Awesome Grad Gifts for 2014

It’s time for all of the toil and hard work to finally pay off for the new group of 2014 graduates! If you’d like to wish them success in their future endeavors by giving them a graduation gift what should you give? We thought about a few of the student personalities we know and came up with some suggestions for you:

The 18 Going On 30

Rhodia Leatherette Pad Holder with Notepad, LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Aston Leather Single Pen Case.

Got a future business tycoon on your hands? Let him/her look the part while they wait for their age to catch up! We love the all-black theme of this gift, but these items come in brighter colors as well.

The College Bound

The 5 Book, Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen.

Take some stress off your freshmen and help them get organized. The first year of college can be overwhelming and this book can be a helpful guide to setting life goals and making a long term plan. The classy, yet affordable, Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is the perfect tool for writing down thoughts and goals.

The Socialite

Bob’s Your Uncle 8 Days a Week Planner, Preppy Fountain Pen Set, Ple Ple Pen Wrap.

For the social butterfly, summer is the busiest time of the year! Your Grad will never have a dull moment this summer and will be able to plan their brunch dates, movie nights, and beach trips down to the hour. Color code activities with a set of Preppy pens and carry them in a fun and convenient Ple Ple pen wrap.

The Artist

Brause Calligraphy Gift Set and a Clairefontaine Calligraphy Art Pad.

Give your student a classic and hip way of expressing their creativity! Introducing your student to calligraphy can give them a skill that will stand the test of time.

The World Traveler

Rhodia Webnotepad, LAMY Pico Pen.

For the organized nomad, these pocket sized items are easy to travel with and great for note taking, list making, and sketching. A great place to jot down how to say “where is the restroom” in multiple languages for reference when in a pinch!

The Indecisive

Gift Certificate – For the impossible to shop for…and everyone loves a gift card!

What gift will you buy to congratulate the Grad in your life?

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Inspired by Radiant Orchid Pantone Color of the Year 2014

Radiant Orchid - Pantone's Color of the Year 2014

Radiant Orchid – Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014

The Pantone color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, a purple-pink that is described by Pantone with these eloquent words:

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

If you find this color to be inspiring and would like to add this color family to your daily arsenal of paper, journals, ink and writing instruments we have some suggestions for you.

Exacompta Forum Journals

Exacompta Forum Journals

Exacompta Journal with a Lilac Club Cover

The sturdy leatherette Lilac Club cover on this Exacompta journal can be refilled over and over again with 190 sheet refills in graph, blank or undated 365/lined paper.

Rhodiarama Webnotebooks Purple - A5 & A6 Sizes

Rhodiarama Webnotebooks in Purple – A5 & A6 Sizes

Rhodiarama Webnotebook in Purple

Rhodia’s Webnotebook contains some of the best quality paper you’ll ever find, plus you can get it with a purple Italian leatherette cover. Available in both A5 and A6 sizes.

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen – Purple

The LAMY Al-Star purple aluminum fountain pen is a very deep, dark shade of purple-pink – we might even call it Midnight Orchid.

Zebra Optex Highlighters

Zebra Optex Highlighters

Zebra Optex Highlighter in Purple-Pink

We were excited to discover that Zebra Optex highlighters include a Radiant Orchid shade of purple-pink!

Pentel Energel Alloy RT BL407 Gel Pen - Metallic Pink

Pentel Energel Alloy RT BL407 Gel Pen – Metallic Pink

Pentel Energel Alloy Gel Pen in Metallic Pink with Violet Ink Refill

The Pentel Energel Metallic Pink Gel Pen is made from a long-lasting aluminum alloy and can be refilled with a great shade of Violet Energel ink (refills purchased separately).

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink - Crimson Glory Vine (Yama-budo)

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink – Crimson Glory Vine (Yama-budo)

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink – Crimson Glory Vine

This is our biggest temptation when it comes to Radiant Orchid shades of ink – Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Crimson Glory Vine (or yama-budo). Such a beautiful glass bottle too!

Noodler's Ink - Saguaro Wine

Noodler’s Ink – Saguaro Wine

Noodler’s Ink – Saguaro Wine

Noodler’s has such a huge variety of fountain pen ink we’re not surprised to find this Radiant Orchid shade of Saguaro Wine. It’s made in America too.

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink - Larmes de Cassis

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink – Larmes de Cassis

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink – Larmes de Cassis

The name Larmes de Cassis means “Tears of Blackcurrant” and according to J. Herbin it is the symbol of grievance and penitence (Tears).

Platinum Fountain Pen Ink - Silky Purple

Platinum Fountain Pen Ink – Silky Purple

Platinum Mix Free Fountain Pen Ink – Silky Purple

Platinum’s Silky Purple Mix-Free fountain pen ink can safely be combined with other Mix-Free inks to create custom shades of fountain pen ink. We like the Radiant Orchid purple-pink shade of this ink just the way it is!

Other fountain pen inks that belong to the Radiant Orchid purple-pink color family include:

These are just a few paper, pen and ink supplies that can add more Radiant Orchid purple-pink to your home or office desk. What Radiant Orchid stationery supplies do you find inspiring?

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Ten Fountain Pens to Buy For Your Girlfriend

Alright guys, let’s face it. Sometimes you are clueless as to what kind of gifts to buy for your girlfriend. Suppose you are passionate about writing with a fountain pen and you would like to introduce your girlfriend, wife or daughter to what the fuss is all about. Perhaps your girl is an artist, writer or a business professional and a fountain pen seems like a natural gift. Guys are often attracted to technical pens that are heavy, large and masculine in color and appearance. Women tend to like pens that are slender and lighter in weight with an attractive, stylish appearance. You may be thinking you need to buy a diamond-encrusted limited edition fountain pen (and by all means do it if you can afford it!), but a more modest investment is a good approach if you’re not sure if she’ll share your love of writing with a fountain pen. Take a look at our suggestions and maybe you’ll find something on this list that will appeal to your special friend. We’re listing these by price – from the least expensive to the most expensive.

1) Pilot Metropolitan Animal Fountain Pen

The Pilot Metropolitan’s medium nib is smooth, easy to write with and the pen comes complete with a gift box, ink cartridge and ink converter for use when you buy her a bottle of ink to go with it. A fabulous deal for the price! We particularly like the pearly White Tiger or Violet Leopard, but if animal prints aren’t your girlfriend’s style there are also other color options.

2) Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

The Platinum Plaisir is low maintenance thanks to a special inner cap that keeps the ink from drying out in the nib. Its pearlized finish comes in a flashy bright lipstick Red as well as more demure Frosty Blue, Pink or Violet colors. For this pen, we favor the fine nib for someone new to fountain pens.

3) Set of Colorful Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens with a Pen Pouch

Women love color and many love to write with colorful ink! How fun it would be to receive a set of 7 colorful Preppy Fountain Pens each with their own matching ink color. To complete this gift it is a must to buy a pen pouch to store them all in. There are tons of pen pouches to choose from such as the PlePle Wrap Pen Case which happens to fit seven Preppy Pens perfectly!

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Purple

4) LAMY Safari or AL-Star Fountain Pen

LAMY Safari & LAMY AL-Star fountain pens have the same basic design, but are made from different materials. The Safari comes in solid colors and is made of sturdy ABS plastic, and the AL-Star has a light-weight aluminum body with a matte metallic finish. Our favorite picks are the Purple AL-Star and the limited edition Pink LAMY Safari. Both are available in a variety of colors and a variety of nib sizes and are hugely popular with writers of all sorts. Writing with a LAMY is a fabulous way to be introduced to the world of fountain pens! It was what got me hooked 🙂

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose

5) Platinum Cool Fountain Pen

The Platinum Cool Fountain Pen is a demonstrator pen, which means it has a clear body that allows you to see the inside of the pen and gives it a more “delicate” appearance. The clear Crystal Rose pink is very feminine, and if pink is not her thing then we suggest the clear Crystal Blue which is a serene sky blue color. The Platinum Cool Pens are packaged in a clear gift box and include an ink converter for using bottled ink.

6) Pilot Prera Demonstrator

This Pilot Prera fountain pen is a clear demonstrator pen with a pop of color on the end of the cap and the end of the body. If your girlfriend likes to write with colorful ink the clear body of the pen is a nice feature since it allows you to see the colorful ink inside the pen. When it is capped, the pen is very compact so it fits easily into a pocket or purse. Conveniently this pen comes with an ink converter so you can use bottled ink and is available with a variety of accent colors such as Light Green, Light Blue, Pink and more. The fine nib is a good choice for writers with small handwriting.

7) Aurora Style Fountain Pen

Aurora Style fountain pens have a sleek, modern appearance, perfect for writers that don’t like a lot of fussy frilly details. The Style Gemstone collection includes a beautiful pale Aquamarine Blue and a pale Amethyst Purple. For those drawn towards bright colors I really like the golden-yellow Mustard and the burgundy-red Paprika Style pens. There are also other more conservative color options like a soft White.

Pelikan Classic Special Edition M205 Fountain Pen - Aquamarine

Pelikan Classic Special Edition M205 Fountain Pen – Aquamarine

8) Pelikan Classic M205 or M200 Fountain Pen

The Pelikan Classic M205 or M200 Fountain Pen seems to be made for a woman’s hand. It is one of Pelikan’s smaller fountain pens so it is just the right size. It has a piston filling system which means it is meant to be used with bottled ink.

9) Delta Vintage Fountain Pen

The Delta Vintage Fountain Pen is hand-made from a mother of pearl acrylic resin that beautifully catches the light. This modern Italian-made pen comes in a gift box with an ink cartridge. The marbled Ruby Red or White pens are gorgeous!

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Violet

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Violet

10) Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

Besides the fact that the Pilot Custom 74 is an awesome fountain pen to write with, we particularly love the inspiring color of the clear Violet Custom 74 pen. I really want to use this violet pen along with Pilot Iroshizuku Beautyberry ink! This is the only pen on our list with a 14K nib, so naturally this pen is a bit more of an investment, but it is not over-the-top expensive. It comes with all the goodies you need – a gift box, ink cartridge and an ink converter – and it is available in several other colors such as a cheerful orange or a sapphire blue.

Remember guys, usually only one ink cartridge is included with a new fountain pen (if it has a cartridge/converter filling system), so be sure to get an extra pack of ink cartridges or a bottle of ink and an ink converter (if necessary) when you buy your gift. If she loves writing with her new fountain pen she’ll be sure to appreciate the extra thoughtfulness on your part.

Now that we’ve got 10 fountain pens on our list we feel that the list could be expanded by many, many more. All of you women writers out there, what fountain pen do you wish your man would buy for you?

 

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4 Summertime Activities for Kids

Summer is here and kids are celebrating! It’s time for a break from school and the weather is great for playing outdoors. Busy parents everywhere are wondering how to keep their kids occupied during the summer break. We have a few suggestions that might help.

My Artwork Journal by Compendium Kids

My Artwork Journal by Compendium Kids

1) Art Projects

The number of possibilities when it comes to art projects is just about endless! Bring out the inner artist in your child and create a treasured keepsake at the same time with the My Artwork Journal from the Compendium Kids collection. No more wondering what to draw – each spread in this journal has a suggested theme to inspire your child to create a picture.

Staedtler aquarell

STAEDTLER ergosoft aquarell watercolor pencils are a fun medium to experiment with. You can draw with them just like pencil crayons and then use a wet paint brush to blend and wash the colors to make a watercolor painting. When you’re creating art using a wet paint brush you’ll need a heavy-weight paper to prevent buckling. Clairefontaine’s watercolor pads have the ultimate paper to pair with the aquarell pencils.

My Writing Journal by Compendium Kids

My Writing Journal by Compendium Kids

2) Writing Projects

For the young writer, the Compendium Kids collection includes My Writing Journal. Suggested topics such as “I can write about someone who lives in our neighborhood” or “I can write about my grandparents” encourage your child to write about how they see the world. It’s super fun to read these stories again years later!

Now would be a great opportunity to introduce a child who enjoys writing to the world of fountain pens and high quality paper. Many authors step away from the world of technology and write some of their best work using an old-fashioned fountain pen and paper.

A good choice for a first fountain pen for a young writer is the Pelikano Junior. It has an ergonomic grip that guides proper finger placement and the rounded medium-broad nib is easy to write with. The Platinum Preppy disposable fountain pen is very inexpensive, comes in two nib sizes and seven colors and is another good choice for a beginner fountain pen. Don’t forget to buy some ink cartridges too!

Clairefontaine medium size ruled notebook

Clairefontaine medium size ruled notebook

Clairefontaine is the ultimate paper for writing with fountain pens since it has a super smooth finish and handles fountain pen ink very well. Try browsing through the clearance Clairefontaine on our website for deals on notebooks that can be used for kids. Or try out either of the low-priced large or medium size side-stapled and ruled with margin Clairefontaine notebooks.

Calligraphy & French Cursive Handwriting

Calligraphy & French Cursive Handwriting

3) Penmanship Projects

Besides writing poetry or stories, a fountain pen and nice paper can be used to learn or practice French cursive handwriting or calligraphy. If you’re wondering what French cursive is, you can take a look on Google images to see many samples and learning guides. Since cursive handwriting is not included in the curriculum of many schools this is something that students may want to learn at home. To find inspiration and learning guides for calligraphy Google images provides a huge variety of designs!

To learn French cursive handwriting or calligraphy it can be helpful to use French-ruled paper since it has grid lines that are quite useful for cursive writing practice. Clairefontaine paper comes from France and has several notebooks with French-ruled paper such as their inexpensive medium-size staplebound notebook. Our blog post “What is French-Ruled Paper?” will help you better understand what is special about this paper.

Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen

Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen

A couple of good beginner fountain pens to use for learning French cursive handwriting are the Pelikan Pelikano with a fine nib or the disposable Platinum Preppy with a fine nib.

Pilot Plumix Calligraphy Pen

Pilot Plumix Calligraphy Pen

When choosing a beginner calligraphy pen keep in mind that the smaller nibs are easier to write with but are best suited for smaller writing. For regular size handwriting the Pilot Plumix calligraphy pen is a great choice.

Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pens

Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pens

Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pens come with four different sizes of nibs ranging from 1.5mm to 6.0mm and can be purchased individually or as a set. Once again, don’t forget to buy some ink cartridges or you’ll soon be running out of ink!

Wooly Bully

4) Games

If a child has brothers and sisters or maybe a few neighborhood friends to play with, good old-fashioned board games and card games are a fun social activity. We have discovered from our own experience that if kids like video games chances are very good they will also love board games and card games! All you have to know is how to count to play a crazy action packed game of Halli Galli. For kids around 6 or 7 years old a story telling game like Once Upon A Time, or a tile-laying game like Wooly Bully will be fun. For kids 8 and older, try the beautifully illustrated story telling game Dixit, the zany rule-changing card game Fluxx, or Turbo Taxi a fast-paced puzzle game. Teenagers that are sci-fan fans will like Race For The Galaxy, other teens will enjoy Shear Panic the strategy game with Wallace & Gromit-like sheep, or the ever-popular Settlers of Catan. If your children haven’t tried playing Eurogames yet, get them one and they may end up being the most popular kids in the neighborhood this summer!

What are your kids doing this summer? We would love to hear about their favorite games, art, pen and paper projects!

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Graduation Gifts 2013

The 2013 school year has almost come to a close for many happy, relieved and proud Graduates. What will you get your Grad to celebrate their accomplishments? We’re happy to share a few of our ideas.

1) The 5 Book

The 5 Book has got to be one of the ultimate gifts for any Graduate. As Grads enter college or the work force they face the challenge of setting goals and making many decisions. What can help? The 5 Book was designed to stimulate thinking and direct your Grad to goals they can use to map out the next five years of their life. Really, I think just about every one of us could use this book.

(Aurora Style Fountain Pen in the color Aquamarine)

2) A Classy Pen

A classy pen can last a lifetime and then be passed on to a future generation of Graduates. Even in a world full of technology a fantastic pen is a gift that is really appreciated. Chances are your Grad has not yet experienced the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen. The sleek modern design of the Aurora Style fountain pen was created with young professionals in mind. Fill it with some Aurora fountain pen cartridges in a deep black ink and impress a hipster!

(Delta Vintage Rollerball Pen in the color Deep Ocean)

If you feel that a fountain pen is a little too old-fashioned for your Grad, a quality rollerball pen that can be refilled with fountain pen ink is a good alternative. A classy rollerball pen works well when signing documents that produce multiple carbon copies. Pulling out a beautiful Delta Vintage rollerball pen for the signature that finalizes a deal is sure to impress! J. Herbin ink cartridges in the color Bleu Nuit would be a nice match.

3) Leather Pen Case

When you invest in the gift of a classy pen, a genuine leather pen case is the perfect accessory. It protects your pen from damage when it is carried in a purse or briefcase. Aston Leather has many fine leather pen cases to fit your Grad’s needs. The Aston single pen leather slip case is a simple, reasonably priced popular choice that comes in three choices of  color.

4)  Rhodia Meeting Book

The Rhodia Meeting Book can help keep a young professional entering the business world organized and on top of their project deadlines and goals. It’s more than just for work meetings though – the layout is based on a method of note taking designed by a professor at Cornell University. This note taking method can help any college student refresh their memory for mid-terms and finals.

(Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal)

5) A Unique Journal

This is an action packed, eventful time of a young person’s life. A unique journal is a great outlet for emotions and channeling creativity. The Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal celebrates the 50th anniversary of the audio cassette with a fun retro design..

6) Eurogames

Chances are your Grad could use some inexpensive R&R with their friends. Why not introduce them to a Eurogame and they can discover for themselves why these games are increasingly popular! Settlers of Catan is a great gateway to the world of Eurogames.

Do you have a Grad in your life? What gift ideas or special plans do you have in mind for them?

Want to win a $25.00 gift certificate to spend at Writer’s Bloc? See the comments below for details!

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From This Day Forward: Wedding Guest Book

From This Day Forward: Wedding Guest Book is part of Compendium’s Live Inspired collection which is meant to inspire, motivate and celebrate the world we love and live in. The inspirational quotations contained in this wedding guest book are sure be part of what will make this book a cherished memory of a couple’s special day.

Instead of just being a registry book for wedding guest names and addresses, the layout of the From This Day Forward wedding guest book is meant to inspire guests to share meaningful advice on how to have a happy life together. As friends and family write on the lined white pages in this book they will read an inspirational quotation on the facing page. The inspirational pages are a understated light-taupe color and are adorned with elegant white botanical and floral designs.

Some of my favorite quotes from this book are “It’s not where you go or what you do in life, it’s who you have beside you” – unknown, and “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

From This Day Forward is hard bound and is covered in a neutral light-taupe cloth with white and dark brown foil stamping. There is a matching ribbon book marker to assist in finding the right page. There are 80 pages – half are lined for guests to write on and the other half have quotations. Each wide-ruled page has 14 lines.

My favorite fountain pen to match this guest book would have to be the taupe colored Pelikan Classic M205.

My first choice for ink would be a dark taupe brown color of ink such as J. Herbin’s Cacao du Bresil.

If you would rather use a gel pen, then I would recommend the classy silver tone Pentel EnerGel Alloy RT Gel Pen that comes with a black ink cartridge. Your left-handed guests will not smear the EnerGel ink!

Are you planning on getting married this year? Congratulations and best wishes from all of us here at Writer’s Bloc!

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Trending Taupe

Taupe is a neutral color that is frequently used in the world of fashion, interior design, graphic design and elsewhere. According to Wikipedia the word “taupe” comes from the Latin name for the European mole and was originally used to describe the average color of the actual animal. Today, the word taupe is used to refer to varying shades ranging from grayish-brown, tan, rose taupe and more.  It is also the most popular color for leather sofas! The color taupe also appears in the world of notebooks, ink and fountain pens.

In 2012 Pelikan created a special edition M205 fountain pen in the color taupe that will only be available for a limited period of time. This sophisticated color subtly stands out of the crowd of traditional black fountain pens. It’s definitely on my want list!

For a matching ink color, I would fill my Pelikan M205 fountain pen with J. Herbin’s Cacao du Bresil fountain pen ink which I would call a dark brown taupe color. For a contrasting ink color, I would choose Tanzanite from Pelikan’s Edelstein Ink collection. This blue-black ink would be a nice complement to the classy taupe body of the fountain pen.

Leuchtturm 1917 created one of their thoughtfully designed lined journals with numbered pages with a taupe cover. The soft ivory color of the paper in this journal really makes a brown shade of ink pop on the page.

Even hipsters like the color taupe as evidenced in this funky retro design “Doing Good and Feeling Good” Write Now journal from Live Inspired.

If you prefer a journal with bright white paper, there are a limited number of taupe Quo Vadis Habana Journals available while they last. The Clairefontaine paper in the Habana journal works great with fountain pens.

To top it all off, I would paint my nails with Opi “Over the Taupe” nail polish. Yeah, that’s right, even my fingers would match my fountain pen, ink and journal.

Even my cat Rori has a taupe chin and taupe spots!

I’m afraid that once I buy the Pelikan M205 in taupe I will also need to get a matching Fiat 500 in my favorite color they call “punk grey”. Think of how good I will look driving this car!

Do you have any favorite products or designs in the classic color of Taupe?

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Rhodia Pad Holder Review

Rhodia Pad Holders are like classy dinner jackets for your Rhodia notepad! Over the past couple of years Rhodia has expanded their selection of orange and black pad holders to fit 8 different sizes of Rhodia pads. If you’re a fan of Rhodia’s iconic super-smooth graph paper, you may be wondering if one of these pad holders with pen loop should be adorning the top of your desk.

The Rhodia pad holder is made of a lightly grained leather-like material with an embossed Rhodia logo on the front cover. The cover is stitched together around the edges with matching thread and the exterior comes in either bright orange or classic black. The cover material is quite durable and is an attractive way to protect your Rhodia pad especially if you like to toss it in your purse or carry it in a pocket or briefcase.

The interior of the pad holder is black and has 2 pockets. One pocket is designed to hold the back cardboard cover of your Rhodia pad and the front cover too – if you flip the front cover back behind the notepad it will hold it out of the way. The other pocket is there to hold business cards, notes, receipts or whatever you want to save or keep handy.

The cover itself is flexible, so if you’re looking for a stiff-as-a-board cover with firm support this is not it. However, the cover definitely does add some support to your Rhodia notepad while you are writing.

Originally, Rhodia pad holders did not have a pen loop, but this is now a standard feature on all of the newest covers. The pen loop seems to be made out of the same material as the cover so it is not stretchy like an elastic is. This loop must have been designed specifically to hold the triangular Rhodia pencil since it fits perfectly, so perhaps this should be called a pencil loop instead. A slim pen such as the Pentel Slicci gel pen will also fit in this pencil loop. It’s a practical feature if you need to have a writing instrument on hand at all times.

Are you using a Rhodia Pad Holder? What size do you use and what particular writing instrument do you keep in the pencil loop?

Rhodia Pad Holders are currently available in these sizes:

3.5” x 4.5” (fits Bloc No. 11)
3.75” x 5.25” (fits Bloc No. 12)
3” x 8.25” (fits Bloc No. 8)
4.5” x 6.25“ (fits Bloc No. 13)
5.75” x 5.75” (fits Bloc No. 148)
6” x 8.75” (fits Bloc No. 16)
8.25” x 11.75” (fits Bloc No. 18)
8.25” x 8.25” (fits Bloc No. 210)

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Get Back to Class 2012!

Okay let’s face it. Almost no one is excited about going back to school just yet but here are some fun and handy items that can make going back to school a little less painful.

1) Staedtler Mechanical Pencil. The loyal pencil is a must have for every student. The ergonomic design of this mechanical pencil is noticeably comfortable for those long homework hours. The triangular barrel sits effortlessly in your hand for minimal fatigue. The design of the pencil makes it so you can use up to 95% of each lead unit! The texture of the pencil is also notable. It isn’t smooth and glossy like some other pencils but slightly rubbery feeling completely up and down the barrel. This feature encourages the hand to relax as you won’t have to squeeze it to get a good grip. The handy Staedtler Triplus Mobile Office also features a mechanical pencil.

2) Pelikano 2010 fountain pen paired with a Pelikan Ink Eradicator and royal blue ink. Pelikan pens are designed for students and professionals alike. On the top of our list for students is the Pelikano 2010. An attractive and affordable fountain pen that is made to be comfortable enough to write all day and durable enough to last all year in your pencil pouch, backpack, clipped to your planner etc. The wonderful thing about this brand is the awareness they have about the needs of their writers. Universal ink cartridges fit in the pens so you can utilize a wide variety of inks if you prefer not to use bottled ink. Pelikan giant ink cartridges are significantly larger than typical cartridges so you get the most amount of writing and the least amount of interruptions while you work. Let’s say you cannot resist the lure of beautiful glistening bottles of colors and shades of fountain pen ink. Don’t worry, you can use the Pelikan ink converter for endless possibilities of bottled ink options. If you are like me, the thought of having pages and pages of colorfully marked class notes (boxed, dotted, arrowed) is just as appealing as a wonderful closet full of pair after pair of colorfully designed shoes!

We cannot mention Pelikan fountain pens without giving kudos to the Pelikan Ink Eradicator. Most people would agree white-out has its place on their love-hate list. The ink eradicator is a dual-tipped tool that is a great alternative to stinky, messy white-out. The tool is easily used just like a marker to erase blue fountain pen ink. Just like that! Yes it is true, it mostly only works with royal blue ink so be mindful of your writing task or you may have to bring out that white-out after all. Nonetheless, when the Pelikano fountain pen and ink eradicator are paired together, you will find many ways to make this school year the most efficient and effective. For more information on the super sweet Ink Eradicator check out our illustrated blog post.

3) When looking for a pencil case we want something attractive, durable, and easy to keep track of. This is why the Fabrica Bookband is on my list of back to school necessities. The synthetic material is durable enough to handle a beating and yet the design of the pouch is tailored for busy people who need convenient access to their writing tools. The pouch strap fits around many sturdy medium size notebooks, novels or textbooks. You can customize your pencil pouch to be prepared for each subject everyday. Never worry about forgetting your colored pencils for biology, they will be there when you need them.

4) I am so excited to tell you about this year’s super stellar notebook and accessories. Myndology is a US brand that has really blown us away. The unique disk binding allows you some of the freedom that you would typically only expect to get from a binder. The Myndology Letter notebook’s paper size is the standard 8.5 by 11″ and super smooth and thick. The best feature of this notebook is the unique binding method that allows you to extract AND insert pages cleanly. Yes, that’s right. You can INSERT graph paper, discreet dividers (with pockets), blank paper (for sketchers), and even index cards all in the same notebook! If you don’t like it, you can easily replace the contents with something different. This is ideal for serious students who require the ability to organize their notes to fit their unique style and set of classes. There is one caveat in the matter. This notebook is ideal for college students who usually take great care of their supplies. The convenience of being able to remove/replace pages makes them more prone to wear if not handled properly. For the younger student I would definitely recommend the Clairefontaine three-hole punched notebook. It is perforated, punched, and wire-bound ready for action!

We cannot forget our music students!!! They NEED staff paper. Guess what? It’s on our list. Clairefontaine staff paper delivers that great heavy smooth paper quality in a notebook that will stay open on a music stand, but it is not so heavy that it will tip your school music stand over!

Now it’s time to mention the fun things to make school fun and interesting this year.

Bob’s Your Uncle punctuation page markers. Read something…does it make sense?….no? mark it with a question mark…continue. Yes, you can do that. Don’t get lost in your reading assignments! Wanna find that quote in the 800 page novel? Mark it with a quote, move on. Boom! Done! That’s why we love these sticky notes.

Every year many students will spend more time with their computer than any other person, place or thing. Let’s make it look pretty. Get a laptop skin. Make it yours. Let it shine.

It would be a shame to forget our art students! For all artsy folk what’s on the outside of their journal/sketchbook is almost just as important as what goes on the inside. Not only does Clairefontaine have a great selection of fun and funky sketchbooks and watercolor pads to choose from but they all are equipped with sturdy covers and that great quality paper! Go ahead and go wild, you will love their sketchbooks!!

Does this cover everything? Of course not. Are you inspired? Eager? Ambitious? Positive about this year? We surely hope so!

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Graduation Gift Ideas 2012

Now that your grad is done with school they’ll need to stay organized to find that great career and meet their goals! How can you help motivate your grad and keep them on the path to success? They will need good habits and the right materials. Here’s what we recommend for any grad who desires to get the most out of their degree.

1. Leuchtturm1917 Weekly Planner equipped with stick-on pen loop. This planner is more than just a place to keep important dates. Each page has tons of space to write important information and the planner includes stickers for labeling and archiving. Your grad will need to relax after all of their hard work but don’t let them miss a beat! You can use this in combination with the Leuchtturm1917 Self-Adhesive Pen Loop and Behance Action Stickers to make sure their great ideas turn into great achievements!

2. Kikkerland Bamboo Head Massager. This handy item will soothe your grad. After all those sleepless nights and finals week terrors they will definitely appreciate a kind massage from a good friend. The tool is small enough to fit in an averaged size purse and the tips are covered for maximum comfort. We can’t promise your hair will still look picture perfect after using this but it will sure be worth it!

3. Here. There. At some point everyone appreciates their most loyal and lovable pen. What determines a great pen? Many would agree they want a smooth write, good weight, attractive look, and most of all a good price. There are many preferences and opinions about pens, however, we find many treasure the gift of a fountain pen. Not only are your ink colors and options much wider when you use a fountain pen, they also tend to live much longer than other pens. Your grad will be sure to appreciate the LAMY Safari Fountain Pen. It comes in seven great colors from bright yellow to crisp white. Each pen has 10 nib options so it won’t be hard customizing the right look and feel for your friend.

4. Book Darts. So many books, pages, things to read and remember. These will help your grad find information quickly and easily without using sticky notes that occasionally fall out and tend to look messy. These darts are designed to be very discreet and friendly to any page, even the most delicate thin pages. They are designed to help you re-find and recall important points and quotes, but you can also use them as bookmarks for casual reading or in your favorite planner, magazine, or cookbook. Speaking of cookbooks, your grad will be doing a lot more cooking therefore they will need…

….5. Bob’s Your Uncle- Soup to Nuts Grocery List Pad to help them stay within their budget. Before that dream job your grad has their heart set on finally comes along, they will need to manage their money. You can help with a smart shopping list to make sure they don’t overspend.

6. The 1 Book and The 5 Book. There are so many possibilities and decisions to make after graduation. These inspirational journals published by Compendium are designed to help your grad set goals and achieve them. Carefully written and thought-provoking, these journals will steer your grad toward success!

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