The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

18 December 2015

The happiness of office supplies

'Office supplies' is too tepid, too utilitarian a phrase to describe what I have in mind. I mean all things stationery from pencils and erasers to paperclips and file folders, and all the paper in between.

One of the fun tasks I have at the public library is receiving and preparing the magazines. Through the course of my duties, I must, of course, flip through the lovely and glossy pages on decorating, recipes, travel, style, science... even cats. It's a most difficult job, but I have stepped up and do my best.

Last night, I came across an article about a woman who owns a store in The Big City devoted entirely to... get this... pencils!  For real! She loves pencils, and so opened a pencil shop. In the course of the (all too brief) article, there was mention of brands of pens, notebooks, and such like. I took careful note of these mentions, and did some happy wandering through the internet. I was fairly giddy once done, and have resolved to one day soon make a pilgrimage to that pencil shop. I may either burst or melt from delirium, but it would be worth it.  Lest you think I am being frivolous with my life, rest assured that my mother would understand, and in fact would like to join me.  Love of stationery must be genetic through the maternal line.

Here is where it began:
CW Pencil Enterprise

Not only pencils, but sharpeners (not your run-of-the-mill plastic sharpeners, either), lovely notebooks, erasers, artist caliber coloured pencils, and so on. The collection on offer is finely curated and clearly the work of a person who loves what they do.  Happiness!

The owner of the pencil shop, Caroline Weaver, mentioned in the article a luxury item she indulged in - a Smythson agenda.  Now, I have just recently spent a couple of weeks trying to find the just-right agenda for the year ahead. I'm juggling three jobs, appointments, scheduled obligations and need room for notes and scribbles so it must needs be the right size and configuration of boxes for the days and months. It must be portable, able to absorb added bits of paper I will tuck into it, be comfortable in the hand, and almost most of all, be pleasing to the eye.  Clearly I take my agenda seriously, so I was eager to see this Smythson agenda that impressed the pencil shop lady.

Smythson (of Bond Street)

Roksanda Fashion Agenda, Smythson

It's lovely. The description is lovely. It's bound in calfskin. It has two coloured ribbons, and "pale blue Featherweight paper".  I'm impressed. I like it.  I'd be tempted to ditch my carefully selected Tiffany-blue special edition Little Prince moleskin week-to-a-page agenda (purchased at deep discount during the insanity of Black Friday). But this Roksanda, dear Reader, costs $235.  And it's good for only one year! Next year I'd have to buy a whole new Roksanda! Plus, I'd have to buy a super fancy pencil with which to write my appointments, because an ordinary everyday HB would be an insult to the Roksanda. And the fancy pencil would need a super fancy $200 sharpener to give it due honour... the costs of a super cute agenda are spiraling out of control, and I realize the happiness of such a beautiful object is greatly outweighed by the fourth job I'd need to find in order to pay for owning it. Even so, I do understand the Pencil Lady's admiration for the beautiful object, and know that for the 365 days of 2016, she is going to love it.  Happiness.

The magazine spread featuring the pencil shop had a picture of fountain pens. Modern looking and pleasing fountain pens, with the brand name of Jinhao.  Doing a Google search for Jinhao led me to a website for The Goulet Pen Company.

Oh. My. Goodness.  Not just pens, but ink!  Beautifully tinted inks in bottles and in cartridges. Nibs. Repair kits.  And the paper products!  Gorgeous paper and envelopes and notebooks.  And... sealing wax.  Sealing wax!

Sealing wax from The Goulet Pen Co.

I've been wanting to have brown ink for a long while now.  Goulet has not just brown, but Ancient Copper, Chocolate Brown, Hazelnut, Caramel.  But then there is also Oxblood. And Garnet Red. And Copperorange. However am I to decide between them?  Of such decisions dreams are made.  Happiness.

If office supplies aren't your thing, what makes you happy?


  1. Oh my, this is paradise. In a Hazelnut brown.

  2. I agree!
    I was first drawn to the Ancient Copper, and though I have since landed temporarily on each of the others, it is where I return to again and again. Ancient Copper happiness.

  3. Office supplies ARE my thing - they make me very, very, very happy!!!! Pencils and pens and inks and journals and stationery and papers. My secret wish is to have good penmanship to go with all of it... but so far, that hasn't happened. Sigh.....

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Nancy! I'm glad that even those of us with distinctive rather than elegant penmanship can still enjoy a fabulous pen and pretty paper.

  4. Oh the bliss!!!

    Have you checked out the Passion Planners? I bought one for myself in the Spring and despite only being able to use it for 8 of the 12 months (you can purchase one that runs January to December or August to July), I am in love!!!

    1. I have not! I'm totally going to look into this... I have to know more if you are in raptures over them!

  5. "Even so, I do understand the Pencil Lady's admiration for the beautiful object, and know that for the 365 days of 2016, she is going to love it."

    Hmmm... 2016 is a leap year. Product defect? Or does she not like it on that one day?

    Sorry - just being silly.

    I, too, admit to a strange desire for pencils and ink. I use them to draw and sketch, and there are never enough variations. The brown inks would make for great calligraphy, causing the writing to appear much older. That can be used for some very interesting effects.

    1. Rats! I knew I should have looked up whether 2016 was a leap year. Perhaps January 1st doesn't count because of after-party effects, and really, who has appointments on New Year's Day?
      I am intrigued by the detail that you draw and sketch. Do you ever illustrate your stories?

    2. I haven't done any for my own stories yet, but I hope to have the right story someday for that possibility. I'm having trouble just getting time to write! I did some sketches for Terri Deno's Unfolding Life haiku collection, including the cover, but it really pointed out how much I had lost since I'd last done any drawing.

    3. Oh my goodness, K! I looked up Unfolding Life, and the cover is just beautiful. You are able to paint pictures with your words, and tell stories with your pictures.