All I Want for Christmas….


All I want for Christmas is, wait for it, a Leuchtturm pocket diary.  I’m fairly easy to please on Christmas morning, but like a lot of people, I’m quite fussy about what diary I have for the new year.


For the past couple of years I’ve had a Moleskine page a day pocket diary.  This is great if you want to keep a journal, as it gives you plenty of room to write what you’ve been up to and what’s on your mind.  I want something a bit smaller this year, so I’ve decided on  a week to view format, with the days of the week on one half and notes page on the other half, known as a weekly planner/notebook.

I used to be a Moleskine kind of girl but when Leuchtturm 1917 started selling their diaries in the UK I gave them a go.  I have to say that I think Leuchtturm is a better quality diary than Moleskine, having used both.  If you put a Moleskine diary and a Leuchtturm diary side by side they are really quite alike.  Use each one for a year and some subtle differences appear.  For me Leuchtturm wears better.  My diary goes most places with me and is stuffed into jacket pockets and tucked at the bottom of my bag, so it has to be tough.  With a Leuchtturm, the elastic closure band stays taught, with a Moleskine it’s gone a bit baggy by about April.  The paper is better quality with Leuchtturm.  I usually write in pencil in my diary and on the Moleskine even pencil shows through a little bit.


There is just one problem that I’ve noticed about liking Leuchtturm diaries more than Moleskine, and that’s getting hold of one on the high street.

Moleskine is everywhere.  Where once it was the preserve of a true stationery aficionado, who just knew a little place somewhere that stocked them, now you can take your pick on the high street.  Leuchtturm doesn’t seem to have achieved that just yet.  Although I don’t know if I want them to.  Maybe their paper will get just that bit thinner and their elastic just that bit baggier.  I’ll just have to get cracking and order one on the internet as the last posting day is just two days away.


grumpycatwall calendar

Cats & Dogs Calendars 2014

grumpycatwall calendar

I never said that my roundup of 2014 calendars would be a particularly sophisticated affair.

I generally quite like cats and dogs, even my cat Sibyl, when she’s not behaving like something out of Hammer House of Horror, so here are some of the calendars I quite like, in a funny sort of way.

Grumpy Cat makes me laugh.  Everyone knows one.

grumpycatwall calendar


Boo the World’s Cutest Dog.  I can’t believe he has so many followers on Facebook, over 8 million.  His sidekick Buddy is a sweetie too.



I Could Pee on This 2014 Wall Calendar – hmmm…..


Oh dear,  Sibyl should have posed for this Fat Cats Calendar.


Frenemies Wall Calendar.  Is this just a bit nauseating?



Unlike cats, dogs always seem so excited to be going on a car journey.  It always makes me smile to see a dog with the wind in its fur, much like the mutts in the Highway Hounds Wall Calendar

calendar6I think Dogs do know when they’ve done something wrong but I’m not sure they can read, so hopefully they don’t understand they’re being shamed in the Dog Shaming Calendar.


The Underwater Dogs Calendar 2014 is just plain weird.



I always love the Yoga Cats Calendars.



And finally, the William Wegman Man’s Best Friend Calendar brings a touch of sophistication to the Cat and Dog calendar market.




Cavallini Gift Wrap Picture

Cavallini Gift Wrap Pictures

Cavallini Gift Wrap Picture

I’ve recently moved house and have lots of wall space to fill.  I’d brought some pictures from my old place but I felt like a change.  The frames were fine so I just had to find some new pictures to put in them.  Anyway, while I was busy un-packing boxes I came across a roll of Cavallini gift wraps that I’d forgotten I had.  They would do perfectly.  I chose a couple of designs that would suit being cut down as the gift wrap sheets were too big for the frames.

Cavallini Gift Wrap Picture papernationunionjack

The frames came from Ikea and so it is easy to remove the back of the frame and put in a new picture.   I took out the frame mount and put it on the paper to see which section of the design I wanted and then laid the paper in the frame and cut to size.  The back of the frame went back on easily and I now have two new pictures which are hanging on my kitchen wall.  I chose not to have the extra expense of buying mounting board and spray mount adhesive so my pictures may go a bit crinkly over time but I’ll probably be ready for a change by then too.

Cavallini Gift Wrap Picture

Cavallini produce some amazing wraps and they have about 100 different designs to chose from, each is printed on thick laid paper 20″ x 28″ (51cm x 71cm).

There’s a design to suit any wall in your house – maps, animals, vegetables, cakes, birds, alphabets, the list goes on.

I used their Union Jack (Cavallini reference:  Wrap/UJK) and their New York Transit Guide map (Cavallini reference:  Wrap/MAPNYCNEW).  Photo of my lovely cat George is not available in their range!

You can find the wrap in selected high street stores or online at Amazon.

Cavallini Gift Wrap Picture



Pantone Gifts

Pantone Gifts

Pantone-themed items have been around for a while now, but they’re still as popular as ever.

Pantone GiftsPantone is evidently a shrewd company and have been able to make a careful balance between professionally exploiting their iconic brand image and going too far.  You won’t find Pantone putting their name to anything crass…each licensed product is very rigorously selected to ensure the brand quality is maintained. I guess that’s what makes Pantone stuff such good presents!  We’ve rounded up some of the best Pantone gift ideas available at the moment. Just use them sparingly, ok!

1.  Pantone mug, London Graphics Centre
2. Pantone iPad case, London Graphics Centre
3. An *actual* Pantone swatch, London Graphics Centre (note, this is a gift for the serious designer, not the casual admirer of the Pantone look!)
4. Pantone storage tin, Amazon
5. Pantone iPhone case, London Graphics Centre
6. Pantone A5 notebook, Amazon
7. Pantone pencils, Amazon

Stamps Paperweight By John Derian

John Derian Paperweights

Stamps Paperweight By John Derian

If you find yourself in London’s West End with time to kill, pop into Liberty’s for the experience. There’s not really another shop like it in the world. Battle through the hoardes of tourists taking photos on the stairwells, and seek out the beautiful paperweights by John Dorian. These are truly things of great beauty.

John Derian Apple Paperweight

John Dorian is a collector of paper ephemera which he reproduces to create these delightful paperweights. The paperweights ooze quality, from the weight of the glass to the careful composition of each piece. Very much a unique luxury gift for someone who loves their desk or writing space.

Liberty’s sell only a small selection of the John Derian collection online, so a real-world trip to the store is needed to see the full range. It’ll be worth it, I promise.