Earth Day Sketch Contest Ends Tonight!

18 Apr

Our Earth Day Sketch Contest ends tonight! If you haven’t entered yet, check out the details below, and get your sketch in before midnight!

Enter our Earth Day Sketch Contest with one sketch / drawing of your choice that you feel embodies Earth Day. It can be literal or abstract, colorful or black & white. We want to see them all!

Scan your sketch or take a photo of it, and email it in a jpeg format to info@europeanpaper.com by April 18, 2012.

Please include your name, valid email address, and any commentary on your sketch you want to include.

The winner will be announced April 21 and will receive one sketchbook and one art set!

*By submitting your photo, you confirm you own the rights to it, it is of your own work, and you give us permission to use it on our website or in any marketing material for European Paper Company.

 

Earth Day Sketch Contest!

7 Apr

Enter our Sketch Contest & celebrate Earth Day with European Paper Company!

Enter our Earth Day Sketch Contest with one sketch / drawing of your choice that you feel embodies Earth Day. It can be literal or abstract, colorful or black & white. We want to see them all!

Scan your sketch or take a photo of it, and email it in a jpeg format to info@europeanpaper.com by April 18, 2012.

Please include your name, valid email address, and any commentary on your sketch you want to include.

The winner will be announced April 21 and will receive one sketchbook and one art set!

*By submitting your photo, you confirm you own the rights to it, it is of your own work, and you give us permission to use it on our website or in any marketing material for European Paper Company.

 

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

5 Apr

Sympathy Notes really get a lot of scrutiny from the recipient. The words inside a sympathy note carry a lot of weight; it’s like they are magnified. These notes are sent when someone we know and care about has experienced pain. The pain of loss. Whether that is the loss of a parent, a pet or otherwise, loss is still loss. It is feeling empty when before you were whole.

What words are ever appropriate at a time like that, right? I don’t know about you, but every time I sit down to write one of these notes, I always think that there are really no words that exist that will actually bring comfort.

And then I remember, that statement is true. A sympathy note is not actually intended to make the situation better because it really can’t make the situation better. Instead, a sympathy note is a way to say ‘Hi, I’m here, and I’m thinking of you.’ It’s a reminder that the recipient has many people in his or her life to help fill in that empty spot.

There are lots of things you can say in a sympathy note, most of which are probably fine. However, there are a few things you should avoid saying in a sympathy note and I’ll tell you why.

Just Call

“If there’s anything I can do, let me know,” or “If there’s anything I can do, just call.”

Those are both very nice sentiments and anyone who says them means well. However, what you are really saying is: “I’ll help, but you have to call me first.” When someone is grieving, the last thing they need is another ball in their court, so to speak. And honestly, they’re not going to call. It’s better to say something like “I’m going to call you next week to check on you” or “I’m going to email you next week to check in with you, in case you need anything.”

When I discovered this tip, I was a little shocked. I said this all the time to people. I’d even post it on Facebook. And I was not the only one. Someone might post that they were sick, and there’d be eight Facebook comments of people saying “If you need something, just call!” It’s just another way of not really saying anything at all.

A Better Place

“They’re better off now,” or “They’re happy now,” or even “They’re in a better place.”

Even if the person you are writing to has said one of the above statements to you, it’s still best not to say it yourself. Honestly, maybe they’re not better off. Perhaps things happened you’re not aware of. The issue with this statement is that it’s not really a comfort to the person that was left behind. The person who died is still dead. They’re still dead whether they’re better off or not. And, the person receiving your sympathy note is probably not better off, definitely not happy now, and likely not in a better place. How can a dead person be better off than the living person you are writing to?

“I Understand”

Be careful when you say you understand or you know how the person feels (particularly when you’ve never been through the same situation). Let me give you an example. When a friend loses a parent, I will usually include a statement like this:

“While I can’t understand what it’s like to lose a parent, I can understand what it’s like to be loved by a parent. I know how much your father loved you. I remember in high school how he’d pick us up after track practice and he’d always kiss you on your cheek, give you a hug, and ask you how your day was when we’d get in the car. I vividly remember how much love your Dad had for you.”

Everything I said was completely and totally true. I didn’t say I knew or I understood when I really don’t know and I really don’t understand. Plus, I was positive. I wasn’t talking about death, I was talking about life.  Be considerate of this when you sit down to write a sympathy note.

Take the Time

Most anything written in a sympathy note has good intentions behind it. However, if you are going to take the time to write one, really pay attention to what you are saying versus what you are meaning. They can be different. If you want to actually do something for the bereaved, say what it is and commit to it. Don’t put anything back on the bereaved. Don’t comment on where the deceased has gone or how the deceased may be doing. Focus on the person you are writing to, the person who is still alive and dealing with the aftermath.

Death is a funny thing. It happens to all of us, and will happen to everyone we know. Yet, many of us struggle with how to act or what to say when it happens. If you stay positive and commit to doing something for the bereaved you’ll stand a much better chance of sending a note that is meaningful, memorable and a true comfort.

Be Eco with Rite in the Rain

4 Apr

Rite in the Rain on EuropeanPaper.comRite in the Rain, a company focused on creating “outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people,” was founded in the 1920’s by Jerry L. Darling. Designed to address the needs of logging industry workers in the Pacific Northwest, the new paper technology Darling invented soon became popular for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the United States. The water-based coating technology of Rite in the Rain paper makes writing possible in the most drastic of weather conditions: rain, snow, sleet, extreme humidity … even underwater! The ultra-durable protective notebooks have found a home in the hands of mountaineers, river guides, military personnel, outdoor research scientists, boy scouts, world travelers, and weekend warriors (just to name a few).

In the early days, Rite in the Rain’s paper coating process was done by hand in Tacoma,Washington. J.L. Darling would spend the early morning dipping paper in a secret solution, and leave it hanging from a hook while he went fishing for the day. After the paper had dried, J.L. would make a diagonal cut in the opposite corner of the hook where the solution had built up. This created the hole-punch and diagonal corner that made early Rite in the Rain paper identifiable. When enough paper was finished, J.L.’s wife Mary would gather it together and hand-sew a binding to complete the notebook. By the time the Silver family took over Rite in the Rain in the late 1950’s, the process had become much more efficient. The distinct markings on the paper faded with the emergence of better technologies, but the focus on hand-made quality and a love for the outdoors would always remain.

Rite in the Rain Pocket Soft Cover Universal Notebook (3.5 x 5) (Set of 3)

Rite in the Rain Pocket Soft Cover Universal Notebook in new colors!

Current owners Todd and Scott Silver were brought on board in 1994, but grew up with Rite in the Rain. Their dad, Lloyd Silver was the third employee of the J.L. Darling Company. As outdoors enthusiasts with backgrounds in environmental science, the Silver brothers are dedicated to running an environmentally sustainable business, which is reflected by the incredibly efficient manufacturing processes at Rite in the Rain that include:

  • The proprietary coating that makes RITR’s paper so special is made from water, not oil, and emits steam instead of harmful greenhouse gases.
  • Printing is done with 100% soy-based inks. Vegetable-based inks such as soy have proved to be more sustainable than petroleum-based inks because they require less energy during the agricultural process and are easier to remove during paper recycling. You can read more about vegetable-based inks in our eco-glossary.
  • Even with their waterproof coating, Rite in the Rain’s paper is completely recyclable just like standard office paper.
  • Notebook covers are made from post-consumer plastics such as milk and shampoo bottles.
  • Mill cut-offs are recycled back into the paper manufacturing process.
  • All printing plates and processing liquids are recycled after use.
  • Use of only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sustainable paper resources.

Everything is designed with the environment in mind, which pays compliment to the integrity of a company whose products stem from a love and respect for the outdoors.

Rite in the Rain Extra Large Side Spiral Bound Notebook (8.5 x 11)

Rite in the Rain Extra Large Side Spiral Bound Notebook

Rite in the Rain’s one-of-a-kind notebooks come in a multitude of sizes, bindings, and page layouts, making them a versatile all-weather notebook for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts alike. The notebooks come in soft or hard cover, with sizes from Pocket (3.5 x 5 inches) to Extra-Large (8.5 x 11 inches), and vary between spiral, hard, and perfect bound covers. The page styling offers three different formats: universal, ruled, or plain, to suit your occupational needs or personal preference. The notebooks also come with a space to fill in personal information in case of loss. This includes the name and description of your project and a blank table of contents that will aid in organizing your research or sketches. The waterproof cover and pages mean no tearing, smudging, or bleeding. Dive into any adventure with Rite in the Rain and never worry about losing another idea.

National Poetry Month

3 Apr

Created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is celebrated every April to increase awareness of poetry. Everyone is invited to participate and the Academy galvanizes teacher, librarians, publishers and many more literary-inspired groups to join in the celebration! Find a poetry event near you via the Academy’s site, browse through workshops and interviews on the Scholastic Teachers site, or get inspired by the Favorite Poem Project. Even the New York Times has some suggestions of how to celebrate the month!

Blogger Giveaway: 3 Whitelines Notebooks to Review

2 Apr

We’ve had a wonderful response to bringing Whitelines on board to EuropeanPaper.com, and we want to share the love! We’ve got three Whitelines A5 notebooks to send to three bloggers interested in writing a review about them. Whether you’ve just started a blog or you’ve been blogging for years, you’re eligible! Don’t know much about Whitelines? Check out our brand story on them HERE.

The available Whitelines notebooks are:

  1. Whitelines Side Spiralbound A5 Notebook – White / Squared
  2. Whitelines Perfect Bound A5 Notebook – White / Lined
  3. Whitelines Hard Cover A5 Notebook – Black / Squared
SpiralboundPerfect BoundHard Cover

We’ll be choosing the bloggers at random. So to enter, leave a comment on this post with the following:

  • Tell us the most creative thing you would do with Whitelines notebooks.
  • Which of the three notebooks you want to review.
  • A link to your blog!

The last day to enter is Thursday, April 5th. We’ll announce the winning bloggers on Friday, April 6th.  The only request we have for your review is to include links back to European Paper Company’s blog and to Whitelines’ homepage http://whitelines.se/  (And just an FYI, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.)

Monday Morning Review Round-up

2 Apr

Ink Reviews

Seize the David: Noodler’s Black Revisited

Does This Pen Make Me Look Fat?: My Favorite Inks: DeAtramentis Jane Austen

East, West, Everywhere: Iroshizuku Ku-jaku

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Leigh Reyes: TWSBI meets vintage nib

Economy Pens: Paper Mate InkJoy 700 RT 1.0 Black

No Pen Intended: Lamy Pico Pocket Size Extendable Ballpoint Pen & Pilot Vanishing Point Yellow Body Broad Nib Fountain Pen

Well Appointed Desk: Kaweco Guilloch 1930 EF Fountain Pen

Stationery Review: Lamy Nexx

Writing Instruments: Noodler’s Ahab Fountain Pen

Recording Thoughts: Parker Duofold Pen

*We also wanted to wish Brad Dowdy [The Pen Addict] all the best on his new adventures (he’s looking for a new job currently).

This Saturday Switch Off with Earth Hour

30 Mar

Being “eco” is a daily choice, and one of the best things about creating a greener lifestyle (and better world), is that it can be made in the smallest choices.  Buying alternative fiber journals, keeping an eye out for eco paper features,  and using stationery created from sustainable practices are just a few examples.

But one of the absolute easiest things you can do is flick the switch … off, that is, in support of Earth Hour. Join millions of others around the world who will turn off the lights this Saturday, March 31 at 8.30pm-9.30pm (wherever you are in the world). Earth Hour is an annual global event (since 2006) organized by the World Wildlife Fund and made possible by teams in 135 countries.

It can be quite inspirational to see your city go dark knowing the intention behind each flick of the switch. Will you participate? Whether you do or don’t, we’d love to know your thoughts.

Made in the USA: Noodler’s Ink

29 Mar

Shop all Noodler's Inks on EuropeanPaper.com

Created in Massachusetts, U.S.A., by Nathan Tardif, Noodler’s Ink is the “smallest ink company in the world with the largest color selection.” Not only does Nathan make Noodler’s Ink 100% in the USA from cap to glass to ink, the labels are even printed with Noodler’s own formulas.

Providing archival quality, Noodler’s Inks are heralded by fountain pen enthusiasts for their variety and reliability. Noodler’s is quite economically focused (as you’ll find via the ink’s stories) and you’ll never find an ink cartridge pre-filled with Noodler’s ink. Straight from Noodler’s website: “Noodler’s refuses to manufacture ink cartridges due to the egregious economics these disposable bits of plastic form as an illusion of value until compared with the economics of the glass bottle.” Therefore, Noodler’s 3-ounce glass bottles stand proud and come filled to the brim so you get every penny’s worth of the ink you love!

Noodler’s Standard Inks

Noodler's Standard Inks (3 oz.)With a wide variety of colors from which to choose, Noodler’s Standard Inks are very saturated, giving you a rich, clean line as you write, and as an added bonus, there is less feathering and bleedthrough. Each ink has a high dye concentration (giving you that saturated color), yet with a neutral pH so they won’t affect your fountain pens. Nathan at Noodler’s aims to make all his inks the most economical on the market. He epitomizes that on the label as “the catfish symbolizes a southern sport that attempts to equalize the struggle between man and animal in the quest for a sense of fair play – and thus a fair price.”

Choose from Noodler’s Antietam, Army Green, Blue, Forest Green, Habanero, Midnight Blue, Navajo Turquoise, Purple, Red, and Standard Green.

Noodler’s Bernanke Inks

Noodler's Bernanke Inks (3 oz.)What drew us to Noodler’s (other than the brilliant variety of inks, of course) was Nathan’s animated nature toward ink creation. In our research, it’s quite obvious his passion for ink and politics leads to the creation of several of the best inks on the market – not simply for the ink, but for the story.  Noodler’s Bernanke Ink is a perfect example.

Created specifically for those who require a fast drying ink, such as left-handed writers and sketchers, it’s available in two colors – Bernanke Blue and Bernanke Black. The ink is directly named for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in reference to how quickly Bernanke prints new money (thus he must need such a fast-drying ink!).  Noodler’s Bernanke Ink has a dry time of .5 – 1.5 seconds, living up to its creator’s dream and the delight of fountain pen enthusiasts.

Noodler’s Baystate Inks

Noodler's Baystate Inks (3 oz.)One specific heralded waterproof ink from Noodler’s is Baystate Blue, based on a classic colonial cobalt ink. Baystate Blue has a slightly more alkaline pH than other Noodler’s inks, but still produces an extremely saturated blue, appearing almost electric on paper.

Noodler’s aims to be the most economical ink on the market and provides not only archival quality with Baystate Blue, but also waterproof quality when dry. Just be careful not to get it on clothes or other items that may stain as it dries quickly!

Noodler’s Bulletproof Inks

Noodler's Bulletproof Inks (3 oz.)Available in Noodler’s Black or No. 41 Brown, Noodler’s Bulletproof Inks are forgery-resistant, water-resistant, and everlasting. Their durability is a testament to Noodler’s special ink properties that continue to be refined with each batch. Noodler’s Bulletproof inks are free-flowing meaning both Noodler’s Black and No. 41 Brown put down a strong, steady line when writing, without feathering or bleedthrough.

Noodler’s No. 41 Brown is a rich and deeply saturated brown ink with warm tones (named for Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts). And Noodler’s Black is a truly deep black, showing no shades of grey or the like. Just don’t mix either ink with conventional inks as the fraud-proof properties will be negated. And with such perfect inks to begin with, we’re sure these will both quickly become regulars in your ink supply.

The Legends of Moleskine & LEGO Unite

28 Mar

Moleskine LEGO Notebooks on EuropeanPaper.com

Many Moleskine and LEGO fans let out a sigh of relief  and muttered online “Finally!” when the new Moleskine LEGO Limited Edition Notebook series came out. But why are they saying that now? Moleskine has collaborated with the likes of Star Wars, Pac-Man, Le Petit Prince, among others. Surely LEGO fits in with those grandmasters? Well, they do, but they also stand apart slightly. LEGO inextricably aligns with Moleskine’s well-known mantra of the customer’s constantly evolving creative personal identity (while the others mentioned already have their stories established). It really is a match made in heaven to have Moleskine and LEGO – two incredibly creative brands with strong histories – come together in this new series of notebooks where you can “Think With Your Hands.”

And did you know? LEGO is a contraction of the Danish words “leg” and “godt,” which means “play well” in Danish. Coincidentally, the word LEGO in Latin loosely translates to “I study” and “I put together.” LEGO began with humble beginnings in 1916 in Denmark in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen. After a fire consumed the workshop in 1924, Christiansen rebuilt and began constructing wooden toys in 1932, only moving to plastic in 1947 after purchasing a plastic injection molding machine.

LEGO’s plastic bricks really took hold in the 1960’s and soon LEGO was experiencing exponential growth in multiple markets. Today, LEGO produces a massive amount of blocks, as evidenced in this neat fact: “Every year, about 19 billion LEGO bricks are produced. That translates to 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute! The LEGO manufacturing process is so precise that only 18 out of 1 million LEGO bricks produced is considered defective.” (10 Neatest LEGO Facts.)

LEGO has continued to evolve over time, and still has a strong hold on the toy market today. Combined with the strong evocations of Moleskine notebooks, this is an instant classic not to be missed. Like the Moleskine Classic Journals, Moleskine LEGO Notebooks have a sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket. All the Moleskine features you’ve come to know and love, bound together with the excitement of LEGO.

Moleskine LEGO Pocket Ruled Notebook (3.5 x 5.5)

The legends of Moleskine and LEGO finally meet in this instant notebook classic. The Moleskine LEGO Pocket Ruled Notebook combines two of the most iconic creative mediums to encourage the potential of unlimited thought. The themed black cover is debossed with a yellow LEGO screenprint and the real yellow LEGO brick embedded in the cover is perfect for any Lego enthusiast. Arrange your words, sketches, and thoughts to construct a world of your own in this pocket-sized notebook for free expression. Let your ideas flow on all 192 lined pages (96 leaves) while using the yellow cloth ribbon placeholder and themed adhesive labels to stay organized. Look to the inside cover and be inspired through the colorfully designed axiom “Think With Your Hands”.

Moleskine LEGO Pocket Ruled Notebook available on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine LEGO Large Ruled Notebook (5 x 8.25)

The Moleskine LEGO Large Ruled Notebook is perfect for a traditional Moleskine aficionado. The themed black cover, debossed with a black LEGO screenprint and embedded with a real black LEGO brick, along with the original cloth ribbon placeholder make for a characteristic Moleskine notebook. Arrange your words, sketches, and thoughts to construct a world of your own in all 240 lined pages (120 leaves) of this large-sized notebook. The combination of two iconic creative mediums encourages the potential of unlimited thought, as emphasized by the colorfully designed axiom “Think With Your Hands” on the inside cover. This notebook is sure to be an instant classic in any Moleskine collection.

Moleskine Lego Large Ruled Notebook (5 x 8.25)

Moleskine LEGO Large Ruled Notebook available on EuropeanPaper.com

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