Announcing the Gladstone Bags

Family

  • Candy Crush Addictions

    In the rush and crush of the holiday season chocolate has become my enemy.  Not because it is lurking around every corner and it’s tempting from every store aisle shelf, shouting “indulge!” “indulge!” “I will not add a layer of insulation to your waistline as I did last Christmas!”  No, chocolates seeming omnipresence does not make it the enemy.  Waiting has made chocolate the enemy.  Tis the season of waiting.  Waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, waiting for kids concerts and events to begin.  Waiting for some kids concerts to end (one can really only actively listen to so many sixth grade flugelhorn renditions of Ole St. Nick.) And while waiting I’ve developed the horrible habit of playing Candy Crush, where, at level 51, chocolate has become the enemy.

     

    If you have not been sucked into a Gustav-like addiction to Candy Crush, you would not understand the travesty that is level 51.  Suffice to say, for you non Crush addicts or you newbies like my son who took 42 days to pass level 15, at level 51 little blocks of chocolate goodness pop up to impede your progress and you can only advance by destroying them.

     

    The great has become the enemy of the good.  I sense this game is the plotted revenge of those ridiculous little striped candies at grandma’s house that inexplicably drew moisture and cigarette smoke toward their little crystal dish, causing them to congeal into an immovable mass of carcinogenic disappointment.  Here I thought Lent was chocolate’s greatest adversary.  Epiphany’s come, and grandma’s realize it’s time to scrape the ribbon goop into the garbage, replacing them with little message hearts from Saint Valentine, and they go to the great landfill in the sky, where they’ve connived for years on how to supplant chocolate as the favorite holiday confection.  Now their vengeance has been reprised in Area, I mean Level 51….

     

    Spare yourself this waiting agony and cruise on over to the Pad & Quill site, where online shopping is still occurring and arrival by Christmas is still happening in the US through regular shipments going out Friday the 20th.

    Mrs PQ

    (Kari)

  • Someone got a baby brother

    Well not exactly, Kari decided awhile back that four quills is enough for this full house. Let’s just say it would be completely miraculous if we had #5 on the way… I’ll leave that there. What I mean is that one of our most popular iPad cases just had a baby brother.

    The Contega for iPad mini/Retina

    -Yes this is occasion for multiple propping celebrations!
    -iPad mini users, time to bask in the glow of practical goodness!
    -It’s a ‘mini’ celebration of function and beauty!

    I’m going to stop now.

    You might ask why didn’t we do this last year? Good question, that’s why I had you hypothetically pose it. Two reasons. First, we were swamped! Seriously the growth of our iPhone cases was so huge that we could barely keep up with the newly announced iPad mini. The second reason was design. We wanted to make the design of our new Contega for the iPad Air and iPad mini Retina to be as slender and strong as possible. This one has adopted those new design features from it’s bigger brother. Couple Highlights:

    -Strongest wood frame to date
    -Thinner design then previous Contega’s
    -More durable leather/cloth materials

    So welcome our baby brother case to the family. We are very proud parents here at Pad & Quill!

    Brian

    Mr PQ

  • Drop your Milk Duds, the Pad & Quill Air cases are here

    Having been struck with a craving for remarkably decadent chocolate, I was compelled to make my way across the street to the local gas station. Truth be told, and no great surprise here, they don’t sell decadent chocolate at my local gas station. Indeed the average lunch purchase consists of 2 hot dogs, a 20oz Mountain Dew and a pack of Camels. Our little warehouse is located in a salty area of town which is about as likely to produce Fran’s delectable Salted Caramels as it is to have a bullet free night. But I was desperate, so Milk Duds it was and I sauntered back to my pseudo cubical.

    The new iPad Air has been released and it is nothing short of stunning. Heavenly, salted caramels stunning. Then comes the case, a so called Smart Cover. iPad Air with it’s sublimely slender profile and pristinely clear retina screen, encased in plastic. I think I just choked on my milk duds. You might as well encase the Mona Lisa in a cheap Walmart frame.

    When you invest in the iPad Air, you are purchasing technology, but you are investing in an experience. That’s why it only makes sense to commission a craftsman to build a case which enhances the experience. Fortunately for you, we shouldered the commissioning fee, hired the craftsman and designed cases that will entice your senses and embellish your persona.

    At Pad & Quill we’ve covered all the bases. Want something self-propping? Try our Contega or Contega Linen for iPad Air. Our lightest, most durable propping case to date. Over the top luxury your style? The Aria is the case for you. Frankly doesn’t get more beautiful then french hemmed seams and full grain leather. You’re a minimalist at heart, then the brand new Walden series is in your wheel house. You prefer a blank canvas? We hand the design tools over to you with our Author’s Series. And, if you have been with Pad & Quill from the beginning and love our moleskin-ish journal, we’ve treeked the Octavo to match the utility and grace of the new Air.

    Yes, it was just Halloween. Yes, the kid came home with 37 pounds of Milk Duds and assorted candy. There comes a time though, when calorie balance matters, when the plastic case really needs to be relegated to walks at the dog park and when you owe it to yourself to indulge your finer affections.

    Mrs PQ
    Kari

  • iCloud, paperclips and Mrs PQ

    This morning I was demonstrating a test prep app for a coworker when a fellow co worker took note of my new iPhone 5s. He did so with such exuberance that at once there was a cadre of iPhone 5s admirers gathered around my phone inquiring as to specs and software. I know at this point I am supposed to say something remotely coherent, even intelligent about Apple and IOS technology, but instead I find myself looking with envy at my co workers clamshell phone. Mr PQ just wilted slightly, dismayed I’m certain that his tactic of showing me the new slider that gives easy access to a flashlight has barely moved the needle with me regarding IOS euphoria. I learned some time ago that while my Apple products won’t help me cultivate my garden, they do allow me to consolidate my tasks so that I have more time to cultivate my garden and that is indeed fruitful.

    Continue reading

  • What it means to be Pad & Quill

    PQ_Crafted_Logo_Color

    When you enter the world of e-commerce and begin talking with various consultants the conversation eventually leads to dropping the name of “a guy” they have overseas who can mass produce your product with shoddy materials and psuedo craftsmanship, while guaranteeing great margins. There is a prolific market for cheap crap, as non discerning consumers push for more and more. While business can be built within this paradigm, it’s not building with impunity. Continue reading

  • Capturing an experience, remembering a loved one.

    “If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man” -James Dean

     

    The Holmes family lost it’s patriarch when Mr. Pad and Quill’s dad passed quietly through the “grey rain-curtain of this world to the white shores of a far green country”.  At times like this, when your heart is stricken with grief and loss,  you search, at times in vain, for words that give expression to what this dear loved one meant to you.  I imagine this is why some of the greatest works of art are born in anguish and adversity.

     

    Artistic people are always looking to capture the essence of an experience, to emote a moment or to leave an impression of themselves in their little corner of the world.  In this way, technology is a great friend to artistic people allowing the easy capture of a photo, or the quick jotting of a lyric, while certainly increasing the volume and space of our corners.

     

    Mr. Holmes was a great man who traveled widely, served profoundly and loved deeply. He set his own story. It is in honor of him that we launch our new Author Series of cases.  Sometimes we need to craft our own experience, during those moments we don’t want someone to tell us how the story unfolds, we want to author that ourselves.  The Author Series case is yours to design, and dare I say it (Mr. PQ might wince) a perfect blank canvas for your expression.  I look forward to seeing pictures of what you all create!

     

    Kari

  • Crafted Part Deux - The leathers coming

    A post from Mr. PQ

     

    Really Brian, Part Deux?  Yes, really.  After Mrs. PQ's last post we got a wee bit of feedback from our French loving friends.  Surprisingly they were not that excited that she placed the French language and swearing in the same category.  So I thought maybe pay tribute to French in the title of this post (aka damage control).

     

     

    This is the second post about why Kari, myself and the team are really passionate about the word 'Crafted'.  In my previous post I mentioned our hard fought battle to find Buckram cloth that was not butt ugly.  We finally did and could not be more proud of the Cartella Linen Case for the Macbook Air that utilizes a gorgeously strong linen buckram cloth.

     

    Another battle was to find leathers that we felt met our high standards to be both durable and gorgeous. We have some amazing products planned that utilize these leathers.  Therefore the leather has to be awesome. Touring various tanneries in Mexico we saw in full detail how leather is made, what types of quality are used and why. How quality affects construction and durability.  Here are a few images from our visit.

     

     

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    Finished product getting ready for shipment on the 'horse'.

     

     

    IMG_3378

     

    Various dyed hides in the drying process

     

     

     

    What is top grain, full grain, Nappa and bonded leather? Why are American hides better then Mexican? We found out we really had no idea! This was a entire education process by itself.  Once we started to fully grasp the art and science that is leather crafting, we began to search hard for the perfect colors, textures and types of leathers.  Again, we (Maybe I...) drove our folks to the south a bit nutty at times as finding those 'right' leathers is not easy.  Not too mention my horrendous Spanish.  Thank God I married a woman who paid attention in Spanish class.

     

    Anyhow.  After much prototyping, the final leather concepts we arrived at are mind blowing!  Seriously, they are so beautiful you truly have to hold them to appreciate the luxury and elegance. That opportunity is coming soon and we cannot wait to show you!  I think in my next post I'm going to shift from talking about Crafted materials to discussing our passion for the craftsman.

     

    Talk soon,

     

    Brian

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • How to Learn French in a Hurry

    From Mrs. PQ

     

    The other day I saw a book entitled "How to Learn French in a Hurry", and after checking my credit cards to make sure none of the quills were covertly planning to wing their way to France, chucking their education to follow their muse,  I began to ponder how one might "learn french in a hurry".  Teaching a teenager to drive your new car with manual transmission immediately came to mind.  There was a whole lot of "french" *that evening, coupled with the smell of a grinding clutch.  Opening a report card to discover the kid was serious when she decided to "just give up on school" spring semester.   As I confiscated her iPhone some sort of language accompanied the fire blazing from my eardrums, that, while indiscernible, was mutually understood.

     

    One other way to learn french in a hurry is to go to an e-commerce site, find a product you love, and then become foiled by technology, unable to make a purchase.  I received an email this week from our crack customer service staff regarding a gentleman in Great Britain who had been trying for two weeks to buy one of our lovely new Cartella Linen cases for Macbook Air.  There was so much technical jargon in his letter that it made my eyeballs bleed.  I would have been speaking french at that point, but he was using the lovely Queen's english.  The very fact that he persevered for two weeks to own one of our products was enough for me to jump into the conversation and reward his patience with a Cartella, gratis.  I'll have to sneak my way into the shipping area to send it off to him, as Mr. PQ keeps me largely relegated to my office, (that I affectionately call The Dungeon), where I can do the least damage to servers/websites etc.  But we have one more satisfied customer, joy, and the new web site is coming along swimmingly, including the debugs for international orders and so continues another day in the Pad and Quill universe.

     

    *For our international readers:  it is an American custom to use the phrase "excuse my french" whenever one impolitely drops a course or inappropriate word into conversation.  I'll be researching and reporting back on that custom for my next blog post.

     

    Kari

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