This past Saturday, when we had the whole team in, we did a little stationery show and tell – everyone brought a pen and ink, and something fun.
I was re-living my teacher days by asking if anyone wanted to share some of their picks for the week on the blog, but was thrilled when Derrick and Brendan (and Jon!) indulged me by writing up what they brought over the weekend – our weekend being Sunday/Monday. I guess the thing about stationery nerds is that we like to talk about stationery.
Most of you who visit the shop know Brendan, who has been with us for a while now, and shopped with us even before then. I remember when he first started, Jon and I got into a heated debate about whether he was a “pen guy” or an “ink guy” and it turns out he is both. And also a paper guy.
Interesting facts about Brendan:
– He is occasionally mistaken for Jon
– He likes Japanese inks
– He uses a Kindle
– He is forgiven for his use of an e-reader in this anachronistic shop because he is actually true pen enthusiast, so the analogue side of him balances it out*
“I’m really enjoying the new Sailor Shikiori Yozakura in my Pilot Custom 74, with a broad nib. I’ve been trying to search for a nice dusky purple after I accidentally created that colour when I inked up a pen I didn’t clean up properly. I’m so used to saturated and vibrant colours, but now I’m really enjoying searching out dusky or muted versions of them, especially those that shade wonderfully. My Custom 74 is my go to pen to test and show off sheening and shading, as it’s a nice wet writer. It’s a great match for Yozakura.
The letter opener was something that my mother was given quite a while ago, and that she gave me. It’s been through quite a bit and I’ve lost the tread tassel that went at the end of the handle as well as the threads meant to “carry” it for the sheath. I loved Chinese Wuxia movies and stories growing up; having a letter opening in the design of a Chinese sword now is such a delight. The funny thing is that it sits in a cup on my desk, but I don’t use it as much to open letters as I should. That is something I’m going to try to correct.”
Derrick usually works in our back shipping operation, although he occasionally pops out front. He can be counted on for a cheesy joke in all situations.
Interesting facts about Derrick:
– He and I have the same water bottle in that excellent shade of lime
– He has an extremely developed sense of smell
– He is an accounting student, and he has a lot of calculators**
“I have Diamine Earl Grey in my Waterman Hemisphere Lux Cuivre, both of which are recent gets. The pen I got almost solely because of the pattern, reminiscent of traditional Japanese wave patterns. I had to get Earl Grey, at least symbolically as a product of the fountain pen community on reddit, but also because it’s a well shading grey ink.
The additional item I have is a bookbinding awl, which I’ve been using to sew together my own notebooks with Tomoe River and Clairefontaine paper. Lately, I’ve been putting together notebooks with covers I’ve lined with chiyogami paper.”
Jon, who you all know, i.e., Captain of the Stationery Ship Wonder upon which we are all aboard and bravely looking forward into the wind.
Interesting facts about Jon:
– Lamy makes up more than 50% of his pen collection, including three Lamy 2000s
– You can never tell what nibs he has in his Lamy 2000s because he’s always swapping them out with customers
– He is strangely immune to the allure of Japanese inks
“I’ve been using the Lamy Aion with Sailor Souten to sign orders at night. Liz and I share inks, although there’s no surprise about who’s in charge of it, and I think she must have basically one of every Sailor ink. The Aion is a new pen to our shop, and I picked one up out of our first shipment, surprised by how much I like it. The size is great, it’s very comfortable to write with, and the snap cap makes it easy to sign orders while going back and forth to check on stock or change things.
Around the shop, especially in the back, we use post-it notes a lot: to-do lists for the day, attaching notes to pen boxes or customer items, or leaving reminders for staff or myself. Regular post-its don’t perform well with my medium nib, so I like having a pack of these Midori MD sticky notes for my important lists.”
And for myself! (Liz.)
I’m using Kyo No Oto Aonibi
in my Pelikan M400
. By chance I seem to have been using both the ink and the pen a lot – I’m often scrambling to fill or clean pens late at night, under cover of darkness and as quietly as possible, as our apartment is one giant room – kitchen, living room, bedroom and all, except bathroom – with the baby sleeping on the bed in the corner. Both of these are excellent choices for everyday writing: no crazy idiosyncrasies, unpredictable behaviours, unexpected colours for writing something “proper.”
And, I just received some sticker faces of the babies! I get them from this website here
I don’t know what it is about faces floating in the air that just cracks me up. Along with sticking them around for decoration, I love using these for thank-you cards from Caleb, putting them on “his” bins of toys or crayons or whatever things a three year old needs in life, and I also love using them on my snail mail. I never thought I’d turn into one of those mamas whose life seems to revolve entirely around her children, nor do I necessarily want to inflict my children’s faces upon the childless and/or uninterested around me, but I can’t stop laughing every time I see them.
Interestingly, Derrick commented that Caleb was wearing a “wild” hat in one of the stickers, the one with the orange pom pom, but that is in fact my hat, and I wear it proudly.
One of my favourite things about working here is that, while all the staff are pretty great all-around human beings, I get to talk about stationery everyday, with people as enthusiastic about it all as I am.
* I’m just kidding. Everyone should read books however they like! No judgement! Although reading books on back-lit screens like iPads can be bad for your eyes 🙂
** I suppose this begs the question, what exactly qualifies as an ‘interesting fact,‘ but know that I operate on a sliding scale of how late at night it’s getting.