Wednesday, 26 April 2017

World Stationery Day - oh the possibilities!

Happy World Stationery Day!  Are you doing anything special today to celebrate?  I have been thinking this morning about why I have a serious stationery addiction and I have come to the following conclusion, it is because a single piece of paper and a pen can change the world.

Happy World Stationery Day!

You might think I am waxing lyrical but I'm not.  Nearly every great speech started off with an idea, a piece of paper and a pen and the desire to create a change.  I can't imagine a poet sitting at a typewriter or computer to get their thoughts on a page, I picture them with a dogeared notebook and a pencil.  Great pieces of art, love songs and stories have began with paper and something to make a mark on it!  

Each new sheet of paper has oh so many possibilities, all you need to do is grab a pen or pencil and start writing or drawing and make your mark.  Each new page is the chance to start again, a clean slate to do something different, to create something, to inspire yourself or someone else, to create some kind of change and I really think that is something pretty amazing!

If you make a mistake you can cross it out, rub it out, scribble over it, cover it in correction tape or with a post-it note or you can just screw up the paper and start again on a new piece.  There is always a way to fix your error!    

Plans and inspiration

So, you might be wondering why I have so much stationery if it only takes a pen and paper to change the world.  Well my answer to that is I just love it!  I love having pens with different inks, in different colours, that write differently on the page.  I like to have lots of notebooks with different papers in them, I like to have paper that is good for drawing on, paper for watercolours and paper that can handle fountain pen ink.  I like to have colouring pencils and drawing pencils so I create something from a blank page.  Stationery is the starting point to my creativity and it inspires me more than a blank computer screen ever could! 

If there was ever a time for you to pick up a pen or pencil and make your own mark it just has to be on World Stationery Day!  Write a letter, send a card or draw a picture and enjoy the feel of the pen or pencil in your hand as you create something from nothing!  As William Wordsworth said

"Fill your paper with the
breathings of your

I hope to see you again for Thank You Thursday!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Get Crafty

The second day of National Stationery Week is Get Crafty so I have spent some time this morning making a little keepsake pocket to go inside my Travellers Notebook!

Get crafty

I like to have lots of pockets and storage spaces in my TN to hold tickets, photos and other bits of memorabilia and it is really easy to add your own.  I used a pink envelope, a Project Life card, some washi tape and stickers to make mine.

I glued the card onto the back of the envelope and then decorated it with the stickers and washi tape.  Then I glued the front of the envelope to the inside of the front cover of my notebook and once it was dry I popped it back into my TN.

Pretty pocket in my TN

It has brightened up the inside of my notebook and given me more room to add journalling tags, washi tape samples and notes etc.

Have you done anything crafty today?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Pen & Pencil Day - Write Size pencils

I have already covered the pen part of Pen & Pencil Day with my first post this morning so now we are moving onto the pencils!  I'd like to introduce you to Write Size, they have a range of pencils that are made to scale for children's hands and they believe that using the right size pencil will improve children's control and comfort when they are writing.  

Write Size pencils

According to the Department for Education "Handwriting is the most fundamental building block of being educated" and Write Size think we should be giving our children the right tools for the job!  It was and still is important to me to encourage a love of reading and writing in my children, we quite often visit the library to choose new books and my daughters especially like to write stories and illustrate them.  They are also fellow stationery addicts and love to have their own special notebooks, pens and pencils.

I decided to put the Write Size pencils to the test on a day out with my daughters during the Easter holidays.  First of all I got my 5 year old to hold a regular size pencil, I never noticed before just how big it looks in her little hand!

My 5 year old using a "regular" size pencil

Then we switched over to the age 2-6 Write Size pencil and I asked her to write something in the notebook for me.   

My 5 year old using a Write Size pencil

She did seem to have more control over the Write Size pencil and she was happy to sit on the grass and practice some words for me.

The perfect size pencil for little hands

Next up it was my 11 year old's turn.  Even in her hand the regular size pencil looked a little large! 

My 11 year old using a "regular" size pencil

Then she tried the age 10+ Write Size pencil and it did look much better in her hand size wise.

My 11 year old using a Write Size pencil

She said the Write Size pencil was more comfortable to hold and she was able to practice her cursive writing using it.  The pencils were developed to lesson the strain on a child's hand by making the flow of writing easier and their size gives the child a better grip and more control as they use them too.  

Practising cursive writing

So the Write Size pencils were a hit!  Both girls have already claimed the packs for themselves and added them to their pencil cases.  If you would like to know anything more about the pencils or other Write Size products either ask me in the comment section below or you can check out their website for more details.

Thanks for stopping by!

*Disclaimer - these products were given to me free of charge by Small Man Media for the purpose of this post.  I am not affiliated with Write Size and I was not paid to write this post.  As always all opinions are honest and my own.

Pen and Pencil Day - a plethora of pens!

Yes!  It's finally National Stationery Week!  I'm so excited, I can't wait to get online and celebrate my love of all things stationery!  Make sure you are following the National Stationery Week TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts so you don't miss out on any of the fun and if you aren't already following me you can find me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram too!

Today is Pen and Pencil day so I want to show you some of the pens that I was given by Small Man Media.  They sent me a lovely parcel of stationery to use during NatStatWeek which included lots of fab new pens, an Nu Elite notebook and some fun bits and pieces from Mustard, including the cute doggie page marker you can see poking out from the top of my notebook.

Pen and Pencil Day

Whenever I get new pens I like to try them out to see how well they write and what the ink colours are like so I cracked open the notebook and got to work testing them all.  I didn't just want to write my name or hello over and over again to try the pens so I thought it would be fun to do a kind of Bullet Journal spread with them.

Sheaffer pen test

On the first page I used a Stabilo pastel highlighter to write Pen and pencil day and then went over the top of it with a black PointMax felt tip writing pen (also by Stabilo).  Then I was ready to try out the pens!  The first two I tested were both Sheaffer 100s, I have a ballpoint and a rollerball in this model.  The ballpoint is a stylish black and chrome pen that is well balanced and a pleasure to write with.  The ink flows freely and I found the pen comfortable to hold.  The ballpoint has a twist action to draw down the tip which means I wont lose the lid while I am using it, that is always a plus point for me!

The rollerball pen is red and chrome and looks very similar to the ballpoint, but they are the same model just with different inks so that is to be expected.  The rollerball does have a separate pen lid though to stop it from drying out and it feels slightly heavier than the ballpoint to me.  It is still a comfortable pen to write with though.  The rollerball ink did skip a little while I was using it but I think that was my fault for not scribbling enough with it first to get the ink flowing.  You can see both pens in the photo below along with the Stabilo PointMax.  

Stabilo and Edding pen tests

On the next page I used lots of Stabilo pens, the pastel highlighters are a particular new favourite of mine.  The Sensor fineliners are nice and bright and they have a patented micro-cushion tip making them a precise pen to write and draw with.  The last set of Stabilo pens I tried were the Pointmax, these pens have a nylon tip and look like felt tip colouring pens when you take the lids off them but they are actually really nice to write with!  The 0.8mm tip is a good size, it's not too big or too small and the pens are available in a variety of colours.

Pens, pens, pens

I also received some Edding pens, their metallic colours in silver and gold caught my eye so I tried those out first.  The silver 1200 metallic is a fibrepen that is perfect for writing on dark coloured paper and the vibrant ink dries quickly reducing the chance of smudges.  The gold 751 creative is a gloss paint marker which is actually made for writing on smooth surfaces like glass and once applied it is water, abrasion, light and heat resistant.  I can't wait to get crafting with these two pens soon!  There was also a pink gel roller pen I thought looked rather nice so I tested that too.  It has a comfortable rubber grip giving you greater control when you use it and the ink was really bright and fun.

Okay, so I think we have covered the pen part of Pen and Pencil Day quite well, what about the pencils I hear you ask!  Well keep an eye out for my second post later today where I will be introducing you to Write Size pencils!

Thanks for stopping by!

*Disclaimer - all products mentioned in this post were given to me free of charge by Small Man Media for the purpose of National Stationery Week.  I was not paid to write this post and as always all opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, 17 April 2017

One week until National Stationery Week begins!

Paper, pencils and pens, oh my!  Yes, it's so very nearly my favourite time of year!  Next Monday is the first day of National Stationery Week and I can't wait for the fun to begin!  As usual there is a theme for each day and you can join in on Facebook and Twitter, there will be some great competitions and giveaways and you can get to know some new people who are fellow stationery addicts!  

Seven days of stationery

The sponsors for this year are Sheaffer pen and Nuco notebooks, both of whom I have worked with before and they really do make fantastic products!  I have been using my Sheaffer VFM pen for the last three years and it is my favourite ballpoint.  It is always tucked away in the pen loop of my planner!  

My Sheaffer VFM pen

I also have quite a collection of Nuco notebooks in a range of colours!  I especially like my bright pink one, the colour makes me so happy!

My favourite Nu notebook

I have been blogging about National Stationery Week for the past four years but if this is your first time you can check out my previous posts here and get an idea what the week is about.  It isn't all just pretty stationery and products, it is also about getting people to pick up a pen and get writing again.  More and more of our time is spent typing on computers, phones and tablets, we want to encourage you to find the joy in putting pen to paper again!

The 26th April 2017 is World Stationery Day so where ever you are in the world you can get in on the stationery madness and celebrate too.  Though of course you are welcome to join in the whole week with us if you are outside of the UK!

Which day of #NatStatWeek are you most looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments please!

NatStatWeek 2017 partners: Manuscript, Write Size, Maped, Helix, Edding, Mustard, Stabilo  and Vow.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

One year in my Van der Spek Nomad TN

I have been using my Van der Spek custom Nomad travellers notebook for a year now so I wanted to give you a little update on how it is ageing.  When I was deciding on which leathers to choose for this cover I went with a couple that I knew would change with use, Janet leather 104 for the outside and undyed 102 on the inside.  I didn't want the cover to stay looking pristine, I wanted it to develop its own character over time and look well used and loved!  

Out and about on my travels

Catching some sun

My TN has some battle scars now, my cat decided to sharpen her claws on it a while ago which left some white marks where a small amount of leather had been scratched off.  I used a brown ballpoint pen to colour over those marks as I thought "freckles" would look nicer!  There is also a mark on the right hand side of the front of the cover, this is where I tried to rub out a small water spot but ended up making it worse.  I don't mind these imperfections though, I never wanted to keep it looking perfect.

Front of the cover with my original sample
of Janet leather 104

Comparing my cover with my original sample of Janet leather 104 I think the TN has developed a slightly richer colour and it definitely has a lovely shine to it now.

The back of the cover with the Janet leather sample

Those marks on the back of the cover are from when I took this photo.  I didn't notice the drops of water on the one piece of wood when I was taking the shot and I'm still not sure why only the one spot was wet!

TN in the wild

The undyed leather on the inside of the cover has not really changed.  In fact the sample piece of leather looks like it has gotten darker even though it has just been sat in a box for the last year.

Undyed leather 102 

I have four notebooks inside the cover now and a zipped pouch, I really love a chunky TN!  I use one for water colours, one for journalling, one for notes and ideas and the fourth is for sketches and drawings.

View from above

Playing with water colours and stamps


My year in pixels

The next photo is from when the cover was brand new, as you can see there are no marks or scars on it but it is also a more matt colour with almost no shine to it at all.  If you want to see more photos from when I first received the TN check out this post and you can see how my custom cover was made here.

My TN when it first arrived

Look at the shine the leather has developed over the past year, I can't wait to see how it changes again over the next 12 months!

Love that shine!

Let me know if you have any questions about my TN or Van der Spek below and I'll try and answer them.

Thanks for stopping by!