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!

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Angry PenPal

The letter arrived in a business envelope with no fancy address stamp, which was unusual for this longtime penpal who always used lovely return address stamps and stationery to write her letters. My instincts told me this was an ominous message.

I opened the envelope to see a single sided white paper with the words scrawled on there that she was hurt that I had visited her state and had not bothered to contact her to set up a visit. It especially bothered her that I was only an hour away. If that was the kind of penpal I was, then she was done with me. Don't bother writing. Ever.

Wow. I was stunned.

Why did she think her desire to meet with penpals trumped my desire not to? And why the demand to stop writing? Can't we disagree and still write? Apparently not.

I was glad to let her go as I didn't need that anger and small-mindedness in my life.

After a few months passed, I shared this experience with two other penpals. One of whom also had this woman as a penpal and had experienced the same fate as me- visiting her fair state. They had actually planned to get together, but bad weather stepped in and changed the traveler's plans (who also had two children with her) so no get-together occurred. Cue mean penpal. Angry letter. End relationship.

The traveling penpal was relieved (and not too surprised) as the mean penpal had shown her colors once before when her birthday passed without a card from the traveling penpal. Cue one angry letter.

Seriously, who does that?

The traveling penpal took the cue, sent a belated birthday card and balance was restored. Until their fateful trip.

Life's too short for angry penpals.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Address Book

I found this homemade address book at a thrift store. It has a wood front and back that is lacquered with a picture and the word "Addressory" (I looked the word up in the dictionary- it's not there).
There are photocopied photos separating each section. In the photo below, you can see it says "AB" in the upper right hand corner. There are 10 dividers in all. There is also a quote on each divider. The one below is by Emily Post and says, 

"Love in a letter endures forever in our memories."
The next few pages are form sheets with spaces for addresses as shown below. What's nice about this is that you can easily add more pages as the need expands.
While I like the concept of the handmade address book, this one looks outdated with its faded pages and  photocopy photos. If I were to create one from scratch, I would use colored scrapbooking papers which are heavier, fun letter/mail images from Pinterest, un-decorated address pages so that they're cleaner, possibly room for photos of each recipient or fun stickers.

How would you create one? Or have you already?