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  • Will the iPhone 6s’ “Live Photo” Change How I Take Pictures?

    Yes and No, but mostly Yes. Live photo is the underrated character actor of the iphone 6s feature line up. It’s a well thought out feature, that takes some adjusting to, but really is a lot of fun, and has the potential to enhance your most treasured memories. How so?

    Live Photo uses either the front or rear facing cameras to capture your pictures with an added 1.5 seconds of video leading up to the shot and after the shot too. This lends itself to a natural and authentic moment. You don’t really have to change much at all about the process of taking a picture. Just be aware that by the time you click the button 1.5 seconds has already been recorded and another 1.5 seconds will continue to be recorded. Also worth mentioning, there is no audio on or off option yet. So keep that in mind as you are yelling at the kids to look happy.

    Can I Share the iPhoto 6s Live Photo?

    Many people are wondering 'how do I share my iPhone 6S live photos?' Being a newcomer to iOS, sharing remains limited. Sharing from your phone is much like any other picture sharing endeavor. Tap share and you will see the bar of recent pictures to choose from. When you see it say “live” on the pic, you know that’s the complete picture and video, AKA Live Photo. Click off, and it's a normal picture to share. Click it back on, and you can share it. At this time, it only shares with other devices that have iOS 9, WatchOS, or El Capitan. That’s also where importing them to iPhoto gets tricky. You must be up to date on El Capitan, otherwise, the video and picture will divorce into separate and confusing files.

    Even more annoying is that social media sharing is limited, although sure to quickly improve. Facebook will see its integration later this year, but has much as said that they have no idea when Instagram will. Flickr says it will support it. Other third party apps, like Dropbox, Vine, and Pixlr are working on it.

    Each Live Photo, despite the video aspect is only the size of 2 high quality pictures. So it is bigger, but it won't demolish your storage space like Godzilla in Tokyo. What’s likely to be the bigger annoyance is dealing with how to share them while major platforms are figuring it out over the next year.

    Update: There is now an app on the app store that will transform your live photos into animated GIFs or a simple short video, which will then be saved to your camera roll. These saved animated GIFs can then be easily included in email, SMS, and on most social networks. The app is named Live GIF and is available on the app store for $1.99.

    Are Live Photos For Me?

    Parents are definitely the target market here, with Apple themselves, capitalizing on the warm fuzzy “Awww” of the little girl smiling while her curls bounce in their ads. And rightly so, as parents are likely to be especially enamored with catching the fleeting moments of their little ones. However, the human nature of the candid shot is something we can all have some fun with.

    Live Photo does requires a bit of a mental rewrite of what taking a picture means to you. We all know the drill when someone calls out for a group shot. Stand there awkwardly while everyone primps and poses. And then smile, and keep smiling for way too long for it to look natural. By the time the shutter finally clicks and files away the moment into photographic history, your smile looks like a half melted pile of M&Ms. All the fuss of gathering together, finding poses, and the inevitable jokes in between, are lost and compiled into the manicured snapped photo. With Live Photo, a little slice of that is preserved. Now, it’s not just the photo outcome that counts, it’s the whole process. So have fun. Maybe, just maybe, Live Photo will make pictures fun again.

  • Nothing Cool is Flat

    Mr. PQ and I have taken a break from all the iPhone 6S hoopla to travel to the Great state of Texas to convene a meeting with our marketing team.  Intent on best serving our customers by keeping them up to date on all things Pad & Quill.

    Mr. PQ, seeking some mental motivation, ventured to the hotel’s snack bar and returned with a box of Cracker Jacks.  iPhones and MacBook pushed aside, we embarked on a philosophical conversation about Cracker Jack prizes.  Back before choking hazards were found in every thing Froot Loops to Kinder Eggs, there were real prizes in cereal and Cracker Jack that would inspire civil war in most families.

    Our conversation turned nostalgic as we recalled the best prizes like the little parachute man, super balls and decoder rings.

    Mr. PQ got a sticker.  Not just any sticker, a Toronto Blue Jays sticker.  But we are in Texas where the Houston Astros are on the verge of cinching a American League playoff spot and the Texas Rangers have already sewn up the AL West division.

    We concurred that prizes simply aren’t what they used to be, causing Stephen to quip, “Nothing cool is flat”.  Hence the reason he still carries an iPhone 3g.  I on the other hand was happy to jump to the candy bar style of the iPhone 4.  What woman doesn’t want a reminder to buy chocolate every time they open their bag?  Now with iPhone 6 or 6s, who needs Cracker Jack, I’ll get my own darn prize ☺

    Mrs PQ

    Kari

  • 38mm is Me

    It’s dainty, like me.

    If you ever want to achieve an epic eye roll from your kid, throw out a thought that is so patently absurd they can’t help but drop the full frontal eye roll.  Mr. PQ, being the Apple geek that he is, waited in the wee hours of the morning, in the virtual line that was Apple Watch pre-order, to stake our claim on the time piece(s).  In spite of my not so subtle hints, “Boy, I love the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle” he ordered 42mm Apple Watches with a variety of bands.  Because the band and the stand are where it’s at for accessory companies like Pad and Quill.  Bless his heart, he thought Mrs. PQ wouldn’t be able to stretch her arm far enough to read the 38mm variety without her cheaters, clearly he underestimates the reach of a mother’s arms, in spite of watching The Incredibles with the Quills any number of times.  In an effort to convince him, we sojourned to our local Apple Store where I fitted myself with the Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle that I was coveting, and voila! I could read the face sans optical correction.  So, Mr. PQ jumped back into the virtual line and placed an order, and we waited.  More precisely, I waited.  It’s hard to explain when an inorganic object makes an impression on your psyche so intense that you shun all internal norms and await impatiently for the all important “announcement” text which trumpets, “your Watch is in transit”!!  While normal Apple technology releases often feel like one more shackle of constraint tying me to the modern world while screaming of my ineptitude at adaptation in all things technical, I had fallen in love with the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle.  I can’t explain, I just know I love it.

    The Watch arrived yesterday and was unveiled by one of the Quills as we drove through an epic summer rainstorm, into downtown, to attend a fundraiser for a single mom friend with cancer, which actually doesn’t occur until next week.   (I really need to learn to read texts more carefully) Finding ourselves downtown with no where to go, we proceeded to a local eating establishment for burgers, a time to chat and a time to complete the un-packaging of Apple Watch.  The boys were impressed with the beauty of the timepiece and remarked as to how much smaller it is in comparison to the 42mm model.

    “Yes, it’s dainty, like me.”

    Cue the eye roll.  I called the older boy out, letting him know his gesture had not escaped me.

    “Mom you are not dainty.  You hike and swing an axe and have knives and camp in the wilderness and race triathlons.  It’s not a bad thing (protecting my feelings)”

    It’s not a bad thing at all son, and it doesn’t bother me even remotely that you don’t think of me as dainty, but rather you see me as strong, and comfortable in my own skin.  That’s what we want for you and your siblings.  You are a beautiful creation with your own gifts and talents that may or may not fit in with societal norms.  It’s a gift your father has given you, the courage to be yourself.

    Now go swim upstream, but give me back my Watch before you go.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

     

  • Why not to get an Apple Watch

    Contrary to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the universe is no longer 42, the new answer is Apple Watch.  At least this is the conclusion the myriad of alarms sounding across my many Apple devices is driving me toward.  The new universal question should be, what color wood Pad & Quill Stand for Apple Watch should I purchase to complete my new horologic experience, Mahogany or Cherry?  It seems the universal question within the tech world is whether Apple Watch will really be that big of a thing.

    “It’s just a ploy to sell more iPhone 6 and 6P.” That’s a bad thing?  Not for our many Apple Store reps and techies who like their jobs and the great peripherals like Macworld.com, 9to5mac.com, MacRumors.com and others.

    “It’s going to go flat with such a short battery life” (The Stand for Apple Watch makes that an awesome inconvenience).

    “People just don’t wear watches anymore.” Well it’s high time we get our noses out of our iPhones and Apple Watch facilitates this fluidly.

    Finally, Boomers abound who grew up watching our heroes like Batman, Dick Tracy, and James Bond fight for world peace with the aid of a multifunctional time piece.  As Tim Cook said, he’s been waiting to talk into a watch since he was ten.  He is not alone in that.

    However, if waking up in the middle of the night to stand in a virtual line in your jammies doesn’t excite you, then click over to Pad  & Quill and take a look at our new Valet Sleeve and Timber Case for iPhone 6 and 6 plus.

    Here’s a little preview:

    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck….?  Frankly, up here in MN we leave the chucking to the beavers and the selection of our premium hardwoods to our craftsmen.  The Timbercase for iPhone 6 (or iPhone 6 plus) is conscientiously crafted from locally sourced cherry and hickory woods.  Because Mrs. PQ would be quick to advise, when it comes to iPhones and woods it’s best not to be caught completely naked.

    Mrs PQ

  • 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

  • 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

     

  • ACT like case making

    “Mom, you know that psych test I told you I failed?  Well guess what, I actually got an “A-“ on it.   Apparently her ADD can also have an effect on her perceived outcomes on tests.   This is the same kid who thinks she is “bad” at running track, but won a varsity letter in track and field her sophomore year, on a team that has won back to back “big” school state championships.  There is a position of being your own worse critic, and then there is the perception of a kid going to school in a wealthy, white suburb where she is surrounded by a student body that averages 26.3 on the ACT, with the top 400 students achieving a 29.  A respectable 21 on same exam can make a person feel “stupid”.  She doesn’t even factor in that her ADD is a 50 pound anchor around her neck when trying to perform on four hour tests that are comprised of filling in little ovals with a number 2 pencil.  In a competitive world it’s always good to accurately assess whom you are competing against.

    Design can feel the same way.   First, Apple presents to the public a mind blowing design that takes function integration to an art form.  Then 100’s of case producers hit the market with their version of a product in which you will encase your iPhone.

    10's of millions of iPhone 6 and 6 plus have been sold and I guarantee the percentage of those buyers who purchase a Pad and Quill case would be demoralizing on the face of it.  But at Pad & Quill we aren’t interested in grabbing market share by producing a cheap piece of silicon.  Our primary focus is to celebrate the craftsmen we employ by bringing to market a case that makes the ACT 29er’s pause, look, then try to replicate.  We mean to delight our customers with design and function that is rarely paralleled.  We strive to make our cases, sleeves and bags an organic extension of the paradigm shift usually associated with an Apple release.

    We believe our cases for iPhone 6 and 6 plus, in addition to our new line for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will do just that.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Sexy should not be in your resume

    We are currently hiring to fill various positions in the Pad & Quill workshops.  After reviewing a few hundred e-applications I have the following advice to offer young applicants:

    Dear Job Applicants,

    Please refrain from sending me cover emails that begin with "yo, I'd like this job", or "Hey, call me about this position" etc. Please create an email for yourself that includes your first and last name and not your social media "handle" or email such as "mr.sexypants.mpls@seriously?.com" and please, for the love of god, consult with a resume writer so that you don't include lines such as, "I was a line cook and stuff like that" under employment history.

    Regards,

    Mrs. PQ

    If your professional correspondence contains the word “sexy” in any capacity, you are probably not a candidate to purchase our new Valet Luxury Sleeve for MacBook.

    If you believe Zumbaz and your favorite 80’s concert t-shirt is perfectly acceptable attire for “casual Friday”, there’s a chance you will not fully appreciate the supple, full grain leather of the Oxford Luxury Case for iPad Air.

    If you still own and readily admit that you possess a “snakeskin” jacket, the hand-hammered copper rivets on our new Attache leather bag might be lost on you.

    If Boonehill wine is still your go to on a date night, there’s a chance you won’t be impressed by our parachute grade thread that stitches our Valet Luxury Sleeve together.

    Having blown past your 25th high school reunion, you might be impressed that our Attache, Oxford, and Valet luxury leather, executive collection will be with you at your 50th reunion; we know we are  (long live the Oxford Comma).

    Mrs. PQ

    Kari

  • The Attache Leather Bag and Oxford case for iPad Air

    Mr PQ, myself and the team have been waiting some time to reveal these two new products.  We are thrilled to announce our new full leather bag and iPad Air case. This is what we mean when we say Crafted, Pad & Quill. - Mrs.PQ(Kari)

    The Short Story

    The Attache Leather Bag:  You’ve aged to the realization that your taste buds and your liver deserve top shelf, savored in a glass. Your clothes are tailored to fit and you exude a quiet confidence when you enter a room. The Attache is the perfect companion to a busy professional who works hard and has earned an appreciation for the finer things of life.

    The Oxford:  Pulling out your iPad Air just became a new experience in tactile perfection. Whether it’s reading in the evening or getting some work done, on the desk this handmade case provides a minimalist iPad Air case approach that adds thick, smooth leather and soft suede. Prop it, hold it like a paperback, either way your going to love touching it. We won’t tell.

    The Full Tale

    The Leather: The Best.

    IMG_0444

    When you consider our leather quality, begin by sorting a 100 hides of American grass-fed cattle. You might select 20 hides and now you are holding the best hides in the world, period. Those other 80 hides are split, chopped, pressed, stamped, dyed and shipped to some overseas 'genuine' leather factory. Our hides are shipped to San Pancho, Mexico where they are skillfully tanned, old world style, all the way through top to bottom. Next they are dyed to deep onyx black or dark chocolate brown. The depth and character of our leather would make even ole Bessie proud.

    The Craftsman: Qualified

    _D6C2824

    When Alvaro at our factory receives the leather, it is inspected and then turned over to our craftsman where every hide is marked to designate portions for each specific piece of your bag. Forget the automated assembly line, we entrust the cutting to 3 or 4 seamstress who work by hand to prepare the panels for assembly. Your bag is then stitched together with parachute grade thread by one of our guys who have been sewing on average for 15-20 years. In San Pancho, the seamstress art is passed from father to son, generation after generation.

    Attache_Signature_Lizeth

    You doubt the quality? Just glance at the tag inside your bag; it’s signed by the craftsman. Quality so exquisite you might just add our expert to your Christmas letter list.

    Hardware: Unbreakable

    Attache_Black_Buckle

    About the worse thing we can think of is you, inadvertently clinging to a branch, feet dangling over the raging Colorado River, the strap from your bag forestalling your drop into the river. Second only to this, you make an epic leap through the closing doors of the subway, your bag trailing behind, grasped in hand by above mentioned strap. At either point I’m glad you didn’t settle for some inferior bag held together by cheap alloy metals that snap under stress. No, what you really want at those times is the unbreakable, ultra-durable, high copper content hardware we procure to construct and embellish your bag. Think of it this way, when you “belay on” do you want a carabiner or a paper clip?  Yep, we thought so too.

    Stitching: Strength

    Stititch straigtened

    See scenario one and two above.   Now substitute parachutes thread for that spool of stuff you used to fly your bi-colored kite as a kid.  You never did find that kite, did you?  Your bag is going to hold together for life.

    Lining: Durable. 

    We went to the automotive industry to find a lining that was soft to the touch, but seriously rugged. This high strength soft cotton lining will endure.

    Pad & Quill Promise

    We back up every bag with 25 year leather warranty and a 30 day Money back Promise. Welcome to the family!

    Kari and the PQ Team

     

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