All I Want for Xmas is The Arty Hearts Stationery

Dear Santa,

I’m ready to let you off the hook for last year’s gift-giving bungle ( An inSinkerator?  For me?  Really?? )  I’m a writer, not a plumber.

This Christmas, just leave a stash of summery stationery from The Arty Hearts under my Christmas tree, and we’re all good.

We’ll pretend Christmas 2015 never happened.

And Santa, when  I say ‘a stash of stationery’, what I mean is a haul. A big, bright, beautiful collection like this…


from The Arty Hearts.

Or how about this…



The Arty Hearts produces boutique stationery for the true paper lover. Their products feature the gorgeous artwork of Australian designer Katrina Read. Her stationery is luxurious: premium paper and quality workmanship. Her bright designs are on-trend and so cute: shells, pineapples, tropical flowersflamingos, watermelonFRENCHIES!

(Ooh, Santa, remind me to talk to you later about a Frenchie puppy for Christmas 2017.)

Who wouldn’t love to carry this sweet little Pocket Planner? Four darling pads of peel-n-stick notes in a slim folder decked with soothing greenery. I feel breezy and cool just looking at it. A pretty green pencil holds it all together, so it’s sturdy enough to endure a daily ride my handbag.

Open Pocket Planner – Palm Design


Closed Pocket Planner – Flower Design

No doubt, Santa, you’re aware one item of stationery is never enough. So I’ll take a gorgeous weekly desk planner to give my work space a pop of colour and pizzazz … And a few luxe notebooks, large and small…


… Matching pencils, cards, wrapping paper, gift tags, shopping lists …

We have achieved Paper Nirvana. Thanks heaps, Santa!

BTW, I’ve been a very good girl this year.

Lots of Christmas cheer,


PS: Santa, you might consider shopping for the Missus at The Arty Hearts. I hear last Christmas’s Dust Buster didn’t go down too well.

Where to Buy

The Arty Hearts boutique stationery range is available at boutique retailers around Australia. Check out their store on the HardtoFind website and follow on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Share to Win a Notebook!

Start your new year right—with a fresh, clean page in a cheerful new notebook. I have one deluxe notebook from The Arty Hearts to give away to a randomly selected winner.

Share this post on Twitter or Facebook before 15 November, and tag me (not at the beginning of the tweet or only I will see it). @Ali_Stegs

All Images ©TheArtyHearts, Used with Permission

Cute Stationery Gifts Galore!

Stationery, office supplies, school supplies–or (the term I’ve coined) Desk-cessories. No matter the name for this category of stuff, I crave it! Paper products bring on a swoon. Lovely pens leave me breathless. Beautifully appointed desks make me go ga-ga.

Better Together Note Pouch | Be still, my beating heart!

MochiThing’s Better Together Note Pouch | Be still, my beating heart!

Just looking at this photo of MochiThing‘s Better Together Note Pouch triggers furious flood of dopamine in my brain. Sigh.

Hi, I’m Alison and I am a hoarder of notebooks, a collector of pens, a shameless drooler for desk gear. Go ahead: Call me stationery-addicted. I don’t care. Just hand over the damn stickers/stapler/sticky tape dispenser, and no one gets hurt.

Suppliers for My Next Fix

photo (12)

Screen Shot of my iPad

I have a dealer to satisfy every paper-product urge: Classy-Fine, Fancy-Pantsy, Artsy-Fartsy, even Cutesy. I keep my black book of suppliers in a folder on my iPad called “Paper Fix.” In it are about twenty links to pen and paper merchants’ websites around the globe. (Don’t judge me! Plenty of women do the same thing for handbags, shoes, and make-up. Anyway, a biro is a lot cheaper than a Coach bag!)

Need a Cute Fix?

Nobody does cute stationery like MochiThings. Today, I’d like to share a few cute items from the MochiThings collection. Any stationery lover will enjoy adding these items to her (probably not his, sorry guys) desk top or pencil case. Below are the Spilling Ink picks, with a couple of bookish items to start off.

MochiThings Cuteness Overload

Planner with a Fairy Tale Flavour

Cute Stationery MochiThings

Who says your daily planner has to be dreary? This Alice in Wonderland Planner is packed with gorgeous features. A durable hard cover, an elastic band to keep it closed in your handbag, and, best of all, lots of stickers to brighten your day. It’s dateless, so it can be started any time.

Fairy Tale Phone Wallet

Cute Stationery MochiThings

You can coordinate your planner with this cute Alice phone case for iPhone 5. It comes in Alice in Wonderland or Le Petit Prince. The wallet includes slots for three cards and a place to stash a couple of notes or business cards.

Pretty Ruled Notebooks

Cute Stationery MochiThings

Any school student would love to start the year with a few of these funky printed notebooks. They’d make a writer happy too!

These Sticky Notes are Too Cute!

Cute Stationery MochiThings

Use these Matroyshka Sticky Notes to mark pages when you’re reading or to decorate your planner.

Cable Holders

Cute stationery MochiThings

No more rooting around under your desk in search of wayward cables. These cute self-adhesive Rabbit Ear Cable Holders will lock them in place on your desk surface.

MochiThings – More Than a Cute Face!


 Basic Monthly Planner

Cute Stationery MochiThings

This Medium Monthly Planner is basic but oh-so-handy. No frills, just page after page of empty planning space. I’m getting one of these to do my blog planning in 2015.

Super Handy Purse Organiser


MochiThings doesn’t only do cute–they also specialise in functional. Tame the black hole in your handbag with this wonderful Slim Handbag Insert. You won’t believe the stuff you can fit into it. This one is at the top of my Christmas list! (Santa, take note!)

Gifts that Satisfy Paper Urges

Quell your cute cravings at MochiThings–or better yet, equip your favourite writer with some fresh desk-cessories because…

…Happiness is a well-appointed desk (and fully kitted out pencil-case.)

Images of products are used with permission from MochiThings.

Best Books for Writers: Great Gifts!

According to old-school legend, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but if he’s a writer, it’s a safe bet the way to his heart is through his bookshelf. Never let it be said that I’m sexist! A gift of good books works just as well for women writers! What better way to affirm the budding or established author in your life than by stuffing their library full of the best books for writers?

Best books for writers

Building the Essential Writer’s Bookshelf

How do you know what’s good? Goodreads usually answers this kind of question, but its Best Writing Books list names 432 titles! Because I can tell your heart is bursting to encourage the writer in your life, I’m going to do the hard work for you. My Goodreads shelf Writers’ Essentials holds nine must-have books for writers: five books on storytelling and craft, two reference books, and two highly browsable, creativity sparkers.

Five Must-Have Writing Craft Books

These books inspire good prose, spark literary excellence, and develop solid storytelling ability.

  • Reading Like A Writer: A Guide for People who Love Books & for Those who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
  • Story: Style, Structure, Substance & the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee [Helpful for novelists too!]
  • Elements of Story: Field Notes on Non-fiction Writing by Francis Flaherty
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
  • Writing Irresistible Kidlit: the Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adults and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole.

Click the screenshot below to visit my Writers’ Essentials shelf.

Essential Writers' Bookshelf

Two Essential Reference Manuals

Any writer who plans to submit work to editors and publishers needs a style guide and a writer’s marketplace manual. When deciding on which manuals, the big question is “Where?” Geography (hence, language convention and market) matters. North American writers use Writers’ Market.  I live, write, and sell primarily in Australia, so my desk is equipped with the following:

This one lists agents, publishers, and all kinds of things serious writers need to know. It’s like a Refidex for writers. I find it handy to have a physical copy of the Writer’s Marketplace so I can mark it up, dog-ear pages, and so forth. But the trouble is, these manuals have a shelf-life of about two years. An annual subscription to the AWM is a great option–and a wonderful gift for a writer.

  • Style Manual: For authors, editors, and printers (Sixth Edition)

Pretty dry reading really…It covers things like comma rules, capitalisation conventions, and the official formatting of citations. Yay. But these two writing books aren’t about fun; they’re all about writing and presenting as professionally as you can.

Two Quirky & Curious Creativity Sparkers

Now for the fun part! Your writer is going to love these books. They’re full of geeky goodness and word-nerdery. Both are perfect for fantasy aficionados, but anyone who appreciates language will enjoy them.

  • Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19th ed.) by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, edited by Susie Dent

Scholarly, eclectic, and up-to-date. Entries about heraldry and pub names sit amongst articles on steampunk and crowdsourcing

  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

Part tongue-in-cheek send-up, part serious genre guide, this book is wickedly funny. A travel guide through the undulating landscape of Fantasyland.

A gift of a bundle of these books for writers will show how much you support your loved one’s dreams. If you have a favourite book for writers, please share it in the comments.

Creative Commons Image by Pane & Vino

5 Fave Gift Ideas for Bookish Friends


The 4th of November marks 50 days until Christmas, so, with that in mind,  I’m continuing my list of great gifts for bookish people. Of course, one can never go wrong with the gift of a book, but there are oodles of other presents bookish types appreciate. Today, I’m sharing my picks from Etsy.

Ideas Galore on Etsy!

I love Etsy because it gives consumers the exciting option of supporting hand-crafters and artisans–rather than stuffing our hard-earned cash into the swollen pockets of multinational corporations. So often, the fun of Christmas gets buried under the weight of commercial pressure.  All those nerve-jangling carols that start way too early! Just stop!

When I shop at Etsy, I do so in the comfort of my own home, where I can avoid  the cognitive dissonance brought on by wintery Christmas decorations. I’m talking rugged-up Santas, snowy imagery, and wistful songs about a white Christmases when it’s bloomin’ 33 degrees Celsius outside (That’s hot for all my Fahrenheit readers). Seriously! I’m wearing shorts and flip-flops  while Dinah & Buddy croon away about how “Baby, it’s cold outside.” Give me a break!

Rant over.

Etsy is a great source of unique gifts, especially  personalised ones. So what are my five fave gift ideas for bookish friends?

Fave #1: Cute stationery

Like this for readers by TheFoxAndTheTeacup. Darling and personalised!


Or this for writers by PaperHouseDesigns:


Tip: Get notecards and letter paper personalised to make the gift extra special!


Fave #2: Literary-themed jewellery

Like this necklace for readers from thependantemporium:



Or this fab ring for writers from Shlomzion


Fave #3: Book-themed candles

If you loved my give-away candle for Hobbit Day, but how about PenandCandle‘s Earl Grey & Lavender Candle for the Austen fan in your life?


Or, here’s a pretty twist on candles–Book Luminaries from  Oldendesigns:


Fave #4: Customised notebooks

Like this one from TheIvyDesign


Practical and special. You can’t give a better gift than that!


Fave #5: Library Bag

Like this one from sixthandmain


Newbies to Etsy

If you’ve never ordered from Etsy and you’re wondering about security and reliability, I can say this: In my limited experience, I’ve never had a problem. In fact,  I have had excellent service on every count. I’ve been amazed to receive a notice that my customised items are in the mail on the same day I placed the order!

I usually pay with PayPal for a  little extra security. Do note that not every seller will post to Australia, and for those who do, you have to factor postage (which can be exxy) into the equation. Still, with all that, I’ve found and given some unique and memorable gifts from Etsy. Have fun shopping!

Do you have a favourite gift for bookish people? Share in the comments!

Image Credits

Cyber Monday Shopping by Mike McCune, CC

“Fave” images are from Etsy shops and link directly to the shop they represent.

*Discloser: I have picked these items out sincerely. I receive no remuneration for my endorsement from any of the sellers featured above .