Halloween for Notebook Lovers

Model dressed up in Rhodia Notebooks

Let nothing get between you and your favorite Rhodia Notebook

Have you figured out your Halloween costume yet? Did you jot down some
ideas in a notebook, or perhaps even sketch something in a notebook?
Better yet, are you going to dress up AS a notebook?
I’ve never actually created a notebook costume myself, but here’s a
few ideas I’ve had for how to do it:

Old-fashioned spiral notebook:
I’d buy some thick, flexible aluminum wire at Home Depot. Then I’d
take two big pieces of cardboard and paint them to look like the front
and back cover of a notebook. Punch holes on one side and loop the
wire through, forming it into the spiral binding. Then make some kidn
of shoulder straps so you can wear it! You could also paint your face
white with blue lines to look like lined paper.

Composition book:
I’d find an old black t-shirt and speckle white paint on it to look
like the classic marbled composition book. Then use a piece of white
paper or cardboard to make the rectangular white label in the middle
that says “Composition Book” and tape that to my chest.

Again, you’d have to dress all in black. You could add a white stripe
running across your shoulders and down one side to represent the white
edge of the pages. Get some kind of thick black ribbon and attach it
to one shoulder for your ribbon marker. If you really want to get
elaborate, make a black “cover” out of cardboard (or even better, a
piece of black PVC!) that you can open up, and then on the inside add
the lines where you write your name and the “if lost” reward. Then
figure out some way to emboss the word Moleskine on your butt!

Of course, the best notebook for any Halloween usage is Rhodia: that
orange and black color scheme is perfect!

Please share your own Halloween notebook ideas in the comments! (Use a
notebook for logging all the candy you collect, perhaps!?)

Blog post by guest blogger Nifty. You can follow her notebook adventures at

P.S. how about a partner dressing up as a pencil and the kids as a classic eraser or crayon?

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 Journaling, Products, Thoughts Comments Off on Halloween for Notebook Lovers

A new book celebrates architects inspired sketches

What is it about architects? I just love the way they way they draw and the way they write, and they have some of the best notebooks. I’ve posted a few on my own site, such as this fabulous one by Lebbeus Woods:

Now a UK publisher has released a new book about architects’ sketchbooks, reviewed at The Independent.

Eighty five architects from around the world have rifled through their studio drawers and thrown open their Moleskine notepads to share some of these early sketches and doodles for a new book. Architects’ Sketchbooks provides a fascinating insight into “the blood, sweat and pencil lead that go into designing the world we live in,” says Will Jones, who spent 18 months compiling the volume. “Architects have all of this wonderful work that never gets seen. All of a sudden you see this big new tower appear in the London skyline, but you don’t see the work that goes into it. Perhaps 10 years before it ever gets built there’s something on paper.”

These are no meticulous technical diagrams on squared paper or detailed blueprints, though. “That could be a little bit heavy,” says Jones. “We wanted to look at the inspiration behind the architects’ work – how they initially put pen to paper. Some of the work is very detailed. Some of it is the first mark on paper, just scribbles. You think, ‘how can they ever turn that into a building?’ But that’s what these guys do.”

I’m no architect myself, but these are inspiring!

Post by Guest Blogger Nifty. You can find out more about Nifty and her passion for Notebooks at

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Saturday, March 19th, 2011 Products Comments Off on A new book celebrates architects inspired sketches

Notebooks for Fountain Pen Users

Three Leuchtturm Notebooks with No Bleed Paper

Many people enjoy the fun of writing with a fountain pen, but have a hard time finding the right paper-ink combination when it comes to choosing a notebook. I have been a loyal Moleskine user for years, but have always had to contend with ink stained hands and fingers whenever I wrote in one with a fountain pen.

Recently I tried 2 notebooks and 2 different popular inks, with 3 different sized fountain pen nibs. I used a Lamy Safari fountain pen with extra-fine and a fine point nib and a Sailor Profit with a calligraphy nib filled with Private Reserve sonic blue and Noodler’s blue black ink. I know that a broader comparison would have been ideal, but I was using all that was available to me at the time, for this less than scientific experiment. However, I hope that my findings are helpful.

I typically write with the aforementioned extra-fine Lamy Safari using Private Reserve ink. This combination works well with most kinds of paper, but I have continually had a problem finding a notebook where the ink would dry quickly and not feather. Recently, I tried using a Leuchtturm 1917 Classic Notebook – a product of Hamburg, Germany, Made in Taiwan. I was attracted to this specific notebook because of its similarities with the Moleskine, and also its added features: page numbers, labels, and a pen holder that can be purchased separately. I had also read that this company recently began using an “ink proof paper” that piqued my curiosity. I was delighted to find that the paper quality was superb. It was almost like writing on silk.

There were no issues when using the Private Reserve ink. The ink dried quickly. It did not feather or bleed through the page. The Noodler’s performed similarly, however, it did not dry quickly or evenly. After using the Noodler’s and the book was closed, the ink would dot the opposing page. I also had problems with the Noodler’s smearing onto my fingers. This became more pronounced when using the calligraphy nib. If one is a die hard Noodler’s fan, I would recommend using blotting papers with the Leuchtturm notebook.

The other notebook tested was the Rhodia Webnotebook, from Lyon, France. Rhodia has many of the same features as a Moleskine (book mark, elastic band, back pocket), as well, but lacked the extras that were found in the Leuchtturm. The paper was magnificent! Using both kinds of ink, the Noodler’s dried faster and did not spot as it did with the Leuchtturm 1917. The Private Reserve ink was flawless. Neither of the inks used had issues with feathering or bleeding in this notebook, even when broader nibs were used.

I would recommend using either a Leuchtturm 1917 or a Rhodia notebook with a fountain pen – something I sadly cannot recommend for the Moleskine. One may find that using medium or bold nib will render different results that would require further experimentation. However, I feel confident that either one of these notebooks has the quality to take just about anything.

Blog Post by guest blogger & customer Reverend Matthew J. Teves

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Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 Products, Thoughts Comments Off on Notebooks for Fountain Pen Users

The Long Term Benefits of Writing in Longhand

Our seven year old daughter is in second grade now and is learning to write cursive.  She proudly displays her progress and is eager to rewrite words and names she learned before, because in cursive they seem more grown up. As pen and paper junkies we are grateful to be in a school district, that values the skill of writing in long hand. There are studies and plenty of anecdotal evidence, that writing in longhand aids in memorization, improves fine motor skills and concentration. It is sad, that some school districts no longer give cursive the attention it deserves.

Longhand Writing

Longhand Writing

Our daughter has always been drawing on anything she can find, but somehow writing things down seemed less interesting until she learned cursive. Writing in longhand allows her personality to come out through her handwriting and writing in longhand is closer to drawing then typing on a keyboard or writing one letter at a time. Our daughter does her writing in a school issued notebook that is nothing to write home about and we could not help but wonder what the return on the investment would be in childrens participation and enthusiasm if every child got to practice their handwriting in a Paperblanks or Moleskine journal. We have always thought the foiled and debossed Pokemon cards would make great Paperblanks covers…

It is funny how your kid’s school work brings back memories of your own elementary school experience. When I was in elementary school, there were no pdas, I- pads or computers, except for Ataris and Commodore 64s, and we wrote mostly with leaky BIC ballpoints in longhand. One day in 5th grade our teacher announced, that as part of a new handwriting initiative, the school was handing each student a new fountain pen. A green pen for right handed students and a blue one for the lefties. I am not sure what the difference was exactly, but I suspect it was the grip or the nib.

Suffice to say the fountain pen initiative became a messy affair especially for already messy writers like myself. Ink cartridges and 11 year old boys in a class room setting was problematic to say the least. I had a habit of chewing on my pencils and pens and  an ink cartridge.. once…. The inside of my mouth transformed into the mouth of a creature out of Avatar. All that said, I still remember the nib of the fountain pen scratching the paper, forcing me to slow down as I wrote in longhand, forcing me to think just a little longer about the shape of letters and words.  Seeing our daughter learning to write in cursive and looking back to my own school experience I have come to realize that learning to write in longhand is a journey of self discovery, from which we benefit a lifetime.

In the Wall Street Journal of October 5th we found this article by Gwendolyn Bounds, that does a great job explaining the benefits of writing in longhand and backs it up with science.

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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 Thoughts, Writing Comments Off on The Long Term Benefits of Writing in Longhand



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