The Rhone Gift Guide 2010

I don’t think I have ever done an official gift guide before. That said, the thought recently occurred to me that, when I did do one, I wanted it to be a bit different and have a greater purpose than simply participating in the rampant consumerism of the season.
Then, the other day, an idea occurred to me. My life has blessed me with many talented, creative, and industrious friends. Many of these fine folks have businesses and products to sell that deserve attention. Therefore, what better time of year, and what better occasion as my first gift guide, then to shine a light on them and encourage you to buy some gifts for others (or even a little something for yourself).
Pen and Paper
Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love nice pens and paper. They are one of my life’s most fulfilling luxuries. Trust me on this, once you experience what it is to write on high grade paper with a beautiful pen and nice ink, you will never for get it. Thankfully, I have some friends who can help in this area:
Idea Cafe – My friend Chris Bowler is the proprietor of this online shop dedicated to equipping creative types like myself with some of the finest paper goods available. There are even some pre-packaged notebook bundles that are perfect for gift giving.
Pear Tree Pens – If you are looking for some quality pens and ink, this is where you should go. Run by my friend Ryan who taught me just about everything I know about pens and ink.
Levenger – Another excellent source for not only pen and ink but a iety of goods for the writer, reader and beyond. I’ve been a customer for almost 20 years. Heck, my desk essentially looks like a Levenger advertisement. That said, I’m now also proud and humbled to consider the founder Steve Leveen a friend.
I also love good photography and am thankful to have the works of the following two artists gracing my walls:
Jorge Quinteros – My friend Jorge does amazing photography. Seriously, there is not a single print he sells that does not deserve a special place in your home or office. Conveniently, you can also buy some of his work at Idea Cafe as well.
Michael Armstrong – What I love about Michael’s photography is that it is all about the Twin Cities or Minneapolis/Saint Paul (where we live). So many of the shots are things I have passed by but never noticed before. That said, one does not have to live here to appreciate their beauty.
I actually know a number of musicians but only one has a recent release that I think deserves your Christmas dollars:
Boss Rebel – The band of my good friend Pat Dryburgh. It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it. Go give it a listen. What more do you need?
We have a home filled with books and I’m lucky enough to know an increasing numbers of authors and fellow writers:
Writing Assignments by Randy Murray – Look, writing is a craft. Like any craft or skill, it takes practice. Practice is often best when it is guided. That is what this is. A collection of fun, guided writing exercises that will improve you as a writer. It does not matter if you are a budding writer or well established. I even contributed a lesson or two.
iPad Means Business by Julio Ojeda-Zapata – This is an invaluable resource for the person in your life who either has an iPad or will be getting one under the tree and they want to know how to use it to get “real work” done. I wrote one of the forwards for this book. It’s great.
Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Doland – I don’t think Erin will mind that I consider her a friend. Especially in order to highlight one of the most useful, sensible and practical books on reducing clutter and friction in your life. Fantastic book filled with many “a ha!” moments.
The Power of Less by Leo Babauta– Leo has just released another book called Focus but I still think this is the more accessible of his works. Sane advice about the benefits of living with, and simply living, a life with less.

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