Traveler’s Notebook Caravan in Taiwan

I’m BEYOND envious of everyone in Taiwan right now. Midair’s Traveler’s Notebook is holding a special exhibition in Taiwan along with the celebration of their 10th anniversary. Traveler’s Company Caravan designed a series of items that are inspired by local features of Taiwan! For a stationery addict like me, it definitely evoked a serious sense of nostalgia and excitement. I NEED TO OWN THEM ALL!

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In Taiwan, there are a lot of shops that treat TRAVELER’S notebook with care and respect, and there are a lot of good foods and heartwarming people, making it an attractive place to travel.

They collaborated with Eslite Bookstore for this special event. Unfortunately, this collaboration also allowed them to kick up the price of the items a bit. Eslite, why are you taking all of my money.

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Mini Stationery Haul – Fountain pen and Inserts

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On April 25th, a few of us planner addicts got together to a Planner Meet-up, where we share our planner usages and materials we use to decorate daily pages. After the event, a few of us decide to continue the stationery-high we were in, and check out a famous fountain-pen boutique in Taipei: 小品雅集, and a cozy stationery store tucked inside a discreet alley: Vision Stationery.

小品雅集 ‘s owner is a fountain-pen lover and collector. He imported a variety of inks and fountain pens from all over the world, and sell them at very fair prices in his boutique. The collection of fountain pen range from beginner brands (Pilot Kakunos, Sailor Candy) to more costly and high-end products (Montblanc, limited edition Graf Von Faber-Castell).

As a fountain pen beginner, my objective was Pilot’s Penmanship Fountain pen. It is a introductory fountain pen with Continue reading

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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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

Drawing Tips – Painting with Waterbrush

Friday was a national holiday in Taiwan because the government was compensating a day off for Qingming Holiday where everyone goes home to pay respect to the ancestors. My friends and I took advantage of this day off to go on a Picnic to Qingtiangang, a beautiful expanse of plain on top of Yangming Mountain.

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Of course I brought along my paints and sketchbook in hope to capture the beautiful scenery. I wasn’t disappointed, because the weather was super nice and I’d say it’s even feeling like summer has arrived!

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I recall when I was here last time (about two weeks ago), the weather was dreary and there was heavy mist up on the trail. We couldn’t see a thing within 10 feet, so we gave up and went home disappointed. (However, we did get to see some cherry blossoms on the way down the mountain).

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Hobonichi flip through December 2014 – part 1

I got my hands on the Hobonichi Techo planner in November last year. It was the English planner, and its December pages actually start from the 24th. Of course I couldn’t wait to start using it already, so I skipped ahead and actually started using the 2016 December pages! I figure that I would have gotten a new planner during planner season (September – November) later this year, and it will all cycle out eventually.

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My hobonichi planner set-up includes a cover page that I put on the inside of the planner cover. This one is a collection of inspirational phrases that make up the Good Life Project Creed. For those who would like to know more, the author and host of this website Jonathan Fields hold talks and conversations with entrepreneurs and incredible people. I love watching his videos and listen to his podcasts. This creed really speaks to a lot of things in life that we face, and which inspires us to be amazing everyday. I would always flip to this cover page for daily inspiration.

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30 Day workout challenge

Part of using a planner is trying to put some organisation in my life. It’s also the place to record new commitment and project plans! The latest priority in my life is getting more healthy and fit.

For me, working out always require some discipline, whether it’s a training plan or a fixed schedule of exercise. Using the vertical calendar of the Cousin to track eating plan and exercise hours is looking to have a fruitful result! I’m already loving the dropping numbers in my weight and body fat. My next challenge is to actually take photos of my before & after, and putting it inside the planner as well…(this is going to take some courage).

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One of my latest commitment to a exercise plan is Blogilate’s 30 day thigh slimming challenge.

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