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Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

27 Jan

1 –>  Julie [The-Gadgeteer] asks what format you use when starting a new journal – analog or digital – and she provides some great digital options for those not familiar with them

2 –> Reena Jana [on SmartPlanet] published a Q&A with Moleskine America President, Marco Beghin, and delves into the paper world and beyond.

3 –> How many journals/notebooks do you have actively going at once? Nifty [Notebook Stories] sums up Steve’s [Recording Thoughts] blog posts on the topic here.

4 –> Penned House has a great notebook hack post on how he turned a Moleskine into an iPhone case. Check it out here.


 … This is completely random, but it’s cute, has a cat in it, and a ballpoint pen. … We got a little distracted.



5 –>  Here are a couple neat posts on journaling this week. The first is from Journal Addict asking what your journal style is, which was discovered via a quick quiz on Journal Tips. Both great sites to follow for more on journaling.

6 –> David [Because I Really Felt It] posted a really cool Russian Doll Letter Version #2 that has us inspired to play with the idea. You can check out his Version #1 here.

7 –>  We’ve been seeing Sharpie projects pop up everywhere lately. For example: 6 Ways To Create DIY Sharpie Wallpaper on; DIY Sharpie Tote on Sharpie’s Blog; Sharpie Snow Leopard Ottoman by LittlePinkMonster. And of course, you can always do a quick Sharpie search on for some inspiration.

8 –> We’ve also got a couple of contests going on right now – not to be missed! First up is our Moleskine Love Haiku Contest where you could win a Moleskine prize pack, and secondly, our Love Letters & Leuchtturm Planners Contest where you could be 1 of 4 winners to receive a Leuchtturm Weekly Planner!

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

20 Jan

1 –>  Laurie [Plannerisms] has a few lovely tips on how to use a monthly or weekly planner AND a daily planner at the same time.

2 –> Quo Vadis gives us a friendly reminder on New Year’s Resolutions and asks what yours are.

3 –> Misty [The Pen Thief] shared some great tidbits about Benjamin Franklin on his would-be birthday (which was Tuesday, Jan 17) that we had no clue about! Such as the fact that “he served as our nation’s first postmaster general in 1775!” Read her post for more neat information on Franklin. She also shared a neat post on the release of the Glacier National Park Stamp. If you are at all interested in stamps, you need to follow her blog for all the latest updates.

4 –> Andrea Joseph shared a lovely commissioned drawing of hers for a production of James and the Giant Peach that we are absolutely in love with! We remember that story from so many years ago .. and if you’ve never heard of Andrea before, you must check out her site for more incredible drawings & zines.

5 –> This is Colossal never fails in impressing us with their finds. First check out their post showcasing Molly Rausch‘s Beyond the Border postage stamp paintings; then see their Edible Gelatin Typography post by m-inspira; and last, but certainly not least, check out the beautiful post of Envelope Drawings by Mark Powell (one which is shown below).

Art by Mark Powell. Click the image to see more of his work on his website.

6 –> Troy [Penpalling Dad] wrote a very sincere post about why he penpals. Great inspiration to get started on penpalling, plus links to many penpal bloggers as well.

7 –>  We received a letter from Lucas [Lucas Writes] in response to our National Letter Writing Week shout-out, which was exciting! Thanks Lucas – you’ll get a response soon! Lucas also had a nice recap of his Letter Writing Week here.

8 –> We just had to include Margana [Inkophile] in today’s linky love, just for her headline: What Do Daleks, Goldfish And Rain Have In Common?

9 –> Millie [Ms. Logica] did a round-up of her 2012 Winter Pen Choices, which was curious as we had never considered different pens for different seasons. Do you swap out pens each season? If so, what do you base your decisions on? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section!

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

13 Jan

1 –>  Daisy Yellow had a nice post about “Taking Stock” of 2011 with her post showing off every single journal, sketchbook, and scrap notebook pulled out. Check it out here. Also, Laurie over at Plannerisms did a Planner Tally, which we have to admit is impressive! Have you ever done something similar to taking stock of all your planners, notebooks, or journals? If we pulled out every finished and in-use notebook around the office here, it’d get pretty crowded around here!


2 –> Leigh Reyes has a couple interesting post this week: One with a nod to her art sensei, and another showcasing the Caran d’Ache Grafcube.


3 –> Colossal has become one of our new favorite art and design blogs. Check out this wonderful fictional landscape creation from Kyle Kirkpatrick we first saw on This is Colossal.


4 –> Matt  [A Guy's Moleskine Notebook] had a great post outlining the World Book Night 2012 that’s coming up on 4/23/12. It’s an annual celebration “designed to spread a love of reading and books.” If you’re interested in participating, check out his post for the full list of books.


5 –> For all you ultralights out there (ultralight backpackers, we mean) we came across a neat Rite in the Rain Notebook Hack post by Stick. Which then led us to an even cooler Fisher Space Pen Refill Hack on Brian’s Backpacking Blog. Even if you’re not an outdoorsy type, these hacks are neat to check out to get a sense of the incredibly broad range of what people do with pens, paper, and notebooks.


6 –> Misty [The Pen Thief] found these adorable Animails, which look eerily similar to one she posted to Limner not too long ago actually. Read all about the flying pig here.


7 –>  From Dana [Save Snail Mail] we found out about LWA’s Mail Art contest to celebrate their 2,000th member! See Dana’s post on it here, and LWA’s deets about it here.


8 –> Margana [Inkophile] did a poll last month asking what your favorite ink brand was and not surprisingly Noodler’s came in first! It was pretty heavily weighted toward Noodler, but check out her post to see who came in #2-9.


9 –> And, of course, we have to do a call-out to Rhodia Drive’s Official 2012 Journal Swap. Long story short, Rhodia Drive will choose 12 people to each receive a large dotgrid webnotebook that the participants will then create art or write on a specified number of pages; then it’s on to another person for another set of pages. This repeats until the book is complete and it’s sent back to the original author. It sounds like a ton of fun so be sure to head over to their blog and sign up!


10 –> And we’ll leave you for the weekend with a lovely ink&paper video, as first seen on Felt & Wire’s blog.



Traveling “Outside of Myself” with a Moleskine Journal

15 Nov

Amy Rudberg sketchbook pages on

A sampling of pages from Rudberg's art journal.

One day I received an envelope from the Art House Co-op, which owns and manages The Brooklyn Art Library gallery in New York. I had applied to participate in their annual Sketchbook Project, which allows people from all over the world to create their writing and art in “sketchbooks.” Expecting an artist’s book with thick pages, I was surprised to find a small blank Moleskine journal in the envelope.

Since I had never completed a full artist’s book before, I needed inspiration—some creative spark—to get started. Created in the 1990s, Moleskine was based on the iconic black hardcover journals used by famous artists and writers, such as van Gogh, Picasso, and Hemingway, in their travels. Like these artists, I could showcase my work in a journal, but unlike them, my travels would take place in my imagination.

I stared at the journal and thought about how I was going to create my art in about half the size I was used to working with (this Moleskine was 5 x 8.25 inches). I could use any medium as long as the journal maintained the same dimensions when closed. (Some people in the past got around this restriction by creating poster-size pages that worked like fold-out maps.) I was determined to honor the tradition of using the Moleskine as a journal and not as an altered book.

The journal itself—a large plain Cahier—was simply a cardboard cover with stitching down the spine, and 40 blank sheets (80 pages) inside. On the front inside cover was an “Art House Library” pocket, with an inserted card. The card said “Shh… this is a library.” My name, location, a theme that I selected from a list (“Outside of myself”), barcode, and online location for my journal were printed on the inside back cover.

The inside cover of Rudberg's art journal.

I named the journal “Beside Myself” with the subtitle “modern life, nature, and everything else in between.” I wanted to review and provide commentary on what I had learned so far about art and life. I would pretend to be my doppelgänger looking over my shoulder while I worked.

I created a series of drawings and gave them playful names such as: my brain on art; unisex head and Warhol sketch; my favorite soap and emoto phone; one continuous puzzle and protection against the evil eye; heart is where the home is and heart coral; life is a maze and play the game of life; and odd couple Norma Desmond and Bozo the Clown.

In this journal, I included a range of media: prints, etchings, screenprints, and mixed-media art, using ink, colored pencils, paint, digital media, glue, tape, and acrylic medium. I then applied a fixative spray to each page so that the pages would not stick together. The pages remained intact and sturdy no matter what I did with them.

As I worked with my journal, I noticed that it was developing into a living thing – a personification of my creativity and an expression of my inner spirit. It was a sad day when I had to mail back my Moleskine journal, but I knew that it would continue to live on in my heart and in the “cloud.”


Meet the Writer: Amy A. Rudberg is a freelance writer/blogger and artist who lives and works in Chicago. Her interests include papermaking, printmaking, mixed media, and digital art.