Thursday, 30 April 2015

London Stationery Show Roundup / What is the future of stationery?

As many of you know from my postings around social media, I visited the London Stationery Show in errr, London yesterday. Some of you asked if I could take photos and / or vlog my trip yesterday. There were two reasons why this was not possible. Firstly I have only just ordered my new vlogging camera (the old one broke!) and that should be here today. Secondly it was a trade show with companies showcasing up and coming products so photography was not allowed. Such a shame I know because so many of you wanted a virtual trip. As I mentioned it was a trade show so not open to the general public, reatailers, designers and manufacturers of stationery only. There was nothing to buy at the show but I did walk a way with an armful of brochures!

I went to a trade fair earlier on in the year where I had already met many of the suppliers that were there but it was nice to go back and chat with them to re-confirm that I love their products and also to re-confirm the inclusion of the products in future Brimbles Boxes. With the boxes I do so much behind the scenes work, researching and sourcing products, coming up with themes etc. It is hard work but I do love it else I wouldn't be doing it!

Many suppliers don't actually let you or like you selling on platforms such as Etsy so I have an online shop on my direct website now with many scrumptious new things coming that I am just so excited about. I have an order on its way from a BIG US brand. Huuuuuuuge but I don't want to tell you about it just yet, I want to make sure that the stuff actually gets here first and is OK before I do. All I am saying is that it is a well known, high end fashion brand who also has a stationery line and it is hard to get hold of here in the UK. Some of you may have guessed so if you have just keep it under your hat for a while so as not to ruin the surprise for others. I know I am being a little bit secret with many things. Believe me I really do want to tell you but sometimes these things take a while to put in place with lots of talks with companies so until it is all finalised it is pointless getting your hopes up incase it all falls through! I don't think it will but you never know. I also like to keep things secret with the box so as not to spoil the surprise for you because I know how you love to be suprised when it gets to you.

We sat in on a talk about design trends forecasting over the next months and even up to two years away. It was really interesting to hear from a design forecasting agency that specialise in this aaaaaaand I have to say that I am bang on trend lol! How do I know this? Well the Brimbles Box is actually planned out months in advance. At the beginning of the year I plotted out the themes for each month. I don't have all the art work for the dashboards completed yet but I did just send off the artwork for the July box to the printers on Tuesday and am working on the art work for August and guess what...BANG. ON. TREND. Whoooooop Whooooop! I was really excited about that and had to restrain myself from fist pumping in the air lol!

So what can we expect design trend wise emerging in the stationery World? According to the forecasting agency we can expect to see...

1. Olympics / Brazil inspired with lots of bold colours and patterns which intentionally clash. They really are so clashing that they kinda just, well, work you know!

2. A sporty influence, again keeping in mind the future Olympics things.
3. Nomadic living, the idea of travel and being free to move around.
4. Summer, pastels and all things floaty.
5. Surrealism with lots of juxtapositioning, all inspired from the release of the 'Alice through the looking glass' movie in 2016.

6. Play. Play is big, lots of interactive things, more adult colouring books.
7. Nature particularly with an urban feel.

8. Oh and technology. Lots more technology interface. It is out now but I really like the idea of the Livescribe where you can write with a smart pen and it automatically sends it to you device. Nice.

Some interesting concepts there, some of which I have mixed feelings about and others I am really excited for. I think you stationery addicts will agree that there are some exciting times ahead of us especially with more and more fashion houses extending their ranges into stationery lines.

What I can say is that all in all it was a really good show. There were not as many traders there as I thought there was going to be and there were a lot more 'corporate' type items there which isn't really us. I mean they have their place but the style of stationery I like and I know many of you do is the more cute / quirky / kawaii or fashion led type which there was less of but luckily I had already found those people at a previous show so that was all good!

Watch this space, as I say some lovely new products will be coming to my shop TODAY and also over the coming weeks and months. I will still have my Etsy shop as that is my first love but not all companies will work with me if I have that and there are some companies out there that just have products to die for so I have to have my direct shop because I cannot pass those goodies up!

Mr B took the day off work to come for a jolly. I like to bounce ideas off of him and he is not one to pass up on a trip to London. We are only 45 minutes away on the train but we don't go all that often. We were only at the show for a couple of hours as it wasn't that big so I decided to treat him to a cake at Choccywoccydoodah. We love it there and always go when we are in London. It is when I say that I am only 75% vegan because I do love my choclate I am afriad. I am good 75% of the time and 25% of the time I cave to chocolate and cheese. If you have never been and you ever find yourself if London  you just have to try it and it is also a great excuse to look at the fab shops in Carnaby street. I could drool over the Irregular Choice shoe shop for hours!

We had a little mooch around Oxford Street, went to our favourite vegan restaurant (to counter balance the chocolate!) and then made our way over to Victoria where I convinced Mr B to let me go in to Hema. He hates the place, he likes shopping but isn't keen on Hema.

I must say I don't love Hema stationery, even though I know a lot of people do but I am not massively keen (don't shoot me!). I did make a purchase though and this is my little Hema haul...

I told you it was little. We then went to see Wicked the musical. We first saw Wicked for our first wedding anniversary 7 1/2 years ago now but we were poorly and coughed and spluttered our way through it. We always said we would like to see it again and on Tuesday night we were planning our trip and decided that whilst we were in London we should perhaps take in a show. Wicked popped up on our research so we decided to book last minute tickets. It was an icredible performance and didn't disappoint and I would so go and see it again!

All in all we had a fab day!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My new fabric Fauxdori or Neendori!

I have been on the look out for a non leather fauxdori for Jon for a while. I wanted to make him a garden journal as a present for valentines day. I purchased the inserts and then couldn't find a fauxdori anywhere! Most of the fauxdoris are leather or if not incredibly girly. I had to give him an I.O.U. for valentines bless him but he is ever so sweet and said don't get me anything at all. I had to though coz I love him and really wanted to. We tend to buy each other 'proper' presents not gimicky valentines things and also Jon loves practical / useful presents.

I did approach a couple of people but they never got back to me, then one day the lovely Serena Bee shared a photo on instagram of the needori she had purchased from Neen. I fell in love with it and had to check Neen out right away.

Image Credit:
Neen had and well actually still has some amazing fabric patterns in her Etsy shop and it was hard to resist. I was about to order when when I saw that she was able to do custom sizes so I thought I would message her and see if she could make me an A5 size one. Here in the UK we do things in 'A' sizes and so many of our notebooks are in A5 that I thought it would make sense. That and I am not 100% in love with the midori size if I am perfectly honest. Any road, Neen was amazing and got back to me with lighting speed and said yes. Whooop whooop!

Now as I was ordering from all that way I figured it would make sense to order two as I knew that I would regret it if not and then have to make another purchase so I bought one for myself too. I know, I know, like I need another! lol! But seriously way too cute.

They came really quickly and I was going to film an opening but I got waaaaaay too excited and just had to wrip the packaging off so sorry about that. I did manage to take a snap of the packaging to share with you guys though because it is so pretty...

So on to the neendori's that I got. For Jon I got a flower one. I wanted to make Jon a gardening journal so I thought this was very fitting as he does like his garden. Some may think that this is really girly but let me tell you Jon isn't massively 'butch' or anything and would be very happy with this. he loves retro vintage stuff too and I just thought this would look really nice. I will share more once I have set it all up for him.

On to mine then. I kept looking and looking because I couldn't decide on which one to get, I mean all of her fabrics are just so darn adorbs! I just kept on coming back to the fabric I chose time and time again. I was avoiding it thinking am I sure about this but as it kept on drawing my eye I knew it had to be mine so make it mine I did!

Neen is able to make some customisations too so I opted to have a cute little Kawaii cloud added to the front of mine.

Neen also added a bit of bling to my elastic which I hasten to add is really sturdy. In fact the whole thing is really sturdy, fabulous quality and really well made.

Attention to detail is fabulous, I mean just look at the inside...

I am over moon with my two purchases and look forward to using them and setting them up. You can be sure that I will show more in the future! Go check out Neen, you won't be sorry!

Instagram: @jjshowers or @neenshowers

I do have a video where I talk about the neendori's and show them a bit more:

Monday, 27 April 2015

‪#‎natstatweek‬ / National Stationery Week

It is that time of year again folks, the time of year that all of us stationery addicts / nerds / lovers (call yourself what you will) have been waiting for. Yes that's right it is National Stationery Week. Whoooop Whoooop!! As if you needed me to tell you right, I mean I am sure you statioery lovers have had this marked in your planners all year! Oh and we also have World Stationery Day on 29th April too.

So to find out more head on over to:

What's it all about? Well according to the NSW website..."One of the aims of National Stationery Week is to get people talking about stationery and writing products. What they like about them and their favourite products and brands, and even their favourite retailers. And of course, to encourage more people to write by hand and not just text or email".

How will I be celebrating? Well firstly I am offering you all a lovely 10% discount on all purchases from my Etsy shop. Just use coupon code NatStatWeek2015 from 27th April to 3rd May and 10% will automatically be deducted at checkout. There is no minimum spend. Please not that this only applies to my Etsy shop and not my direct / website shop

On Wednesday 29th I will be heading off to the London Stationery Show. I met many of the companies at a trade fair earlier on in the year but I am off again for several reasons...1. It is THE stationery show, 2. It is World Stationery Day, 3. To see what else is new or coming up in the Stationery World and 4. To firm up and finalise some of the 'deals' I have been talking about with suppliers for inclusion in the Brimbles Box. Exciting stuff indeedy and I can't wait!

How can you get involved? Well write a letter for a start and check out the Stationery Week website for events such as these...

Also don't forget to grab a badge / button for your website or blog:

So how will you be celebrating this week I would love to know?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Changing to Teal - This weeks pages

It's time for a change and by change I mean planner change. It is time to move into my teal coloured Color Crush Planner from Websters Pages. You know I like to switch my planners around every now and then and I just fancied teal this week! I have a lot of teal things as it is my favourite colour!

Products Used
Planner: Websters Pages Color Crush Planner in Teal with matching folio
Planner Inserts: Websters Pages week on two pages
Washi Tape: Scotch tape in teal purchased from Staples. Heart washi tape unknown. Hema and MT.
Journal Cards: Websters Pages - These are the days collection
Paperclips: White star and teal arrow both from Websters Pages, ribbon paper clips made by me.
Sticky Notes: Target $1 spot (shown at top) and the cloud ones in the pocket are from K&Co
Pen: My Etsy Shop
Embellishments: Grace Taylor - Happy Days
Post crad: Caroline South on Etsy

Friday, 24 April 2015

Using the Staying Inspired section in my Websters Pages Color Crush Planner

I thought today I would share with you how I have been using my 'staying inspired' section in my Websters Pages Color Crush planner.

At first I wasn't sure what to do with these pages and I know I am not alone as I have had comments and questions from you guys about it too. To be quite honest I could just leave the pages in there and not physically do anything with them because they are just so beautiful to look at. Your comments to me have been the same so I know everyone is in love with those pages. Some of you weren't really sure what the point of them is but what you have to remember is that Websters Pages are / were, first and foremost a scrapbooking company so it stands to reason that they would bring elements of scrapbooking and memory keeping through to their planners. As a journaller, this aspect is really appealing to me as you know that I like to memory keep myself. I don't scrapbook in the traditional sense but then I think that in itself is a dying trend with smashbooks, project life, planners etc becoming more and more popular.

As you know I am a bit of a nerd and I do enjoy experimenting and playing around with new things in my planner. It took me a while to know what I wanted to do with the pages though I have to say so you are probably not alone too! I had my planner out on my desk the other day whilst I was doing a spot of journalling so I had a load of ephemera out on my desk as well as some instagram snaps and then the idea hit me. I don't know why it hadn't before! Of course, these pages are just personal sized scrapbook paper so why not do a bit of scrapbooking / smashbooking on them. I know revolutionary thinking huh! So anyway that is what I did, you wanna see...

 I also have a video showing my pages off and talking a bit more about them:

So basically these pages can be anything that you want them to be. Here are my ideas:
  1. Use the papers to add photos and collage elements on so you have photos of your loved ones to look at when you are out and about
  2. 'smash' bits and bobs that you have like ticket stubs and receipts on the pages for memory keeping
  3. Stick paint charts and other bits that inspire you on the pages to use them as a mood board
  4. Laminate them and use them as dashboards
  5. If you don't want to use them in your planner take them out and add them to your journals as background papers or wrip them up for use in mixed media projects
  6. If you find the paper 'too chaotic' just keep the 'staying inspired' tab in your planner and put other paper behind it for jotting down ideas or things that inspire you.
  7. If they really don't work for you, don't sweat it, just take them out. Just because they are in there does not mean that you have to use them OK
A lot of people see that a planner should be a planner and journals should be journals. I know the whole decorating your planner thing can sometimes get mixed reactions. Plannerisms wrote a really interesting article on this recently so if you haven't seen that do go and check it out. I personally do very much enjoy decorating my planner. For me it is another creative outlet. I find it really relaxing to stick stickers down, I have said this before I know. I like the cross over with planner / journal / memory keeping and this is something I want to explore more myself. Suzi Blu is a mixed media artist and this is something that she does with her planners and I love looking at her pages! Again this is another reason why I truly enjoy the Websters Pages Color Crush Planners, because it allows me to get more creative or give a little spark that I wouldn't have neccessarily thought of before.

So come on how are you using your pages? Please show me because I want to see!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Supplier Spotlight - Craftin Chaos - Planner Clips

It has been a while since I did a 'Supplier Spotlight' because I haven't been buying much of late. What with vets bills, saving for a new camera and the fact that I probably have more stationery related products than I should have it has been a bit quiet on the purchasing front!

Anyhoo I have something adorabubble to share with you today. About a month ago now I was doing the Websters Pages Color Crush Planner daily photo challeneg on instagram and one of the prompts was 'rainbow' and this is the photo that I shared...

I love Rainbow Brite and this is my original doll from when I was a child in the the 80s and the stickers were sent to me by a friend in the States. I can never use them, I just have to hoard them! Actually I am going to laminate them and make them into a page marker! So after I shared that photo someone whispered in my ear that my good friend Deb from Craftin Chaos made her a Rainbow Brite clip. How did I not know this!! Of course I had to have one didn't I, it stands to reason. Now Deb doesn't really make this to sell because as you can see it is so inticate with lots of itty bitty pieces but her arm was twisted and she made me one and I am crazy in love with her...

She even has a little rainbow to match...

If you have never checked out Deb's shop before you certainly have to because her clips are simply stunning. She has such an eye for detail and the quality is incredible. I have a few of her clips now but these two are also new additions that came with Rainbow Brite.

Isn't little Foxies glasses just simply adorbs!

And look at my Splodgey bear made into a paperclip, she can go in the FluffyFax to be with her friends forever...

Thank you Debs for another amazing package and seriously folks, go check out her store, it's a must!

This weeks Pocket Letters

This weeks in coming Pocket Letters...Again no commentary as I don't feel like I can do these justice at all!