Carpenter’s Pencil

I was doing a Fred Aldous order the other day and I saw this carpenter’s pencil and felt compelled to order it, even though I’m not exactly a carpenter and have no real use for it. It was only 77p so I popped it in my basket.

As it turned out, the day it arrived, was the day that we started making the decking in our garden so it ended up seeing a lot of carpentry action after all! I was curious as to the design of carpenter’s pencils, but as it turns out they are only flat so that they don’t roll away. I also have a theory that they’re usually red so that they are easy to see, as in my experience, pencils always seem to go missing on site.

And here’s the end result of our decking, in case anyone cares (we made it out of reclaimed scaffold planks):



Shop Visit: Pedlars

A couple of weeks ago, I FINALLY got myself over to Pedlars, just off Portobello Road. I’ve been meaning to head over for ages, as they seem to be one of the few places that stock Blackwing pencils.

I can’t recommend the shop highly enough really, it’s great looking and the staff are really friendly and knowledgable.

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It has a bit of a treasure trove feel, with stationery at the front of the shop and vintage homewares and miscellanea at the back. There’s also a little coffee counter when you enter the shop. 

They have  a really cool Blackwing display:

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As well as other brands of pencils, such as Tombow:

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They clearly know their stuff when it comes to pencils!

These are the ones I bought:


Green, on top: Kimberly 525 Pencil HB, £2.20 each, General Pencil Company
Silver, on top: Blackwing 602, £2.50 each, Palomino
Black, bottom with rubber: Mono 100 HB, £2.50 each, Tombow
Black, bottom: Blackwing, £2.50 each, Palomino

I’m not going to review them now because, a. I haven’t actually used them yet, and b. I have  BIG pencil post up my sleeve so I’ll save it for then… But just to say for now, my favourite feature of the Blackwings is the replaceable rubbers on the end. Apparently they write like a dream too.

All well as pencils, they have some really lovely notebooks and the one that stuck out for me (it was the perfect present for one of my friends) was this beauty from Choux a la Creme.

It’s the Madame notebook and costs £9.95. I really like the gold foil detail. It has plain paper inside.


Pedlars is now definitely going to be one of my staple (no pun intended) stationery shops. I also know that the shop is going to be having a refurb soon, apparently with an even better stationery section, and more of Pedlars own products (they already have a notebook range), so that sounds like a GREAT reason to revisit soon!

Flea Market Finds #3: Wooden & Brass Extension Rule

The last item I bought from Williamsburg Flea Market was this wooden and brass extension rule, which I got for $4. There were quite a few of these in the market, so they can’t be that rare, but this was the only one I saw with a brass inlay, and I really liked that detail.

From what I can tell, it is a carpenter’s rule (I suppose strictly speaking that doesn’t make it stationery, but forgive me…), I guess from before tape measures, so that they could easily carry around their measuring tool. It’s 72 inches, which puzzled me for a while, and then I realised that is 2 yards.

I suppose there isn’t a huge amount else to say about this item, except that it looks nice, and you can make fun shapes with it…

Flea Market Finds #2: NFL Pencils by Faber Castell

I got these NFL Team Pencils by Faber Castell at Williamsburg flea market for $7.

Now, in case you’re not American or a sports fan, just to clarify, NFL is the National Football League (American football that is, not PROPER football). 

As with the dip pens, I’m not sure when they’re from, but judging by other similar sets on eBay, I think they’re late 70s/early 80s. Definitely before 1985 anyway, as the price tag says they were bought from Jefferson Ward, which a little googling told me was a Florida based department store, which closed down in 1985.

My set is missing 4 pencils, and I have no idea which ones are missing, which is a shame… But it’s a pretty cool set nonetheless, don’t you think?
I really like how the metallic ones have faded in the sun:

The other thing that intrigues me is the initials which are embossed into the tips of the pencils, AA, etc.. I wondered if they were who made the pencil? Or checked them in the factory? Does anyone know what they could be?

Flea Market Finds #1: Antique Advertising Dip Pens

dip pen
I got these 2 for $4! All the guy said was that they were OLD. They’re wooden advertising dip pens and I haven’t had much luck finding out when they’re from. I reckon maybe 1920s or 30s.

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The captions are brilliant:

Hotel Morgan
Only Fireproof Hotel In The City
Morgantown, W. VA.

Ask For
Butter-Nut Bread
Rich As Butter
Sweet As A Nut
At All Leading Grocers

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I’ve never had a dip pen before so I had to take a little trip to an art shop to get some ink. I went with a basic black ink from Winsor & Newton, £3.19 from Atlantis Art.

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It was SO nice to write with! Kind of scratchy, but I liked it, and it made a really satisfying sound. It was quite different from a normal fountain pen.

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Does anyone know anything more about these pens? Or when they’re from? I’d love to know.

Tomorrow’s post will be about some 1980s (ish, I think) NFL Pencils by Faber Castell.