Saturday, February 18, 2017

February is International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo)

A letter a day for 28 days. Welcome to February and the month of InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month).

 I began preparing for the challenge back in January by creating a list of people to write to. I have my  usual suspects (friends, relatives, pen pals) and I occasionally participate with and Then I spent some time on creating a list of people to write to- authors, actors, politicians, singers - you get the idea. 
Here's the calendar I'm using to track my outgoing mail. Someone shared it online and now I can't find who that was. If I do, I will add a link later.
There is also a contest going on this month at the InCoWriMo website where one lucky winner will win a glass fountain pen! I sent in my entry last week (looks like I forgot to update my calendar above with that mailing).
Here's to a full and happy mailbox! Good Luck!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Faber-Castell Store (Part 2)

It was a cool and overcast day when I spent part of the morning shopping at the Faber-Castell shop located near their corporate office on their castle grounds in Stein, Germany.
There were many display cases of pens and pencils and part of the charm of this particular morning, was taking my time, trying out an assortment of writing instruments and finding just what I was looking for that day.
The employees were very friendly and helpful. While I was there I heard them speaking German, French and English. Impressive.
As you can in these pictures the store offers many opportunities for visitors to try out the different pens throughout the store.
Colored pencils galore! They can be purchased individually or in sets. Love all the colors in this photo.
 Goodbye, Fabe-Castell store, until next time!
You can read about my visit to the castle grounds in this blog post. In part 3, I will post pictures of what I bought that day. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Faber-Castell Castle in Germany (Part I)

On our trip to Germany in October, we stayed in Nuremberg and were not too far from the home, castle, store and factory of Faber-Castell. I wasn't able to book ahead for the official castle and factory tour, but I was able to spend the morning shopping in their store and walking around the castle grounds.

Here is a great view of the back side of the castle. The family hasn't lived here since 1939 when they left at the outbreak of  WWII.
At the front of the castle is this beautiful clock tower.
This metal sculpture caught my attention as I enjoyed my walk around the grounds.
Imagine all the history that took place at this location. According to the website, they housed the lawyers here during the Nuremberg trials in 1945. They said that Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck were among those who stayed  there while reporting for US newspapers during the trials.
What's a castle ground without a requisite fountain? Lovely.
Here's one of the two grand staircases at the back of the castle with wrought iron railings, sculptures and another water fountain built into the wall (bottom right).
I spotted this adorable cottage while walking around the walking path on the caste grounds.
 Some more views of the castle.
This hidden alcove was actually a hallway that housed a public restroom. On this slightly chilly day they had on the water-filled cast iron radiators which were making their distinct radiator sounds as they emitted welcoming heat. Heaven. I stayed a little longer just to enjoy the warmth and the atmosphere.
Below is the factory that sits across the street from the museum, shop, castle and offices of Faber-Castell. The Rednitz River runs under the road and alongside the factory. 
As I walked over the bridge to go further into Stein, Germany, I stopped to take this scenic photo. The factory (above) is to my right and the castle, shop and museum are to my left.
It was a beautiful day in Germany- about 60 degrees with occasional sunshine, but mostly light gray skies. I walked to a nearby coffee shop and enjoyed a strong cup of coffee while I wrote some postcards to friends and family back in the states and wrote some highlights of the morning's events to be copied into my travel journal. 

Stay tuned for Part II where I highlight some photos of the coffee shop, postcards, etc. and then in Part III I will feature pictures of the inside of the Faber-Castell shop where I spent over an hour and about $100.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Observer's Notebooks

 Notebooks for visual thinkers.
That's the premise of these unique notebooks published by Princeton Architectural Press. These notebooks, the first in a new series (to be followed by Observer’s Notebook: Weather in spring), went on sale October 4th.

First up is the Astronomy Notebook (Amazon / Publisher  / B&N) This sturdy, cloth-bound journal is filled with stunning images and a variety of journal pages- grid, lined, graphs, charts. You have to see it to appreciate it!
Below is the Observer’s Notebook for Trees (Amazon / Publisher / B&N). You can use this journal for "... recording notes, observations, measurements and dreams, or simply for reflecting on the beauty of the planet's longest-living, grandest organisms." Or you can use it to fill any of your journaling needs with colorful tree diagrams and illustrations as background and, possibly, inspiration.

Next is the Grids & Guides, a slightly smaller journal with eight distinctive grid designs and ledger table pages.
Below are a variety of page layouts in the books. Love the original and different layouts for all kinds of fun uses.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Paper Haul Subscription Box

Looking for a stationery subscription box? Check out this #PaperHaul assortment from Crafty Creatives! Although they're based in the UK, they do ship worldwide! Sweet!

Each month has a new theme. I received this shipment a few months ago, but you can see more of an assortment of their previous packages here.
Cards, postcards, stickers, notebook, washi tape all came packaged in a sturdy box with a twine ribbon holding the items together.
Aren't these miniature cards (below) adorable?!
So much paper goodness delivered to your home as long as  you're OK with a new assortment each month featuring a different artist.
I'm having fun sending mail using these colorful, quirky cards and washi tape.
What colorful mail is brightening your mailbox these days?
You can check out their website, or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Stamp Box

Besides mail, my other great love is books, which translates to bookstores, libraries, books about books, most anything to do with reading. Like this little gem with the image of the girl reading a book under a tree.
I found this small, wooden, compact-like container at a gift shop when a friend (fellow book lover, Debra) and I stopped there on a day trip to northern Minnesota. We visited Gooseberry Falls, Agate Beach, Duluth and the Two Harbors Light House. We each decided we had to have one and now both of us have a cute, book-related keepsake of our trip.
I have mine sitting on my desk where I've stored a few loose stamps.
It's a nice reminder of a recent memory as well as a useful storage box for very small things, such as these holiday themed stamps from yesteryear.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Erin Condren Planner

Loving my 2016 Erin Condren Planner. A friend of mine shared hers at a coffee date earlier this year and I was enchanted with it- the sturdy platinum coil, the colorful layout (both monthly and weekly), the laminated front and back covers, stickers, a pocket, a zippered compartment and a notes section. What's not to love?
I selected the Seahorse design with my name. You can customize with a quote, word or business name (or leave blank).
Below is the inside front cover which is laminate and can be written on with a white board marker and erased again. I haven't tested mine yet, but my friend had and assure me it will wipe off just fine.
The colorful monthly dividers:
Upcoming monthly spread with a BIRTHDAY sticker.
Below is a view of the weekly spread in horizontal format. You could also choose from a vertical format for the weekly view.
One of the sticker pages (there are three). Plus, there are a zillion sticker options available on Etsy specially for Erin Condren planners designed with color motifs and sized to fit.
Near the back is a pocketed page (front and back) which comes with a pocket planner for keeping track of monthly celebrations and holidays.
Below you can see the clear zipper compartment for stickers, labels, rulers, markers, stamps and much more.
Don't you love the whimsical seahorse motif? Me too!
Stay tuned for more blog updates with photos of how I've been using this lovely planner!