UNIQLO meets Pelikan and Tombow

Thanks to Matthias at Bleistift I got my own set of Uniqlo stationery-themed shirts. I can’t wear them now, since it’s winter here, but I am so looking forward to December when I can dazzle the good people of Montevideo with my eraser T-shirt (e.g. “who is this crazy woman?”).

I didn’t get the Mono 100 pencil shirt. I’m not such a fan of Tombow pencils or the Mono 100 (my heart lies with Mitsubishi), and what’s more, I look terrible in green. I have this theory that no Asian woman looks good in green.

The Pelikan T-shirts are really nicely done, with a great “vintage” look. Four chicks!

And you know you’re in deep when your shirt matches your masking tape…

Stationery Haul – Seoul

I am spending a very busy two-week vacation back home – but of course some stationery tours are in order.  The best part about being back is that I’ve had the chance to meet up with old pen friends and meet new friends I made online.

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A typical pen meet shot of four people :)

Pens were tested, gifts exchanged and gossip shared.  Thank you for a great time!

Afterwards we moved on to a big department-store style stationer and bookshop.

In Montreal, I had the impression that special editions of MT masking tapes were produced in limited runs and therefore no longer available past that particular season, but this doesn’t seem to be true.  I found an exhilarating display stand comprising most of the special editions I had drooled over this past year, including the MT × Nordic Countries collaboration series.  (The ordinary, permanent-collection tapes were at the back.)

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Bengt & Lotta Fish (left), Flowers (3rd from left), Olle Eksell Work & Fika (black), and Almedahls Italian Flower Shelf.

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I also stocked up on some Redman pencil cases and some TiTi T-Prime pencils (as I mentioned, these pencils are made by Camel Pencil Manufacturing, which makes the new Craft Design Technology Item No. 32 pencils).  Plus an unfamiliar Staedtler, and some interesting Kirin bicolor pencils.

And last but not least, I stocked up on my favorite sharpener, the Deli 0635.  It’s sold under the Morning Glory brand here and called the “Dual Sharpener”, but it’s Deli all right – the packaging says so.  It comes with a desk mount.

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They even note the date of manufacture for pencil sharpeners here ;)

The recommended retail price is 8500 Korean won (about 7 USD), but I believe I got it for cheaper.

Busy, but more to come!

A Half Year With the Hobonichi

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I am fundamentally a weekly kind of person. I’ve used the same one-week-per-spread format across many brands (the Japanese brand T’Beau, Paperblanks, museum planners, Moleskine weekly twin sets in pocket and regular sizes and special editions) consistently for the past twenty years. So my biggest worry upon taking the plunge into a Hobonichi was whether I could keep up with the daily format. I wanted to record more diary-style information than previously, but I also had a history of abandoning daily journals a few days into the new year.

Six months on, I have to say that the Hobonichi venture has been an unqualified success, because I have filled up nearly every page till now and am still going strong. And getting antsy for news of next year’s planner, too, because this time I’m going to get the larger Cousin AND the regular planner, both! This planner has made me sit down, not every day, but at regular enough intervals, to write down the particulars of my days.

I like the pull of the special paper, and I also like the fact that the grid-lined space invites me to use it freely for non-journalling purposes. My Hobonichi is becoming not exactly a diary but a snapshot of random bits of information on a variety of interests scattered over certain periods of time. I can’t draw so I haven’t attempted much by way of illustration; what I rather do is record factual information on topics of current interest, calling up my arsenal of colored ink and colored pencils. Early in the year I drew constellations after reading Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. A couple of months later I read a succession of books on Africa, which made me realize that my geographical knowledge of the continent was sorely lacking, so I drew maps. Maybe information drawn by hand is indeed better absorbed, the way experts argue that drawing letters help develop children’s brains. I certainly hope so. I also write down stationery wish lists and bits of information on pens and pencils that I want to save from emails on spare pages. I don’t paste things onto it much because I don’t want it to get too bulky; also, I’ve found out that masking tape tends to curl the paper, probably because it’s so thin.

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(Last year’s MT Mizumaru Anzai special edition, the illustrator who was Haruki Murakami’s longtime collaborator.)

That said, the one issue I have with the Hobonichi is covers. The standard one I have is too ugly and unwieldy, and the nicer ones are just too expensive. In any case I feel that covers somehow detract from the simple beauty of the planner itself. I may just go coverless next year.