Currently Loving: April

April is here, winter is finally over, and spring is blooming nicely here in Denver (when it’s not snowing). So far, April has been a pretty quiet month as far as events, and to be honest I quite like having time to relax and enjoy my routine for a while. As a result, I have found a few things this month that I really enjoy, and have ended up using on an almost daily basis.

Vagabond Notebook in Ashen by Franklin Christoph, co-designed by Catharine Misook

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I’m a huge fan of the Traveler’s Notebook system, especially the original Traveler’s Company leather covers and their MD paper inserts. I’ve been a lover of these books for years, and used several inserts for journals, class notes, and project books. When one of my favorite pen companies teamed up with one of my favorite people on Instagram, I knew I had to at least give it a try.

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The Vagabond Notebook (VN) is a fairly straightforward “Traveler’s Style” notebook cover with Franklin Christoph signature accents. I switched over my planner and journal into the VN cover as soon as I got it at the end of February and have carried it every day. I use the three pen insert – sometimes carrying it in the front pocket but often I just stick it under the band and go. I love the waxed canvas material, the pocket for my Field Notes book, and the Franklin Christoph blank insert. I’ve used it every day and I don’t see that changing soon.

Blackwing Volume 54 by Blackwing

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This pencil converted me into a Blackwing subscriber, and I am so happy it did. The pink was too good to pass up, the story behind the pencil and the “Exquisite Corpse” method of building the pencil was right up my alley in terms of combining my love and background in art history with my love of pencils and stationery. I mean, it’s PINK. With turquoise printing. And an extra-firm core. Everything I have ever needed in a pencil.

Lock & Key Brass Squire by Baron Fig

I saw the posts on Instagram of this beautiful dark green notebook and minimalist brass pen and was sold, and I am so glad I bought this set from Baron Fig. Unfortunately the brass Squire is sold out (forever), but the Confidant is still available.

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The rollerball refill that comes in the pen is really smooth and dark, the size is perfect for my hand, and the simple silhouette of this pen makes it a top choice for me to use for pretty much anything – journaling, planning, and writing letters. The brass material makes it a somewhat heavy pen, which I don’t mind. This is my first ever Squire, and I have my second one on the way (in Rose Quartz).

All of these items have continued on into heavy rotation in April, along with some new beauties that I can’t wait to share. What are you using so far in April?

International Pencil Day!

Happy International Pencil Day!

As I’m sure many of my fellow stationery aficionados can attest, stationery related holidays may be silly and made up, but they are a fun way to use your favorite products and to spread a little love for stationery and nerd out with other people who “get it.”

I’m celebrating International Pencil Day by re-reading my favorite pencil magazine Plumbago, a print companion to the awesome Erasable Podcast. And if you look on page 40, you might even see a familiar name…

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You can still purchase the latest issue here!

I’ve been using pencils all week, so I thought I’d share the pencils that I had in my pencil pouch this morning.

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Quite a few from my Top 5 Pencils list appear here… with clear evidence of my favoritism. The pencils here from top to bottom: Blackwing 602, Craft Design Technology HB, Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood (I got this color in a set from a gift, but I usually use the darker one), Blackwing 16.2, Camel HB, Papier Tigre, and the most recent addition Blackwing 54.

How are you celebrating International Pencil Days? What graphite goodies do you have in your pencil case?

And just for fun… my favorite pencil related quote from my favorite movie of all time.

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Happy pencil-ing!

Top Five Tuesday: Pencils

Happy Tuesday! Since Friday this week is International Pencil Day, I thought I would start off my “Top Five Tuesday” series with one of my most recent stationery obsessions: The pencil. As you can see, my taste in pencils is pretty simple: I like aesthetically pleasing pencils, firm cores, and high quality pencils. All of these pencils are available at my favorite pencil retailer CW Pencil Enterprise, but I always recommend checking out your local art supply or stationery shop.

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My favorites are listed in no particular order, they are just the pencils that I find I enjoy the most and I reach for time and time again, especially when I’m not sure which one to use.

Blackwing 602

This pencil is probably the most iconic pencil on this list, due to its unique ferrule and as the pencil of choice for many prominent writers and artists. I personally love the core of this pencil – it’s firm enough that I don’t need to sharpen it if I write for long periods of time.

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MD Paper Products 

This pencil is a little softer than what I usually go for, and I love using it on paper that’s toothier and produces a little more feedback and texture. Plus the off white color and minimal printing just makes it so lovely to look at and use.

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Viking Element 1

I originally bought this pencil because it was made by Viking, and I find Vikings (the historical group of people) fascinating, and a matte black HB pencil seemed like a pretty basic pencil that would be great for work or using in my planner. I was definitely not wrong.

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Craft Design Technology HB

I bought a three pack of these pencils a couple years ago in Japan, before I even used pencils for fun. There was something so appealing about these pencils – the color, the eraser without a ferrule, the simplicity – that I bought them and used them all up. They have become a go to for me for sketching or for writing, and I always have at least one in my pencil case.

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Caran D’Ache Swiss Wood HB

This pencil is the most expensive of all the pencils on this list, but I find that it writes so smoothly, sharpens so nicely, and it an overall pleasure to use. The diameter is a little larger than most pencils, but not quite as large as a jumbo pencil, so it feels substantial to use without being a remarkable difference from other pencils.

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There it is! My first Top Five Tuesday, all about pencils. Happy pencil sharpening! What are your favorite pencils to use?