A pencil talk Instagram post that got some direct queries and interest featured the Fruit Sticker Album.
This very interesting small book was picked up on my London Trip at Choosing Keeping. For £5, it is a bargain. As specialized as oh – a pencil blog – might be, the well of ephemeral interests run even deeper. Someone has published a book for collecting fruit stickers!
Here is some more information on fruit stickers. And even documentation – “9” means organic!
So about the book – there is a cardboard cover, translucent overlay page, then 24 right hand pages that hold 15 stickers a page – allowing one to accumulate 360 stickers.
The copyright notice indicates that we can give thanks to Carl Middleton for this small joy!
An exciting item from British Stationer Mark+Fold just arrived – a limited edition 2019 wall planner.
The planner arrived in a tube with Mark+Fold’s signature label:
The planner itself was encased in some very nice kraft paper, which I will not be discarding.
The planner brochure claims it is “50 x 70 mm”. A typo? It looks they meant cm. The paper would thus be almost B2 size.
Isn’t it beautiful? The paper is described as 175gsm, printed by Evolution Print in Sheffield.
The kit includes some very special index tabs and sticky tabs for wall mounting. I’ll be flattening it and putting it on the wall very soon. I will share a picture.
Sometimes familiar stationery items aren’t what they seem. Here is a Pentel Kerry mechanical pencil – but unlike any most of us have ever seen. It is paired with a Clairefontaine pocket notebook.
This pencil – a classic – is a custom modification by isu of the uncomfortable chair, turning the pencil into a 2.0mm version! It continues to fully function as a mechanical pencil. Look at the quality of the finish – it appears as if it came from the factory.
Thank you isu for such a wonderful gift!
As to the the second surprise – let me mention some context. Many of us were very surprised to learn that Tombow has moved (at least some) production of their iconic Mono 100, one of the world’s best pencils, to Vietnam. There is a great account at Lexikaliker. The news so far isn’t good – unfortunately, the Vietnamese version appears diminished in finish quality, even if retaining the same lead core.
So what a surprise to find a notebook the same week from Clairefontaine, which like sibling brands Rhodia and Exacompta, strongly associates itself with “Made in France”, that is made in Morocco. Yes, “design” and “paper” from France. Fortunately, I find the notebook to be excellent, with creamy 90 g/m2 paper (presumably the same as the “Rhodia R” series) and a pocket format. I’ll note a particular pencil advantage – this thick paper takes well to traditional rubber erasers, such as the round Graf von Faber-Castell.
Here is a truly notable Canadian stationery store. In the McGill University district of downtown Montreal, Nota Bene features an art gallery, a small stationery museum, and an enormous array of stationery, both practical and fanciful.
It was a pleasure to meet Russell, the store’s proprietor. Russell is a great host, and a stationery (and pencil) connoisseur of the first rank.
A couple of views of the store windows. Unfortunately other photos that I took were lost.
The depth of the paper product lineup is amazing. They have large runs of dozens of North American, European, and Asian brands. As with my trip to Vancouver, suitcase limits prevented me from going too far overboard – but I do want to return just for stationery shopping. As well as the less well known, the store has an amazing array of Clairefontaine brand products, well beyond the typically imported top sellers.
Something else – you can of course buy pens, but the writing implement display cases are dominated by pencils! Non-drafting lead holders to be specific – beauties from David Hayward and Koh-I-Noor, and super-specialties like leadholders made of unconventional materials like cement.
There is as well something about this store’s vibe that I really liked. Paper-ya in Vancouver and Laywine’s in Toronto are not unlike boutique wine shops in their appearance, and seem to attract a prosperous clientele – and I am very glad that these stores are doing well. But Nota Bene seemed to be full of people (mostly young people) arriving on foot with a genuine need for good paper for their work or studies. I gather many of them may have affiliations with the McGill architecture school, which is on the same block.
What did I buy? I bought a number of Midori “Kraft Envelope” and related products, some interesting “seven day” organizer paper tablets, double ended carpenter pencils, and a clutch lead holder. Nota Bene kindly gave me an M+R sharpener!
Papeterie Nota Bene
Carrying on from yesterday’s post, Strikethru mentioned another great Vancouver stationer. A counterpoint to Paper-Ya, The Regional Assembly of Text is not in a tourist area, and focuses on products from individual craftspeople and small presses, rather than prominent brands.
The store is decorated as an homage to typewriters, filing cabinets, and yesteryear’s offices. It also has a small press/zine reading room that Strikethru described. TRAT is quite an amazing place for anyone who likes letterpress, and it is filled with high quality interesting (and sometimes quirky) paper and stationery items.
I picked up a few library and ledger journal inspired items.
Also worth noting – they give pencils as treats to customers!
Please let me express my appreciation to Cheryl of Strikethru for this post – it formed a wonderful guide to two stationery treasures that I recently visited.
Paper-Ya is located on Granville Island, a vibrant arts district in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The island is easily (and probably best) traversed on foot. Notable landmarks include the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Paper-Ya is immediately discernible as a labour of love. They stock an immense array of paper items that seems well beyond commercial viability. And I do mean immense – if one could extract the product names mentioned in the last five years from every stationery blog – a good number of them are at Paper-Ya, representing twenty or more countries of manufacture.
My suitcase only had room for some very limited purchases, including handmade paper from Papetrie Saint-Armand.