Hello. My name is Victoria and I'm a stationery addict. Honestly, I love nothing more than walking around Tokyo stationery stores on my solo 'Artist Dates' days, with a special love for the retro-classic mom and pop stationery stores you find in local areas. Japan has some amazing products available that I haven't seen anywhere else that I use on a daily basis in the studio as well as in life. Ideas of where to shop for these lovely items is coming up soon. But first, here are a few of my faves...
1. MT Tape
Any masking tape fans here? I'm really fussy about my masking tape selection, not just for the designs and colours but the quality of the tape itself. MT is my go-to tape due to the durability and stickability, and I don't even mind the extra spend if it stays where it is and looks gorgeous. If there's such a thing as a 'masking tape snob', I'm it.
2. Masking Tape Cutter
This Kokuyo cutter was a revolution to how I cut my masking tape. It cuts in a perfectly straight line, is super ergonomic to use with minimal effort and looks beautiful on my packaging. As the blade is so good, it also means that I use/ waste much less tape.
3. BuJo (Bullet Journal) Body Scanner/ Outfit Stamp
I try to do a bullet journal every day before I start work. Although I don't really use the official BuJo method, I do use an actual journal designed for bullet journalling to plan my days (mine is from Leuchtturm) . I love to think about how I feel at the start of each day and this stamp helps to pin point any pains and issues that I have physically. I also try to plan the feeling that I want at the end of each day which this body shape helps me focus on.
4. Staple-less staple
This cool Harinacs device punches a hole in pieces of paper and somehow folds the bits together to attach them without staples. I have no idea how it works, other than it works and I don't need to buy staples anymore. What's not to love?!
5. Slim Scissors
These slim scissors, about the size of a pen only a bit flatter, are also from Kokuyo. These are the perfect addition to my on-the-go sketchbook kit for those weekends away (remember those?!) or for a grab-and-go day working at a coffee shop or co-working space (pre-Covid). I've always loved to make collages with bits and pieces of tickets and leaflets while I'm on the go, so these are the perfect light-weight, non-bulky pair.
6. Yamato Starch Paste
I love, love, love this glue, used by schools up and down Japan. You can use your fingers to spread it and clean up is fast and easy. Although the plastic packaging is a bit of a turn-off, Yamato have worked hard to make their refills out of paper containers. You can read more about that here.
7. Zebra Mildliners
Perhaps it's because it's Spring that I'm loving all the pastels, or perhaps it's the annoying bleed through the paper of regular highlighters that led me to these Zebra Mildliners. Much more subtle in their colours compared to the 80s/90s versions, these ones show you the important stuff without it being visible from space. The image on the right shows the difference between the Zebra colours and a regular highlighter.
8. Zebra Sarasa Pens
I I ever leave Japan, I am stocking up on YEARS worth of these pens. I'm a pretty heavy-handed writer so I need a sturdy pen to stand up to the pressure (hello sillicone grip?) and they make my handwriting look all grown-up and pretty. And Zebra is always coming up with new and fantastic colours which I just can't resist. And they do refills too.
BONUS INFO: Sarasa means calico or printed cotton chintz in Japanese and was a fabric favoured by the Samurai.
The big question is 'where do I get my hands on all this goodness?' That, my friends, is coming up soon where I'll take you to some stationery stores, stores that carry stationery, some local places and some amazing temples of stationery. Are you in?
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I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.