It's a well known fact that I'm a stationery addict and I've wanted to write a regular stationery series for a while. So, for now, I'm going to be sharing my latest finds, providing inspiration and reviewing my favourite products on a regular basis.
Since the trend for bullet journaling has taken off (where HAVE you been for the past three years or so?) lots of people are reverting back to tradition and writing out their to-do lists. For National Handwriting Day I wrote about putting pen to paper and practising your handwriting plus I held a bit of an open Q&A - if you missed it, it's really worth a read as there's also a guest post in there from Pen Heaven all about the individuality of your handwriting style. I've also recently been using my Parker Urban pen which is chunky and heavy which is perfect for my grip - and it's personalised so no-one can steal it!!
You may have noticed that I'd not sampled any new stationery subscription boxes recently, although I'm still a huge fan of them. I love how they give you the chance to try out stationery products that you probably wouldn't normally buy or didn't even know existed. Anyway, I've been given the chance to take a look at the offerings from Spotlight Stationery. Ever a fan of a good flatlay, you can see their December and January boxes on my Instagram however their February box is a little bit different as the theme is "Letterpress". The boxes have just been sent out to the subscribers so I'll be reviewing this live on my Facebook page on Tuesday evening. Just "like" my page to receive a notification when the video is starting.
At the beginning of the year I was using my Filofax refillable notebook as my bullet journal but it was just not working. I had too many pages crammed in there because of the way that I like to style my bullet journal and I was probably over-thinking the whole system. This is also probably why I didn't settle into just one journal last year. In one of the Spotlight Stationery subscription boxes was a beautiful notebook from Paper Oh. It's the red and black one in this picture and it's an A5 Cahier Circulo with 80 gridded pages. If this works out I may... just may... use the absolutely amazing black and gold Castelli notebook (seen above) which has the most unusual 3D effect on the cover.
I'm still using the Filofax notebook but I've taken inspiration from Kara at Innocent Charms Chat who is using hers as a blog planner. I'm taking a more focused approach to my writing this year so this notebook is now sectioned out to help with the planning of my blog posts, my vidoes and my new not-so-secret community project.
I'm always a bit of a dither about the book I'm going to use as my bullet journal because it's the one that goes everywhere with me but I also always need a planner/diary too (I've mentioned this before on numerous occasions). The Hobonichi system works perfectly for me but - don't hate me - I'm not a huge fan of the Tomeo River paper and the diaries are just so expensive. Mark's (available at Bureau Direct) are another compromise - I used their Color's Storage.It for 2015 - but, to be honest, I'd forgotten about their diaries this year. What I am going to do is present a live video, again through my Facebook page, which will be a walk-through of my bullet journal system. It's very plain and practical as I'm not in the least bit arty - but at least you'll be able to see how I manage my planning system and why it absolutely works for me.
I've been trying out a new-to-me arts and craft product called Chalkola this month. I have been fascinated by these chalkboard markers because they are odour free and environmentally friendly and they seem to have limitless uses for both children and adults. I have an office whiteboard for reminders and the neon colours are fab for organising my notes on there, On non-porous surfaces (windows, glass jars, chalkboards) they simply wipe off with a wet cloth but they can be used on any surface. You do have to "pump" the nib for a while to get the ink to flow on the first use but the various sizes of pen/nib available do mean that you can create a variety of effects - I can't wait to use them more! I've been trying out the Jumbo Chalk Pens and the Bullet Tip Chalk Pens but all their products are available from Amazon.
And finally, I've always been a huge fan of the Pocket Notebooks website. It was recently taken over by Stuart and he's been working really hard to introduce some new lines in the shop. I want to buy it all! If you're a fan of the smaller notebook or are looking for pocket-sized notebooks for your travellers notebook system then this is a great place to start.
Let me know what you think of this new stationery series. I'm planning (haha... what a pun!) on writing this bi-monthly - or maybe a little bit more often if I have lots to share. One suggestion from a friend was to suggest a 'stationery bundle' for you to try out and that's an idea I'm definitely open to presenting. Alos, Steve from Philofaxy has recently mentioned that there seems to be less blog posts from the Filofax community with one theory being that content creators are now turning more to YouTube and Instagram to share their update. I may do a couple of updated posts about my beautiful Malden if there's a gap in the market and update my 'merged Filofax and Bullet Journal' system.
Pen Heaven had sent me a personalised pen from their Urban range to try out as Parker are rebranding all of their ranges. They also do the most amazing gift wrapping service so you can have a pen sent direct to a friend or family member with a personal note attached too. More details on their website.
Spotlight Stationery have many of the individual items from the subscription boxes available in their shop. You can use the code NICKIE15 for a very generous 15% discount on any purchase from the shop and/or a monthly or bi-monthly subscription. NB: this code is not valid on the 3 and 6 month subscription as that has already been reduced in price.
Chalkola had sent me two boxes of pens from their range on Amazon, I will be revisiting this product as I've only tried it out on my whiteboard but have lots of craft ideas to try out with the grandchildren over the next few weeks.