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Custom journals – with lined pages!

By far, the feature most-requested by folks when they talk to me about these sketchbooks is “Can you do custom journals…you know, with lined paper?”

It usually comes out as part of the whole “Oh, I don’t draw” conversation that people always ask about custom journals with lined paper, and up until June 1 it wasn’t something I even offered. Partly, this was to keep the books as green as possible by eliminating the need to print anything, which also helped keep production costs at a minimum. The main reason though, was because when I started making these books for myself, it was because I wanted something to draw in, and lines only got in my way.

All that said, I have heard your requests, and now offer you the choice when you check out at the Etsy shop: on all new books going into the shop you now get to choose, sketchbook paper, or lined notebook paper!

new custom journals with paper

These unobtrusive dotted lines make handwriting easy, and yet won’t get in your way if you need to throw down a diagram or something. Pencil shown for scale.

Now, this is only on books that have been added to the store since June 1, and all books added to the store previous to June 1 will only contain the sketchbook paper. You’ll have to make the choice between paper stocks before adding the book to your cart. Just look for the Journal/Sketchbook section on the site. For example, here’s what’s there now:

Custom Journals

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Next up

I’m making good progress on the Three Sheets Tasting Notes books, and hope to have those on the site soon!

Thanks for reading,


Budweiser is America? Really?

As it turns out, lots of things are more American than Budweiser, especially when it comes to beer.

Budweiser broke the Internet – at least the craft beer portion of it

img_4664Remember last week, when Anheuser-Busch announced they were changing the name of Budweiser to “America”? After the initial belief it this was a joke wore off, and the internet exploded with “The [insert your number here] Beers More American Than Budweiser” lists, all I could think about was what if those other beer labels changed their names to “America” too? You can’t copyright “Freedom”, right?

Then, Bon Appétit came out with their list of 10 beers that *should* be renamed America this morning, so I felt like this had to be done:

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada - more American than Budweiser.

The craft beer that started the movement.

Anchor Steam Beer

Anchor Steam - more American than Budweiser.

Yuengling Lager
Yuengling Lager - more American than Budweiser.

Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Oskar Blues - more American than Budweiser.

Russian River Pliny the Elder
Pliny the American - more American than Budweiser.

Hill Farmstead Everett
Everett - more American than Budweiser.

The Alchemist Heady Topper
Heady Topper - more American than Budweiser.

Victory Prima Pils
Victory - more American than Budweiser.

Allagash White

Allagash White - more American than Budweiser.

Of course, if they renamed it to America, they couldn’t just keep calling it ‘White’, too. You have to use all three colors.

Deschutes The Abyss

The Abyss - more American than Budweiser.

BabyBudFortunately, I created a Budweiser sketchbook/journal before the “America” ridiculousness began, and you can grab it from my Etsy shop.


Craft Beer People Are Cool People

Ever since I began making the sketchbooks, tasting notes and journals out of these craft beer boxes, and selling them, I’ve been a little concerned about stepping on the toes of the breweries who make these beers, and more specifically, the designers and agencies who create these amazing package designs.
Craft beer - Stone Ruination
As a graphic designer myself, I’m aware that the designs are part of their intellectual property, and never claim to be the designer or copyright owner of any of the boxes. I’ve said since the beginning, that if I’m asked by a brewery or label, that I will quit using a design or box, no questions asked, even though the argument could be made that I’m helping them keep their product or brand in front of their customer for an extended period of time while keeping it out of a landfill, that’s not the point.

That said, coming from the world of designers, photographers, artists and other creatives, where there seems to be a little different attitude — more competitive, perhaps — one thing I can say so far, that beer people are cool. Rather than replying on Instagram or Twitter with a perfectly-legal “Hey, you can’t use our stuff anymore,” most of the interactions I’ve had have been incredibly positive.

Craft beer - Deschutes Brewery PinedropsWhile I get a lot of “likes” from the brewers I tag in Instagram photos or tweets, some of the social media folks go out of their way to interact with you.

Even though my desk job is in a large company that has a dedicated social media person, I tend to forget that at the end of the day, craft beer brewers’ social media accounts are staffed with regular people too, or, depending on the size of the shop, perhaps the owners themselves.

And these normal people probably appreciate not having to do damage control or customer service for someone who didn’t like their product over social media once in a while. And let me say, it’s so cool to open up your phone and get a “@UintaBrewing is now following you” type message, especially when they weren’t the most recently tagged photo you uploaded.

Pro tip:

Don’t surf through the #craftbeer hashtag from your cubicle or boring meeting; the photos of rocky mountains or campers or even just the behind-the-scenes-chair-races-around-the-brewery photos will make your job seem a lot less fun by comparison.