I probably shouldn’t use our blog to express the odd meanderings of my mind, but it occurred to me the last time I wrote my Staff Pick that working at Bureau and using all this different stationery is rather like being in my favourite cartoon Mr Benn. For those of you who were born in the 70’s/early 80’s (oops, I’ve given my age away) Mr Benn was the best thing on television (aside from Playschool obviously, Floella Benjamin rules). Every week he’d go into that fancy dress shop, the shopkeeper would give him a new costume to wear and he’d end up on an exciting adventure in a magical place, pretending to be someone different each time. Of course I am not so far detached from reality as to think I’ve been transported to a faraway land every time I pick up a ballpoint, but some of the goodies that land on my desk do go some way to making the everyday tasks a bit more exciting. I can pretend to be a mysterious and sophisticated secret agent while using the Lamy Scala fountain pen, Indiana Jones for the Monsieur notebook, a 1940’s American farmer for the Field Notes (not as interesting, granted) and now I am using the Papelote Musko pocket but channelling not a fictional character, but someone renowned for her eccentric sense of style and artistic nature. I have stepped into the changing room, walked through the magic door and have become Helena Bonham-Carter….
The reason I say Helena Bonham-Carter is because frankly, she’s a bit bonkers but quite captivating, which is exactly what I find so appealing about the Papelote range. Although they are miles from the dark Gothic look she is most famous for, the Papelote products do nod towards her rather unconventional fashion choices with their contrasting fabrics and bright colour combinations.
Made in Prague, every notebook, pencil case and cover is produced from natural and environmentally friendly materials, giving them a quirky homemade crafty kind of look to them. Their use of cotton and felt reminds me of my Textiles lessons, and they do have an old school sort of feel to them.
The whole range is very lovely, but I particularly like the Musko products in the thick wool felt. I am in love with the Musko pocket, which looks like a fabric version of an envelope. With a diamond flap closure like a traditional paper envelope, it’s quite a generous size, so easily holds an A5 notebook and a few pens and pencils and has a contrasting elastic strap. Handily, the elastic is threaded through a heavy duty eyelet so not only does it close up securely for carrying around or putting in your bag, you can leave the pocket open and hang it up on the wall or the back of a door when you’re not using it. It does look particularly good like that, and I would happily display a neat little row of them filled with odds and ends that don’t usually have a place to live in my flat.
It’s available in two colours, a bright royal blue with sunflower yellow elastic and a dark charcoal grey with magenta pink elastic. Both are great colour combinations, and they co-ordinate with the Musko Portfolio and the Musko pencil case if you like everything to match. The blue would look really good hanging up in a teenagers room to keep all their pens, rulers and calculator in as an alternative to a desk tidy. I’ve gone for the charcoal version and in an unusual move a la Bonham-Carter, I am not using my Musko pocket for stationery…It is now my new clutch bag. I’m sure Helena would approve of my novel use for it, multifunctional and very stylish if you ask me. Yes, I know that’s a bit odd seeing as I could just go and buy a proper bag. But this is so much cooler. And no-one else has one. I should start hanging around in Hoxton with all the hipsters.