Succotash at the Studio

The Top Five Fine Stationery Accessories Everyone Should Own

 What makes our top five list of must haves for the modern stationer? It must be unique, well crafted and useful. The must have accessories for the year are those elegantly designed by Tools To Live By and Lilikoi. One is an artisanal company in Taipei, Taiwan and one is a collaboration between Lilikoi’s Andrea Sato and her father in Los Angeles, California. They are both innovative and thoughtful, everything you want in good design.


Leather Pencil Case

Upgrade your everyday pencil case with a handmade leather pen/pencil case. Perfect for your erasers, sharpeners and fountain pens too. The quality and attention to detail make sure you will be using these for years to come.


Pencil Caps

Stylish and useful leather caps for pencils. Pretty and functional, these work amazingly well for Blackwing pencils. I personally use the brown for my pearl and the black for my limited edition Vol.24. Now my pencil case and bags don’t get marks everywhere and my pencils stay sharp!


Brass Paper Clips

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, there were several unique and handy paper clips patented. Update your desk with brass versions of these everyday items.



No desk would be complete without a terrific pair of scissors and we love the Tools To Live By Circle Series scissors. The perfect size, not too small, not too big, at 6.5” these are made of fine Japanese stainless steel. You can tell the wider blade design combines style and function in one lovely shape.


Brass Letter Opener

The Lilikoi solid brass letter opener is hand made in Los Angeles by a father / daughter team! We love Andrea Sato’s letter press stationery, so when we saw this simple and elegant design, we knew it was a keeper. This limited run, handmade solid brass letter opener with a black silk tassel was inspired by the love of letterpress, the art of the handwritten note and an ode to fine craftsmanship.
Designed by Andria Sato, Owner of Lilikoi Design + Letterpress and manufactured by her father David Ledon, Owner of Ledon Machine Tool Corporation.

5 Surefire Journaling Tips To Keep You Writing

Starting a journal can be intimidating, and some folks wonder what to write about once they set an intention to reflect regularly. Such doubts have kept many an individual from recording what matters to them. When someone marvels at my journaling history and asks, “How do you do it?” My first response is, “Practice.” But it’s true that there’s more to it than that.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

While Pinterest and online #bujo communities like Boho Berry offer inspiration, they can also prompt you to compare your output with that you see on a screen. Deciding to keep a journal is an act of self-love and vulnerability, so it’s natural to be sensitive and prone to comparison. By setting realistic expectations, you’ll be more likely to create your entries over time. After all, the artistic representations and #midori pioneers were once beginners too. What you observe online is the product of extensive practice. Just imagine the transformation you and your notebooks will take as you continue to pour into this discipline!

2. Keep Materials With You

You might chance upon an opportunity to create an entry, but if you don’t have a pen or paper, what’s to be done? While the back of a receipt or clean napkin will do in a pinch, it’s best to keep the materials you need with you as often as possible.

3. Got Writer’s Block? Look Around You

Whenever I’m feeling stuck, I redirect my attention from the blank page to the world around me. Not only does this get me out of my head, but it provides myriad subject matter. Consider:

  • What’s around you?
  • Are you in a new or standard location?
  • If standard, is there anything you’ve never noticed before?
  • Why are you at this location? (Even at home, the answer can surprise!)
  • Any notable scents or sounds?

Too often, aspiring journal-keepers feel they have to produce eloquent output. This is more likely to result in a blank page than an impressive entry, so check in with your senses instead of trying to force your thoughts into submission.

4. Explore What Works For You

If you want to make journaling a personal discipline, you have to discover what works for you. This means you have to be open to new ideas, but you also have to be honest with yourself. Some want to journal to maximize time management. Others opt to record their travels or explore art journaling. Whatever applications appeal to you, dive in and see what works! How you approach the page should make the process easy. If it feels like you’re forcing something or you’re not enjoying it, check in and revisit what suits you best.

5. Be Kind To Yourself

If you choose to continually record life happenings and your thoughts about them, you’re bound to encounter a multitude of perspectives and emotional states over time. Instead of thinking you shouldn’t feel a certain way, practice self-compassion. This isn’t easy, but it will serve you long into your journaling discipline. I could very well choose to be ashamed of past selfish or narcissistic behavior, but instead, I try to accept that the girl I was then is not who I am now. By no means do I celebrate those seasons, but I do try to give myself a break. Perfection isn’t a possibility, and we strive for it, we’ll repeatedly meet disappointment.

As you journal and discover what suits you best, you will uncover things about yourself that you didn’t expect. At times, this happens in the moment. Others take years to see. That’s part of the joy in journaling— you write because you want to, and later on, you learn something!

- This post is courtesy of journaler extraodinaire, creative maven and Paper Seahorse writing teacher Laura Knepler.  We thank her for her insights and inspiration.

Kaweco Fountain Pens: A Must Have for Your Collection

In addition to the Lamy fountain pens we now carry, we are pleased to introduce you to Kaweco fountain pens. While the Lamy AL-Star and Safari pens are sleek and modern, the Kaweco Classic Sport and Skyline Sport fountain pens are vintage in their design. They are compact and perfect for traveling. Both are German companies and so the quality and engineering is precision at its finest. The classic nature of the Kaweco Sport lines are revered for modesty, clarity and minimal fuss.

Diminutive in nature, they are only 4.1 inches long capped, the pen extends to 5.2 inches for comfortable writing. With or without a clip, this pen is perfect for your pocket and a must have on-the-go item. I keep mine in my bag at all times, it weighs practically nothing and its so tiny it doesn't take up much space.

An exceptional value, these fountain pens are slightly less in cost than the Lamy’s we carry. The retro tins are fun and you can use them to store your refills. 

As with the Lamy Joy Calligraphy italic pens, we are carrying the Kaweco Calligraphy Pen sets. With two different nibs, a set of refill cartridges and tin case, these make and excellent gift for the aspiring calligrapher or artist. Different ink color cartridges are available separately which make your words beautiful as well as colorful!

Introducing the Lamy Special Editions for 2017

New for 2017, Lamy has created two special edition fountain pens: The limited edition Pacific for the AL-Star series and the Petrol for the Safari line. Both inspire the ocean and sky. These are likely to sell out in just a few months, so if you like the color blue, you should add these to your collection now. 

The Pacific AL-Star is feather-light robust aluminium and features a spring-action metal clip.


The Petrol Safari is at a slightly lower price point and has a steel nib and ergonomic grip.


Both can be used with converters to ensure colorful writing varieties. Many attractive colors, timeless design, and perfect ergonomics are just some of the reasons that Lamy fountain pens are one of the world’s most popular writing instruments.  Come in for a test write today and upgrade your writing experience.


Six of the Most Iconic Paper Clips Ever Designed


We are so excited to introduce you to a new company that we are very passionate about: Tools To LiveBy. Like us, they are inspired by vintage and classic stationery. They have a love for refined modeling and packaging, things that we look for when we source tools for the studio. (We also think it is pretty cool they are also Taiwanese, like me!) Enough about that, here’s why we truly love them:

They have reproduced, in brass, six of the most iconic paper clips styles ever designed. Here they are in chronological order of the year they were introduced. We invite you to collect them all, because its hard to decide on just one!

1897 The Niagra (GEM)

Tool To Live By Niagara Brass Paper ClipsNiagara clip was invented with patent in 1897 in New York. It has a nickname “GEM Paper Clip.” GEM can hold more pieces of paper easily and a heart shape emerges naturally that brings a lot of fun.

1900 The McGill

The patent of McGill paper clip was granted in 1900. Its proportion has been adjusted a little bit in order to hold paper perfectly.

1902 The Ideal

Cushman & Denison Mfg. Co. launched the Ideal clip that became popular instantly and continually manufactured until now. Tools to Live by makes this in a smaller size to clip fewer sheets of paper. They have given it a nickname “Butterfly Clip.

1904 The Weis

Weis Binder Co. launched the triangular clip in 1903. The patent was granted in 1904. The right triangle design makes the clip convenient to handle with one raised tip that also creates gap between different paper files.


1908 The Owl

The owl clip was created in 1908 in the United States. The design is so smart that it holds firmly, won’t hurt the paper, and double clipping. The name “owl” was called because the shape is like the eyes of an owl. 

1918 The Mogul

Clipper Mfg. Co. released the Mogul clip in 1918. With the unique shape of design, this clip can hold sheets of paper firmly.