally, start writing. You might write two pages today, put it away for a week and then add a few more. I’ve been known to complete a book letter in one sitting—and take almost a month.
Remember that a book letter is like an art project – there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is simply YOUR way of doing it. It will reflect your thoughts and your time and there are few gifts as worthwhile as that.
Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.
Christmas proves to be challenging for me most years. I don’t enjoy shopping, but I want to give personal and meaningful gifts, especially to my family. I’m a firm believer in organized living, with a little crazy chaos, so planners with my own personal added twists allow me to share myself with my family and give gifts that last all year long.
- Pre-date a planner. My elderly father struggles to remember dates so a pre-dated planner that he can keep open on his kitchen counter reminds him of important family days. Since most of my family doesn’t live near my father, he likes to mail cards. A strategically placed note the week before someone’s birthday allows him time to purchase and mail a card, using the addresses I’ve included in the planner. Then a notation on the special day serves to remind him to make a call, if he’d like. My sisters also appreciate the time I spend filling in important dates in their organizers which saves them significant time and energy.
- Something to look forward to. Like so many other people, my husband enjoys concerts, plays and other special events. As well as pre-dating his planner, I note the details for date nights that I have planned throughout the year. Many tickets may be purchased in advanced, often online, so it’s not difficult to paperclip tickets in the day planner on the appropriate day. You could do this with sporting events, airline tickets, hotel reservations or any other diversions for the coming year. If you can’t afford to purchase tickets ahead of time, you can note the event and purchase the tickets later. You can even surprise the one you love by adding to the day planner as the year progresses.
- Sentiments mean so much. My daughter thrives on positive messages. She likes to know that she is loved and thought of regularly. Giving her a planner with sweet notes written on different dates throughout means the world to her and provides thoughtful reminders of her specialness. I also include favorite sayings, quotes or verses to encourage her. Using a variety of notes from family and friends turns the planner into a touchstone as she is away from home at college. A gift card to the bookstore or ice cream shop never hurts either!
- Other unique touches. An ordinary planner can become an amazing gift with a few little additions. A treasured photo secured to the front inside cover and random photos throughout the planner brings smiles 365 days a year. If your recipient enjoys humor, consider adding jokes or comics at different places during the year. An orange and red leaf tucked into the first day of autumn or a child’s school valentine slipped into February can offer sweet surprises to a practical gift.
As with any present, the personal touches added to a day planner can take it beyond conventional and straight to irreplaceable. Imagine one gift that can be adapted to many people in your life and continues giving throughout the year! It’s a perfect gift.
Meet the Writer: Beth Hempton is a freelance writer and educator residing on Johns Island in South Carolina. She writes about education, health, food and lifestyle topics for websites, blogs, e-zines and print magazines. Having worn many writing hats from authoring curriculum to newspaper journalism, she views writing as a life skill and as an art form.
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.
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.
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!
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.)