Posts Tagged ‘news’

Ask The Desk: Where’s Your Feed?

rp_askthedesk_hdr.pngDerrick said:

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.

Upcoming: Blackwing Slate Notebook

Blackwing Slate profile view with elasitc pencil loop

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.

Blackwing Slate notebook branding

Upcoming: Moleskine Voyageur Notebook

Moleskine Voyageur

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.

Moleskine Voyageur

Inside the front of the notebook are pages with information about creating printable sheets to insert into your notebook as well as a map.

Moleskine Voyageur

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.

Moleskine Voyageur

In the back of the book are pages that are perforated along the vertical to make to-do lists.

Moleskine Voyageur

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?

Please stay on the line…

Vintage telephone operator

… 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)

Cover Unveil: The Typewriter Book from Uppercase

Uppercase The Typewriter Book

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.

New Sponsor: Pen Chalet

Pen Chalet

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!

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades

(image credit: The Pen-Guin)

(image credit: The Pen-Guin)

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?

(via NYTimes)

Plotting… and Planning

The National Stationery Show (#NSS2014)

Office Supply Geek spies J. Herbin mini bottles

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.

KnockKnock wrist reminders and a Rifle Paper Co temporary tattoo Exaclair unveils Rhodia Ice at NSS2014 easy Tiger Stay Fancy Soda Glass Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.45.28 PM

Fontoplumo Coupon Code for Well-Appointed Desk Readers

kaweco-sport-skyline-fountain-pen-mint

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!

Spring Break!

Dancing vintage easter egg bunnies

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)

Cursive: Is it really that important?

thick pencil lettering

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.

Opinions?

(via NPR.org)

Typewriters on the Oscars

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)

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.

( 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.

News: Planner Camp

PlannerCamp-Header

Planner Camp is an online class, forum and resources to help you create your own planner to organize and plan your perfect year. Planner Camp starts on Monday and costs $49US. Some of the topics and features of the project include:

  • Three weeks of private posts, tips and video tutorials
  • Access to a private student Facebook Group
  • Pre-designed planner templates for you to customize into your perfect planner, fast!
  • Weekly video based lessons on customizing the planner templates using Adobe InDesign ®.
    Don’t have it? Don’t worry! Check the FAQ for details on the affordable month to month access option & 30 Day Free Trial.
  • Pre-designed templates that are customized to work with two tried & true binding systems: Filofax ® (A5 size) & M by Staples™ Arc Customizable Notebooks (Junior size).
  • Advice for printing at home or working with a professional printer, including strategies to minimize costs.
  • Unique design ideas to help you create a year built around your values & passions! From taking great care of yourself to accomplishing your goals, feeling fabulous, and having as much fun as you can dream up.
  • Weekly open office hours for one-on-one student questions, design support and troubleshooting.

(via Freckled Nest)

Top 10 Most Popular Posts for 2013

top10 posts from 2013

Here’s a  round-up up the most popular posts from 2013 that appeared here on The Desk.

  1. The Great Beginner Fountain Pen Debate
  2. Customizing a Midori Traveler Notebook
  3. Pilot Metropolitan Review
  4. TWSBI Mini Review
  5. Bullet Journal
  6. Piccadilly Essential Notebook
  7. Pipe Desk Building Plans
  8. Midori Traveler Star Edition
  9. Classroom Friendly Sharpener
  10. Kaweco Student Fountain Pen

I’m surprised to see the Bullet Journal and the Pipe Desk in the top ten but they are both great things to know. Thanks to all of you for continuing to read my reviews, leaving great comments and feedback and inspiring me with your own adventures in paper, ink and writing tools.

Happy New Year to all and happy writing!

White House Calligraphy Office

calligraphy-office-2008-nw

I stumbled upon this video from the inflammatory article published earlier this year about how much the presidential calligraphers earn each year. While they may make more money than most of us, the skills they have are unquestionable.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I think this classic hand lettering skill should be preserved especially when its done for the President for State Dinners and other official events.I can’t imagine getting an invitation to dinner at the White House whipped out on someone’s ink jet printer, can you?

I spoke with a friend who works as a professional calligrapher (not at the White House) who said that the team that the team that work at the White House work under intense pressure, often having to letter 200+ place cards in a day or two for an official event. They also work with very strict expectations for the style of calligraphy they do. the whole office is staffed by one chief calligrapher and two deputy calligraphers — a total staff of three.

I think its worth whatever these folks are being paid. That being said, Politifact did their homework and the calligraphers salary is not so disproportionate to other staffers with uniquely specialized skills (the Social Secretary makes $118K).

calligraphy-office-2008-ne

In the video, you can see one of the calligraphers (a left-hander!) working on a certificate. He is a third generation White House employee. Watch the video for details.

Do you think the White House should continue to employ calligraphers?

News: Ink is UP!

Ink by Karas Kustoms

While the title might seem cryptic, it will all make sense in a moment….

There are so many things to be thankful for this holiday. And one gift I wasn’t expecting… a new Kickstarter project from the fine folks at Karas Kustoms. This is just a peek of the new Ink fountain pen (rollerball option is also available). Go over to their Kickstarter page for a full reveal. I’ll follow it up with some hands-on details in the next day or so.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Inkmas!” Or should I say “Penmas?”

News: The Case For Cursive Continues

Case for Cursive

The new American educational curriculum called the Common Core State Standards Initiative is being discussed in the news in part because cursive writing is no longer going to be required instruction. Handwriting instruction has been waning and many states have already chosen not to require it. A national chance in teaching strategies in the US will pretty much guarantee that the few remaining states teaching it, will abandon it as well.

I’m at a loss what to say. So much more is gained in learning penmanship beyond merely the skill to read and write the characters: motor skills, brain pathways, patience and so much more…

I won’t rant here, but there’s plenty of other people who have said it:

Some links from the graphics (couldn’t find the Washington Post article):

(graphic via Montessorium)

1 2 3