The USB Typewriter

I know I’m not alone in loving old typewriters.  Their sturdy chunkiness instills confidence and a sense of permanence.  I like the idea of typing away on one of these old beauties, but there’s no getting around the fact that I’ve gone digital (despite my many protestations!)  So, when I came across this post from Etsy, I fell in love with Jack’s idea, and his desire to work with typewriters and “adapt them for modern conditions so that they can have a chance at survival.”  This item is firmly on my wishlist.  What do you think of it?

Autumn Paper & Pens

Autumn stationery

It is less than a week until I start my new job, so you can imagine the scenario: excited, nervous and wired, with lots of goodbyes and frantic to do lists. So, obviously, the best response is to get stationery sorted.

I’m pretty keen on paper and pens, and there’s nothing like some good kit to sort out a case of new job nerves. So, with this in mind, I’ve been busy getting the essentials.

  1. New diary. I caved in to Moleskine with this 18 month one. A good slimline size, with tons of lovely smooth paper and pages of essential useless information. Now I know that it takes 13 hours to fly from Johannesburg to Stockholm, and that 261 is the dialling code for Madagascar.)
  2. Pencil. I bought this in a little shop in Saint-Germain-des-Prés this summer. (Yes, this phrase is what makes this pencil great.)
  3. Tiny notebook. It doesn’t matter how many ‘notes’ apps I put on my phone, nothing beats a proper notebook. And it is essential for contributions to #tinynotebookclub.
  4. Zip case. I don’t seem to get tired of sewing these (again and again.) I’m always pleased with myself when I manage to sew a zipper without breaking my machine.
  5. Ok, yes, I may also have bought myself a new bag. Absolutely essential, of course!

So, this time next week I’ll be commuting by boat and organising plenty of meetings, with the right stationery for the job. It’s the small things that matter!

Zip it

Rusty Construction pencil cases

I’ll admit it, I’m a little overly keen on stationery.  And if I can combine that love with some favourite fabric choices, I’m even happier.  So, after these first attempts I’ve been at it again, sewing more pencil cases for any and all who will use one; this time, with a little shameless branding included..

Rusty Construction pencil case label

Pen & ink

Fountain pen on pad of paper

If I’m honest, I’m a bit of a show-off about my typing.  I love being super-speedy, hearing the efficient rattle of pressed keys at a rate that keeps up with my talking out loud (which I tell myself is not crazy; and while we’re at it, neither is talking back at the radio..)   Typing has the fresh, clean-edged feel of Getting Stuff Done.

But it could never compete with putting pen to paper.  I love the easy pen-in-your-pocket freedom, no need for chargers and no worries about sand in the keys or coffee on the screen.  I’m a hoarder of notebooks, a scrappy scribbler and incessant list-maker.  Tom reminded me today that ‘writing it down is not the same as doing it’, but in my head it’s halfway there.  There’s a certain magic to a well-timed scribble.  And it’s a lot harder to doodle on a to-do list trapped in a screen.

Pencils please!

Last year I gave Tom this pencil case for his birthday.  I’m pleased to see it get plenty of use, and find myself regularly pinching things from it.


There is no doubt, a pencil case is a useful thing, and yet for years I’ve languished in a muddled mess of digging around in the bottom of bags or sheepishly borrowing biros from strangers.  For someone with a long-standing love of all things pencil&paper, I have a funny way of showing it.  Today, with rain clouds looming, and every excuse to stay indoors, I set about remedying my state of inky limbo.

This was made thanks to another easy pattern courtesy of design*sponge.  Honestly, it took me longer to uncover my sewing machine from the mess of my desk than it did to stitch this up.  I now have renewed vows to keep the study tidy so that I spend more time stitching and making, than clearing and tidying.

Tomorrow I’m headed outside.  Sunshine is promised and Tom and I have had the map spread out on the floor, planning long routes and pub stops.  The camera will be packed, along with plenty to eat.  And maybe this time I’ll take some pencils too.