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 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

2016 Hobonichi Techo Avec review

It’s that time to buy new planner again! Or is it?

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(image from 1101 website)

Well, Hobonichi is definitely a smart company, and they came out with the half year Avec Hobonichi Techo this June to entice people to try out and use their planners. I willingly fall for it every time. I fell into this rabbit hole from an A6 Hobonichi Techo, to the English planner, then to the A5 Cousin size, and finally to the A5 Cousin Avec Hobonichi Techo I’m using this year.

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(image from 1101 website)

During the normal planner sale season, you have to buy the Hobonichi Avec versions as a set: The January – June, and July – December booklets. As we are approaching the half of 2016, you are now able to purchase only the July – December Hobonichi techo planner (or Avec, as they named it) for the second half of the year. You can find information about how to purchase it in Hobonichi’s online webshop.

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I’m a big advocate for the Avec, because if you are a decorative girl like me, your Hobonichi tend to bulk up before the year is over. Continue reading

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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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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Taipei Stationery Hotspots

Stationery addiction’s a national trend. Not only are illustrators designing new products and producing washi tape from their artworks, we can see new stationery boutiques popping up all over the place. Some are nestled within local cafes, some are sold in wholesale stores, and some are hidden in such secretive places that only the stationery addicts know where to go. For the stationery lovers out there that would like to check out the stationery scene in Taipei, I will make a brief guide to the kinds of stationery stores that you can find here!

Large Stationery Stores

  • Jieu Da Stationery 久大文具行
  • Guang Nan 光南
  • Stepping Stone 墊腳石
  • Kingstone 金石堂
  • San ming bookstore 三民書局
  • Eslite 誠品書局
  • Kinokuniya 紀伊國書店
  • Tokyu Hands 台隆手創館
  • JSF Mall 金興發

Entering these large stationery stores is like going into candy land for stationery fanatics. The selection is large and varied. From pens to folders and from washi to art supplies, there are too much to choose from, and at very cheap prices too. Jieu Da Stationery & Guang Nan are stationery stores that are the favourites among students, because of their relatively affordable prices of all kinds of pen and paper tools for student use and normal office supplies. Jieu Da offers membership cards and you can buy things at up to 20% off normal market prices. Guang Nan offers similar selection of stationery at already discounted prices. Stepping Stone Kingstone bookstores have a whole floor dedicated to stationery supplies, and they have more authentic Taiwanese designer stationery in stock. The best location to browse through all four of these stores are at Taipei Main Station.

Another three Bookstore/Stationery Stores are San Ming, Eslite, and Kinokuniya. San Ming Bookstore carries more stationery items that are from Taiwanese wholesale stationery companies, including designer’s washi such as Kikisui and Chuyo. Eslite goes for a more modern look and features imported stationery items at higher prices. Its bookstore are beautifully designed and is great place to while away the day. Kinokuniya offers more Japanese oriented stationery items such as Midori Traveler’s Notebook items and fabric pouches. If you are visiting the Kinokuniya at Breeze Center, make sure to check out Tokyu Hands just a few floors above to see more Japanese stationery items!
If you are visiting the famous Shilin Nightmarket in Taiwan, then there is another stationery store that you must not miss. JSF Mall (pronounced Jin Shin Fa) is right next to the night market. It has the most selection of diary stickers and at super valuable prices. Many of their notebook and stationery items are Korean-inspired but made in China. You can also find many Taiwanese brand stationery in this store as well~
Unique Stationery Boutiques

  • Tools to Liveby 禮拜文房具
  • Vision Stationery 明進文房具 (review here)
  • 1 over 1 Workshop 一分之一工作室
  • Plain Stationery 直物文房具
  • Hsiao Pin Ya Ji 小品雅集
  • Pinmo Liang Han Paper Lab 品墨良行 巷內店

These boutique stationery stores offers more selected items, and their owners are all stationery addicts as well. The items that they chose from Japan, Europe, or even locally designed are very tasteful and beautiful. The environment is very quiet and homey, and all the stationery items are laid out like pieces of art. Tools to Liveby is a local favourite because they designed many stationery items themselves. Their most favoured items are the beautiful scissors and gold and silver midori clips. Vision Stationery has a very friendly owner who lives to provide quality paper that are fit for fountain pen. He offers a variety of Midori Traveler’s Notebook items as well (usually at the most valued price in Taipei). 1 over 1 Workshop is easy to overlook if you don’t follow the address, because it is within a neighbourhood apartment and you actually have to be buzzed up through the door bell to enter. A unique feature of this workshop is that they have a table dedicated for you to test out their planners and journals and many pens you can use to test-write. Hsiao Pin Ya Ji is the place to go if you are a fountain pen lover, where they offer a variety of selection from beginner’s to more expensive brands. It’s actually the friendly customers there that would often pat you on the shoulder and give you recommendation on what to buy. I’ve yet to visit Plain Stationery but it’s also on my bucket list~ Pinmo Liang Han Paper Lab is also an interesting stationery boutique to visit. Their feature products are handmade notebooks and paper products!

Stationery Cafes

  • Treellage Life Cafe 樹樂集
  • 61 Note Shop & Tea
  • Mogu Cafe 蘑菇
  • Ryou Cafe 日楞咖啡
  • Meet Bear 覓熊咖啡店

Online Venues

  • Masking-tape.tw 小徑文化
  • books.com.tw 博客來

DIY Sticker Flakes for my Hobonichi

I would like to make a confession, I’m a sticker hoarder.

I’ve been addicted to stationery since I was  little girl, always eager to grab the coolest pencil cases, milky color rollerball pens, and food-shaped erasers. However, my greatest addiction are stickers, lots and lots of stickers.

I had a plastic sticker book where I store my collection of Hello Kitty sticker flakes, Dragon Ball manga characters, and even action figures such as Power Ranger and Superman. As the stationery market become more developed in Taiwan,  I grow to be a sophisticated planner user, and stickers are necessary decorations to my daily diaries. There are daily diary stickers (the cute and expressive ones are from South Korea), sticker flakes designed by Taiwanese illustrators, and endless selection of envelope seal stickers from giant Japan stationery manufactures. I hoard stickers like there’s no tomorrow, and I’m reluctant to use them because they are too pretty!

IMG_4472(showing off my latest conquests: Cosplay Ojisan, Bruce Lee Cat, and Veggie birds)

It’s no wonder that I soon wanted to create my own stickers. Using label sticker papers from wholesale office supplies, I started to design my own round stickers featuring my penguins. I have a few pieces of these sticker papers lying around, and I thought, why not make customised sticker flakes for my Hobonichi Journal entry?

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Hobonichi Flip Through January Part 2

wHAT ARE YOU WRITING IN THERE ALL DAY?

says Mom.

In today’s post, I’m continuing with my Hobonichi Filp Through of January! This month I had the opportunity of visiting many exhibitions and art shows, so there are a lot of colourful things to draw. It’s also when I started exploring and experimenting different uses of washi tape and stickers in my diary as well.

I’m contradictory in that I wanted to use up all the cute stickers that I own, but at the same time I wanted to keep my diary in a minimalist style, keeping everything in black and white. Apparently with my latest addiction with watercolour, that’s not going to happen anytime soon (the black and white thing).

A dear friend sent me a happy mail of Sai Watercolour brushes! I immediately wanted to try it out in my journal. Unfortunately my first grasp of this pen is not very well, and I ended up with super saturated strokes. However, I love how many colors this set of pen has! Too lovely for words.

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I love to use washi tape to save all the tickets of the exhibitions or shows that I’ve been to. Usually the tickets are beautifully designed, and can be a colourful reminder to your adventures.

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Hobonichi Flip Through January 2015 part 1

It feels really good to start off the new year by art journaling in the Hobonichi. The format of the Hobonichi Techo and the constant reminder to put in something wonderful each day really helps give a sense of purpose in keeping this journal.

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To recap, this is a A6 Hobonichi Techo English Planner. Although it lack the detailed timeline bar, the check boxes on top, and has a different type of format from the Japanese Techo version, I feel that this layout allows more blank spaces for writing and drawing.

I wanted to start this year with a bang, so I figured I’d buy a lottery ticket to test my luck. Well, if I had won, this ticket won’t be stuck to this page now ;). I love cutting out cute pictures from beautiful brochures and flyers, especially in the city of Taipei where there are many artists showing off their trade.

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