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 Brian Rudolph
City: Henderson
State: Nevada
United States of America
When I returned from my trip I had just over half of my journal filled with a fairly complete and detailed record of my activities, thoughts and feelings. A few months from now, I know I'll look back and be very thrilled that I kept a journal of my trip. It usually doesn't take long for the finer details of such an experience to fade from my memory, leaving only the major highlights. But this time, I've got so much more. I know it will be of immeasurable worth to me when I go back months and years from now and realize (for example) that I not only had a great meal at a particular restaurant, but that I also know exactly what I ordered, our server's first name and the specifics of the clever way she presented the various specials when going over the menu. What a better way for me to truly re-live the experience! And so much richer in detail for those who will inherit my journal in the future!

For the Epica 8x10 journal with hand cut pages

 Mario S.
Epica Item: Leather Journal/Book/Album
United States of America

How I proposed to her - with a Journal from Epica

My fiancÚ (girlfriend at the time) is passionate about the uniqueness of things. If something is common or easy to get, she pays little attention to it. So, when I decided to propose, it had to be original. I know she likes to write journals - she still has some journals from her early 20s, her family's cottage has a guestbook, and so on. I planned carefully how to propose in a unique way, and this plan was executed flawless - every little detail worked perfectly. On our 2nd dating anniversary, we planned to go to a beach and exchange presents. We left things sort of in the air, so we could change plans based on weather. That was the date I chose to propose.

Several weeks before, we went to a jeweler to have our fingers measured - I told her that when the time comes, in a distant future (yeah, alright), I needed to know her finger's size and she was ok with that. I chose the rings to follow the Brazilian tradition - no rocks, and we both wear a solid band on the right hand while we are engaged, and then we change it to the left hand at the wedding. I bought the rings, and kept it well hidden.

About 2 weeks before, I found and bought a 11"x15" journal from Epica - I could not have made a better decision. It is a huge, beautiful, and unique book, with a dark leather hard cover and hand made paper. I also bought a nice pen, so she could write in it, and a bottle of good wine. That was it - all the "hardware" was ready. Also about 2 weeks before the "event", I started to play games with her mind. I told her that maybe I was over-doing it. I said I spent more money than I should (we agreed on a price so presents are equivalent). I said I was very excited and very insecure about it all. I asked her what she would like to get. In short, I gave her ALL possible clues I was about to do it, because I know how her mind works - she had so many clues about it, that she was positively sure I WOULD NOT propose that day. She knew I would surprise her, and too many clues meant I was just fooling around. And it worked. In addition, just a few days before, I told her we needed to measure her finger again, because I forgot the number,(and I had the rings in closet already).

The night before (Friday) I went to a friend's party, drunk too much, and arrived very late and drunk. In the morning, I was so hangover, never mind, 3 aspirins with 3 glasses of water, and a greasy breakfast. She suggested we forget about it, because of my headache, but I said no - let's do it. She decided to go to a nature preserve close to here, with a nice view of the city of Boston, yet quiet. So we went out to a quick drive. There we were, just the two of us, sitting on the top of a rock, drinking wine and being happy. She started with her presents - I got some nice shirts. Than it was my time - I took the large Epica book box from the bag, and she was puzzled; she opened it slowly, and the book has its own personality - even I was impressed. So she opens the first page, and I had printed and placed a story for her to read. I asked her to read it loud. Here is the story:

The Empty Pages

One evening a young woman went alone to walk barefoot by the ocean after the sun had set. She stopped in her path and turned so she could see the footsteps she had left in the sand. But they had already been washed away by the waves. When she turned to continue her walk, she was startled by the presence of an old woman wrapped in a blanket who out of nowhere appeared sitting by a fire, slowly paging through the leaves of a leather covered book.

She walked up to the woman and asked. "Where did you come from? I didn't see you here a moment ago. And how did you start this fire so quickly?" Her questions went unanswered but were instead met with a reply in a serene voice, "Sit with me, child. I have something to show you." As the young woman sat down beside the fire, the mysterious stranger handed her the book. She curiously turned the pages one by one and was amazed to discover they contained the story of her whole life from the early days of childhood to the present. She then came to the page telling of her encounter with the old woman by the fire during her walk on the beach, but upon turning to the next page, she found it empty. She frantically began to turn the rest of the pages in the book only to find that they, too, were all empty. In bewilderment, she looked to the old woman and pleaded with her to explain.

"Does this mean my life ends this night?" "No, my child. It means tonight your life begins." At that moment the old woman took the book into her own hands and began to tear out each of the pages with words, throwing them one by one into the fire until all that was left were blank pages.

She handed the book of empty pages to the young woman. "You see," she said, "just as the waves washed away your footsteps in the sand, your past is forever gone, never to return. The only moment you ever truly possess is here and now. Each new moment is the beginning of the rest of your life and is to be lived to the fullest, for you will not have a chance to live that moment a second time. Most important of all, each new day brings an opportunity to love--one that may never come to you again." "As for your future, you are free to shape it as you wish, for it has not yet been written." Then, as mysteriously as she had appeared, the old woman stood to walk away and disappeared into the darkness of the night. (Excerpt from the book, For Love or Nothing, By William Oak)

That story always makes me cry, so by then I was holding the tears already. Then I told her that was the book of the rest of our life, for us to write and revisit and - hopefully- create a beautiful story. She loved it. Then she browsed through the pages. Later, she told me she thought it was so perfect she thought I could have carved a hole in the pages and put the rings on it. Nope - no rings. Then I gave her the pen, so she could write something. And that would be it - my presents were there. A little disappointed, she thanked me, and confessed she was in doubt if I was about to propose, or not. I apologized for disappointing her. (What a scene! - hehehe) Well, then I asked her to "open" the journal, and write where we were and what that book was. She said she didn't want to - the day was not over, and she wanted to write later on. That was not my plan! I almost had to obligate her, so I took my camera and said: "I'm going away to take some pictures, so you can write. I won't come back until you're done." By some miracle, she agreed, and so I went away.

Then I came back, and read what she wrote. It was something like this: Here we are, celebrating 2 years, re-living very good moments; and we'll read this book years from now and realize how beautiful our story is" Then, I gave her the camera and asked her to leave me alone - "go take some pictures." I wrote that I planned this for a long time, it all worked perfectly, and this was the perfect way to open this journal: "Will you M,". Ok, I'm Brazilian, English is not my first language. How do you spell it? Marie? No, Mery? Merry? Meri? Marri? AH! Well, she'll see the rings, she'll get it. So I wrote it. Ok, and now: (Breath deeply! Calm down, and smile. Do not mess it up now! It's time to face her.) Faking a calm and careless voice, I asked her to come back and read what I wrote. So here she comes, as oblivious as she could be, sit by my side, take the book from my hands and open it almost in one move, and:

As she opens it, there were 2 rings inside the book, and they start to slide down before she could think or recognize, she crushed the rings as if they were insects, in the middle of the first page of the book. Her hand stops exactly by the main sentence, where she reads: "Will You Marry Me?" It all comes to her at the same time: the rings, the sentence, and the guy smiling with watery eyes besides her. It's hard to describe what happened after that. We hugged, we cried, we laughed, we kissed, we looked at the book, and we hugged and repeated it all again. Then, it occurs to her she should answer me! What a good idea! She pushes me away, breath with a few hiccups, and says in tears: "(hickup!) Yes, Mario, I will marry you!" And she hugs me again. Well, I know she sometimes forgets what she says or do, so I asked her to write it down! (of course I would).

She wrote: "--Yes, my love, I will marry you!" (in a new line)" Oh my God!" Then she went into an hour long of "oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God - Oh my God! " That was it. Now we are engaged, trying to choose dates, planning for the parties, and the whole thing. As for the book, well, we are looking for a nice place to put it. Hope you liked the reading!

 M. Trype
Epica Item: General Comment
City: Amarillo
State: Texas
United States of America
My books, the inks, and the pen are magnificent and you wouldn't believe how inspired I get by using beautiful things. Thanks again!

Epica Item: Recipe Book
State: Hawaii
United States of America
I wanted to give my friend a special parting gift when she moved to the mainland to attend the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Portland, Oregon. When I saw the beautifully leather-bound Italian recipe journal, I thought I had found the perfect gift for an aspiring chef. It certainly was! She loved it and intends to fill the Epica journal with her originally created recipes as she begins her new career. Already, her fellow students have expressed 'journal envy' at her lovely leather recipe journal. What a unique gift, and shipped just in time for her departure. Thanks again, Epica!

Epica Item: Wine Log
I purchased the Epica Handmade Italian Leather Wine Log/Journal as a gift for relatives in the States. My main concerns with on-line ordering are the actual quality of the item ordered and that I can have confidence in the vendor concerning the delivery of the item. This has been my first purchase with Epica and my overall impression is that there is a high level of concern for customer satisfaction through a very good customer-vendor on-line communication process and that a high quality product was delivered as promised. Thank you for a stress-free opportunity to order a wonderful gift for the holidays.

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