Pad and Quill Blog on iPad Cases, iPhone Cases and Technology

  • Making Time Stand Still

    Tim Cook and team Apple just released the advent of a revolution in time keeping and smart watch technology; so why is Pad & Quill, crafter of exemplary cases and bags for all things Apple, rambling on about making time stand still?  Simple, the battery life of the new Apple Watch is somewhere south of 24 hours and the watch needs to be recharged every night.

    pocket-watch

    We believe even this simplest of acts should be a beautiful extension of the design and engineering prowess which is exemplified in the Apple Watch.  So, we drew inspiration from Brian’s grandfather, an Irish Canadian, World War I veteran and lifetime salesman for Firestone tires (which at the start would have been revolutionary, as the company founded in 1900 pioneered mass production of the pneumatic tire).  At one point, Grandpa Mac’s unflinching work ethic and exemplary customer service was awarded with a timeless, Elgin gold pocket watch.  Each night, He wound that watch and set it by his bedside.

    As we contemplated the life changing potential of the Apple Watch and coordinated Research Kit and Health Kit software, in addition to the complex process of metallurgy and horology represented in the final product, it compelled us to reflect on the expansion of time past and future.  As we look back, we see the virtues of dedication, respect for customers, craftsmen and service partners, and an unwavering commitment to excellence embodied in a great man’s watch, and as we look ahead, we see unlimited potential for those who dream and work and strive to bring change and beauty to the world around us.

    With these timeless thoughts in mind, we crafted The Luxury Pocket Stand for Apple Watch, The Luxury Travel KitTravel Pouch and The Roll Up Kit for Apple Watch.  A gorgeous celebration of ageless craftsmanship and appreciation for the beauty found in natural resources.

    Brian and Kari

    Mr and Mrs PQ

  • When in Mexico...

    Most folks are familiar with the phrase, “when in Rome do as the Romans do.”  While on this trip to visit our friends and manufacturing partners in Leon Guanojuanto Mexico I learned a new phrase, “a donde fueras,  haz lo que vieres”.  A loose translation of this old spanish saying is, “where you go, do what you see”.  A donde fueras, haz lo que vieres in Leon means eating quesedillas under a makeshift tarpelin tent and paying scant attention to the bubbling pot from which the meat is pulled, (I’m not certain but I think I saw an eye wink at me).  Most delicious street food I’ve encountered, and a Mr. PQ favorite.  He wants me to make this comida at home, but I’m reasonably certain this feat can’t be replicated in the United States, because it’s not just the ingredients.  It’s the hot desert air and the cool shade of the tarp, it’s the seasoning of a griddle that’s achieved by thousands of quesadillas passing over it and being cleaned exclusively by a quick scrape.  It’s rumble of diesel trucks passing through the manufacturing district and banter of uniformed children walking home for a mid day meal, which happens to occur around 2, a phenomenon, to which I could grow accustomed.  An hour break in the afternoon to slow down, eat, rest, breathe, then you reconvene for dinner around 8.  I explained to Alvaro, our designer of leather iPhone wallet cases, we eat supper around 5:30 or 6.  He was mystified how we could go 12 hours sin comida (without eating).  I’ve never given it a second thought but I’d guess the practice evolved from farming life where supper, bedding down and rising up were all characterized by “early”.  Alvaro and Mr. PQ have been busy with iWatch accessory designs and we think you will enjoy what we are doing with Italian design, luxury leather and regional hardwoods.

    Apple Watch, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Apple Watch… it’s going to be big and I’m nervous as heck with anticipation of trying to understand and use the thing.

    A donde fueras… When in Iowa, do as the Iowans do.  This would include consumption of corn and tater tot hot dish.  It would also include working with Jason who is taking the concept of bumper case for iPhone to a resplendently natural level with beautifully crafted hardwood. Those details will be emerging soon!

    When at Old Mexico do as the Old Mexicans do, but we covered that in the first paragraph.  What we can’t wait to uncover is what Alex has been up to in designing a new line of leather and wax canvas bags, backpacks and accessories, can’t divulge too much more but suffice to say it will be a 'Triumph' of bag goodness.

    When in St. Paul… you stop in at the greasy, hole-the-wall, rail car diner, Chris and Rob’s and have hot dogs that are stadium good, to die for, dogs.  No one should watch how sausage is made, but it is pretty fascinating to watch our bookbindery staff craft our moleskin journal iPad, iPhone and Macbook Air cases.  Tom and Mr. PQ are designing a fairly well indestructible case that will release later this year as well.

    Now I'm off to ask Mr PQ what the over/under is that I will be unable to figure out my Apple Watch in the first week of having in on my wrist.

    Mrs PQ

    Kari

  • Mr PQ is pregnant, part 2

    It’s a new year, and here at Pad &Quill we are working with our craftsmen and our designers to roll out new products we love and we believe our customers will think are awesome.  Or in Mr. PQ parlance, 'areaweSOME!!' A compounded mutation of standard English with an obligatory crescendo as he stretches the 3 syllable word to 6.  He can hardly help himself however, as by the time a gold-standard prototype arrives on our marketing desk, the idea has percolated and incubated in his head, heart and soul for 6 months to a year.  Having left the percolating and incubating of the four quills to Mrs. PQ, it’s hard to say he fully understands the concept of being pregnant with a child, but, he fully comprehends the labor of love it is to bring a new product into the world.

    Speaking of pregnancy, I’ve noticed a new trend among our younger friends that brings announcements of new arrivals to an interstellar level of 'areaweSOMEness'. It appears one can no longer frenetically call every person on one’s contact list while one’s wife’s head hangs above the porcelain throne in a bout of morning sickness. Rather, announcing a new arrival has become an event.  An event bolstered by polaroid quality images Snapfish’d into a pleasing birth announcement, a color coded designer cake procured which brings tidings of the child’s gender when served at a smartly catered disclosure event, followed by a strategically placed Facebook declaration of what said child’s name is to be.

    Not being an overtly public person, it can take me a fair amount of rumination before I am ready to release any of my own creative endeavors into the public forum.  Understanding Mr. PQ’s passion for our products, it can take some time for our marketing team to formulate a name that encapsulates what is essential to say about a new product, to evolve a line of descriptive copy that conveys all the 'areaweSOMEness' of a design and to prepare a launch to bring tidings of gladness and great joy regarding our new cases for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus.  Next round I think I’ll just order a cake.

    Mrs PQ

  • CES, Prop Bets and the Bella Vida Case

    Mr. PQ and I are headed to the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.  (Disclaimer: For those savvy social media thugs thinking to burglarize our home while we are away, allow me to dissuade you with the knowledge that a very well-armed housekeeper is on the premises and frankly, you’d be disappointed as we don’t own jack: unless you include Mr. PQ’s invaluable beard grooming kit, which he will most likely take with him as he doesn’t travel anywhere without an impeccably groomed beard).

    Anyhoo.  Back to CES and Las Vegas.  I’ve not returned to Sin City and CES since our first traverse there in 2011.  Pad & Quill was a fledgling company with a few bookbindery cases for iPad and some paper napkin sketches of wallet styled cases for iPhones.   We walked 273 miles of convention center floor, barely surviving the epilepsy inducing lights and carcinogenic haboobs of second hand smoke.  As you can tell, the intensity of my desire to return is surpassed only by Mr. PQ’s enraptured knowledge of my Wild intent to hike a part of the Pacific Crest Trail, as we will be in the vicinity, sort of.

    Not being particularly interested in gambling, for the sake of gambling, the tables and slots hold little allure for either of us.  We might plug a few quarters into a Texas Hold  ‘em machine, while sipping comped drinks and watching NFL playoff games.  What truly intrigue me however, are prop bets.  For the uninitiated, a “prop” bet is a bet constructed as an ancillary to an event.  For instance, Superbowl prop bets might include:  In which quarter will Gisele Bündchen appear on the television camera, sipping Bollinger Blanc de Noir from a crystal flute in her right hand.  Or in which game minute will Jerry Jones come-over flop, in a Chris Christie like frenzy, down the center of his forehead?  And finally, if it is a Romo v Manning Superbowl, which team doctor will be better equipped to intervene with the Heimlich Maneuver, thus saving their team from Superbowl infamy.

    One prop bet I would certainly back is that folks are going to love our new self-propping Bella Vida for iPhone 6 Plus.  This American full grain leather wallet is a well- crafted masterpiece of functionality, replete with the beauty and aesthetic design you’ve come to expect from a Pad & Quill product.  Sadly, for us mere mortals who carry the iPhone 6, the Bella Vida is still in design production, and won’t be immediately available, so I will be stealing Mr. PQ’s iPhone 6 Plus at various times to post comparison pictures of the Bella Vida and various Vegas landmarks.   My contention that it is the small, thoughtful, supportive things that lend to a beautiful life.  Big, bold Vegas may prove me wrong,  but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Kari

    (Mrs PQ)

  • Dickens, Whiskey and friends

    An old proverbial saying admonishes “do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly”.   I’m guessing ole King Solomon with all his wisdom, did not intend for that to apply to an evening out with Dennis.  Dennis is a rare gem of a man whose townhouse is a veritable reliquary of theatrical and literary lore.  Included among his bookshelves are first editions of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, and original correspondence between members of the Pickwick Club.  A Dickens aficionado, Dennis brought A Christmas Carol to theatres across the country and was thereby invited to an audience at Buckingham Palace to meet Her Majesty the Queen of England.  Additionally, he is a close, personal friend to Cedric Charles Dickens, the great, grandson to the great, literary giant.  Crazy, the people you acquaint with over curry and conversation in an inconsequential cove in the middle of pretty much nowhere.  Pressing into hour three of a four-hour dinner, Dennis pulled our Anna Kendrick look a like waitress aside and whispered in her ear.  Moments later, she appeared with four tumblers of 18 and 20 year old McClellan Scotch Whiskey and a glass of room temperature water.  Distributing the tumblers amongst the table, he broke into the following narrative:

    Several years ago, while savoring a post-production nightcap with Cedric Dickens, who had availed himself for a personal appearance to the audience of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Cedric broke out in critique.  “When it comes to drinking whiskey, you yanks have it all wrong, pouring it over ice or dumping cold water into it, allow me to show you how it is properly done.”

    I’m typing in a refined British accent now, so follow along…

    First, you hold glass to the light, observe the amber and caramel tones, swirl the scotch gently in your glass and relish the beauty of color and hue.  

    Next, raise the glass to your nose and allow the heady bouquet to infiltrate your nostrils, prepping your palate for the fete of taste upon which you are about to embark.

    Now, allow yourself one small sip, a mere aperitif, to acquaint yourself with the character of the blend.  While this spot resonates amongst your taste buds, we shall drop 2-3 drops of room temperature water into the glass and give it a brief whorl. Now, it is time to savor.

    Not being a scotch drinker myself, I was a bit dubitable to the process at first.  However, the artisan in me fully appreciated lingering over the complexity of the ritual.  Whiskeys have an amazing array of colors, textures and bouquets that I’d never paused to appreciate.  With that first sip, I was nonplussed; yes this is what scotch tastes like and why I don’t gravitate towards it as a beverage of choice.  However, my mind was veritably blown away upon the second sip as layer upon layer of flavor and character unfolded in my mouth; this from one room-temperature drop of water?  I came to understand a new concept in spirits that evening.  Dare I say, the spirit of whisky past: a suitable mixer for Coke.  The spirit of whiskey present: a beverage Mr. PQ enjoys with a fine cigar by the fire.  The spirit of whiskey future:  when placed in the proper context, when presented in the manner which centuries old tradition demands, when seen through the eyes of the craftsman, Whiskey can be a wholly beautiful thing.

    I look forward to many more meals with Dennis and his lovely wife Anne, and attending the plays he is currently producing:  the outrageously funny Triple Espresso, the wonderfully quirky That Wonder Boy and the debut of To Begin With based on Charles Dickens, “The Life of Our Lord”

    I trust you will be tempted to imbibe in one of the many whiskey leather offerings available in the Pad and Quill online holiday store.

    Kari

     

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