I’m torn as to how to introduce this post – it’s an important one, because I’ve got some fabulous people to introduce you. In my head, I’m adopting a Cilla Black esque voice, but I’m not sure it’s entirely appropriate, so I'll stop embarrassing myself and crack on with the post... I’d like to introduce you to five women who are all very much stationery addicts and have agreed to work with Bureau Direct for six months to review, test, try out and share the love for all things stationery. We’re using #LOVEstationery for this project, along with #StationeryWednesday as that’s something that we’re already well known for. Once you've finished with this post, if you'd like to see a live round up of what's happening on these hashtags, please click on them to see more.
First up, I'd like to introduce you to Nickie O'Hara. She is a stationery fan extraordinaire. She might be a bigger stationery fan than me. Seriously. Her first memory of stationery was from a very early age, because her own Mum used to be a writer in her spare time. She vividly remembers the 1970's and 80's as "the era of the smelly eraser and pencils with a packet of mini pencils hanging from the top." - Do you remember those pencils? I do! This is Nickie...
Although she works in a job that's all about being online, she confesses that:
"Stationery is my everything. Now, that's a big statement to make but as a massive Filofax and Bullet Journal fan (plus the fact that if it's not written down, it's not actually going to happen - it's part of my memory process) I find that I use analogue and digital on a fairly even basis. This is for work, for personal and for hobby use (I'm a bit of a crafter too)."
At home, her crew is managed via a Google calendar that the family uses. But she's also got a kitchen calendar is on the wall, her Filofax and Bullet Journal in her handbag along with a Moleskine in her work bag - and more, spare notebooks always on hand in different sizes and styles. And finally, as if that's not enough, she has a calendar on her phone for *bleep* reminders like "take the bins out" or "wake Michael for work early". So really, it's no wonder that on receiving her first choices from our website, she felt completed to make a video about it! Here she is, in her own words….
Next up, we've got Penny Carr. Spookily enough, Penny and Nickie chose the same pen AND the same colours of inks for the Heberman. The odds of that are to us, unimaginable. Great minds and all that. This is Penny...
Penny's children are still quite small, so she has to segregate as to the stationery that's for others to use and the stationery that's just for her! She has a beautiful story about her first memory of being "into stationery".
Penny freely admits that her life is "ruled by notebooks". She always has several on the go and everything must be written in them. Penny attributes this to her pre children days as a project manager where she ran them by tracking every piece of information she could. She's actually known in the playground as the Mum with the notebook on hand and is the Go To Girl for deadlines, reminders and class meeting information, for other parents. She concedes that she's a stationery addict because even a trip to the supermarket is full of stationery opportunities. She finds herself "drawn into the aisle where a small selection is squeezed in between birthday cards and slippers" - to see if there's anything she's missing out on…. Penny is very honest about the fact that she's got herself into a pickle on more than one occasion though -
"As a serial volunteer I go to a lot of meetings and always check out everyone else's notebooks and pens across the table. It was a tad awkward when a fellow committee member once caught me photographing the cover of a particular notebook I loved when she popped out to the loo, but it did help me discover a fellow addict."
And if that's not confirmation enough, she has one final confession…
"There's also then my collection of notebooks which no one else is allowed to write in at all. Some of them I end up keeping for months or years before I can even bring myself to spoil them by writing in them.I may have even been known to buy two of the same notebook so that I can use one and then keep the other "for best" as my Nan would have said."
Next up is Annie Spratt - lover of photography, beautiful things and making the world a better place to be in. She acknowledges herself as being a hoarder of stationery, especially if it's something that she thinks looks good. This is Annie...
Her family calendar is much more practical though - she hovers over it with precision and a red pen, because in their house, it's first come first served for a night out and she wants to ensure that she gets the time out that best suits her! She loves the fact that she has small children at home, because they are great people to pass on half used notebooks to - it means she can move onto the next notebook that she wants to christen! You'll find Annie's reviews to have lots of photos, because this is a big passion for her. Her first review pick was different to everyone else - because she wanted the piece to photograph and use in her home so we're looking forward to seeing what she goes for next….
Our penultimate blogger to introduce today is Kelly Innes. She's very lovely and more than just a tiny bit posh. She wears pearls without irony and is one of the most beloved people in the UK blogging community. This is with good reason - she's incredibly kind, helpful and always has time to find encouraging words for fellow bloggers and parents.
She's a Mum to two beautiful girls and keeps her home fires quite literally burning whilst her Husband is off at a high flying job in London. She is overseeing a house renovation and is a Pinterest queen. Revered by brands, she's invited to all sorts of events and can be found talking to people who you'd never imagine her meeting on a Wednesday afternoon. She organises her troops using lists. She freely acknowledges that she has lists of lists! Kelly loves to send a handwritten note instead of a text - I asked her about how she uses stationery within her life…
"I write Correspondence Cards to thank people for dinner or playdates, or an act of kindness. I write birthday and Christmas cards, party invitations and postcards. These are all written in ink with a fountain pen. Or a fun colour. I keep a diary on the kitchen table that runs our life: if it's not in the diary it doesn't happen. These are written in pen and pencil. I plan everything on paper. I even take down details and directions from the internet onto notepaper before entering them in the Sat Nav. I make notes on a scribble planner next to my laptop: these are written in a variety of pens but always a division between capitals- blog related stuff- and lower case- personal."
The distinction between blog and personal to do lists, using capital letters, is ingenious. I've noted that to use myself!
And finally, but by no means least, Tanya Barrow completes the group of bloggers we are working with at the moment. This is Tanya...
Tanya is Mummy Barrow to the masses and knows everything, about everyone and everywhere and well, she's just a mine of all things cool, interesting, useful and good to know. I asked her some questions about stationery. I think the following Q&A tells us everything we need to know ;)
Q. Remember that scene from Friends, where we find that Monica has six different gradings for her towels in the bathroom? Do you have different gradings / uses / people who can touch your stationery?
A. It's very simple. Nobody can touch my stuff. Ever.
Q. Do you have a family calendar?
A. I have a hard back diary with a variety of pens. It is the family oracle. If it isn't in there, it's not happening.
I've been lucky enough to receive a present from Tanya - she always unearths something that is totally different and cool, so I was surprised when she chose a diary for her first review item. Mind you, it's different to the type that she usually goes for, so we can all wait to see how she uses it.
So, that's our five lovely bloggers who are part of our pilot project, to spread the word about the brilliance of all things stationery related. We've linked to their blogs and hope that you'll enjoy reading their musings on stationery as much as we are.
P.S. Don't forget, to see a live round up of what's happening with #LOVEstationery and #StationeryWednesday, you just need to click on the links.