Maggie Bob Makes: Paper Rubbings

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW14 posts, and don’t forget to check out the Prize Giveaway!

Today’s theme is pencils!

Sketching pencils

A quick dig in my stationery boxes found this lovely, but alas forgotten, set of sketching pencils (B, 2B, 3B, 4B & 5B). I racked my brains to think what I could do with these for you. I thought about decorating them with washi tape. Or perhaps crafting some pencil toppers. But then I thought it would be fun to do something that focussed on the function of the pencil itself, and I remembered a pass time most of us probably haven’t indulged in since school – pencil rubbing!

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As I had pencils in a variety of softnesses (you all remember the HB pencil scale, right?) I had a play around with a variety of  rubbings. I started with the old favourite – coins. I’m only a little bit gutted that I didn’t have a full set of coins to make that shield you get when you put them all together.

I also have a paperweight with ‘DREAM’ debossed on it, so I thought that would make for a nice rubbing, and experimented with some of the softer pencils here. I found the 3B gave the nicest results, so I stuck with that and used some letter stickers to create my own embossed message to take a rubbing from.

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That was quite fun, and now I’m thinking about all the different stickers and textured objects I have lying around that would work well for this. I could use it to decorate some notecards or letters, or just to play around and see what arty creations I can come up with! When was the last time you did paper rubbing? Let me know if you decide to try it again!


Maggie Bob Celebrates: National Stationery Week

What is better than Christmas? How about a whole week of Christmas! That’s what I felt I was getting when I discovered National Stationery Week, which runs from 31st March to 6th April this year. And like Christmas, while the week long celebration of all things pen and paper is largely aimed at children it is prime for hijacking by us adults.

The aim of this, the third National Stationery Week is to encourage us to return to handwriting – sending each other letters instead of emails and bringing the personal touch back in to our communication. I’m all for this, and have talked of my love for sending and receiving personal letters before on this blog, so I knew I just had to join in the celebrations. As well as sending off a number of handwritten letters to my friends, you’ll also be seeing a series of blog posts from me here, sharing my fetish love for stationery.


I’ll have a blog every day this week, following the daily topics set by @NatStatWeek, as per this graphic. Some will be posts about my love of stationery, some will be activities you can play along with, and some will just be fantasy shopping lists! Do check back every day to see what I’m blethering about and so I’m not just talking to myself about pencil cases and such (again)!

To kick things off, I ‘forced’ myself in to a number of my favourite shops to put together a prize haul for one lucky reader of this here blog.

Here’s what you could win:

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  • A funky tube style pencil case
  • A 6-colour selector pen (reminds me of my childhood!)
  • 3 thick/thin felt pens
  • 4 stylish highlighters
  • Honey & Hugs mini notelets
  • A (gorgeous!) ruled notebook
  • A pack of London themed bubble stickers (because it’s also National Tourism Week)
  • 6 postcards – so you can get started on all those handwritten notes

And, if this giveaway gets more than 50 entries, I’ll dig through my craft stash and add in some pretty papers and stickers.

If you want to be in with a chance of winning, just complete the Rafflecopter widget below. There are a few ways to earn bonus entries, but the key thing to do is leave a comment below this post to tell me:

Who you would love to receive a handwritten letter from? It can be anyone present or past, famous or someone personal to you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

National Stationery Week is organised by LMC Media who organise the London Stationery Show. You can join in the conversation all week on twitter by using and following the hashtag #NSW14.


Maggie Bob Reads: February Read List

Time flies and all that jazz, but February felt like an extra short month – I feel like it had barely started and it was all over. Here’s a quick run down on what I read through February:

step_back_in_time ms_marvel gorky_park company of ghosts

  • Ali McNamara: Step Back In Time. Picked up on a whim in The Works while visiting Glasgow as I’d seen some bloggers talking about this and it have piqued my interest. I started reading it on the train back down south and, partly due to a ninety minute delay (thanks Virgin Trains!) I had practically finished it by the time I reached London. I then popped it in an envelope and sent it straight up to my sister in Scotland. One of those books that was so enjoyable I just had to share it.
  • Ms Marvel #1. I’m a casual enjoyer of comic books but I’ve never known where to start. Following a recommendation on twitter I downloaded this on Comixology and it’s already off to a good start. This is notable for being the first Marvel comic headlined by a Muslim character. And for being a bit good too.
  • Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park. I think I got this free as part of the iTunes 12 Days of Christmas promotion, so I thought I’d give it a blast. Not really for me storywise, although I did fine the Soviet era Russia setting interesting.
  • Andrew James: The Company of Ghosts. Asked to review this by the publishers, this was a really enjoyable read that I got stuck in to very quickly. Read my full review.

It’s a very short list, so hoping I’ll be inspired to get my reading mojo back in March (already lagging as we’re over a quarter of the way through the month!). What are you all reading?


Maggie Bob Wears: Colouring With Crayons

I’ve been wearing make-up a bit more recently – mostly because there is something about having short hair which makes me want to have bold coloured lips. But I am inherently lazy, and I can’t be dealing with lip-liner, blotting, reapplying and etc. Then I heard all the fuss about chubby sticks and was instantly intrigued.

Somewhere between a lipstick, lipgloss and your favourite crayon, Clinique’s chubby stick is now much imitated so after trying pretty much every product available (shading my hand a variety of reds and pinks in the process!) I found the one for me – Rimmel’s Colour Rush Balm, in Redder The Better.


I also picked up a jumbo eye pencil, based on the same principle of easy application and being simple to wear. The green in the eye pencil has a slight glitter, which made me want it even harder! Here they are swatched up on my hand.



See how vibrant that Rimmel balm is? And it doesn’t wear like a typical balm – it’s not sticky, you don’t end up with most of your hair adhered to your face, and the colour actually stays. Just check out these before and after pictures (i.e. before I do anything and after a full day at work: eating, drinking, talking etc).

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The best thing is, this stuff is so easy to put on, the colour stays (even if the gloss doesn’t quite) and it’s like getting to colour yourself in with crayons. I’m sold!