Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Landed: DODOcase for iPad 1 & iPad 2



Just landed! We're now proud to say that we have the best iPad cases in the world - DODOcase! Handmade in the city by the bay, San Francisco, CA, DODOcase is such a great product, both in execution and philosophy - we're really excited!



DODOcase? Is it tongue in cheek? We know tablet technology like the iPad is here to stay, so what's the dealio? Well it is tongue in cheek but for the opposite reason, because DODOcase Protects From Extinction. And what it's protecting is hand made book binding techniques, keeping them alive.



Each one is made by hand by a master book binder, using the same techniques that have been used for generations - the same hardcover construction, the same book linen 'end pages' and all the same machinery. But applied to iPads, tablets, e-readers et al.



Check out some great videos above and click through to see the DODOcase in all its handmade beauty!.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Cuteness!



There is potentially a lot to be blue about today here in Melbourne. Nominally, it's officially winter in two days time even though it's hard to imagine things getting much colder than they already are. And it's Monday...another long week ahead. And whilst in a state of self-pity, I may as well bemoan yesterday's punctured bicycle tyre too...


But then i checked my inbox and like an elixir awaiting my aches and pains there came a wealth of warm kraft paper, cute boxes, string, twine and wood. It was nice - it brought a smile and took the chill from our frigid warehouse air.


And that elixir's name is Skye's The Limit - new for us and Sydney-sider Skye Rogers' stationery range of earthy and heartfelt tones. So if you've just sat down and wish you were back in bed (or had to pedal several kilometres on a flat tyre recently), I hope this helps.

Gift Tags Set of 12 with super heavyweight textured card.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leuchtturm1917 Archive Dura



Just landed this week at NoteMaker, we have the handsome Archive Dura range of desk accessories by Leuchtturm1917. I say handsome because, to me, this is a decidedly masculine style.


A graphite-lead toned card with metal rivets and edging, it's slightly militaristic and I can kind of see 'Top Secret' written on each of the labels.


Belligerence aside, Archive Dura clearly is on some 1930s-1940s tip and in more ways than just appearance. There is robustness and quality here, a nice substantial feeling. Appropriately so for something with the word Archive in the title, the connotation of longevity is apt.


The other side of this coin to me is some invocation of the academic tradition - labelling, storing, organising, all on paper, all with notes scribbled among the margins, with fluorescent highlighter ink across the page.


That frenzied excitement when you finally find a journal article of use after a handful with inappropriate methodology, and you try and suck all that info in even though you know you can't...that's why you file it for later re-assimilation.


The going over and over again is so less arduous when you're on top of it. Archive Dura can help you here. And, even if things don't go as smoothly as planned, it will last the life of your PHD.


A really great accompaniment to the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks range, which is clever enough to merit a (forthcoming) post of its own.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Print Workshop - Hand Printing Techniques from Yellow Owl Workshop!


Via
Design Sponge, this is a really exciting, really cool new release from Yellow Owl Workshop! Chrisitne and Evan (the contagiously delightful brains of Yellow Owl) have been planning the release of a DIY book for a while and it is now available - the ultimate guide to all things printing.


Via Yellow Owl's official website

The book - Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques & Truly Original Projects (Potter Craft) - is full of really clever, 'how do they think of it?' ideas, all things from stationery to stamps to fashion and home accessories. If you've always had fun with being crafty but never really known what the possibilities are and how to go about it, you should check this book out (here or here).


Via Yellow Owl's official website

Christine has some templates for download and also the video above as a sneak peek.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fine Paper - The Ever Incorruptible



Linguists like to approach their language of choice much like a Biologist will approach her species of choice - it's a living, breathing thing. Each word, like each animal, has ancestors that came before it and will have offspring that come after. And thus a language evolves - a quick glance through something even as recent as a Dickens novel will present some problems of translation while Chaucer presents us with downright gobbledygook.

G Lalo Cards & Envelopes

Part of this is the death of old words and the birth of new ones, again, just like animals. But this process isn't so quick and easy, animals generally fade away into obscurity, from abundance to endangered to gone. And so words fall by the wayside - from proper, to a corrupted use, to gobbledygook. This is fine where words can be easily replaced but there's one word we take for granted which is highly endangered of becoming a joke...thanks.


Think about it - thanks - what should be our most sincere expression of gratitude, our last bastion of thoughtful, intimate communication, has been withered down to a meaningless interjection. Heck, I thank people when I'm doing them a favour; if i searched my Mail program for the word 'thanks' that rainbow coloured cog would probably spin for all eternity.


And the problem I have with 'thanks' in its present form is that there is no other level to go to without sounding a bit like a pratt...i sincerely bestow upon you my gratefulness - i appreciate your kindness with alacrity...language is all about communicating things concisely, not having to sound like a struggling Shakespearean Thespian.


So are we to forever remain stuck with a thoughtless platitude? No - we can't be - where the language may fail us, the format can save us. The Thank You Note. The hand written card. It's not about some plea to nostalgia, some novel retrogression - it's the proper thing to do! I don't mean to sound like a fascist and I don't mean to hurt anybody's feelings, but if somebody does you a favour, you should thank them properly.


It's not hard, it's thoughtful. It's personal and it shows you care. If I email you 'thanks' you may infer sincerity but you're much more likely to just assume I was umming and ahhing in my mind. But if I write you by hand on a really beautiful card, sealed in a really beautiful envelope, it's unequivocal. You'll remember it, you'll know I meant it and I'll get some brownie points.



You can have fun with it - you can try your violet ink on a cream card stock, you can use your Reseda Green on the Florentine envelope above because it'll match the green part of the design and in so doing, you'll show that you care. I always struggle with how people can worry so much about the colours they wear and adorn their house with but then just settle for boring blue on shabby white when they have something to say...


Anyway, I digress, the point is that if you mean it, if you want to be sincere, there's only one avenue left for you - the ever incorruptible, unmistakably thoughtful, endearingly personal hand written note.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Clairefontaine Metric & My Favourite Notebook



People who are into writing, notebooks and stationery know all about Clairefontaine. The French paper mill has won itself worldwide fame and admiration among stationers like ourselves and stationery fans like you for having what is basically the world's best notebook paper.

Clairefontaine Metric Hard Covers are great for everyday

It is an all-round stud of a paper stock - happy with any pen, pencil or ink you wish to try on it - and so much so that anybody who asks 'What paper should i try my new fountain pen on?" is invariably directed to Clairefontaine. If your pen does not write well on Clairefontaine, it's not going to write well on anything.


We have recently received a Clairefontaine range dubbed 'Metric' which at first glance is fairly unremarkable - it's everyday stationery, great for work or study but you're not going to keep a journal in it or amass your creative writing for later reflection. But it is from this Metric range that my all time favourite notebook comes.

My favourite paper!

The 4 Colours Index Book - A4 (21x30cm) Grid Paper - Light Blue is the one for me. I must deviate for a moment here to explain why. I've always had a soft spot for King Louis XIV - France's King from the age of 4 to 76. He ruled when things in France were fairly rosy and Paris' obsession with luxury was really consummating itself. And it is this sense of aloof, excessive luxury that I most enjoy about Louis Quatorze and that I see in this notebook. Louis used to take 3 hours and 10 servants to take breakfast, don his frock and leave his chambre. Likewise, the paper in this book is so nice, the quality so far beyond what it needs to be - it's extravagance for its own sake.

Clairefontaine Metric 4 Colours Index Book in 4 Colours

But there is also an outrageous, absurd silliness to King Louis that this notebook has. We'll give him a break - he was King at the same age that I was at Kindergarten - but his aloofness sure found other ways to manifest itself.

Clairefontaine Metric Light Blue Grid Paper

When sad, blue or just not up to it, Louis would stay in bed and no amount of praise, good news or knock knock jokes could console him. It was on these days that Louis's courtiers would pull their trump card, their one trick, at the King's insistence, that is sure to cheer him up. And so would be called into the King's quarters a troupe of dancing pigs, festooned in ribbons and silk pants, and they would dance (I'm not sure how well a pig can pirouette but...) and oink for the King's delight.

Silk Pants & Ribbons

And to me, the bright, camp 4 colours of paper in this notebook is analogous to the silk pants of the King's dancing pigs. The colour as incongruous with my desk as swine doing the shimmy in the Royal court. So now, whenever I take up a pen to write, i can't help but get a sense of regal luxury and quality combined with the image of a confused, dancing piggy inside a Monarch's maison and, like the King, I can't help but smile.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Koh-i-Noor - NEW ARRIVALS


Rejoice fellow stationery fans we have some great news!
Brand new releases from Koh-i-Noor have now landed at NoteMaker. The whole team has taken flight with their very own Koh-i-Noor mechanical pencils - each in our own favourite colour. Personally I am in a green with envy type mood today so my choice of lead was easy.

Founded in Vienna in 1790, Koh-I-Noor is one of the oldest and foremost names in art supplies and stationery items.
Named after the famous Indian diamond, Koh-I-Noor patented the first pencil lead, created from graphite and clay. I think I am green with envy about that diamond!

Koh-i-Noor Leadholders and Sharpener - view the entire range

Koh-i-Noor Versatile 5217 Leadholders in Yellow, Brown, Green, Blue, Red & Black


And to further add to the excitement in the NoteMaker stationery cupboard the Koh-i-Noor Magic Pencils are back in stock! Our most requested item is now back and better than ever in fantastic new "magical colours" - ABRACADABRA!


Koh-i-Noor Magic Pencils in America

Koh-i-Noor Magic Pencils in America, Neon, Tropical and Fire


View the entire Koh-i-Noor gallery - you'll be green with envy just like me :)




Monday, May 9, 2011

Limited Edition Moleskine Le Petit Prince Notebooks!



Published in 1943 and written by a French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Le Petit Prince has been translated into more than 190 languages, sold more than 80 million times and remains one of the most popular and successful books of all time.


A children's book, illustrated simply with the blending watercolours of reverie, it is a wonderful story, rich in idealism and life lessons. It is based in no small part on the author's real experience of crash landing in the Sahara and surviving 4 days without any water and is clearly a vehicle for some rather profound philosophical statements - certainly by Children's Books standards.


Le Petit Prince takes a journey across 6 different asteroids before landing on Earth and learning some important lessons. On one asteroid, he meets a deluded King, on another a conceited man, an ashamed drunk, a ruthless capitalist, a hard-working lamplighter and a distorted Geographer who maps the world without ever leaving his desk.


Through these 6 characters, the prince gathers much insight which he applies upon hitting Earth. And his insights are the key here - invariably optimistic, inspiring and heart warming.


Besides the success and timelessness of Le Petit Prince, i think it is the morales and overall perspective of the book which make it so well suited to Moleskine and personal stationery.


On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ("One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.") What a succinct summary of journalling and stationery - truth through feeling, reflection...it's not superficial, one needs go a bit deeper than that.


"It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important." And in an age of increasing passiveness, where abundance is omnipresent and the ends are always more than the means, I just think the perspective and balance that offers is kind of healthy.


If you've kept up with your French you can read Le Petit Prince online and get plenty of other healthy life lessons. If not, these notebooks really do a good job of capturing that sense of reverie and idealism which has endeared this story to over 80 million people.


You also get a cute scene to cut out and keep by your desk - you and your little prince, riding your own little asteroid throughout the day - and a very limited edition notebook. There are four in the series so click through to check out Le Petit Prince!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shop by Colour: Brown!




Still enjoying Ken Nordine's colours, and at the prompting of our recently arrived Midori traveler's notebook, i spent the weekend admiring the colour Brown. Subtle. Basic.

This Owl is basically brown...Yeah!

With deciduous trees denuding themselves all around, the full spectrum of brown, from 'light tan' to 'dark chocolate', is everywhere, each shade a subtle variation on a common theme.

New O-Check Glass Vases - "My! That's a Subtle Brown!"

Check it out - from brown notebooks, to brown pens; brown inks to brown accessories. Ignore the purists - Autumn is Brown's time to strut its stuff!