Tuesday, 24 April 2012

National Stationery Day / part II

It's the first National Stationery Day - to mark its significance in my world I asked some stationery fans to share just why they love stationery....

Tinuke Bernard; my obsession …

My love affair with stationary started years before I had anything constructive to write within them. Someone sent me a beautiful writing kit as a gift when I was pretty young and I was blown away with the beautifully embossed, thick paper and the perfectly square envelopes in which to post my glorious musings. What I posted were not glorious and for the most part consisted of ‘thank yous’ to family for the rest of my gifts. But there, my friends the obsession started.

I have a note book for all occasions and have been known to spend a considerable amount of money on them too. At the moment I am loving the slick leather reporter style notepads and tend to write blog related notes within them, but there is also a time and place for brightly coloured or beautifully embroidered books too! A perfect place to keep baby name lists, to-do’s etc. You can never have too many note books.

Hand crafted cards with no pre written message inside are also amazing. I have a shoe box filled with them. They come in handy more than one would think and if you don’t already have a card shoebox, where have you been?! Birthdays, thank you, I miss you, well done, congratulations. There is a card out there for each occasion and the great thing is, this isn’t predestined, you get to make the decision based on the illustration of the card and the personality of the recipient. 

I remember the excitement at the beginning of a school year, when every other kid is grumbling about not being able to o swimming any more and having to wake up early, I just wanted to restyle my stationary kit. This lasted all the way into uni and if I’m honest, I still buy my own stationary, right down to the mouse mats at work rather than use the generic stuff they would order in for me.

For me, what you write on, what you write with and what you keep your writing in is all part of your identity and reflects a lot about your mood and personality. I use blacks and neutrals for ‘serious’ work or large flash colours for things I want to make fun or light hearted. If I invest in an expensive, hand crafted note book, I see it as precious and try to make the words I put into it, worthy of the pages on which they will be kept.

Maybe I have issues, maybe a sheet of paper is nothing more than that. But for me, this is the place where some of our greatest accomplishments have been born. Even though I admit to being a die hard tech lover, there is still a great need and deserved place for physical stationary and long may it live!

National Stationery Day: who doesn't love the stationery cupboard?? Part I

It's the first National Stationery Day - to mark its significance in my world I asked some stationery fans to share just why they love stationery....

Sarah Bates; my obsession …

Some people pray. Some exercise or meditate. My Nirvana is the stationery shop. Not one shop in particular – I have even been known to skip with glee in Tesco if they have a particular selection of coloured paperclips in a clear plastic box.

It started at an early age with me cosseting and saving ‘nice pencils’ and writing paper. I still have the Wombles’ writing paper I was bought as a child in pristine condition. I never actually completed my Doodle-art as I wanted to save the glorious felt tips that came with it. Yes, I still have them!

Working life bought more and the stationery cupboard opened its gleaming doors and I was immediately put in charge. From here I collected bright and big post-it notes, wonderful pens, paper clips of all shapes, colours and sizes and folders like I had never seen before. I would pore over the stationery catalogue and plan our orders with military precision.

Outside work, I would trawl stationery shops buying tiny versions of the hordes I had at home – rubbers, highlighters, staplers – you name it, I bought it.

My particular favourites are plain paper journals. I have a box under my bed and at the last count there were 35 unused journals and I still NEED more.

I am a freelance trainer so have plenty of opportunities to buy stationery for delegates to use. However, it makes me twitch when I see them screwing up post-it notes (the cheap ones not the ones ‘for best!). I have a particular purple flip chart pen that I guard with my life. They never get their hands on that!

But I am not alone. There is a small group of my friends who share this obsession. We are like magpies – hording our stash and whispering about what we have when we get together. One friend who I trained with about eight years ago had some gel pens. I cooed over them, held them and stared at them long enough for him to surrender them. It was a touching moment! I still have them (unused) and he still misses them.

Technology may move forward at speed but I will always covet my precious stationery and keep Paperchase in business!