winter stationery

Winter Stationery

anatomy of winter stationery

Anatomy of a winter stationery scene

As we clear up after Storm Doris and the newspapers are full of winter weather bombs, it’s time to squeeze in a quick winter stationery blast from the colder recesses of our warehouse. Inspired by the obvious lead item – the Field Notes Black Ice edition was create with winter in mind – I assembled a collection of wintery themed stationery. Enjoy them all before the first green shoots arrive, spirng is upon us and everything goes green and yellow.

From Nordic Blue notebooks to Stormy Grey ink it might seem that there is a lot of winter stationery to choose from. In fact it proved very hard to find anything suitably themed around the idea of winter, especially if you try and avoid Christmas!

With help from Monica I did get there but it maybe says a lot about our aspirations that colours and products are notably leaning towards more hopeful seasons. Spring and summer obviously encourage positive thoughts and so people make and name their products and we duly buy them. Winter turns us off. That’s my theory anyway – here’s what I found in the meantime:

Look, loops! :)

We are going to take a break from fountain pens this week. There are other things in our stationery world than pens and ink (look out for cameos). One of the reasons why I love stationery is because of how useful it is…it’s purpose is to look cute and help you get the job done. This blog post will focus on having your pen and paper ready. Pen loops and straps do just that 🙂

Branded Castelli notebooks. Credit goes to Faisal :)

Castelli notebooks that come with a loop and pencilGenius idea! These pen loops are usually black. Classy, no fuss, no extra work necessary.  Apparently not everyone travels with 10 different fountain pens 😀

Leuchtturm1917 pen loops

Leuchtturm loop: so many colours to choose from! This is another very convenient  add-on option. Glue this pen loop to your notebook of choice and you are good to go. Loop is more suitable for pencils and thinner pens. The biggest advantage is that it goes with every kind of notebook. Big or small – you don’t have to worry about buying the wrong size. I have noticed that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who go for colour match and those who mix it up. I belong to the second category. Black on black or red on red just doesn’t do it for me. Right now I am rocking Lime Leuchtturm1917 dot book with a yellow pen loop. The only downside is that this loop is too slim for Lamy Safari fountain pen.

Papelote notebook strap with 5 special edition Lamy Safari Fountain Pens

And finally, this, ladies and gentlemen is the winner: Papelote notebook strap…the most amazing invention in stationery world 🙂 I gave at least a dozen of them out as presents. Not a single serving friend – use it after you finish a notebook (unlike Leuchtturm1917 pen loops). It works as a pen holder by itself, no extra weight necessary 😉 They come in 3 sizes and many colours.

Smallest is A6 Papelote notebook strap holds 3 pens and fits pocket A6 notebooks from:

  • Quo Vadis Habana
  • Moleskine
  • Rhodia
  • Leuchtturm1917

Medium A5 Papelote notebook strap size holds 5 pens and will go on following A5 notebooks:

  • Leuchtturm1917
  • Rhodia
  • Quo Vadis Habana
  • Nuuna

also XXL Moleskine notebooks (medium Moleskines are too thin) and both Rhodiarama sizes (A5 and XXL).

Large A4 size Papelote notebook strap holds 5 pens and fits Link and Leuchtturm1917 Master books, Rhodia A4 Webnotebooks and believe it or not the Buckle files.

buckle file with papelote

We’d love to hear from you – which ones do you go for? Are you a colour-matcher or a colour-mixer?

Thank you for reading,

Mishka (^_~)

Papelote shop

Stationery Shops

Papelote from Prague

I remembered this very nice film about 3 stationery shops, all different but all sharing a passion for stationery and all sharing that same temptation-factor. For an ex-bricks and mortar retailer, trading online you can miss aspects of not having a shop. There are also aspects you don’t miss but that’s for another day – sit back with a nice cup of tea, maybe a slice of cake, and enjoy. We particularly love this because it features Papelote, a Czech-based stationery company who also have a shop in Prague. We have been featuring Papelote for a while now and we love their approach to stationery. We’ve not been to their shop but it looks worth the trip to Prague alone!

Staff Pick – Back to School

Henry’s Choice

back to school stationery

Whilst I’ve been working at Bureau over the summer I have been given the opportunity to pick 5 items that I could take back to school with me. My initial suggestion was the dialog 3 but after seeing the looks on their faces I decided to stick with a green Lamy Al-star with matching green ink. I’ve never really used a fountain pen before and have possibly the worst handwriting so I’m hoping that the fountain pen will get me into shape.

Obviously I needed something to write and take notes in so I picked an A5 orange Leuchtturm with a sea green Papelote notebook strap for my Al-star since the pen  fits in it. The notebook has really nice paper and the sea green pen loop goes really well with the orange. I also picked up a mark’s storage it notebook to keep my phone in and oyster card. I really like this notebook as I can store everything I need in it and can still take notes. Since I was going back to school I needed some new kit so I picked the essential stationery kit in purple, which has everything I need for school next year. Overall I really like the items I have with the Lamy Alstar being my favourite, as the green ink looks fantastic.

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Henry has been working with us as a temporary summer job to help fill in after Paul left. Part of the deal (we did pay him as well!) was that he could have a selection of Back to School stationery in return for a review. It is also fair to mention that Henry is also a part of the ‘Bureau family’ – the first of the next generation! Henry will be leaving to go back to school (6th form) in September.

My Weapon of Choice

What you will find on my desk today…

weapon of choice

A recent Instagram post I did made me think it was worth sharing a bit further and wider. Like most people, I’m sure, I have a selection of pens that are in favour at any one time. For some people it may be a collection of chewed Bic biros, for others it may be a treasured collection of Mont Blanc fountain pens. I guess I sit somewhere in the middle. Bureau-loyalty also sees me leave the Mont Blanc pens I do own at home, of course! I do admit to having one or two Bic Biros on my desk somewhere (not chewed – someone else in the office is guilty of that crime), but they are relegated to the status of ’emergency pen’ and when I used one yesterday it left an inky splodge on my weekly deskpad. Tch. So on my desk today you will find….(left to right):

Lamy Safari pink fountain pen with an extra-fine nib and purple Monteverde ink

lamy safari

This Safari is the most recent addition to my armoury. I already had one with black ink (see below) and I wasn’t prepared to wash out my pen to swap ink so I added a pink Safari pen and I’m experimenting with Monteverde purple ink for a contrast. It’s a nice ink, maybe a bit more pink than I had hoped for but it has a strong depth of colour to it. The Safari pen is as you would hope – a really nice pen to write with.

Papelote pencil

papelote pencil

I needed a pencil to sketch out some of the lettering I have been fond of lately, and whilst one pencil is pretty much like another when it comes to this kind of work, I do like these pencils with their Czech writing (it translates as ‘one pencil can write 50,000 words).

Ohto Dude rollerball

ohto dude

I recently wrote a piece about my re-discovery of the Ohto Dude pen, and so the feeling continues. It really is a lovely pen, that lays down a nice fine line of ink and suits me just right. In fact I would put my Dude pen as my No.1 on this list.

Herbin rollerball with Herbin bleu pervenche ink

herbin pen

A stalwart of the Bureau range now, the Herbin pen has so many inks you can choose from. In fact, once you pop in a universal converter you can have any ink. I like this one, which is a strong turquoise colour. I loved this pen from the first day it came in, but many others don’t so it’s something of a ‘marmite’ pen.

Lamy Safari yellow fountain pen with an extra-fine nib and black Lamy ink

lamy safari

I acquired this pen a while back (I think it was out of a photo shoot one day but can’t be sure), and I wasn’t sold on it. I then went back to it and decided to experiment with nibs. In case you hadn’t noticed by now, I quite like a fine point for writing and so I tested out some finer nibs – I went for an extra-fine nib, and even then I would have gone a bit further, but it was fine enough and I now love my Safari pen. I use it all the time, and if I leave it for a few days it still writes. It’s a pleasure to use  – so make sure you find the right nib for your writing and maybe it will make the difference.

Ohto Horizon orange ballpoint

ohto horizon

A former favourite, and although I still like this pen I have started to realise why ‘ink’ pens are so much better. There is something in the way that ink flows from a rollerball or a fountain pen that is so much more satisfying than the ink that a ballpoint lays down. Having said that, I do like the unusually fine point that the Ohto Horizon has so it still has a place in my affection today.

Staff Picks – Papelote Musko Pocket

Kate’s Choice

papelote musko pocket

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.