Stationery Tatts

Like me, you’re probably pretty into stationery. Perhaps enough to thinking about getting a pen or pencil tattoo? But you’re still not 100% sure and you’d like to test the water? Well, I’ve got JUST the thing for you!

These temporary tattoos are by Tattly who, in their words, are a “temporary tattoo store for design-minded kids and kids-at-heart”, created by Swissmiss.

They are $5 for a set of 2, so pretty reasonable. They’re made in the US but designed by designers from all over, and these particular ones are by the brilliant, UK-based, Peagreen.

Cute, fun, cool and wouldn’t cost hundreds of pounds to remove if you change your mind… You can check out the full Art Supplies collection here.

All pictures courtesy of tattly.com

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Pencils you meet in the pub: Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

Please forgive the AWFUL picture (it may have been taken at about 1am, after a few wines…) but I met a guy in the pub last night who had one of these:

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A Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil. It has a protective cap (which also serves as an extender when posted on the back of a short pencil), with clip, a changeable eraser and a built in sharpener.

It is a thing of beauty. He was given it as a gift and mentioned it was pricey, but that still didn’t prepare me for the £200 pricetag!! Even a pack of 5 refills is £36!

Here’s a much better picture (from Cultpens.com):

As you can imagine, a tipsy Tessa was quite excited to discover this, and it is something you’d treasure forever. Even so, i don’t think I’ll be getting one any time soon…

Huckleberry Woodchuck Bullet Pencil

I’m definitely not the first stationery blogger to talk about Huckleberry Woodchuck’s bullet pencils, but now that I have finally got my hands on one, I couldn’t not share it.

It came all wrapped up like a present, so extra brownie points from me already:

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And the message: “enjoy a small piece of US history” is lovely – and so true! This feels like a real gem. For those that don’t know, Huckleberry Woodchuck restores vintage bullet pencils. Bullet pencils – a bullet, hollowed out and repurposed as a holder for short pencils – were used as promotional giveaways in the US, I think often by farming companies.

The one I got is SO GOOD! I’m very pleased with my choice:
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The silver part is the pencil holder and the rest serves as cap.
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You then take off the cap and post it on the back, so you have a longer, more comfortable pencil to use.
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I always carry a pencil in my handbag, as I prefer to write appointments in my Hobonichi planner in pencil, and then go back and decorate in pen (on the rarity I have time). Anyway, my pencil always end up a. blunt and b. writing on everything else in my bag, so this is a great solution. Plus it takes up less room than a full-sized pencil.

The one I got is particularly special as it’s interactive. As it was described by Huckleberry Woodchuck:
“On the outer label it lists common problems along with a number that corresponds to a bible verse that is revealed when you twist the outer label. Really neat and perfect for your sunday school or sermons.”
I must say I’m not remotely religious, but this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the messages it gives, and the fact that this is a really unique and quirky item!

Here are the problems it lists:

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So for example, it says:
When you are feeling lonely turn to no. 1
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You twist it so that No. 1 is showing and the message reads:
Lo, I am with you always. Matt. 28:20

Pretty cool, huh?

They are beautifully restored, with new erasers, and everyone’s favourite pencil – the Blackwing 602. And of course, every one is different – always a good thing. Check out the shop here. Plus mine came with a little spare pencil stub, which seems to be a Musgrave 100 (and actually, this was an introduction as I’d never heard of this company before).

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At present, Midori seem to be the only company making new bullet pencils, however, I know that there are a couple of companies looking to produce new (and improved?) versions. There’s currently this kickstarter by Metal Comb Works – which also has the option of a stylus on the end, and I have heard that Huckleberry Woodchuck is in the process of developing one too. Episode 10 of Erasable talks about bullet pencils this week too.

Strange that such a great things stopped being produced, but I for one am glad bullet pencils are back.

A Proper Pencil Sharpener

Yet ANOTHER birthday present I’m afraid (I might even have one more to post about…), this time from my boyfriend, Harry. He got me a Boston 200 desktop sharpener from the 70s.

It’s not the prettiest of items, but there’s something I really like about it. It’s totally just made to be fit for purpose, no frills. And has a 70s colour scheme.

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(It could actually use a good clean)

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The little tray for sharpenings is quite loose, but I think this is only an issue if you’re moving it around. I desperately want to actually attach it to my desk as at the moment, you have to hold it really hard in order to sharpen a pencil… This would be much easier if a table top was take that pressure.

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And it makes a decent point. As I say though, I need to try it properly when it’s attached to my desk.

It was made in England by Joseph Gillott & Sons LTD, apparently. So that’s cool.

I love it – thanks Harry!

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.

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
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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
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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:
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Staedler Tradition HB, 25p(!) from Cass Art
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?