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September 30, 2008

Scrapbook Style Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Now that summer is over, many of you are looking for ways to preserve and display the memories of vacations and fun times with family and friends. A great way to do this is by making a scrapbook style travel journal!

If you are looking for a lively journal full of color, then you might like the BBurn Memories Album, which is what we chose to use for the New York City album shown in these pictures. Mmmm... food is always one of the favorite memories from my travels! The pages of this album are embellished with cute cartoon characters and there are plenty of stickers to add to the fun. For those of you that can't get enough of stickers, Lamb-Lamb makes speech-balloon stickers to add thoughts to your pictures as well as nostalgic stickers that can elegantly frame a photo.

Personally, I do not like to damage my photos by gluing them into a scrapbook or journal, instead I prefer to use photo corners. The BBurn Memories Album comes with a set of photo corners, but they can be purchased separately if you are using a different album. For adding small cut-outs and delicate objects to your album you can't beat the Sakura Quickie Glue Pen which is designed just for this task.

For a more traditional and classy looking album, Clairefontaine's Travel Journal is available in both medium and large sizes. This journal alternates heavy-weight black pages for displaying photos and mementos with lined white pages for taking notes. Or, step outside the box and use Clairefontaine's Multi-Color Notebook to make a scrapbook style travel journal. This notebook's colorful pages are sure to make your photos pop!

Of course, a handfull of colorful Gelly Roll Pens for making notes and designs is an asset, especially when using dark colored paper. Do you have any tips on creating photo albums? If so, feel free to share your ideas with us.

September 23, 2008

Gift Ideas For Geeks

Although Writer's Bloc does not sell electronic gadgets, "I Love Geeks" coffee mugs or Diet Coke, which seems to be the geek drink of choice, we do have several geek-friendly gift items!

Most Geeks I know do not spend much time with pen & paper, instead they prefer to record and schedule using a PDA, laptop, or whatever device is handy. In the professional environment, many Geeks spend hours each week in corporate meetings brainstorming new projects or discussing the progress of current projects. The Behance Action Book is the perfect companion, designed to turn ideas into actions and boost productivity. Each page has 4 sections to help prepare for meetings, focus on action steps, jot down backburner items and keep track of reference items. Reading Behance's philosophy, called the "Action Method", made me realize this book would be a welcome tool in many a Geek's laptop bag!

Behance Action Book

If your favorite Geek is going to have a Behance Action Book, why not pair it with a refillable rollerball pen? I like the J. Herbin Refillable Rollerball Pen because of the smooth way it writes and the wide variety of J. Herbin Ink colors that it can be refilled with.

J Herbin Rollerball Pen

Geeks often are big fans of board games that involve some strategy. If so, a new Eurogame is a welcome surprise! Eurogames are hugely popular in Germany as well as several other European countries and are currently building popularity in the USA, so why not introduce your Geek to them? A couple of favorites here at Writer's Bloc are Citadels with the Dark City Expansion and Taluva (any game involving islands and volcanoes has got to be good!).

Taluva

If your favorite Geek is female, Writer's Bloc has some fun skins, or stickers, to personalize her laptop and Nintendo DS Lite. These skins can easily be removed and leave behind no sticky residue. My personal favorites are the Cat Laptop Skin and the Wonderland Slim Skin for the Nintendo DS Lite. Your male Geek friend may prefer a sporty skin for his classic iPod such as the iPod 5G Soccer Slim Skin.

Skins - Cat Laptop & Soccer iPod.jpg

September 16, 2008

Left-Handed Fountain Pen Use - Part 2

Lime Green LAMY.jpg

After my successful experiment with the Platinum Preppy, I was eagerly anticipating taking my new LAMY Safari Fountain Pen for a test drive and I wasn't disappointed!

Armed with my LAMY Safari and Exacompta Club Leatherette Journal I travelled to a 3 day convention ready to take lots of notes. Many, many pages later there was not one ink smear and my hand felt less fatigued than it normally does thanks to the smooth action of the LAMY nib combined with the ultra-smooth Clairefontaine paper in my journal. This combination would be an asset to anyone who does a lot of writing!

For this experiment I used LAMY standard ink cartridges in turquoise. Since I tend to poke holes in paper when I use extra-fine nib pens, I choose the LAMY fine nib for my pen. The fine nib produced a consistent flow of ink in a medium to fine line. The benefit of the LAMY Safari's ergonomic grip was lost on me because my left-handed grip is rather strange, but it was not a hindrance either. The Clairefontaine paper in the Exacompta Club Journal is 80g, a lighter weight than the usual 90g paper used in Clairefontaine notebooks. Even though there was a little bit of ink bleed-thru, I was still able to write on both sides of the page with a fountain pen.

This lime green LAMY Safari quickly became my favorite pen!

(Just a note: LAMY Studio, Safari, Vista, Joy and AL-Star Fountain Pens all use the same type of stainless steel nibs.)

September 03, 2008

How to apply iPod skins - Part 2

This time, it's how to apply iPod Nano 2G skins.


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