There were lots of hard-to-categorize bits of wonderfulness on the pen-blogospere this week including the epic link list from the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide Episode (#81) which is a link list onto itself.
Letter Writing and Post:
Pardon my repeated turns to digital recently. As computers, cell phones and tablet devices are as much a part of our working life as pens, paper and staplers, I feel its worthwhile to include references occasionally.
This week, I thought I’d cull through all my desk, pen and office supply boards on Pinterest and give you some visual Link Love. Check the sidebar to find me on Pinterest and follow the boards that interest you.
Other folks to follow on Pinterest:
My BFF Rebecca (AKA Squirrel Junkie) is a genius. She made tablet covers from old hardback book covers. She walks you through all the steps needed to create your own vintage book cover for your favorite digital device. Vintage style, modern tools. Brilliant!
If you have to have a cable, make it a cable with a mind of its own. The Une Bobine cable is flexible but strong enough to support your phone like a stand. Une Bobine started as a Kickstarter project and now is available from Photojojo for $30, for iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and Android.
Damn You, Art School is a web site organized by art school disciplines like architecture, fashion, illustration and others that will give you a list of recommended digital tools for a given discipline. The recommendations range from note-taking and sketching apps to business management tools like faxing and time accounting (in the Illustration tab). There are lots of good recommendations for people in all sorts of professional fields or to help you plan out your next creative project. Snoop around, you may find a tool or app you didn’t know you’d need. I do notice a notable absence of the best tools for all creatives: paper and pencil.
Oh, and on the topic of digital tools you didn’t know you needed, I wholeheartedly endorse a drawing app for the iPad called Procreate ($4.99 from the iTunes app store). Even if you do not consider yourself artistically inclined, this app may change your mind. The brush tools are the most realistic I’ve used since the Mac app Painter and there are additional brush sets available for purchase ($0.99 per set and most are totally worth the upgrade). This app is incredibly powerful and includes layers which can have different blending modes and transparency, easy to use undo options, you can rotate the canvas and so much more. There is a whole community of users that share new brushes and techniques. File can be exported to a PSD file and the layers remain intact. I’ve been using the app to create original wallpaper for my iPad. I’ve been watching a lot of Dr. Who lately so I painted a personal nebula. Not as awe-inspiring as the sample images included with the app but I made them with my finger and a few spare minutes. I’m so proud of my wallpaper, you can download it and use it too on your favorite mobile device.
Click image to access attachment. Then save it to you computer.
I went down the pencil rabbit-hole yesterday and found a few interesting tidbits:
A sneak peek of the new Blackwing Pearl expected to be available on May 2 (via Woodclinched)
There is more information about the new Blackwing Pearl available on the Pencils.com site and on Timberlines. The Pearl is designed to fill a spot between the original Palomino Blackwing which was described as “soft and smooth” and the Palomino Blackwing 602 which was described as “firm and smooth”. The original Palomino Blackwing is favored for sketching while notetakers have preferred the 602 so the Pearl should be the good all-arounder pencil. And the white pearlescent paint sounds like it will be fabulous. Just one more week before its available. And, be assured, I will be reviewing it.
I also found an article on Medium entitled “Don’t be afraid of a pencil” about sketching for everyone to help get your point across.
Griffin Technologies has made a pencil stylus — all the good looks of a classic #2 but it will work with you latest touchscreen device $20
An article in USAToday suggests that kids prefer taking the SATs with paper and pencil. So don’t dump those #2 pencils quite yet.
If you want even more pencil love, check out Leadholder which specializes in leadholders, Leadhead specializes in mechanical pencils especially vintage ones, and my friends over at Pencil Revolution and Pencil Talk.
(Vetted X Calepino Notebooks Set via Vetted)
This week is another hodge-podge of pens, paper and digital tools but mostly a lot of ink reviews… mmmm… ink!
Pens and Ink:
I always get tickled by the goofy stuff designers do, myself included, like proudly showing their affinity for a particular color, right down to its Pantone designated number. So, yeah to Pantone for offering this lovely array of “chips” available as computer desktop wallpapers. I, of course, chose PMS 382C… but really, who is surprised by that?
For me, the big news this week was The Pen Addict’s trip to the Atlanta Pen Show so if you read nothing else, check out both of his recaps from the show.
Pens and Pencils
After whining and moaning and crying a little, I went ahead and tried just about every Google Reader substitute I could find. While there is no perfect solution yet that bridges across mobile and web options that all syncs together, I have found my temporary workaround. I do most of my RSS reading on my computer these days so I needed to solve for that first and I’ve found The Old Reader to be the most Google-Reader-esque experience. It did take about a week for my content to be uploaded to their site as they were flooded with new users after the Google announcement but it was kind of worth the wait.
Its currently only available in a web browser version but I can access the content on any machine with a web browser so its a decent solution at the present. I did like that so many other apps were integrating Google’s Reader feeds into their interface like Flipboard, Reeder and others so what will really determine the best replacement is which service becomes the de facto in other apps and services.
Its interface is simple and totally utilitarian and most like Google Reader. As a result, it had the least learning curve and shortest path to just getting back to reading. Have you found a good substitute for Google Reader yet?