Archive for ‘stationery’

December 5, 2010

Excuses, excuses

This is my life at the moment, except I’m not cursed and/or blessed enough to be a PhD candidate yet. I can’t believe I’m crossing my fingers to get in; except I can, because I really don’t know what else I’d do with my life.

It’s not as bad as all that. I just like to be a martyr for the cause. For the cause of what, I don’t quite know, but I’m in Arts and Humanities and my job involves asking the questions, not answering them. (Teehee.)

Basically, this horrifying and awe-inspiring spiral of doom means that I’m a little short on time and inspiration for outfits. I’m terribly sorry. Mea culpa, mea culpa. I tend to spend a great deal of my time wearing very very boring little ensembles so that I can procrastin- work, I mean, work comfortably. I love my outfits and most of them are terribly comfortable but pyjamas are really the most comfortable things in the universe, bar none. Unfortunately, they are also one of the more boring things to photograph, and so I have no outfit photos.

I think, on this graph, I’m at the first stage… more or less. I’m already very bad at brushing my hair and I’ve never had contacts in my life, because I’m terrified of gouging my eye out with my fingernail. (I know. It’s not going to happen. But I stand by the possibility.)

I solemnly swear, legal contracts and pinky promises and all manner of binding oaths, that I will never ever get to the ‘brush teeth?’ stage. Or the ‘socks with sandals’ moment. I am very fond of my teeth (and I am one of those few people who like going to the dentist) and socks with sandals is too many levels of horrendous.

Socks with high heels, however… may wear that tomorrow and will try my hardest to get photos up.

Until then, here are a few of my favourite procrastination-y links to get you through your Mondays:

Okay, back to work for me, I’m afraid. Sigh. 😛

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December 2, 2010

The notebooks; they take over my room

I have an insatiable fascination with notebooks. I love them more than word can wield the matter. One of my favourite online shopping sites of all time is Inscriber, and Notemaker, its sibling notebook and paper site, is a close second. I spend a lot of time browsing and, on occasion, a good portion of my income on wonderful bits of wonderful stationery. If you ever find yourself buying Moleskines, Clairefontaine notebooks or Rhodia pads at Borders (still rather giddy that Borders stocks Clairefontaine and Rhodia), do consider Notemaker — much cheaper by far. (No affiliation, etc., happy customer, etc., usual disclaimers, etc. Etc., for good measure.)

Unfortunately, my insistence upon exploring this love for notebooks (through purchasing all that take my fancy) far exceeds my ability to actually use them all properly.

I know that most people manage to use their notebooks quite regularly. I used to, till I realised that typing let me get my thoughts out more quickly than writing. I still carry a notebook (or three) around in case I do need to scribble, so my notebooks don’t go unused per se; they’re just not as well-loved as they used to be. Which is a shame, because I’m really very fond of them.

This is my notebook collection. It is, in my head, very small — and in comparison to quite a few other people’s collection, it is. (I’d flit over to the posts over at Moleskinerie if you want to see serious notebook love.)

The spiral notebooks are just cheap lined notebooks I picked up at Big W and Officeworks for uni notes. I replaced the covers myself — you can see how they look in this post (warning: I was a bit sleepy and high and not very coherent when that post was written, lol!). They are far from interesting in content, for they have law school scribbles and law bored me to tears.

Above the spiral notebooks is an A5 jotter pad made out of junk paper, which is my general scribbly pad. It has boring things like ‘dentist appointment 2.00 Saturday’, annotated with things like ‘????’ because I’ve forgotten to note precisely which Saturday it is.

The tiny little notebooks stacked on top of the jotter pad are Moleskine cahiers, which come in packs of three. I don’t use them half as much as I used to because my fountain pens hate them (the ink goes everywhere) but I always found them an awesome size for general notetaking if I didn’t have my jotter pad on me. I also like the simplicity of them — they’re so terribly appealing, even though I hate their lack of paper quality control.

Right underneath the spiral notebooks is my first and only Clairefontaine, which won’t be the only one for long, I fear. It has the best paper in my collection, save for the brighty whiteness:

It’s not that glaringly white, just glaring in comparison to the kikki.K and Moleskine pages. At the moment, it has very little written in it, because it’s my scribbly book for fiction pieces and my inspiration is sadly running rather low. One day, it’ll be filled. Until then, I’m trying not to buy any more Clairefontaine notebooks. HA.

The books under the Clairefontaine are all from kikki.K — the seasonal release of A5 blank notebooks.  kikki.K’s A5 notebooks have fountain pen-friendly paper in a gorgeous shade of yellowed cream, and they were my go-to books before Borders made it easy to get Clairefontaine and Rhodia. It reminds me of Moleskine paper (which is sadly not very nice to my fountain pens), which is my favourite paper of all time. (Note to Clairefontaine: please make your creams more creamy. Kthnx.) This is how they look inside:

And at the very bottom of the pile is my favoured thesis notebook: the Rhodia Dot Pad (No. 16). I love Rhodia — more than Moleskine, truthfully, although I really do love the simplicity of the Moleskine aesthetic. Rhodia has amazing paper, though, and the Dot Pad is really fun. The paper seems to demand word cloud-like notes rather than great walls of script, so my notes end up turning out like this:

I find it quite useful for getting the gist of my ideas out there, since I think in keywords and generalities rather than in specifics. Every time I walk into Borders now, I’m tempted to get another Rhodia No. 16, though I haven’t quite caved yet, because this one isn’t quite done.

I stopped typing for a moment after having said that, because I was thinking to myself, ‘nice; say “haven’t yet bought another Rhodia 16” to escape confessing that you have bought another Rhodia.’

Because I have.

But not, as I say, another Rhodia No. 16. No, no.

I feel like I need a trumpet fanfare before showing this MONSTER OF A RHODIA PAD:

ROAR. BOOYEAH.

It’s so big. It’s Rhodia No. 38 and is an A3 pad of dot-paper. My biggest notebooks up until now were A5, so you can imagine that this is WHOA CRAZY HUGE in my head. It’s probably quite normal to students who do giant sketchy things.

I don’t even think my writing will be visible on this paper.

HOW FREAKING AWESOME, YOU GUYS.

I have never-ending paper.

Never-ending paper is really rather important to me. During my Honours year, I found it really difficult to keep all my thoughts to paper, and ended up scribbling on my bedroom wall, instead. It felt better than giant butcher paper.

I do think, though, that’d it be nice to be able to keep my notes without having to erase them from my wall. HENCE THE MONSTER PAD.

I love it so.

And, by the by, has anyone seen the Mutant Dolls at Chatswood Westfield? I also love them, because they always make me stop and take a second look — a second look of the ‘what on earth is that oh it’s a mutant doll I geddit cute’ variety, which is more than most shopping centre stalls get from me, really. And I sort of want one. But not really, because they creep me out. I’ve been trying to load the website to see if they’re as creepy as I recall, but I can’t load it, so I’ve decided that yes, they’re as creepy as I recall. It’ll be this way unless someone convinces me otherwise.

November 22, 2010

Sugar highs and giveaways

I love my iPod Touch. I really do. (In fact, I’m typing on it now.) It’s like an iPhone but without the pesky tendency to ring and make me talk to people.

The thing is, I inevitably end up using it right before bed to answer some very insistent but rather unimportant questions, like ‘Can you floss too much?’ (answer: yes, if you do it incorrectly) and ‘what is incorrect flossing technique?’ (answer: sawing back and forth instead of gently moving the floss up and down). And then I start to worry that I’ve been flossing vigorously and inaccurately all my life and have endangered the well-being of my teeth forever, which is not exactly the sort of thing that helps put one to sleep.

Other times, I play games. I’m particularly partial to Plants vs Zombies and The Creeps, which are tower defence games: strategic games in which you have to, by one means or another, protect your base from incoming enemies. More often than not, you have to build ‘towers’, weapons that attack the enemies as they make their way to your base (which more than likely has piles of awesome things, like cake and gold and your main source of life). If you like strategy games and you haven’t yet tried PvZ (no, seriously? You haven’t?) or The Creeps, these are definitely worth a shot. They’re mindless enough for you to think, ‘I’ll only play one level’ — which is precisely the right amount of mindless that makes you play about five levels on top of the three or four ‘just one more…’ moments.

OH. I was going to do an outfit post but, alas, I’m not wearing anything of interest. Have a strangely baffling photo. On the left is what I am wearing in my head, except I actually have a torso and arms and a head and things. I think I took this photo to show off my Chanel-inspired two-tone stockings and never really got around to sharing it. (Or maybe I did, on a different medium.) The skirt is by BCBG Max Azria and the shoes are suede Tony Bianco ‘Palais’. The stockings are divine, and that’s all I can tell you, unfortunately. I’m rather fond of the Chanel originals but I am the Jack the Ripper of stockings and I would tear a hole in them as soon as I took them out of the packet.

such discrepancies...


On the right is what I usually look like after coming home from uni/an outing: I get half-changed because I’m too lazy to actually get properly undressed. So on go the trackies under my skirt/dress and I’m ready to go until bedtime. The blouse is from Alannah Hill and the trackies are decades old from the children’s pyjama section in Target. I have OPI’s Suzi Says Feng Shui on my nails, which made more sense with my outfit, I promise you! My bedsocks are wonderful and were bought at an impulse almost-midnight run at Kmart. (I do those scarily often. There’s something strangely appealing about a 24/7 Kmart, but I do pity the poor people who work those hours.)

By the by, I am rather sleepy and cramming handfuls of fairy floss into my mouth and typing on my iPod, so I don’t know what I’m saying or if it’s very interesting.

Other people do drunk!posts; I do sugar-high-and-sleepy!posts.

Have a picture!

This is a little exercise book I used during uni in my third year. I took the covers out of the binding, covered them and decorated them with the things I had lying around my room, and then slipped the spirals back through. I used:

  • brown bow from an Alannah Hill something-or-other;
  • wooden buttons
  • vintage measuring tape
  • small black buttons from a work blouse
  • brass charms from a bracelet found at St Vincent’s
  • brass chain from some jewellery supplier
  • vintage music score, Chopin’s Prelude in D Flat
  • torn map
  • vintage dictionary definitions
  • Creative Memories scrapbooking card.

Hell, have some more pictures to make up for my pretty rubbish post (click to enlarge):

Heyyyy. That collage looked far less cramped when I was doing it. And one of the pictures has been repeated. How annoying. Never mind. It is 11.40pm and I am sleepy and I am out of fairy floss. I may redo this at a later date. I will.

Aaaaactually. Just got hit by a wave of brilliance. (FAIRY FLOSS IS GOOD FOR YOU, I TOLD YOU SO.)

My blog’s first monthy-versary is coming up in about ten days. What say I do a little giveaway? Yes? No? Ghastly idea or downright brilliant?

I was thinking of whipping up one of these books (probably a little Moleskine cahier to slip into your bag) and maybe a few little non-handmade somethings just to spruce the package up a bit. I don’t have very many regular readers or commenters which might make the whole thing a little lame — but I have racked up quite a few hits, so I suspect there are more readers than I imagine ^^.

Okay. How will we do this? It’ll be the usual ‘comment on a post and I will draw a random entry from a strange object’ affair; I will contact the winner and post it out ASAP.

Okay.

What about you leave me a comment with your opinion on the giveaway: good idea, or downright terrible. Your comments will help me decide on whether or not to do a giveaway and, if I do end up trying my hand at this giveaway affair, your comment will earn you one entry. I will do a follow-up post a few days after this one, with pictures of the giveaway stash

Short, sensical version:

1. Should I do a giveaway? Post an answer in the comments!

2. I will whip up a book and post photos of it (and other giveaway goodies) in a few days time, depending on the response to the giveaway idea.

3. Anyone who commented on this particular post gets one entry, provided that they enter the official giveaway. I will also set up another post to officially announce the giveaway, and any comments on that post will earn one entry. There will be a maximum two entries per person — one entry gained from this post; and one entry gained from the second ‘official’ one. Multiple comments on the same post will not count as multiple entries.

Does that make sense? I certainly hope so. See you all at a more reasonable time!

November 19, 2010

I proclaim today ‘Lazy Day’!

TODAY IS LAZY DAY. BOOYEAH.

Not that yesterday and the day before weren’t lazy days. But today is definitely the Lazy Day to End All Lazy Days, the St Crispin’s Day of Lazy Days… except I refuse to insult anyone’s manhood, because that would be misogynistic and androcentric, and it’s not their fault that their Fridays aren’t filled with pillows and copious amounts of tea.

They probably have more spending money than I do, anyway.

The day started off on a fairly energetic start: to T2 Teahouse, for rampant story-writing and tea-drinking (and tea-purchasing). I’m partial to writing in coffee-houses and, I’ll admit it, Starbucks is a favourite. A coffee connoisseur I am not! But Starbucks has consistently mediocre coffee and the staff lets me stay there for as long as I want, which is all that I really ask. But Valerie prefers tea, and though I’m not a huge tea fan, T2 has a passable (though worryingly colonial and imperialist) atmosphere. (Their new image is less Exotic Mystical Asia and more street grunge graffiti, because, you know, tea is the hip drink on the streets.)

After ordering a bafflingly red drink called Ruby Vanilla, which is less tea and more rather sweet syrup and bitter grapefruit juice — though with a name like that, how could I resist? — we settled down to scrawl, sip tea, and stare at passers-by.

This is me, people-watching. I’ve blurred out my face because there are few things worse than my facial expression when I’m people-watching. This is what I’ve decided, anyway, because it sure as hell scared me.

Okay. Looking at that now, I’m almost inclined to think that I have just created the stuff of nightmares.  Faceless horrors indeed.

Anyway.

I wore the dress with my Sretsis glass bird ring and a ring I bought from Lovisa:

I wore them on the same hand, with the flower ring on  my index and the bird ring on my ring finger. First time I’ve had so many costume rings on my hand at the one time. (The Lovisa flower ring is my first ever chunky costume ring, actually. Bought it a few months ago.) It’s a really fun look that I see on a lot of blogs, but I’ve never worked out how to pull it off. Not sure if I did it this time ’round — because, okay, a flower and a bird is a little bit twee — but I enjoyed it ^^.

I also wore this Alannah Hill clip in my hair:

It’s called ‘Love Addict’ and I am very very fond of it. I have it in black, as well, and I’ve lost and re-bought that black one three times. Most traumatising. This one, thankfully, tends to stay where it’s been put. It usually lives on my corkboard, on which my other accessories and important notes are pinned:

There it is, near the ‘To Do’ list and ‘Important Dates’ table (which hasn’t been updated for years ^^;.) Click to enlarge if you want a closer look. I’ll probably do a post on it later, actually; it’s virtually brimming with lots of interesting things ^^.

Aaand… one thing about T2: the chairs are divinely decadent but the tables are amazingly high. I can rest my chin on the tabletop. It makes it difficult to write and brings a whole new meaning to ‘high tea’, let me assure you. I feel like I’m four again, scurrying under the table at restaurants (because other under-tables are so much more fun than the ones at home, lol!).

Speaking of T2’s furnishings… does anyone know where to get the tea-timers they use?

It’s the three-timer thingeh. The darker blue measures five minutes, the middle measures three and the white measures one. We could always use our watches or phones to time tea, but why do that when there are gorgeous little miniature hourglasses?

You can also see my notebook and strangely sweet Ruby Vanilla tea. The teapot is full of slightly overbrewed Jade Ring tea, which is handcrafted tea made from early green tea leaves, rolled into the shape of a small ring. I don’t know anything about tea so I can’t tell you much about it. Valerie says:

It was really just a… really slow brewing green tea. I can’t say that there was anything special about it. Although, there were some creamy notes I got at the start that I’ve not had before.

There you have it! Our resident tea drinker is not very impressed. But she’s not terribly impressed with T2 teas generally, I think; they’re a bit too light and the quality isn’t as good as other teas. We’re going to trial teas from The Tea Centre very soon, though, just to compare.
Just for the record, and in case you’re searching for a new notebook, my notebook is a green unlined Clairefontaine, purchased at Borders for under $20. The paper is exquisite and the best quality paper you can get for miles, I think (at a good price, anyway). Fountain pen and every-pen friendly. Almost edible, I swear to you.

You can also find them at Notemaker.com.au and their ink-and-pen sibling site, Inscriber.com.au, along with a great selection of Rhodia, Moleskine and Quo Vadis. Trust me, stationery fiends, this is Stationery Mecca. (Did anyone else die of happiness when they saw Paperchase replaced by Telegram’s stocked brands at Borders? I think the Borders sales staff were a bit baffled by the reactions that Valerie and I had. I would have had the same reaction if I had found an authentic vintage Chanel for $2, lol!)