As a result of our impending move, I’ve been packing away some of our extra things in our apartment – winter clothes, books, toys. My overflowing stationery cupboard in particular has benefited from some pruning of unusable material, but most of it has been stored in boxes waiting to be moved.
The result of all this packing up is that I’ve left out only what I really need or want to use over the next month or two. My surplus of washi tape, journals, ink bottles have mostly been packed up, and I’ve left out some half-used stationery pads, some random envelopes, cards, ink cartridges, partially-used stickers or washi tape rolls that are almost done. It’s been really great to try limiting the tools and supplies I have on hand, seeing how I can be more creative, and using what I actually have,* along with using up some of my supply.
I recently posted an Instagram Stories (a picture or video that you put up that disappears after 24 hours) of the things that I brought with me to a cafe for some Sunday afternoon letter writing, and I was so pleased to get a few questions on the details of what I’m using – I love peeking into other people’s pen cases and supplies, so I thought I would share mine.
While I still have some stationery kicking around my mostly empty metal cabinet and my desk drawers,** I have my Superior Labor canvas pouch and portfolio to hold the supplies I need to do some letter writing out in the wild. I’m finding now that I’m organized to go out and about with the baby (both in terms of my stationery supplies and in terms of my overall mental state), I’m able to get more done if the baby is napping and I can stop off at a cafe.
As a general rule, I carry my correspondence, stationery and paper things in my Portfolio, my pens and cash/cards in my Pen and Wallet Case, and my extra or bulkier supplies in my pouch.
Here’s what’s inside each one.
Inside my portfolio are most of my flat and paper items. Items that circulate in and our are letters to be responded to, stationery (my favourite is the G. Lalo Toile Imperiale paper) envelopes, postcards or blank greeting cards, stamps, stickers to be used or included with a letter.
I also keep my address book and my correspondence record in my portfolio. My address book I could leave out, since most people include a return address on their mail, but I occasionally refer to it, and it’s easiest to find if it’s always with my current mail. My correspondence record is a few pages from full! I started it in 2015, and there’s an incredible sense of satisfaction at having filled up so many pages with records of pen pals or correspondence with customers. I wrote a blog post a while ago on how I record my letters if you’re interested.
I could leave this case behind if my bag is really full because I’m out for a full day, but I love bringing it along when I can. I use this Superior Labor Engineer Pouch, which has a very strong zipper and is good for keeping things in when it’s full to bursting.
There’s nothing like just a little extra to add some thought to your letters. I bring stamps and a stamp pad, and some washi tape, along with my wax seal supplies. Gold has long been my wax colour of choice (which is strange, since five years ago, I would’ve picked silver over gold any day), and I have a floral design from Back to Zero, specifically the Japanese Bell, but I’m thinking of getting the Lotus next.
I’ve been on a bit of a roll with my correspondence, getting through some letters that have been much, much overdue, although the pile is still looking high. It’s been nice to stretch my fingers and get those muscles working again, as the baby sleeps more reliably through naps and at night.
I sometimes find myself procrastinating with my correspondence – at night, by the time both babies are down, I’m still wrestling with emails, laundry, catching up on the blog, maybe reading or journaling if I’m lucky – but I’ve found that sifting through and organizing all of my supplies and stationery has been a great motivator. I’ve donated or recycled paper and old notebooks, my drawers are clean, and I’ve sorted all of my letters that need to be responded to in one nice stack. All my supplies are fresh and organized.
In other news, we continue to tackle the renovations on the west end. Things are starting to shape up! Jon is taking care of the big details (thank goodness), and then eventually, before we open up, it’ll be mostly up to me for the little details – where to hang this picture frame, which plant needs to be closest to the window.
We’re currently broaching the middle stage, where Jon and I need to confer on things together – this is where things can get tricky – and I can tell Jon is slightly on edge. We had a lengthy conversation wherein Jon discussed my ideal lighting choice being determined as not enough light by the electrician, and I discussed the possibility of getting a new electrician.
I’m making it through okay, though, with the help of feeding my feelings. We had some friends over for dinner the other night, and Jon bought some nice cheeses from Leslieville Cheese over on Queen. They were late (they have kids) and we didn’t get around to snacking on the cheese before dinner, so I’ve been snacking on them without restraint for the last few days. Sometimes when Jon and I are talking, I just stand near the fridge, so I can casually reach in and slice off a piece of cheese to eat while continuing our conversation.
*I admit that this is a bit of a false exercise, since if I really feel an urge to write with purple ink, or need a special washi tape design, it’s not like I can’t go next door to the warehouse and dig around.
**Let’s be serious, I couldn’t live for a month on two rolls of washi tape.