MosseryCo Paper Goods

MosseryCo Pocket Notebook

Whimsical illustrations on the covers of the MosseryCo pocket notebooks are what caught my eye when I wandered into their Etsy shop. These 3.5×5.5″ rounded corners pocket notebooks feature 52 pages of acid-free 120 gsm paper. A set of 9 different, illustrated pocket notebooks can be purchased for $36 or individual notebooks can be bought for $6 each. Plain paper covers are also available, individually or in a set.

MosseryCo Pocket Noteboos

What really caught my eye was the hardcover, refillable notepads. The covers looks like vintage books with the quaint illustrations ($20 each) and refill paper can be purchased as needed in different designs ($7 each). The notepads are about 4.25″x6.5″ and are also filled with 110 gsm acid-free paper. There are 110 sheets in each pad and the pads are perforated for easy removal.

MosseryCo Notepads

MosseryCo Notepads

(via MosseryCo’s Etsy Shop)

Stillman & Birn Paper Sampler

Sillman & Birn sketchbook paper sampler

At the Spectrum Live Art Event I was lucky enough to pick up a couple packets of paper samples from Stillman & Birn. I’ve always been a little flummoxed by their notebook naming system so actually getting a little 4×6″ bit of each paper available was such an eye-opener.

There are six different kinds of paper; three types of paper at the 100 lb/150 gsm weight (Alpha, Gamma and Epsilon) and three types at the 180 lb/270 gsm weight (Beta, Delta, and Zeta).

For the most part, the lighter 100 lb/150 gsm is plenty heavy enough for most writers. If you are planning to do more mixed media, collage or art journaling, you might want to consider the 180 lb/270 gsm papers. To me, these feel more like cardstock than paper.

Sillman & Birn sketchbook paper sampler

I used the same tools on all six papers from an assortment of pens to a brush loaded with ink and a Sharpie marker. All the papers performed admirably and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed by any of them. Even my flexible nib dip pen did not bleed, though on some of the papers it took several minutes to dry (not uncommon for dip pens though).

Stillman & Birn paper grades

The Delta (180 lb/270 gsm) and the Gamma (100lb/150 gsm) are both warm ivory stocks. The Alpha and Beta papers are both cold-press (which means they have some texture to the paper like watercolor papers). Because the Alpha is a lighter stock the tooth to the paper is less noticeable. The smoothest papers are the Epsilon (100lb/150 gsm) and the Zeta (180lb/270 gsm).

Sillman & Birn sketchbook paper sampler

The lighter weight papers were my favorites. I could see using them to write or draw and were thick enough to handle a little water color or ink washes. They would be more than enough for me under most circumstances. The Alpha sample got a lot of ink pooled on it and buckled a little bit as did the Epsilon. The cream ivory Gamma paper stayed flat. The Alpha and the Epsilon were my favorites. The Epsilon is smoother so my tools had very little resistance. The Alpha paper is a little toothier, providing a bit of friction which is helpful with rollerballs and slick gel inks. The Epsilon is probably the most comparable to Canson and other makers of the classic black sketchbook though the paper is a bit heavier weight (better).

Sillman & Birn sketchbook paper sampler

The heavier 180 lb270 gsm papers withstood all the inks and the Sharpie marker without being worse for the wear . The Zeta is smooth to the touch, the Beta has a little tooth to it and the Delta is the creamy ivory with some texture as well.

Sillman & Birn sketchbook paper sampler

From the reverse of the papers, you can see the top row is all the 180 lb/270 gsm papers and the bottom row is the 100 lb/150 gsm papers. There is the merest hint of the Sharpie marker but no actual bleed through.

All-in-all, these are excellent papers and I can see what all the fuss is about now. The best source for Stillman & Birn sketchbooks is Goulet Pens. They stock all six paper stocks in the 5.5×8.5″ A5 size and a few of the other available sizes of the Zeta (smooth, 180 lb/270 gsm). Prices start at $18, about the same as a Moleskine and the S&B books are considerably better for fountain pens.

GIVEAWAY: Oh, I have ONE sampler pack to give away. Its just a little thing with one sheet of all 6 grades of paper. Tell me which grade of paper you’re most interested in trying in the comments to be entered to win.

UPDATE: The kind folks at Stillman & Birn have offered to provide the winner of this giveaway with the notebook of their choice and I’ll still send you the sampler pack as well so now there is even more reason to enter!

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, June 13, 2014. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Sunday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. I’m feeling generous today so, this contest is open to any reader, US and international readers!

Neatography: Paper Good Subscription Service

Neatography Paper Goods

Neatography offers a monthly or quarterly subscription packages filled with paper, letter-writing and office goodies. I received the May kit entitled “The Good Ol’ Days” which included an assortment of pencils, a His & Hers list notepad that is perforated down the middle to split up the tasks, a Rifle Paper Co. Thank You card, Telegram-style postcards, postcard stamps, a calling card, a sharpener and a self-addressed stamped postcard to send back to Neatography letting them know if you liked the latest kit.

Its a lovely package and a great way to discover new paper goods brands and receive a lovely little pick-me-up in your mail box. A monthly package with cards and stamps is $17 per month or on a quarterly schedule, and a paper good subscription is $27 per month or on a quarterly schedule. Shipping costs for the US are included in the costs but international subscriptions require an additional shipping fee.

I like that there’s an option to receive a package every three months. I acquire a lot of other office supplies, cards and writing tools that if a package came every month, I don’t think I’d ever get a chance to use everything and it might accumulate.

I love that the kit includes some stamps so that I can immediately write out a few cards and pop them in the mail.

Neatography package unwrapped

Once I unwrapped the His & Hers notepad, I was able to see the perforation and started to really like it. There is a magnet on the back of the pad to attach to the refrigerator making it easy to make lists of tasks that each person can tackle. I’d also love one that was “groceries” on one side and “everything else” on the other since our trips to Costco, Target, and the hardware store usually happen separately from the grocery buying but its still a clever pad and will probably get a lot of use at our house.

NEatography Pencil Close-Up

The pencils in the kit were a Palomino Blackwing 602, Golden Bear #2, Ticonderoga EnviroStik #2 and a Ticonderoga Laddie #2. I look forward to trying a few of these new-to-me pencils like the Laddie and the Envirostik. More about those in the coming weeks. But, yeah! Pencils!

The apple Thank You card from Rifle Paper features a gold foil apple on the cover on soft ivory paper. Its lovely and general enough to be sent to anyone though it would be perfect to give to a teacher.

Sharpener & stamps close-up from Neatography

The sharpener is a brushed aluminum from Maped and looks like a decent little sharpener with a reomveable/replaceable blade. The postage stamps are the new hummingbird design postcard stamps that will go perfectly with the Telegram postcards from Girl of All Work. I’ve used these before and I quite like them. The paper has a bit of tooth to it but ink stands up nicely to it and the look is classic postcard/telegram.

All-in-all I think a subscription with Neatography would be a great opportunity to explore some new paper goods. Looking through the Lookbook at past offerings, each paper goods kit looks to include at least one small-press card, a notepad or other larger item (one kit included Rifle Paper Co mail stickers), some postage stamps,  and a small selection of office supplies (pencils, thumbtacks, washi tape, etc.). They value of the items seems to add up to the asking price pretty closely and includes domestic shipping so it is a good value. Everything is packaged beautifully too so it feels like a little gift.

I wrote a previous review of products in October of 2013.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Neatography for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Turn a Blank Notebook into a Lined Notebook

H. C. Marks (@HCMarks) on Twitter asked “do you know of any stencils with which to draw ruled lines in blank notebooks?”

may14 1

I have something so much better, at least in my humble opinion. I use a sheet of lined paper that I tuck under my blank page to create perfectly straight lines that are there. But not. Using a guide sheet does not require any prep time. Just slide the sheet behind your current page and start writing.

may14 2

And his request could not have been more timely as I’ve been planning to make up a few different line widths to share with readers so that you too can try this. The sheets have pretty thick dark lines that can be seen through most standard writing paper. I’ve tested these sheets in my Rhodia Uni Blank for several weeks.

Guide Sheet, 6mm

With Guide Sheet under Rhodia Paper, 6mm rules

Writing after guide sheet

With Guide Sheet removed.

I have created lined paper guides in 6mm, 7mm, 8mm and 10mm spacing. Each .pdf file includes a full 8.5×11 US Letter sized guide and a smaller 5×7″ guide that you can trim to fit in the average A5-sized notebook. Print out your favorite line width spacing on a laser or ink jet printer. One copy of the guide sheet can be kept in each of your favorite notebooks and should last for a long time. The guide sheet often doubles as a blotter sheet, pen primer or to protect the next sheet from pesky bleed through.






FieldNotes 6mm.pdf

FieldNotes 7mm.pdf

FieldNotes 8mm.pdf


Full Set of Guides (incl. Field Notes size).pdf

When printing, be sure that you choose to print at 100%, do not choose the “fit to paper” option. I ran the lines to the end of the template to maximize guides. Let your printer trim them where it must. For the 5×7″ size, just trim it out. If your favorite notebook is smaller, just trim it as needed.

Using a guide sheet with a blank notebook gives a lot more flexibility. You can sketch and free form on some pages and then use the guide sheets when you want to write. Guide sheets are great with letter-writing pads too.

If there’s interest, I can make up some graph paper sheets as well. Just let me know in the comments what size squares you prefer.

UPDATE: Corrected the 8mm line set to include both sizes. Added a “Full Set” download. And folks asked for Field Notes sized paper. I only did the 6, 7 and 8mm because the 10mm only got a few lines.


Cartolina iPhone Cases (and more)

Cartolina Bee iPhone Case

Cartolina is well-known for its fabulous vintage illustration paper goods but they also take these images and apply them to other goods as well like iPhone hard shell cases which I think is brilliant.

Cartolina also makes an array of notepads that might work as flat stationery sheets at 5.5×8.5 for some folks. Each pad has 60 sheets and the designs range from floral to porcine. $8 each.

Cartolina Menswear iPhone case

Cartolina Notepad


New Hammerpress Letterpress Cards


Kansas City Letterpress-ati, Hammerpress, have recently updated their web site and added a lot of new products. Their letterpress cards are gorgeous and if you can’t make it to Kansas City to shop locally, ordering online is the next best thing. Prices on cards are $4-$5.50 per folded card, and are blessedly blank inside and ship with a kraft or coordinating envelope.

But the best shopping experience is to stop in to the Crossroads store in KC and browse posters, postcards, and ephemera.

A Knitter’s Notebook


All specialty skills have their own languages, knitting is no exception. In fact, it has its own codes to convey patterns and notes in a way that might baffle non-knitters. The new True Brit Knits knitter’s notebook provides a great place for knitters to track projects and pattern notes complete with standard pattern abbreviations and symbols on the inside front cover and a ruler in centimeters on the inside back cover, perfect for measuring your swatches. The kraft paper covers feature red, foil stamped knitting needles too.

It’s compact, A5 size is filled with 28 sheets (56 pages) of 100gms paper with clean white paper, alternating plain sides and 4:3 ratio graph paper printed in a pale blue.  £10.00

(via My Life in Knitwear, shoutout to Laura at The Corner of Knit and Tea for the tip)

Link Love: Official Mascot and more catch-up

Link Love Link MascotFirst, I’d like you to all admire my new and fully customized Link mascot thanks to my pal and co-worker Adan who, clearly, is a fabulous illustrator. I think I need Link on a t-shirt!

Now, on to the links:







Review: Campus A4 Pad

Campus A4 Pad

Beneath the rather banal cover of the Kokuyo Campus Report Pad A4 ($4.10), hides some pretty amazing paper. When I first peeled back the flimsy cover, I was greeted by the undersheet and went “Hmmm, is this what I ordered?” After flipping past that, I realized that the paper was actually blissfully blank and a very lightweight. It reminded be a little of the Tomoe River paper found in my Hobonichi Planner. Do I have you attention now?

Campus A4 Pad

The undersheet is conveniently printed on both sides. One side is just lined, the other side is marked with a grid.

Campus A4 Pad

The paper is lightweight enough that you can easily see the lines or grid undersheet through the paper. The undersheet is more heavyweight than the paper so it feel like it will be durable enough for use through a full pad of paper, even with the possibilities of ink transfer.

Undersheets are one of the reasons I love blank paper. If the paper light enough, or your undersheet is dark enough, you can quickly have lined or grid paper to work from but then not be distracted by the lines once you’ve written on the paper. If you’re sketching, you can skip the undersheet altogether and you have a clear, blank of expanse to inspire you. With blank paper, you get the best of all worlds.

Campus A4 Pad
Now, how well does the paper perform in writing tests? Excellently, that’s how. I put it through its paces with gel, rollerball, pencil and fountain pens and not one bled or smeared. I didn’t track dry times but even with my smeary, left-handedness, I didn’t have any smudges. The only pen that led through was a Sharpie marker but I tried it just to see if it would.

Campus A4 Pad

From the reverse of the paper, you can see that there is quite a bit of show-through because the paper is so lightweight but nothing leaked through except the Sharpie, which I expect on all paper but cardboard boxes. I like this paper so much, I considered putting it in the queue as a regular pen testing notebook so I thought I better compare it to the current reigning champ, the Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank.

Rhodia Pad vs. Campus Pad

The Rhodia pad paper is on the left, the Campus pad is on the right. As you can see, the Rhodia paper is considerably brighter white. The Campus pad is a soft white. Which, for my purposes, rules the Campus out for ink testing since I like to be able to clearly see the colors without any color pollution as a result of the paper.

Rhodia Pad vs. Campus Pad

From the reverse, its easy to see that the Rhodia is a thicker stock so there is little show-through. I added the Sharpie marker just to have something bleed through so my camera had something to focus on.

If cost is an issue and you are looking for a lay-flat writing pad with easy, tear-away sheets AND is fountain pen-friendly, the Campus Report Pad is a great option. Its considerably cheaper than a Rhodia No. 18 pad and very similar size. For US folks, the A4 size is about an inch taller and a quarter inch narrower than “letter-sized” paper so fitting the sheets into a 3-ring binder or standard file folders might not work as well as the Rhodia No. 18 which perforates down to a standard letter-sized sheet.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Word Cards + Ink Drop = Ink Organization

Word Cards

I picked up this stack of Kyokuto Word Cards at Maido in San Francisco. They are small cards measuring just 1.5″ x 3.5″ (3.7 x 9 cm) and contain 100 sheets. I paid $2.75 for them. They are hole punched  at the narrow end and held together on a clamp ring making them perfect to store and collect ink sample swabs. Because the clamp ring is easy to open, ink samples can be rearranged by color or manufacturer on a whim.

I’ve started using them to have swab references of the Ink Drop colors I receive. I plan to go back and do all the previous color swabs so that I can get all OCD and mix and match them by color, which ones I’ve purchased and manufacturer at a whim.  The paper quality seems good, only one ink swab of the ten I tried showed any bleeding or feathering. Its bright white and my printer husband estimates the paper weight between 60 lb and 80 lb cardstock. Think of the card stock used for magazine blow-ins (those subscription cards that fall out the first time to open it) for a comparable weight. The cards are very smooth paper, there is little-to-no texture.

The nice thing about this set (or any of these mini-flash-cards-on-a-ring) is the ability to add more cards as needed. If they exceed the ring capacity, larger rings are available in most office supply stores or I can split the colors between multiple rings or divide them into smaller rings — all the reds, all the blues, all the blue-blacks, etc. I just love how easy it is to review, sort and be as anal about my ink collection as I want to be.

The closest product I could find online is the Maruman Mnemosyne Word Cards which measure 4.1 x 2.1″ (5.4 x 10.5 cm) with 100 sheets for $4.95. For more about the Maruman Mnemosyne Word Cards, check out the review on The Pen Addict. Have fun and nerd out with your new ink cards!

Word Cards Ink Drop

Review: G. Lalo’s Vergé de France Writing Pad

G. Lalo Writing Pad

For some time now, I’ve kept and ear and an eye open for good quality writing paper for letter writing. Stationery (not note cards) is getting harder and harder to find so I’m always on the look out for it. I’m familiar with the French line G. Lalo but had not tried out their paper until recently. It’s a textured paper with a classic laid finish which gives it some toothiness. I was concerned the toothiness would cause ink to bleed or skip but I should have expected that an upscale French paper would be as luxurious as it sounds.

G. Lalo Writing Pad

I’ve used  the G. Lalo Vergé de France pad for a couple weeks to write letters and found it easy to write on. The pad is a standard A5 size (5.75 x 8.25″) with a glue edge at the top to easily tear away sheets. Each pad had a cardstock cover with a metallic finish and gold embossed logo. It folds back easily. Each pad has 50 sheets.

The pad I purchased is listed as white but I found the stock to be a warm white/ivory color which is pleasingly warm but not so dark as to alter ink colors dramatically. The paper is blank but I use an undersheet with lines or grid under it to keep my lines neat and straight.

G. Lalo Writing Pad

The best thing about the paper is that not one single fountain pen I tried on it bled or splined or did anything untoward. This is THE paper for writing letters for sure. The paper is thick enough (100 gsm)  to use both the front and reverse of the stock too so its economical — relatively speaking.

I purchased my pad at Patrick & Co. Office Supply in San Francisco but can be purchased online through European Paper for $11.50/pad (if you purchase two or more, the price drops to $11) and they stock a range of colors including a lovely pistachio green. I might have to grab another pad. Matching envelopes are also available.

MINE! Sticky Notes

KnockKnock MINE sticky notes

Need to keep the snack-stealing, pencil-nabbing, cube-dwelling troglodytes from running away with your beloved office supplies or snacks? The KnockKnock MINE! sticky notes might do the trick. They are standard 3×3″ squares with removable adhesive and a place to clearly establish your ownership. $3.99 for a 100-sheet pad. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

I have a CRAP sticky notes pad and, while they are not the stickiest sticky notes in the world, I always get comments on how fun they are.

Link Love: Boxing Day Edition

Fabulous video of a hand-writing automaton boy built over 240 years ago (via Letter Writers Alliance)

Paper & Notebooks:


Pen Pal Interview with Josh Scruggs (via Jet Pens Blog and 26symbols)

Pens and Ink:

Origami Santa


Link Love: Heart-Stealing Pens, Paper & Inks

Pen Buying Process

Pen Buying Process by Andrew Tan of Drewscape/Wibble Wibble


Notebooks & Paper:




Black Friday Purchases

Note: Some of the items mentioned below would not strictly be considered “office supplies” but I thought you might enjoy them. Please leave comments if you’d prefer less (or more) of this sort of post. Thanks!

I was in Chicago for Black Friday again this year. I decided the best course of action on such a nutball shopping day was to shop local. We definitely wanted to visit Pieritz again so we visited other shops in the Oak Park area as well. My husband discovered the fabulousness of HooDoo Headwear, a beautiful hat shop that opened in July. He bought three hats! And we both put the independent bookseller, The Book Table, on our radar after discovering a classic Chris Ware illustration of their storefront on their web site.

I visited with my pen pal Kimberly and her husband and we all had lunch at the Prairie Bread Kitchen. The cookies, coffee and tuna melt were all excellent.

Then we decided to trek into town and hit Challengers Comics and meet with the postal princess  and comic book super heroine Donovan. We also bought a load of new reading material.


At Pieritz I was able to purchase a new pad of Clairefontaine Triomphe paper ($5 at Pieritz, online from JetPens $9) and a pack of red labels ($4). At The Book Table, I bought a packet of Telegram Postcard from Girl of All Work ($6.75) and a copy of The Drunken Botanist ($16) which I highly recommend for the cocktail connoisseurs out there.


At Challengers, we bought an array of graphic novels including the Mind MGMT Volume 1, Mister X: Eviction and Batman: Death by Design. Oh, and I found a booklet of watercolor postcards by Jill Thompson (signed!).

What did you do with your Black Friday shopping day?

Link Love: Miscellany Loves Company


There were lots of hard-to-categorize bits of wonderfulness on the pen-blogospere this week including the epic link list from the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide Episode (#81) which is a link list onto itself.

Fabulous Miscellany:

Letter Writing and Post:




Pencil stylus by FiftyThree


Pardon my repeated turns to digital recently. As computers, cell phones and tablet devices are as much a part of our working life as pens, paper and staplers, I feel its worthwhile to include references occasionally.

Review: Poppin Jumbo Mobile Memos

Poppin Jumbo Mobile Memos

When Poppin suggested that they send me some of their Jumbo Mobile Memos in the hunt for the better-grade-of-sticky-note, I was thinking “jumbo” meant bigger than the standard 3×3″ square. You know, maybe 4×4″? Imagine my surprise when I got these.

Poppin Jumbo Mobile Memos

Here’ s picture with a regular, rather diminutive sticky note and the Jumbo Mobile Note. When Poppin said “Jumbo” they meant 8.5″x8.5″ JUMBO. Once my amusement at the monstrous size subsided, I wanted to try them out. How sticky are they (on the backing paper it say “I am super tacky”)? How well will they take ink? How awesome would they be for meeting brainstorms, notes on the office fridge and to really make a point?

Writing Sample

I was shocked at how well they took ink. For such a large piece of real estate, I wanted to try Sharpie Markers (or in my case, the discontinued but much-loved Crayola InkTank marker) and got from there. The wide felt-tip permanent marker wrote beautifully so I got out the pen arsenal and went to town, starting with a fountain pen with an italic nib. No problem. At this point, everything else seemed guaranteed to succeed and it did.

Writing Sample close-up

I tried a white gel pen, just to see, but the bright color overshadowed the opaque white gel pen. Otherwise, this paper works great!

Reverse side of Mobile Memo

Even the reverse side of the paper shows no ill effects. There’s a little show-through from the marker but that’s to be expected and not nearly as visible as I would have suspected.

Poppin Jumbo Mobile Memos

Sticky-wise, I hung these up on my chalkboard/memo board on Saturday afternoon and, as of Monday morning, they haven’t budged. The pink note was moved to a plastic surface and its still stuck. All-in-all, these are fun and effective. My supply closet will soon be chock-full of lime sticky notes, for sure!

A three-pack of assorted Jumbo Mobile Notes are $18, individual Jumbo Mobile Notes are $6 and available in yellow, orange, pink and lime. Mobile notes are also available in the more traditional 3×3″ size for $2 or packs of 10 for $12 in the same array of colors. Paper file flags that are 0.6×2″  are available in an assorted color pack of 15 pads with 5 different colors for $5.

A Better Sticky Note

Sticky notes from Target

When Ardis sent me the Franklin Christoph ink samples, she also sent me a handful of sticky notes in an effort to help me find a better brand of sticky note. Included in the package was the mini iPhone notes (from Wal-Mart) and two sizes of Russel + Hazel sticky notes from Target.

iPhone notes

There were these silly iPhone shaped notes which I was skeptical would perform very well but was pleasantly surprised to discover that the paper was heavier than the average Post-It note and there were light grey lines to keep everything neat and tidy. What surprised me was how well is handled my fountain pen inks. I was using fairly fine nibbed fountain pens and medium darkness colors so I didn’t throw jet black ink in a 2.0 stub or anything but, still, I was pleasantly surprised. And the notes are good and sticky too. Ardis said she grabbed these are Target for 99¢ and that there were also larger iPad sized notes, if you are so inclined.

Small Russel + Hazel notes

The small Russel + Hazel adhesive notes are 4×4″ and are listed as “genuine Post-It brand” so they are good and sticky. The paper seems slightly better than regular Post-It paper but not as good as the iPhone notes. The light green lines are really nice for list making or not just writing three big words on a sticky which is what I normally do. Most of the regular pens like a rollerball, felt tip and such performed fine. There was none of that weird ink beading that happens on cheap sticky notes. The Noodler’s Army Green ink splined a little bit and there was more softness to the Kaweco Green ink as well so its not quite fountain pen friendly but its better than most. These sell of $10 per pad of 50 sheets which seems a bit steep for slightly-better-than-your-average sticky notes.

Large Russel + Hazel notes

The larger pink notes appeared to be the same paper quality as their diminutive cousins but provide more real estate. The light lines with circles at the end and digits at the beginning were clearly made for listmakers.

Does anyone have any recommendations for other sticky notes I should try in the hunt for the better sticky note?

Link Love: Inks, RETRAKT and general pen love

Remind yourself to take a break throughout the day with this desktop wallpaper from How About Orange.

Remind yourself to take a break throughout the day with this desktop wallpaper from How About Orange.




The Great Gatsby in pencil

The Great Gatsby manuscript in pencil (via Pencil Revolution)


Other link lists:

Link Love: Pinning away for it


From my Well-Appointed Desk board (clockwise from top left): A homey workspace, a very elegant workspace, a desk transformed from Martha Stewart, and a workspace from Design Sponge

This week, I thought I’d cull through all my desk, pen and office supply boards on Pinterest and give you some visual Link Love. Check the sidebar to find me on Pinterest and follow the boards that interest you.


From my Pens and Pencils Board (clockwise from top left): Pantone marker set, beautiful Edison Encore pen dipped into water for a rinse from Goulet Pens and Pelikan Edelstein ink swabs from JetPens.


From my Digital Office Board (clockwise from top left): iPhone cases from Ampersand Shop, stackable USB cords and Kate Spade desktop wallpaper


From my Desk Accessories board (clockwise from top left): Doane 3-ring notebook paper, pencil cup dispenser, office supplies from Restoration Hardware and a desktop screensaver clock

Other folks to follow on Pinterest:

Link Love: Write It, Erase It, Stick It

The Cake Eraser (via DovBee on Instagram)

The Cake Eraser (via DovBee on Instagram)

Paper & Notebooks:

Pens and Inks:

Pantone swatches matched to the world (via Laughing Squid -- Thanks, Annie!)

Pantone swatches matched to the world (via Laughing Squid — Thanks, Annie!)


Coccocoino paste from Italy (via Patrick Ng on Instagram)

Coccocoino paste from Italy (via Patrick Ng on Instagram)


Created with a Copic Sketch Marker (via 26Symbols)

Created with a Copic Sketch Marker (via 26Symbols)


Ask The Desk: Stationery

G Lalo Paper

Yesterday on Twitter Roxtime asked

Where do you buy writing paper?

When she asked, I had just posted a photo of my outgoing mail on Instagram so I assumed she meant stationery rather than bound notebooks and the like.

There are lots of lovely options for stationery and writing paper but, like notebooks, each option has its own set of criteria, costs and advantages. I hope to cover a few but please leave comments and questions if I missed something.

Original Crown Mill

If you’re looking, first and foremost, for paper for fountain pens then I would recommend purchasing Original Crown Mill ($9 for a pad of 100 half-sheets) or G. Lalo ($12 for 50 half-sheet pad) paper and envelopes ($9-$14.50 for pack of 25), both available at Goulet Pens and other fine shops that sell fountain pens and stationery.

Paper Source sells full 8.5″x11″ sheets of paper (a 10-pack is about $2.50 though I’d avoid the metallics which tend to resist ink more so than plain paper) in packs and could be cut in half for a more classic letter size in an array of colors. Not of all the paper will be great for fountain pens but its a small investment and most papers should work well with other sorts of writing tools like gel ink pens, ballpoint or rollerball. Or you could order paper directly from a paper company like French Paper — straight from the source.

If you’re feeling particularly decadent, you could purchase some of Smythson’s fine writing paper ($25 for 50 sheets) Crane and Co. carries letter sheets, some can be personalized as well but this is not an inexpensive option.

Rifle Paper Co Equestrian Stationery Set

If you’re looking for flat cards, Greer Chicago carries some Original Crown Mill and G. Lalo card sets with tissue-lined envelopes and deckle edges — quite sumptuous! The Vickerey also sells a lot of European style notecard sets.


If what you’re wanting is something with decorative designs on it, first I’d recommend Rifle Paper Co. They have some lovely stationery sets and various flat and folded notecards. Chronicle Books also carries lots of paper sets and blank notecards with a wide array of designs. The paper is not always the best for fountain pens, if that’s a concern but the sets are lovely and often come with stickers to seal or use to address your envelopes.

Ilfant letter set

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for I’d recommend heading to Etsy. Some of the great options I found were letterpress lined papers from Ilfant Press, playful letter sets from La Paperie, and lots of vintage stationery and letter sets. Just do a search for “vintage writing paper” or “vintage letter sets” and you should find lots of options to choose from.

printable neon stationery

And finally, if you’ve decided to go with a plain paper option but would still like to add some flourish to it, you can look about the internet for downloadable PDF files that you could copy onto your stationery. I would recommend copying one sheet first and testing to make sure that the copier did not coat your paper in fuser oil of other ink resistant goo before copying onto all of your lovely paper. A great example of well-designed, free downloadable stationery is from How About Orange (show above).

The recent Uppercase Stationery Guide is a great resource for finding a stationery shop or custom printer near you.

(shoutout to Letter Writers Alliance for the Uppercase Stationery Guide tip)

Link Love: Pictures and books and many pens

Clockwise, from top left: Hermes Typewriter cleaning by DovBee, Grocery list and calligraphy practice by Bakanekosan, Render K collection by imyke and Old School Vanishing Point by Pen Addict

Clockwise, from top left: Hermes Typewriter cleaning by DovBee, Grocery list and calligraphy practice by Bakanekosan, Render K collection by imyke and Old School Vanishing Point by Pen Addict



  • The Missing Ink Book Review (via Behind The Curtain): I’ve been meaning to read this book and have it balanced atop my precariously high to-read pile. I’ll get to it soon, I promise!
  • The Etiquette of Letter Writing (via Letter Writers Alliance Blog): I too have a copy of this book. Fabulous albeit a little unnecessary for today’s letter writer. I do not have a yacht. Do you?

Paper and Notebooks:


From my Instagram, clockwise from top left: My Cambridge leather satchel, my last order from JetPens, a handwritten note from my elderly neighbor and the drawing tools used by Brian Kesinger as spied at the Spectrum Live Art Spectacular.


Link Love: Paper, Ink and Pencil Shavings

Lamy 2000 with custom 0.2mm nib grind by Mike Masuyama by Brad Dowdy (AKA The Pen Addict)

Lamy 2000 with custom 0.2mm nib grind by Mike Masuyama by Brad Dowdy (AKA The Pen Addict)


Pens and ink:


Pelikan M800 and Apica Notebook: Daily Arsenal by Jose Noyola

Pelikan M800 and Apica Notebook: Daily Arsenal by Jose Noyola