Discovering New Stationery at Pulse London

Back in May, I headed to the umpteenth trade show.. but what can I say, I just love having a browse - even more so if it leads to discovering new independent brands.

One that stood out to me in particular, was All The Ways to Say, a paper goods brand based in France. Their collections are original and beautifully illustrated, with lots of attention put into the colour combinations to really complement the designs.

pulse-london-2017

Jacqueline Colley is an amazing artist (and lovely lady, which I had the chance to meet a couple times now) and her stationery line is simply stunning. Everything - from the colour palette to the lettering - is on point, and if you're enjoying the tropical trend look no further and feast your eyes on her illustrations.

pulse-london-2017

I already am a big fan of Katie Leamon's creations, but I thought it was worth mentioning her new marble line; I personally love the whole marble trend, but I feel like sometimes it can be quite plain and predictable, so it was very refreshing to see Katie's take on it, which includes bold colours and very intricate patterns that really stand out.

pulse-london-2017

Is there any trend you're loving at the moment - especially for stationery and cards?

Ζ’. x

Everyday Inspiration: Lettering Around Edinburgh

Last year I began a series called "Everyday Inspiration: Lettering Around London" where I would post pictures of beautiful signs and lettering found during my explorations. I only wrote two posts [part 1], [part 2], which is a shame considering I still have lots of photos to share, so I decided to resume the series and to kick things off with something a bit different, actually: inspiration from Edinburgh's shop fronts.

Back in March, my boyfriend and I headed to Scotland for a weekend for my birthday, and albeit short, we truly enjoyed out stay and really loved the city.

It was impossible to walk for 10 minutes and not spot a colorful shop, so I obviously had to document!

β–Ό The Cat's Miaou, Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AH

β–Ό Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8PD

β–Ό Greyfriars, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ

β–Ό Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8BN

β–Ό N W Circus Pl, Old Town, Edinburgh EH3 6ST

Do let me know if you like to see more of this series ☺️ I hope you'll find some inspiration, too!

Ζ’. xx

#natstatweek: London Stationery Show

Yesterday, Natasha and I ventured to the Business Design Centre for the London Stationery Show. Much like Top Drawer, the event is mostly for traders, but we still managed to find a few gems hidden in between the very corporate/basic office supplies stands.

Some that stood out are:

1 // NU Notebooks - you'll probably all familiar with the brand (I personally loved using their notebooks back in my Uni days), but perhaps you did not know that they also have a more on-trend line called Nu:Era, perfect if you like your journals to be more stylish and luxurious (they even have a pen holder and several slots for your cards!).

2 // Origin One - is a collection of everyday stationery made in India "made for the design-loving global nomads" which is surely a message I can get behind! All the products are nicely designed and there's lot of attention to details while still keeping it pretty minimalistic, which again, I love ❀️

3 // My Pretty Circus - is a relatively new German stationery brand that mostly focuses on reversible wrapping paper and greeting cards. All their patterns are really colorful and they sell blank note cards that come with occasion stickers, so you can stick on whichever you need and be all set - genious if you ask me!

Lastly, a special mention goes to Manuscript Pen Company that was having a live calligraphy demo by the super talented Joyce of Artsy Nibs, who was kind enough to beautifully write my blog name for me ❀️


Have you got any new brand under your stationery radar? βœοΈπŸ‘€

Ζ’. xx

#natstatweek: Sketching on The Go

It's day 2 of #NatStatWeek! The official theme for to day is 'get crafty', but I'm paraphrasing it a little bit and using it as an excuse to share what I carry with me when I wanto to sketch on the go, as well as some of my latest drawings.

When I decide to take my supplies with me, I always make sure to bring just the essentials. I find having too many things it's not only impractical but also distracting: most of the time when I'm sketching outside I just want to capture what I see in the simplest way, I don't want to worry too much about the outcome in terms of quality, but instead, use it more as a subject to practice with.

Here's what I carry with me:

  • Derwent Graphik "Inspire Me' sketchbook: it's very compact, the pages are suitable for markers and it also has several patterns printed throughout (grid, dotted, isometric...)
  • Copic Multiliner 0.3: 0.3 is my favourite tip to use for base lines.
  • Pencils: I mostly use a regular graphite pencil, but sometimes also a thin 0.4 mechanical one.
  • Sharpener + kneaded eraser

and only when I'm travelling, I also like to carry my watercolours and water brush.

Do you like sketching on the go? If so, do you have a kit of things you like bringing with you? I'd love to know!

Ζ’. x

#natstatweek: Pen and Pencil Day

In the UK, today is the first of seven days dedicated to celebrating all things stationery, aka National Stationery Week. As per their program, the first day is dedicated to pen and pencils, so I thought I'd update you on my current faves.

I don't know about you, but I own way too many writing supplies. I love having a variety of pen and pencils to use for different purposes, but I've noticed that on a day to day basis I tend to always use the same ones. At the moment, my absolute favourites are the Pigma Micron 03 and the Tombow Dual Brush in 243 (which is a nice pastely mint green shade).

Everyone and their nan uses these two pens, so I thought I'd throw in a more unique one as well, which is a star tip highlighter I got from an Happy Mail box. These are also my must-haves when it comes to bullet journaling, so I always carry them around with me.


What's that one pen you keep reaching for? ✏️

Ζ’. x

Looking Around London: the Barbican Conservatory

barbican_conservatory.jpg

Banana trees, bamboo, cacti… it’s not something you’d expect to be growing in the middle of London, yet that’s exactly where you should go if you fancy spending your Sunday morning surrounded by tropical plants.

Located 10 minutes from the iconic St. Paul cathedral, the Barbican Centre is one of my all time favourite venues in central London. If you don’t know what’s inside, it’s possible you’d just overlook it as another soulless, claustrophobic, concrete building, but if you actually do venture in inside you’ll be surprised of how green and open it actually is.

Although I had visited the Centre a few times already, before last week I had never had the chance to wander around the conservatory. The greenhouse is, in fact, a bit tricky to find, which makes it a true hidden gem.

It houses a full room dedicated to cacti and succulents, a beautiful pond with koi fish, as well as an abundance of tropical plants and flowers.

If you're in London and fancy doing something different on a weekend (especially if the weather isn't the best!) definitely consider have a walk around the Barbican. Even if brutalist architecture isn’t your thing, rough, bare concrete and lush greenery is a combination I dare anyone not to like.

TIPS:

  • Plan your visit ahead and make sure to check their opening times for the day. Although the general opening is every Sunday 12AM-5PM, sometimes they may close early.

  • The Barbican estate is not the easiest to navigate, so if you plan on visiting the Conservatory, the easiest way in is through Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS - and just head to the 3rd floor.

  • If, like me, you enjoy drawing flowers and plants, make sure to bring a sketchbook along as there will be plenty of inspiration!

Have you ever been to Barbican Conservatory? ☺️

Ζ’. xx

My First Bullet Journal and Setup

A bullet journal: seems like 90% of the people in my Instagram and YouTube feed has one. After seeing hundreds of pictures and videos of them, I eventually gave in to my curiosity to check out first hand what all the fuss was about.

As you may know, I’ve had various planners throughout the years - different shapes, sizes, levels of customisability, you name it. However, I was never able to fully commit to one. One of the main issues was that I didn’t like having a set space for each day and not much freedom to write anything else in it, so the BuJo system seemed to be the right one for me.

I picked up the Leuchttrum1917 bullet journal for two main reasons: the numbered pages and the dotted grid as knowing myself, I knew that this was the easiest choice to ease myself into it.

I came at it with no prior experience except for what I could see others doing, so I started from scratch without overdoing it.

I think for most people there’s a lot of creativity and effort that can go into how their BuJo looks and when starting out it can be a little intimidating. As much as I love drawing and decorating, I wanted to focus on experimenting with various systems and layouts until I'd find the right one for me, instead of being distracted by the look of it.

Prioritising the function over the form really worked for me, so the main thing I would recommend for starting from scratch is: to go basic. I limited myself to use one black pen one highlighter, and it worked perfectly to not get too distracted while I tried to figure out what exact things I needed in my BuJo to be more productive.

There are many elements that are common for bullet journals, but I knew I wanted to ease myself into the system gradually rather than going all in, to make sure I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. So, I started off with just the barebones and the most simple elements: a monthly calendar as an overview for the month, a general to-do list for things I wanted to accomplish during the month but for which I didn't have a set date or a deadline, and finally the daily planning section.

Although my goal was to keep it simple, I was still adding some sort of flourishes to the dates, and after trying it out for a couple of weeks and kind of being bothered by how untidy it looked, I decided to switch to a plainer layout which now works much better (less distractions for me!).

Something I'm still on the fence about, is having a weekly to-do list. I find it a bit redundant, yet I don't plan my week all at once but day-by-day or a couple of days at a time, so it's useful to have a dedicated space to jot down some of the tasks I want to work on each week.

A vast majority of people also uses some sort of habit tracker, but in my specific case I didn't find it useful nor I thought using it was making me any more consistent than I already was, so I tried it out briefly but decided to abandon it.
However, a tracker I do enjoy using is one to keep record of my graphic design work; I simply write down the name or topic of the project and then track each step from draft to completion.

As I'm writing this post I'm still working towards finding the "perfect" layout for my Bujo, but I can already tell you my productivity has spiked since I started using it, and I'm really happy about it. I would love to share more of it as I go if it is something you'd be interested in seeing here ☺️


Do you have a Bullet Journal, too? How are you liking it?

Ζ’. xx

A Beautiful Mess - Happy Mail

A Beautiful Mess is probably one of the first blogs I started reading back in the day, and definitely one of those that insired me to start my own. They're wildly successful now: the blog is an institution and the brand has grown to include classes and paper products.

Being a sucker for cards and stationery, one of their products that got me most excited is the subscription service they call "Happy Mail".

ABM Happy Mail costs $20 ($15 if you opt for the annual subscription), and you get $50 worth (retail value) of stationery, cards, notepads, stickers, prints, craft goodies etc. They're obviously based in the US, but if you're in Europe like me (or just not in the States for that matter), you'll be delighted to know that they ship worldwide AND for only an additional $2!

I had the chance to try a couple of their past edition, and was really impressed by the amount and variety of goodies you get in each box. Most of the content is based on the monthly theme, but you always get something more neutral in the mix.

Besides notecards and postcards, ecah box also contains stickers - perfect to add accents to your letters, of embellish your planner - and a little special treat. For example, one box had the cutest mail-themed iron-on patch, and another had a cool clear stamp.

Something I really appreciate is that all the cards are beautifully illustrated (so if you're like me and want to keep one or two for yourself, they make very nice wall art!) and are exclusive to Happy Mail - you can’t find them anywhere else!

Also, each card comes with a colorful envelope rather than a boring white one, which is always a plus.


Have you tried ABM Happy Mail or any other paper subscription box? I'd love to know your thoughts on them! ☺️

Ζ’. xx