Sniffle sniffle snuffle

Loughborough UniversityNormal blogging service will resume at some stage. Probably when I start doing things again (believe me, I’m going to blog the shit out of my Miami trip).

I get a week off work for Easter, and it was mainly spent watching American Crime Story, eating Hotel Chocolat sale eggs, and window shopping for holiday clothes. A trip to Loughborough University followed for some work fun, and whilst they had a very pretty building or two, I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to visit the town any time soon. Although I did discover the Costa Mint Choc Chip Cooler there, which is AMAZING and I plan to drink a lot of over the summer.

One bit of excitement over the Easter break was winning a prize in a Present and Correct competition.  P&C is one of the best shops in London (I am surely due another visit there) and whilst my win was mainly down to being on Twitter at the right time, I was still a bit giddy.  I never win anything!

My prize?  A beautiful set of Dutch stamps from 1967.  I have genuinely no idea what to do with them, but I love them!  How cute is that hedgehog?!?

P&C prize

Introducing HoneyTreePost

Honeytree Post5Before I get into this post, I have to apologise for the photos – I haven’t transferred all my photo editing software to my new laptop as yet but didn’t want to delay the review so apologies if they have an odd hue to them…

Rather excitingly, I’ve been sent a brand new subscription box to review. We all know I love finding things in the mail box, so I was contacted by Honey Tree Stationers who asked if I’d like a sneaky peek at their first box. It’s gorgeous.

I chose the Stationery Lovers Club – a selection of at 7 items from Honey Tree, like “greeting cards, postcards, notecards, gift tags and hand drawn prints ready to frame”. My favourite items are at the top – a pretty notecard and envelope set with autumnal leaves. I love how they’ve themed the box for the change of season.

The rest is super cute as well – the satchel print is going to go perfectly on my new noticeboard at work, and I already know who to give the sausage dog postcard to. The cards are charmingly drawn, and they have loads more on their bespoke stationery website – it makes me wish that I was one of those really organised people who sends family christmas cards, and cards just to say hello to acquaintances. I imagine sitting at a writing desk with a sturdy fountain pen in my hand, writing on the beautiful thick card. I mean, my writing is a hideous mess so I’d probably ruin the cards but in an ideal world it’d be perfect.

HoneyTree also supports Post Pals, a charity that is “dedicated to making seriously ill children and their siblings smile by the sending of cards, letters, little gifts, support and friendship” – they will donate £1 from every subscription to the charity. What a wonderful idea.

If you sign up before 30th September, you can get 50% off your first box with the code HTP50.  

That makes the box positively bargainous for ephemera fans.

Not Another Bill review – July 15

NABJuly1I became convinced someone had stolen my Not Another Bill parcel this month (not just that – all the post as we haven’t had anything all week).  But phew, the post box was full Saturday morning.  I guess our postie had been storing it all up again.

NABJuly2Pictured with my favourite “World’s Best Something” mug full of pens (mainly eye liners), my gift this month was a reporters notebook from Belgian stationery store, Le Typographe.  A gorgeous little notebook, with every hipster’s favourite paper (gridded, natch) and a lovely pencil inside.  It is super nice, with a custom NAB cover and satisfying elastic binding around it.

And yet.

And yet I’m a teensy bit disappointed.  It is a beautiful item, and I now want to go to Le Typographe to buy All The Things, a store which looks like a Beneluxian Present and Correct – never a bad thing.  The notes that come with this month gift talk about the unique crafting that goes into their products, like the “heavyweight Heidelberg printing press” and all that is very much appreciated.  I just couldn’t help looking through the packaging to see what else was there.
NABJuly3I do love it though, and it will certainly get some use.

Not Another Bill – September and October 2014 box

NAB Oct1September escaped without me blogging about my Not Another Bill gift.  I photographed it when I received it, wasn’t happy with the photos… then forgot to re-photograph.  Ooops.

NAB SeptThis was the only salvageable photo – the gift was a PegBoard by Block Design.  I didn’t love it when I first unwrapped the packaging, and I think if I had received one of their colour boards then I would have warmed to it instantly.  In Natural, it just strikes me as being a bit too functional, and reminded me a little of the terrible display boards I used to have in the shop I managed many moons ago.  The pegs are very cute though – lots of pastel colours – and I do still have my necklaces hanging on it so at least it’s getting some use!  Block Design’s other items are gorgeous though, and I’ll be putting some of those on my Christmas list.

On to October.

NAB Oct2October’s gift arrived in a very shiny envelope which I tore open immedietly to discover some BEAUTIFUL stationery (I felt like I was cheating on Present and Correct by liking them).

A stunning brass ruler and 6 brass paperclips, all embossed with the Eclectic By Tom Dixon logo.  I am super happy with this present, and with NAB for introducing me to Tom Dixon.  I really need to rethink my career to be more befitting of them – something like a 1950s draftsman with my own office in Manhattan.  Or something.

There’s a beauty out there, you just gotta know where

P&C13London is a vast and varied place but I tend to stick to the bits I know – The South Bank, Soho and Covent Garden, every now and again Shepherds Bush and Greenwich.  Unless I’m going to a gig or exhibition, I rarely explore further afield – there needs to be a pretty damn good reason for me to step outside of my London comfort zone.  Which is why for the past few years , I have failed to visit Present and Correct.  There was nothing that required me to be in Islington.

After yet another afternoon spent going through every product on their website, I texted Tim that we had to find a reason to go to the shop.  I think we then both wondered why we needed a reason – why couldn’t the shop be the reason?  And that’s how we found ourselves wading through the thick humidity outside Angel tube station yesterday.

P&C14We had a really great day on the whole, but I’m going to do a separate post about our North London wander – I think Present and Correct deserves its own post.  And if you’re wondering how I can do an entire post about a stationery and ephemera shop, then you clearly don’t know I am the type of person to write over 500 words on a candle megashop.

Everything in the shop was beautiful and set out like art.  Both Tim and I said we wanted to look at every single item of stock so we didn’t miss anything – obviously, this meant we may have come across as a couple of weirdos but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to physically see all the items I’d been lusting over online.

We finally decided on our purchases (it was a hard decision, believe me), and had a great chat with the owner who guessed we were the dorks who tweeted him on Friday (admittedly, he didn’t say dorks.  But we are).  He recommended a ephemera fair in Bloomsbury which is now on our list of places to visit, and another cool shop in Camden Passage which we visited afterwards.  And offered us some Tunnocks Tea Cakes which I accepted, as I had only said at work on Friday that I had never had one to the astonishment of my co-workers.  Now I have, all thanks to Present and Correct.

P&C6Just before we left, Tim had a go at the stationery gumball machine and got a rather dashing letterpress number clip with the number 3.  I was jealous as I didn’t have any change on me.  Sadface.

DSC_2090Even the bags are perfect!  And the contents of my bag:-

I bought a rubber stamp with “From the Desk of” (& ink pad), some beautiful Herb Lester city guides, and something else which I can’t show as it’s for Husband’s birthday.  The very cute letterpress timetables were thrown in for free because this shop is AWESOME. But I spent the whole train journey home regretting everything I didn’t buy.

This is my favourite shop in the world.  I’m sorry Co Bigelow, Tatty Devine, Magasin Du Nord – you guys are great but Present and Correct is my new retail BFF.  Now I’m back off to the website to somehow set up a “anything Danish” alert.

Oh My Goodie Goodness – October review

Pretty part tags1

This review was supposed to have been done a couple of weeks ago, but my every waking hour has been devoted to holiday planning (which is exhausting!) so anything else has taken a back seat.

I think we’re done with planning for today which is finally allowing me to write up the October Goodie Goodness box, which this month is a ‘ party box’ from Oh So Pretty Party, a Dutch party decoration and stationery company.

 DSC_6169

Inside were five adorably cute and typographically perfect gift tags.

Ribbon medal

A special “award ribbon” for someone who is a bit fragile (maybe?)

card confetti

Two postcards, and a test tube full of confetti (be warned – if you receive a card from me in the next couple of months, it will be full of this confetti).

DSC_6177

Hooray!  A garland!  I’m not really a party planning person, but I do really like this garland, so why do I need to wait for a party?

Bookcase garland

Please ignore the horrifically dusty shelf

Plus, not pictured, a cute notebook from Goodie Goodness.

Last month, I wrote how I was undecided on whether I would be keeping my subscription.  Well, I’m still on the fence.  I do really like this box, but I waiting for something new and different.  Maybe I’ll keep it for one more month…

Oh My Goodie Goodness – September review

Eva and Anne back

Last month, I was a little underwhelmed by my Goodie Goodness box which was partly down to my inability to enjoy objects connected to housework.  The September box was going to have to win me back over and holy crap, it did.

I love it.  I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT.  Does that emphasise how much I love this box?

The designers for September are Eva and Anne, a duo from the Netherlands who “make the world a little bit more beautiful with their products”, influenced by American and Scandinavian design.  Which all spells WIN for me.  So, what did I get in the box?

Eva and Anne cards

First up – cards!  Sunny, bright, letterpress cards with such lovely sentiments.

Eva and Anne books

What else in my goodie box?  Three letterpress gift tags and three ‘pages’ of double sided wrapping paper; very cute little round stickers; and my favourite things EVER – two adorable notebooks.  I thought one of them had an ice cream print on, but it’s actually rain.  Either way, it’s freaking amazing.

DSC_5976

I’ve just added their Etsy shop to my faves, and can’t wait to see what they come up with next.  I might sneak a couple of purchases in for September with the Goodie Goodness discount.

Who wants a present – I WANT TO WRAP ALL THE THINGS!

Now I face a bit of a dilemma.  At the end of August, Goodie Goodness moved to the Netherlands, and as a result of this, have upped their postage to the UK.  I had every intention of cancelling my subscription this month  – don’t get me wrong, I absolutely understand why they’ve increased the cost and don’t think they’ve done this unnecessarily.  But using the August box as an indicator, I just wasn’t prepared to spend the extra for something that I might not fully appreciate.

However this box has won me round again.  Maybe I’ll just keep my subscription for a little longer…