2016 Pantone Color of the Year & Your Favorite Office Supplies

Rose Quartz & Serenity - Pantone Colors of the Year 2016
Rose Quartz & Serenity – Pantone Colors of the Year 2016

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.

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen - Frosty Blue, Medium Nib
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – Frosty Blue, Medium Nib

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.

Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine
Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine

It’s not common to find pastel shades of fountain pen ink, however there are a few inks out there that remind me of the 2016 Pantone colors. Noodler’s Periwinkle Eternal Ink is inspired by the color of the blue curve of a periwinkle snail’s shell and Noodler’s Ink Polar Blue makes me think of washed denim. J. Herbin’s Bouquet d’Antan is a soft, muted shade of light pink. If the thought of a tropical sea makes you feel relaxed, then try J. Herbin Bleu Azur fountain pen ink.

Noodler's Ink - Polar Blue
Noodler’s Ink – Polar Blue
Noodler's Periwinkle Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Periwinkle Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bouquet d'Antan Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bouquet d’Antan Fountain Pen Ink

The PlePle Candy Wrap Pen and Pencil Case is a calming shade of blue.

PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case Blue
PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case Blue

Personalize your letters or other items by using a brass stamp and J. Herbin Rose colored Supple Sealing Wax.

J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax in Rose
J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax in Rose

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?

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook
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Exacompta Refillable Pocket Journal Review

Exacompta Refillable Pocket Journal with Club Covers
Exacompta Refillable Pocket Journal with Club Covers

Exacompta Pocket Journals are adorable yet sophisticated notebooks for your purse, pocket, briefcase or backpack. They are the perfect size for journaling on the go or while traveling.

Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Lilac Club Cover
Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Lilac Club Cover

The gold-colored page edges of the pocket journal add a touch of class to the high quality paper it contains. The paper is made in France by Clairefontaine and has the exceptionally smooth finish that is the hallmark of their writing paper. Even though the journal is only 1/2″ thick, it contains 192 sheets of lined ivory paper. The lines are light grey, are spaced 7 mm apart and do not go all the way to the edge of the page. To fit so many pages into such a compact size, Exacompta has used a light-weight yet strong 55 g paper.

Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Turquoise Club Cover
Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Turquoise Club Cover

The journal insert is covered in a flexible, textured. light brown colored cardboard. The sewn binding enables you to open it without fear of the pages coming loose and falling out. Each page is perforated in the lower right corner so if you tear off the corners as you go, you can easily open to the current unused page. The ribbon bookmark is glued to the outside of the top of the spine which is okay because even though you can use the insert on its own, the journal is usually paired with a stylish refillable cover. Without the cover, the insert is about 3.5″ x 5″, with the cover it is about 4″ x 5.5″ in size.

Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Rose Grenadine Club Cover
Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Rose Grenadine Club Cover

Three styles of refillable covers are available for the Exacompta Pocket Journal: Club, Soho and Mignon full calf leather. All of them are stitched around the edges and when taken care of can last for many years. The refillable covers have pockets on the inside that the cardboard cover of the journal refill slides into. The Club and Soho covers are both made of a sturdy leatherette, the difference being that the Club cover is textured/grained and the Soho cover is smooth.

Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Blue Club Cover
Exacompta Pocket Journal with a Blue Club Cover

From my own personal experience, if you want to use both sides of each page, I would recommend writing with fine tip gel pens, ballpoint pens or pencil. Fountain pen ink tends to bleed through this light-weight paper. Medium and broad tip gel pens tended to bleed through the paper as well. Check out the scan of the writing test below and see what you think.

Do you carry a journal with you when you travel? What are your favorite pocket-size journals?

Exacompta Pocket Journal Writing Test - Front
Exacompta Pocket Journal Writing Test – Front
Exacompta Pocket Journal Writing Test - Back
Exacompta Pocket Journal Writing Test – Back
Exacompta Basics Pocket Journal Refill
Exacompta Basics Pocket Journal Refill

 

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Best Paper Notebooks for Left-Handed Writers

If you are left-handed you know what I’m talking about – the binding style and type of paper in a notebook can really make a difference as to how comfortable and functional your notebook is. Here is a list of five of my favorites:

1) Stitch Bound Notebooks. I love writing in journals or notepads with stitched binding! Many of these notebooks are able to open nice and flat which is great for when you’re reaching over the inside margins of the pages to write on the page on the right. There’s no wire spiral or metal rings to get in the way of your reach. In addition, the stitching keeps the pages from falling out.

Journals with sewn binding that I like to use include the Exacompta Forum Journal, Quo Vadis Habana Journal and Rhodia Webnotebook.

Exacompta Forum Journals with a Club Cover
Exacompta Forum Journals with a Club Cover
Quo Vadis Habana Journal in Black
Quo Vadis Habana Journal in Black
Rhodia Webnotebook with an Orange Cover
Rhodia Webnotebook with an Orange Cover

2) Side Staple Notebooks. This type of notebook is functional for the same reasons as the stitch bound notebook. It may not be as classy, but it is usually less expensive and allows for comfortable writing. A few of examples include the Clairefontaine Crok Book Sketch Notebook, Clairefontaine Side Staple Notebooks and Rhodia Side Stapled Notebooks.

Clairefontaine Crok Book Sketch Notebook
Clairefontaine Crok Book Sketch Notebook
Rhodia A4 Side Stapled Notebook
Rhodia A4 Side Stapled Notebook

3) Top Staple or Top Wire Notebooks. Top staple or top wire notepads work pretty well for a lefty. The only awkwardness occurs when writing near the top of the page where the spiral or staples are. This is the only type of wirebound notebook that I prefer to use for writing. To try: Rhodia Top Staple Notepads, Rhodia Top Wire Notepads, Clairefontaine Top Staple Notepads and Clairefontaine Top Wire Notepads.

Rhodia Ice Top Staple Notepad & LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen
Rhodia Ice Top Staple Notepad & LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen
Clairefontaine A4 Top Wire Notepad
Clairefontaine A4 Top Wire Notepad

4) Glue Bound Notepads. Most glue binding provides a nice flat surface for writing without any obstacles to get in the way of your hand. Sometimes, glue bound notepads tend to want to snap shut or their pages break loose and fall out when they aren’t supposed to. Of course, these problems are annoying to both right-handed and left-handed writers. A couple of glue bound notepads with tear-off pages that I like are the Leuchtturm1917 A4 Academy Pad and the Clairefontaine Triomphe Writing Tablet.

Leuchtturm1917 A4 Academy Pad
Leuchtturm1917 A4 Academy Pad
Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet
Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet

5) Non-Smearing Paper. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as paper that completely prevents ink from smearing as I write, but I do know that depending on what writing instrument I’m using, some paper stops ink from smearing better than others. Sometimes I’ll choose what notebook to use depending on what I’m writing with that day. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks include a nice quality paper that works well for me when I’m using Pentel Energel pens (I’ve found that I can write with Energel pens even though I constantly smear the ink of most other gel pens) or fountain pens.

Leuchtturm1917 Journal in Pink
Leuchtturm1917 Journal in Pink

Are you a lefty? What kind of notebooks do you love to write in?

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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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New! Texas Covers for Quo Vadis Planners

New affordable and refillable Texas covers from Quo Vadis and Exacompta Prestige are available for both 2012/2013 academic planners and 2013 appointment books. These covers are available for at least 30 different planner formats, so we were excited to finally see them in person.

Texas covers are made from an incredibly soft, velvety suede-like material. They have a matte finish and are available in 5 lightly-marbled colors this year: vibrant shades of blue, red or bamboo green, muted violet purple and classic charcoal grey. The front of these covers has a matching decorative area that I would suspect is designed to mimic the appearance of a strap closure on a leather journal. The Texas cover is very flexible, compact and light-weight. Since it is refillable, inside both the front and back cover there are pockets that the cover of your planner refill can slide into.

Notably, Quo Vadis assures us that the vinyl material ‘does not contain PVC – making them one of the few manufacturers to be fully in accord with California’s Proposition 65 environmental regulations.’

The edges of the Texas covers are not saddle stitched like Quo Vadis’ Club and Soho covers. Rather, the edges of the Texas cover are embossed to look as if there is stitching. Since these covers are new this year, their durability has yet to be seen. We would guess that the Club and Soho covers are made to last longer, but those covers are also more expensive. With our present struggling economy, the Texas cover is a colorful new option that can save you a few dollars.

Do you like to use Quo Vadis or Exacompta date books with refillable covers? What’s your favorite cover and planner format?

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