A Wonder Pens Year – 2017

Time flies like an arrow;
Fruit flies like a banana.

Another year! How time passes. It’s hard to put into words all that has happened this year. The year has flown by, with all of its ups and downs and surprises and challenges.

Cups of coffee.
Bottles of ink.
Broken bottles of ink.
Cups of milk.
Canada Post pick-ups.
Door beeps.
Book clubs.
Packages from Japan.
Packages from friends.

We’ve sent out thousands of parcels, and chatted with as many customers in our shop. We’ve had some special editions and new lines unwrapped in our shop – TWSBI’s 580 AL Turquoise, and Kyo No Oto inks, Sailor’s new lines and Field Notes’ seasonal editions. Pens from yStudio and special editions from Pelikan, and Lamy’s Petrol. Peg and Awl bags, and leather covers from Popov Leather, and of course our Superior Labor Portfolios.

We celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, milestones small and large. We’ve hosted Letter Writing Clubs and our first Pen and Ink Swap. We made it to Scriptus and back. Plants bloomed and were propagated (and alas, some died). We found treasures on the streets of Toronto, and hunted down more in antique shops and Kijiji.

Chicken caught a mouse, and we all cheered.

One baby turned three, and we welcomed another into our family. We spent some beautiful days at the cottage.

For something new, I decided to share some photos from this past year. Get some tasty snacks, there are about a million photos here in this post. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and yet I’m still not sure there’s enough here to tell the stories of this year.*

I’m not clever enough to turn this into a video slideshow or anything, but you can play this song in the background while manually scrolling down with your mouse. Same thing, right?

Superior Labor Leather Pen Roll


Peg and Awl Scribbler Pouch Toronto Canada

Yamato Starch Paste Toronto Canada

Wonder Pens Letter Writing Club Stationery

Sailor Kobe Inks Toronto Canada

And so we welcome another year.

Looking ahead brings with it some mixed feelings – renovations have begun on our studio shop, and we’re hoping to open doors by late winter, early spring. But I suppose I’ve got the extra leaky nostalgia because I know next year we’ll be saying goodbye to this shop and the apartment.

With its broken heaters, and leaky air conditioners, and mice roaming the hallways, and floods and dripping water tanks and exposed insulation, and with all of the stories and adventures we’ve been on. Broken shipments, new products, construction breaking our window, garbage trucks beeping in the courtyard.

We’re saying goodbye to three years of Caleb learning to walk and learning to talk, new customers coming in to wonder at what sort of shop hides itself down a laneway.

Our first (and subsequent) staff members, and more memories than I can believe. Trust me, I was scrolling through my phone to find pictures for this post, and between all the photos of Chicken, there were a lot of huge and tiny moments.

Each of these years for Caleb and our baby shop and now the new baby hold so much.

It’s always hard to say goodbye, even to something as metaphysical as a year passing. These are precious and beautiful and bursting days with the shop blossoming and our babies, furry or otherwise, unfurling into their own personalities and opinions. I suspect when I’m old and grey these will be some of my favourite days.

But I guess, my friends, the best is yet to come.



*As a sign of how genuinely I believe this to be true, I uploaded all of these at the cottage, on rural internet.


  1. Cecily

    It feels so strange to have such warm feelings about a stationery store, but I do. I love reading your posts and seeing your photos. The photos of Chicken were – and still are – especially meaningful after I lost my own cat back in the summer.

    I wish you, Jon, Caleb, baby N, Super, and yes, Chicken all the best in 2018. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

    • wonderpens

      Haha, we are so glad to be on the receiving end of your warm feelings! Thank you so much for taking the time to follow along with us, especially on the blog.

      Cats are truly wonderful friends, and I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Chicken, in particular, seems to bring out the best (and worst) in all of us 😉

      Thank you for your good wishes, and we are hoping the same for you in 2018!

  2. Kamil Krutkopad

    Wow, Seasons of Love goes really well with these photos. I hope 2018 will be an amazing year for you and Jon, and I hope you two find an affordable space before your lease is up in the spring!

    • wonderpens

      I’m glad you listened to the music!! And thank you so much for reading, and your good wishes. Hoping for a happy and prosperous 2018 for you as well 🙂

  3. Nina

    I was moved by your photos – thank you for sharing them. Now I feel nostalgic too.

    Nothing lasts forever. Everything evolves. And there are many more exciting surprises around the corner for you.

    Your photos made my day.
    I see a book in your future.

    • wonderpens

      Thank you for your kind words! And for following along with our shop’s journey. Nostalgia is catching, I think.

      As much as I will treasure this past year, I am looking forward to the adventures of the year ahead. Best wishes for you in 2018!

  4. Ruth E. Martin

    Aha, so you have discovered the joys of rural internet! 😉
    Methinks I recognize the handwriting in one of those letters — how cool is that!! 🙂
    Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous, and successful New Year, filled with joy and friendship!

    • wonderpens

      Yes, indeed! There are times it seems faster, and other times when I connect to my phone to get something done!

      And yes, how fitting that your letter made it into our 2017 wrap-up. I have truly enjoyed our correspondence over the years – and look forward to many more years to come. Wishing you and Dave a wonderful 2018!

  5. Barry

    Congratulations on such an incredible year, Liz and John and Wonder Pens Family! And all the best to what I’m sure will be an incredible 2018!

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