When I first started my journey into the world of writing letters, I was faced with two obvious questions - what to write with, and what to write on. The writing instrument would definitely have to be one of my newly purchased fountain pens. I'm a left-handed writer, and was always told that I could never use fountain pens. I believed it until I saw a YouTube video from a left-handed writer using a fountain pen. That was in July, and I haven't looked back since. I protect my small collection of eyedropper Preppys and the few pens I have managed to purchase like they're my first born child.
But... the question of what to write on still haunts me. I am on a somewhat restricted budget (I have decided to finally buy a new car in 2012... I will not spend another winter in a car without heat), so the economic factor is an issue when it comes to finding something awesome to write on. And with fountain pens, you really have to keep the pens and ink in mind when you buy stationery. You don't want to be halfway through your epic description of the crazy woman who was changing her clothes while driving down the highway at 80 miles an hour only to find the back of the page is littered with a mirror image of the words you just put down. You also probably don't want the ink to have feathered more than a Charlie's Angel haircut, either.
I have only really begun to look for an economic way to procure a small collection of stationery. Currently, I am using a ream of 28lb bright laser photo paper I bought at Staples. I have yet to find an ink that it didn't like, even with my Noodler's Ahab pen at full flex. I'm sure there is one out there, but my preferred method of consuming ink is in the form of sample vials from Goulet Pen Company, so if it's there, I bet I'll find it. (Tangent alert! The De Atrementis inks are gorge, and I must has them all)
I found a PDF of a narrow width template for printing lines on paper for yourself somewhere on the FPN, and have exclusively used that to print and use for my primary writing paper. This has served it's purpose, but I am getting bored of looking at nothing but white and black lines. During my searches for stationery last night on Etsy and various places I could find, I saw a common theme with printed stationery - a border around the entire page in various colors.
With the ruler, I measured out an even border on each side of the page. If I ever do this again, I'll be sure to modify the line template to remove the margin, as well as skipping the whole 3-hole punch deal. I keep all my current active writings in a 3-ring binder with me at all times, and I was just using the paper that I had on hand. After I decided on the right border size, I would then outline it in colored pencil and begin the fun part of coloring it in.
Of course, now is the time I start looking for other ideas on what to add to my homemade stationery collection. I will eventually be buying some descent quality high class stationery (or even low class, really ugly, or just down right hilariously bad stationery), but for now, this will suit me just fine. Perhaps I should get a custom embosser with my name on it or something. The absolute next thing on the list will be getting a small collection of stickers and stamps to use to further decorate the pages/envelopes I fill with words. I've always preferred the handmade look to printed or manufactured items, so this is perfect for my tastes.
Before I go back to coloring and watching a rather horrible movie on Netflix, I'd like to thank The Missive Maven for her very generous welcome on Twitter. I am both excited and honored to be a part of the letter writing community!