Maybe the New York Times love pens & pencils after all…?

There’s been quite a few posts in the stationery blogging world over the last few days about the demise (or not, as the case may be) of the pen/pencil, instigated by this post in the New York Times.  I think this Pen Addict article pretty much tore the NYT one apart and I didn’t think much more needed to be said on the matter…

Until I saw this on It’s Nice That and couldn’t not share it! A brilliant feature – from none other than the New York Times! (albeit in their style magazine) – celebrating famous designers’ and artists’ favourite writing instruments.

Each artist was asked to do an illustration showing their favourite pen/pencil/paint brush etc. My favourite one was by designer Milton Glaser:


This is his ode to the Koh-I-Noor multi-coloured Magic Pencil. He says: “When you use one, it makes even a simple drawing look complex and difficult, so the client thinks you spent more time on it than you did.”

Another one I like is jewellery designer Maria Black’s:

Her choice is the Staedtler 0.5mm mechanical pencil, which she explains works for her “crisper, sharper, more geometric” drawings.

The others include Manolo Blahnik, Peter Ragonetti and Kulapat Yantrasast – do check out their illustrations on the NYT article.

I find it funny that 2 so contradictory features came for the same publication within a couple of days…But anyway, it’s just nice to see some positivity!

All pictures courtesy of nytimes.com

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Mini MUJI Haul

I popped into MUJI on Thursday without any intention of buying stationery. I was queuing up to pay for my pyjamas and before I knew it I was paying for a load of stationery too (they cleverly put the stationery right in front of the till)…

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Here’s what I got: B5 Lined Notepad, £1.25, Lined A5 kraft notebook, £0.95, Wooden Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm, £3.95, Gel Ink Pen – Green 0.38mm, £1.00

So there you go, I am weak willed person. But a happy stationery addict.

Smythson Pocket Notebook: Want list no more

Well, my want list series is proving as a bit of a gift list!

I received a late birthday present from my boyfriend’s lovely parents. It arrived in the post like this:smythson

Which opened to this:
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A beautiful Smythson Pocket Notebook, with a lambskin cover, à la my recent WANT LIST post.

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It’s pretty lovely eh? The paper is light blue/grey and featherweight. The only real negative about this notebook is that I don’t think anything I ever need to write down will be worth of it’s luxury… But I’ll have to get over that and think of a special purpose for it.

Thanks Bish and Steve!

How do you use your notebooks?

Until a few days ago, I’d never really thought about this before, but I noticed I have a very definite way in which I use notebooks. I’m going to name it the Mullet technique, i.e. business in the front, party in the back. When I say party though, I kind of just mean messy…

I have 2 main notebooks on the go at the moment and it’s exactly the same for both.

My Moleskine, which I keep at home

Front (neat):
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Back (messy):
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And my Field Notes, which I carry in my bag

Front (neat):
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Back (messy):
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I clearly make a subconscious decision as to whether what I’m writing is deemed “important” or not, before starting the front or back… Although looking through them, some of my decisions seem quite random!

I’m curious – does anyone else do this? Do you set yourself weird criteria? Or do you have different notebooks for different things; to do lists, messy work etc. Let me know!

WANT LIST: Tanner Goods Pencils

So, I know I probably seem a bit pencil obsessed at the moment, but I saw these yesterday and couldn’t help but add them to the want list.

I really like Tanner Goods as a brand. My boyfriend discovered them a year or two ago (starting a small obsession with anything made in Portland, Oregon), which led to me having a manic hunt to find the last Tanner Goods Tan leather belt in the UK left just before christmas last year… Anyway, it’s good to see them making stationery!

They’re numbers 2s (which is American for HB), made of cedar wood and have a grey eraser. Really nice, simple design.

They’re $15 for 12, which seems reasonable. Has anyone tried them? Any good?

I was about to say that I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be available in the UK, but then I found FUSShop stock them!

Also, I like what it says on the Tanner Goods site:
“Stock up, head out, and remember the words of DaVinci, or at least the advice of our dad: Write it down, son, write it down.”
Wise words.

Images courtesy of tannergoods.com

What’s the best everyday pencil?

This was one of the first posts I wanted to write when I started this blog, and 7 months later – here I am!

It took a bit of time to get a collection together in order to hopefully answer this question. I will be looking at 9 pencils, all HB (where possible), to try and determine which is the best for everyday use. I don’t claim to be an expert (there are whole blogs dedicated to this question, including the brilliant Pencil Revolution) and this is obviously just my preference, but in order to do this, for each pencil I will be looking at the following areas:

  • Look: How the pencil looks
  • Feel: How it feels to hold
  • Write: How it writes
  • Extras: Does it have any extra features?

So, without further ado, here are the selection:

pencils
From left to right (and in height order, as it goes): Palomino Blackwing, Palomino Blackwing 602, Staedtler tradition HB, Tombow Mono100 HB, General Pencil Co Kimberly 525 HB, Derwent Graphic HB, Muji HB, Faber Castell 9000 HB, Faber Castell Design Grip Black

Palomino Blackwing, £2.50 from Pedlars
blackwing
Look: It looks bloody lovely – matte black (always a winner) with gold writing, gold eraser holder and white eraser.  Super cool.
Feel: Feels nice to hold, I prefer holding matte than shiny.
Write: Writes great, quite a dark grey, must be softer then HB. But no complaints.
Extras: The best thing about Blackwings is the flat eraser on the end. The end is cleverly designed so that you can replace the eraser when necessary (you can buy packs of them).

Palomino Blackwing 602, £2.50 from Pedlars
blackwing602
Look: Also very cool, same as the original Blackwing, but with a shiny mid-grey finish, and a black eraser.
Feel: Nice, but I prefer the feel of the matte. I also like the heaviness of these pencils, which I guess is down to the eraser.
Write: It’s ok… The pencil says “Half the pressure, twice the speed” on the side. Some people may prefer this, but I don’t. I like to feel what my pencil is doing!
Extras: As above, great looking eraser:
blackwing rubbers

Staedler Tradition HB, 25p(!) from Cass Art
staedler
Look: To me, this is a classic design (along with the yellow and black version). I’m not sure about other countries, but these are a staple in UK schools, so for nostalgia alone, I love it.
Feel: Fine, much lighter then Blackwings, even though it has an eraser too.
Write: I don’t have much of an opinion about this one, maybe because t’s what I’m so used to using. It does the job just fine.
Extras: Has a pink eraser.

Tombow MONO100 HB, £2.50 from Pedlars
mono100
Look: Glossy black, quite a lot of wording on it (possibly a bit busy…?). I like the gold ring around the end of the pencil.
Feel: Fine. Light.
Write: I was a bit disappointed with this one actually.. Quite dark in colour and I think it will wear down quite quickly. Maybe not worth it for the price.
Extras: None.

General Pencil Co. Kimberly 525 HB, £2.20 from Pedlars
kimberly 525
Look: Racing green with gold writing and a metallic gold cap on the end (which doesn’t do anything but is a nice design touch). I like it.
Feel: Nice.
Write: I’m impressed with this one. Doesn’t wear down too quickly, so you feel like you’re using the right amount of pressure.
Extras: None.

Derwent Graphic HB, I can’t remember what I paid for this individually, but they’re £7.25 for 12 at Cass Art
dervent
Look: Matte black, with white writing and an orange stripe around the end. Pleasing.
Feel: Nice grip, because of the matte finish.
Write: Quite light in colour, but doesn’t wear down quickly. I like it.
Extras: None – but worth noting it’s made in England, which is nice.

MUJI HB, £1.45 for 6 from MUJI
muji
Look: Pleasingly simple, plain wood, nothing else.
Feel: Fine, super light.
Write: I really want to like this but I really don’t! I’ve been using one of these a work and I find it so soft! I’m not entirely convinced it’s actually HB. I seem to be having to resharpen really often. Good if you like sharpening I suppose…
Extras: None.

Faber-Castell 9000 HB, £13.20 for 12 from Cass Art
castell 9000
Look: Dark green glossy, with lots of gold writing. Unfortunately, probably the worst looking of the bunch.
Feel: Ok, a little slippery.
Write: I like this A LOT. Quite light in colour but wears down really slowly, so keeps its tip sharp for longer. I prefer my writing with a fine nib, so this one is perfect.
Extras: None.

Faber-Castell Design Grip Black, £1.52 from Cult Pens
castell black
Look: SUPER cool – as in the rule that all matte black things are super cool. Even the wood in this is black!
Feel: Hmmm… Well, I’ve never really been a fan of grip pencils, I think I’m ok at holding pencils without the extra help, so I just find the bobbles annoying…
Write: Really nice, very similar to the Castell 9000 above, but I think possibly a slightly softer lead.
Extras: None.

CONCLUSION
Well, when I started this I though I’d find it difficult to have anything different to say about each pencil, but turns out there is a lot of variation! They all (ok, most of them…) have their merits, but in terms of a favourite, there isn’t one that totally does it for me. Instead, I’m going to choose one favourite for looks, and one favourite for functionality.

Looks: It’s GOT to be the Palomino Blackwing doesn’t it? Just really cool (I guess I’m shallow), and cleverly designed. I don’t even care that it’s slightly softer a pencil than I’d usually go for. I’d be proud to have it on my desk.

Functionality: In terms of writing, I liked the Castell 9000 the best! Annoying that it’s such a boring looking pencil, but it just suited my writing the most and made it look neatest.

So there you go, that’s my lot. Now, what glaringly obvious omissions have I made? Please let me know! And what’s your pencil of choice?

David Meowie and other cat puns…

I finally got round to going to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium a couple of weeks ago, and when I was there I picked up this BRILLIANT card:

david meowie

It’s by Mister Peebles, and is £3. The owner of Lady Dinah’s mentioned that they had spoken to the company about doing a whole series of cat related pun/singers cards, and my boyfriend and I couldn’t help but come up with a few (terrible) suggestions…

  • PAWl Weller
  • CAT Stevens (even though he’s changed his name to Yusuf Islam now…)
  • PUSSY CAT Dolls
  • CATrina and The Waves
  • Super FURRy Animals

Can you think of any more???