Thank you so much for such a positive initial response to my #BringBackPaper campaign. I’ve been a little overwhelmed and truly delighted. Remember, this is for anyone and everyone who loves paper, and you can read more here. You absolutely don’t have to be a blogger to join in, though if you are, you’re more than welcome to blog about any involvement in it!
We’re only a week in, and this is where we’re at so far:
– I’ve already paired up over 30 people for this month’s #BringBackPaper book swap. Still plenty of time to get involved, too. Simply email over your postal address to me at [email protected], and I’ll send you someone’s address in return and you select a book from your shelves (or second hand shop if you cannot bear to part with one!) and post it to them. All swaps need to be received this month, please. (I am also starting to get interest in North America for this, so looking for more people from over there to get involved, please – I’m only pairing up within nations, to save international postage costs)
– We have guest posts going into June already! We’ve some great ones coming, and give-aways and featured businesses. It’s all go! If you’d like to feature, too, be lovely to have you, so just drop me an email.
– The hash tag #BringBackPaper is in use! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram, and share any papery photos there. I’m starting to see a fair few books being received now, and lots of pretty stationery shots, too – loving it!
– I’ve got my stock arriving today, ready to send out #BringBackPaper stationery goody packs. £15 with free P&P, and you’re all stocked up on a surprise bundle of stationery sets, note-cards, jotters – all very pretty! Just email/tweet me for yours.
– The ‘Papery Peep’ linky will happen, by popular demand! The last Wednesday of every month, pop by and link up your papery photos. Whether it be a shot of some gorgeous letters you’re sending, your book swap, a pile of journals or a book shop you’ve browsed, it’ll all be enjoyed here. You can then add as many or as little words as you like to the post – totally up to you.
Proposed activity for this week: To get more paper out there, I’ll share a suggested activity each week. This week, I’d like people to send out one handwritten letter/note/card. You may need to write a letter, send a cheer up card, update a loved one with a couple of photos enclosed, invite a friend for coffee – whatever you want, just make it papery! It’s sure to brighten someone’s day. And share a pic with us on Twitter/Instagram if you do so, with the hash tag so everyone can find it.
So, onto today’s feature. I promised plenty of papery treats and posts, so I’m delighted to be introducing you to Pen to Paper, and sharing a rather fabulous give-away from them – they’re so kind! Here, we hear from Pen to Paper….
Pen to Paper
Pen to Paper is an independent stationery shop on the south coast. We’re about five minutes from Brighton station in the heart of the North Laine, an area of quirky individual shops. We sell everything any normal self-respecting stationery addict could want, from pens, inks and writing paper, notebooks and journals to wrapping paper and greetings cards, taking in photo albums and jigsaws on the way. We sell what we love – that’s always our guide in our choice of stock for Pen to Paper. You’ll see that we adore bright and cheerful colours if you look at our cards, journals and wrapping paper. On the other hand, we recognise that classic black can be the perfect choice for understated perfection which is why we carry one of the best ranges of Moleskine notebooks for miles. We like a traditional vibe too, stocking dip pens, deckle-edged paper and sealing wax which is particularly popular at Christmas. We’re proud of the great graphic artists – Edward Bawden, Charley Harper, Mucha and Hokusai – that feature on our notecards. There’s a real pleasure too in picking out the cream of current and emerging artists and illustrators on greetings cards by Angie Lewin, Mark Hearld and Anita Klein. You can always be sure of finding certain items in our stock: Lamy pens, Clairefontaine notebooks, an amazing range of coloured inks. But to ring the changes, we are always looking for something new for our customers in greetings cards, pretty notebooks and wrapping paper.
Our 5 best sellers…
We stock a wide range of the iconic Moleskine notebooks, including the slim volants, cardboard-covered cahiers, the Passions series and A4 notebooks, as well as the classic black hardbacks. The overall best-seller is the pocket version with ruled paper. We also sell the more elusive music, storyboard and Japanese concertina notebooks. The eighteen-month diaries which start in June this year and run till December 2015 are already in stock and selling well. We are thrilled that Moleskine are extending the range into other colours so we are offering a Moleskine extra large blank notebook with underwater-blue soft cover as a give-away present to one lucky blog reader this month.
Lamy safari pens
We have a great choice of Lamy pens. The combination of excellent German engineering and down-to-earth prices makes them our most popular pens. In particular their colourful safari range is a perennial best-seller. They bring out a new limited-edition colour every summer. We can’t wait to receive stocks of this year’s coral-coloured pens with matching coral red ink cartridges.
Rotring Tikky Graphic fibre-tip pens
These humble fibre-tip pens come in five different line widths from super skinny .1mm to satisfyingly chunky .8mm. There’s just one choice of ink colour – black. We were reluctant to stock them at first because they’re not refillable. But from the day we put them out on display our customers have loved them and bring them to the till by the fistful. We feel honour-bound to offer a similar range of plastic rollerballs and finepoint pens which are not only cheaper but refillable to boot, but the Rotring Tikkies outsell them by about four to one.
Art Angels greetings cards
We’ve greetings cards for every occasion but they’re mostly wonderful images with a blank inside for you to write your own message, be it Happy Birthday or “I’m sorry your car failed its MOT test for the third year running. Better luck next time.” Art Angels is our favourite publisher. From their Printmakers series we choose snowy winter scenes at Christmas, spring flowers in the run-up to Mothers’ Day, or seaside images from the likes of local artist Eric Ravilious. Our best seller is Brighton Pier by Scottish printmaker, Colin Moore where the crazy angles sum up the exhilaration of a ride at the end of the pier contrasted with the deep shadows and gloomy chill should you venture underneath. Lots of customers tell us that they frame these cards to decorate their walls at home.
For people who want something more decorative than the restrained elegance of a Moleskine notebook, the Paperblanks range proves popular. Many of them have highly decorative covers that draw inspiration from the past with embossing and foil highlights giving a luxurious feel. Other sumptuous touches include metal clasps, magnetic closures and decoration along the edges of the cut pages. Inside you’ll find good quality paper and a handy pocket at the back. We offer four versions from pocket size to A4 and sometimes the mini size as well. French Ornate in purple is probably our most popular design but the more sober imitation leather designs with gold tooling have their fans too.
My 3 personal favourites are…
The Brighton journal
We commissioned the picture on the front of this journal-cum-sketchbook from Joe McLaren who worked at Pen to Paper after studying illustration at Brighton Uni. We thought he was hugely talented (and hard-working!) and we’re not surprised that he now produces artwork for Penguin Books, Monocle magazine and Urban Outfitters. We still display one of his illustrations on the wall at work and I’ve a couple more in my sitting-room at home. We gave him free rein to produce something that summed up Brighton. He chose the skeleton of Brighton’s West Pier that has, sadly, suffered more storm damage since. The image is foil-blocked in silver on a cloth-covered sketchbook by Seawhite of Brighton and is exclusive to Pen to Paper. So the journal is special for three reasons: nostalgia for Joe and for our disintegrating pier and pride in the excellent quality of a local firm.
Lamy brushed steel ballpoint pen
Rollerball pens tend to be more popular than ballpoint pens these days but I prefer ballpoint pens for everyday writing as the ink shows through less in my diaries and notebooks. This is my favourite pen, a Lamy cp1 brushed steel ballpoint. The refills come in fine, medium and broad. I use black fine for small neat writing. I’ve had my name engraved on the barrel so I don’t lose it. It’s shown here with my red Moleskine diary.
Moleskine notebook (give-away)
Over the years we’ve asked Moleskine to produce notebooks in colours other than black. It’s taken some time but finally they are embracing colour. Newly available is this extra-large (19 x 25 cm) notebook with a soft flexible cover in the most wonderful shade of aquamarine that Moleskine have named Underwater Blue. Inside there are 192 pages with a marker ribbon and elastic closure to match the cover. We’re offering the version with blank pages, which we think is the most versatile, as a give-away to one lucky reader of this blog.
Thanks so much for sharing, Pen to Paper. So many gorgeous things that I now feel I need! And yes, you read it right – we’ve got that beautiful Moleskin notebook up for grabs! To be in with a chance of winning it, simply enter using the rafflecopter and keep your fingers crossed! The closing date is the 3rd May, and it’s open to UK residents only. Good luck all!
Hope you enjoyed reading? Do stop by next Wednesday for more #BringBackPaper, and you can share any campaign happenings during the week over on social media with us all. Thanks!