Vendor Day 2017 adventure at Daniel Smith

Well, that came out of nowhere! When I first arrived at Seattle and started going to all the art events at Daniel Smith, I keep hearing the word “Vendor Day” that is supposedly a VERY special day I should not miss out on.

So once a year Daniel Smith organizes this huge event inside their mothership store down in SODO and invites 20 or so vendors of well-known art supply brands: Strathmore, Winsor and Newton, Faber Castell, Davinchi, you name it all. We were warned about the place becoming very packed as the day goes on, so Swagatika and I grabbed an Uber and arrived at 10:00am prompt!

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At the door, you are handed a “passport” sheet of paper that allows you to collect the initials of the artist/seller at each vendor booth. With 12 signatures, you are eligible to enter the random lottery of amazing art supply prizes!

It’s not entirely untrue to say we’re acting like kids at a candy store, but we’re giddy with excitement and giggling all the way (we’re 27 and 30, respectively.) At each vendor booth, there is an artist or the representative from the brand showing us a demonstration of the tools. They even let us play with their brushes and colors on all types of paper!  Continue reading

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USK SEATTLE – Ballard Locks

Look at all of us enthusiastic urban sketchers, please disregard the gray clouds.

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Finally, I was able to make it to Urban Sketchers Seattle’s monthly outing, and this time it’s held at the iconic Ballard Locks. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a set of locks located at the west end of Salmon Bay (I love all these confusing sounding names). I’ve only been here once and I remember it being equally windy and gray.

Swagatika and I arrive a bit late, but we can already see the large group gathering from afar before everyone disperses. I anticipated that there won’t be many places to sit, so I opted for a more portable urban sketching setup (watch the video of my USK set up here.)

The lightweight foam board and the postcard-sized paper allows me to stand easily at any location without much stress on my arms. Continue reading

2018 Hobonichi Covers Release!

IT’S OUT! The much-awaited day for all stationery addicts out there. September is journal war zone in Japan and Hobonichi has released its series of line-up now to satisfy our craving. They call it “Advance notice.” We hate it and love it. There are always those covers that are too pretty to use or some that captured our hearts but the price tag scares us away.

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No matter whether you’ll be buying the cover or not, it’s always fun to look through all the “lifestyle” photos of Hobonichi in real life (imagining myself in a flowy skirt and holding the Hobonichi with  blurry romantic backgrounds.)

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Before I dive into the world of Hobonichi, let’s go over some basic vocabulary so we all are on the same page (beginners take note!)

  • Hobonichi – Obviously, the brand name
  • Techo (手帳) –Japanese for “journal or planner”. It literally translates to “account in your hands
  • Hobonichi Techo – Refers to the Hobonichi brand journals, no matter the size. Your Weeks, A6, Avec, Cousin, are all “Hobonichi Techo” or “Hobo” as I like to call it
  • Hobonichi Techo Planner (A6 English) – The Engish Version A6 size
  • Hobonichi Techo Original (A6 Japanese) – The Japanese Version A6 size
  • Hobonichi Techo Cousin (or the Cousin) – The Japanese Version in A5 size (there is no English version of this, yet)
  • Weeks – The slim palm-sized version of the journal that is pocket friendly (Don’t mistake it for the “Weekly” as that is an A6 Hobonichi notebook insert that has vertical daily schedules)
  • Avec set – The type of Hobonichi that is divided into half year booklets (Jan – Jun, and Jul – Dec). They are available in both A6, A5 sizes but only in Japanese (so far…)
  • Covers – The greatest appeal of Hobonichi each year. The various covers are collaborations with different artists, brands, and designed to protect your journals and look good in your bag and on coffee tables.

What you need to know about Hobonichi Covers release in 2018

1.) Save the date!

There are some key dates that you can take note of, whether you are international Hobonichi users or luckily lives in Japan…

  • August 23rd, 2017 – What has changed this year?
  • August 24th, 2017 – Hobonichi accessories line up a.k.a. things you stuff into the box to justify for shipping and process fee
  • September 1st, 2017 – THE SWARM a.k.a. Hobonichi Techo release for sale!

More dates to note are available here

2.) Fun archive quotes

Each year Hobonichi announces its new release in different ways. We all love the little comics that are released each day which personifies what we think about the Hobonichi. These cute cartoon characters are lovable and perfect to print out and stick in your journals! (More cartoons here)

3.) Triple the size! Weeks MEGA

Introducing Weeks MEGA! This is one news that Hobonichi announced before August 23rd. Remember their survey late last year for all Hobonichi users? Apparently many people have reflected that although Weeks is a good size, they wish there are more note pages. It looks like the MEGA version is only available for basic colors, not the more artistic ones.

I personally wonder if this defies the purpose of the weeks, which is to be light and super portable. I like how it is so slim it fits into my pocket literally. Plus I rarely use the note pages anyway. However, I could also see the appeal for users who perhaps keep the Weeks at their desk and carry it around from meetings to meetings.

4.) They know I like penguins

Honestly though, what’s with all these penguin-themed covers? Just a few month ago I bragged to my friend about my resolve to just stick with the Cousin Avec only…yet Hobonichi came and slap me back into reality with these awesome covers and patterns. I don’t know how many people have tagged me on social media informing me about these covers. I KNOW I KNOW! STOP tempting me!

This penguin is actually a children’s story book written by Shigesato Itoi and illustrated by Teruhiko Yumura. As for the “strawberry field” cover featured on the top right, I’m just wanted to point out the excessive use of penguins as accessories to tempt me into other covers.

5.) “Cover Only” Price Change

Ah….the harsh reality of civilization, labor, and manufacturing costs. I happen to come across this note.

“Due to an increase in material costs and other unavoidable factors, starting with the 2017-edition, it has become difficult to maintain the usual price of our Colors and Faux Fabric covers. In order to maintain the price of the covers, we will be offering these covers at the usual price when bought as a set with the Hobonichi Techo book. We apologize for the trouble, but when ordering the cover without a book, we will not be able to keep that price, so Cover Only orders will cost slightly more. Please add to your cart as a “Book & Cover set” to keep the cover’s lower price.”

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BUT! I decided to check out the notifications on THIS year’s web store and it seems that this announcement was already in effect for 2017 covers. So basically I don’t see any drastic price hike. If you’ve already bought a Hobonichi last year, the prices are basically the same.

All in all, I’m super psyched more news release from Hobonichi. I personally will definitely be getting the Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec again for 2018. I need the bigger space to write, sketch, and use up all my washi tape and stickers! However, I’m still undecided about the Weeks and Original size…

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I’ll end this post with a quote from the founder of Hobonichi and his note and thoughts about the Hobonichi Techo this year. You can read the whole article here.

A great deal of Hobonichi Techo users we spoke to save their books after the year is over. Once they’re done using the techo, they don’t throw it away, but keep it, along with both the good and the bad things inside. – Shigesato Itoi

This is going to be my fourth year of using the Hobonichi Techo. I’m so proud to be a part of the huge “Hobonichi Techo” community. It has led me to great adventures throughout these years and made me more conscious about things that are happening every day. Furthermore, Hobonichi has become the bridge to so many precious friendship all over the world, which I talked about in this interview with Hobonichi earlier this year.

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Just like every one of you, I have not yet decided on which cover I’m getting, but I’m getting antsy and can’t wait to see more pictures that you’ll share of your choice!

2017 Hobonichi Unboxing

It’s here! It’s finally here!

The sun was bright and the sky was clear as I happily skipped my way to the Post Office to pick up my Hobonichi order.

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“Shoes?” The lady behind the counter asked as she processed my yellow box

“Um…yeah.”

“Girls and their shoes~” She replied

Girl, you have no idea. Sometimes it’s hard to explain one’s stationery obsession with someone who’s not interested in this hobby 😉 I was grinning from ear to ear as I carry my prize all the way home!  Continue reading

My Hobonichi Adventure in Seattle

In Late August, I embarked on a week long trip to Seattle to visit some friends. Of course I have to bring my Hobonichi along with me to journal and record the things I see and the places I’ve been. Although I’ve already built up a system or a habit of journaling in my Hobonichi, the hard part about doing it while you’re traveling is that your day schedule is so full, you’re usually exhausted at the end of the day. Fortunately, many of my plans in Seattle actually are stationery and planner meet ups with fellow journaling addicts, so we spent a lot of time in cafes writing in our Hobo or Traveler’s Notebook!

My simply set up consisted of a pen case with my favorite pens: Uni Pin fine line waterproof pigment ink pens for drawing, Uni Style fit for journaling, my TWSBI Eco fountain pen, washi samples, some sticker sheets, a small sticker book, and a portable watercolor palette! (For a more comprehensive read about how to keep a travel scrapbook, or you can check out a post about my traveler’s notebook!)

img_5700(This was taken at Sea-Tac airport while waiting for my flight back to Boston.)

I’m just going to jump right into it and show you my first fabulous meet up with three amazing girls in Seattle: Phyllis, Leah, and Sandra. They were kind enough to make time for me to meet and we all gawked and geeked over our Hobonichis. Of course we brought multiple journals, and there’s always the inevitable Planner Tower: Continue reading

Hobonichi July News Teaser

Oh Hobonichi, you drive us crazy.

Hasn’t it only been a few month since the last announcement from Hobonichi, which was the 2016 July-December Avec? How evil of the company to be feeding us tidbits and getting us all excited about next year’s planner when it’s still summer!

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(Photo credit from 1101.com)

However, being an avid fan of the Hobonichi Techo, I’ll happily take whatever they hand out to us. In fact, I had just penciled in that burst of excitement on the day of the news onto my Cousin Avec (July 19th, when Hobonichi made me scream in my bedroom and scared the hell out of my roommate).

Here are a few highlights of the news release and how I feel about them:

1. 79 Covers will be announced on August 19th! 

Ladies and gentlemen, mark your calendars! I’m positive Hobonichi will be sneaking a few peeks here and there of the new covers through various social media outlets. Continue reading

HOBONICHI Flip Through 2016 January

A bit belated, but I still want to take the chance to show you guys a flip through of my January pages in the Hobonichi Cousin. January marks the second month I started using the larger size Hobonichi planner.

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First I’ll do a quick review of the stationery tools I use mostly in my Hobonichi pages for my creative journaling! If you are impatient to get to the flip through portion, scroll down to the end of this post! Continue reading