dinsdag 31 maart 2015

Take note of Letternote

A writer friend told me once that if you ever needed inspiration or felt blocked, for instance, when you experienced writer’s block, you should go to India. The colors, the sights, sounds and fragrances would make you feel alive and things would be moving again. I would love to go to India but I have to be an armchair traveller for the moment. However, I thought to look up some inspirational things from India and my eye fell on Letternote.

Letternote is a Delhi-based organization that manufactures quite a few things; scarves, mugs and cups, phone cases and what’s most important for me…stationery! Their website is pure eye-candy. The creators of Letternote guide their work by a Manifesto which is a celebration of Life. Such an attitude already brings joy and happiness to the products.  A few lines from their Manifesto are: “Follow your dreams. Be curious. Learn new things. Do what you love. Be yourself. Live joyfully.”

The founders of Letternote are Anisha Singh and Gurpreet Singh. Anisha is a design and art lover at heart. She had a passion for creating something visually exciting and unique and she succeeded in that with the creation of Letternote. Gurpreet is a first generation entrepreneur and an architect by education. The two of them joined together and something beautiful was born with Letternote.

The inspiring words of my writer friend about India very much applies to the products of Letternote but especially to the stationery. The colors and designs of the notebooks are highly inspiring and creative and they want to make you unblock whatever block you have and be creative, diligent and artistic. I love the way some of the designs provide a glimpse of images of Delhi such as the Delhi Color. I was looking at the designs on their website and I actually loved each and every one of their designs. My personal favorites in notebooks are always colored covers of notebooks and Letternote has plenty of them. I had to have the notebooks with the design of Africa Woman, the Rajput Queen, the Delhi Color, Ambassador Spiral notebook and a nice thin one with a funny quote on it. I absolutely adore each and every one of my notebooks from Letternote. The back cover of the notebooks also has nice designs, from the inside and out the notebooks are a lot of fun. They feel more like a gem than a notebook. 

Africa Woman, the Rajput Queen, the Delhi Color

The paper of the notebooks is from a very high quality. The surface is soft, smooth and creamy white which I have found makes it perfect for fountain pens without the risk of feathering, and for ordinary pens and pencils. Also, the paper is quite thick so there is no risk in see through of any writing that you do. Because the quality of the notebooks is so high, I already decided to use the Africa Woman and the Rajput Queen as travel journals, maybe for my travel to India one day. They are strong enough for it. In addition, they come in both a blank version and a lined version. The blank version is perfect for drawing and for artistic purposes. Sometimes I like a blank version more for travelling for the small drawings and artsy things that I do in my journal inspired by the environment. The spiral notebook and the one with the quote make for great note taking. You can easily hold them open and write down the things you want to remember. 

There is much to say about how material things can inspire you and Letternote’s notebooks are absolutely inspiring. They are a burst of colors that will bring somewhat of a rainbow into your house. Actually, their notebooks can be used for a myriad of purposes and I think that if I had still been a university student, I would have even used them for my notetaking in class. It would have been a great motivation. I hope you take note of Letternote as well and enjoy it as much as I do. You can find more information about Letternote and their products on www.letternote.com.

woensdag 25 maart 2015

Impress with Nomess

Nomess Copenhagen is a brand name founded in 2007 by Suzanne Potts. She created all kinds of items that were very helpful in organising your house, your office, your study room and everything else regarding living. Her products possess simplicity but with an aesthetic indulgence. It is wonderful how form and function have been married in the items of Nomess Copenhagen. The items consist of a versatile array ranging from storage, furniture, workspace, bath and travel. This brand from Denmark not only has quality but also has a specific design that fascinates because of its aesthetics. For Suzanne Potts the goal of the designs is to make everyday life easier. The designs make everyday life especially more beautiful.

There is definitely a nordic element to the designs of Nomess Copenhagen: the minimalism and the functionality. Everything is there in the designs of Nomess Copenhagen but there is not an overindulgence in forms and that is what makes it so characteristic and yet cute at the same time. Organising becomes something you want to dedicate your time to with the items. On the website of Nomess Copenhagen (www.nomess.dk) I became intrigued by the unique designs regarding the boxes and storage items. There are even make-up boxes that make you wonder how you ever stored your make-up without these. The boxes are meant to store precious items but they look like precious items themselves. Of course, I became curious for their stationery range and once I tried out their versatile notebooks, colorful pencils and fluorescent highlighters I was exhilarated!

 The notebooks of Nomess Copenhagen are called ‘studybooks’ and they come  in various sizes, forms and colors. The inside of the notebooks are either lined, dotted or with a grid. I had to see them for myself and I have become a huge fan. Since the notebooks come in various sizes (small, medium and large), taking notes has become exciting and you can organize different notes in different notebooks. There are small notebooks that can be used as a bullet journal or simply to jot down things not to forget. They are small enough to put in your pocket or bag and take with you anywhere.  The medium ones also would fit in most bags and backpacks. The bigger ones are ideal for storing a lot of notes, studying and keeping it as a reference journal. For instance, I am going to use the large ones for background notes on my languages studies and overall notes. They fit in nicely in my bookcases with my books. I noticed the grid ones are not only perfect for creating graphs but also for drawing complex geometrical shapes and designs, since the grids contain very small details.

Inside each notebook there is a box on the first page where you can write down your name, and/or the subject and the date This comes in very handy for organizing your notes, you can organize your notebooks chronologically and you will quickly know what your notebook is all about.

The quality of the paper is astounding. The paper feels soft and smooth but is quite thick which makes the paper perfect for fountain pens, you don’t have to worry about feathering. Pens and pencils love the pages and they have a light, almost white creamy color to it.

Nomess Copenhagen also has pencils and highlighters which are gorgeous and very practical at the same time. I tried the yellow, blue and pink highlighters and they are very smooth and very fluorescent; just the way I like it because a highlighter that does not highlight does not serve its purpose. The colors seem to jump off the page and words, sentences or concepts you want to highlight in your notebooks will instantly draw your attention. The pencils of Nomess Copenhagen come in exciting cover colors such as neon pink and neon orange. Their writing is also very smooth. The pencil tip glided on the page without any resistance and this will speed up notetaking during lectures. I also noticed the pencils can be used for drawing and other artistic endeavours. 

I never encountered stationery from Denmark before and I am very happy to have tried Nomess Copenhagen as my first one. Now that I found it, it will become part of my standard stationery inventory. Notebooks and ‘studybooks’ are part of my personal instruments in my personal development and creativity and I am very happy to have found a brand that is not only functional but has aesthetics to go with it as well. I hope Nomess Copenhagen will impress you as well. You can find more information on their website: www.nomess.dk

donderdag 12 maart 2015

Rossi 1931, Timeless Beauty

I am delighted to show some of the stationery of Rossi, an Italian manufacturer of the finest stationery you can imagine. It is well-known that Italy has a long tradition in stationery with outstanding quality and creativity.  There is something about seeing beautiful, masterfully crafted products because surely they will instill some inspiration in you so you will create yourself. Still, I can still be  positively surprised when I find an Italian stationer that is new for me and that takes my breath away.

Such a stationer is Rossi 1931 from Florence (Firenze in Italy) which has impressive products in their product lines. Rossi 1931 is a family owned company founded in the year, you probably guessed it by its name, 1931 by the revered Antonio Rossi who is the grandfather of the current owners Mattia and Taddeo. In the beginning, the fine stationery was only created in the traditional, florentine fashion whose splendour was intensely enjoyed by the American and British communities living in the vicinity of the city of Florence.

Being so near Florence which represents art, beauty, magnificence and cosmopolitan atmospheres, Rossi 1931 transformed itself being influenced by these inspiring and visionary surroundings. The company developed into a mature stationery company and added products such as decorative papers, greetings cards, notebooks, journals, paper gifts items. Each and every one of them as lovely as a flower . Now everybody can enjoy their products that are gifts in themselves. The products are available in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, among others. If you are not sure if you have a retailer near you, they can provide you with information and details to the nearest one.

As a big stationery lover I became an instant fan of the products of Rossi 1931. The notebooks are a dream! I now have one with a fashion cover that is very cute. The best thing about it is the soft paper inside, it has a slight creamy tone which makes it elegant. This is a notebook that makes you want to write about artistic and sophisticated things in life, and start creating yourself, imagine adventures and live a life that inspired artists and creators. This particular notebook is perfect for travelling as well because of the design. I have the lined version which is easy for jotting down your adventures or ideas that spring up in your mind.

The blank notebook has a similar silky feel to the fingers as the lined notebook and is great for both writing and sketching. This notebook would also make for a great travel notebook. One can stick tickets, receipts, menus and photographs in it. They come in different shapes and sizes and can therefore also be used for shorter trips or breaks.

They also have very cute, small notebooks that are adorable. I always carry notebooks with me and I also have smaller ones for words whose definition I want to look up later, or sentences and quotes that I want to remember. I have one with a musical decoration on it that brings a smile to my face. When your notebook brings you the music, you only have to take care of the lyrics.  

Rossi 1931 has more, they have different product lines. For instance, they have an elegant and decorative writing paper collection called The Classica Italiana where your eyes can feast on and they would not get enough of it. Similar to the notebooks, the feel of the writing paper is soft and silky but strong. One can tell that the paper has quality and it is produced with high cotton content.  It goes very well with fountain pens so you don’t have to worry the ink bleeds through. Rossi 1931 uses a special printing process for the manufacturing of their writing paper. The most striking feature of this writing paper is the florentine design and the vibrancy of the colors. I have never seen more beautiful envelopes and even though I will send my friends letters,  I will keep a few blank unwritten ones for my own collection, just so I can take a look at it once in a while. They also have greetings cards for any occasion that will brighten someone’s day, no matter what the occasion is.

Their decorative paper line is delightful. Some of the designs are based on the Florentine Renaissance and others on some more modern concepts. The artistry of the designs inspire you to undertake creative tasks yourself. You can decorate your diary with it, you can do some scrapbooking, you can use it to decorate envelopes, or whatever comes to mind. I will glue them in my notebook where I keep pictures of things that make me happy. 

Rossi 1931 is a stationery manufacturer that makes me happy. One has to surround oneself with beauty and inspiration. The famous diary writer Ana├»s Nin said: “Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.” I agree with this quote. To me, Rossi 1931 has become a necessity because of its beauty and the good quality of their products. They make the world a more beautiful place. I cannot wait to try more of their products.

You can read more about Rossi 1931 through this link (http://www.rossi1931.com/) and find more products and information about them here (http://italianstationeryblog.com/). I hope you enjoy the products as much as I do.

There it is: The Eccolo World Traveller

By chance I stumbled upon the website of a company that produces beautiful notebooks and journals: Eccolo. The origins of the name is Italian. It means something like “there it is” and there is really something about Eccolo. It is no wonder that the roots of the company lie in Florence, Italy where they still have an office because the city of Florence is  a cultural, industrial, artistic and scientific centre that bustles with activity which makes it an ideal place for a company like this one. It has been in existence for about 12 years now but I had never heard of it before. It was a great find for me to get acquainted with this organization.

Their notebooks and journals can be used for a myriad of things and activities. Creativity is never about boundaries or about being bound to one thing. That is why it can start anywhere or from anywhere. Research and personal experiences, my own and that of others, show that creativity can be captured in notebooks and journals or can even be stimulated because of the act of writing or sketching or whatever it is that we do in them.

Their website www.eccololtd.com is a sight for sore eyes. The most beautiful journals and notebooks are on display. They have funny journals like the one which is called Therapy Notes which is imprinted with catchy phrases. Their  passport journals are something of a keepsake. They have a lot of specialty books such as address books, wine journals and guest books. And their Great Minds notebooks features writers and artists such as Somerset Maugham and Marc Chagall. All these journals and notebooks are a perfect way to keep track of personal development. 
Eccolo sells their journals throughout the USA and Canada at stores such as Staples, Office Depot and Barnes & Noble. 

The notebook that I will review here is the World Traveler notebook which is from the Essential collection, a popular every day journal collection. One doesn’t have to be a world traveler or even a traveler, an armchair traveler might suffice, and write down dreams and fantasies about travelling. I love its pink/purple color but they have other fresh colors as well such as a specific kind of blue and green. The feel of the journal is one of its best features, it resembles fine leather, it is very soft to the touch and surprisingly flexible. This flexibility makes it ideal for every day but also for travelling. Writing while travelling, especially when one is bent over or does not have the usual table as foundation but maybe a backpack makes this journal perfect for on the go. Its paper is very smooth. 

All the raw materials that are used for the Eccolo products are European and from a very high quality.

There is something for everyone in their collection. Some of the notebooks are rather chic and classy, some others are more fun-oriented. I am glad I stumbled upon Eccolo and know that they have these amazing collections and product lines. The writer in me has been rekindled and while I won’t go on a world travel, I know I will go dreaming about it and write these dreams down in my World Traveler.

Wonderful Whitelines

As an explorer and searcher for creativity and inspiration I came upon the gem called Whitelines one day. Whitelines is a brand from Sweden based in Stockholm and founded by Olof Hansson, a young man who had idea generation as a hobby. When he was photocopying  some papers, he got annoyed with the black lines that were copied together with it and distracted. As an idea generator, one thing led to another and he came up with the brilliant yet unbelievably simple idea of creating white lines on slightly colored paper. The result? Whitelines. Its family? Whitelines notebooks in all varieties. Stapled. Glued. Wired. Diaries. Organizers. Flipovers. Anything you would need for your creativity or for the office. 
The Whitelines products are wonderful. Its paper is smooth as velvet when you trace your finger over its paper. One does not have the usual problems with feathering when you write with a fountain pen. Surprisingly, with ballpoints the writing experience is also smooth so you don’t have to worry that you are slow or stopped in your flow while writing. 
The small notebooks are very practical, they fit into bags and purses and are easy to carry with you everywhere. You don’t have to worry that you will forget that great idea that came to you on the bus or while having a drink with friends. You can immediately write down ideas that strike you or make a few quick sketches. There are bigger notebooks which are even great to use at the office. Now you can never say you are uninspired at the office. Not only do they have lines in their notebooks but they come in grids as well. Grids are perfect to use for drawing and sketching. In addition, I use grids for definitions and explanation of words or concepts.  
The website of Whitelines is www.whitelines.se and it pays off to browse through their website.  You will find snippets of their world view which give you the motivation to exercise anything you have. Their line “You entered this world as a creative genius.” has become one of my mottos and pushes me forward to keep creating. It is an inspirational and fun website that will explain also a bit more about the white lines that are patented. There is actually some science behind the Whitelines. It is tested that the Whitelines paper is less tiring for your eyes. It even turns out that there is no visual interference between the lines and the pen colour and therefore everything you put on the paper of Whitelines has your primary focus and attention. Of course, when copying your creative endeavours from Whitelines, you will only copy your creativity which is what Whitelines wants you to focus on. 
The stores of Whitelines can be found on almost every continent. In addition to all the goodness this company has to offer in terms of notebooks and stimulating us, it is a company that takes all possible responsibility for the environment. They are just that wonderful!

Archie Grand: Notebooks I Met and Liked

Scandinavia is famous for many things but amongst others also the many forests and trees that grow on its soil. There are many uses for the wood that comes from these forests, such as matchsticks (Sweden can even boast of a match stick company). Another product that can be derived from trees and wood is paper. It is no wonder that Scandinavia is home to a notorious producer of notebooks, cards, candles and tea towels called Archie Grand. They have the cutest notebooks with the most amazing colors that possess a high quality.  
Archie Grand’s collection is extensive and the colors of their collection match the colors of the rainbow: from the brightest yellow to the deepest black and the freshest blue to the sweetest pink. The notebooks come in different sizes as well. They have the practical smaller ones which are very handy to bring with you anywhere you go and are sure to draw attention. The notebooks don’t have sharp corners but are rather rounded so the corners don’t get bent. They fit in bags easily and are quite strong, they are not easily damaged. The biggest ones are perfect for the bigger creative picture. It can be used for big sketches and outlines and the paper is of such great quality that these big pages can be used for different kinds of paint as well; from water colors to oil based. All of them can serve as a great memento or as a tool to measure progress of projects. 
The notebooks all are pristine white on the inside. It has the softest paper I have ever seen which is why the paper can withstand different tools such as pencils, pen, felt pens and fountain pens and paints. These tools just glide over the paper. The covers of the notebooks all hold sentences that spark creativity as if they were journal prompts: “Artists I met and liked” or “Bloggers I met and liked” and “Jetsetters I met and liked”. With these lines one never has to fear one is out of inspiration. 
When I first encountered the website of Archie Grand I was exhilarated because it screamed creativity and artistry from every angle. Just browsing on their website makes you feel creative and eager to express oneself by drawing, writing, doodling, sketching, creating or whatever. Creativity is their keyword and they are truly inspirational. Their notebooks are designed in such a way that it is not only hard to resist them but it is also hard to resist not to write or draw anything in them. Immediately when I started using the Archie Grand notebook, I was getting out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to think out of the box. I realized that is what this notorious organization intends us to do.  
Archie Grand’s website is www.archiegrand.com. All of their products are available through their website. 

Fabio Ricci: Fabulous Writing

Fabio Ricci is an organization that creates unique journals and notebooks. The organization exists since 1950 and is a testament of durability and craftmanship. Originally, the brand was created for producing agendas for high-class businessmen and businesswomen. However, the brand has evolved into a more durable brand where high-class still plays a role but where diversity also plays a role. Their collection is broadened with journals and notebooks.

Fabio Ricci is produced in Istanbul and the well-known and revered Turkish handicraft and eye for detail shape the products. Their collection is fabulous and can be described as pure eye candy. Each and every item is not only original but the quality is visible. The paper of their journals have a hint of a creamy color which gives it a nostalgic look and feel. The paper has a soft and smooth touch which makes it perfect for not only writing but also sketching with pencils and even drawing with felt pens and markers. The journals come with a folder in the back so loose papers and other items that need to be saved with the journal can easily be saved. Most of their journals and notebooks have an elastic band which is very handy for using them as record books for notes for work or projects.
Their notebooks and journals come in three different options when it comes to the design of the paper; lined, squared and plain. The Fabio Ricci collection has special editions with beautiful designs. There are colors but black, white and red are very present. The black versions look very classy and serious. Those are perfect for use in the office and meetings with top of the bill people. All of their products share the fact that they have 160 pages of paper and a luxurious hardcover that keeps them durable so you can enjoy it for a long time.
 “Cities in Lines” is a highly inspiring and out of the ordinary collection.  Istanbul is featured prominently as the city and it comes back in the various notebooks and journals. On some images of a nostalgic Istanbul are featured with a view on the Bosphorus. On others a typical street view of Istanbul is featured, the Topkapi Palace or the Venetian-inspired Galata Tower. The cute thing about these notebooks and journals is that although the paper is lined, it has an interesting twist to it because the outline of the Galata Tower is pictured inside. That is definitely for those who do not move in a straight line! 

With the notebooks and journals of Fabio Ricci one is destined to attract attention. On several occasions where I had taken my Fabio Ricci journals I encountered interesting conversations because of them. One of the journals I used as a travel journal and while I was sketching and writing in it a couple started to have a conversation with me about what I was doing and how beautiful my notebook looked. The beauty had everything to do with the design of Fabio Ricci and nothing with my sketching and writing.  
The Fabio Ricci notebooks and journals can be used for business and projects but I love to use them for personal satisfaction because they are so beautiful and special. One of them is used to record my life’s lessons.
On their website www.fabioricci.eu you can find and marvel at all their beautiful and stylish products. 

Rite in the Rain: Right Everywhere

One never knows when inspiration strikes. Pablo Picasso said it best: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” So writers, creators, thinkers, artists, innovators and scientists in all fields go out into their fields and do what they do best. Some of them start scribbling notes to start up the writing process. The work method of scientists is usually more meticulous and very analytical and they start with an outline and a list before they actually start. And artists and creators are more organic and just carry their tools such as notepads and pens everywhere with them for when that flash of insight strikes them like lightning while they try to come up with the best ideas. They seem to be able to work from everywhere.
Rite in the Rain has a diverse and very useful collection for all those who require thinking and writing in their jobs which in my opinion is just about anybody and who are mobile and/or a lot outdoors. The name of Rite in the Rain is very well chosen because it solves the problem of working in the field and especially under rainy weather. Any biologist, geologist, geographer or outdoor poet will agree that rain, extreme weather or even other wet weather can ruin notes. Those notes might be the foundation to a research, novel or solution to a pressing problem so they are valuable.
Rite in the Rain is built for extreme weather and related circumstances. All of their notebooks have a cover that is sturdy, flexible and (water-)resistant, even under humid circumstances. The paper of the notebooks and notepads is of a strong quality. It is not easy to crumble the paper so the notebooks stay in good shape. Other notebooks of theirs are like diaries and have an even stronger cover and will survive just about anything. They have accompanying pens for the paper that are a good match.
What I liked most about the Rite in the Rain collection is its versatility. I use different notepads for different projects. I use the small spiral yellow notebook with important data that I can bring with me everywhere and in which I write down phone numbers or addresses. The other notebooks I use for writing down thoughts, ideas that I can use later on for work and private projects. The bound books are perfect for writing down my story ideas and the larger ones are ideal for my work and projects.

What is striking about the collection of Rite in the Rain is first of all the fresh yellow and green colors that are reminiscent of being outdoors and out into nature. The green notepads have greenish hints which makes it a very fun notebook to use. Their notebooks that are like diaries are helpful in keeping track of progression and act as more than a testament for later.
Rite in the Rain is an American company. Take a look at their website at www.riteintherain.com for their great and diverse collection. On the website you can find the details on how and where to order.