I’ve always loved stationery and, in particular, good quality pens. I remember as a little girl, there was a Jeweller’s shop that my Mum would sometimes visit to have something repaired. It was the tiniest little Jewellers and, to my young eyes it was like entering Aladdin’s cave. Things glittering and glistening everywhere I looked. In the main cabinet sat what looked like hundreds of pens; Fountain pens, ballpoint pens, mechanical pencils, in colours ranging from jewel like gold and silver through to vivid reds and greens and with names such as Cross and Parker. Seeing the wonderment on my face, the Jeweller would often get one of the pretty pens out of the cabinet and let me see it close up (bear in mind, I must have been about 6 or 7 years old at the most so this was a really kind gesture on his part). I always vowed that one day I would return to that Jewellers and buy a Cross pen but alas, by my teenage years the shop had closed down, but my desire to own a beautiful pen never waned.
As a gift to myself when I achieved my degree, I bought a beautiful chrome Cross fountain pen. With its goldtone nib and polished chrome barrel, it was everything I had dreamed of owning as that awe filled child.
|My beloved Cross pen now circa 13 years old|
Years later, when I achieved my masters I kept to the same theme and saved up to buy myself a beautiful Mont Blanc mechanical pencil to mark the occasion. I felt that I had achieved my pen goals, and have loyally used both writing instruments ever since.
|Mont Blanc Mechanical Pencil|
Recently I have befriended people who have similar stationery interests (read: obsessions) and who have introduced me to a whole new world of inks, washi tapes and pretty things. As a result of discussions with one particular ink addict, I bought myself a beautiful bottle of J. Herbin violet scented purple ink from Bureau Direct, which actually smells of Parma Violets as you write and brings a whole new level of luxury to writing notes in project meetings, not to mention the added finesse it brings to a spot of calligraphy.
|J. Herbin Violet Scented Ink - Like writing with perfume|
What I’m increasingly aware of is that there seems to be a real resurgence in popularity with all sorts of stationery. Me and one of my stationeryphile friends have recently started bullet journalling as a means of keeping well organised and on track with various personal and professional projects, and a search on Pinterest or Instagram reveals a whole subculture of people who are entirely obsessed by a whole range of beautiful stationery, letter writing (snail mail), journalling, bullet journalling, filofaxing… you name it, there’s an interest. It has me questioning though, is this a form of rebellion against the digital culture that we’ve all been encouraged to embrace? I’m an old-fashioned girl and whilst I am fairly attached to my smartphone, I have always favoured writing something down in a diary or notebook over putting reminders in my phone. I like to see what’s coming up long range, and paper just works better for me (I also like having nice books to write in and pens which is kind of negated by putting everything into a phone or laptop). With this being such a cultural shift, however, I do wonder if people are getting fed up of their lives being taken over by tech and want the slowed down mindfulness that having to write something down brings? A little bit of a calm in the chaos of a world full of screens.
Personally, I’m more than happy to champion the stationery revolution, after all what’s not to love about writing that smells of Violets and sticky tape with glasses on? Such simple joys could never be achieved from the transient screens of any technology.
|My Bullet Journal/ Filofax with Washi Tape bought for me by my friend|
What about you? Are you a little bit addicted to Stationery, or are you strictly digital?