United We Stand: The Divide by Dudek Modern Goods (A Giveaway!)

The Divide

We humans are always finding ways to divide ourselves into “us” and “them.” Coke vs. Pepsi, introverts vs. extroverts, cats vs. dogs, early risers vs. night owls. We like what we like and burn through energy trying to convince others why we’re right and they’re wrong. What a strange bunch we are!

The Divide with pencils

I’ve found an exception to that rule in the pen, pencil, and paper communities. Instead of bickering about what we personally like or dislike, I’ve found the “writing implement” community to be fun, supportive, encouraging, down-to-earth, and exceptionally friendly. These are my people. We may have different tastes, budgets, and obsession levels, but we’re always there to help each other with advice, kind words, recommendations, and solutions.

The Divide

The Divide, by Mike Dudek of Dudek Modern Goods, represents that “let’s all get along” spirit by providing a place for your pens, pencils, AND pocket notebooks to live in harmony. Starting out as a special request by Tim Wasem of the Erasable Podcast, The Divide is now a regular in Mike’s line-up of handmade goods. Mine arrived last week and I already find myself longing for a second one— one for work and one for home. This thing looks and feels great, SMELLS divine (that wonderful “woodshop” smell), and is absolutely perfect for corralling six of your pens, six of your pencils, and three of your pocket notebooks. No more flotsam and jetsam scattered all over your desk.

Felt pads & branding

Made of solid walnut by Mike himself, The Divide measures 2.5″H x 5.5″W x 3″D. It has a “just the right size” footprint that doesn’t consume too much desk space. Using my handy dandy (and cheap) Harbor Freight digital caliper, I found that the pencils holes measure 0.4″, while the pen holes measure 0.5″ and 0.6″ (give or take a few hundredths of an inch). Hand-rubbed with a stain poly finish, The Divide feels like a small piece of fine furniture. The underside features felt pads to prevent the surface of your desk (or the bottom of The Divide) from getting scratched, as well as a smart looking Dudek Modern Goods “brand.” It’s simple but solid. Divided but harmonized. It’s a really, really nice piece of handcrafted goodness.

The Divide

I picked mine up from Mike’s shop, but thanks to Mike’s generosity, you can enter to win your very own Divide. Just post a comment on this blog— maybe pass along a few words about how the pen/pencil/paper community has helped, encouraged, or entertained you. I’ll assign each comment a sequential number, then will use a random number generator to select a winner. Post your comment (one per person, please) by Sunday December 7th, 11:59 pm Eastern Time (USA). I’ll select a winner on Monday December 8th, and will post their name right here on the blog. You’ll have a week to get in touch with me with your address so that I can pass it along to Mike. (The Divide will ship directly from Mike to the lucky winner.) The contest is open to US and international readers. [Pens, pencils, and Ambition Field Notes not included in the giveaway.]

The Divide

The world can be a prickly place, but our love of pens, paper, pencils, and notebooks keeps us together— just like The Divide.

The Divide

Check out The Divide, as well as Mike’s other products HERE.

(There are no affiliate links in this post, and I was not compensated for this review. I’m just a big fan of Mike’s work. Thanks to Mike for making this prize available for giveaway.)

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Bullseye: The Quiver Pen Holder

The Quiver Pen Holder was provided to me for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions are my own. I swear on my Girl Scout sash with the three badges.

Quiver Pen Holder

Way way back in the 1970’s, archery was a sport that I seemed to have a knack for. In fact, I actually made the varsity team while I was still in junior high. Because I was one of the least athletic people to roam the halls of Perry Junior High, my unexpected sporting success caused a crack in the universe and the archery team was de-funded and disbanded before I ever got a chance to compete.

Even though my archery career lasted just a millisecond, I did learn that a quiver is the thing that keeps your arrows close at hand. Which is important. To, you know, have critical items at the ready.

Fast forward from junior high to 2013, and the sport I’m NOW best at is “Where did I put that (fill-in-the-blank)?” Glasses, phone, a favorite pen. I tend to set them down without thinking and then make laps around the house checking the usual haunts in an attempt to track down the missing, and quite necessary, item. Talk about a time suck.

Quiver Pen Holder
Large (A5) Quiver with orange stitching

So when I was given the chance to test-drive a Quiver Pen Holder, I couldn’t refuse. The Quiver I received is a great-looking (and smelling!) leather pen holder that easily straps to my Moleskine’s spine so that my favorite pen is right there when I’m ready to write. No hunting required. If you’re like me, just before racing off to a meeting, you’re trying to gather up everything you need including your notebook and pen. With the Quiver installed, I just grab the notebook and I’m good to go. The pen automatically comes along for the ride.

How to install
In case you get confused (though you probably won’t)

I had a momentary mental lapse when I took my Quiver out of the package and couldn’t quite figure out how to install it on my large Moleskine notebook. (Rough day, I guess. It’s really quite obvious and simple.) But never fear, the folks at Quiver include a nice little pamphlet that shows you, with drawings, exactly what to do. As they say, when all else fails, follow the directions.

Inside the Quiver
Inside view

For this model, the two elastic bands slip over the front and back covers and the leather Quiver wraps around the notebook’s spine. Very simple.

From the inside of the Moleskine
Inside the notebook cover

Holding my rOtring ballpoint
Keeping my rOtring ballpoint protected AND ready for action

The view from above
The view from above

Even with the Quiver installed on the spine, my Moleskine opens flat and is easy to write in. Until the leather softens and bends easily, there is a little bit of a “lump” on the spine, but I don’t find that this hinders my ability to write on either side of the page. My Quiver holds slim (rOtring) to medium-sized (Karas Kustoms Render K) pens. Should you wish to carry a thicker pen like the Lamy Safari, the two-pen, cover-mounted Quiver can be used to accommodate a single, thicker pen.

Moleskine with Quiver installed
Open Moleskine with Quiver installed

Along with the model shown in this review, Quivers are also available in one and two pen styles that are installed on a notebook’s front cover rather than around the spine. All Quivers are hand-sewn using high-quality leather and marine-grade thread for a product that will last for years. Each is triple-inspected and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re ever unhappy, return the Quiver for a replacement or a full refund.

Quivers are available in three sizes— A6 (for notebooks measuring 5.5-6.5″ tall), A5 (for notebooks measuring 8-9.25″ tall), and A4 (for notebooks measuring 9.25-12″ tall). The extra-large, A4, size works very well on Apple iPad cases so that a stylus or stylus/pen can be paired with the tablet. Choose from brown, black, mocha, and pink leathers, as well as red, orange, or yellow stitching with the black leather. That’s a lot of options!

Holding my Delrin Render K
Holding my Delrin Render K

Quivers fit on the following hard-cover notebooks:

  • Rhodia
  • Quo Vadis
  • Moleskine
  • ecosystems by Barnes & Noble
  • Leuchtturm 1917
  • Letts of London
  • Piccadilly
  • Black n’ Red

Quiver also offers a soft cover notebook adapter. It’s obvious that they’ve really thought this through!

Available from quiverglobal.com and Amazon, as well as from many retailers across the globe (including one of my personal favorites, Anderson Pens), getting your own Quiver is a snap no matter where you live.

Quiver Pen Holders

The Quiver Pen Holder makes it simple for me to carry my notebook and my favorite pen as a pair, and does it with style. Though my archery career was extremely short-lived, I know when something’s right on target.

The Quiver Pen Holder? Well, that’s a bullseye.