It seems that there’s a ‘National Day’ or ‘National Week’ for EVERYTHING these days. But when it’s stationery I can get on board! National Stationery Week is, of course, all about stationery; from things to write with to things to write on and alongside this the #writingmatters campaign. This year it runs from April 23rd – 29th. You can find out all about it here. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #natstatweek and #writingmatters.
Being a stationery addict myself, I’m all for promoting the importance of writing by hand. Check out some of the reasons why in this article; it’s targeted at students but can be applied to everyone: “The act of writing itself can reduce stress”, it says, and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s a great way to switch off from what’s going on around you and focus on yourself.
I’ve recently added a new product to my Etsy shop that makes for a fun way to get back into writing – this hand bound ‘Luxe lists’ book! It’s full of hand written prompts for different lists, plus blank lined paper at the back so you can come up with your own lists. It’s great for focusing your attention and getting your brain going.
If you’re reading this then it’s likely to assume you love stationery – and you may already be aware that this week it has been National Stationery Week. It really has. I ran out of stock of my handmade Coptic-bound sketch books on Notebook day, of all days!!
Depending on your needs, there are a massive range of stationery products on the market, but here I’ve outlined what I think are the essentials.
Pen. A good pen, for writing or for drawing. I love a fountain pen for handwritten letters, biros for crosswords; but my favourite all-rounder has to be the Mitsubishi uni-ball eye. Smooth writing, waterproof, fade-proof, comes in various colours.
Pencil. A decent pencil is indispensable! And with it you need the following:
Eraser – often the one you get on top of the pencil is absolutely PANTS. So invest in something soft and non-smudgy, that doesn’t tear the paper!
Sharpener. To keep your pencil happy. I quite like this one: double hole, a home for the shavings and a lid so they don’t spill out.
Notebook. Sketch book/journal/jotter – whatever you call it, you need somewhere to write and draw your ideas, plans and thoughts. Handmade books are my specialty, so here are some examples of my work:
Ruler – this needs to be sturdy and long lasting. Metal ones are great for craft work.
Paperclips. Handy for when you don’t want to staple things! The more fun shaped, the better. Paperchase and (perhaps surprisingly) Ikea do some great ones.
Stapler. For when you want to permanently paper-clip something together.
Hole-punch. For those of us who like to print things and put them in files 🙂
Post-its. Other makes of sticky note labels are available! Sometimes you just need to stick a note on something. Perfect for reminders.
Pencils, too. Writing implements in general, really. Love ’em. And I don’t care who knows it! Yes, it’s National Stationery Week, here at last to help get Britain writing.
It’s actually got me thinking about my own pen collection and how I write, and I’ve come to realise that I’ve neglected things of late. Even though I write often, draw often, always carry a pen with me along with something to write on, I seem to have lost that urge to always write with a beautiful pen, on quality paper, taking the time to write carefully and neatly (though it doesn’t help that most of my writing is done on my rather rickety train journeys to and from work.)
However, I’ve decided it’s time to get back on track! Starting with a good spring clean of my pens, which are all over the place. No more grabbing the first ball-point I see and scribbling things down! To inspire me, I’ve been browsing the internet looking for… well, looking for inspiration. And inspiration I have found:
Doesn’t have the most enticing website, but gets almost full marks for it’s range of writing implements and the glorious ink ‘Col-o-rama’ (they lost points due to the Americanism – ‘color’ not ‘colour’ – though I agree that they couldn’t exactly have ‘Col-our-ama’). They also have some pretty sexy ink bottles:
Moving on slightly from pens and writing… plantable paper! Who knew? Not I. This is a wondrous site dedicated to eco-friendly paper and seed paper:
“Why do we use seed paper in our products? Because seed paper from Botanical PaperWorks is made with post-consumer material, meaning that no new fibers were used in the production of this paper. And because when the paper itself is planted, it composts away leaving only wildflowers (or herbs, or vegetables) and NO WASTE!”
I NEED to get me some paper that turns into flowers.
A lovely shop situated in Bloomsbury, with a wonderful stationery section; but don’t worry if you can’t get there in person, they have an excellent on-line store for your perusing pleasure. As well as some great pencil sets:
As it says on their site, ‘National Stationery Week is a celebration of the written word and all things stationery.’ And just to be clear, that’s stationery with an ‘e’, NOT stationary.
The idea is to encourage more people to write by hand and I for one am all for that. Not just because I want to sell people my notebooks- although actually, that is the main reason I started making them in the first place. I love writing things down, I wanted to do it more often and to create beautiful, fun places to write thoughts/ideas/lists in!
Here, then, are my favourite stationery items from The Craft Fantastic:
Simple, single section notebooks with beautiful paper all the way from Florence:
Japanese stab-bound notebooks with hand-drawn stencils adorning the front: