Jera’s Jamboree : Stationery Love with Yasmin Selena Butt


My guest today on Stationery Love is Yasmin Selena Butt.


Stationery is another form of Tartware


God, I love stationery! You are reading a post by a woman who has kept a page-a-day diary for twenty odd years. I have a high shelf exclusively devoted to housing them. Many a happy hour has been spent in Paperchases across the land, perusing notebooks, hand-made paper, fancy pens and all manner of accoutrements.  I’ve even framed wrapping paper on my wall if I’ve loved it enough. Great stationery is like art to me, to be celebrated and revered. TK Maxx with its one-off notebooks, and artisan boutiques for lovers of all things paper, are positively dangerous to this here’s starving artist bank balance.

Stationery like Tartware ( defn: make-up, perfume & face/bodycare to the uninitiated) has been a source of comfort and artistic succour for many years. It all has deliberate purpose, I bought the gold and silver gel ink pens for the personalisation and signing of my debut novel, Gunshot Glitter, well over a year before the paperbacks were printed. I knew exactly how I was going to do it.  Beautiful pens and decorative sellotape can make a reader’s experience really special. There’s a lot to be said for presentation.


Each room in the Castle has bespoke, decorated jars filled with pens and pencils. I used to buy spiced aubergines from a shop in Acton called Mockbar. I swear I was addicted to them!  Then, to my dismay, the store closed down. I’ve been in many an Eastern European store seeking them but had no joy; but, I held onto the gorgeous, curvaceous jars they came in, to paint, varnish and beautify them.  I entered them in a recycling competition with Liberty department store and was thrilled when they won a prize. That was a good day. I’ve gifted them to friends too; the etched ones make excellent tealight holders. They’re spontaneous creations, never premeditated.


Many moons ago, I worked in Marketing and sourced promotions for my clients. One of my supplier contacts, a lovely girl called Katie, who loved reading Jill Mansell, discovered I was writing a novel and posted me a pen she’d come across because she thought it embodied me. And she got it right. I love bejewelled things and I love red.


In fact I’m typing this post in a siren-red summer dress with newly painted red nails in my local library; feeling a bit over-dressed, but why not? I don’t believe in saving things for a ‘special’ day, dressing up, cheers you up.  But one thing I do believe, is that the right notebook for the right task – be it collating novel ideas, logging your wishes, sketching out the skeleton and crew of a story, sings out at you when you find it.  It becomes part of the peripheral identity of the novel, it’s meant to be. All my ‘active’ ones reside in an orderly pile under my bed, all unique and easily identifiable.


I used a Jack Vettriano A4 spiralbound for the creative side of Gunshot Glitter, but a more compact book for the business side.  The Vettriano is utterly battered now!

I have a stockpile of unused notebooks in different hues, weights and sizes, and I firmly believe they will all, in good time, inform me of their purpose. It might be years, but it will happen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A friend I was shopping with saw me staring at it intently in Paperchase, trying to justify the price to myself. It was decorated in hearts and damask flock paper and strongly reminded me of the decor I’d envisaged in my imaginary burlesque club, Gunshot Glitter. The notebook was the last one on the shelf and this was the first time I’d ever seen it.  ‘Bonus Christmas present?’ he suggested, putting it in his basket. I swear it made my day! My friends have now taken to gifting me notebooks, which is really sweet, I didn’t realise my passion for them had become so obvious until they started doing that.

I’ve recently got into buying rubbers and sharpeners too, when I visit museums, swish homes and art galleries. I love the fact they’re not only useful to me as a writer (I have a couple in every room) but that they’re also stamped with the name of the attraction, thus appealing to my sentimental streak.


Stationery is an extension of my fingers and thoughts, without it all the ideas, visuals and dialogue would be lost like tears in rain, to steal the words of Roy from ‘Bladerunner’, but it’s true. I always travel with a notebook and pencil, and on the odd occasion I’ve been caught out, have resorted to using the back of receipts and the ‘note’ function on my mobile. But it’s not the same. There’s something magical and organic that happens when my fingers meld ink on paper, and if you can pen it in something beautiful, to me that’s the icing on the cake.

Thank you for sharing with us Yasmin!  Mouth watering 🙂

I love Yasmin’s creatively decorated jars, beats my old mugs and plant pots hands down!

Yasmin Selena Butt was born in London. She has previously worked abroad in the Maldives as an English Language trainer to resort staff, freelanced in Marketing and been published by The Times as a music writer.  She currently lives in west London. Her middle name ‘Selena’ 777cropwas adopted in 2000 after hearing the story from a building concierge about the middle-naming of his daughter, Yasmin. In gratitude she has named a character in her debut in his honour. The title of ‘Gunshot Glitter’ was inspired by a song by Jeff Buckley taken from his album ‘Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk.’

Read the opening chapter of crime novel, Gunshot Glitter HERE

Buy GUNSHOT GLITTER in Limited Edition paperback priced at £9.99 from

The eBook is available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and all good eBook retailers

Gunshot Glitter on Goodreads

Follow Yasmin on Twitter @Yasminselena

Find out more about her here:


24 thoughts on “Jera’s Jamboree : Stationery Love with Yasmin Selena Butt

  1. My red rug shows up really nicely there lol. Thanks for letting me share my love of all things stationery with you and your readers, really cool to be your guest. I hope they enjoy the words and pictures xx

  2. Gorgeous! Love the feathery pen! I want one! And the jar! And the rug (although that’s not really stationery, is it…then again, I suppose it *is* stationary, LOL!)!!! Great feature, as always, and lovely to see Yasmin here! XX

  3. Great post, ladies. Yasmin, I love stationery too but I don’t think I’m quite in your league. That feathery pen is GORGEOUS. Love all your notebooks and rubbers too. All those lovely bright colours. I can actually picture you in Paperchase. Love that place, but daren’t go in sometimes as they’d be closing the shop and switching the lights off around me. Here’s to serious stationery love, eh! 🙂 Xx

  4. TK Maxx and their journals. Gotta love em.I can just picture a woman in a bright red dress and bright red nails writing with a bright red pen, sitting in a library. I’m sure it brightened everyone’s day 🙂

    • Might even have made people think about wearing their glad rags instead of leaving them in the cupboard all year round 😀

      Thanks for commenting Lisa.

    • Lol, I sound like a scarlet vision of glam, thank you Lisa! That’s a really sweet thing to say, my local library manager yesterday said she really loved seeing me come in, set up and get typing away. They know I’m a writer and were really excited about seeing Gunshot Glitter when they heard the print was out. Sometimes it can be a challenge being stuck indoors on your own, much better to be around other peeps 😉 xx

  5. Yay, this post is so *you*, Yasmin (as well it should be) and I looooove your collection of notebooks. My brown eyes have shifted into green hehehe. In fact, I think I’m in need of revisiting my stock, just to get a fix!
    I also really love your hand-decorated jars; good to see them again. 🙂

    • It’s courtesy of your post, Jo that I came across Sharon’s blog, so cheers to you – and Sharon! Try and decorate a jar, I think with your visual eye you’ll create something beautiful and it’s also really relaxing watching them take form : ) xx

    • Yes, Jo, acrylics adhere really well to glass. I tend to use a basecoat from a tester pot of paint and then layer on richer colours either while that is still wet or when it’s dry depending on the look I’m seeking to achieve. A good way to get a drip look is to turn your jar upside down and trickle paint down the side. Also, if you want to add glitter or anything that needs to stick, apply it on when the paint is still wet, it’s as good as glue if the paint is tacky or thick enough. Nail varnish or iridescent paints/sheens I leave to the very end. And if you want to etch, wait until the whole thing is 3/4 dry and take the back of a paintbrush and go for it, you won’t scratch the glass as they’re normally rounded.

      I honestly switch of my calculating streak and just wing it on the creation and reactive streak alone. If you ever do one, I’d love to see it xx

  6. Pingback: I’ve harvested some links for you | Becky Black

JJ always welcomes comments. Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s