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Posts from the ‘Stationery’ Category

Rainy day purchase: Orla Kiely Acorn Cup Notebook

There is no avoiding it, it is definitely autumn now. So in the spirit of embracing the season, I did my favourite wet weather thing. I went to hang out in a local bookshop. Shopping always cheers me up, but I have no desire to be changing in and out of rain-soaked clothes on a dull and dismal day. The local bookshop I visited is a Waterstones – we have no independent bookstores left in our area – but I like it just the same. The staff are lovely and chatty, and it’s a small intimate store in a historic building in a historic pedestrianised yard. With some smaller Waterstones’ stores disappearing, my mum had told me that she’d been worried when she’d visited recently and everything had been in disarray. However, it turns out the store had been doing so well they’d be granted a refurbishment!

On my wet weather day visit, the new layout was set, the shelves were up and almost all the stock was in place. And, to my delight, they had a new stationery section. (Woo!) To celebrate, I bought a Moleskine Passions Style Journal, an incredibly soft and lovely notebook (review to follow) and an Orla Kiely Acorn Cup A4 Notebook. The Orla Kiely Notebook is my new favourite thing. I was instantly gratified in my choice at the till, where the sales assistant told me she’d ordered one herself. It’s always good when the person looking at books and notebooks all day likes something you’ve purchased.

At £14.99, it’s not a bargain buy, but is cheaper than buying it direct from the Orla Kiely website (£3.01 cheaper, in case you were wondering). The cover is cardboard and light coloured, so it’s not one for being thrown about or carried in your bag unless you like the slightly worn look. I’ve barely moved mine about at all and I’ve already rolled one of the corners a little.

The paper inside is a really nice quality, features a tiny Orla Kiely logo at the bottom of each page and each sheet is perforated – great if you like to tear out, hole punch and file notes from a day of lectures or meetings. It is worth bearing in mind that the pages do not come ready hole punched. It would ruin the overall aesthetics if it did and this way you can keep it as a whole notebook if you wish, but it might be a deal breaker for some. The whole notebook is held closed with an elastic strap in a brown that compliments the autumnal acorn design. When the notebook is closed the outer edges of the pages are a bright orange, which I really like.

Inside the front and back covers the paper is squared. These are separated from the main lined pages by a tracing-paper type page featuring a large Orla Kiely logo. I assume this has just been included for design purposes and it does make the notebook feel a bit more high-end than your average A4 notepad.

Overall, it’s the nicest A4 pad I’ve bought in a while and it represents autumn nicely with its colours and acorn pattern. I shall be using it for blog and freelance planning this winter.

Orla Kiely makes everything from clothes to bags to body lotion to garden trowels. Check out the website here.


Temperley for Filofax

On occasion, I find an item that I feel I can’t continue my life without. This is, of course, completely irrational. I know that. However, I don’t want this Temperley for Filofax Violet Compact, I need it!

Whereas some of the other Temperley designs wouldn’t fit into my every day style (for example, The Guinea and The Affair), the Violet Compact is practically perfect in every way, and comes with special Temperley inserts, including dress size measurements, birthday pages and illustrated star sign pages.

At £165 it isn’t cheap, but you can pick up the pocket version for just £135. And when you consider The Guinea and The Affair retail at nearly £400 each, it’s practically a steal. Right? RIGHT?!

High tech meets low tech – the Evernote Moleskine

You might remember, back in 2011 (I know that was ages ago) I wrote about my new-found love of Moleskines. Since then I have bought city guides, a reporter notebook for work and a variety of notebooks. They won me over.

Now I have found another reason to love them. The Moleskine Evernote combines my two favourite things – stationery and tech! This notebook allows you to take notes the traditional, low-tech way – pen to paper – and then, through the power of Evernote, translates it into something super technical.

Evernote is a searchable, electronic storage system, which allows you to share your drawings, images, text and much more across a whole range of electronic devices. What makes it extra-special is the ability to search text in the pictures – think about it… wine bottle labels, hotel names, contracts, business cards, the possibilities are endless. You can completely tailor it to your own needs.

The Evernote Moleskine is designed to be an extension of this. Its pages have been redesigned to have “improved image capture”, making it easier to transfer your drawings, writing or ideas directly to Evernote, and then store, search and share depending on what you want to do with them. It comes complete with ‘smart stickers’ to categorise your notes even further.

You can see the advertising video here.

New love of my life: Moleskine Passions

It’s well documented that I’m a stationery addict. My recent obsession, however, came as a shock even to me. I’ve never been a Moleskine person. Oh, I’ve bought them on and off, and they languish on shelves. I have a watercolour one, a medium-sized lined notebook and a screenwriter’s one, but the practicality of them has just never done it for me. I think, basically, that I found them dull.

I know, I know, they have special editions and some even come in colours, but I’m a fussy customer and it takes more than that to float my boat. Then enters my new favourite thing, Moleskine Passions. They come in twelve different varieties – baby, book, cat, dog, film, gardening, music, recipe, style, travel, wellness and wine.

I bought a Moleskine Passions Wellbeing Journal a whole year ago. I looked at it briefly, didn’t write in it after the first day and then totally forgot about it…. until two weeks ago, when everything changed. I’m on a health kick (aka ‘OMG I’ve put on how much? WHAT! NO! I will not tolerate this. I will get a plan!’) and I suddenly remembered my Wellbeing Journal existed. And, get this, I have used it every day.

It has areas for your weekly goals, to record what you eat, any exciting competitions you might take part in, to log your daily exercise and to stick your inspirations (Misha Barton in case you were wondering – obviously not the actual person. I thought pictures would do.) Then there are customisable tabs, where you can add your own or use one of the many stickers provided. My extra tabs are recipes, routes, books, health food and I still have space for two more! The outer is a traditional Moleskine hardback but with added embossed exercise images. The design of each journals cover reflects what you are passionate about! I love it. The only criticism I have is that it’s a bit big to be lugging with you everywhere unless you have a huge bag. It sits on my desk in the office and comes home with me at night – trust me, it’s much harder to log everything you eat and drink than you would think, it requires instant writing down. However, if I go out for the day it stays at home, my bag is heavy enough! One person in the office has purchased one for themselves and another has said she is seriously considering one. I think that says it all.

After my recent success with the Wellbeing Journal, I decided to make another purchase. This time I bought the Moleskine Passions Travel Journal. I am going to Italy in a few weeks and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am. And, in a surprise turn up for the books – I don’t go on holiday that much – I have also been to Spain and Dorset this year, and I’m planning a weekend trip to France. You can see how this might be useful for me, can’t you? I kept journals for years, I stopped only a couple of years ago, so this seems the ideal alternative. It’s like blogging your holiday, only in a nifty notebook you get to fill in.

I’m sold. I’d go as far as to say it’s the most useful thing I’ve bought all year. It has the usual pointless pages for your personal details. I don’t think anyone is stupid enough to put their name, address, passport number, credit card number and expiry date in are they? (I feel like this about the info pages in Filofax inserts, too.) But the useful outweighs the benefits for those intending to commit identity fraud. You can note down what vaccinations you have had and when they are due, when your travel insurance and health insurance lasts until, emergency contacts and loyalty cards for hotels, car rental and airlines. There is space for a standard checklist in the front, as well as more space in the trip tabs for a more trip specific checklist.

The whole journal is split into predefined and customisable tabs, like all the other journals in this series. There is space for a wishlist of where you would like to travel to, planning including budgets, weekend trips, short trips and long trips. Each of the trip tabs has space for planning, checklists, memorable moments and photos or clippings. I’ve customised the latter tabs into websites, guides, curiosities, recommended and scrapbook, using the stickers provided. There is not a huge amount of space for photographs, so it’s more for a taster. I have ordered a whole selection of stickers of my time in Spain so I can fit more images on the designated photo pages. I think for really special trips I’m going to appropriate two long-trip sections so I can fit more writing and more images. We will see.

So what’s next? I think the Moleskine Passions Style Journal is next. I really do need to sort out my wardrobe. And then the Dog Journal I think. How about you?

And in case you are like me and like videos.

Here is the Wellbeing one:

And here is the Travel one:

You can find more here.

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