Pete gave me something I superhugely love for Christmas: journals and pencils!
I discovered these small notebooks from Fabriano a few years ago at a local art store chain and haven't been able to do without them since - the paper inside is recycled but feels very luxe, and it's got tiny dots in a grid rather than lines for writing so you can sketch out floorplans, write your ideas, make lists in a table, or design a complex cable knitting pattern. Plus, the pages of the glued version (as opposed to the spiral bound or stapled ones) tear out easily as from a notepad, so there's no confronting old embarrassing ideas as an older and wiser person, or having to carry the whole book around instead of just an important shopping list. I like the A5 size - not too big, not too small. I go through them really fast.
The Blackwing pencils are new to me. I saw them listed on the Churchmouse Yarns and Teas website... and if you want a set of pencils for the peaceful delight of using them, you should totally order them there because Churchmouse has some of the most beautiful shipping-wrapping I have found. And given that one of our concierges admitted the other day that most of the parcels that arrived at the building at Christmastime were addressed to our unit, well, I think you can trust that I know from shipping-wrapping.
(The other most amazing place to open parcels from is Alewives Fabrics. Swoon.)
Sadly I discovered the Blackwings too late for shipping from the west coast of the U.S., so Pete got them locally.
(and when I say 'locally' I mean 'from his closet', after I put them there, after picking them up from the concierge, after I'd ordered them from a local store online. I mean sometimes you have to keep Christmas simple, right? the journals he got on his own after I mentioned I needed a new one, and I was so excited to discover he'd got me one of every colour in stock at the store. Every colour!!! still thrilling.)
The deal with the Blackwings is that they are interesting to sharpen, and have replaceable erasers. You have to buy a special sharpener to get the full effect, so that's what I ordered on Pete's behalf. Basically you sharpen the wood part first in the larger hole, and then the lead part in the smaller hole, and the result is an incredibly sharp, elegant pencil that is a dream to write with.
The erasers stay in the metal holder at the end of the pencil by means of a clip, and you can keep drawing it higher as you use it up until it finally needs to be replaced with a new one:
The Blackwings come in three different leads - basically your choices are hard, medium, and soft. I'm trying out medium, which needs sharpening pretty often but just flies over the page. Seriously, even my beloved Ticonderogas don't let me write as fast as the Blackwings do. The soft one would be fantastic for sketching and shading.
Right now the black Fabriano notebook is sitting tidily on my desk on top of my black Barrymore Furniture folder. Both contain extensive material on the interior decoration plan for the main floor of the house, and their matching colours make me feel I'm actually on top of this part of the job. Go Fabriano.
Omigosh, I still can't get over it. EVERY COLOUR IN STOCK. Can't tell you how confidence-building it is to look at that beautiful stack of fresh notebooks!
Another day I'll tell you about the plotting and scheming that's going on in the black one. It's going to be pretty good for knitting and spinning, if I pull it off right.
Meanwhile: go have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow!