It’s been three months since I last purchased any kind of stationery from a store (except the stationery selection box of course!). Being a stationery enthusiast, it’s been hard seeing all the amazing new designs online with the knowledge that I won’t be able to get my hand on them any time soon (first-world problem I know, but I also know that small businesses/ makers really need our support right now). Luckily, Mits continues to ship the box to me and has saved me from the drought.
I often wonder about my addiction to stationery - what actually attracts me to a pile of pens and paper? Do I really need to have 10 journals? Why do I need to have 20 fountain pens and 50 bottles of ink in all shades of blue? The answer of is Yes! Of course I do! Because these blues are all different and…. blah blah blah. But when I think more deeply, I think it is more than just the need or the desire. It is about aesthetic, function and most importantly I see stationery as a portal to connect to our inner selves.
I am an admirer of the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, building around the idea of finding beauty within imperfection and the acceptance of transience. That’s one of the reasons I love Japanese stationery so much. The tactile quality that shows the honesty of the materials, their respect for their traditional culture and the subtle, meticulous designs win me over every time. I enjoy holding a nicely weighted pen and gliding the nib on silky smooth paper that absorbs the ink immediately, showing the light and shade of every stroke I make. It is this meditative, spiritual experience that turns me into an addict.
The thing is, even though I am a wabi-sabi believer in stationery, my journaling habit is not at all in this style! My spread is often filled to the edge, with no empty space. If there is a gap, I will have to fill it up with a stamp or some washi tape or sticker - even though I know that filling up a page doesn’t necessarily make a good spread or reflects any of my inner thoughts. The beautiful items from the last two boxes inspired me to rearrange my desk, dig out my MD cotton notebook from the past box and create a spread that focuses more on appreciating the small subtle details, being truthful to the materials to allow some space for reflection.
I put together a new Japanese stamp box and a tray of washi that I renew weekly. I played around with paper and stamps, using limited amount of materials, leaving some empty space to create the balance. I made some mistakes with my stamps (that happens regularly with me, I am very clumsy!), but I just left it and accepted the imperfection as part of the spread, since chance plays a big part in the wabi-sabi philosophy.
Believe it or not, this spread took me longer than my usual spread even though it is so minimal in design! I am really happy with it, but I am also surprised how challenging it is to let go of some of my old habits. This spread made me realise it is the organic experience of using these beautifully crafted objects that sparks joy and gives me the spiritual experience of appreciating the moment with my inner self. I really do love my stationery!
So, to all stationery lovers out there, how have you been coping these last three months in isolation? Share with us your desk set-up or your stationery projects by tagging us #thestationeryselection
Bye for now! Stay safe, stay healthy! See you next time!
Connie @ pepperconarts