Monday 10 March 2014

Santoro London Gifts & Stationery

   I've mentioned before how much I love stationery, especially notebooks. I came across a wonderful website, Santoro, the other day, and I had to share it with you.
   Santoro London has a gorgeous range of stationery and gifts based around their unique collections, my favourite of which are Gorjuss, Mirabelle, Willow and Once Upon a Time. Each series of illustrations share similarities, such as dark or melancholy colours for the most part, and whimsical, light-hearted subject matter. That is exactly the kind of whimsy I adore. Yes, of course the miniature animal jar or birdhouse necklaces I make strike a chord with me, but I've always had a love for cute, whimsical subjects in darker colours that contradict the mood. I don't know why, I've just always loved it. I think it stems back to my teenage love of Rachael Huntington's illustrations, particularly of animals.

   While I've struggled to make the decision, I think Gorjuss is my favourite collection, which is also perhaps quite saddening. As well as lovely notebooks, pens, mugs, bags and boxes and so on, there are also dolls in the same style at a painful £90 - it breaks my heart because I want one so much! The style is beautiful; the little ladies lack both noses and mouths, and their innocence is projected by their eyes and adorable hair and clothes. The colours, on the other hand, as I've mentioned, are dark and dreary. Even the rainbow horse on the gorgeous gift bag features darker shades of the rainbow rather than vibrant or pastel. I love that.

   I'm all for presentation, and I think that this 'White Rabbit' illustration Gorjuss mug has the best presentation for a mug I've seen so far. The box is sturdy and beautiful, both the lid and the box itself, and even the lining of the box, is a beautiful damask instead of just plain white. It really is the little things. The mug itself is light and feels very, very well made, though delicate, and will accompany my cups of tea or hot chocolate (depends what day it is) beautifully. I really love it. It's 'simply gorjuss'.

   The 'Tell Me Something' illustration notebook I got my hands on is from the Mirabelle collection, which, like Gorjuss, focuses on females, and while it maintains its whimsical style, there is a notable difference. The cameo-style frame and coat of arms at the top and bottom circles the illustration gorgeously, as it does so many others, and lends a more sophisticated air to the whimsy. The notebook itself is very strong with nice, thick paper that won't bleed through easily (something I just can't stand), and has sewn-binding. I've mentioned before how much I love notebooks, the prettier the better, but I don't like to give notebooks random or undedicated uses. I'll buy cheap £1 notebooks for random notes and things to remember, or just stick with funny-shaped post-it notes. When I find a subject that I have a lot to write down about, such as plots or simple ideas for future plots, I will pick a notebook, preferrably a pretty and big one, and that will forever be dedicated to that topic. For now, this lovely notebook will sit with the few other truly gorgeous ones I have and wait for their very important assignments. The nicer the book, the more important its use will be.
   The 'The Guide' pen shown is from the Willow collection, and has an even more complex illustration style to the others. The ink is gorgeous, and as someone who uses a lot of pens (I massively prefer to have my book plan and all of my book notes written out, by hand, on paper, so that I can spread as much of it in front of me while working or progressing my worlds as much as possible without having to switch between windows on a computer. Half of my books themselves get written by hand first), the ink is a very important aspect of pens. If the ink keeps starting and stopping, even just slightly, not even so much that I need to go back and redraw a line but enough that it's not completely smooth, my train of thought gets broken because I'm distracted by a minor OCD of vaguely broken lines. And yes, that is my handwriting; it's atrocious, but I can read it and that's what counts.

   Finally, I've got this lovely hammered 'Frog Prince' illustration card from the Once Upon a Time collection. I don't often look for cards, but when I do, I can't help getting distracted by lovely designs. If a birthday is coming up, I will often end up buying multiple cards and keeping some for myself as prints. Sometimes I find it quite sad when I find a really gorgeous design somewhere but it's only available as a card, when I'd love it as a print, but I remind myself that there's only so much room on the wall what with replicas of all kinds of props from Middle Earth (you remember I mentioned my AMAAAZING replica of Radagast's staff that Seeg's parents got me for Christmas), Chinese and Japanese pictures that Seeg collects and the prints and paintings I've slowly accumulated from Etsy.

   I adore Santoro. They also stock clothing in some of the same collections, gorgeous nesting suitcases in the same collections again, and amazing pop-up and swinging cards that I may just have to get a few of. And, as simple as it is, I love the round postcards and only wish I'd have spotted them when I got this bundle of goodies! Their selections are huge, both in design and product, and the customer service is delightful. I really do recommend them if you're looking for some gorgeously whimsical designs (in bright colours, too) on some gorgeously unexpected products.


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