The Bindery Blog

  • The Ultimate iPad Gift Guide, the Best iPad Cases & Accessories

    ipad-gift-guide-2015Picking the perfect gift can seem daunting, but there is a simple and magical formula to picking the perfect gift for someone. Find out what kind of tech they use, iPhone, iPad, etc…, and casually discern their taste by looking at their style. Are they into bohemian styles? Or maybe they are more refined and prefer classic looks. With these two things you can usually pick a gift that is both thoughtful and spot on. If you've got a iPad mini, iPad Air, or iPad Pro user in the family, here are some great gift ideas from the Pad & Quill catalog and elsewhere that will bring a smile to their face and put a twinkle in their eyes. Continue reading

  • The Ultimate iPhone 6s Gift Guide, Best Cases & Accessories

    best iphone gifts for 2015

    Picking out gifts can be hard. It’s much easier if you know that the person you are getting the gift for has an iPhone. There is a treasure trove of some of the very best iPhone 6s cases and accessories to choose from. Here is a little help with that pesky question “What gift should I get for…” Continue reading

  • Watch Over Me

    apple-watch-send-heart-beat
    I don’t know that I’ll ever appreciate receiving jewelry for the holidays, Fruit Loop necklaces notwithstanding, as I tend to be an accessory minimalist. One might think this makes for a happy Mr. PQ because he would be walking around with more money and all, but that would be wrong. Mrs. PQ has a sturdy handful of hobbies for which expensive and fancy accessories are indispensable (i.e. the Smartfind Plus or Globalfix GPS beacons). This has absolutely nothing to do with a young Quill leaving the bow of the canoe in the lake, not understanding that the waves softly lapping against said canoe will continue lapping until they have pulled the canoe out into the lake and sunk it. I have a loud yell, but it is not 10-miles-across-the-wilderness loud.

    There is one item that might nudge me toward giving jewelry for the holidays; again, for my own self-preservation. There is a daughter Quill who might routinely sneak off with my Apple Watch. She loves to track her heart as she races around the local park with the PQ Pup.

    As I noted back in March when the Watch was first announced, it wasn’t the elucidation of metallurgy and horology delineated in the dulcet tones of Jony Ive that peaked my interest. Nor was it the sleek, intuitive nature of the software engineering that caused me to dive headlong into the Apple Watch pool.

    What this mom, naturalist, personal trainer, traveler, wife and friend found most appealing was the heart of the Watch. Whether that be the sweet thump, thump, thump of my 15-year-old reaching out to his mom in the middle of the day or the internal cheer of success when my activity rings inform me that I’ve met or exceeded my heart rate goals. Vanity aside, I’m fighting a strong family history of hypertension and heart disease and physical activity is one of the greatest assets I have in my corner.

    My Watch keeps me more intuitively connected to my heart health and more intimately connected to the people I love. The latter is of particular value as Mr. PQ travels once again to an Apple product conference, and I feel as though I’ve left my heart in San Francisco. At least he’ll only be a thump thump thump away this time.

  • Meet The New Pad & Quill Leather Bags

    leather roll top backpack and leather tote bag

    We are proud to introduce Pad & Quill’s latest additions to our leather bag lineup: the Roll-Top Backpack and the Leather Tote Bag. Adhering closely to our core design principles of superb craftsmanship with unfettered fashion, the bags are stylish, functional, and iconic. Our roll top backpack is a ruggedly charming leather laptop backpack that harkens the James Dean in us all. While the leather tote bag features a refined and classic look that looks straight out of Mad Men. Continue reading

  • Meet the Pad & Quill iPad Pro Cases

    This post has been updated to include the new iPad Pro 9.7 cases! It's official, the iPad Pro is huge (see what we did there?). All puns aside, we have been loving our new iPad Pro here at PQ HQ and Mr. PQ himself has hailed it as the "anti-laptop." After using the Pro for the past week in place of a desktop computer or MacBook, everything else just looks and feels boring. Since the Pro is so large, it definitely requires some kind of case and protection. So without further ado, let's meet the Pad & Quill lineup of our best iPad Pro cases. Continue reading

  • Wordsmithing and Voicemails of Puberty Past

     

    oj_UJcB7203JnY1kCdRXGNZLtC387juwI4l2wVfmTXg,Wqgxdnv3YpOejYIoO8JG5wgeD4OwuN9qwHsYtkZMdlA,GzyH9dfw7Cuwuryb9WwvEIqs_RkNkH1bManyu4E27B4In one of my personal training sessions this morning, I had to chastise a client with Parkinson's disease to continue diligence in his exercises. While my primary challenge is to help him retain his strength, balance and coordination, his vocal exercises are equally important. Regrettably, Parkinson's excels at something the noise of the universe constantly threatens to - stripping its victim of the ability to be heard.

    In this age of technology, the ability to speak, shout, sing, pray, protest, hate, love and give thanks is exponentially amplified. For me, this heightens a sense of responsibility to steward my words. When my one small voice is heard above the cacophony, I want it to humor or heighten, to encourage or edify, to challenges and perhaps, just perhaps, make a change.

    A humorous aside, my 15-year-old still has his 5th-grade voice as his voicemail message. The high squeak of puberty has aged into deeper, mellower tones that blend in with his older classmates. I find great humor at the thought of one of the many girls likely vying for his attention reaching his voicemail and shrieking in laughter with her girlfriends as they realize they haven't called the wrong number. Having said that, I'd best make a recording of his voicemail before he leaves school, as word of this blog will likely have a red-eared young man making some changes to his iPhone.

    The ability to be heard and to be heard for what you mean to say is invaluable. Dad Holmes, who is dearly missed as we gather to give thanks, devoted his entire adult to engineering sound. He believed one of the most important gifts to give is that of being heard. Whether in post-World War II Japan, pre-Soviet invasion/Taliban Afghanistan, or in a pew in a local church, Dad wanted people to hear and be heard.

    As we hurl into the holiday season with a world swirling in chaos, this might be our one little chance to be heard. When I asked Mr. PQ what he wanted to say, his reply was simple. "Tell them how deeply we appreciate the craftsmen and women that strive tirelessly to bring beauty and art to our little corner of the world." As the violent people of the world sign their actions with a wicked flourish, we are thankful for the quiet pride in loving your friends and family, putting in an honest day's work, stewarding what's been given to you and valuing the art and beauty that is conveyed by our craftsman's signature.

  • iPad Pro, still deciding

    The Contega folio case for iPad pro

    Mr. PQ is good to me, I think.  I arrived home last week to find a brand new Apple iPad Pro propped cozily in our new bookbindery Contega iPad Pro case.  Mr. PQ knows how I love a good book, the more vintage the better.  So, there it was, the iPP(iPad Pro) in all its shining metal and glassy glory.  It was big, but this didn’t surprise me, I’d watched the Apple bigwig presentation on a big screen.  It had four, stereo speakers, at least that is what my 17 year old told me; something about left/right differentiation and sound perception and that did impress me.  It has a multitasking and split keyboard feature; neither my hands nor brain work this way so I have no comment.  

    As most people are aware, I am a very reticent early adopter and generally ascribe to Stockholm Syndrom any technical insight I might stumble upon.  Which is why when it came to making our a case for my iPad Pro I rely on our CNC design engineer to create a Baltic Birch frame, that, in spite of its streamline look and feel,  is as durable and beautiful as all of it’s predecessors.  Chris Stapleton never sounded so good!  (the Country Music Awards notwithstanding).  

    From there, Bruce in St. Paul, took over and crafted a stately and durable cover of Buckram Linen with a delightfully grippy internal surface that enables multiple propping positions as well as a surface to grip the otherwise greased pig like surface of iPP metal.   And yes, it holds the Apple Pencil nicely which is great because at a C-note per pop, the Pencil is not nearly so expendable as the various nubs and stubs that litter the bottom of my backpack.

    For you luxury leather aficionados, our craft partners in Leon have designed a Valet Bag that is far too versatile to define as a sleeve.  It props, it protects and it holds Apple’s  Smart Keyboard and iPencil.  This Valet Bag might easily be one of my favorite of the iPad cases we have produced.

    Finally, for those living the ironic life of being a minimalist in an iPad Pro world, we have crafted the Oxford luxury leather iPad Pro case.  American herdsmen produce great steers which explains why the Oxford folio case for iPad Pro can be crafted from a single piece of full grain bridle quality saddle leather.  The durability of leather combined with parachute grade thread used for stitching illustrates why we have no problem offering a 25-year warranty on all of our leather iPhone and iPad cases. 

    While I took possession of my iPad Pro a week ago, the jury is still out regarding whether I will weave it into my lifestyle or gift it to one of our many hard working employees.  At any rate, I’ll likely need to lock myself in my bathroom to actually have a go at iP Pro.

    Kari (Mrs PQ)

  • Eat, Pray, Love in the Windy City

    Bean1In a world where your level of busyness is practically indicative of your self worth, it can be hard to make time for yourself. It’s easy to get overcommitted and not think about yourself. I know I’m guilty. I may not have left my fingerprints at the crime scene, but I’ve definitely left my fair share on late-night cups of coffee trying to get everything done. Continue reading

  • The Evolution of the Briefcase, From Roman Legionaries to the British “Red Box”

    Pad and Quill Leather Attache Briefcase

    Despite its humble beginnings, the global business bag market has become a behemoth industry in its own right $9.4 billion in sales in 2014. The very word “budget” comes from the same Latin or Irish derivatives for leather bag. Before the 17th-century clothing often didn’t have interior pockets, so bags were an absolute must long before they were a luxury. Business has always necessitated a bag, and the briefcase has long reigned supreme in its domain. So let's take a trip through time to see how the briefcase has evolved: Continue reading

  • How I Use Apple Watch to Run My Business

    apple watch tips for business

    The Apple Watch gets a lot of flack for not being very useful in a business setting. As a very very busy entrepreneur running a quickly growing company, I couldn’t disagree more with that evaluation. I too thought it may only be Apple arm candy when I first bought it, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I use it in my everyday life, both business and personal. Apple Watch stands between me and the chaos that is my always ringing, beeping, notifying iPhone. Here’s how it has become my trusted assistant, notification bouncer, and secretary: Continue reading

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