If, like me, the best thing about going back to school was shopping for stationery, then rejoice! May 16th-22nd is National Stationery Week! Yes, really – well, they have National days & weeks for everything, why not stationery? Because stationery is awesome.
Launched back in 2012 by the Stationery Show, it started life as just a day, gaining momentum and building into a full week. It’s used to celebrate the joys of writing by hand; whether you’re writing in your own notebook, sending someone a letter or postcard, or just a quick note to stick on the fridge.
Making from waste materials means I’m kept on my toes a bit in terms of what I can make in what size, but it means it never gets boring! These pencil cases were made from leather from a furniture samples booklet, and would’ve otherwise been thrown away. Find a selection in my Etsy shop.
A warm welcome to followers old and new. I’ve been busy stocking my Etsy shop with lovely rescued leather journals and pencil wraps this month and have created some new labels for my shelf space at The Emporium (a Wellingborough based shop full of handmade awesomeness!) – all my products now have more of a library-esque feel, which I love. But enough about me; let’s just get down to it, shall we?
Have you heard of Little Flame candles? Based in Northamptonshire, this small business started to make these hand-poured candles upon retiring. After many months of research and testing, Little Flame was born. Did you know? Soy wax is non-toxic, clean burning and completely free of animal derived substances! Find them on Insta & Facebook and show a new small business some love.
I don’t know about you, but I love a journal with blank pages. It gives you the freedom to do whatever you want; doodle, write, sketch, list, paint… and if you’d like more structure, you can simply add it in yourself. From creating lines, grids, tables and headers, Pinterest (where else?!) has some great ideas to get you going. Prefer video? Here ya go! In the market for a new journal? Check out this selection over in my Etsy shop.
I’m a huge fan of some beautiful creative lettering. But what’s classed as a font and what’s a typeface – and what’s the difference? Essentially, the Typeface is the base set of characters (e.g. Arial), the font is a particular set within the typeface (e.g. Arial Regular or Arial Rounded). Want more? Nerd yourself out here. Fancy some creative typeface fun? This book is great!
Staying on top of things can be hard work. I love a planner and I love writing lists to help me track things, but I know they’re not for everyone! If you’re looking for something a bit less intense than a physical organiser or planner, how about a digital version? There are some great ones out there to suit different needs. Here are a couple of links; I can also recommend the GoodNotes app if you have an IOS device. Digital daily planner Weekly digital planner
Outdoor spaces can bring us joy, but during winter it can be hard to get that greenery in, whether you’ve got a garden or not. Having plants indoors can be beneficial to the air as well as your mental well-being. Here are some great plants that will thrive in your home during the winter months.
What have you been reading in the past year? Any stand-out favourites? I’m signed up to Goodreads, so I log what I’m reading and can then take a look back at the books I’ve read over the year. I’m in a couple of (virtual!) book clubs and it’s really nice to read things I wouldn’t normally pick for myself. However, my favourites from 2021 are firmly in my comfort zone!
Between Two Thorns – Emma Newman. As a fantasy fan, I fell easily into the idea of Emma’s Split Worlds. It’s intriguing right from the start and really keeps your attention throughout. Set in (pretty much) modern day, it flits between our world and a secret mirrored world, where immortal Fae hold power. Uprooted – Naomi Novik. Yep, it’s more fantasy! The setting is more traditional; think fairy tales and folklore, a simple village by some dark woods and tales of the local dragon…
Why own a plain pair of trainers when you can walk around with a work of art on your feet? This whole range of custom painted trainers are just so perfect. How many pairs of trainers is too many…? Shop Paintplay by Chey on Etsy.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a very messy creative. While I’m all for a spring clean to keep on top of things, at the moment I’m in need of an autumn clean! This blog post has lots of handy hints and tips to try out for organising and decluttering spaces of all sizes. Time to get sorting…
Summer is here (well, most of the time – it is England after all), the bees are buzzing, the days are long… things are starting to feel a bit more normal. Breathe in, breathe out, and take a look at this months’ offerings.
Sometimes you make something and you think “This is the best thing ever!! Everyone will love these! I will make looooooads!” That’s what happened with these origami and resin necklaces. Each animal is folded from a small square of colourful origami paper, then set in resin. They’ve been placed on a pendant with a white background, so they stand out whatever you’re wearing. Guys, I hold my hand up; I may have gone overboard and made too many! So, I’m having a clear out and they’re available from my Etsy shop at 25% off, making them a bargainous £12 – they’ll then settle at £14 if there are any left over. Get ’em before they’re gone!
Getting out in nature is so good for us; it’s great for mental health and general wellbeing. It can also be a wonderful source of inspiration. Get yourself outside into a green space, breathe deep, and take some time to look around you – really look around, taking time to notice the small things; the big things; the different greens; the splashes of colour… you could even take a notebook to sketch or write.
We all know we need to be using less plastic and to start cutting out single-use plastics altogether. But where do you start? It can seem really overwhelming… so having a shop like Food For Thought is fantastic! Run by the lovely Kerry, this zero waste shop is based in Nene Court, Wellingborough (where else, right?). Head to the website for tips on reducing & reusing, plus a stock list of all the things you can refill there. If you’re not local to Northamptonshire, it’s worth taking a look to check for similar shops in your local area. Start by aiming to swap one thing a month and take it from there.
Hands up if you love stationery. Me too. So let’s not waste any more time with this section and get right to it!
Do you use washi tape? I absolutely LOVE it. So versatile, so pretty and so practical – you can use it for journaling, wrapping, decorating notebook covers… plus it’s made from natural fibres, so can be recycled. Winner! Joanne Hawker has just added her own designs of washi tape on her website and, like the rest of her range, it is just delightful.
Have you heard of bullet journaling? Is it still a thing? What even is it? Well, it’s primarily a type of diary-journal-planner, most often done on dotted paper or something that helps create sections, bullet points, trackers etc. The more ambitious use plain paper journals and create their own grids & patterns. People use them for well-being, tracking habits, or just general planning. Personally I think half the fun is customising and decorating the pages! Here are some ideas for if you’re just starting out, and some more adventurous ones.
Did you catch my last blog? Take a look through these 5 signs you’re a stationery addict. From hoarding notebooks to not using pencils because they’re too nice; how many of these do you identify with?
Ah, stationery, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You’re fun/cute/sensible/useful/organised/practical to name a few. There’s just something super satisfying about having a brand new set of pencils. How many of the below statements sound familiar to you?
You have a set of pencils that you’ve never used because that would spoil them. Same goes for all those adorably cute erasers you’ve amassed over the years.
You categorise your pens like Monica from Friends categorises her hand towels. Personal, everyday, fancy, guest…
Notebooks: don’t EVEN get you started. You must have them all. Because you need one for lists, one for doodles, one for neat, one for writing up the neat one when you inevitably make a mistake…
A desk tidy with enough compartments and drawers to hold everything is just THE most delightful thing in the world. (But of course it still doesn’t hold everything and you have pots of pens, pencils, rulers, scissors etc. everywhere.) Same goes: pencil cases.
Even though you do use the diary and calendar on your phone, an event is not happening unless you’ve physically written it in your real diary.
You can shop a range of handmade stationery on Etsy, or learn more about what I do on my website.
If you’ve found yourself doing more craft things during lockdown, you might be on the lookout for some new equipment. But why go for bog-standard when there are things like this available? These Miffy scissors might not be up to much hardcore cutting, but they’re great for simple paper and card tasks and darn it, they are cute.
I am a massive Studio Ghibli fan. Their films are fantastically animated, moving and just downright magical. Creator Hayao Miyazaki has a penchant for strong female leads: “…brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a saviour.” Here are a few favourite inspirational quotes:
“Just follow your heart, and keep smiling” ~ Kiki’s Delivery Service
“Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear” ~ The Cat Returns
“You cannot alter your fate. However, you can rise to meet it” ~ Princess Mononoke
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you’re after something big, small, a keepsake or something edible, Modern Guy has you covered! This fabulous gift guide showcases 34 small businesses for you to support.
Do you find your creative clutter soon gets out of hand? Being a maker myself, I have lots of different tools and materials and I need them all within reach; which quickly leads to having stuff everywhere. I have found a few things that help, though, so I thought I’d share them with you.
Recycling or rubbish? I’ve got a bin for both. I end up with lots of scraps of paper and keep them all together to recycle, or for turning into handmade paper (a constant future project).
Upcycle and repurpose. Got an old chipped mug? Use it to keep your pens and pencils in. If you’re like me and have LOTS, you can keep a particular collection in each mug; felt pens in one, fine liners in another etc. You know those little glass pots you get delicious desserts in? They are GREAT for keeping small bits and pieces in.
Make the most of desk tidies. A purpose-built desk tidy has plenty of room for larger items and can happily accommodate your bulkier stationery. These wooden houses are the perfect home for big brushes, scissors and chunky pens.
Store your bits & bobs. A shallow tray or dish is the perfect place for anything that you need to hand, but that’s too small for a tall holder. Use them so you’ve got easy access to things like pencil sharpers and rubbers, or any small bits of string/wool/beads that may usually accumulate on your desk.
Stash your stationery. If there are things you need tidied away, the classic pencil case is the way to go. They’ll keep all your creative tools tucked away until you need them.
Hope these hints and tips have helped to get you a bit more organised! What are your top tips for staying on top of creative clutter?
Find my full range of handmade stationery in my Etsy shop.