Jan. 24, 2021

21. A visit from the Queen of Washi, Beth Hobson

21. A visit from the Queen of Washi, Beth Hobson

In today’s episode, we will be talking about something near and dear to most stationery lover’s hearts, WASHI TAPE!  Our guest has established herself as the enabler for all things washi.

Please welcome Pen Addict Slack royalty, the Queen of Washi, tis herself, Beth Hobson!

InkyConverters https://www.etsy.com/shop/inkyconverters

Nutmeg and Arlo https://www.etsy.com/shop/NutmegandArlo

Mildred for Tea https://www.etsy.com/shop/Mildredfortea

Simply Guilded https://simplygilded.com/

Kawaii Pen Shop https://kawaiipenshop.com/

Once More with Love https://oncemorewithlove.com/

Coffee Break Planner https://www.coffeebreakplanner.com/

Wonton in a Million https://wontoninamillion.com/

Original Kawaii Pen https://originalkawaiipen.com/

Tiny Deer Studio https://tinydeerstudio.com/

Shoal https://shopshoal.com/

Jet Pens https://www.jetpens.com/

AliExpress https://www.aliexpress.com

Cocoa Daisy https://www.cocoadaisy.com/

Baum-kuchen studio https://www.baum-kuchen.net/pages/studio-shop

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/stationeryorbit?fan_landing=true)


[00:00:00] John (2): Welcome to episode 21 of stationery orbit, where we are all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host John West and in today's episode. We will be talking about something near and dear to most stationery lovers hearts, washi tape. Our guest today has established herself as the enabler for all things washi, please welcome pen addict, royalty the queen of washi TIS herself, Beth Hobson.

Hi Beth

Beth: Hi, how are you?

John (2): I'm doing wonderfully. So Beth, you can't have you gotten all the way to the pinnacle of washi tape and become the queen of washi without having a starting point. What got you into washi [00:01:00] tape?

Beth: Well planners and I'm actually on the pen addict, friends of the show episode. I forget which one, but we go into it. They're my like original. Addict-ness was planners. I've had planners in high school college, and when I graduated from my first master's degree, I went back to Just using a Blackberry, the digital things, and then life got a little bit more complicated.

And so I started back with paper planners and I started with the Franklin Covey day on one page, like the big desk versions. I had this big zipper binder. It was great heavy as all get out. But the ones I liked were. They're decorated ones, but they only changed decorations  every month or every.

Quarter. So you would be looking through your planner and all the pages would [00:02:00] look the same. And I didn't like that. I, for me, there's something about the decorations on a planner page that make me want to use it by the time I was a couple of weeks into the same pattern. I just didn't want to use my planner anymore.

And that's the recipe for disaster in my life. So  I found a printable planner page shop on Etsy. And I started printing out my own pages and I started using washi. I started with just what I could get at like a Michael's and office Depot at the local target, just when I was out and about.

And it just snowballed from there

John (2): Yeah, I can't believe I ' 

Beth: ve 

John (2): bought some of the stuff out of the stores and the scotch stuff is just horrible.

Beth: Really because I, some of their stuff is like the tape is too strong for a lot of things that you want to use washi tape for, [00:03:00] but their glitter tape is the best. the it's really thick. So it, it definitely changes the thickness of your pages and stuff, but it doesn't flake off any other glitter tape flakes off.

So if you don't want glitter everywhere and you want glitter, washi, get the scotch ones pro tip from queen of washi.

John (2): nice. I'm going to take a step back here because you had mentioned your. Appearance on the Pen addicts, a friend of the show. And for anybody that's out there, that's not in the know on this. Brad Dowdy has his Pen Addict membership. And part of the Pen addict membership is getting access to something he does every week called the friend of the show where he has on various different pen addicts.

And a lot of them have a really great story behind it. And for Beth. Her episode was episode 18, a friend of the show where she got into planners and [00:04:00] washi with Brad.

Beth: Yup. That's basically my life is planers in washi.

John (2): So the one question we have to ask then, what are some of your favorite washi tape hacks?

Beth: First of all, Before we start hacking what you can do with washi.  We have to talk about what you used washi with, or for. In general. So 90% of my washi usage is just taking a strip of washi and putting it along the bottom of a page. Boom, you have some custom stationery or just a little decoration in your planner or in your journal, things like that.

That's like what I use 90% of  my washer usage is the other things that you can use it. For is you can use it to take in  school schedules or  in the before times we would have team [00:05:00] schedules. So you could take like for kids or whatnot, you could tape in ephemera from a date.

Like you went to go see a movie. You could washi tape the stub in there the skinny washi is also very useful. So I'm talking about the ones that are five millimeters wide or less. They're very useful for dividing up a page. And in my planner for work, I actually take it down the center of the page on.

On both like on my spread. So I'll have four columns. That'll do my planning with but you don't have to necessarily put it straight down the middle. You can offset it to one side or another. You can divide it horizontally. If you want to have a title section, you write your title, then you can sub put some washi down and then you can continue with whatever you want it to do.

You can block out certain parts of your page if that's useful for you.

John (2): yeah. And correct me if I'm wrong here because of how [00:06:00] repositionable washi is. If it turns out you got the spacing wrong, initially in your title was a little bigger than you want it, you can always move 


Beth: Exactly. Yep. And pro tip number two, when you're trying to remove washi, remove it at a 45 degree angle. Very slowly pull very slowly at a 45 degree angle from where you applied it. And that'll give you the best results to not rip the page, especially for things like the tamoe river paper and hobonichi's.

You have to be very careful with that paper cause it can it, depending on what washi tape glue situation you have, it could rip the paper.

John (2): Yeah, mileage. Mileage may vary on that one.

Beth: Exactly. But since we're here to talk about snail mail, I got some snail mail 

uses for washi as well. Probably the other thing I really love doing with my washi is decorating envelopes and there's a few ways that I do it.

You [00:07:00] can, on the back on the flap of your envelope, you can line the V with. Some washi. I actually like using a few like three or four washes on top of each other. Just   over the V of the flap. So you turn it over and there's three or four washes just horizontally across the envelope.

You can also wrap the washi around a corner. You can start over your top left corner and then it'll wrap around the back and then around, and then back around to the front for the. Bottom right corner on the front. And you can go back and forth in that. And that's kind of a cool design.

You can wrap it just entirely around the envelope. One of my friends does it vertically under his address label, which ends up looking really cool, especially with vertically oriented washi. 

John (2): And I think I've also seen where folks have [00:08:00] actually run it at an angle, like a 30 degree angle across the front of the envelope. And then they'll put  an envelope label on over the top of that, so they can read the address, but yeah, it really does give a really customized look to the envelope.

Beth: And that's actually another thing you could do if you like my envelopes usually end up being scrapbook paper, which isn't very legible when you write addresses on top of it. So I ended up getting a one of the little Rhodia pads, writing my addresses on there and then gluing it onto the envelope.

But you can also washi tape it on. Although like you said before, it can washi, can. Come up depending on what quality of washi you have. And so it's probably a good practice to glue it on and then use washi around your label as decoration.

John (2): yep. Because if even one corner of that gets lifted, the sorting machines are going to take it right off.

Beth: exactly. And you can also [00:09:00] use. Washi as a collage medium, especially for things like junk journal spreads or journal spreads that you kind of want to get a little artistic. You can tear washi, not just straight down, but you can make a ragged edge and you can layer some washi on top of that.

And it ends up looking like a cool little effect, especially for journaling pages. So those are , my washi tape basic. So now we're going to get into washi hacks. First of all, the, one of the things that I've recently come across is washi tabs. Specifically the ones that have been designed by Lauren Phelps designs, she made a roll of washi that has 

the months of the year on it and it's pre perforated. So you pull off just the tab for January and you can put it on your planner page, just  you would put it, on [00:10:00]  one of the edges of the page and then. Flip it over and glue it together. So you end up having a little January tab on the side of your planner. That's where I've used mine. You can also use it for journaling pages and stuff. She has  month. Tabs and , there's a heart, there's a star, there's some other designs that aren't dated.

So you can use those, the tab, other things. But I've gone ahead and tabbed my entire monthly and weekly spreads for my hobonichi. 

John (2): Yeah, you gotta have that quick reference.

Beth: yes. To be able to immediately flip to what you want is. Awesome. But you don't necessarily have to have these tabs for it. , you can do that with any washi tape.

This one is just special because it has the names preprinted on it.  So you can do that with any other washi, if you want to Mark something  [00:11:00] did you know about a washi emergency stash?

John (2): I've had Washi mailed to me on cards, but I have not, I've not seen an emergency stash yet.

Beth: That is exactly what it is the so the other use for  gift cards and PVC ID cards is to give samples to your pen pals. You can also do the same thing you take washi and you just wrap around one of the sides and fill up your. Card and now you have a very portable washi stash.

So in case if you wanted to go on vacation and who, or who's going on vacation right now, I don't know you're leaving for something and you want to have some washi, but not a lot of washi.  Just taking a couple of gift cards is a great way.   You mentioned before it's very easy to give washi samples to pen pals on the PVC cards too, very mailable.

[00:12:00] John (2): Yeah, I've seen a lot of washi exchanges here recently out on the Slack.

 Beth:  So my next. Tip, you know, how on a usual monthly spread there's dead days, there's days that don't belong to the month on that page?   I usually. Decorate, like I feel in those days with washi so that when I'm looking at my spread, I can just see, okay, January started on Friday. I don't know if it started on Friday this year or not, and it's ending on a Tuesday. And so I know that. When I get to there, I can just flip to the next one.

And then I, that I cover the days on the February spread that aren't February days. And that's another thing that adds decoration to a planner, but it's still useful. I think .

John (2): Yeah. Just being able to block that out so that when you're visually scanning through your calendar and your agendas, that you're [00:13:00] immediately going. Okay. I can ignore that part.

Beth: Exactly and actually that brings to mind another one you can use. I especially like the skinny washi for this, but you can use different Thicknesses, if you have for example there's a virtual conference you have to attend. You can block off those days with washi on your calendar, so you can just take your washi and just run it over those days.

And so you'll know if you're looking at the calendar. Oh, those days are for something else. Or you can do it for someone's visiting you. Who visits anyone right now, if you're going on vacation into like, where are you not going to see anybody? So things like that to block off days of time on a planner spread, , you can also, we talked about using the washi tabs to make a quick reference sheet,  so you can flip to it, but you can wrap the washi around one side of a page. And so when you look at the loose [00:14:00] pages, what's the opposite of a spine of a book?

John (2): It's something like the free edge.

Beth: That's I'll go with that. So when you look at the free edge of your book, it's, you can see that page is marked with washi. It'll stand out, but it doesn't necessarily stand out and you can still get to it pretty quickly.

John (2): Yeah. It will also be thicker so that it does stand out a little bit, but it'll be more to the textural 

Beth: Yeah. And this one, my next one  I stole from a friend because I thought it was a brilliant idea. She had a five-year journal  and the first day that she used, it was particularly not a great day. So when she came back around to that day in year two, she covered that memory of the writing of the memory of that bad day with [00:15:00] washi that was gifted to her by friends.

So instead of having to look at there and remember such. A bad experience. She gets through remember, friends that supported her and like connections with people and good things rather than the bad things.

John (2): yeah, that's, that is a neat way of doing it, of replacing one with the other,

Beth: Exactly.       you don't necessarily have to use washi on paper there's a lot of things that we have at my house that my husband and I have each have one that the exact same thing, like a bike helmet, like an anker battery.

So I Mark mine with washi tape. So just so that when we like, Oh, this one doesn't have pink washi tape on it, that one's Richards. This one does have pink washi tape on it. That one's Beth's for us, that, that makes it pretty easy.  And then my last hack is also borrowed from a friend. She [00:16:00] uses the washi that's given to her on envelopes.

She will remove it from the envelopes to reuse in her journal. So like we were saying before, you can Remove the washi tape from a letter, from a page and reposition it somewhere else. And that's a cute idea. Being able to journal with the memory of a friend and  that always brings me comfort is using something that our friend gave me.

And so I think putting that in a journal is very poetic and it's a brilliant idea.

John (2): Yeah, it's definitely a nice way to remember friends and especially like letters because it's not just that you're remembering a friend, but you're remembering the friend's words and all it takes is one quick visual reminder to remind you of that.

Beth: Yes. Yes.

John (2): How many different types of washi have you discovered?

Beth: Yeah. I might cheat on this answer a [00:17:00] little bit, so I don't do a deep dive into the origins of something or how it's made or who's making it per se. So I'm kind of. Going I go on a general answer for you. So we talked about scotch tape before, so scotch tape and duct tape they also make washi tape in air quotes, but it has very, very strong tape.

So this is something that's going to rip your paper. If you try to  remove it.  There's things that you can get with scotch and duct tape that you can't get on other tapes, like the glitter tape that we mentioned before, or the duct tape has really good neon ones, very bright, vivid colors.

but. I dunno, that's a perfect personal preference. If you want to get those bright colors, that's where you're going to have to get it. If you want the glare tape, you're going to have to go well, if you want like glitter tape that [00:18:00] doesn't shed everywhere. You're going to have to go for scotch. 

John (2): Yeah, But 

I think you're right in making a distinction between what scotch and duct tape are doing versus what traditional washi tape is, which is a Japanese paper that is more of a masking tape. And not with a strong adhesive, but more with a really strong paper, but a lighter adhesive versus the lighter papers that you see in a lot of American tapes that just have really strong adhesive on them.

Beth: Yep. Exactly. And so that was my next type was the Japanese that's. Japanese washi will have.  Paper backing on it sometimes. So if you open up a roll and you're like wait a second. This is paper tape. No, it's not. It's a sticker. And you pull off the sticker.

The other couple general styles that I know is foiled. Having. Foil accents on washi tape [00:19:00] is very popular right now. And it's usually a metallic or a holographic. Elements with different colors. So you can see gold and silver Rose, gold, holographic copper. There's definitely different. A lot of different ways.

I think the company simply gilded was the one that started that. But I could be wrong with that, but you can get foiled washi almost everywhere now.  

John (2): I'll make sure that we have a link to that in the show notes.

Beth: Perfect. And the last type is perforated. Most of the perforated ones are made to fit the Erin Condren planners or happy planners. There are very specific Width across for the columns. And so they are perforated in that width.

So it will perfectly match up with your planner. You don't have to do any fancy cutting or whatnot. Oh, that reminds me of pro tip [00:20:00] number three. So remember we talked about your emergency washi stash. You have some washi tape on a gift card or PVC card. You can use that edge or a driver's license, something like that, to. cut your tape. So what you'll do is you'll lay your washi tape down, take your the non taped edge of your gift card and put it on the line where you want the washi to stop. And then you can tear the washi with the other with your other hand, and that'll give you a clean edge for your planner.

Pretty precise. And you don't risk cutting everything as part of your arsenal already. 

John (2): I have a feeling that one that was actually personally directed, just because I tend to cut everything with a box knife. And so I've cut plenty of Washi and cut everything, all the layers below it. Whenever I do that.

Beth: but maybe  [00:21:00] that's what you do, and all  I'm telling you. Yes. I got the nickname of queen of washi, but I'm not the authority. There's plenty of ways that you can do washi that I haven't mentioned.  What I love about that is the, you get to do your own thing.

And if, and cutting washi with a box knife is very sharp and the cool, and that gives a cool look that definitely. Does a different look then other things other people might want to, tear a ragged edge because they think that looks cool. And all of it is, and it's unique to that person.

Which is another reason why like snail mail is every letter you get is  like that person's essence on a piece of paper, which I just love.

John (2): Yep. So how large is your washi collection grown to?

Beth: Very, but I figure you would want numbers. So I actually did a rough [00:22:00] count and I probably have something around 200 rolls of washi right now. But I, that was after a big de-stash and gifting thing that I did in December and January. And of course prepping for this episode, I went to all my favorite washi stores and found some washi that I didn't have.

So , um, order some more.


John (2):  Was it you that just posted up on Slack? The the table of elements washi was that somebody else.

Yeah, I, 

I'm totally going to have to go buy some of that.

Beth: I'm not very good about finding new washi. Usually other people , find new stores and then they tell me about it. And then I'm like, Oh, this is awesome. And I tell everyone else about it.  There was also a post today I believe. That someone had used washi tapes and make a board game like it was washi tape and it's a board game that you can [00:23:00] play with friends. 

And I thought that was brilliant.

John (2): yeah, that is   

Beth: it wasvery cool 

John (2): so, 

yeah. So you had mentioned some of the different styles of washi with the glitter and the Japanese styles and some of the other styles. Do you have a personal favorite style of washi?

Beth: all of them just getting that's another cheater answer.  I actually just use a whole bunch of. Different styles. I do like the cutesy kind of kawai styles. I like generally I like floral and geometric design. So my, my collection is usually around those items. One thing that I don't, I probably don't have any of them is washi with food on it, for some reason that I just don't like it.

And so I don't have that, but there's definitely washi with Cheeseburgers and donuts and [00:24:00] pizza, and I'm like, Nope, I'm I can live without that. There's also very wide washi, like two inches wide, three inches wide that I don't use very often. And I think all the ones that I have were gifts from friends

John (2): Yeah, I agree with you on that one. Cause I've one that's a little over an inch wide with the planets on it and I have a hard time using that one.

Beth: Yeah. One friend uses them for envelopes, which is pretty brilliant. So that's because that's a better space to use that on, but generally I just don't use it.

John (2): Yup. So do you have you, you were talking about different patterns and do you have a favorite pattern of washi.

Beth: I do probably my favorite ever. Maybe. Yeah, I'll say that my favorite ever was made by inky converters on Etsy. She has a snail mail washi 

that has , [00:25:00] adorable snail man postman and 

letters. And postage stamps. It's adorable. 

And I had I would like 

to believe I had a hand in creating that. So if you didn't know, inky, converters has a sticker shop on Etsy and all her stuff is geared 

around stationery.

So she has a trash Penda. She has Like a lamb, E that's a lamb in lederhosen with the, with a Lamy pen. And things like that. She had this sticker sheet that was all snail mail. So there was pens and stamps and the cutest snail man post man little thing of a letter, it was just adorable.

And I had messaged her and said, if this was a washi. I would love if 

this was 

washi. And then a few months later I had the washi. I'd like to say, I think I [00:26:00] have a hand in that, but really thank you, Angela. You do beautiful stuff. It's wonderful. Keep on doing it.

John (2): yeah, she really does. And I'm looking forward to, she's got some new stuff coming out. That's going to be very cat themed. And I think that there are going to be a few of us that are going to be buying a lot of that.

So you had mentioned that inky converters is on Etsy and it seems like Etsy is the real place to go to, to really satiate your stationery addict needs. And what are some of your favorite Etsy stores?

Beth: on Etsy. I really like inky converters. Of course. I'm going to plug her as much as I can because I just adore what she does. Nutmeg and Arlo is another one they have I had gotten some Harry Potter themed washi from them, which is really cute. There's also Mildred for tea, which has [00:27:00] more landscapey kind of, , patterns. 

John (2): Yeah, I was actually looking at the, Nutmeg and Arlo and it's not washi, but I liked the very first item on, there is a pin that says if you can't be kind, be quiet.

Beth: I like those that's perfect.  On Etsy, you can, if you have a specific thing that you want just search for it, like skeleton washi for Halloween or reindeer washi for Christmas or fireworks washi for 4th of July, anything that you want tie, dye. Anything like that, just do that.

And washi and Etsy is going to give you a lot of good  options. Because of some of Etsy's recent Decisions, a lot of people have moved off of Etsy. So they're, if you might find other things outside of Etsy and [00:28:00] I'll tell you my favorite jobs, but we also, you mentioned simply gilded before, and they're just really good by the way, they have a new release dropping this week.

That's Valentine's day themed. It's really nice. They have a Subscription a monthly washi subscription, and you can do a sticker add on to that. That's also very nice. The stuff that's available in the subscription isn't usually available in the shop and it's a lot of washi and a lot of really good washi. I also really like Kauai pen shop and they have a lot of the Japanese cute items as well. So you can get your. Cute post-its and paper clips along with your washi. Original Kauai pen is also along those same lines. And then there's a few that do their own Illustrations that are really cute.

So [00:29:00] there's once more with love, coffee break planner, and Wonton in a million. Wonton in, a million has partnered with Michaels recently. And so you can sometimes find her sets of her washi at Michaels. But once more with love coffee break planner, and  Wonton in a million all have like their own style.

That's very cute. And there's a couple other newer ones to me that. I like a lot. There's tiny deer studio. I wouldn't recommend their paper offerings for fountain pen users, but the washi is really nice. It's a geometric usually in design. The there's a Shoal. It's called shop Shoal and they have nature inspired items.

You can get like bags and [00:30:00] mugs and that sort of stuff, but their washi is really, really nice. It's got the foil accents on there too. So you can have one of, one of my ones from there is jellyfish. And so it'll have. If you tip the washi in the right light, it'll look like the w the jellyfish or luminescent, which is really, really neat.

And then there's some other bigger shops that you can get. There's really good offerings. Jet pens does a really good job of getting washi tape and. Ali express is also a good option. If you don't have a whole bunch of funds and you have time to wait, I would recommend Allie express.

It's kind of hard to find what you want because of, sometimes the English site and the Japanese or Chinese. Photo descriptions. [00:31:00] They don't pair up. So you have to guess at what you're getting, but you usually can get a whole bunch of stuff for a couple of dollars. If you spent I don't want to say like $10, you probably could get some, probably eight rolls of washi. And some of them are the very thin Japanese ones, but you're going to wait two weeks, three weeks, two months, something in there for them. But it's a good bang for your buck if you want to try washing. And you're not so sure that's a whole bunch of cheap washi.

They also have some other ephemera as well. If you want to play with those too. And that's my list of stores.

John (2): yeah,  there were two of them on your list that I really wanted to to highlight on there. Just cause they are two of my personal favorite stores. You had baum-kuchen , uh, on your list and jet pens, and both of them are [00:32:00] really specialized in bringing in Japanese stationery. And also for baum- kuchen.

They've also got the roterfaden taschenbeglieters, the planners that they have from Germany.  Jet pens is also a distributor for roterfaden. So you've got two of my favorite stores that specialize in Japanese stationery that are also getting into the German stationery fields.

And. One last thing about baum-kuchen is they have got some of the best wax seals. They've got some very  imaginative stuff and really well executed wax 

Beth: seals 

Yeah I've abandoned wax seals for washi. I feel kind of 

bad. Like it's just for me it's a little too much fuss. Okay.

John (2): Yeah, I actually just had a letter show up this last week that was letter locked with washi tape. And , uh, it took me [00:33:00] aback and Oh, that's definitely not what I was expecting, but it was honestly a little frustrating to try to get that whole thing apart without tearing the letter apart. So it worked.

Beth: Yeah, that's cool. I haven't seen that yet. The letter locking with washi tape.

John (2): yeah, this is the first time I'd seen it. I definitely think I'm going to be trying that. And actually one of the things you had talked about before of taping in pages for like sports events or for schedules and that kind of stuff reminded me a lot of something I was just talking about in the last episode about letter locking.

And one of the letter blocks that they did, that was kind of a fun. One was Albus Dumberdor's will where they were wax ceiling pages into his will. And I was, there was just like reminded of that because of the taping pages into a planner with Washi, which is a lot easier than [00:34:00] wax sealing it.

Beth: Yeah, 

John (2):  

Do you have a favorite snail mail embellishment?

Beth: Does cat hair count? 

Jus t  kidding  Usually I have  three cats at home. And so anywhere in between one and three cats will be around me. When I'm writing letters, they've gotten better about not eating the letters or like stepping over where I've just written, but there's definitely a high chance that cat hair is going to get in this letter.

But. For embellishments,  my favorites are washi tape and stickers. You probably could've seen that coming. I also really like using pilot parallels to write the person's name. So I. I do a little bit of calligraphy, only enough to do people's names in a calligraphy for my letters. That's like the [00:35:00] entire reason why I learned how to do different hands.

And I really like using. 


John (2): Yeah, and I really liked the parallels because they're one of the very few pens that you can really get away with using  glitter ink. And it actually comes through well on a shimmer ink, and even some of the sheening inks come through those a lot better than they do through a lot of the standard fountain pens.

Beth: Yep. I agree with that. 

John (2): think we had talked about some of the different planners that you use, but do you have a favorite paper?

Beth: Yes. The so currently I'm using  a hobonichi cousin, but. This is actually new this year is the first year that I've started using a hobonichi cousin. So it's going well so far. We'll see how it goes. But before that I printed all my planner pages. I printed them. I cut them down to size. I punched holes in them [00:36:00] to put in my Filofax style planner and the paper that I would use for that is the Kokuyo 64 gram one. 

   I usually get mine off of Amazon. You can get it in a four size and a five size. The eight five size are really love for letters. And I like it because you can get a ream for 15 $17 on Amazon and that's a lot of paper and  it lasts a long time.

John (2):  It's cool though, that you mentioned the kokuyo, because I actually just bought a ream of that after going through a little bit of a, an existential dilemma after I found out that my favorite wheat straw paper wasn't being made anymore. So I've now picked up on the kokuyo thing and I actually just.

Printed out a whole set of the Chronodex on a four so that I could cut it down at the traveler size and put that into  my Taschenbegleiter.

[00:37:00] Beth: That's cool. The chronoex is cool. I played with that for a hot minute, many years ago, but it didn't work for me, but the idea is very cool. So kokuyo  is I, it might be becoming my favorite. Just because of how cheap accessible the performance is really good. My other favorite is the tamoe river, 68 gram paper which I almost exclusively used in endless recorder notebooks.

That's the notebook that I use for my work planner and the. I just really like it. I, so there's something about the thinness of the 52 gram. That is off-putting to me, which is why it's interesting that I'm in a cousin this year, but the, I like the thickness and, but the performances is also very good, but it's expensive.

And of course now [00:38:00] it's no longer going to be made. So I've definitely stocked up on many, many. Notebooks, so we can figure out at a replacement.

John (2): The next question I have for you, and this is going to be. For a pen addict, like asking you who your favorite child is. Do you have a favorite pen?

Beth: I'm going to give you a cheater answer because I, that's not a fair question, but I like gel pens and fountain pens. Those are my favorite pens. But, and if you try to pin me down on more than that, we're going to have a fight. But the thing I love about pens is the diversity I can get in. The way the pen looks the way it writes the, and the inks that you can put in it, the, and how those inks look different between different pens.

That whole spectrum is what's beautiful about fountain pens to me. [00:39:00] So I can't get that with just a few. And then  gel pens were my first love though that I didn't come into fountain pens until after I had gone back to school and I use gel pens in there. And I got into the 0.5 millimeter, gel pens and the smaller ones too.

That's how I found Jett pens. Cause they were the ones that had my. Beloved pilot micas. And and then after, after I graduated, that's when I got into fountain pens and I started with the very fine, fine tips. And fortunately I was I won to give away that had had a broad nib pen and that started in my expansion of.

My fountain pen usage.

John (2): Yeah, I do love the broad [00:40:00] nibs, but I'm kind of in the same boat you are that for day-to-day writing, I can't really use anything bigger than a medium nib without it just wasting a lot of space, really fast

Beth: Yep. Do you mind me asking?  what, what do you write on 

John (2): I tend to mix it around a little bit right now. I've been finding that I liked the Mnemosyne papers. And as I mentioned before I really enjoyed printing stuff out on the kokuyo. A lot of it's because well, I'm , uh, Nerd. And I really enjoy doing my own custom stuff for planners.

And I'm doing my own kind of mixed up version of what Myke Hurley has  done with the theme system and putting my own stuff in where it's preprinted from day to day. So that they're  there. 



Beth: No. Yup. And that's the preprinted [00:41:00] thing gets me. I can't do a bullet journal minimalist thing, because I hate drawing out. Monthly spreads and like having having that set up already helps me just write down the thing that I need to know. I don't have to, I don't have as a setup step in there.


John (2): Yeah, I agree with you because you end up getting yourself going. And even if you're, even if you're journaling on a day-to-day basis, you get to the month where you're supposed to be doing the month review and the month carry over and the month spread. And even if you're not decorating it like crazy.

You're still having to go through the mental process of writing everything out and re and bringing everything, migrating everything forward. And I understand that's part of that system, but it's also a stumbling block for a lot of us, myself included. [00:42:00] So 

preprinting stuff alleviates that 

Beth: somewhat

Yup, definitely    team pre printed.

John (2): Yep. I won't ask if you have a favorite fountain pen, but I'll ask what fountain pen have you found yourself reaching for more recently?

Beth: Oh, that's also a hard question. Because I, right now I have. About 30 pens inked up. And my usual practice is to use a different pen each day. So I'm not  constantly reaching for one specific pen because then that doesn't work with changing pens every day.  Yeah, that's a hard question. I don't like that question.

John (2): Yeah, so I'll answer that one from my side, just because I have been traveling a little bit before the holidays and.  One of my favorite styles of pins to travel with are the vacuum fillers, such as the pilot eight two, three, or the twist V VAX [00:43:00] 700, because you can close the ink chambers on those and you don't have to worry about them blowing up on the plane.

Beth: I've never had a ink mishap on a plane yet, although I don't travel very often but I'm glad that you like yours.

John (2): Yeah, I haven't had a big problem with the explosions either, but I also tend to be pretty careful about keeping them nips up. And like I said, using the vac fillers, just cause you can close those eight chambers. Yeah.


All right, this will probably end up being a non-starter kind of question as well, but do you have a favorite fountain pen ink.

Beth: No, but I tend to be very seasonal in my ink choices. So like for last month in December, I had. Three or four or five pending DEP with green ink. And [00:44:00] this month I, January to me is a lot of like gray and dark blues, kind of like, gray colors, so this month I've been using I wrote them down, diamine, Earl gray, diamine, snow storm, and Papier plume bayou nightfall are kind of like my jam right now. And of course, then I'll really enjoy those for, Oh, another one is diamine Prussian blue. I'll really enjoy those this month, but when I get to February, I'll be like,  these aren't February colors. And then I'll put in all my.

Pink inks, of which I have a lot,

John (2): do you have a, do you have a favorite manufacturer for inks?  

Beth: I don't know that makes me curious that I kind of want to go digging into my FPC data and seeing if I have a preferred brand or not. I couldn't answer that off the top of my head. I do have [00:45:00] currently my store Inc storage situation is in flux, but I used to have 'em in. Boxes, which I don't recommend.

Don't put your inks in boxes. Cause then you have to open up it's horrible. Don't do it. But I divided it up into USA and Canada, Europe and Asia and Australia. And by far my Europe box is the biggest and heaviest, 

John (2): I believe that, 

maybe you can clue me in on this. Cause I, I feel like I'm a little clueless on this. How many inks are coming out of Canada other than Ferris wheel press.

Beth: Ferris will press that's all the, that's the one that I have, but I didn't, I couldn't put, I guess I could put North America, but then I don't have any Mexican inks, but I like it can't be USA because I have Ferris wheel pressings.

John (2): We're going to have to get Kate from Oxaca, a  coffee

Beth: Yeah. 

John (2): she can offer up.

[00:46:00] Beth: That would be cool. 

That'd be really cool. 

John (2):  Is there one technique that you'd like to share with listeners that you think will elevate their snail mail art?

Beth: Well, I'll tell you, what I want to do is like we mentioned pilot parallels in writing people's names. And I actually got that idea from someone on Instagram years ago. And unfortunately, I can't remember them to give them credit, but they used they might've even used, it used a folded NEB to write the name, but other things too, like they would write one word and that word would pop out of the page.

And that idea is very interesting to me. So I kinda want to play with that a little bit, to, to use pilot,  parallels as a transition or as an emphasis on a word. So it will  a pop out of the page. That's the one that I want to play with. [00:47:00]  Um, but I will say I will advocate for not buying things.

You don't have to buy things to, to be creative. In fact, in my opinion, not buying things makes you be creative.


John (2): because at that point you're grabbing a bunch of ephemera and washi tape and taping stuff in or taping stuff on and yeah, setting limits does have a tendency to boost creativity. And you had mentioned that you'd gotten an idea from somebody on Instagram and it leads into the next question, which are there artists out there doing amazing work that you think the stationery lovers need to know about?

Beth: Yes. We talked about washi, so I'll go there for a little bit. And I mentioned the simply gilded shop. They have a like a fan page where people will talk about Different ways that they use, obviously, like I just got this Washi and I love [00:48:00] it, but they also do other things like creating art pieces with washi they'll  specifically cut out , like for a coloring page, for example, they'll do the coloring with different washi and then take a step further than that and draw their own. Pieces of art and their medium would be washi and those are beautiful and brilliant. And I can't do that. So I have very much respect for that. 

John (2): that was Washi. Yeah. To me Washi would be like a perfect medium for tessellations 

Beth: That would be cool. That'd be really cool. I wish I had some artistic bent.

John (2): yeah. Well, you and I both, that's the reason why I use a lot of water and stamps and wax seals is to to cover up the fact that [00:49:00] I have no real 

Beth: Yeah. I do have several other shout outs. I want to mention though. We mentioned her before Angela at inky. Converters is brilliant and please support her because I want her to keep on making stuff because I love it all. It's wonderful. And my favorite, my favorites of hers that she does is the shimmer ink, unicorn, the trash Penda and the snail mail post man.

I th she has a new key chain with the post-match on it that I think I'm going to have to get. And I have I actually have kind of a big list here because I like sharing the love of friend. Eric Gama is he does junk journal spreads, which are beautiful, and I wanted him to get more.


John (2): You mentioned one thing there. Junk journal. Could you. 

Beth: Oh yeah.  If I showed you a picture, it would be recognizable , and [00:50:00] you've been talking about it, the use of  ephemera and other things to collage into a journal and then journal on it. That's junk journaling. So it, it would have pieces of. Scrapbook paper or decorative twine, it gets a little bit into 3d pieces too, like a button or layered ephemera, press flowers, things like that. Again, that's the one, one of the things that, that I don't do that I love watching other people do.

John (2): very good. Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for letting me interrupt you there. I'll let you get back on track with your list. 

Beth: Okay. And I mentioned him before or mentioned the site before a fountain pen, companion, I think is a work of art. So thank you urban for creating that for our community. I'm a very heavy user of FPC and. [00:51:00] Again, thank you to urban for creating something that helps us track and give us cool data as well as facilitate sharing of ink samples.

I have a letter press shop near me where I we're actually live. Not this year, but last year, my stocking for Christmas was full of their stuff and it was wonderful. It's called ink meets paper, and they make their own greeting cards and note cards. They also offer, or they used to  offer. Calligraphy classes like the modern brush calligraphy classes. And then I have two more.  There's a lot of. Cool people doing cool things. On Instagram, snail mail, Katie has a lot of wax seal posts and a very pretty stationery sets.

I like seeing her stuff about. [00:52:00] Specifically snail mail items. And then my last one is an artist called swatter color and it's on Instagram and it's mostly a boy talking to his cat, but it's got some mental health support in the comics, in the art, which I really adore.

John (2): Yeah that's one of those beautiful things about having pets around is that they end up being the one understanding ear that you can talk to when you really don't feel like you could talk to anyone else.

Beth: Or they're the ones that convince you that it's not a big deal because they're more important, at least for 

John (2): That's right. Yep. The last question I have for you is . 

What is your favorite purchase , stationery or not, in the last six months?


Beth:  Short answer is nail Polish. [00:53:00] For the past few months, I've started getting into indie nail Polish. Thanks to my sister. And the most recent purchase is from the brand Polish, which is P a H L I S H. And they may a line of studio ghibli themed. Polishes. And so they had a whole bunch of ones.

The ones that I personally got were called calcifer, witch of the waste and cat bus. They also had soot sprites and  Kiki, there was a Ponyo one , it was actually a very extensive collection, but  I love it when  my Love's kind of intertwine. So for the thing that got me into nail Polish was from the brand noodles  and they had collaborated with Audrey Madison to make a nail Polish that looked [00:54:00] like Raden on her sailor Vega, big and Altair.

And so the Polish, his name was Vega Altair. And. So the nail Polish looked like pens. And so in this collection that the naming reminds me of some of my favorite movies. And I just love love when that when those sort of things dovetail.

John (2): there you go. Yeah. It's something where I think that Nerds or Geeks or however you want to call us. We tend to, when we see something like that, where things get stacked on top of one another, it's just like, Oh, I've got to go get that.

Yep. So on that note  if you want to find more about Beth out on the internet, you can find her. On the Pen addict, Slack as Beth queen of washi, you can find her on Instagram at hobby girls ,  five seven, four one. And on [00:55:00] Facebook, she is part of both the Charleston planner, addict and Charleston pen Addicts group.

You can find me on Instagram at gneissguyCO, for pictures of my cats in life and at stationery orbit, for my stationery experiments. You can also write to me at stationery orbit attention, John West PO box six 21, golden Colorado eight Oh four Oh two. Stationery orbit is my main website where you can find links to the stationery orbit discord.

You can also find links there to my Patreon page and stationery orbit merch, which will help support stationery orbit and help keep you warm while you are making beautiful snail mail this winter last and not least there is an easy link to rate stationery orbit on Apple podcasts. Please join me for my next interview.

It's going to be a great ride.