Just wanted to remind everyone that today (Sunday April 12th) is the first ever Letter Writers Allinace Book Club. We are meeting online so everyone can join in. The book to be discussed is 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. The live feed discussion begins at 3pm CST. For more information, visit the Good Reads group page or come to the chat at the live feed page.
Did I mention I will be one of the guests on the chat?
If you miss this event, the book club will be meeting quarterly online to discuss books that may be of interest to letter writers and mail lovers. The discussion will be done as a live video chat. Come join us!
Field Notes Vending Machine from Coudal Partners on Vimeo.
Forget Twinkies. I want a vending machine full of Field Notes.
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.
From the “Oh, God, No” files: A typewriter is modified to type in (argh!!!!) Comic Sans!
(via FastCo Design)
Process Crayola from WIRED on Vimeo.
A peek into how Crayola makes its iconic crayon.
(via Wired on Vimeo)
For the Fall edition of the Colors subscription series, Field Notes is definitely keeping it under wraps, figuratively and literally. This collection is called “Unexposed” and sounds like it will feature a random assortment of books from a range of six possible covers.
What do you think it will be? Are you annoyed or intrigued?
Leigh Reyes of My Life As A Verb put together a lovely video of her pen strokes along to the lyrics of Feathers by The Twilight Singers. Lovely.
Why Write is a sixteen minute Ted Talk from Master Penman Jake Weidmann waxing poetic about the love of penmanship and writing.
(Shoutout to Fountain Pen Physicist for the link as I hadn’t yet seen this!)
Make your own Midori-style Traveler’s Notebook in any size (traditional Midori sizes or a leather cover perfectly sized for your Field Notes-sized books) with this great video tutorial:
After you’ve made your own Midori-style TRaveler’s Notebook, don’t forget to check out my previous post about customizing your notebook.
(Thanks to @mattwillgo for the tip)
Its not Christmas but I couldn’t wait to share this. What do the guys over at Tested love to write with? Karas Kustoms pens and Field Notes, of course!
(Link via Field Notes)
David Rees of Artisanal Pencil Sharpening sharpens Blackwing Pencils using an array of tools including a box knife, a Classroom Friendly Sharpener and the El Casco. Is it ridiculous? A little bit, but in his ostentatiousness he gets to the heart of it: anyone can use a pencil and sharpen it with little more than a knife or pocket sharpener.
(via Art Directors Club)
Peek inside some stationery shops like Present + Correct in the UK.
(via Monocle, tip o’ the hat to Letter Writers Alliance)
A GIRL NAMED ELASTIKA from Guillaume Blanchet I Filmmaker on Vimeo.
Enjoy your Friday with a 3-minute short film made entirely out of office supplies. Elastika rocks!
(shout out to my pal Teri for the tip!)
Great animated video about the Hobonichi Planner from the folks who created Domo-Kun!
(via Hobonichi Love)
Fabulous video of a hand-writing automaton boy built over 240 years ago (via Letter Writers Alliance)
Paper & Notebooks:
Pens and Ink:
How much does your Field Notes soul weigh?
(via Field Notes)
Making Mail is a Kickstarter funded documentary about mail art and the folks that create it. The film has been produced and is now being submitted to film festivals, this is the trailer.
(via Paper Pastries, Suburban Pen Pal and Letter Writers Alliance)
My husband stumbled across this video of staplers found in Japan by this colorful Brit from The Grand Illusions web site, a site that sells toys, illusions and other novelty items.
I dug through his videos in search of other tidbits that might be interesting to readers and also found his glass pen demo. He comments that washing the tip with a little soapy water helps to make the ink adhere much better. Good tip!
This video was featured on The Verge this week and features Hallmark and focuses on the precarious state of the greeting card as a means for communication in our modern age. The video also features views of the halls I walk and many people who I’ve worked with over the years (I spent several years in the humor and Shoebox group. Yes, it really is a tiny little division of Hallmark). There are images of our legendary Crown Room (not during lunch), the outside of the building and even some peeks into the cubicles of people I know.
As folks who appreciate analog tools, I hope you also appreciate cards as a way to communicate with family and friends. Not to mention that, without the lovely steady paycheck from Hallmark, this blog might not be here.
PS: Even the Ford ad that bookends the video was filmed in Kansas City.
(Sorry I was unable to embed the video.)
Edit: Updated video and article links on Tuesday, Sept 10 as the original links went bad.
Feeling kind of Hobbitsy? Moleskine is re-releasing the Hobbit line of products in time for the release of the second film in the Hobbit series. So I guess its not so limited anymore, is it?
The covers are accented with debossed designs and metallic foils. Four versions are available in pocket sized including a Bordeaux Red cover and two black with red foil accents and black debossed designs and one black cover with red foil and gold foil. They are pretty but its still filled with mediocre paper stock. Sigh.
After writing my reviews of the hybrid ballpoints, I found an ad for the Pilot Acroball that sort of horrified my senses. So then I had to look further to see if Pentel, Uni Ball or Zebra stooped to similar stereotypes. So I’ve collected them all for you here.
Seriously? This is another Bic For Her travesty (read the reviews for entertainment). Shame on you, Pilot.
This Uni Jetstream video just sells the pens and stops trying to stereotype all women as shopaholics with a penchant for matching their pen to their outfits.
Both Surari and Vicuna features ice skating as a metaphor for the pens’ smoothness. Points to Surari for weirdness of the ice skating zebra.
Judged entirely based on the promotional videos, I give the lead to Zebra Surari. Runner-up is Uni Jetstream but they lost first place because of the goofy music.
How would you rate these? Are you more or less compelled to buy any of these pens?
I’m not at all as enthusiastic about ballpoints as the announcer in this video but it is interesting to see how much work is put into making the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen.The beginning of the video paints fountain pens in a very poor light indeed.
Let the comment raging begin.
(Shoutout to Andy of Woodclinched for finding this video)
If you love vintage typewriters, you’ll enjoy this tour of Pieritz in Oak Park which is filled with wonderful old machines. The tour is led by vintage aficionado Bradley Paul during a recent Letter Writers Alliance Letter Writing Social.
Beautiful video of hand crafting a metal pen.
(via Gizmodo, originally from Alexandre Chappel)
I forgot to include a link to these videos in yesterday’s Link Love but this is more of a Friday waste-a-few-minutes-on-the-company’s-dime activities anyway. Tipping my hat to Brad at Pen Addict for posting these videos. If you’re a fan of shows like “How Things Are Made” AND you like pens and stationery, especially from Japan, you’ll like these a lot. For more information and detailed descriptions of the episodes, check out the NHK World TV web site.
So grab a doughnut and a fresh cup of coffee. Bonus points if you decide to play Name-That-Tool as the camera scan across products.