Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Writing in color

I've been following our own Kathryn Lilley's other blog, The Kill Zone, with much delight.

Besides KL's entries, I loved John Gilstrap's recent blog on his fascination with pens.

I'm addicted to pens myself, but John's taste is better than mine. He loves his old fountain pen and would probably appreciate a beautiful antique writing implement, whereas I'm happy with one that says I (heart) Des Moines and will ship anyone who sends me one a signed book.

For me, it's actually more than pens. It's all office supplies. Early on my husband figured this out and stopped trying to find just the right necklace or earrings and bought me a paper cutter for my birthday one year. Wow, my own paper cutter, like the ones only offices and schools had back then! I guess my gratitude was apparent because he's been sticking with the category ever since—an electric pencil sharpener, a supersize three-hole punch, an electric stapler, a postal scale, reams of colored paper, and expensive three-ring binders that don't eat your fingers when you open and close them.

Recently he designed a special package label for sending out "Mayhem in Miniature." I guess I'm a cheap date because this thrills me more than jewelry or candy. Well, maybe not more than candy.

One year he bought me an amethyst necklace, too delicate for my taste, but it cost him a great deal—not in money but in the discomfort he feels in every retail store except Radio Shack and Fry's Electronics. I worried that he'd notice how infrequently I wore the necklace, so I pulled it out last week and wore it to a party.

"Where did you get that necklace?" he asked. I won't worry anymore.

Now my relatives and friends have caught on and I have Vera Bradley folders, teal bookends in the shape of hands, and packing tape with an image of a zipper.

And an update to that old paper cutter: one that has a laser beam shoot down the side, for perfect alignment, as soon as you raise the handle!

When I was a kid pencils were green and pens were black and dipped in ink wells. Paper bags were brown, folders were manila, clipboards were brown, index cards and mailing envelopes were white. The first sticky notes came in yellow only, with no clever sayings or die cut edges.

No wonder I lived an uninspired life, coming to writing only as an older adult. I needed color and florals and plaids to get me going.

Any ideas for an office supply I shouldn't be without?


Sheila Connolly said...

I'm hooked on the Carl 12"/A4 Personal Rotary Trimmer. I think it was intended for trimming photos, but it works for all paper, and it makes such a nice clean cut... My, we do get distracted by the little things, don't we?

Kathryn Lilley said...

Thanks for visiting the Kill Zone, Camille! I can't function without my 600-count tin of paper clips in assorted colors, and my pastel file folders. Pretty basic stuff, but I also love the two Montblanc pens I've received as "plumes du sinage" (butchered French for "special signing pen"). They have different colored inks. Everyone seems to love the blue ink for signed books, though.

Sequana said...

Oh, I am SO in agreement. I can't survive without really pretty file folders, colored paper clips, colored binder clips, colored STAPLES even......

I have colored safety pins too. I'm eying up the snazzy packing tape with designs on it.

And I use my own quilt designs on the stamps I get from stamps.com.

There must be a name for us. *L*

ellen said...

I dearly love my binding machine. Does those plastic bindings, like you see on the fancy reports they hand out at meetings. Puts a whole manuscript - or any other collection of papers - into a well-behaved single item.

Monica Ferris said...

My latest addition -- and it's a couple of years old now -- is a low-tech pencil holder. Actually, it's one of those things you put a cold can of beer or pop into that keeps it cold. It's thick rubbery plastic and it's shaped like a fish head. Largemouth bass, I think. It has glass eyes and is painted in living color. I don't know why I love it.

Anonymous said...

Pencil holders are right up there, holding those special pens we beg, borrow or steal.My favorite: a 1975 Red Sox AL champions one. Great blog...xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Pencil holders are right up there, holding those special pens we beg, borrow or steal.My favorite: a 1975 Red Sox AL champions one. Great blog...xoxoxox

Terri Thayer said...

That's what you need, Camille. Stamps with images of your book cover to go on the postcards. Brilliant!

Great post.

I thought it was just quilters and stampers who love the office supply store as much as the quilt or scrapbook store. My newest toy is a rolling file box. It's inexpensive, wheels nicely and holds my books when I need to sell them at an event.

By the way, your photo was so colorful and artfully arranged, I thought Joanna had posted twice. That's meant to be a compliment. You have a marvelous eye. As does she.

Camille Minichino said...

I think I've found a support group. I love all your contributions and can't wait till my next supply store fix.
Monica, your holder sounds as great as your hats!
I have a small collection of stamps but never do anything really artistic with them. One problem, I've never found a really good stamp pad. Help Terri?

Camille Minichino said...

BTW, the packing tape is from x-tremegeek.com

They have it in zipper, barbed wire, and chain link.


Betty Hechtman said...

I got in kind of late on all this, but I love all kinds of post it notes. I have them in all sizes, some that pop out of pens, some with funny sayings or shapes likes stars or hearts.

The only problem is that they seem to disappear as soon as I come home.