(tip o’ the hat to Kimberly)
I’m an equal-opportunity office supply junkie. Pens? Yes, of course. Paper? Yep. Staplers, paper clips, clipboards? Don’t mind if I do. And the coup de gras of old office goodies, manual typewriters? Oo la la!
This weekend we went out to our favorite antique mall which is often a hot bed of vintage office supplies like old staplers, pocket notebooks with feed store logos and the occasional bullet pencil but typewriters tend to be of the dusty-and-rusty variety and never anything serviceable or useable. Until this weekend when I stumbled across a minty Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 22.
The mall was having a “meet the vendors” night with free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and special discounts on merchandise so this fine piece of mid-century mechanics was 35% off. I grabbed this beauty and hopped to the register faster than you can say “shabby chic” and then we headed over to Skylab Letterpress to do some light cleaning and oiling.
It cleaned up beautifully and the keys work beautifully. I just need to order a new ribbon for it. It has a switch for two-color ribbon so I’ll keep that in mind when I order a new spool.
Sadly, the typewriter no longer had its carrying case so I’m keeping an old bit of fabric over the top of it to keep it from getting dusty until I find a case for it. Holler if you happen to find one!
Do you peruse thrift stores, antique markets or yard sales for vintage office supplies, pens or pencils?
Every desk needs a little something-something to make it special. Have you considered the coffee cup or mug you use? Is it something beautiful and appealing to you? What about protecting your work surface with a coaster instead of using an index card or scrap of paper?
Here’s where typographic legends House Industries might have what you need. They’ve just announced their beautiful type ornament-mandala leather coasters, currently available through Heath Ceramics in San Francisco but soon available on their web site.
In the meantime, you can cool your heels while keeping your coffee cozy in the House/Heath Hasami coffee mug ($35). Retro cool never kept your beverage so warm.
All specialty skills have their own languages, knitting is no exception. In fact, it has its own codes to convey patterns and notes in a way that might baffle non-knitters. The new True Brit Knits knitter’s notebook provides a great place for knitters to track projects and pattern notes complete with standard pattern abbreviations and symbols on the inside front cover and a ruler in centimeters on the inside back cover, perfect for measuring your swatches. The kraft paper covers feature red, foil stamped knitting needles too.
It’s compact, A5 size is filled with 28 sheets (56 pages) of 100gms paper with clean white paper, alternating plain sides and 4:3 ratio graph paper printed in a pale blue. £10.00
I wanted to let you all know that The Well-Appointed Desk has a new sponsor, Gallery Leather!
I reviewed their leather-covered journals and notebooks not too long ago. I wanted to welcome Gallery Leather to the site and hope that you check out all their products which are assembled in the USA in Maine.
Their sponsorship helps keep me in pens, paper and pixels.
As a student, I frequently have to go back and reference older papers and essays (stored in binders) I have written. Though work in pen poses no problem, work in pencil, especially that older then a month, often becomes an unreadable gray smear due to pages sliding across each other. I use standard HB pencils (both mechanical and woodcase), but have often wondered if a harder grade would help mitigate this issue. Also, I have recently fallen in love with the FC 9000 pencils and am wondering how they are on the smudging issue, especially the HB grade ones.
I called in the pencil experts, the cast of the Erasable podcast to help get you the best answers. Here’s what the boys had to say:
While it might be a bit late in the month to bring this up, April is National Letter Writing Month. In 2001, the USPS released a statement to encourage letter writing by designating April as Letter Writing Month. We all already know and may have participated in February’s A Month of Letters or InCoWriMo but why not use April to reply to all those letters you got in February? That’s what I’m doing.
If you wrote to me in February, don’t be surprised if your reply arrives this month or in the early part of May. I’ve been spending each day writing at least one reply, usually over my lunch break in an effort to finally respond to the many cards, postcards and letters I received in February.
I did receive a few cards and letters without a return address. If you sent me a letter in February without a return address, I assume you were not anticipating a reply. If not, please send me an email using the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page and send me your mailing address so I can send you a proper reply.
There’s still more than a week left in April — plenty of time to dash off a few letters and cards.
(for more info, check out the post over on the Letter Writers Alliance blog)