Sometimes I chase the sun (Puerto Rico, Trinidad) and sometimes I chase the snow. My day of puttering in snowcovered Seoul had me wanting snow all winter long. So what to do? Jump in a car and head north. I love all forms of public transportation and it’s my preferred mode of travel. But sometimes the allure of a road trip just feels right. The power of being behind the wheel and driving as long and as far as I want to go…
We have lots of Canadian RAHstrs, and I wanted to create a kit they’d love. It’s also the only kit I set out to hunt down one particular item – the Canadiana pencil. A super lo-fi pencil with Canadiana stamped in metallic blue foil?! The quality may not be impressive, but I love that the same pencil sold in the States is rebranded for the Canadian market.
Ever since our last sourcing trip to Canada, I’ve wanted one for the RAH collection. The original version, NOT the updated version. What I discovered LAST trip is that Canadiana is now replaced with Classic on the barrel. Although yeah, we do love the Classic ones, too. These days the Classics are made in Mexico – but I found a mad stash made in the States. Can I just say BONUS? Yup, bonus item for this month’s kit.
Hunting down this elusive pencil required hitting up a ton of thrift shops, random spots. One stop, two stop, three stop… none. Shifted gears and focused on the Paper Goods. Hit up a few spots and it was all the same. The same Hilroy notebooks that we included in the previous STMT X Canada Kit. Did I forget that the Hilroy notebooks are the notebook for all Canadians?
Pushed forward and scored notepads with thickass chipboard backing with interlined sheets. BOOM! I spy college- or wide-ruled sheets in every country, but not in Canada. No other country is ruled by interlined and storyboard style sheets. Totally rad and feels really special.
Moved on to another shop and discovered pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper. Lead that sharpens easily and doesn’t break? Lasts three times longer than a woodcase pencil? Totally intrigued. Totally bought them.
After a few nights in Van City, I was ready to hunt down the snow. We hopped in the car and headed north. We drove until we hit the sleepy town of Pemberton. 2,369 people strong, this town has one traffic light. It has one of everything – one bakery, one coffee shop, one pharmacy. And the pharmacy? GOLD. Their inventory was surprisingly large and diverse. Either this town has a lot of business (where?) or people like to hoard office supplies. Spotted the BIC Classic Stic rockin’ supafly, bright orange barrels with caps the color of the ink. This version is the only BIC that features two languages on the barrel – fino, fine. Double hit of fine deserves a double hit of pens. Blue and black ink version for everyone!
Back in Van City, not givin’ up the hunt for the one, the only Canadiana. I wanted the original! We’re backtracking steps, searching for a thrift shop I saw earlier. Turned around and going in circles one more time… and there she be! Diggin’ deep through the bin of office supplies, I start to spy goldenrod pencils. Five pencils later, I’m hi-fivin’! Three are Canada specific and one is the CANADIANA!!
I left Canada with only one Canadiana. It’s beaten, it’s battered and it’s sittin’ pretty on my shelf. It’s kept safe with my other goldenrod pencils and it be one damn special trophy – The Incredible Canadiana.