Schoolboy sketches

Schoolboy sketches

Maurice Cramer was a Geneva schoolboy who joined his classmates in August 1870 for a school trip to discover Champéry.  It was common for such excursions to be recorded in some kind of journal and this one includes both text and drawings, even though it is believed...
My kind of letter

My kind of letter

Love receiving ‘real’ letters, and so was thrilled to find this beautiful envelope in the letter box, apparently made from an old map. I’ve come across map-made envelopes before, but they put the map on the inside so the outside was white and you...
Today’s diary entry

Today’s diary entry

Always curious about the habits of journal writing and the choices people make in the materials they use, I liked the detailed description of Rory Stewart’s stationery, and its humble nature. No fancy Moleskin here, just a school exercise book bought en route,...
Pencil and paper

Pencil and paper

Steinbeck wrote with pencil on the ubiquitous American yellow pad. Computers and word-processing came too late for him, and so I was curious about his wife’s assumption that while he would have liked and mastered them, he’d probably have stuck with...
The pleasure of paper post

The pleasure of paper post

One of the greatest pleasures of Christmas, for me anyhow, is the sending and receiving of cards, one of the few genres of paper post that still seem to hold their own.  This year I was late writing them as we returned from a long trip just before the holiday season...
Of berries and wine

Of berries and wine

Having a love of ink, the variety of its hues and the names people give them, and the chunky inventive shapes of ink bottles, I was enchanted by this notion of making your own ink from berries and wine.  I imagine blueberries, blackcurrants or elderberries would be...
Stitched with stolen silk

Stitched with stolen silk

This hand-bound, home-made note book contains the manuscript of Orlando’s great poem, ‘The Oak Tree’, begun in 1586.  He takes it everywhere with him, tucking it inside a jacket, or later, a dress, writing across the margins when he runs out of...
A quick frozen harvest of memory

A quick frozen harvest of memory

I liked this lively description of the importance of notebooks.  How many do we have dotted around our homes, half scribbled in, perhaps dedicated to different topics (a journal, ideas for a business, whatever), then part abandoned, but never fully, and sometimes...
A blank-book for thoughts

A blank-book for thoughts

Having had several detailed discussions with my brother on what constitutes acceptable paper for note-books or letters, I felt sympathy for Thoreau having to search for blank paper. For letters, I prefer blank sheets, but for journals or other notebooks, I like lined...
Steady as she goes

Steady as she goes

When I created a category dedicated to the accoutrements of writing and drawing, I had in mind pens and their ilk and the ink or carbon they deploy.  I never thought of a bracelet until I saw this short video about two young women, one a graphic designer, the other an...
A packet of air mail envelopes

A packet of air mail envelopes

You may not have noticed, but air mail envelopes and the corresponding lightweight letter paper are dying out.  I am by now resigned to the decline, and am simply stocking up for the duration.  A while ago a Brazilian friend visited and offered to bring me some...

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