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Hi, I’m Melsenpai, & I have a problem. That’s how these confessions usually start off, right? Well, to really get into it, I do have a problem…a stationery hoarding problem. It mostly revolves around postcards & pens, but today I will only be focusing on pens.

This all started when I was a small child back in the mid 80s. My aunts & uncles from Japan would always send my parents presents & snacks from overseas, & they would often include small trinkets for my sister & I (mostly Sanrio/Hello Kitty related). Also at that time, my sister’s dad (my mom’s ex-husband) used to manufacture licensed Sanrio merchandise. So, my sister would always get a whole bunch of free Sanrio stuff, which she would pass on to me if she didn’t want them or got bored of them. That really jump started my huge obsession/fanaticism/passion for practically ALL THINGS SANRIO. Then, when you couple this with my habit of hoarding (a.k.a. not wanting to give away or throw away any of my toys & things), that’s where the snowball effect came into play.

What I am about to show is only a portion of my pen collection (with a couple of mechanical pencils thrown into the mix). I’ve got many more pens scattered around the house & stashed away in old storage boxes. A while back I got this large craft box from the Container Store & quickly filled it with stickers, pens & other supplies.


That is what the box looked like before I went nuts. Over the course of one year plus that box became cramped, dare I say…too small. I filled up that box with what my husband would call “useless junk”…but I would call them my treasures! After my last few trips to Tokyo, this is what my craft box has become.


I had to take out all of my pens. They were becoming unruly & kept falling out every time I opened the box. This box now houses a majority of my stickers & a few washi masking tapes.


I now store all of my pens in a new box, which I lovingly refer to as Trevor. (Yes, I gave it a name.)


Trevor is slowly being filled up as well. However, despite all of my “hoarding”, I DO, in fact, use all of these things. I don’t just collect them for the fun of it. I actually use the stationery I buy. Though it may take a long time for me to use them all. I keep adding to my stockpile before I can finish them. Oh well. Cheers.

Boy, greeting card companies like Hallmark™ must love me!  I am the customer that keeps on giving (my money, that is).  I am such a sucker for any type of greeting card or postcard with a cute design, illustration, graphic or photo on it.  No matter what the occasion is, I have a card for that (except for, say, Sympathy or Get Well).  I don’t quite know what it is about those awesome little bi-folds of card-stock that keeps me coming back for more, but be it 1 or 100, I will not stop collecting them.

It’s not only about collecting, I also use the cards I buy.  I am constantly making/writing cards for friends & family.  For example, one year, a friend of mine was really upset over the passing of her pet, so I sent her a note to convey my thoughts.  It was a serious matter, but all those With Sympathy cards you see at the store just seemed too heavy & sorrowful.  So, I decided to lighten the dark mood by using a Bon Voyage (a.k.a. going away) card…to say one of those “This is not a ‘goodbye’, just a long ‘see you later’ ” type things.  That’s what I do…it’s a small example of how I use all those darn cards I’ve hoarded over the years.

So, after all that’s been said, I recently came back from a trip to Los Angeles.  My companion & I were entertaining some relatives visiting from overseas.  We took them to a new favorite hang-out spot, the Abbott-Kinney district in Venice Beach.  While we were there, I stopped by my new favorite shop Urbanic Paper Boutique.  As you all may know by know, I always find a way to sniff out new stationery shops every time I go on a trip.  So, while I was there, I couldn’t resist getting a few cards & things.  You couldn’t expect me to leave empty-handed, could you?  Nope, I didn’t think so.  Now for the reveal… Dun, dun, da-dun… 

urbanic 1

1. blank card w/ fruits, metallic hearts & striped circles graphic
2. “Wedding Day Wishes” card for an upcoming wedding of my friends in Taiwan
3. blank French-themed card that says “Bonjour” on the cover
4. blank “World’s Best Husband” medal card (that I might give to my husband soon)
5. “Happy Birthday” card w/ a hatchback car & presents illustration
6. black & gold decorative washi-tape w/ a honeycomb/link type pattern
7. color swatch inspired bookmark (it was free)

Here’s a close-up look at the washi-tape pattern:


close-up view


Today, I took a day off.  A day off from my usual home chores & daily routine.  I just couldn’t wait for the weekend to do a little shopping.  My all-time favorite clothing brand from Japan just recently opened up a pop-up shop in my city in anticipation of their very first West Coast flagship store (which will officially make its debut this October).  I just couldn’t wait to take a quick peek at the pop-up shop before the flagship opening & snag a few much-needed items for the sooner-than-you-think fall.

I felt quite guilty though, since October isn’t really that far away (considering how fast time flies these days).  I know I could’ve just waited until then… Or even more so, I could’ve waited until November when I embark on my trip to Tokyo.  But alas, I was a bit impatient & decided to just pick up only the exact things I need right now (& resist the urge to max out my husband’s credit card. Tee-Hee…)

Some of the items I purchased were much needed goods such as: a thin coat, a zip-up down vest, a few undershirts, & a pair of denim jeans (which can be tailored in-store, same-day).  So, while waiting for my jeans to be tailored, I continued to stroll the downtown shopping area…& I ended up back at my favorite stationery shop.

I couldn’t resist! There were just too many greeting cards staring back at me, shouting, “Please buy me!”  I was very tempted to grab everything, but I only ended up buying some cards for a few upcoming weddings I will be attending.  Oh who am I kidding?! I splurged a tiny bit & also bought a “You’re A Fox” card & a sheet of cute sticker seals.  (I just can’t resist sparkly things!)

Time to go, my phone battery is about to go kaput.  Woof.




June 2023

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