My stationery fetish / What’s in my pen bag

Confession: I hoard stationery.

I have a few things I obsess about that seem to come in cycles. I’ll go through weeks where all I want to do for fun is play around with new cosmetics. I’m currently in my stationery & art supply phase. Later it’ll be all about our vintage trailer, then the backyard.

Right now I have a stack with no less than 3 2016 planners on hand. There might be 4…or maybe 5. I don’t know what it is about stationery. Maybe it’s it’s the beautiful paper, the typography, or the sense of impending organization that makes me pick them up, but I just can’t stop myself. And pen cases…don’t get me started on pen cases. What if I’m in the living room and need some stuff that’s in my basement art studio? I should have some basics nearby, right? Earlier I was planning out what should be next to my favorite chair in the living room, what should be on my nightstand, then what’s in my basement room, and what should always be in my work bag. That’s 4 sets of art supplies for drawing, journaling, whatever. Because it’d be just nuts to keep 1 set and move it around to where I need it. And then what happens if we’re in the camper and I need something? Shouldn’t I have a dedicated kit for that? WHAT IF THERE’S A DRAWING EMERGENCY AND I’M NOT PREPARED?

The BFF teased me this morning by sending one of those Facebook quizzes, “How much of a stationery addict are you?” with a side note, “Uh….I’m guessing you’re at defcon one.” But she also brings me pencils from Cath Kidston in London and notepads from Paris, so she’s a dirty, dirty enabler.

The Stationery Bug

When I was a little kid, I mean 5 or 6 years old, I used to scour the neighborhood garage sales for office supplies. I had a roll top desk, sets of various rubber stamps from someone’s old wood paneled office, stacks of computer punchcards my dad would bring home from the airport and boxes of government-issued black pens with silver bands around the middle. I had my own typewriter. Most kids wanted dolls or Legos. I wanted an office. Totally normal.


On my desk right now. And I’m a digital Art Director. I don’t even need pens & paper to do my work.


It’s not the act of writing or creating that drives me to collect stationery supplies. The gathering of them is a separate joy altogether. I’m glad to have such a fun and wide assortment of pens, markers, pencils, paints, inks, and whathaveya, but it’s not like I’ll ever sit back like some grand art master and think, “Ahh. Now I’ve built the most amazing studio the world has ever seen. I will never want for any supply. My collection is now complete. Muahahaha.”

Whoa. Oh no. I’ll always see some beautiful fountain pen with super flexible tines and dream about how the ink would splay and spread like some magic writing wand. And then I’ll see one that does it even better. Or if I love that one, of course there should be one for my bag, my desk, my nightstand, studio, and living room.

That’s normal, right?

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

What’s in my pen bag

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My current favorites:
Kipling 100 Pens Case in gold
Sugar Paper Signature Planner in soft pink (Daily journal)
Filofax Domino A5 in turquoise (For work)
Kikki K medium planner in gold (For home/personal scheduling)
Homemade leather Midori-style traveler’s notebook (Actually used for travel journaling.) ~links to tutorial
Heidi Swapp personal planner, black and white stripes (No reason to own this. I just loved it. There might be a couple more which are in this category but I’m too embarrassed to admit it.)

Fountain Pens:
Lamy Al Star in blue-green
Lamy Safari demonstrator (Demonstrators are pens made of clear plastic)
Noodler’s Ahab flex nib fountain pen, demonstrator
Jinhao orange metal fountain pen loaded with Apache Sunset ink by Noodler’s
Pilot Varsity (I have a fistful that I keep all over the place.)

Rhodia dotted notepads. The finish is buttah.

Uni Kurutoga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Whoa. This one’s the grail of pencils. Every time you press down, the lead rotates a bit so you don’t end up with a flat side. Plus it’s swanky.

Fine Line Marker:
Copic Multiliner SP Black Ink Marker, 0.5 Tip (This is the perfect marker. Waterproof, doesn’t smudge, dries instantly.)

That’s to say nothing of the stack of awesome Japanese and Korean pen cases, pens, markers, and pencils. Different colored pencils, some for their rich pigments, some for sketching, some for watercolor.

(Looking around nervously…)

Ok. And I’ll admit to a few bins of Prismacolors, Copic sketch markers, Tombow brush pens…

That’s enough of my personal shame for now. So tell me, what’s in your stationery stash?