Friday, April 29, 2011

TMOD - Australian Made Interactive Stationery!

Established in 2007, TMOD is the creation of Georgie Swift and Milenka Osen, a couple of Sydney siders who finished their design studies and decided to merge a whole bunch of disciplines, aesthetics and techniques to create something new, fun and hands on.

We call it interactive stationery - now, stationery in general is the number one interactive medium - it's not just sitting and watching passively, we use stationery, so in that sense, all stationery can be termed interactive. But there are degrees of interactivity and TMOD steps it up a notch!

In a whole bunch of styles, Scratchie Cards, Rip Cards, Fold-Out Cards, Dot-to-Dot Cards, Paper Plane cards, Double Layered Cards, TMOD give part of the design process over to us, the lucky purchaser, to have a bit of fun and finish the cards off.

It's really cute - such a sweet touch - my favourite being the scratchie cards...scratchies are exciting but pretty much always disappointing (and sometimes even insulting...i mean, a $2 win is almost patronising...) but these scratchie cards leave you with the warm and fuzzies every time.

TMOD is also Made in Australia and committed to social responsibility, collaborating with Oxfam, Spirit of Youth Awards and Poetry in Braille.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just Landed: Midori Japanese Stationery

Established in Japan in 1950, Midori is a Design Stationery Brand of international repute, known and admired for the harmony of its design, the ability to use sensitivity to create a strong presence.

The Midori Traveler's Notebook is a particularly impressive, indeed exquisite, leather journal and it is complemented with equally impressive brass products - pens, pencils, rulers and clips.

The official word from Midori about these products reads poetically; we hear of balance, harmony, contrast, individuality and the sanctity of free spirit. Often times, one can read language so rich in symbolism, so idyllic in connotation, and read it as empty spin.

But here, in this context and in relation to Midori, it's actually apt. There really is harmony, a kind of ineffable rightness. The Traveler's Notebook is definitely the star as far as I am concerned.

A naturally tanned leather cover filled with fountain pen friendly Midori MD paper. It's compact, robust and really really nice! You can check out a great little 'tutorial' for it online.

The other obvious thing one takes from Midori is the durability of the products. Brass pens and brass pencils age gracefully and the natural leather of the traveler's notebooks knicks and wears with a personal elegance.

As they say, simply holding Midori in your hands will bring pleasure. A seriously impressive collection.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Field Notes Dry Transfer Limited Edition

We get a lot of enquiries about people wanting a customised notebook, whether somebody's name on a Moleskine notebook or a theme for a Clairefontaine notebook etc. And it nearly breaks my heart every time i have to admit sheepishly that we can't help. It's such a great idea, a nice touch, a degree of personalisation that fits so snugly into the glove that is design stationery.

So i was super excited to see the latest limited edition Field Notes Dry Transfer. It's basically a Field Notes original but with the important absence of a title! It comes with an authentic dry transfer kit allowing you to title each of the three notebooks however you see fit! It's a good blend of fun and pragmatism, labels such as 'Book List' 'Garden Layout' etc etc are really handy.

But yes, it's mainly the fun part - and seeing your finished cover is really nice. It's that great moment, you know the one where after a day pruning, digging, planting and composting you take a moment to look over the garden battlefield and chalk 1 up to yourself. I did that! How the heck did I do that?

Check out the video from Field Notes which takes you through how easy it is to customise these guys!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review

One of the most widely reviewed pens on the net is the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen. And with good reason - it's respected, used and loved for its awesome usability and consistency. So, we thought we'd jump on the bandwagon too! Click through to read our Lamy Safari Pen Review posted on NoteMaker (we can put bigger images there!)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just Landed: Koh-I-Noor

Before any of us get too excited, I will confirm that we have just received Koh-I-Noor stationery - not the Crown Jewel diamond. Now that the anti-climax has been dealt with, we can get on to a story which is actually eerily similar to the famous tale of the Koh-I-Noor, if we allow some exaggeration.

Okay, so the Koh-I-Noor (meaning Mountain of Light) diamond is perhaps the world's most famous stone. It is a diamond weighing just over 21grams which was found in India and eventually found its way into (or rather, onto) the hands of Queen Victoria in 1877. It has since remained the crown jewel of the Crown Jewels.

Koh-I-Noor stationery is one of the world's originators. The company was established in Vienna in 1790, moved across the border to the Czech Republic in 1848 and quickly won fame about Europe with awards received in Paris, Milan, London, New York & Vienna. They began perfecting graphite leads for artists and academics and now have a whole suite of stationery, mainly focused around lead pencils, which remains worthy of international acclaim.

So at the moment, we're comparing the most amazing, fabled diamond of all time to a very high quality lead and pencil manufacturer. I'll admit we're on shaky ground with this comparison but the way that the diamond found its way to Queen Victoria and they way that Koh-I-Noor found its way to us is somewhat more comparable.

The diamond is as famous for its brilliance as it is for its passage. It has changed hands from Persian Emperor, to Arab Sheikh, to Indian Rajah and all other types of dignitary too difficult to spell here. Several times it was an embittered concubine passing it secretly to a servant, who then bumbled it into the hands of a merchant. My favourite such tale is the servant who was told to hide it under his hat, did so, and then pawned it off because it was 'just a piece of glass'.

I guess the lesson here is that old chestnut that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Of course royals will do anything for a diamond and of course somebody who has never seen a diamond in their life will think it's a health hazard.

So, back on the stationery story. Koh-I-Noor is all new for us but has actually been available in Australia for a while, just waiting...The licence to distribute it and even the stock itself, though only in very small amounts, has basically always been here, it's just that nobody has known about it. It's been under somebody's hat!

We came across it in the back of a distributor's warehouse, just a few unprepossessing cardboard boxes on a shelf in the 'discontinued' section. To quote: 'we just can't do vintage'. Our understandably incredulous questioning revealed further reasoning - they thought it just wasn't going to work.

Okay...and some think a diamond is just a piece of glass.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All New Moleskine Cover Art Journals!!

Ever interactive, Moleskine have produced a new range of Moleskine Cover Art Journals as a special series of notebooks straight out of the Moleskine community.

The Cover Art series is an all new format - an extra extra large 22 x 28cm - and comes as a set of two journals printed with hand drawn illustrations.

Available with Three Paper Styles (Ruled, Plain, Squared) and in Three Different designs. Each design, as a set of two, has inverted covers - so one is the opposite to the other.

Each Design is especially made by a member of the Moleskine community who draws on Moleskine to help unlock their creativity.

Benjamin Barrios is a Costume and Set Designer from Mexico, Paul Desmond is a London-based illustrator and Maykel Cordeiro Nunes is a Brazilian illustrator.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Shop by Colour - Green!

We now have a cool Shop by Colour page at NoteMaker, where you can view all of our design stationery by your favourite colour! Now, this should be handy for you if you really feel like a red pen, or a blue notebook etc's really handy for me, because it gives me an excuse to post Ken Nordine's 'Word Jazz'.

Ken Nordine was born in 1920 and released a bunch of albums in a style he terms Word Jazz. The highlight for me is Colors (from 1967) featuring 30 or so short reflections on different colours.

We'll start with green - 'smack dab in the middle of spectrum' - for, as Ken says, 'there's so many different greens inside of green..."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kids Thinking Offline

It's so great to see Thinking Offline starting from such young ages!

Too cute! See our Gallery for a lot more entries, with plenty more still to come...

Entries close 11th April.