The Pantone color of the year for 2016 is actually a pairing of two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The Pantone website explains the thought behind their selection for this year:
Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.
Would you like to add these calm, relaxing colors to your stationery arsenal? Below are a few of our favorite choices of pens, ink and paper related items that are part of this color family.
The first pens that come to my mind when I think of Serenity and Rose Quartz are the Platinum Plaisir fountain pens in a pearlized soft pink and frosty blue. Also worth mentioning is the popular Aurora Style Aquamarine pale blue fountain pen.
Shades of blue and pink pastel paper can be found in Clairefontaine’s Multiple Subject Notebooks (small, medium or large) and Clairefontaine Loose Sheets of paper with Graph or French Rules. Exacompta also has pastel colored index cards that are super smooth and their grid lines make it so that any side of the card can be the top.
What are your favorite Rose Quartz and Serenity blue colored pens, paper and ink?
As we move along in 2016, we’re not sure what new and exciting pens and paper will appear in our online store or what new blog posts we will write. We do know that we will continue to offer discounted prices every day on a wide variety of paper notebooks, fountain pens, appointment books and Eurogames. Thanks again for a great year!
A new school year is right around the corner! My favorite memory of going back to school was getting all of the fresh, new stationery supplies needed to prepare for the upcoming year. I was particularly fond of any new art supplies such as pencils with a variety of graphite, paints and sketchbooks. Whether or not you feel it’s old-fashioned, using paper and pen to take handwritten notes has proven to help students learn more than if they type their notes on laptops so be sure to stock up on writing supplies for top school performance! Here are our top 5 stationery choices for back to school 2015:
1) Clairefontaine Notebooks. Whatever your paper notebook needs are, Clairefontaine pretty much has you covered with their huge variety and high quality super-smooth paper. One of our favorites is the Clairefontaine Twinbook. The first 48 pages have a tab cut into them that divides the Twinbook into two sections for two subjects. Another favorite is the 3-hole punched Clairefontaine Wirebound Notebook, ruled with margin. This notebook has paper that is sized to fit 3-ring binders in the USA and includes a generous 90 sheets of paper (available soon).
3) Palomino Blackwing Pencils. Whether you’re in art class or geometry class a quality pencil is an essential tool. Palomino has got your needs covered with their retro variety of premium graphite wooden pencils.
4) Zebra Optex Highlighters. These Zebra Highlighters have a tip on each end: The thick end is perfect for highlighting words on a page while the thin end is great for underlining. Save space (and weight!) in your backpack with these dual purpose writing tools.
5) Aston Leather Pencil Pouch. Keep your writing instruments from getting lost in the black hole of your backpack with a rugged Aston Leather Pencil Pouch. Aston selects their leather from the best environmentally friendly American and European tanneries, and their leathers are scratch resistant, supple, and sturdy.
What would you like to add to our list of top 5 school supplies for 2015?
Clairefontaine has been making paper in France since 1858 and they are committed to controlling the environmental impact of their manufacturing process. They also happen to make notebooks in all sorts of formats that are great for school!
This paper is made from materials sourced from certified sustainable forests.
Clairefontaine recycles water, and when it leaves their paper mill this water is cleaner than when it arrived.
Their paper is chlorine-free.
Natural water-based vegetable oil pigment ink is used in printing.
Clairefontaine supplies 80% of their own energy needs.
They practice recycling and waste reduction.
2. Fountain Pen & Ink
Just how many disposable pens does one student use throughout their entire time spent in school? How about a multitude of students? It’s hard to even imagine the quantity of plastic pens tossed into the trash. Switch to a good fountain pen and you’ve got a pen that can last a lifetime! If you fill your fountain pen with bottled fountain pen ink, you’ll eliminate the need to throw away empty plastic ink cartridges refills. To use bottled ink you’ll want to be sure you have an ink converter or a piston-fill (or similar) fountain pen. Filling a fountain pen with bottled ink while you’re on the road or at school can be a little bit tricky, so I carry 2 fountain pens loaded with ink with me on those intense note-taking days.
3. Refillable Highlighters
Highlighters are another plastic writing tool that usually get tossed in the trash when they’re dried up. Take another step to help ease the strain on the environment by using refillable highlighters. There are many refillable highlighter options you’ve probably never thought of.
Book Darts are paper-thin metal line-markers that slide onto the page of a book and are used as place-finders for facts, quotes, key points and passages that you want to refer to later. They do not stain or damage paper and eliminate the need to highlight, underline, bend page corners or use paper clips or sticky notes. These light-weight metal darts can be reused over and over again for a lifetime. You don’t have to know all the answers, just where to find them!
5. Quo Vadis Academic Planner
What makes Quo Vadis academic planners different than other academic planners? They are full of earth-friendly Clairefontaine paper and most of them have covers that can be refilled every year with a new calendar insert. In addition, your fountain pen will write amazingly well on super-smooth 90g Clairefontaine paper. Academic planners are the must have tool to juggle a busy class schedule.
What environmentally friendly back to school supplies would you like to recommend?
Most parents are aware that for various reasons many schools have dropped learning cursive handwriting from the student curriculum. In this digital age is it worth continuing the tradition of cursive handwriting? I’m sure there are many differing opinions. One simple reason that students may want to learn cursive is that studies show writing notes by hand aids in learning more so than does taking notes with a tablet or computer. Cursive writing enables you to take notes much more quickly than printing does. WickiHow adds this incentive: “In a recent study, The College Board found that, for the essay part of the SAT, the students who wrote in cursive scored slightly higher than those who used print. They attribute it to the speed and efficiency of cursive that allows for greater focus on the content of the tests.” With school vacations on the horizon, now would be a good time to plan on making learning cursive a fun summer project for your kids.
One motivation for learning cursive or just improving your handwriting skills in general is using a fountain pen. This old school writing instrument writes with a very light touch, and the reduced pressure results in less writing fatigue. Plus the variety of colorful inks out there can make your hand writing look better than ever! For introducing a child to fountain pens, I would recommend a pen with a grip that helps with proper finger placement and also a nib that is easy to write with such as a medium, A, or left-handed nib. Pelikano fountain pens have been used by students for decades and they are a great fountain pen to get started with. The Pelikano comes in two versions: the Pelikano Junior for the very young student and the Pelikano for any age of student (or adult for that matter). Both of these pens come in several choices of color and nib size and have carefully designed grips that show you how to hold the pen. Don’t forget to get some extra Pelikan ink cartridges to refill your fountain pens! To browse through a variety of starter fountain pens including the Pelikano, take a look at the Beginner Fountain Pens at Writer’s Bloc.
French ruled paper is another aid to learning cursive handwriting or to improve your hand writing. It has an 8mm x 8mm grid, with additional lighter horizontal lines spaced 2mm apart inside the grid. These lines can be used as writing guides to keep your upper and lower case cursive letters a consistent size. Even though French ruled paper is difficult to find in the United States, this paper is routinely used by students in France as well as in other countries. Clairefontaine has a pretty good selection of this paper and you can order French ruled paper online at Writer’s Bloc. To find out more about French rule paper, take a look at our blog post: What is French Ruled Paper? Here are a couple of examples of practicing calligraphy and French cursive hand writing on French rule paper:
Another good resource can be the internet. If you do a search for “cursive writing” (or something similar), you’ll find many websites and tools to help children and adults to learn cursive hand writing. Many websites have practice pages that can be printed out for students of all ages. A few years ago I wanted to learn French cursive writing and found the following guide to be very useful:
Learning cursive handwriting is something that requires patience and practice, but it can pay off with better grades in school! Isn’t that worth the effort?