Archive of ‘feature’ category

February is Letter Writing Month

letterwritingmonth

Once again, its time for InCoWriMo (pronounced as “Ink-o-rye-mo”), International Correspondence Writing Month. The goal of the project is to write one letter, card, note, or postcard everyday for the entire month of February. Just 28 little bits of correspondence.

LetterMo2015

February is also known as LetterMo, as in A Month of Letters, a project started by author Mary Robinette Kowal several years ago but whose mantle has been taken up across the blogosphere, myself included. LetterMo gives you the leeway of not writing on Sunday since there’s no postal pick-up so the requirement to complete this challenge is just 24 pieces of written correspondence.

For me, February is my chance to get all caught up on my letter writing AND even send some new letters and cards. Are you planning to participate?

With a week to plan, be sure to stock up on some stationery, postcards, note cards, stamps and, of course, have all your favorite pens and inks at the ready. This is a great chance to use up some of that paper you have squirreled away and try out ALL those inks you’ve been hoarding.

Need something for your upcoming month of letters?

(image modified from a WPA poster from the 30s available at Free Vintage Posters)

Clutter & Objects Defined

The Happiness Project

Following my post about the organizing and de-cluttering book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, my darling friend Diane emailed me a considerably more useful list of potential clutter and object types.

Significant ObjectsSignificant-Objects-cover

First, from the NYT’s Joshua Glenn’s Significant Objects project, there is sorting our non-functional objects into five categories :

  • TOTEMS – are from the natural world, like rocks
  • IDOLS – are objects of contemplation, like Buddha figures
  • EVIDENCE – artifacts from a public event
  • TALISMANS – lucky objects
  • FOSSILS – things that bear mute witness to a vanished way of life

Then, from Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, she defines Clutter Types as:

  • Nostalgic clutter – relics of an earlier life
  • Conservation clutter – things I imagine being useful but aren’t presently
  • Freebie clutter – gifts, hand-me-downs we don’t use
  • Crutch clutter – things I use but know I shouldn’t
  • Aspirational clutter – things I aspire to use but don’t
  • Buyer’s remorse clutter – enough said

My husband and I had fun assigning some of our favorite items to various categories. Mechanical typewriters are definitely Fossils and are also a little Conservation clutter and Aspirational clutter (even I realize that having more than a dozen typewriters in 2015 is a bit excessive). Bob says he collects a lot of Evidence objects from travels and adventures like receipts and ticket stubs. We did have a hard time coming up with anything we thought was Crutch clutter. How about you? What categories does your clutter fall into?

Having Diane introduce me to these books from their perspective on clutter has made me want to read both volumes. Have you read them?

Target Threshold Zip Pouch

target-zip-pouch-1

This zippered pen and pencil case is another find from Target. It’s from their Threshold line and I found in with the office supplies and binders. The case is made from a heavy-duty canvas with a deep indigo color and casual dot pattern. It has one large zipper pocket for storing tools and then a smaller pocket on the front of the case for smaller trinkets.The inside is lined with a dark navy nylon and despite the rustic look, the zipper is nicely finished on the end. Its a really nice case for not much money.

The case measure about 6×9″ which makes it suitable for an A5 sized notebook or larger. It would probably fit most snugly over a letter-sized binder or notebook but the biggest notebook I could find was my Quo Vadis Habana and its covered the cover almost completely and the elastic was tight enough to be functional. This would be the perfect case for a conference or a day of meetings. It provides plenty of space to carry tools but stays secure to your notebook.

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On the back of the case is a matching elastic running across the length of the case. I immediately realized that the case could be looped over the cover of a notebook.

target-zip-pouch-3

The case comfortably held a dozen or more tools. It’s defintiely long enough to hold a freshly sharpened pencil (even a Blackwing with giant eraser ferrule!) as well as most other writing tools. I tucked an eraser and a small hand sharpener in the front pocket. I was hoping the front pocket would be long enough to store an iPhone but it was a bit too short. It would hold small cards like an ID or business cards though. I was able to stick my phone in the larger pocket with my pens though with no problem.

The case cost  $7.99 and is available for purchase on the Target web site.

13 Things to Do With All Those Blank Notebooks

Over the holiday break I did a lot of tidying up around my home office/studio and one of the things I came across was the supply shop quantities of notebooks I have in my closet. Some I’ve taken out of the cellophane wrapper and tested for a review and then they languish in the cupboard. So I’m “saving” and some I might not have liked as much but they could still be useful.

Then I heard Myke talking about trying to use the notebooks he has and I started trying to come up with things I could do to put these notebooks to good use and simultaneously be more productive.

Here’s a list I compiled from various sources and my own crazy ideas for things to do with that pile of empty notebooks you might have laying around:

  1. Daily Journal
  2. Morning Pages/Free Writing/Brain Dump
  3. Lists (Bullet Journal)
  4. Mind Mapping
  5. Sketchnoting
  6. Practice your handwriting
  7. Test all those pens and inks
  8. Commonplace book
  9. Dream Journal
  10. Travel Journal
  11. Book (to-read or read) Journal
  12. Disassemble, cut or remove the pages to use as a notepad or hole punch and put into a binder
  13. Collage, art journal or sketch book

I’m sure I didn’t think of all the myriad of possibilities but I hope these ideas might inspire you to crack the cover on one of those notebooks you have squirreled away. Do you keep a notebook dedicated to a different subject or have a recommendation?

I found a lot of other people writing about this topic with the start of the new year. Lots of people are trying to commit to writing more, journaling or getting organized and nothing will get you there faster than just writing stuff down.

The Tab Notebook

The Tab Notebook Set by SUCK UK

This week, on a random hunt on Amazon, I came across the Suck UK Tab Notebook Set. This is a set of four A5 notebooks, each with a diecut tab in four different positions. This set of books would be perfect in a A5-sized (Midori Traveler’s Notebook-style) leather cover. Might be worth searching Etsy for a good cover to go with these pretty books.

The Tab Notebook Set by SUCK UK

The covers are kraft card stock and each book is filled with 64 tinted pages with narrow spaced ruled lines. One book is filled with blue paper, one with pink, one with yellow and one with green.

I don’t know anything about the paper quality since I haven’t ordered a set…yet but I quite like the looks.

(The SUCK UK Tab Notebook 4-book set sells for  $15.)

The Tab Notebook Set by SUCK UK

Winner: Nock Co DotDash Notepad

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

Just wanted to announce the winner of the Nock Co DotDash notebook….

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 8.19.23 AM

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 8.21.22 AM

Congrats, John! Your wish came true! I’ll be emailing you to arrange delivery. Thanks to everyone who entered and I will be forwarding the whole list of color recommendations on to Nock Co to convince them to cater to our whims!

Did you know…?

housekeeping

Just thought I’d provide a little housekeeping info here.

I recently updated by username on Instagram. If you’d like to follow me there you can find me @wellapptdesk. Be prepared for pens, paper, knitting and the occasional cocktail photo.

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter, you can also find me as @wellapptdesk.

There is a Facebook page for the Well-Appointed Desk though I’m not a frequent user of Facebook. I check in here about once a week and will reply to comments.

And finally, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions for the site, please use the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page. I reply back to almost all emails, unless you’re that Prince from Nigeria – I told you, man, its over between us!

(image borrowed from Envision The American Dream)

Show & Tell: Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Edition : “Simple Minded Silver Streak”

Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Silver Streak

This is my first DDC Factory Floor edition of Field Notes. These were released for the Draplin Design Pop-Up Store in Portland but a handful were made available on the Draplin website. I was able to score two 3-packs.

I’m feeling oddly collector-y about these. Usually when I buy two sets of Field Notes, I give one set to my husband and as soon as he saw these he was all grabby hands and I swatted him away.

Each of the three books has a different color cover: metallic silver, orange and a copper-y color made from combining the orange and silver inks. Inside is bright white 50# paper with orange grid ruling. All of this information I’ve had to cull from the internet because I can’t bring myself to break the shrinkwrap seal yet. For a more in-depth review, check out the Gentleman Stationer who had the decency to take these out of the wrappers.

Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Silver Streak backs

In retrospect, I think I should let these be opened and used in the manner they were designed to be used. Leaving them in shrinkwrap indefinitely is no way to live. I think in 2015, I hope to stop “collecting” and start using the Field Notes I’ve accumulated.

How about you? Collector or user?

Kickstarter: Code & Quill Notebooks

Kickstarter: Code & Quill Notebooks


Code & Quill Notebooks
are a new Kickstarter project that was designed to appeal to anyone who needs to combine note taking with sketches or more freeform content. The “indentation rule” is particularly unique in that it provides tick marks along the line to help with indentation often used in coding. I’ve seen this type of indentation in some Japanese notebooks as well to space kanji characters properly but it has not appeared in any western notebooks that I know of.

The Code & Quill notebooks are available in either softcover or hardcover editions. Both books are 5.5″ x 7.7″ (a little smaller than A5, AKA approx. US half-sheet). The softcover books feature 300gsm glossy covers and the hardcover books are covered with a textured PU material which is a leatherette coated with polyurethane for added durability. I like the stitched labels on the cover that give some subtle, unique branding to the books.

Inside, both versions feature 100gsm eggshell white paper with minimal grain. On the left hand side of each spread is a dot grid pattern and on the right hand side is “indentation rule,” both printed in light gray to provide a visible guideline but not so dark as to inhibit visibility. The paper has been tested with a fine nib Lamy AL-Star with Noodler’s Waterproof black, Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and Lamy black. The fountain pen test done thus far met the expectations of the creator.

The books were designed here in the US but the final production will be in China in order to meet demand and keep prices competitive. All production will be closely monitored by the US design team to meet their exacting standards.

The softcover edition is called the Traveller and a pledge for one notebook starts at $15. The hardcover edition is called Origin, and a pledge for one starts at $20.One of each is $30. US backers will receive free shipping but international backers will have to cover shipping.

The Kickstarter launch ends Feb. 5 so there’s still time to back this project if its of interest to you.

Kickstarter: Code & Quill Notebooks

Orla Kiely Make-Up Cases as Pen Cases

orla-kiely-pouches-1 orla-kiely-pouches-2

I picked up two cases at Target this week after seeing someone post on YouTube about using these for keeping their planner supplies. Ding! What a great idea! So on my next trip to Target, I went snooping through the cosmetics department and, lo and behold, there were several to choose from.

The small, black-and-green pencil-style case was $9.99 and the larger green case was $14.99. I’d heard these cases were so popular that people were buying them up and reselling on Ebay for twice the retail price so I was thrilled to find them still available at the “going price.” Both pouches are a waxed canvas material on the exterior with gold metal zippers and coordinating zipper pulls of stitched vinyl.

orla-kiely-pouches-7

The small pencil pouch zips all the way across and down the sides about halfway. The whole pouch is lined inside with coordinating nylon. It has a slit pocket inside which is not super handy but would be a good place to slide a pencil sharpener or a packet of leads. The main compartment is a large square shape  that holds a lot of tools.

orla-kiely-pouches-8

I think I stuffed it with over 20 pens, including several multi-pens, and there was still room to dig around in it. Unfortunately, the case is a bit short for a new woodcase pencil but machanical pencils fit fine.

orla-kiely-pouches-9

orla-kiely-pouches-3 orla-kiely-pouches-4

The larger case opens with double zippers and contains an attached, mesh zip pouch in the center. On either side, there are additional pockets. On one side there are three slash pockets and a zip pocket with mesh front on the other side. The inside is lined in navy nylon.

orla-kiely-pouches-5 orla-kiely-pouches-6

All the interior seams are covered in nylon so there’s nothing unsightly inside or out. For the price, these are really lovely cases.

orla-kiely-pouches-10

I took the same 20+ pens and filled the center zip pouch. In the zip pocket, I put small items like erasers, washi tape and binder clips.

orla-kiely-pouches-11

In the slash pockets I was able to put a Kaweco AL-Sport, some washi sticker packs and a packet of pencil leads.

orla-kiely-pouches-12

This is what the large case looked like all zipped up. It closed easily and everything feels solid and secure. I suspect I’ll use this as a traveling case, maybe not for everyday use since its about the size of an A5 book when filled but for trips or a specific outing.

The smaller pencil case is overall more diminutive but with plenty of carryin capacity so it may become this year’s everyday pencil case. I’m a bit surprised with myself because I really thought the larger case would be an everyday case. They are both so lovely I’ll find a way to use them regularly. So, the lesson I learned from all this is that good office supplies can be found where you least expect it.

Pocket Notebooks for the Ladies

Most of the distinguished gentlemen of the pen blogging community talk about pocket notebooks and the ease of pulling them out of a shirt pocket or back jeans pocket. But what about us ladies who might not have the necessary pockets nor want to carry a book in our rear pockets? The whole idea makes me think, “Stop staring at my Field Notes, jerk!”

So, how do we ladies carry a handy, jot-a-quick-note notebook that does not mean having a bag or purse with us at all times?

After working on a small team of almost all women last year, I discovered the handy convenience of a wrist clutch. The women on my team varied in personal aesthetics but all unanimously embraced the wristlet in various forms.

wristlets

From memory, there was a BlueQ tyvek zip pouch with pretty graphics printed on it, two Coach wristlets (one in fabric and one in leather) and a Kate Spade wristlet in stripes. All the specific bags we carried have been discontinued but these images will give you an idea of the general look. The links are to the current offerings from each brand. The prices of these pouches ranged from $7 to about $100 though several were purchased on sale or at outlet stores so I think none of us paid full retail except me. The size was fairly consistent across all four bags — about 5.5″ x 7.5″ with of about 1.5″, give or take a half on inch. In these, we each had enough space to carry a small pocket notebook or a stack of 3×5 index cards along with our cell phones, ID and work badge, credit cards and cash for lunch. I think any lady could find some sort of wrist bag or clutch that suited their personal aesthetics from handmade Etsy designs to high-fashion designer styles.

The key is to find one large enough to hold your absolute essentials but not so large that it becomes a purse. I use my wristlet as my wallet and dump it into my purse/tote/backpack/bag at the end of the day. The wristlet is also handy for quick errands and shopping trips when I don’t want to haul around the whole mess that is my bag.

If your job or daily life requires more hands-free mobility, you might want to consider a small crosssbody bag instead. Its a similar idea to the wristlet but with a strap long enough to position the bag comfortably at your hip. No fanny packs or bumbags, okay? That is not a solution. With crossbody bags, there are as many looks, styles and materials to choose from as you could want from high brow to budget priced. On Etsy, there were over 14K search results for “crossbody bag” so there’s definitely something for everyone.

crossbody bags

I picked two to show the range, one from Kate Spade (over $200) and one from Mochi Things (about $20).

And what are the best pocket notebooks to carry in your new-found wristlet or bag? The same awesome notebooks the boys carry: Field Notes, Word.notebooks and Doane Paper Utility Notebooks, of course.

Giveaway: Word. Memorandum 2015

Word. Memorandum 2015

Several weeks ago, I decided I wanted one of the Word. Memorandum 2015 notebooks ($11). I ordered it at the same time I ordered the Polygons and Indigo Word. Notebooks. Then I went full-tilt on ring-bound planners so it feels extraneous to keep this beauty to myself.

The Memorandum us beautiful with a rich brown cardstock cover, stamped in gold foil. Inside is fabulously, classic design elements for tracking your days (week on two pages) as well as spaces for indexing and personal information as well as a list of holidays.

Word. Memorandum 2015

The Memoradum is just 2.35″ x 5.25″  so it will slide easily into the smallest pocket. A fancy leather cover is available for purchase from Word. Notebooks ($40).

Word. Memorandum 2015

Designer Jon Contino is responsible for the stunning typography and design and it is awesome. He has a great eye for classic design and it shows.

Word. Memorandum 2015

TO ENTER: Since I’ve decided to rely on a ring-bound planner, I’d like to give this to a lucky reader. Do you want to account for your days with this fabulous planner? Tell me in the comments what events you’d like to track in the Memorandum to be entered to win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, January 9, 2015. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. This giveaway is open to all readers! Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.

Top 5 Posts of 2014

Wordpress fireworks

WordPress kindly sends out a yearly round-up of blog statistics. Since I didn’t move The Well-Appointed Desk to a privately hosted server until autumn, the stats are a little wonky but the most popular posts are pretty accurate. Want to see the list and see if you missed any of them?

  1. The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints
  2. Turn a Blank Notebook into a Lined Notebook (AKA Guide Sheets!)
  3. Customizing a Midori Traveler Notebook
  4. Review: Hobonichi Planner 2014
  5. Review: Productive Luddite Notebooks Part 1

I think its pretty interesting that four out of five of the posts were focused on paper, notebooks or planners.

Other Stats: I posted 365 posts in 2014 and there are over 840 posts in the archives. If you’re looking for something specific, try using the search field. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, drop me an email using the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page.

Thanks to everyone for reading this blog, leaving comments and generally being awesome. Happy writing in 2015!

A Beginner’s Dive into Ring-Bound Planners: Part 2 – Planner Sizes

binder-sizes

This is Part Two of  6-part series about getting started using ring-bound planners. Part One can be found here.

Planner Sizes:

The most popular planner size is the Personal (paper is 95mm x 170mm, or 3.75″ x 6.75″) or the Compact (with paper measuring 4.25” x 6.75″) . Franklin Covey is the only company I’m aware of that uses the “Compact” size. Filofax, Kikki K , DayRunner, DayTimer and others use the “Personal” sized pages but each company has their own name for the size.

I’d recommend keeping a note with the measurements of your preferred planner size handy and always check the written size unless you are buying the refills to coordinate with your planner brand.

Filofax paper sizes

The Personal (Filofax, et al) and Compact (Franklin) sizes are the same height and feature the same 6-hole configuration (two sets of three holes placed to the top and bottom of the spine) but the Personal size pages is about a 1/2″ wider. Binders designed for the Compact-sized paper are a bit wider to accommodate the larger paper.

The Personal size offers the widest range of potential planner refills, while the overall size of the planner is still portable. Using Franklin Covey inserts in a Filofax may be a little too tight and Filofax inserts in a Franklin may have a bit too much excess space but the option is there. Finally, the Personal size is a common size for custom inserts which might be appealing if you need something specific.

To add to the confusion, Filofax sells a binder size called “Compact” which accepts the same paper sizes as their Personal binders but features smaller rings and an overall smaller binder profile, similar to the “Slimline” binder.

Other popular sizes are the A5 (also called the “half sheet” size since its  approximately 5.5×8.5″ making it half of a US letter-sized sheet or half an A4).

The Pocket size holds paper slightly smaller than a 3×5 index card in the Filofax sizing and just slightly larger than a 3″x5″ in the Franklin Covey sizing. This size might seem a bit too small for a daily planner but it is often used as a wallet since it can fit in a pocket.

For bigger options, the A4 or the Monarch/US Letter planner (depending on whether you are choosing an European brand or an American brand respectively) is a good desk planner option. If you have a job that requires a lot of daily meetings and tasks you might consider the A4/Letter size. This size is considered the least portable as a full binder large enough to hold A4 or US Letter paper is going to be heavy and bulky.

There are even systems built around the standard US 3-ring binder in either full Letter size or the half-sheet size (5.5×8.5″). Martha Stewart has created an array of products for Avery that use the half-sheet size. The Classic binder in Franklin Covey and DayRunner also use this size.

(via Staples)

(via Staples)

The last option is the disc system option like the ARC or the Circa planning system. These use the familiar ring discs and pages punched with divots that slip into the rings. It has the same level of customization regarding page inserts as well as a range of cover options from budget board covers to full leather cases. For the most part the disc systems are only available in half-sheet/A5 or US Letter sizes.

Which size is right for you?

I wouldn’t recommend that Americans purchase an A4 binder nor would I recommend that  Brits/Europeans purchase a Monarch/US Letter-sized planner.  If you plan to add your own inserts, I would recommend choosing a format that is conducive to the tools you have handy. Anything that I can print out or copy on a standard US machine and cut down to fit in my planner is fair game. If I have to hunt down a very specific size paper, that’s going to make me less inclined to actually use my planner. The whole point of using a ring-bound planner is to make my life easier, not more complicated.

Also remember that the bigger the planner, the less portable if will become. If your goal is to create a planner you feel comfortable having with you all the time, make sure its a size that will comfortably fit in your day bag or pocket. Some men might be inclined to use a Pocket sized planner because it will fit in a pocket. With every size and configuration, there are trade-offs. Too small and you may not be able to carry a year’s worth of daily or weekly calendars. Too big and you might not be inclined to carry as often as you might need it.

Planner Page Sizes vs. Moleskine and Midori

The diagram above is from My Life All in One Place. I think its super helpful in comparing paper sizes in planners to Moleskine and Midori Traveler’s Notebook. The actual planners will be a bit larger than the paper they contain, of course.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred size, you’ll be ready to start considering your binder and/or preferred brand. Stay tuned!

Edit: (12/24/2014) Clarified and corrected references to the Dayrunner. Thanks to reader, Cruz for catching the error.

 

Indie Planners for 2015

Indie planners from Etsy

If you’re still trying to find your “perfect planner” for 2015, Etsy may have some options for you. I found a search function on Etsy to search for similar items using keywords that gave me a mere 3400 items similar to “planner and diary”. There might be something in all those items that meet my needs. Or yours.

Happy hunting and let me know if you find the perfect one for you!

Giveaway: Uppercase Magazines Issues 20 & 22

Uppercase 20 & 22

Uppercase Magazine recently had a $10 back issue sale and I stocked up on three issues I really wanted. What I didn’t realize was that I had already purchased two of the three issues I ordered. So, my loss is your gain!

I fell in love with Uppercase early on but became a loyal follower after the Issue 12 with the fabulous carrier pigeon illustration on the cover which is all about creative adventures.

Uppercase magazine spines

These two issues are stunning! I photographed my copies. The giveaway copies are still safely wrapped up in their shrinkwrap.

Uppercase Hamilton Type

Uppercase Jason Munn Uppercase Yarnbombing Uppercase Ham Radio

I’d like to give two readers the chance to try an issue of Uppercase magazine for themselves. Issue 20 is focused on the theme of “broadcasting” including stories about ham radio operators, manifestos and posters.

Uppercase Pantone swatches

Issue 22 is all about color — like vintage labels, Pantone color chips and paint swatches, for example.

Uppercase Vintage Labels

Uppercase Jennifer Mercede

The GIVEAWAY: To enter, tell me which issue you’d like to try (20 or 22) or which other issue seems interesting to you (though I only issues I have to give away are 20 or 22).

The FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Saturday, December 13, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Sunday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Open to US residents only in order to ship in time for Christmas!

Uppercase Color Swatches

Winner: Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Tu-Tone Giveaway

Karas Kustoms Retrakt Tu-Tone

The time has come to click the magic random number generator and make someone’s day. Click….

Retrakt Tu-Tone Giveaway winner

And we have a winner!

 

Retrakt Tu-Tone Giveaway winner

Poor Marissa! She has no neck so she really does need a good pen to entertain her. Okay, I think the no neck thing was a typo, at least I hope it was. Either way, congrats to Marissa. I’ll contact you by email to arrange delivery.

Remember, if you are anyone other than Marissa, you can still get a good deal on a RETRAKT thanks to the discount offered by Karas Kustoms.

The DISCOUNT: Place an order at Karas Kustoms today and receive 15% off your order with the coupon code “HappyHolidays”. The offer is good on any Karas Kustoms product but you know you want a Tu-Tone RETRAKT. Maybe a RED and a GREEN to be in the spirit of the season? Offer good until the holidays so don’t delay!

DIY Planner for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook

A full how-to tutorial for making the notebook is available on the Hello Forever blog.

A full how-to tutorial for making the notebook is available on the Hello Forever blog.

In my hunt this week for planners that start the week on Sunday, I discovered Marcy Penner’s Hello Forever site. She created a lovely PDF document to make your own planner calendar for 2015 for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook which is available for sale in her shop.

The PDF is $10 and includes the full calendar year in week-at-a-glance pages that can be bound into two booklets to fit a regular-sized Midori Traveler’s Notebook (approx. 5×8.5″).

Her blog includes step-by-step instructions for printing, folding and binding your booklets as well.

If you want to have rounded corners on the finished notebook like the sample, small handheld corner rounders can be purchased on Amazon for under $10 or can be found at your local big box craft supply store.

TRAVELERS-NOTEBOOK-WEEKLY-CALENDAR-THUMBNAIL-480x480

Midori Mini Cleaner

My dear friend picked up one of the original Midori Mini Cleaners on her last trip to Japan and I’ve been dying to have one ever since. So much so, that I emailed Jet Pens and begged for them to restock these. Then, last week, I got a tweet to let me know that the Midori Mini Cleaners II were back in stock.

Mine is in the mail and I will be picking up little gritty bits of eraser dust with glee from the moment it arrives.

Giveaway: Kaweco Liliput Brass Fountain Pen from Fontoplumo

kaweco liliput fountain pen in brass

The fine folks at Fontoplumo would like to give you a brand new Kaweco Liliput Brass fountain pen. Yep. In the spirit of the holidays, Fontoplumo wants to share with you, the joy of the Kaweco Liliput Brass pocket fountain pen. That’s it.

I have an aluminum version of this pen and I just love it. I know the brass adds some good weight and, if you win, you can gloat that you have a pen I don’t have.

Happy holidays from Fontoplumo and The Well-Appointed Desk!

Giveaway: One Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen in Brass from Fontoplumo, winner chooses the nib size (EF, F, M, B, BB). To enter, leave a message in the comments and tell us what kindness you’ll pay forward if you win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, December 5, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Open to all readers, US and international!

Society 6 Phone Cases

With the purchase of my new phone this week, I am on the hunt to accessorize it with great cases. I love all the options from Society 6 which lets independent artists sell their artwork on not just phone cases and skins but also prints, shirts and more. These are the cases on my short, each is $35 and is a hard shell case. The cases are also available in sizes to fit other comnon phone types.

Do you prefer plain cases, arty cases or no case at all on your phone? Do you match your phone wallpaper to your case?

Uppercase Magazine 23: Calligraphy & Lettering Issue

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Cover

I’ve always loved how much detail and thought goes into each issue of Uppercase magazine. Issue 23 holds a special place in my heart though. For one, the issue is all about calligraphy and lettering so every page is a treat.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Tag Team Tompkins

Also, my dear friends Tag Team Tompkins are featured in the issue in a two-page spread. And finally, I got the photo credit for their feature since I got to visit their studio and capture these two amazing ladies in their natural habitat.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Feature

If you’ve never checked out an issue of this beautifully crafted, independent magazine before, issue 23 is a perfect place to start.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Letraset

Right now, Uppercase is holding a “Stock Up Sale” and back issues are just $10 CAD each through Monday, Dec. 2 so this is the perfect time to grab an issue or two. Issue 17, the Stationery Issue, would also be a great first foray into the beautiful world of Uppercase.


Subscriptions make a great gift too!
In a wonderful act of kismet, I wrote this post days before Uppercase became a sponsor of this blog. Thanks to Uppercase for supporting The Well-Appointed Desk and thanks to all you fine readers who support our sponsors!

Pen Addict Podcast 130: Stop Spending My Money – Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

For the second year running, Brad and Myke have kindly let me join them on The Pen Addict podcast to make my gift guide picks.

These are most of my picks. If you want to see the full list including all of Brad and Myke’s picks (and hear me ramble and one of my cats meow), check out Episode 130 of the Pen Addict Podcast.

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