Are you interested in participating in a collaborative Sketchbook Project? Check out this post by Mari over at CreateWriteNow.com for details of an exciting opportunity for creative journalers.

Attention all creative journalers! Your art journals, travelogues, memoirs, to-do lists, short stories and other masterpieces are wanted to join a traveling exhibit with the Brooklyn Art Library.

The Sketchbook Project , created by Brooklyn-based company Art House, is a global collaborative art project that encourages anyone – writers, artists, accountants, mechanics, chefs, children, you! – to take a blank sketchbook, fill it with personal thoughts, designs and emotions, then return it by January 15 to be included in a traveling exhibition and permanent collection. Talk about journaling on a global scale!

Here are the basic rules:

  1. Anyone, anywhere in the world can participate (“This project is for anyone who craves an outlet for that undeniable creative bug.”). Thousands of people participate each year, and every sketchbook is a unique piece of art.
  2. It costs $25 to join the Sketchbook Project (and $30 more to digitize your book and make it available to anyone around the world – books receive half a million viewers each year), which includes a custom-designed 5×7, 32-page sketchbook made in Portland, Oregon.
  3. To participate in the 2013 exhibition, you need to send your completed sketchbook back by January 15, 2013. It will then go on tour, hitting cities across North America, including San Francisco, Austin, Toronto, Chicago and Atlanta. Your book will keep in touch from the road, sending you an email or text message updating you on its journey.
  4. Your sketchbook will then take up residence in the Brooklyn Art Library’s permanent collection and play an important part in journaling history.

Interested in participating in the Sketchbook Project this year or in the future? What kind of journal would you create? Share your thoughts in the comments, and read more about the project

I love what Jorge did with his Moleskine Sketchbook.

Fiorentina’s new patent leather journal and accessories are high quality with a modern twist.

This new line of journals, binders, portfolios and pencil cases is a modern take on Fiorentina’s old world charm. The classic Italian leather is accented with a smooth, high-gloss finish, making it sleek, sophisticated, and fun. These products are available in white, black, and fire engine red. White and red have the best resistance to dust and fingerprints, while the black naturally shows more but can easily be polished with a microfiber cloth or a shirt sleeve.

This journal features a sleek, shiny patent leather cover with high quality paper that you would expect from Fiorentina.

The journals are available only in the easy-to-carry 5 x 7 size and contain approximately 120 leaves of the same durable, pen friendly Fiorentina paper. The pages are fresh smelling and there is a satin bookmark attached to the binding for convenience. This journal looks and feels wonderful.

Keep your paperwork and notes in high-style with a glossy, portfolio.

The portfolios are well-designed to hold an 8.5″ x 11″ paper pad securely in place and open flat, and come equipped with an inside pen loop, two full-size pockets, and a smaller pocket great for holding index or business cards. The edges are thick to prevent bending or damage, while the portfolio itself is still slim and flexible, and snaps closed easily.

It will be hard to ose your pencils when you keep them in a bright red patent leather case.

The pencil cases have substantially thinner (yet durable) walls, and can hold a decent-sized handful of pens and pencils and still zip closed. They are small enough to slip into just about any bag.

The 3-ring binders are not pictured here, but can be found at Jenni Bick Bookbinding, and are for sale along with the other patent leather products.  These items are high-end, unique, and sure to draw compliments from friends and coworkers and other curious passersby.

Purchase them here: JenniBick.com.

For those of you looking for creative was to you use Sharpie Markers, check out this idea from If It’s Hip, It’s Here. The world’s best known permanent laundry maker, the Sharpie, isn’t just for labeling your underwear. Hand drawn cars, basement walls, decorated ceramic busts and more like those shown here may make you rethink the way you use that stinky pen.

The car was actually done in sharpie markers on the paint and then finished with a clear coat for protection. It took about 2 weeks total. Prestige (Lamborghini Miami)definitely shocked a lot of people when this car was first seen in California during the Concorso Italiano/Pebble Beach week. It attracted attention good, and apparently bad as well, everywhere it went.
(images courtesy of VOD Cars and JT Photos on flickr)

Is it a journal made into sculpture or a sculpture of a journal?

A friend of mine sent me this link to this journal/sculpture. I don’t know who created it or what it is made of, but I thought it was interesting and beautiful. If you click on the photo, it will take you to a larger version of the image so you can see all of the details. If you have any information about this piece of art or its maker, please leave a comment.

Happy holidays and a big thank you to all of you who follow my blog! I wanted to share a creative holiday message from Chronicle books that showcases some very creative ideas. Be sure to look for the snowflake created from journals!
I wish you all a super happy holiday and a very creative new year!



This month’s carnival has some great posts featuring some of our favorite things. Visit the following blogs for great reviews and more.

Artsy Stuff

Pens and Ink

Notebooks and Journals

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Allegra Newman , author of 365 Things to Write About

Allegra Newman is a guest blogger and author of 365 Things to Write About. She shares ways to enhance your creative writing skills and journaling. Check out her blog by clicking the above photo.

Ten months ago, I would never have written about a hermit crab. Or a lemonade stand. And certainly not my perspective about the color orange. No, ten months ago, I would have hemmed and hawed about writing anything, despite the fact that my biggest dream has always been to be a professional writer. However I thought about writing much like someone thinks about eating healthier: a lot of thinking, but not much doing. I really want to, but today’s just not a good day was a common excuse, followed with a weak explanation. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. The kitchen cabinets are practically begging to be cleaned out and reorganized again. There’s a ten-hour marathon of Project Runway on TV. Or my personal favorite: I don’t feel inspired.I’ve always loved thinking up stories in my head but hate them as soon as I try to describe their characters and actions on paper. My laptop has been witness to many of my awkward coffee shop dates with fresh, blank Word documents, where we stare dumbly back and forth, silently waiting for the other to initiate the conversation. Needless to say, most of those dates did not lead to serious relationships. In January, I decided to take a different approach to writing. First, I gave my laptop a vacation, and I picked up a pen and notebook to engage in that old-fashioned ritual of longhand writing. I’ve sometimes found that I have better luck scribbling out a rough draft than attempting to type it onto a glaring screen.

Writing daily in a notebook or journal opens the door to creative thinking and encourages you to combine words and pictures on the page.

Second, I committed to journaling EVERY day instead of once a week or month, as I’d become prone to doing. Instead of waiting until 10pm to jot a few tired sentences into my journal, I started waking forty-five minutes earlier and forced my hand to fill three pages with whatever jibber jabber poured from my sluggish brain. I didn’t give myself time to think about what I was writing and how someone might react if they read my entry. I just wrote. My thoughts were all over the place, my word choices pitiful at best, but by 6:45am, I would set down the pen and close my journal feeling elated because I’d actually fulfilled my first daily writing goal. I quickly noticed that using a free association approach to journaling was actually allowing me to unleash fears, doubts, and insecurities on the page without any reservations. It also helped me to acknowledge my strengths and recognize goals. Vent or whine about relationships and work. Express my point of view. Take notice of the small things in my life. Without an expectation to write the most interesting and thought-provoking journal entry ever, I felt empowered to fill pages and pages with whatever thought, idea, or colorful description sprung to mind. As I became more comfortable with writing in my journal, I decided to apply the free association technique to describing random objects around my apartment. Rather than deliberate for an hour over the perfect analogy to characterize the houseplant by the window, I gave myself 10 to 15 minutes to write whatever initial thoughts I had about its big, flat leaves and long, gnarled vines in my notebook. Writing this way had a liberating effect on my creative esteem. When I gave up control over creating the perfect story and let the prompt tell me what to write, I found my imagination bending and expanding in directions I’d never considered before. New writing styles and character dialects flowed from my pen onto the page. And I enjoyed the act of writing again! From those exercises, the idea of a creative writing journal called 365 Things to Write About was born. How might a Friday night, Buckingham Palace, or slime inspire my imagination…or someone else’s? I thought it would be helpful to have a book with one- or two-word prompts like those listed at the top of lined pages where writers can explore their personal and creative thoughts about them as a daily exercise or whenever they want a change in their writing routine. I encourage people who use 365 Things to Write About to withhold judgments on their writing, style, or story idea and simply express on paper what they associate with the given prompt. There are no rules for how the prompt is used – it can be the main character, a vehicle for change, a metaphor, or simply the prop which opens a scene. Be goofy, pensive, or observant. But most of all – have fun! 365 Things to Write About can be purchased online at Amazon.com or at BarnesandNoble.com.

Head on over to Economy Pens for this month’s Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper.

The Editors’s Picks this month are:

  • Miscellaneous Pen Porn, from Gourmet Pens!
  • No Pen Intended breaks down Stabilo’s Move Easy Left Handed Fountain Pen.
  • Rosetta Leadholder and Accessories from Pencil Talk.
  • Pen and Paper Hoarder shows off the Moleskine Writing Set Box with .7mm Rollerball Pen.
  • Learn about the Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen .7 from Multi Pen Dimensions.
  • Tyler Dahl, of 777 Pen Repair, shares his review of Diamine Grey.
  • Nifty provides us with a story about The Notebook of an Autistic Artist.
  • Check out this posting on the Traveler’s Factory and More, from Scription.
  • Inkophile brings us another assortment of links in Doodles, Moleskine and a Cherry Link.
  • Perhaps several of us can relate to Writing Down the Ink #9 from peaceable Writer
  • Seth, of Good Pens, shows off the JZ Designs Key Pen
  • Leigh Reyes demonstrates how A Little Balance Goes a Long Way.
  • Bleistift gives us a look at just how prevalent The Ubiquitous Staedtler Pencils can be.

Next month, JournalingArts will be hosting the Carnival. Submit your post using this form no later than 5pm EST on the first Sunday of the month.

If you are looking for a beautiful pen to compliment your Moleskine notebooks or planners, check these out. Moleskine’s new roller pens are designed specifically for use with Moleskine paper and the design is great, too. The unique clip is designed to be slid onto your notebook cover from the side or top, even when the notebook is closed. The low profile and flat design prevents roll and helps keep it in place.

The unique design of the clip enables you to slide the pen on from both the side and top of the notebook. It stays firmly attached to the pen to keep your pen secure.

I was a bit skeptical about the comfort of these pens when I realized that the shape is rectangular rather than round, but after using one for a while, I can confirm that it is comfortable. The rectangular shape stays put in my hand better than a round barreled pen which keeps my grip relaxed. Round barreled pens tend to creep on me, which encourages me to grip too tightly.

The ink scribes a smooth, even line with no feathering or bleedthrough.

The ink is smooth and dries quickly. So far, I have had great success using it with the paper in my Moleskine journals and even the thinner paper in the planners, no bleedthrough or feathering. The gel ink is nice and black, reminding me a little bit of a rollerball line.

Colorful stickers are included with both pens and can be used to customize your pen or indicate ink color.

The pen clip attaches firmly and can be slid onto your notebook from the top or side. It works best with Moleskine’s hard cover journals since the cover thickness matches the notch in the cap. You can use it with the soft cover notebooks but you will need to clip onto both paper and cover since the soft cover is too thin to hold the pen in place.

The matte-black, abs plastic finish makes for a sleek pen that is very light weight.

There are two finishes to choose from, satin steel and matte-black, abs plastic. The satin steel pen is all metal construction and is substantially heavier than its black sibling. As a premium product, it comes packaged in a Moleskine style gift box and retails for $50. The matte black pen is extremely lightweight and comes packaged in standard hang-tag packaging and retails for $15.

Both pens are refillable using Moleskine gel refills. To refill, just unscrew the bottom of the pen, remove the old refil and replace it.

Both pens are refillable using Moleskine gel refills and are available in .5 and .7 point sizes and Black, Brilliant Blue, Bright Green, Bright Red, Dark Brown, and Deep Violet ink colors.

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