I could easily write a blog post about things that annoy me. I mean…where would I start?

Slow drivers, long lines in the grocery mart, piles of footwear parked at my front door. Believe me, the list goes on and on.

However, I was reading a lovely Bellagrace magazine blog post the other day, and she asked,

“What things, when you go to them or hold them immediately evoke a feeling of calm and coziness, and transport you to your happy place? What are your “touchstones?”

I love that term. Touchstones. 

For me, several things came easily to mind. And I do have several but I started out thinking of things that instantly put a smile on my lips while sighing heavily…ah…ah…

kpardell camel journal-20173508It would HAVE to start with pencils. I have a thing for pencils & pens like some women have a thing for shoes. For as long as I can remember I have doodled on paper ( I think I will resurrect an old post about this…) and writing utensils give me a thrill. I almost always seek out a stationery store in any city I visit, and I hold pencils , twirl them about and test them out with my signature on the all too tiny scrap of paper that they provide. Another annoying thing…Sorry. Back to sighing…ah…ah…

Just holding them and checking the lead saturation point ( light, medium, rich and dense) and testing out how they look on paper makes me in a better mood. They must be crisp and have a definite flow… I love them because I also have notebooks as a touchstone. I own many many notebooks and journals, memo pads, list pads etc. And yes I use them for all kinds of things. I was a teacher for 34 years so this obsession was well honed!

kpardell camel journal 2-20173505

kpardell camel journal 3-20173512

Another touchstone would be dried flowers, but only the ones that stay beautiful throughout the drying process and afterwards such as hydrangeas. I carted a suitcase full of dried hydrangeas back from the east coast as my pal Debbie can attest. Many of my Instagram photos feature these gorgeous blooms, so working with them is a joy I never get tired of.

Lastly, for today I would also have to say a cup tea. Usually black, but any cup of tea in my hands spells warmth and love, peace and contentment and invites me to sit down and stop being annoyed by all my pet peeves.

What tangible things take you to your happy place? What are your touchstones? Do tell.

5 thoughts on “touchstones

  1. What an interesting word and concept. I smiled at your pencil touchstone. So sweet. I love crayons! I also love needle and thread in my hand. Embroidery or smocking bring me such relaxation. I really need to get back to that. I love holding a good book, turning those pages is my happy place. And yes, a hot cup of coffee. Somehow that makes me sit and be still (not always quiet but for sure still LOL). I love reading your blog posts! Thanks for sharing and making me think! Beautiful photos as always. Definitely a happy place ( :


  2. This blog post really made me think of touchstones in my life too. I immediately thought of the scrapbooks that my daughter in law had made me and books that I’ve read, especially childrens’ story books but as I have spent the last few weeks making my son a “mom’s recipes” cookbook – I realize as I write out pages of his childhood recipes – that’s my touchstone. Thanks for making us think😊


    1. I’m not surprised your touchstone is books of all kinds. I’m thinking maybe some gardening tools too?


  3. The first time I visited your blog I enlarged the picture to examine your Palomino Blackwing pencils. I share your love for pencils and pens. I have never seen the Blackwing, I would love to find a store in the Phoenix AZ area that carries this pencil. I may just have to order online. I did google it and it looks like there is more than one model. Do you have a favorite?
    Thanks for your posts, I am enjoying.


    1. Hi Laurel. How sweet you are! Pencils are my weakness,and Palomino Blackwing are beautiful. I have some in black, white and there is a Palomino gold ( 530) one as well. You can buy them quite readily in Canada though I’m sure they’re available in the States somewhere. I buy mine at a stationery store where you can buy bulk paper, envelopes and all around office supplies. If you can’t find any, I’ll email you the address of a Canadian store. It would be cheaper for you since our dollar is terrible…Let me know if you’re successful. Thanks for stopping by!


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