The Bindery Blog

  • Macworld Here We Come

    Mr. P&Q and I are busy readying ourselves for the upcoming Macworld convention in San Francisco.   For Mr. P&Q this has meant digging his running clothes out of storage, purchasing a pair of trail shoes and recalling how to set his alarm clock for O dark:30 workouts.  The Steep Ravine Trail Run was too much a temptation for Mrs. P&Q to pass by as a great way to tour the Golden Gate National Rec Area. So, with 7 miles of single track looming for the slightly sedentary Mr. P&Q, he has commenced with hitting the trails, both figuratively and literally.  Our early morning run started in the woods and concluded in the emergency room with a dislocated shoulder, stupid black ice.  The good news is that there is no ice on the famed Dipsea Trail, the bad news is that the big guy won’t be running much for the next several days.  For my part I’ve been preparing my palate with some great California wines and cramming like a co-ed for our pending Mac techie meet and greets.  I can no more discuss the rumored specs for the upcoming iPad 3 release as Mr. P&Q can list the five most recent Xterra Trail champions. I did send a shock wave through the world of Apple and all things celluloid by clicking on live coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show, only to hear one of the commentators note the iPhone is now obsolete, thanks to the advent of the Samsung Focus and the HTC Titan.  I’m reasonably certain this is why we are attending iWorld this year.


    -Mrs. PQ

  • Not get what you want?

    That Bejeweled Pink iPad case not quite the gift you were looking for?  Taking time to listen is a great gift we can give to one another, and our wonderful employees are here all week to soothe your post holiday giftee angst.  Feel free to spend that money grandma gave you on a Little Black Book for your iPhone 4 or an artisan quality Kindle Keeper to make those winter reads complete.


    I spent the bulk of the day yesterday closing out the Pad and Quill books.  Don’t worry, we aren’t closing down shop for the week, you can still buy that gorgeous book bindery case you want for your iPad and MacBook Air. However, this weekend there are football games to watch, 10K’s to run and dark, murky holes in the ice to jump through.  Not to mention our trusty employee Karl is gigging with his ELO cover band at Lee’s Liquor on New Year’s Eve.  Thanks to our customers, there are a lot of books to close, so I’ve been busy.  By afternoon, the Quills were feeling an antsy need to burn off some of that Holiday sugar, so the middles set off for the mall and the Little went with me to the gym.  90 minutes of spinning and shooting hoops works up an appetite, so off to Chipotle.  About two thirds of the way through his burrito the Little looked at me and queried, “Mom, exactly how much have you told me about puberty?  What are you leaving out?”  Well, I didn’t quite see that one coming.  Kind of like that bright pink cotton/poly Sue Sylvester jump suit that was waiting under tree.  I suggested we continue this conversation in the car rather than holding it in conjunction with the couple at the adjoining table who had just leaned considerably closer.  Seriously, we could have shared Uncle Paul’s, I didn’t have time to shop so I ran into Walgreens and grabbed the first thing I saw, Snuggy.  I didn’t know they made those in day-glo orange. Enroute to the car the puberty conversation continued. “I hear that the girl you don’t like is the one you fall in love with, actually.”  As a parent I cringe at the “I hear” comment, not necessarily confident as to the origin of his information.  Perhaps about as confident as you are that the faux leather iPad case you received from Uncle Louie will survive in a New England mist, the streets can be mean and are certainly no place to buy a bookbindery case.  However, I laughed inwardly as to how this tidbit had convoluted in his mind.  I unraveled this mystery for him by explaining that  fifth grade boys don’t always know how to express how they feel about a girl, it makes them awkward, so they might respond by pulling on her braid, or flicking something at her to get her attention, but there are better ways to let someone know how you feel.  “Like texting from your iPhone.”  Or knowing what they like, then sharing part of your lunch with them.  He looked slightly less perplexed as he relaxed into the front seat.  The TALK, was over for now and I was grateful for this time I had to listen.


    -Mrs PQ

  • Only an April Fool’s Joke Could Be This Good

    We are not above succumbing to crazy viral ideas.  Heck, that’s kind of our thing here at Pad and Quill.  That is why our recent purchase of the iCADE was a business “research” decision.  Yeah, that’s what it was.


    On April 1st of 2010, came out with a video about the main reason you should buy an you could put it into an iCADE cabinet.  This iPad cabinet is designed to look like an 80’s style retro arcade console and fits quite nicely on the corner of your desk.  The whole production video was shot and uploaded to YouTube as practical joke.  The $500-$900 iPad surely had better uses than sitting in this silly cabinet.


    Enter great idea (stumbled upon) and viral marketing and before ThinkGeek knew what had happened they were getting thousands of requests to make the iCADE reality.  One year later, with the pressure of the masses at full throttle, they were able to get technology and manufacturing partners on board.  Pre-orders on the iCADE for iPad and iPad 2 began and eventually became BACKORDERED.  Atari, the first name in old school video games joined them to release to the App Store an entire suite of old Atari gaming classics including:  Asteroids, Space Invaders, Missile Command and 97 more!  There is now an API for App developers so their games can work with the iCADE.


    All we know is that when you pop the iPad 2 out of an Octavo case and gently place into the iCADE cabinet, your world changes.  The big red joystick, just like the old arcade, feels perfect in your hand and the array of extra large buttons give the exact feel of the 80’s.  You can almost hear Journey and Styx in the background of your mind as you play.


    Pad and Quill salutes you ThinkGeek, you truly hit the mark on parting us with our money and our time.


    -PQ Team

  • Pieces

    I swept the PQ household floor this morning and scooped up a piece from a toy from Christmas past.  A small remnant from the days when the Quills were small and the toys were real, interactive and imaginative.  A missing piece was easily replaced by imagination.  Fast forward to Christmas present when “Mom, have you seen the iPad?” is answered in solace of my mind with “yes, it’s where I hid it last” and out loud with “where have you looked? Can’t find it, too bad, go outside and play in the snow.”  That’s the beauty of stories and memories.  Pieces are lost, details fade, but imagination can fill in the details.  Stories have permanence and a fluidity; they anchor us to our past while setting us free to explore our future.


    The littlest Quill just finished the wonderful story Number the Stars recounting a Dutch family’s part in resisting Nazi occupation and saving their Jewish neighbors.   Coincidentally, his long lost Lego replacements arrived in the mail and he could once again construct and deconstruct the world.  While he had made due without the parts for weeks prior, improvising along the way, there was one essential part needed for building his Technic set.  As he danced around the living room in excitement upon the package’s arrival, he paused momentarily when he noticed they had been shipped from Holland.  “That’s where Number the Stars happened.”  Lego building commenced, and I smiled to myself when I overheard a Lego man being instructed to “hide here where the soldiers won’t find you”.  One piece connecting him to the past and informing him on a future where he has learned to sacrifice himself for the good of others.


    What are your family stories that connect you to the past?


    -Mrs. PQ

  • Procrastination Works

    Well it does.  I mean, every time this technique is employed I generally feel fine.  That is not exactly how Mrs. PQ sees this.  As I mentioned in a post earlier, she is not one to mess around with the Holidays.  All gifts are ordered weeks ahead of time and even the fake names that are given to our children's presents, keeping them guessing as to which present is theirs, are executed far in advance.  Yet, that sinking feeling that there is only X amount of hours left in holiday shopping usually hits me around the 22nd of December.  That “feeling fine” attitude suddenly changes into slight, but controlled panic.


    Mapping out the Target and mall parking strategies are engaged, overnight shipping options are considered and present acquisition is completed.  I've never failed to come up with something, although you might want to ask the little Quills how I've done.  I mean snuggle blankets are practical aren't they and a lot cheaper than iPads and iPods?  At least I know I have a hot lead on “five finger” discounts on iPad cases this year.  Maybe next year I'll plan...


    What about you?  More the Mrs. PQ or Mr. PQ and what are the top 3 things that you procrastinate about?  Well if you’re in the market for a great handmade case for iPads, Kindles or other cool devices this year, we have you “covered”.  All orders in by the 20th at Noon (CST) will be delivered by the 24th through priority shipping!  I think that makes us enablers and we’re ok with that.


    Mr. PQ

  • Making the Case for Books

    When Mrs. PQ and I began Pad and Quill, we set out to create beautiful iPad and iPhone cases that were hand made, locally bound works of art.  What we did not understand was the state of modern day bookbinding.  We knew that the digital age was eroding the  bookbinding and presentation markets, just not the scope.


    From books for schools to presentation materials, the binding tradition has suffered from the unique and powerful tools that make digital presentations.  A few months back we met with a Marketing firm that confirmed that clients from all different industries had not only moved long ago to laptop presentations but were now looking for every way to utilize iPad’s in there marketing efforts.


    The team at PQ is excited that we had the opportunity to revive this art here in the Twin Cities by wrapping really awesome devices in hand made, traditionally bound books.  That is why we use the phrase 'Making the Case for Books!'.  We feel that our broad case line is truly making a great argument for why this rich tradition should remain strong.


    Which raises the question, what other age old traditional techniques are being replaced by the digital age?  Our first thought was photographic film (Those of you young enough to not understand that last phrase make our point).


    We would love to hear your thoughts...

  • The Contega Begs for an App

    The idea for an iPad and iPhone App occurred to me back in early 2010 when we first began the Pad and Quill case company.  The fact that your iPad was surrounded by a gorgeous hand made case, like the Octavo or Contega, seemed to beg for a note taking App of equal beauty.  Time flew by, as making cases and building our little company out of the basement then replaced said App dreams.  Until about 5 months ago, when we were introduced to Fabulously Retro and Daniel the lead App developer.  Daniel and I both shared a passion for moleskine notebooks, iPads and awesome leather cases.  A business marriage made in heaven.


    We are excited to provide you a sneak preview of the forthcoming Pad and Quill App.  Designed to feel just like the classic journal this App is simple, intuitive and still allows for more complex note organization.  Taking quick or more thoughtful notes has never been this lovely.  Hand coded with beautiful page turning animations, custom covers for your notebooks and of course the signature PQ bookmark, that always brings you back to your table of contents.  Utilizing iCloud, all of your notes stay in perfect sync between the iPhone and iPad and are safely backed up in iCloud.  Stay tuned for availability at the Apple App Store and special App giveaways by following us on twitter @padandquill or becoming a fan on our 'Pad and Quill' Facebook page!


    -Mr. PQ

  • The Amazon Kindle Fire

    When Amazon announced the Kindle Fire tablet a few months back I became very curious as to how this new device would fit in the market currently dominated by the Apple iPad. Steve Jobs, in 2009, stated that the iPad sits between a smartphone and a computer. The question I have is where then does the Kindle Fire tablet sit in this market?


    The first thought I had was that Amazon had wisely chosen NOT to take on the iPad directly in competition. They did this by offering a $199 price point, leveraging their significant Amazon platform and focusing on the features that make a tablet so enjoyable to use.


    The Kindle Fire offers fast web browsing, movies, music, apps and of course a beautiful book reader. These are the features that anyone who buys a $200 dollar tablet considers a great value. The iPad starts at $499, making the Kindle Fire almost 60% less. The Amazon store is a significant platform in regards to music, movies, TV shows and of course eBooks. The weakest part of the platform is that the App selection is much smaller compared to Apple’s App store. For this price point the main features that consumers are looking for seem to be addressed. No, it does not offer 3G or have a camera but these might not be essential, time will tell. What it does offer is a compelling tablet product that actually sits between a smartphone and the Apple iPad.


    At Pad and Quill we recognize this unique product and how it may fit into the tablet eco system in the future.  Therefore we are now offering a beautiful bonded leather case for Kindle Fire called the Fire Keeper. A beautiful moleskine-like book bindery case, handmade right here in Minneapolis. The Fire is trying to find its place in this world and we highly recommend you protect it with one of our unique handmade cases.

  • Holidays have their limits

    I understand the idea that the holidays start far too early. Christmas trees at Target being erected in September is a bit excessive, no doubt. The Holiday season should happen roughly around, well, the actual holiday dates between Thanksgiving and New Years. At the PQ household this is not considered a general concept, it’s a strict rule.  Mrs. PQ officially bans all holiday music, any forms of decoration, even the singing of carols until 12:01 on November 25th.


    No doubt the oldest daughter Quill and I have attempted to breach these strictly enforced rules with very little success. She likes eating and I like my bed more than the couch.  What’s wonderful is that after 12:01 we could not think of a better person to spend the holidays with than Mrs.PQ. All holiday related activities commence in full force!  Music begins non-stop, decorations are brought down from the attic and all electronic devices are synchronized to assure everyone is up to speed on the festivities.  Mrs. PQ kicks all this off with the “Black Friday Acquisition Operations” (BFAO).  She scans the papers, gets the latest web updates, gets tents and winter camping gear in hand and heads out ridiculously early.


    The BFAO has carried over to Pad and Quill. We make beautiful handmade book bindery cases for iPads, iPhones, Kindles and more. Truth be told, we have succumbed to the craziness that is the Black Friday holiday kick off. Watch for some fairly amazing sales on cases like the Octavo for iPad 2, Contega for iPad 2 and other specials!


    -Mr. PQ

  • Keeping a Good Fire Going

    There is rarely a time that is more exciting for Mr. PQ then when new gadgets arrive. Never. You would think our lego loving son just pulled a Tom Hanks 'Big' and now inhabited him. This was the case this week as the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet arrived at our home. I'm beginning to think Mr. P conspired to create this company for the sole purpose of gadget acquisition. Being the Mrs. Q that I am, I'm pretty content with the most simplistic of e readers, so long as it’s housed in our P&Q cases. I love the feel of a good book. I'll admit, my first reaction was complete disinterest in the new Kindle Fire. I really don't need another gadget I don't know how to use. I'm still trying to understand the cloud. Then the eleven year old hopped up on the couch next to me with the new Fire, already snug in its P&Q Firekeeper. "Look Mom, I can read this book to you." He tapped an image, the book appeared and opened, the logs crackled in the fireplace as the MN cold encroached, he snuggled closer and began to read. So simple, I could get used to this Fire.

    We are excited about our newest line of hard cases for Amazon Kindle devices: Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle 4 and Kindle Keyboard. Surrounding each device is beautiful, satin finished baltic birch frame, wrapped in gorgeous Italian bonded leather. All models include a pocket option. Go ahead and get cozy with one of these new Kindle hard cases, it will feel just like you're holding a real book... because you are!


    Fire Keeper for Kindle Fire


    • Snugly fits and protects your Kindle Fire
    • Patented sound channels to bring the sound of movies, games and music right back to you.
    • Genuine hardwood with a beautiful satin finish to mimic 'pages'
    • Italian bonded leather wrap for that moleskine look and appearance
    • Folds back for 'paperback' reading
    • Optional pocket
    • Traditional bookbindery cloth liners with NEW colors
    • Classic PQ 'bookmark' for device removal

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