Our Staff, in Summer Mode

Summer at the shop tends to be a slower, lazier time of year. School’s out and lots of folks in our community are off doing other things; nobody’s thinking too hard about back-to-school season yet; and the general vibe is hot and sluggish.

But this year started off a little unusually for our team, with our big Japan trip causing us to shut down the shop for a couple of weeks, and that means the rest of the year has looked a little unusual too. We’ve been playing catch-up this summer, working on lots of planning and ordering and website updates and other projects—so although shop days may feel quiet, there’s plenty to keep us busy!

Still, our staff is making sure to take some time to play: eating ice cream, visiting our favorite outdoor spots, and taking day trips to explore nearby towns. And of course, while we’re out and about, we’re usually carrying our favorite stationery around with us for writing down notes, drawing, journaling, and so on.

Here’s a little glimpse of what our staff is up to this summer—and what stationery we’re carrying around with us!


Between coastal road trips and hiking in state parks, summer is my favorite time to head outdoors and rest my eyes from looking at screens all day.

I’ll be bringing my new soft cover navy blue Mnemosyne 295 notebook and forest green Sakura Craft Lab 001 gel pen that I picked up from our recent Japan trip. The pen will be safely stored in my Lochby Quattro pen case along with my trusty Sailor fountain pen inked with Birmingham’s Polar Bear ink and an Ohto Sharp 2.0 mechanical pencil plus Tombow Fudenosuke for sketching and drawing.


For this summer, I would like to travel and visit as many local small stores as I can.

I enjoy carrying around my Hobonichi Original Planner in Chinese and reading the daily quote in it. My new Color Chart pen case from Itoya Tokyo is wrapped around my planner holding my favorite Minimo ballpoint pen, FriXion erasable pen, Cohana mini scissor, and our very own Above the Clouds washi tape.


Summertime is my favorite season of the year to enjoy outdoor hangouts with friends. With the variety of activities I can do, I change my bags often to match the occasion. So I tend to go for a stationery kit that can fit in all of them. 

My kit always starts with a notebook and this year it’s the Itoya Petite notebook which fits right in the palm of your hand and the perforated pages tear out cleanly when needed. I record my notes, to-dos, and memorable events there before transferring them to my One Piece Edition Hobonichi planner at the end of the day when I return home. I love my Hobonichi but I prefer to travel lightly in the hot summer months. After the notebook comes the mighty sidekick pens. I carry a Zebra Sarasa Vintage Gel pen and an Uni Jetstream EDGE 0.28mm ballpoint pen on a daily basis. Depending on my mood and the occasion, I might throw in a TWSBI ECO fountain pen to fancy up the collection. Other handy tools I have are The Paper Mouse Hide and Peek sticky notes, Midori XS stapler, a small retractable tape measure, MT washi tape, and Cohana mini scissors.


Since the first half of the year was full of plans and travel, I’m hoping to relax in the summer. I’d like to try out some new bakeries and cafes, walk through nature, document what I can in my journal, and start drawing more for fun.

I’ve been carrying my TRAVELER’S notebook with sketch paper and a Hobonichi Weeks stuffed inside. The TN also has a Card File for business cards and paper scraps, and a Zipper Case to hold stickers and washi. I’m still using the same yellow pencil case I’ve had for a few years. For summer, I’ve added water brushes, a few colored pencils, brush pens, and other drawing tools. There's also the one Platinum Preppy I always have inked up with Sailor Seiboku for writing, and a stub nib TWSBI Eco with whatever sparkly ink looks interesting at the moment.


This summer I’m on maternity leave, so my usual summer activities are filtered through the sleep-deprived haze of new parenthood, but I’m enjoying the warm weather and attempting a bit of gardening! 

I’m carrying around my favorite stationery setup: my Hobonichi Tragen notebook cover, which holds an A5 Kleid notebook (I love the tiny grid), an assortment of Zebra Mildliner highlighters and Zebra Sarasa gel pens, and my Preppy Wa fountain pen (currently inked up with Kyo No Oto Ochiguriiro).


One of my favorite activities during the summer is visiting the botanical gardens with my family. It’s a big source of inspiration for my art. Sketching or painting on the go is tricky while keeping an eye on three kids but I make sure I’m always prepared for those small opportunities by bringing my 4x6” Bee Paper mixed media sketchbook. It handles watercolors, markers, and ink very well. I usually grab a small selection of colors from Lyra watercolor pencils, a water brush, and a couple of water brushes filled with ink.

When I can’t carry a lot of items on me, my Baronfig pocket vanguard notebook is essential for quick notes or sketches. It’s compact and I like the paper quality. Together with a Le Pen Flex, I can do some quick sketches on the go like at a concert I went to last month.

Since my schedule has more variables during the summer, it can be a challenge to journal consistently. My Kaweco Sport fountain pen with a broad nib has been a big help with fitting in some journal sessions. I always look forward to using it and then swapping out different ink colors after several pages. I can write very fast with it since it’s light and compact. It’s a joy to use and helps me start the day right or settle down after a long day out.

1 comment

  • Xiomara

    Love all of these updates and learning about the different stationary tools that y’all use. Thanks for sharing both the descriptions and the photos!

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