A roundup of the non-pencil things we've been loving this month.
Uni Posca pens are opaque, water-based paint markers made by our buddies Mitsubishi (shout out to the 4B Penmanship Pencil). I think I was first turned on to them by an illustrator I follow on Instagram, Mark Conlan, and was later filled with envy when I saw my boyfriend, Narciso, playing around with them at home last month. I eventually picked up some of my own to use because I've been wanting to incorporate flat color in a way similar to my finished illustrations, to my sketchbook work (especially since my current sketchbook handles wet media like a goddamn dream), but I wanted the same control as I get from a pen. I love the matte finish and the way it behaves with graphite and ink--like a gentleman. No bleeding, no smearing, no interfering gloss.
Anywho, they're lovely, pretty reasonable budget-wise, and have gotten me back into my sketchbook big time (which was a goal of mine for the New Year!).
It’s a tie between roasted chestnuts and SubwayStats. I wish I had something more interesting to suggest... but! I did learn that chestnuts actually have a lot of nutritional value– they can help prevent diabetes and chronic illnesses!
As for SubwayStats, it’s a very handy aid (website & Twitter account) for real-time info on the service status of all train lines, a great balm for metro-related anxieties that is really coming through for me among our subway system’s recent bad case of hiccups.
While I've been subscribed to Mistobox before, I recently renewed it and have been thoroughly enjoying it (arguably more than the first time because now I'm back in NYC and need all the coffee I can get). This box is amazing - you can choose how often you want them to ship your beans, the origins of your coffee, and flavor profiles. Also you can rate each bag & see other subscriber's comments on each brew. Obviously my favorite part is that it's delivered straight to my apartment. My favorite 'accessory' to add to my coffee is this CB2 mug. It's sleek, sturdy, and relatively cheap.
I've also found a new face mask that I love by Mario Badescu. It feels very fresh and it's cruelty free, which is always a plus.
I love January because it's time to break into some new calendars. I've been using a Traveler's Notebook for planning and organization for years, but this year I decided to try daily journaling in a Hobonichi again. This gorgeous notebook comes from Japan and is date one page to every day (there's a "weeks" version that has a week per spread, and a larger "cousin" version that has both the weekly and daily pages, too). The books are made out of Tomoe River paper, which is super thin, but doesn't bleed or feather, even with fountain pen. It also takes watercolor pretty well.
Anyway, I tried this in 2016 and if I'm being honest probably only completed a third of the pages. I think I put too much pressure on myself to make my pages gorgeous, and not enough emphasis on the act of journaling. So far, I haven't missed a day in 2018, and the decorations are restricted to a sticker or two a day. And I love this cover by the Japanese artist Mitsuhiko Sasao. The image comes from one of his 1998 paintings in the series "Book and Flowers." Isn't it gorgeous?
I discovered this amazing tea this month, and have been loving it. Per their website, this tea is a "delicious, high-performance beverage formulated for active people desiring a nutritious alternative to coffee, soda, alcohol, and sugary 'athletic' drinks." I've never been a big coffee drinker, but sometimes I need an extra boost to get through a busy day. It also tastes delicious. I've been making everyone at work try it, too!