Hey friends, the snowdrops in my backyard that were crushed by the heavy snow last week sprung back into life. This means it’s almost spring, right? I’m super excited for the air to become warmer, and I can switch out from my heavy sweaters and yoga pants into lighter sweat shorts and tank tops for sunnier seasons. Another thing I’m really looking forward to…is sakura season! You might think I’m jumping the guns, since cherry blossoms don’t start blooming in Seattle until late March and early April, but in Japan the hype for these pink florets are already beginning.
Another stationery brand that is hopping on to this cherry blossom season is Stickiiclub, and they actually started the pre-order to their standalone project: the Hanamai Box, earlier this year! Hanami (花見) is Japanese, and stands for “flower viewing” which is an activity that Japanese people partake in during spring time to gather with family and friends and appreciate the blooming flowers by having picnics underneath the cherry blossom trees!
The Hanami Box that came in the mail from Stickiiclub reminded me of a bento box filled with goodies that you can snack on, and in this case, it is a case of stationery goodies! The moment I opened the box, my heart flutters at the sight of all things pink. I’m more of a “green” girl but during sakura season, I can’t helped but be enamored by everything pink.
This Hanami box is quite special, because not only does it follows the theme of pink sakura, it also includes motifs such as Japanese dessert, matcha, and cute penguin characters alongside the products. Two artists that participated in this collaboration are @okashi_na_okashi and @imaginstation, whom I admire for their whimsical art style and mouth watering food illustrations.
Sakura, matcha, penguins…slap a label that says “April” on it, and it’s already mine. I couldn’t help but squeal as I unboxed these items during my Twitch Livestream last Sunday. The whole box contains quite a few items, but here are some I’m particularly excited about:
The Hanami Box contains three sticker sheets, which is the staple product from Stickiiclub (they are known for their sticker pack in the first place.) These three sheets features cherry blossoms, Japanese desserts, and cute animals frolicking alongside matcha rolls and sakura mochi pastries. Although I probably won’t use them in the Hobonichi, but I’m not too mad about one of the sheet being a jelly/raised texture, because I can use it to decorate cards and my junk journal inserts. The other stickers are fair game to my main journal, my planners, and other notebooks because of the thin material.
Sticker Sheet Organizer
My name is April Wu and I’m a sticker-holic. I have way too many stickers, and I’m always looking for a nice storage or portable solution when I want to use them in my journals, either at home or on-the-go. This pink plastic sleeve is the perfect size that can fit all the Stickiiclub sticker sheets I’ve accumulated over the past months. I may have also placed a tiny order during their Black Friday sale, but that’s another story altogether. My sleeve currently holds more than 20 sheets comfortably, and I can’t wait to add this to my cafe journaling set-up (once it’s OK to journal out in public again)
Studio Absent Maki
The “Maki” is a new product line that debuted in this Hanami Box from Stickiiclub’s sister brand: Studio Absent. I believe it is of vegan leather (a fancy word for PVC/pleather) type material, and it is a charming pastel pink color. The purpose of the Maki is a small washi roll holder that allows you to store or take select washis on-the-go! What I love about this item is that it also include a thin window that can help you see what rolls are inside. I find this to be the perfect solution for my “emergency” washi which I always toss at least one in my carry everywhere bag. You know how there are always dust and flake residues at the bottom of your purse? Well, they won’t be sticking to my washi rolls anymore!
Sakura & Matcha Notebook
Oh my, oh my, just when I thought this box couldn’t get any better, I’m pleasantly surprised by the notebook that is included. The cover illustration is designed by @okashi_na_okashi and features two shiba inus having the time of their lives digging into a large bowl of Anmitsu…Deluxe! I have to admit, initially, I wasn’t expecting too much from Stickiiclub’s notebook. This type of product is not something they’ve delivered before, and I had imagined it to be a plain notebook that’s ruled and would suffer ghosting and bleed through from markers and juicy pens. Just for fun, I decided to do a pen test at the very back, and I was shocked by how it actually withstand my fountain pen inks! Not only does the ink marks not feather, there was zero ghosting and bleed through. After I picked up my jaws from the ground, I went on to Stickiiclub’s Instagram to investigate what the paper material is. They didn’t reveal anything special, just that it is 120 gsm plain paper.
What’s even better about this notebook is that it uses a lay-flat stitch binding on the spine so it could open to 180 degree for each page. After the unboxing, I was giddy planning what I’m going to do with this notebook. With the adorable illustration and awesome paper quality, it has leapt ahead of many other notebooks in my collection.
Finally, the Hanami Box also included some other little knick knacks like a plastic sakura globe pen, a tiny photo album keychain, paper clips, enamel pins, and memo holders. I foresee myself re-purposing the box itself as a place for stationery storage…or even the capsule container for monthly stationery items I want to rotate in and out of my stash!
I’m pretty sure other stationery shops and stores are all gearing up for the upcoming wave of cherry blossom items as we approach the sakura season. Soon, our neighborhood in Seattle will also be filled with pink clouds of cherry blossoms among grassy green hills. I can’t wait to do some outdoor picnic journaling with Cookie, and I think I’ll do it…hanami-style with some snacks in a box!