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The Magical Construct of a Paperblanks Wrap Journal

19 Feb

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Ever wonder about the details that make a Paperblanks Wrap Journal so special? Here’s a behind the scenes look at their construction.

1. Foil stamped gold borders
2. The tightly sewn binding prevents loose papers
3. The antique, hand-worn finish evokes the timeless beauty of Renaissance-period manuscripts
4. Elegant & secure magnetic wrap binding
5. Beautiful laid, acid-free paper
6. Cloth ribbon placeholder
7. Rear pocket for extra clippings, tickets, and other mementos
8. Works wonderfully with fountain pens, like this LAMY 2000

 

You’ll also love the embellished manuscript journals from history’s favorite cultural zeitgeists. Discover all Paperblanks »

How To Write: Holiday Newsletter

18 Nov

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Oh, the holiday newsletter! We love it, we hate it, it’s like Facebook on steroids. An entire year boiled down to a few paragraphs and studded with superlatives.  And clichés.  And throw-away sentences that simply confirm the status quo.  And you know that you’re better than that. That this year—this year—you’ll take the time to sit down amidst the increasing holiday madness and craft a thoughtful, meaningful letter that doesn’t make friends and acquaintances want to rip out their hair. And believe us, we want you to.

So, here are a few tips we’ve developed over the years for writing a great holiday letter.

1.       One page.  Just one. And no more than a handful of photos, please. We want photos large enough that we can see you and your family and brief paragraphs that we don’t get lost in.

2.       Consider your audience: family and far-flung friends are probably uninterested in the day-to-day elements of your work (they may not even remember what you do).  Professional acquaintances may be bowled over—and not in a good way—by familial anecdotes and intimacies.

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Here are a few helpful tips to find a little holiday humor from Blurb.com

3.       Don’t brag. Don’t brag. Don’t brag. It should be simple, but somehow it never is. Just remember: the holiday newsletter is not your family’s resume. We know you’re awfully proud of that new boat, setting a personal record at the marathon, and the kids’ accomplishments, but a little humor or even self-deprecation can go a long way!

4.       Don’t brag, part II: Tell us a story. Pick 3-5 main events of the year, and find the intriguing element—not necessarily the achievement—of each. Tell us about the monster fish that got away, how you met up with old friends and explored the city after the marathon, or how the four-year-old soccer team looks like nothing more than a scramble of puppies piling on top of the ball.

5.       Don’t brag, part III: Keep it vague. No one really wants to know that stellar SAT score; just tell us that Jacob Jr. has been accepted at Berkeley or Michigan State and let it go. In the same vein: mention the promotion but avoid particulars about the raise.

6.       Keep it light. Yes, we know that bad things happen and we want to sympathize and support you. But an entire newsletter devoted to sad, bad news is a little too Debbie Downer for the cheery holiday season. Likewise, avoid particulars that might upset the faint of heart: let us know that the surgery went well, definitely, but leave out the specifics of a difficult rehab.

7.       Edit and proofread. Yeah, we know. It’s cliché advice, but oh-so-important. Our personal go-to for this is reading the letter aloud (or, better yet, having a friend or family member read it aloud). Awkward sentences and difficult punch-lines will instantly stand out, as will too-formal phrasing. You should still sound like you, after all. Also, don’t let AutoCorrect make its own inadvertent punch-lines: read it again after spell check!

Finally, handwrite the salutation and a brief, personal message at the bottom: wish the recipients luck on upcoming travels with a teething child, ask after the new house or hobby, check in on how the thesis is going and the broken leg is mending. Remind them of how your relationship matters enough to exchange these holiday missives, and wish them the very best of holiday seasons.

Shop fabulous stationery for the perfect holiday greeting right here »

The Well-Appointed Desk #3 : Colorful Office Inspirations with Leuchtturm1917

1 Nov

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We’re always up for a little office design inspiration! Check out our friend Ana Reinert’s Well-Appointed Desk Pinterest board, and shop our favorite colorful must-have, Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, datebooks and accessories »

Field Test : Moleskine Beer Journal at the Great American Beer Festival

25 Oct

Moleskine-Beer-Journal-goes-to-Great-American-Beer-FestivalDogfish Head calls their brews “analog beers for the digital age”.  Nowadays, when there’s an app for everything, even recording your impressions of a beer or a style you want to try brewing, the Moleskine Beer Journal is a fun and rather unique way to record all things related to beer, much like Dogfish Head’s fine ales.

I wanted to put this journal, one of Moleskine’s Passion Journals, through the paces to see how it held up. Fortunately, the perfect event was just around the corner on the calendar: the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado – the superbowl of beer festivals, known to sell out in a half-hour or less. The festival features more the 3,100 different beers from 624 breweries. While there are beer festivals that put out more volume (Oktoberfest in Munich), few can match the GABF for sheer variety. Moleskine-Beer-Journal-European-Paper-Quote

Indeed, the variety of beer presents a great challenge for a beer nerd like me. The GABF serves beer a single ounce at a time. This means that over the course of an evening you can easily sample dozens of beers. For me the question is: with such a number of beer styles from across the country, how do I ever keep track and remember what I liked the next day? Enter the Moleskine Beer journal.

The categories on the tasting pages are similar to the judging score sheets used by the American Homebrewer’s Association for judging beer competitions. There are spaces on the tasting pages for noting style, colour, appearance, nose, taste and overall opinion. But the tasting sheet also includes places to mark the ABV, information about the brewery, how it was served (draft, bottle), where & when you tasted the beer and what you think the most appropriate glass would be. One of my favorite features is a sort of “taste wheel” where you can quickly mark the intensities of common flavor elements.

At first using the journal was a little frustrating – entering the floor of the GABF is like releasing a kid into a candy store with a blank check. You want to try everything. Right. Now. It was hard to take my beer, get out the journal, sniff it, write, hold it up the light, write, taste it, write and then record my overall thoughts. Then I realized that this was the journal doing exactly what I ultimately wanted it to do: slow me down and make me truly consider and really enjoy what I was drinking. By the end of the first session I had tried 35 one-ounce samples (or the rough equivalent of three bottles of beer). What’s more, I had a good record of what I liked and would buy if I saw it in the store or on the route of some road-trip. And the next morning? I woke up without a hangover, ready to return for GABF’s Saturday session.Moleskine-Beer-Journal-European-Paper-Open-Book-Writing

This Moleskine Beer Journal also has tabs for tracking beers in your “cellar”, beer recipes, brewpubs and bars you visit and homebrewing. I haven’t yet had a chance to try out the homebrewing or cooking recipes, but I did receive the beer journal right before a whirlwind trip to the French Quarter in the Big Easy. They had a fun little place called Crescent City Brewpub. If you ever find yourself in New Orleans, I can tell you what beers you should zero in on at this pub.

Finally it was time to take the cellar tab for a spin. While most beers are best when tried fresh, certain high alcohol and sour beers, much like a good wine, benefit from a few months of aging. Trying the cellar tab meant I had to delve into my special beer collection (oh the things I must do to write a blog!). Since it was October I pulled out the Smashed Pumpkin from Shipyard Brewing from my home state o’ Maine. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten when I bought the bottle, so that space remained blank but I was still able to record the pumpkin, clove and nutmeg smells in the full-bodied brew and give it a 4 of 5 stars.

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There are still many pages left to fill in this beer journal. Someday I may ditch my 2006 cell phone and get a smartphone with beer apps galore but, for now, I will deeply enjoy being analog in a digital age. Isn’t that what following your passion is really all about? Cheers and happy sampling.

SHOP THE MOLESKINE BEER JOURNAL »
Shop all 16 Moleskine Passions Journals »

Great AMerican Beer Festival Moleskine Beer Journal European Paper

Meet the Writer :  Knud Hermansen is an engineer, marathoner, beer aficionado and five-time volunteer at the Great American Beer Festival. Originally from the great state of Maine, you can usually find him racing along one of the many trails around Boulder, trying his hand at a vegetarian recipe, or working to make your utility companies run a little greener.  

Notes & Quotes : Maude Hart Lovelace

2 Aug

Save 10% on All Fisher Pens

1 Aug

Save on Fisher Pens for a limited time! Take 10% off using the coupon code FISHER10 at checkout. Enjoy! Shop All Fisher Pens »

Notes & Quotes: Growing Up with Pablo Picasso

26 Jul

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Notes & Quotes: Making Art with Robert Henri

19 Jul

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Notes & Quotes: Living with Marilyn Grey

13 Jul

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Notes & Quotes: Perspective with Hemingway

5 Jul

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Notes & Quotes: Inspiration with Bertrand Russell

28 Jun

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Notes & Quotes: Writing with E.L. Doctorow

21 Jun

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