I find the concept of electrostatic paper interesting but when they mentioned that the paper was slick and only demonstrated it with ballpoint and markers, I was less enthusiastic about it.
Did you back this Kickstarter? Would you try it?
Nock Co. recently revised their DotDash Pocket Notebooks (3-pack/$10). The new books sport a simple black cover with a white Nock Co logo. I still think the card stock for the covers could be a tad thicker but the low profile black covers are being warmly received here at Chez Desk. The big change, however, was the paper stock inside.
Nock Co does not include details inside their notebooks about the paper stock like Field Notes does but the paper has definitely been upgraded. It doesn’t feel like its any heavier weight (maybe ever so slightly from a 24 lb to maybe 28 lb but that’s just me guessing). The DotDash ruling appears to be printed in a blue-violet compared to the a more greyish color of the original yellow books but it could be my eyes playing tricks on me. The paper is a bit brighter white than the original yellow books as well which might create the optical illusion of a change in ink colors.
The new paper stock is definitely fountain pen friendly and there’s no blurring or ink spread. Its particularly apparent how much the paper has been improved when you set the books side-by-side. My writing just looks crispier and not like I need to have my eyeglass prescription checked again. Even the felt tip pen writing benefited from the new paper stock and looks cleaner and finer.
There was also less show through on the reverse of stock though with a reporter-style notebook, I’m seldom inclined to write on the reverse of stock.
The original yellow books are still available (3-pack/$9) so if they are your favorites, I recommend picking them up quickly as I suspect they will be phased out for this new and improved stock.
I’m a big fan of the new paper and I think its a great upgrade to an already cool product.
When I started this blog, I never thought I’d be so fortunate to receive stationery gifts from all over the world. For example, Amit kindly sent me an A5 notepad from Hadera RePaper, all the way from Israel. The paper is a deeply speckled, taupe sheet in a tearaway pad bound at the top like a classic legal pad. The paper is listed as 100% recycled and a glance at the Hadera Paper web site made it clear that the material used to make the paper is collected from all over Israel in special collection bins. Hadera also does not use bleach in making the paper to keep the environmental impact down.
The biggest surprise of this office supply staple is that the paper is fountain pen friendly. I am as surprised as anyone about this since most recycled papers are known for being super absorbent even with the most average of supply cupboard pens. But not the Hadera RePaper. Not only is it a pleasing color and a nice alternative to stark white but all three fountain pen nibs I tried on it performed admirably. So much so that there wasn’t even any show through on the back which means the whole sheet can be used for writing, not just the fronts. Try that with most legal pads!
The Hadera RePaper web site was interesting as it gave me a peek into what the standard Israeli office products might be. The stock spiral bound notebooks with the spiral on the right hand side since Hebrew is written right to left. I think lefties would love all the right hand binding options in Israel. Israelis use standard A4 and A5 notebooks and RePaper even has an A6 pocket notebook like Field Notes.
I also got to do cost conversions from Israeli New Shekel (which has the coolest symbol that looks like cupped hands) to US dollars. Most of the Hadera paper products were competitively priced with American big box stores so this is the best fountain pen friendly paper in the world I think. A 5-pack of A5 notepads is 14.90 in New Shekel which is about $3.87 US. That’s less than $1 per pad.
I could not find any information on the site about shipping outside Israel but since the paper is made from locally sourced recycled material and pistachio shells it seems counter-intuitive to their environmental mission to ask them to ship a bunch of notebooks and paper internationally. I’ll have to get by with my one little A5 notepad and hope that someday I’ll have a reason to be in Israel so I can stock up on RePaper notebooks. I wonder what other stationery wonders exist in Israel?
(Thanks to Amit in Israel for sending me a pad to try out!)
Yesterday, NPR published two articles about paper. The first, focused on the continued appeal of the Moleskine notebook in the “digital age” (despite us all knowing the paper quality leaves something to be desired) and another piece about the business of paper and that China makes GMO paper! Who knew?
And today, there is a piece about brick and mortar bookstores. Long live paper!
It took me almost a year to fill up my first Word Cards ring with ink swatches. It was a Kyokuto brand Word Cards ring I purchased in San Francisco from Maido for about $3. I liked the Kyokuto cards well enough that I wanted to buy a new ring but could not find them available online anywhere. As a result, I decided to try out the Maruman Word Cards. The Maruman cards are a little larger than 4″x2″ so they are visibly larger in size than the Kyokuto cards and a bit pricier ($4.45) for 100 cards. They do have pleasing rounded corners and a toothier stock so the increase in price does not seem wholly unreasonable.
At first, I was worried that the Maruman cards were not going to be white enough to give a clear representation of the ink colors but it turned out not to be the case. The Maruman cards are a touch softer white than the Kyokuto cards but not so much as to alter the ink colors.
The tooth of the paper definitely gives the ink someplace to settle into and potentially show off any tonal variations in the inks which I quite like. The larger sized cards give me more room for both swabs and potentially a little writing sample when the inks get filled into pens.
And the biggest plus for the Maruman Word Cards is that they have continued to be available on JetPens for several years so I should not have to change or upgrade my ink cataloging system again anytime soon.
Several requests have been made to add graph paper to the official Well-Appointed Desk Guide Sheets. Ask and you shall receive! I’ve included 5mm and 10mm graph paper in US letter, A5 and Field Notes (pocket notebook) sizes. I hope to add A4 in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you need graph paper in A4, check out PrintFreeGraphPaper.com.
But if ordinary graph paper is not enough for you, I found PrintablePaper.net for all the graph paper (logarithmic, isometric, hexagon, octagon and pentagon to name a few) you could want plus music paper, shooting targets, cross stitch, calligraphy and polar grid and so much more. You’re welcome.
Honestly, the Levenger Circa Pro Folio is the most posh thing I think I’ve ever owned. Its a letter-sized, black leather folio with a Circa notebook inside. I’ve always been intrigued with the Circa system. It seems to be a great way to have flexibility with a notebook – add, rearrange or remove pages easily without the inconvenience of a 3-ring binder. The Pro Folio takes this to a whole new level.
I’m not inclined to go into a lot of detail about packaging but the box that the Pro Folio came in deserves notice. It felt like a box worthy of the product inside. The Pro Folio came in a heavyweight, glossy bronze box with an fabric elastic closure and subtle “Levenger” embossed on the box – prestigious without being fussy.
Inside, the leather Pro Folio was wrapped in a felt cloth to protect it. The wrap was tastefully stamped with the Levenger logo.It reminds me of how high-end handbag manufacturers provide a felt bag for storing purses when not in use. Very elegant.
By the time I had completely unwrapped it, it felt like my birthday. Inside was this beautiful, black leather folio. The Pro Folio is made of a soft-to-the-touch leather but has a sturdy material stitched inside to keep the covers rigid. It would be easy to use this folio on your lap in a lecture or meeting, if necessary. The leather along the spine is supple and the folio easily opens flat. I suspect the cover could fold back on itself but I can’t bring myself to mar the leather spine trying it.
Inside the front cover are two pockets for business cards and a larger slot for loose papers. The back cover has a full-length slot for holding the Circa notebook in place. The folio came with a standard Circa notebook with black rings and a clear, frosted plastic cover. The Circa notebook has 0.5″ rings and contains 60 sheets of 90 gsm soft white paper. The paper is lightly lined in a pale grey with a wide left margin left blank and spaces at the top for date and topic headers.
The folio will accommodate up to 1.5″ rings and 200 sheets of paper so there’s definitely room to grow with this folio.
I was so grateful to discover that such an extraordinary leather folio contained equally stunning paper. It took ink beautifully. Since Levenger does sell fountain pens I would have been surprised if their paper didn’t behave well with fountain pens. However, I was delighted with how well it behaved. The lines were light enough to accommodate even the lightest ink colors and pencil without obscuring legibility while keeping all the fountain pen lines crisp.
I had the tiniest bit of show through with the Mont Blanc Meisterstück 90 Years Permanent Grey ink in my 1.1mm fountain pen but all the medium and fine nibs didn’t have a hint of show through which means this paper really can be used on both sides.
The Levenger Circa Pro Folio retails for $109-$129 depending on size.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Levenger for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
Lokta paper is made from the fibrous inner bark of the high-elevation evergreen bushes in the Himalayans. This paper is often just called Nepali paper. Pen Boutique has started carrying a wide variety of lokta-based paper good from a company called Monk Papers including journals, notebooks, and stationery sets.
I received a packet of deep violet printer paper cut to 8.5×11 to fit into US printers and copiers, an A5-sized hardcover journal and a boxed photo album.
The cut sheets are a deep vivid purple. I thought the dark color of the purple screamed for an opaque white gel pen and it looks fantastic.
One side of the paper is smoother than the other and probably better suited to holding ink jet inks than the more textured side. Unfortunately the purple paper is too dark to be legible but I think other colors would work well and be great for invites, resumes or a typed letter.
I was also sent this festive photo album and matching storage box. Its about 8″x8″ in size. The dots are colored dots of paper attached to the cover. I think this is one of the best uses for this paper. It looks fabulous, durable and totally unique.
I was also sent an A5 hard cover journal. The cover is the same color as the interior pages and the spine is covered in a contrasting colored paper . The binding is a traditional stitched binding that lays flat easily.
I experimented with a lot of different tools with this paper because my standard habit of using super-fine pens just did not work on this paper. The super-fine gel pens and fountain pens stabbed into the soft, fibrous paper. Brushes, pencils and wider rollerballs and art tools work best on this paper. There doesn’t appear to be any sizing on the paper so wet tools like brush pens and watercolor absorb quickly. I think heavy water coverage would warp the paper pretty severely.
From the reverse of the page, there’s some bleed and show-through as I would suspect from such a soft paper.
The Lokta paper is unusual enough that I think everyone should have a chance to try it but it is like other specialty papers, not all the tools you normally use will work but other things might.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Boutique for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
Now that Nock Co has opened the online shop, I can finally rave about their DotDash 3×5 notecards. Using a beautiful, silky smooth, bright white, 80lb stock, NockCo has created a notecard to be reckoned with.
Printed on both sides with NockCo’s signature orange ink is a “dot dash” grid. The ink used for the dot dash grid is light enough not to interfere with the legibility of most writing tools including pencil. Normally, I don’t lean towards grid ruling because the lines are often too dark but the shade of orange Nock Co chose for these cards is fun but not too bright, nor are the lines too bold as to be distracting. The grid is spaced at 4.25 mm. All in all, this is one of my favorite grid rulings.
As promised, almost any writing tool I threw at these notecards worked as promised. Neither fountain pens, gel pens, rollerballs, ballpoints or pencils had any issues with bleeding or feathering. Some wet inks may take a couple minutes to dry completely on the stock, just to be on the safe side.
Even from the reverse, no color bleeds through to the back. This means the cards really are two-sided.
Brad made me keep my secret stash of 3×5 notecards secret for ages. They were sitting on my desk at work for “real world testing” when someone grabbed one to write a note and said “I can’t write on this! Its too nice!” I had to insist they try it just to get someone else’s impression but she refused. Instead she took the card back to “keep”. So somewhere, there is a lone NockCo DotDash 3×5 enshrined on someone’s desk. Well, there’s no need to enshrine these cards any longer now that they are available in packs of 50 cards for $6. I recommend ordering at least two packs straight away because you’ll want to share them.
The DotDash is also available in an A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) staple-bound notebook size.
A 50-card pack of notecards is $6. And now the cards are also available in a dusty blue dot dash.
If it wasn’t clear in the post…
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Nock Co. for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
Whimsical illustrations on the covers of the MosseryCo pocket notebooks are what caught my eye when I wandered into their Etsy shop. These 3.5×5.5″ rounded corners pocket notebooks feature 52 pages of acid-free 120 gsm paper. A set of 9 different, illustrated pocket notebooks can be purchased for $36 or individual notebooks can be bought for $6 each. Plain paper covers are also available, individually or in a set.
What really caught my eye was the hardcover, refillable notepads. The covers looks like vintage books with the quaint illustrations ($20 each) and refill paper can be purchased as needed in different designs ($7 each). The notepads are about 4.25″x6.5″ and are also filled with 110 gsm acid-free paper. There are 110 sheets in each pad and the pads are perforated for easy removal.
(via MosseryCo’s Etsy Shop)
At the Spectrum Live Art Event I was lucky enough to pick up a couple packets of paper samples from Stillman & Birn. I’ve always been a little flummoxed by their notebook naming system so actually getting a little 4×6″ bit of each paper available was such an eye-opener.
There are six different kinds of paper; three types of paper at the 100 lb/150 gsm weight (Alpha, Gamma and Epsilon) and three types at the 180 lb/270 gsm weight (Beta, Delta, and Zeta).
For the most part, the lighter 100 lb/150 gsm is plenty heavy enough for most writers. If you are planning to do more mixed media, collage or art journaling, you might want to consider the 180 lb/270 gsm papers. To me, these feel more like cardstock than paper.
I used the same tools on all six papers from an assortment of pens to a brush loaded with ink and a Sharpie marker. All the papers performed admirably and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed by any of them. Even my flexible nib dip pen did not bleed, though on some of the papers it took several minutes to dry (not uncommon for dip pens though).
The Delta (180 lb/270 gsm) and the Gamma (100lb/150 gsm) are both warm ivory stocks. The Alpha and Beta papers are both cold-press (which means they have some texture to the paper like watercolor papers). Because the Alpha is a lighter stock the tooth to the paper is less noticeable. The smoothest papers are the Epsilon (100lb/150 gsm) and the Zeta (180lb/270 gsm).
The lighter weight papers were my favorites. I could see using them to write or draw and were thick enough to handle a little water color or ink washes. They would be more than enough for me under most circumstances. The Alpha sample got a lot of ink pooled on it and buckled a little bit as did the Epsilon. The cream ivory Gamma paper stayed flat. The Alpha and the Epsilon were my favorites. The Epsilon is smoother so my tools had very little resistance. The Alpha paper is a little toothier, providing a bit of friction which is helpful with rollerballs and slick gel inks. The Epsilon is probably the most comparable to Canson and other makers of the classic black sketchbook though the paper is a bit heavier weight (better).
The heavier 180 lb270 gsm papers withstood all the inks and the Sharpie marker without being worse for the wear . The Zeta is smooth to the touch, the Beta has a little tooth to it and the Delta is the creamy ivory with some texture as well.
From the reverse of the papers, you can see the top row is all the 180 lb/270 gsm papers and the bottom row is the 100 lb/150 gsm papers. There is the merest hint of the Sharpie marker but no actual bleed through.
All-in-all, these are excellent papers and I can see what all the fuss is about now. The best source for Stillman & Birn sketchbooks is Goulet Pens. They stock all six paper stocks in the 5.5×8.5″ A5 size and a few of the other available sizes of the Zeta (smooth, 180 lb/270 gsm). Prices start at $18, about the same as a Moleskine and the S&B books are considerably better for fountain pens.
GIVEAWAY: Oh, I have ONE sampler pack to give away. Its just a little thing with one sheet of all 6 grades of paper. Tell me which grade of paper you’re most interested in trying in the comments to be entered to win.
UPDATE: The kind folks at Stillman & Birn have offered to provide the winner of this giveaway with the notebook of their choice and I’ll still send you the sampler pack as well so now there is even more reason to enter!
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, June 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. 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. I’m feeling generous today so, this contest is open to any reader, US and international readers!
Neatography offers a monthly or quarterly subscription packages filled with paper, letter-writing and office goodies. I received the May kit entitled “The Good Ol’ Days” which included an assortment of pencils, a His & Hers list notepad that is perforated down the middle to split up the tasks, a Rifle Paper Co. Thank You card, Telegram-style postcards, postcard stamps, a calling card, a sharpener and a self-addressed stamped postcard to send back to Neatography letting them know if you liked the latest kit.
Its a lovely package and a great way to discover new paper goods brands and receive a lovely little pick-me-up in your mail box. A monthly package with cards and stamps is $17 per month or on a quarterly schedule, and a paper good subscription is $27 per month or on a quarterly schedule. Shipping costs for the US are included in the costs but international subscriptions require an additional shipping fee.
I like that there’s an option to receive a package every three months. I acquire a lot of other office supplies, cards and writing tools that if a package came every month, I don’t think I’d ever get a chance to use everything and it might accumulate.
I love that the kit includes some stamps so that I can immediately write out a few cards and pop them in the mail.
Once I unwrapped the His & Hers notepad, I was able to see the perforation and started to really like it. There is a magnet on the back of the pad to attach to the refrigerator making it easy to make lists of tasks that each person can tackle. I’d also love one that was “groceries” on one side and “everything else” on the other since our trips to Costco, Target, and the hardware store usually happen separately from the grocery buying but its still a clever pad and will probably get a lot of use at our house.
The pencils in the kit were a Palomino Blackwing 602, Golden Bear #2, Ticonderoga EnviroStik #2 and a Ticonderoga Laddie #2. I look forward to trying a few of these new-to-me pencils like the Laddie and the Envirostik. More about those in the coming weeks. But, yeah! Pencils!
The apple Thank You card from Rifle Paper features a gold foil apple on the cover on soft ivory paper. Its lovely and general enough to be sent to anyone though it would be perfect to give to a teacher.
The sharpener is a brushed aluminum from Maped and looks like a decent little sharpener with a reomveable/replaceable blade. The postage stamps are the new hummingbird design postcard stamps that will go perfectly with the Telegram postcards from Girl of All Work. I’ve used these before and I quite like them. The paper has a bit of tooth to it but ink stands up nicely to it and the look is classic postcard/telegram.
All-in-all I think a subscription with Neatography would be a great opportunity to explore some new paper goods. Looking through the Lookbook at past offerings, each paper goods kit looks to include at least one small-press card, a notepad or other larger item (one kit included Rifle Paper Co mail stickers), some postage stamps, and a small selection of office supplies (pencils, thumbtacks, washi tape, etc.). They value of the items seems to add up to the asking price pretty closely and includes domestic shipping so it is a good value. Everything is packaged beautifully too so it feels like a little gift.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Neatography for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
H. C. Marks (@HCMarks) on Twitter asked “do you know of any stencils with which to draw ruled lines in blank notebooks?”
I have something so much better, at least in my humble opinion. I use a sheet of lined paper that I tuck under my blank page to create perfectly straight lines that are there. But not. Using a guide sheet does not require any prep time. Just slide the sheet behind your current page and start writing.
And his request could not have been more timely as I’ve been planning to make up a few different line widths to share with readers so that you too can try this. The sheets have pretty thick dark lines that can be seen through most standard writing paper. I’ve tested these sheets in my Rhodia Uni Blank for several weeks.
I have created lined paper guides in 6mm, 7mm, 8mm and 10mm spacing. Each .pdf file includes a full 8.5×11 US Letter sized guide and a smaller 5×7″ guide that you can trim to fit in the average A5-sized notebook. Print out your favorite line width spacing on a laser or ink jet printer. One copy of the guide sheet can be kept in each of your favorite notebooks and should last for a long time. The guide sheet often doubles as a blotter sheet, pen primer or to protect the next sheet from pesky bleed through.
US Letter Size (8.5″x11″):
A4 Size (210 x 297mm or 8.3″ x 11.7″) ADDED Feb. 3, 2015:
A5 Sizes (148 x 210mm or 5.83×8.27″):
Field Notes Sized (3.25″x5.5″) UPDATED Feb. 3, 2015:
These new sizes have been trimmed down width-wise so there’s no overhang in your pocket notebooks. I’ve also added 3-up layout on a US letter sized sheet.
Tips for printing guide sheets:
When printing, be sure that you choose to print at 100%, do not choose the “fit to paper” option. I ran the lines to the end of the template to maximize guides. Let your printer trim them where it must. For the smaller sizes, just trim it out. The Field Notes sized sheets can be printed 4-up on a sheet but be sure to set your printer to 100% (actual size) and then tile. If your favorite notebook is smaller, just trim it as needed.
Using a guide sheet with a blank notebook gives a lot more flexibility. You can sketch and free form on some pages and then use the guide sheets when you want to write. Guide sheets are great with letter-writing pads too.
If there’s interest, I can make up other sizes as well. Just let me know in the comments what you prefer.
Cartolina is well-known for its fabulous vintage illustration paper goods but they also take these images and apply them to other goods as well like iPhone hard shell cases which I think is brilliant.
Kansas City Letterpress-ati, Hammerpress, have recently updated their web site and added a lot of new products. Their letterpress cards are gorgeous and if you can’t make it to Kansas City to shop locally, ordering online is the next best thing. Prices on cards are $4-$5.50 per folded card, and are blessedly blank inside and ship with a kraft or coordinating envelope.
But the best shopping experience is to stop in to the Crossroads store in KC and browse posters, postcards, and ephemera.
All specialty skills have their own languages, knitting is no exception. In fact, it has its own codes to convey patterns and notes in a way that might baffle non-knitters. The new True Brit Knits knitter’s notebook provides a great place for knitters to track projects and pattern notes complete with standard pattern abbreviations and symbols on the inside front cover and a ruler in centimeters on the inside back cover, perfect for measuring your swatches. The kraft paper covers feature red, foil stamped knitting needles too.
It’s compact, A5 size is filled with 28 sheets (56 pages) of 100gms paper with clean white paper, alternating plain sides and 4:3 ratio graph paper printed in a pale blue. £10.00
First, I’d like you to all admire my new and fully customized Link mascot thanks to my pal and co-worker Adan who, clearly, is a fabulous illustrator. I think I need Link on a t-shirt!
Now, on to the links:
Beneath the rather banal cover of the Kokuyo Campus Report Pad A4 ($4.10), hides some pretty amazing paper. When I first peeled back the flimsy cover, I was greeted by the undersheet and went “Hmmm, is this what I ordered?” After flipping past that, I realized that the paper was actually blissfully blank and a very lightweight. It reminded be a little of the Tomoe River paper found in my Hobonichi Planner. Do I have you attention now?
The undersheet is conveniently printed on both sides. One side is just lined, the other side is marked with a grid.
The paper is lightweight enough that you can easily see the lines or grid undersheet through the paper. The undersheet is more heavyweight than the paper so it feel like it will be durable enough for use through a full pad of paper, even with the possibilities of ink transfer.
Undersheets are one of the reasons I love blank paper. If the paper light enough, or your undersheet is dark enough, you can quickly have lined or grid paper to work from but then not be distracted by the lines once you’ve written on the paper. If you’re sketching, you can skip the undersheet altogether and you have a clear, blank of expanse to inspire you. With blank paper, you get the best of all worlds.
Now, how well does the paper perform in writing tests? Excellently, that’s how. I put it through its paces with gel, rollerball, pencil and fountain pens and not one bled or smeared. I didn’t track dry times but even with my smeary, left-handedness, I didn’t have any smudges. The only pen that led through was a Sharpie marker but I tried it just to see if it would.
From the reverse of the paper, you can see that there is quite a bit of show-through because the paper is so lightweight but nothing leaked through except the Sharpie, which I expect on all paper but cardboard boxes. I like this paper so much, I considered putting it in the queue as a regular pen testing notebook so I thought I better compare it to the current reigning champ, the Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank.
The Rhodia pad paper is on the left, the Campus pad is on the right. As you can see, the Rhodia paper is considerably brighter white. The Campus pad is a soft white. Which, for my purposes, rules the Campus out for ink testing since I like to be able to clearly see the colors without any color pollution as a result of the paper.
From the reverse, its easy to see that the Rhodia is a thicker stock so there is little show-through. I added the Sharpie marker just to have something bleed through so my camera had something to focus on.
If cost is an issue and you are looking for a lay-flat writing pad with easy, tear-away sheets AND is fountain pen-friendly, the Campus Report Pad is a great option. Its considerably cheaper than a Rhodia No. 18 pad and very similar size. For US folks, the A4 size is about an inch taller and a quarter inch narrower than “letter-sized” paper so fitting the sheets into a 3-ring binder or standard file folders might not work as well as the Rhodia No. 18 which perforates down to a standard letter-sized sheet.
I picked up this stack of Kyokuto Word Cards at Maido in San Francisco. They are small cards measuring just 1.5″ x 3.5″ (3.7 x 9 cm) and contain 100 sheets. I paid $2.75 for them. They are hole punched at the narrow end and held together on a clamp ring making them perfect to store and collect ink sample swabs. Because the clamp ring is easy to open, ink samples can be rearranged by color or manufacturer on a whim.
I’ve started using them to have swab references of the Ink Drop colors I receive. I plan to go back and do all the previous color swabs so that I can get all OCD and mix and match them by color, which ones I’ve purchased and manufacturer at a whim. The paper quality seems good, only one ink swab of the ten I tried showed any bleeding or feathering. Its bright white and my printer husband estimates the paper weight between 60 lb and 80 lb cardstock. Think of the card stock used for magazine blow-ins (those subscription cards that fall out the first time to open it) for a comparable weight. The cards are very smooth paper, there is little-to-no texture.
The nice thing about this set (or any of these mini-flash-cards-on-a-ring) is the ability to add more cards as needed. If they exceed the ring capacity, larger rings are available in most office supply stores or I can split the colors between multiple rings or divide them into smaller rings — all the reds, all the blues, all the blue-blacks, etc. I just love how easy it is to review, sort and be as anal about my ink collection as I want to be.
The closest product I could find online is the Maruman Mnemosyne Word Cards which measure 4.1 x 2.1″ (5.4 x 10.5 cm) with 100 sheets for $4.95. For more about the Maruman Mnemosyne Word Cards, check out the review on The Pen Addict. Have fun and nerd out with your new ink cards!
For some time now, I’ve kept and ear and an eye open for good quality writing paper for letter writing. Stationery (not note cards) is getting harder and harder to find so I’m always on the look out for it. I’m familiar with the French line G. Lalo but had not tried out their paper until recently. It’s a textured paper with a classic laid finish which gives it some toothiness. I was concerned the toothiness would cause ink to bleed or skip but I should have expected that an upscale French paper would be as luxurious as it sounds.
I’ve used the G. Lalo Vergé de France pad for a couple weeks to write letters and found it easy to write on. The pad is a standard A5 size (5.75 x 8.25″) with a glue edge at the top to easily tear away sheets. Each pad had a cardstock cover with a metallic finish and gold embossed logo. It folds back easily. Each pad has 50 sheets.
The pad I purchased is listed as white but I found the stock to be a warm white/ivory color which is pleasingly warm but not so dark as to alter ink colors dramatically. The paper is blank but I use an undersheet with lines or grid under it to keep my lines neat and straight.
The best thing about the paper is that not one single fountain pen I tried on it bled or splined or did anything untoward. This is THE paper for writing letters for sure. The paper is thick enough (100 gsm) to use both the front and reverse of the stock too so its economical — relatively speaking.
I purchased my pad at Patrick & Co. Office Supply in San Francisco but can be purchased online through European Paper for $11.50/pad (if you purchase two or more, the price drops to $11) and they stock a range of colors including a lovely pistachio green. I might have to grab another pad. Matching envelopes are also available.
Need to keep the snack-stealing, pencil-nabbing, cube-dwelling troglodytes from running away with your beloved office supplies or snacks? The KnockKnock MINE! sticky notes might do the trick. They are standard 3×3″ squares with removable adhesive and a place to clearly establish your ownership. $3.99 for a 100-sheet pad. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
I have a CRAP sticky notes pad and, while they are not the stickiest sticky notes in the world, I always get comments on how fun they are.
Fabulous video of a hand-writing automaton boy built over 240 years ago (via Letter Writers Alliance)
Paper & Notebooks:
Pens and Ink:
Notebooks & Paper:
Note: Some of the items mentioned below would not strictly be considered “office supplies” but I thought you might enjoy them. Please leave comments if you’d prefer less (or more) of this sort of post. Thanks!
I was in Chicago for Black Friday again this year. I decided the best course of action on such a nutball shopping day was to shop local. We definitely wanted to visit Pieritz again so we visited other shops in the Oak Park area as well. My husband discovered the fabulousness of HooDoo Headwear, a beautiful hat shop that opened in July. He bought three hats! And we both put the independent bookseller, The Book Table, on our radar after discovering a classic Chris Ware illustration of their storefront on their web site.
At Pieritz I was able to purchase a new pad of Clairefontaine Triomphe paper ($5 at Pieritz, online from JetPens $9) and a pack of red labels ($4). At The Book Table, I bought a packet of Telegram Postcard from Girl of All Work ($6.75) and a copy of The Drunken Botanist ($16) which I highly recommend for the cocktail connoisseurs out there.
At Challengers, we bought an array of graphic novels including the Mind MGMT Volume 1, Mister X: Eviction and Batman: Death by Design. Oh, and I found a booklet of watercolor postcards by Jill Thompson (signed!).
What did you do with your Black Friday shopping day?
There were lots of hard-to-categorize bits of wonderfulness on the pen-blogospere this week including the epic link list from the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide Episode (#81) which is a link list onto itself.
Letter Writing and Post:
Pardon my repeated turns to digital recently. As computers, cell phones and tablet devices are as much a part of our working life as pens, paper and staplers, I feel its worthwhile to include references occasionally.
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