Greenery: 2017 Pantone Color of the Year Gift Guide

Greenery - Pantone Color of the Year 2017
Greenery – Pantone Color of the Year 2017

Pantone recently announced that the color of the year for 2017 is a shade called Greenery. Their website calls the Greenery “nature’s neutral” and provides this description of the color:

A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

I’m crazy about anything in the color yellow-green! We’ve put together a gift guide to help you shop for pens, ink and journals that are similar to this shade of green.

Greenery Themed Stationery
Greenery Themed Stationery
Green LAMY Safari with a Calligraphy Nib
Green LAMY Safari with a Calligraphy Nib

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

The first fountain pen that came to my mind when I saw Greenery was this LAMY Safari fountain pen in green. If you haven’t already collected a Safari in this color this is a good year to do it! We replaced the regular nib on the pen in this photo with a calligraphy nib.

Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen with Light Green Accents
Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen with Light Green Accents

Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen

The Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen in Light Green has a clear body with a pop of green on the end of the barrel and cap. The nibs on Prera fountain pens are great if you have small handwriting or like to write with a very fine pen.

Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Fountain Pen - Shiny Green
Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Fountain Pen – Shiny Green

Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Fountain Pen

This Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Fountain Pen in Shiny Green is a special edition, so if this pen strikes your fancy don’t wait too long to add this to your desk. It comes equipped with a Broad BB nib and since it’s a fountain pen it can be refilled over and over again with highlighter ink. Our choice of ink? Why, of course matching Pelikan M205 Duo Highlighter Ink, also in Shiny Green.

ilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Chiku-Rin - Bamboo Forest
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Chiku-Rin – Bamboo Forest

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Bamboo Forest Green (Chiku-Rin)

Chiku-Rin or Bamboo Forest fountain pen ink is a yellow green shade similar to the color of new growth on plants in the spring, which also happens to be the same color in nature that inspired the shade Greenery. Truly a beautiful and refreshing color!

J. Herbin Vert Pre Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Vert Pre Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin Vert Pre Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin’s Vert Pre is another one of our favorite yellow-green fountain pen inks. The top of the glass bottle has a handy built-in place to rest your pen.  J. Herbin uses all natural dyes in their inks, which makes them non-toxic and pH neutral.

Rhodiarama Pad Holder - Anise Green
Rhodiarama Pad Holder – Anise Green

Rhodiarama Pad Holder No. 12 with Notepad – Anise Green

Carry your favorite Rhodia paper in this pocket-size refillable Rhodia notepad holder. It has a pen holder and pocket to stash receipts and business cards.

Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebook - Anise Green Cover
Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebook – Anise Green Cover

Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebook with an Anise Green Cover

Your fountain pen will write like a dream on the high quality paper inside Rhodiarama soft cover notebooks. Your choice of lined or dot grid paper – just what those of you who are crazy about bullet journals have been waiting for!

Pentel Tradio Mechanical Pencil - Apple Green
Pentel Tradio Mechanical Pencil – Apple Green

Pentel Tradio Mechanical Pencil – Apple Green

The cap of the Apple Green Pentel Tradio mechanical pencil protects the tip from damage and breakage. It’s got a button on the side near the grip that you can click to advance the lead for uninterrupted writing.

Other ideas for a Greenery themed desk top include: the Quo Vadis Habana Journal in Anise Green, Quo Vadis Planner with a Bamboo Green Texas Cover, a Platinum Preppy Green Highlighter with Green Highlighting Ink, and the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Green Highlighter. Several Clairefontaine notepads are available with yellow-green covers: you can request a yellow-green cover during order check out and if we’ve got that color in stock we will send it to you.

What yellow-green stationery items do you have on your desk?

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8 Retro Accessories That Will Rock Your Desk

In this digital age, fashionably nostalgic stationery is still highly treasured by writers all around the world. Here are eight of our top modern choices that reconnect us with days of the past.

J. Herbin Wax & Seal Kit
J. Herbin Wax & Seal Kit

J. Herbin Wax & Seal Kit

A personalized wax seal is a great way to make any invitation, thank you card or old-fashioned snail mail stand out in the crowd. Wax seals can be used to embellish wine bottles, for scrapbooking, to seal packaging, to add the finishing touch to a wrapped gift and much more. J. Herbin’s Supple Sealing Wax resists cracking or chipping when applied to envelopes being sent through the US mail.

J. Herbin Glass Pens
J. Herbin Glass Pens

J. Herbin Glass Dipping Pens

J. Herbin’s hand-blown glass pens are beautiful and elegant works of art made in the style of glass pens popular in 17th century Venice. The glass nib on this dipping pen has small spiral grooves that hold enough ink to write several lines without the need to re-dip. They can be used along with fountain pen ink or other specialty inks made for dipping pens.

Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pen Gift Set
Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pen Gift Set

Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pen Gift Set

For over 150 years Brause has been making steel calligraphy nibs of excellent precision and durability. This gift set includes a small bottle of ink and 6 different nib types for both script and calligraphy.

J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink
J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink

J. Herbin Dipping Pen Calligraphy Ink

J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink is specially formulated with natural resins allowing the ink to adhere to a metal nib, yet flow smoothly and consistently. For use with dipping pens, steel nibs, glass or quill pens, calames and brushes. It pairs well with the J. Herbin Glass Pens and Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pens.

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink - Bleu Ocean
J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink – Bleu Ocean

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin’s 1670 Anniversary Fountain Pen Ink comes in a cool retro cube-shaped bottle that is sealed with wax and decorated with a “1670” wax seal. J. Herbin created its “Anniversaire 1670” inks in honor of the 340th anniversary of the J. Herbin ink brand. Napoleon, Victor Hugo and Louis XVI all used J. Herbin inks!

Delta Vintage Fountain Pen - Ruby Red
Delta Vintage Fountain Pen – Ruby Red

Delta Vintage Fountain Pen – Ruby Red

This Delta Vintage Fountain Pen is made from a mother of pearl acrylic resin that beautifully catches the light. Like fountain pens of the past, it is carefully hand-crafted and made with attention to detail to produce a quality writing instrument that can be treasured for generations. Also available in Lava Stone Black, Deep Ocean Blue and White.

J. Herbin Wooden Rocker Style Ink Blotter
J. Herbin Wooden Rocker Style Ink Blotter

J. Herbin Traditional Wooden Rocker Style Ink Blotter

The Traditional Rocker Style Wooden Ink Blotter from J. Herbin is easy to hold and a clean way to avoid smearing excess wet fountain pen ink. It can be refilled with Rocker Ink Blotter Paper Refills, or purchase larger sheets of Blotter Paper to tuck inside the cover of your journal or notebook.

Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet
Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet

Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet

In addition to all of your great nostalgic writing gear you’re going to want some high quality paper to enjoy it with. Classic Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablets fit the bill with brilliant white 90g, acid free, ultra-smooth paper. Fountain pens write like a dream on this paper! Matching envelopes are also available.

What are your favorite “vintage” writing tools?

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10 Graduation Gifts Under $30

Years of hard work have finally paid off for many students this time of year – graduation has arrived! What will you get as a gift for your favorite graduate? We’ve complied a list of 10 gift ideas that are all $30 and less.

1) The 5 Book. This is an excellent interactive playbook that inspires your grad to think about where they will be 5 years from today. The 5 Book asks thoughtful questions about plans, dreams, and priorities and to help them map out the best years of their life– the next 5.

The Five Book
The Five Book

2) Academic Planner. Keeping on top of a hectic college schedule can be quite a challenge! An academic planner comes to the rescue with a calendar that begins with the start of the school year. For a detailed weekly plan, we’d recommend the Quo Vadis Minister. For something pocket-size try the Quo Vadis University Planner. You can find these and other planners in our Academic Planners section (back in stock soon!).

Quo Vadis Textagenda Academic Planners
Quo Vadis Textagenda Academic Planners

3) LAMY Safari Fountain Pen. The Safari fountain pen is popular in countries all over the world. It’s easy to use, durable and fun! This pen is a great way to introduce your student to the world of fountain pens, or if your grad is already a fan of writing instruments, the Safari will become a treasured part of their collection. It comes in several colors and nib sizes to suit just about any writer.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Blue
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Blue

4) Meeting Book. Whether or not your grad is headed to college or the office, the Cornell notes format of a meeting book makes it a valuable tool. The layout is designed for organized and efficient note taking during meetings or school classes. Both Rhodia and Moleskine make excellent meeting notebooks.

Rhodia Meeting Book & Vanishing Point Fountain Pen
Rhodia Meeting Book & Vanishing Point Fountain Pen

5) Pen Case. Whether it’s just one precious writing instrument that needs a little protection or a plethora of writing instruments that need to be corralled, there’s a pen case out there that’s just right for your graduate. The Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case is an economical option for an individual pen, their rugged Pencil Pouch holds about a dozen pens and pencils.

Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches
Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches

6) Book Darts. These paper-thin metal line-markers are the perfect tool to mark things worth rereading, to note key points as you read them and to help you go back to ideas worth studying. Book Darts can be reused over and over again for a lifetime!

Book Darts
Book Darts

7) Leuchtturm 1917 Ex Libris Private Reading Journal. Is your grad a book worm? This bound Private Reading Journal is a classy way to create written memories of novels and other books they’ve read.

Leuchtturm 1917 Ex Libris Private Reading Journal
Leuchtturm 1917 Ex Libris Private Reading Journal

8) Platinum Preppy Highlighters – Set of 5. Studying at college can mean some of your new best friends are highlighters. Preppy Highlighters are refillable with Platinum highlighting ink cartridges so these pens can outlast many other kinds of highlighters.

Platinum Preppy Refillable Highlighters
Platinum Preppy Refillable Highlighters

9) STAEDTLER triplus fineliners – Set of 20 in a Wrap Case. This fun roll-up case is filled with a bunch of colorful superfine felt tip pens. The case is available in either Black or Pink. A great gift for creative students!

Staedtler Triplus Fineliners - Set of 20 in a Pink Wrap Case
Staedtler Triplus FinelinersSet of 20 in a Pink Wrap Case

10) Coloring Book for Grown-Ups. College and work life both have their daily stresses. Doodling in a coloring book for grown-ups is a great way to unwind at the end of a hectic day. Clairefontaine has bird, flower or nature themed coloring books, or try the Secret Garden Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book that’s inspired by the plants and wildlife found in rural Scotland.

Secret Garden Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring Book
Secret Garden Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring Book

What will you buy for your new graduate this year?

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10 Fountain Pens to Buy For Your Boyfriend

Fountain pens make great gifts! They are sophisticated and retro, reduce writing fatigue, can be refilled over and over again and when taken care of can become a family heirloom. So what fountain pen will you buy for the man in your life? In general, when considering what nib size to buy for someone who has never used a fountain pen, If he has small handwriting buy a fine nib, medium or large handwriting buy a medium nib. If he already collects fountain pens it’s up to you to find out what kind of nib size he wants next. Here are 10 of our favorite fountain pens (in no particular order) that would make great gifts:

Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen - Black, Fine Nib
Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen – Black, Fine Nib

1. Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen. The smart design of the Kaweco Sport allows the pen to be a compact pocket-size when capped and when uncapped it posts at the perfect length for writing. The AL Sport is made of metal so it is as durable and rugged as your man needs it to be.

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen - Gun Metal Gray, Black Matte Accents
Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – Gun Metal Gray, Black Matte Accents

2. Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen, Gun Metal Gray with Black Matte Accents. The Pilot Vanishing Point capless retractable fountain pen is well-known for its clever design that allows you to extend or retract the nib with just one click. When clipped to a shirt pocket the nib points up to reduce the chance of any leaks. Available in several colors and nib sizes.

LAMY Dialog Palladium Fountain Pen
LAMY Dialog Palladium Fountain Pen

3. LAMY Dialog 3 Fountain Pen has a revolutionary twist mechanism that allows the nib to advance and retract smoothly into the barrel. When the nib is advanced the clip recesses slightly into the body, creating an ergonomic writing experience. Once retracted a protective ball valve closes over the nib and the clip can be lifted and secured to a bag or pocket. Its modern Bauhaus appearance and intelligent design would make this the perfect pen for an engineer. Nibs tend to run one size large on this pen, so choose one nib size down. It’s also available in matte black.

Delta Vintage Stylus Fountain Pen - Lava Stone, Fine Nib
Delta Vintage Stylus Fountain Pen – Lava Stone, Fine Nib

4. Delta Vintage Stylus Fountain Pen – Lava Stone. For your techie guy who likes to use a stylus with his tablet or smart phone; one end of this fountain pen has a premium capacitive rubber stylus specifically designed for modern touch screen devices, the other end has a traditional platinum-masked fountain pen nib.

Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen Black
Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen Black

5. Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen in Black. For the traditionalist, the elegant, classic Pelikan M800 fountain pen is produced by one of the most renowned pen manufacturers in the world. This large pen has a piston filling system and a masterfully handcrafted two-tone 18k gold nib.

Platinum 3776 Series Music Nib Fountain Pen - Koi
Platinum 3776 Series Music Nib Fountain Pen – Koi

6. Platinum 3776 Series Music Nib Fountain Pen – Koi. Perfect for an artist or calligrapher, this beautiful red celluloid “Koi” fountain pen is reminiscent of the glistening multi-color scales of a koi fish and is popular with those who pursue unusual antique designs. The most extraordinary feature of Platinum’s 14K gold music nib is that is has two slits, making it a three tined nib which allows for a good ink flow. “Smooth as silk” is how the writing experience with this nib has been described. Also available in black/rhodium or black/gold.

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen - Brown Tortoiseshell
Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen – Brown Tortoiseshell

7. Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen.  This is a very large “man-size” ornate Italian-made fountain pen. According to Stipula, this eye-catching pen is “adorned with a magnificent bronze clip in which there are two masterpieces of Florence: the dome of Florence’s Cathedral and Michelangelo’s David. The band on the cap in the foreground depicts the coat of arms of the Medici. Adorning the rest of the ring the portraits of three genes born in Tuscany: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Dante Alighieri.”

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen - Dots, Medium Nib
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Dots, Medium Nib

8. Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen. The Metropolitan provides everything you need for an economical price – it even includes a gift box and an ink converter for bottled ink. It’s a durable daily writer that you’re not afraid to take to work.

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen - Gunmetal
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – Gunmetal

9. Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen. The Plaisir is the perfect fountain pen for a no-fuss low- maintenance kind of guy since it has a specially designed cap that allows it to write smoothly even after it hasn’t been used for up to a year. This makes it suitable both for writing every day or for only occasional use. The cap also reduces ink loss due to evaporation. The durable anodized aluminum body has a beautiful pearlized finish.

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen - Black
LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen – Black

10. LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen – Black. If Darth Vader used fountain pens, this stealthy all-black Al-Star might just be the one he would use. Are any of your boyfriends going to see the new Star Wars movie next month? I thought so.

What fountain pens would you recommend as gift for your boyfriend?

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Clairefontaine Coloring Books for Grownups Review

Clairefontaine Coloring Book - Flowers
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – Flowers

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to unwind, Clairefontaine Coloring Books for Grownups are just what you need! Each coloring book contains 36 pages (18 sheets) of drawings that are begging for your imagination and your favorite pens, colored pencils, paints, markers, crayons or ink.

The illustrations vary in the amount of detail and are printed in black ink on white paper. Some of the drawings have printed black backgrounds which provide a dramatic contrast to both bright and pastel colors. Other drawings have enough white space to add your own doodles if you are so inspired. Many of the drawings take several hours to be completely colored, so this book will give you plenty of relaxing coloring time.

Clairefontaine Coloring Book - page with a black background
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – detail of a page with a black background

The Clairefontaine art paper in these coloring books is a hefty 120g and has enough tooth to it that it works well with colored pencils and even wax crayons. To read more details about how a variety different media performs on this paper check out the Life Imitates Doodles blog. I used fountain pen ink, Staedtler triplus fine-tip markers and colored pencils in my own personal Clairefontaine Flowers coloring book. The paper handled all 3 of these things very well. The only bit of ink bleed through that I experienced with this paper was when I used my glass nib pen and liberally doused the paper with fountain pen ink.

Clairefontaine Coloring Book - birch trees colored with fountain pen ink
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – birch trees colored with fountain pen ink

The coloring book is approximately 8″ x 8″ square – very handy for carrying in a backpack, purse or tote. The cover is a heavy weight laminated card stock. The book is glue bound, so I needed to weigh it down a bit in order for it to stay open. The Clairefontaine coloring book for grownups is available in 3 themes: birds, mandalas and flowers.

Have you tried the Clairefontaine Coloring Book for Grownups yet? What’s your favorite art tool for coloring?

Clairefontaine Coloring Book - part of a detailed drawing
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – part of a detailed drawing
Clairefontaine Coloring Book - part of a drawing colored with Staedtler triplus fine-tip markers
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – part of a drawing colored with Staedtler triplus fine-tip markers
Clairefontaine Coloring Book - Leaves colored with pencil crayons
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – Leaves colored with pencil crayons
Clairefontaine Coloring Book - reverse of page colored with fountain pen ink
Clairefontaine Coloring Book – reverse of page colored with a generous amount of fountain pen ink
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