Tag Archives | writting

We are giving away a lovingly handmade, leather bound, Italian paper Journal

That has to be the longest blog post title ever!  But we want to put it all out there and let everyone know just how amazing this giveaway really is!  For all of you traveling couples out there, this is a MUST have.

It is no secret that both Luci and I are journalists.  Not in the pencil behind the ear, newspaper sense, but in the personal “diary” sense of the word.  Both of us have kept journals for years.  This blog is kind of an outgrowth of our journals.  We have found it a great way to track the ups and downs of life and bring back great material to FIGHT with!

For all of you fighting couples out there, we have partnered with our fave journal crafter Jenni Bick to give away one of the most beautiful books you will ever own.  Up for grabs is your very own Santa Fe Leather Journal!

Leather Journal

Yours wont have Mike and Luci embossed on it….sorry.

Entering this giveaway is super simple.  Just three easy steps:

1) Give The Fighting Couple a like on Facebook (here) or on twitter (here)

2) Give Jenni Bick a Like on Facebook (here)

3) Leave us a comment in the comment section below and say:  Send me a Bick!

Easy huh?

So what’s the big deal with Jenni Bick?  Why do we use their journals?  Because they are beautiful and tough.  Kind of like us (hah!).  We had a chance to catch up with Sean from Jenni Bick and asked a few questions about journaling, life, and Jenni Bick.

So how did Jenni Bick get started?

Jenni and her husband Robby spent years working in various bookstores around the country, which gave them a fond appreciation not just of literature, but of glue-bound books composed of parchment and ink (which probably means a lot more in this digitized age of Nooks and Kindles). After they moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Jenni began to craft handmade books in her garage, showcasing them at the local artisan’s fair. The business grew along with the interest people had in her wares. Now, we not only sell Jenni’s handmade items, but a large collection of notebooks, journals, and photo albums from several different quality companies.

How long does it take to hand bind each journal/book?

It depends. It’s a very patient process. Some items require sewing, some items require glue. A set of Santa Fe journals, for instance, can take several hours. For most of the other one-of-a-kind items, it can take several hours just to make one alone.

We are seeing resurgence in journaling.  In this digital age, what value do you see in writing things down by hand?

SO MUCH VALUE! Sorry, but this has always been a pet issue of mine. First, there is strong and unwavering evidence that handwriting boosts brain power, learning function, and cognitive ability. I won’t get into the scientific details, but I will provide links [wink]:

Handwriting Trains the Brain

Research:  Handwriting spurs brain activity typing doesn’t

Why handwriting makes you smarter

More importantly, many writers (myself included) consider writing a form of meditation. Staring at a blank screen does not foster the same creative impulses as writing things down on paper. In the past, I have found that the best cure for writer’s block is to put pen to paper and to start writing. Stream-of-consciousness: It can be total gibberish, or just different words that have no seeming connection. Before you know it, as you’re writing, a thought will form and that thought will take on a life of its own. All of a sudden, you will have a few pages and several ideas that weren’t there before, and that, before you started writing, you were struggling to even find.

Man writing

Mike trying to capture in words the sights of Krakow

“The journal is completely handcrafted, with lovingly hand-torn papers in a coordinated array of artist papers. …hundreds of hand-torn pages of assorted artist papers and reclaimed offcuts. Sturdy stitching along the spine holds the papers in place. Papers include Nepalese lokta, Indian handmade, metallic papers, Italian Amalfi paper, thin tissues, heavy cardstock, watercolor paper, patterned and speckled papers, and more.”


Do you have any interesting stories of your clients using their journals/sketch books?

A notable and very famous Hollywood director who is a repeat customer of ours recently bought an item we sell called the Colossal Handmade Leather Journal (http://www.jennibick.com/colossal-journal.html). It’s handmade in Italy and we sell one once in a blue moon. In an email correspondence, he said that he plans to have his guests (particularly famous artists, celebrities, and musicians) write/draw various things — even giving lipstick prints — then sign and date them. He said that over time, he planned to have every page filled with something special — some lasting impression of all those celebrities collected in one tome. Pretty amazing.

leather diary

Mike capturing a few thoughts in Budapest

What advice could you offer to someone who has never journal-ed before?  What should I write about?

Write about everything. Keep a dream journal in the morning. It doesn’t even have to leave your bedside. When you travel, take a minute to record everything that each of your senses experience. If I’m in a foreign place, I try to write about what I’m hearing, what I’m smelling… Is the sand fine or coarse? What’s different about the sounds of where you are? Does the coffee taste especially weird? (see: Athens). Those are the things you can’t capture in a photograph.

In everyday life, though, keeping a journal is just the best way of learning about yourself. Keep a tiny notebook in your pocket. If a guy at work tells an especially funny joke, write it down. You’ll be glad you did later.

How do we care for our Jenni Bick Handmade Journal?  Heaven forbid…but what if we spill on the leather?

The best part of the journals is that they are durable. They are meant to go places, stretched a bit or crammed in a bag. There are worse things than spilling water on leather. We use several different kinds of leather, and most of them can withstand a certain amount of water. If you spill on it, just dry it out for a little while. It won’t necessarily look exactly the same, but at least it will have character.  It’s the paper — and more specifically — what is written on the paper that you should be worried about ruining.

The fine print (sorry, gotta do it):

1) To enter, you must be a resident of USA or Canada.  That’s the only places we really want to ship to.

2) Void where prohibited.  (that doesn’t sound like a very fun place to be….sorry.)

3)  Just so you know, Jenni Bick was kind enough to provide a journal for us to review, and one for us to give away to one of our fabulous readers.  Does this affect our love of our journal?  Nope.  Not one bit.

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (They probably won’t.)

5)  Contest ends on April 30th, 2013 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed.)

6)  We will then pick a winner via random.org.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)