Friday, August 20, 2010

Bouquets of Sharpened Pencils

i heart school supplies. 



I know, sounds weird, but the writer and designer in me LOVES freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencils, RoseArt colored pencils, a new box of Crayola crayons, clean college-ruled notebooks and rainbows of highlighters. The combination of these supplies just screams out for creativity!!


To me back-to-school wasn't said with dread, it was an exciting opportunity to find that new backpack and stuff it full of new supplies. When I was in elementary school the school that I attended had a teacher meet-and-greet night where we got to go with our parents and meet our teachers, and take all of our supplies and put them in our desk. I loved that chance to put all of my new, shiny supplies in my desk. I'm sure I was a bit OCD about it-each item had its place, in order of need and accessibility. Every now and then throughout the school year the teacher would announce that it was time to clean out and organize our desks!! I LOVED this day! It meant the opportunity to re-organize (did I mention I'm a bit of an organization freak?), and to rearrange (and obsessive about shows like HGTV Design Star?). Perhaps my OCD for organization actually just grew from my love of school supplies? As I grew into high school I would spend an ample amount of time putting my notebooks in binders, or labeling all of my notebooks for their specific class usage, putting my pencils and pens and erasers and TI85 calculator in its respected pocket in my backpack and locker. 


Another weird quirk is that I love to study. I love to pour over writing out notes-there's an art to handwriting, and I loved filling notebooks full of notes in an attempt to perfect my handwriting over the years. I think that the love of studying is a marriage between my love of all things having to do with school supplies and the using of said supplies. Perhaps it's just me, but I knew I could remember that random biology fact for the test if I just used that pink highlighter! And that attitude still hasn't changed since my days of schooling. Is it just me, or is the message of a note on a post-it somehow communicated more clearly with bright Sharpie markers as opposed to the everyday black ink pen? Is it just me, or is it boring to resharpen a dull pencil than to use a fresh crisp-tipped one straight from the package, because we all know that our sharpest thoughts come from the pencils with the sharpest tips(!), with full eraser life still intact? Is it just me, or is a new blank journal, preferably with some amazing graphic pattern or soothing and serene organic cover, more inviting to journal in, just begging to be filled with thoughts, sayings, verses, inspirations and quotes than one of the other old and worn out journals? I swear I can save money on the grocery bill if I write my grocery list on a brightly designed 3" x 7" piece of magenta lined paper with happy little orange and aqua watermark swirls than on an average piece of torn out notebook paper! (I confess by the way that as a musician, I have been known to use staff paper for grocery lists!). 


Even still when I make that "quick" (let's face it, it's NEVER a quick one) run into Target, I find myself perusing the notebook aisle. The other day I was in Target looking for a binder to organize some music lesson activities for a new piano student, and found myself gazing at this really cool graphically designed three ring binder. My mind started spinning about just what I could organize to put in it, the hours I would spend neatly handwriting or designing and printing the possible contents for a clean and organized final product. I already had a binder for recipes, for gift ideas, for general craft and sewing project ideas. Hmm...what to use that binder for??? But then I realized that I didn't have a NEED for that fun bittersweet orange and burnt red ornamented and paisley binder...even though it's beauty and organizing ability beckoned me, I just couldn't think of a need deserving enough to spend money on it :(. It would have to wait for another project at another time. 


I think what my husband has yet to learn about me is that for reasons unknown to me, other than my love of writing and design, is that I would be more excited about a bouquet of sharpened colored pencils and a sketch book, or a new journal and set of Ticonderoga pencils than a bouquet of red roses and a Hallmark card :)...



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