Sunday, 29 May 2016

How I Became a Stationery Addict

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
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 ink
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. 

Filofax washi tape
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?

4 comments:

  1. I think I'm a little of both especially for work, I like to have a paper back to reference as my street is prone to power cuts and the odd internet blackout but when on the go digital is easier and less cumbersome that carrying round a dairy, a notebook etc. Though I do like writing and the process of writing and you say the mindfulness that goes with it, which is why I have so many notebooks and pens!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That nib is a work of art (that sounds a bit odd, doesn't it?) I love the font. The ink sounds divine, too. I loved Sheaffer pens when I used to write with a fountain pen, back in the 1970s and 1980s they made a pleasingly chunky model that made writing a joy.
    I'm not digital at all. I don't own a smart phone or a lap top or a tablet. I can only access the internet when I'm at home on my PC. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband is a total stationery addict! I much prefer to write than type (I get an RSI in my wrist from typing- very painful) . I have 5-6 penpals now so I write a lot and I love to send surprise mail!
    I have a lovely Cross pen in a pretty case that my work colleagues at the Royal Academy of Music bought me when I left! I left 11 years ago and I still have it!!x

    ReplyDelete
  4. My husband is a total stationery addict! I much prefer to write than type (I get an RSI in my wrist from typing- very painful) . I have 5-6 penpals now so I write a lot and I love to send surprise mail!
    I have a lovely Cross pen in a pretty case that my work colleagues at the Royal Academy of Music bought me when I left! I left 11 years ago and I still have it!!x

    ReplyDelete

Popular posts