The beauty of nice things

I have a stationery fetish, I love really good stationery and sometime last year I discovered the wonderful Bureau Direct . This is possibly fatal for my bank balance. But they have a wonderful range of high quality (not necessarily expensive) stationery and amazing customer service. Their weekly newsletter is something I look forward to each week – how many eshots get that response? I am always delighted to find someone else who has heard of them and gladly pass on their details to anyone else who loves stationery. It is like a wonderful club. By the way I am not getting anything from them for writing this – nor are any of the links affiliate links, it is just genuinely how I feel!

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A few newsletters ago I noticed them talking about the special edition J Herbin ink. I brushed it off. But after it kept appearing I read the reviews and had to buy a bottle… when it arrived I delightedly showed my husband – what a wonderful piece of packaging. This feels so special this ink! I am very tempted to get the new blue ink too. It is a beautiful gray colour and has subtle flecks of gold throughout it, turning even my to do list into a thing of beauty.


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I was at first tempted to save it for special occasions, but I quickly wiped that from my mind. See I don’t believe in saving things for special occasions: I wear one of my favourite perfumes each day (even when I am not going anywhere); I use up inks; when I got gift vouchers for art supplies I bought professional quality watercolours and I don’t save them for best pictures – I use them each time I paint. I burn scented candles when I get them, I use nice beauty products each day.

selection of ink bottles, some are tiny vials which are scented ink

The little bottles of inks here are Herbin scented inks which I got for Christmas. My wonderful mother and father in law saw me keep posting links to Bureau Direct on Facebook throughout the year and so bought me a whole gift bag of purple stationery from them. How absolutely wonderful!

Why do I use them instead of saving them? Well all of them are perishable. If I saved the watercolours or ink they would likely congeal or go off in someway. The candles and perfume would lose their scent. Saving them for best in fact relegates them to get dusty and probably useless. Apart from a couple of ‘wedding/evening’ type dresses I don’t save clothes for best either. The only reason I save those is I hate wearing them but they look good and perfect for those situations. I wear all of the clothes in my wardrobe on a regular basis. Otherwise I don’t keep them. The ‘cost per wear’ goes down too.

I now have a collection of J. Herbin inks and I use them every day, for writing in my bullet journal  and my morning pages. Even through my morning pages are terrible day to day stuff and moaning about things and quite frankly I cannot bear to ever read them again (but it gets all that rubbish out of my head and that is the point of it) I write on Leuchutturm journals. I went off Molekseins about 4 years ago when the paper quality changed and no longer could support fountain pens. These are not cheap, but the combination of ink, fountain pen and paper is a joy. Writing is one of my favourite things to do and so I spend out on it.

The presentation of this ink makes it very special indeed and the bottle is sat on my desk, rather than in my ‘ink tin’, it is a thing of beauty and has a practical use, one of the best things in the world as far as I am concerned.

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  1. I’m with you totally on this. As an illustrator and costume designer (in a previous life) I always bought the best quality paper and mediums – not just because they are better to work with but because they generally have a better aesthetic.
    I store and display piles of unused beautiful notebooks, watercolour pads, sketch books and sheafs of handmade paper, because I love the way they look and feel, even if I don’t have the time to use them for their proper purpose….
    Weighty paper fetish!

  2. Yes, I will admit to having a bit of a stash of sketchbooks ready to use. And I love having them there all ready to go! If I want to start a new sketchbook on a whim I can do so as I want.

    I love looking at my stationery – I have even just created an art supplies stack of boxes and I love being able to reach in and grab what I want when I want

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