The good folks at KnockKnock are launching the Anti-Social Network Journal, and encouraging folks to participate in the Social Media Blackout Day tomorrow, Thurs. Oct. 16—a day to log off all those social networks.
If you’d like to participate (or share on your social networks), show your support by changing your avatar/icon to the image attached and post a status of “Today is #SocialMediaBlackoutDay and I’m unplugging for 24 hours. Join me!” Their goal is to raise awareness on the impact social media has had on our lives and encourage people to log out and live in real life again, or at least for 24 hours.
Since my post yesterday, I think a little 24-hour detox from Instagram, Twitter, blogs and such is just the thing I need to recharge my batteries — and maybe get a few reviews done and a few letters written.
I’ll see you back here on Friday!
For those of you who follow The Pen Habit, you may have already heard about his announcement to cease recording his pen review videos and the subsequent follow-up about amending his format and explain in more detail his reasoning. Matt’s comments rang loudly for me about the amount of time he spends preparing and recording his reviews, not to mention the amount of money he has spent on pens.
Matt’s decision came on the heels on Brad’s recent announcement to cease publishing his weekly Ink Links.
All of this led me to think about what I do and why I do it. How much time (and money) is too much to spend on a hobby? Its made me wonder if I should reconsider how much time I spend doing this blog versus actually living and reading and writing?
I have not made any decisions one way or the other because I like what I do. However, every week I do struggle to stay on top of all my reviews as well as working my full-time job and all those daily tasks that often get overlooked to squeeze in one more blog post, photo shoot, photo editing session or some other blog-related project.
I love this community. I love pens and inks and paper and all the other things to make a beautiful place to work. So bear with me while I get over my own growing pains.
If you are not familiar with Uppercase magazine, it is a beautiful publication printed on heavyweight uncoated paper with amazing design in each issue. Its an independent publication out of Canada created by Janine Vangool. Each magazine is themed and features independent artists, illustrators, and craftspeople making beautiful things all over the world. Every aspect of the publication is beautifully designed and the only advertising is in the back of the magazine in a “marketplace” section.
Issue 23 is themed around calligraphy and lettering. The cover is a beautifully lettered grocery list on the back of an envelope. So charming! $18 CAD/$16 USD
Previously, Issue 17 might be of interest to readers of The Well-Appointed Desk. The theme of the issue is stationery and back issues are still available. $18 CAD/$16 USD
Subscriptions are also available starting at $80 CAD/$72 USD.
Also, the blog and the mailing list are full of inspiring, interesting paper-y related goodness. Just this week, the blog featured re-purposed fountain pen ink bottles etched with inspiring messages.
My copy of Issue 23 is in the post, I’ll share some photos when it arrives.
I’m delighted to introduce one of our new sponsors, The Pen Boutique. Headquartered in Maryland, the stock pens, ink, paper and leather goods from lots of well-know manufacturers like Edison, Pelikan, Kaweco, Acme, Cross, J. Herbin, Noodlers, Parker, Retro 51, Rhodia, Rotring, Monteverde and so many more.
Pen Boutique also has two retail stores, one in Bethesda, MD and one in Columbia, MD, so if you live nearby, you should definitely plan a trip to visit.
Siign up for their newsletter and receive a $5 off coupon for your first order of $50 or more.
Please stop by their web site and check them out and let them know you heard about them here!
What’s a podcast without a little t-shirt love? The Erasable podcast is offering a t-shirt on Teespring. Available in both men’s and women’s cut. $22 each. Three weeks left in the campaign so get your orders in soon.
Our fine sponsors, Pen Chalet are giving away the perfect fountain pen starter kit: a Lamy Safari, a bottle of Lamy ink and a Lamy LZ24 converter.
The giveaway entries will be accepted through this week until Monday August 18th at 9 PM Pacific time. Enter early, enter often! Be sure to go over to Pen Chalet to enter the giveaway.
Ian from Pens! Paper! Pencils! has built a site called Pennaquod specifically designed to seek out and find posts on pen-related blogs. It features a custom search tool that just searches from within the pen community. So, if you’re looking for genuine pen blogger reviews, this will streamline your search results. This is particularly handy if you know you recently read a review for “Pelikan M205″ but cannot remember which site it was on. This will just search from the pen bloggers listed and bring back the results. Easy peasy.
Ian has set this site up as a tool for the community and is not making any profit from it. Thanks for the efforts, Ian! This is going to end up being my go-to search engine since all I ever search for is pen-related.
The list of sites used to compile the results is also super handy as it may lead you to new pen blogs.
If you’d like to have your site added to Pennaquod, use the contact form on the site to submit it for consideration.
Think maybe pencil pals can be added too?
While the NYTimes is predicting the death of the pen, the Wall Street Journal was thoughtful enough to experience and enjoy using a Palomino Blackwing. Go, WSJ!
I am not getting your feed anymore. Haven’t received an email from the site in a few weeks.
Since the switch over to our own Well-Appointed Desk servers this month, some folks have mentioned that they are no longer getting post from us in the RSS reader. If you’re having issues, please update your feed info to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/thewellappointeddesk
There is also a link in the sidebar for the RSS and a link to receive email updates.
Thanks and sorry for any issues.
It’s a week chock full of new notebooks. The new Blackwing Slate is an updated version of the Blackwing Luxury notebook. This time the notebook is hardcover but uses the same polymer leather-like material. The branding is center at the bottom of the back cover and not central across the cover.
The size looks like an A5-ish at about 5×8″ and has 160 pages.
The spine is canvas with an elastic loop along the spine to hold your coveted Blackwing pencil. The paper inside is 100gsm and is available light grey lines (that look quite similar to the current format) or blank.
The new Blackwing Slate adds a ribbon bookmark and a pocket inside the back cover. Since I’ve been using my Blackwing Luxury notebook as my daily book for awhile, I can tell you that the absence of the catchall pocket is keenly felt. I’m glad they’ve added this feature.
The new Blackwing Slate will retail for $22.95 and is expected to be available in limited quantities by the end of July. Check with your favorite retailer or pencils.com to order.
Moleskine recently announced a new addition to their notebook line, the Moleskine Voyageur, A Traveller’s Notebook. The notebooks start shipping this week so this seemed like a good time to take a closer look.
The Voyageur notebook does not follow Moelskine’s standard sizing. The Voyageur is 4×7″– a little smaller than the regular A5-sized “medium” and a bit larger than the “pocket”. Its also clothbound instead of leatherette. And currently, it is only available with a brown cover. I feel like this is Moleskine’s attempt to capture some of the enthusiasm that exists around books like the Midori Traveler. Even the name is awfully reminiscent.
Inside the front of the notebook are pages with information about creating printable sheets to insert into your notebook as well as a map.
The pages are color coded along the edge to visual indicate three separate paper choices: lined, dot grid and blank sheets for various projects or type of note-taking. There are three color-coded ribbon bookmarks that match the various sections in the book.
In the back of the book are pages that are perforated along the vertical to make to-do lists.
And finally, in the back is a pocket for storing ephemera. A sheet of stickers is included with the notebook as well. I’m not sure how useful the stickers would be but I appreciate the effort.
MSRP for the Voyageur notebook is $24.95 US but vendors like Amazon are offering the Voyageur a little under retail.
Is this a notebook you’d consider ordering? I’m intrigued and I like the multi-functionality of it. I don’t think the paper will be any better with fountain pens than standard Moleskines but all the little extras make it seem like its a better value than a plain Moleskine. What do you think?
… I am in the process of moving The Well-Appointed Desk to its own servers. It will probably be a little quiet around here through the weekend but hopefully by Monday everything will be back to normal. Make sure you update your bookmarks to http://www.wellappointeddesk.com. If you read the site via Tumblr, RSS or other service, please come back to the blog and make sure the links are properly updated.
Sorry for the inconvenience but hopefully this transition will make for a better experience in the future.
(illustration from Envisioning The American Dream)
Finally, the cover for the long-awaited The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine has been revealed. This book will feature over 200 pages of history, photos and timelines of the glorious typewriter. If you’re familiar with Uppercase magazine, you know this book will be beautifully designed by editor-in-chief Janine Vangool and printed with the highest quality standards.
Pre-orders are still being accepted at $45 per book. I pre-ordered mine ages ago so I can’t wait for the fall to get. That’s when the book will start shipping.
I’d like to welcome Pen Chalet as a new sponsor on The Well-Appointed Desk. Pen Chalet stocks fine pens from some of our favorite brands like Lamy, Kaweco, Pelikan, Namiki, Pilot and many more. Pen Chalet stocks inks, refills, notebooks, pen cases and more as well.
And to help sweeten the deal, Pen Chalet is offering an extra 10% off for Well-Appointed Desk readers. Enter the code wellappointeddesk at checkout will get 10% off their already reduced prices. Don’t forget to check out the sales page for super low prices. The special offers are available for a limited time only so if you see something you love, order it quick. And let Pen Chalet know you heard about them from the Well-Appointed Desk.
Thanks to Pen Chalet for the great deals and sponsoring The Desk!
The recent article on the New York Times entitled What’s Lost As Handwriting Fades is too good to wait until the end of the week for a Link Love so I decided to go ahead an post the link today. Once again, scientists are coming up with studies proving that there’s some tricky cognitive stuff that goes on when we write things by hand and there is even some data that different parts of the brain are triggered depending on whether its printing or script (cursive) writing.
But we all knew this already, right?
I got wordy today on The Cramped with a Fountain Pen Guide for Lefties. Big thanks to Patrick Rhone for letting me contribute.
If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments here or shoot me an email or holler on Twitter.
There’s lots of exciting things coming your way next week (and in the weeks to follow). I’ve got a review of the Lamy Logo F fountain pen , a sneak peek of a new project from Nock Co, a review of the Neatography subscription service, a hands-ion with the new Kaweco Sports Skyline in Mint, ink reviews and more. Then there will be some guest appearances in other places.
A Busy Desk in not a bored Desk.
Do you go “dark” when you’re busy?
The last couple days have left my Instagram feed in awash in photos from the Stationery Show in New York. This annual event is THE place where all our favorite stationery and card companies unveil their latest goods and buyers from shops, big and small, place orders for the coming year.
I thought I’d share a few photos but if you want to see the over 6000 images on Instagram, just search for #NSS2014. Click on images to see the original photo or post.
Frank at Fontoplumo was so impressed with the enthusiasm Desk readers had about the new Kaweco Skyline Mint fountain pen. He wanted to thank everyone for checking out his site and say thanks for all the orders. So, he’s offering a special discount code for Well-Appointed Desk readers. If you enter the code WAD2014 you get a 10% discount on anything you order. And this offer is good for the whole year.
Frank also let me know my Kaweco Skyline Mint is on the way so reviews and lots of photos will be posted soon!
The Desk is spending this week cavorting with nature, staring at the crab apple blossoms and skipping through fields of clover (… as soon as the snow stops. Stupid weather!).
Hope you are enjoying a little spring break and communing with nature yourself.
I’ll be back next Monday with lots of reviews, products and stories. Happy Easter!
(image via Bytes Daily)
Papermate, a division of Sanford and Rubbermaid, has announced that they are planning to purchase the German brand Kaweco in an effort to introduce the American market to upscale, fountain pens, mechanical pencils and refillable pens.
While not being described as a hostile takeover, the purchase is not without its controversy. Kaweco’s current owners, Herlitz, could not be reached for comment.
NPR recently did a report about the value of cursive in child’s brain development. By their best calculations, all fine motor skill activities are valuable to brain development, be it printing, cursive or keyboarding. But the best option is for kids to be doing all sorts of fine motor activities.
This story, however, does not address the issue of legibility, speed of writing or not writing like a 6-year-old when you’re forty.
If your goal today is to avoid being pinched, make sure you carry a green pen or pencil. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
In this month’s issue of Wired magazine, there is a brief little article about the Alvin Brass Bullet pencil sharpener ($6.17 from our local art supply store, Creative Coldsnow). This dandy little brass, knurled sharpener features the all-important KUM blade. Simple, classic and 100% effective. Glad to see even the tech geeks see the value in a classic manual tool.
Penelope Cruz and Robert De Niro present at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-SHOW)
I’ve been scouring the internet trying to get some information about the typewriters used as a backdrop in last night’s Oscars broadcast during the Best Writing categories. Did you see them? I haven’t been able to find any information about the typewriters, who owns them or where they came from (the Museum The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, maybe?). If anyone finds any information, please leave a note in the comments.
Somehow, in my searching, I found this photo instead:
( New York Public Library )
Nine women pose on a really big typewriter on display at the Underwood Elliott Fisher Exhibit at the New York World’s Fair, 1939-40.
Thank you, internet non sequitur.