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

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Daily Hobonichi: April 06 – 09

I decided to start sharing some of my Hobonichi pages here along with some anecdotes that goes on in my world filled with stationery. Let’s start this series of post with my adventure to New York over the weekend for a company tour hosted by AMA Emerson.

(Since this is late night impulse post, please excuse the grayish, scanned version of my pages. Guys, daylight is definitely the ONLY time to take pictures)

The Hobonichi challenge for April 6th was peppers, so I decided to draw both variety that dominates my life: chili pepper and bell peppers. Before you ask, this was done in very saturated watercolor to achieve that marker effect!

Stressin’ out on the day before the company tour at Tumblr, Thinx, and PSFK at New York. You know you’re stressed when you start using “stress” too much in a single sentence. As always, I took a 5 hour ride on the Megabus to New York immediately after work. The journey was slow and excruciating. I feel sorry for the guy sitting next to me though, he is so tall, he literally have to contort his legs in a weird position to get his whole self into the seat. Then he stayed in that weird position for hours…

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How to Journal Everyday – Build a Hobonichi Habit

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve embarked on this journaling adventure with my Hobonichi. Every single page of my A6 English Planner was filled to the brim with doodles and writing. I couldn’t be happier.

How does she do it? 

Many of you might wonder how much time I spend each day journaling? How do I go about writing in each page and fitting in illustrations? In this post I’ll be breaking down my journaling process for you, and hopefuly it’ll be a motivation for you to start writing in your Hobonichi today!

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The size of the Hobonichi Techo may seem small (A6), but on days when you don’t have the time or motivation to write, that gridded space could be pretty daunting. This realization is more apparent this year since I’ve switched to the A5 Cousin size Hobonichi. Moreover, I’ve challenged myself to make time and journal in those pages EVERY SINGLE DAY, because I know how lazy impulses can turn into two days or even weeks very fast. With the larger space of the Cousin, I would feel more guilty if I have to flip through blank pages. Then again, I don’t want to turn this into an assignment. Journaling is fun! This is definitely a time I look forward each day to play with my ‘toys’ (stationery, art supplies). The most important thing is to enjoy the journaling process and eventually it’ll become a habit.

Journaling is a time of reflection and enjoyment. It’s not a timed task where you’re rushing toward the deadline. 

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Step 1: Setting up your journaling space

There’s a Chinese proverb that says: A workman must first sharpen his tools if he wishes to do his work well. I guess this speaks dearly to all of us stationery addicts’ heart (turns to look at my hoard of stationery items). You’ve bought all those stickers and pens and decorative washi tapes over the holiday, now put them to use!

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My To-Go Stationery Setup

I tend to hoard stationery items. I love to see new things that comes out, and try to collect them all. As a result, I have with me a whole stack of wonderful pens and writing tools. However, today a friend asked me to show her my to-go stationery set up, and I realise that I ended up always going minimalist when taking my writing tools on the goal. In this post I will be sharing the items that I bring with me whenever I go out. It’s almost embarrassing to examine how simple the combination is, but here goes:

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(From Left to right: A portable watercolor palette, Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook, Tabiya leather pen case, and finally a Hobonichi Weeks (spring start) )

As you can probably guess, they are all super light and easy to carry. I want to eliminate the hassle of ruffling through my bag whenever I want to find something. Also, as an urban sketcher, it’s important to always have a small booklet that you can whip out and draw at the moment (hence the Weeks and the Moleskine)

Upon closer inspections are the contents inside the pen case and inside the pocket folder in my Weeks:

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Stationery Haul from Japan Summer Trip

This summer, I planned a special trip to Tokyo as a goodbye tour to Asia as I prepare to move to the US for the next two years (Goodbye, stationery heaven!). My friend Esther is nice enough to offer me a place to crash in Yokohama, so I had the opportunity to explore many places between the Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo city!

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I compiled a detailed list of stationery stores I have to visit from reading various stationery related magazines in bookstores. Of course, with some help from google translation, I also found many local unique stationery stores that have interesting items. The random finds on this trip are also an intriguing experience, and you bet I definitely stock up on a lot of stationery items!

I’ll be sharing in this post my haul from my Tokyo trip. I like to get things that are practical for my journaling hobbies, pen pal exchange tools, and paints for my drawings and water-colour doodles. Another fashionable trend among stationery addicts are small toys they call Table Top Things (such as figurines from gashapon dispensers and paper weights), and I cannot resist getting some cute ones to put on my future reading desk.

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Stationery in Taipei – Vision Stationery

Taipei is a pretty small city, and yet so many interesting stores are crammed in its limited space! What I love about weekends is that I’m able to hop into a bus and go on an adventure of exploring new cafe and stores. A friend’s recommendation brought me to Vision Stationery 明進文房具.

Vision Stationery is tucked in a small alley near MRT Liuzhangli Station 捷運六張犛站. The brassy sign is next to the brightly lit glass wall of the shop itself. The warm yellow light is very inviting to stationery addicts like us.

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The owner, Mr. Chen, is a stationery addict himself. He is very selective about his products, and he took the effort to try out all the items he sells before putting it on the shelf. He is very particular about paper items and notebooks, because he believe that good quality paper and system can help people achieve great things. Behind the small cashier is a small stack of recent notebooks that he is test writing before he starts selling them.

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8 ways to keep a travel scrapbook

For people who love to travel, seeing the sights and snapping pictures just isn’t enough. Sometimes the experience is so powerful, that you want to carry a bit of it back with you in back home. This is where the travel journal comes in. The famous Midori’s Traveler’s Notebook is perfect for this purpose, as its sturdy cover allows protection for the contents. Some other travel journals comes with plastic folders to carry tickets or important receipts, all part of traveling and keeping notes.

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Whenever I’m going on a lengthy trip abroad, I always prefer to do some research on the places I’m going to visit. That includes Important information such as transportation and train schedules, and there are always some tips and recommendations from previous travellers that I just have to pencil in my itinerary. Before each trip, I will consolidate all the ‘research homework’ into a small booklet that I can carry and utilise when on the exciting trip.

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