Typewriter Love


Typewriter title

Two weeks ago I began dreaming about a typewriter.  These were daydreams really, just a nagging desire to find a gorgeous vintage piece of machinery with which to type my Project Life journaling.  I was hoping to find a mint or cream number with some wear. I wanted it to look as though a very moody young novelist had spent years pounding out their works of genius before they were first published.  I didn’t think I was asking for too much.   That is until I took to the internet to find the machine of my dreams.

Everything online was vintage alright, but looked as though it had spent more time in the back of a storage shed than on a writer’s desk.  Most were yellowed and broken and missing keys.  The one’s that were in good shape were behemoths of plastic, all boxy with angular edges.  The few vintage beauties I was able to find knew their worth and were way out of my modest price range.  I was about to give up all hope and buy something electric, when I ran across a craigslist ad for a garage sale about 5 minutes from home.  The listing stated that they were selling two typewriters.  The brands weren’t listed, there were no prices quoted, I didn’t have much to go on but an address and a gut feeling that I should go and bring cash.

Sitting there on a folding table in a cul de sac was the beauty you see above.  A Royal Varsity from the 1940s, in great shape, no sticking letters, complete with weathered tweed carrying case and a price tag of only $25.  I nearly did a happy dance right there in the rain, this is Seattle in June.

I’m so happy with my lovely little machine.  I love her textured metal surface and the bright bell she sounds at the end of a line.  I thought I would share the very first bit or journaling I wrote with her help and the Project Life insert that the journaling describes.

spring break

You can see that I still have to get used to typing with her.  She doesn’t have a 1 or an exclamation mark and so I’m still trying to figure out an adequate substitute for both, otherwise, I absolutely love the look.  I’ll be typing all my journaling from now on.

Spring Break 1

The insert showcases photos from a trip we took down the Oregon Coast in March.  Our first trip together as a family of four.  The weather was incredible that week and we all had an amazing time.  It’s taken me a while to print the photos and make the insert but I’m so happy with how it’s finally turned out.

Spring Break 2

Do you have a tool in your crafting arsenal that you’re absolutely smitten with?  I would love to hear about it in the comments.  As always, thank you for stopping by today, your presence is greatly appreciated!

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  1. Lisa L - July 9, 2014

    Such a great find. Hope some of your thrifting luck would rub off on me, there’s a light blue Royal at my local Goodwill but they want $70 for it, BLERRRGG!

    • carsonriutta - July 9, 2014

      If the machine is in mint condition then it might be worth it. Those cute colorful machines can get pretty high. There’s a guy in Everett who is selling his colorful machines for over $80 on Craigslist and I’ve seen them in the hundreds all over e-bay and the net. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and hope that the thrifting gods come through!

  2. Ruth - July 30, 2014

    Oh, what a lovely story – so close to my own last week, across the Pond! I have hankered after a portable typewriter for journalling for some time. Collecting for our annual Scout jumble sale someone scooped up a house clearance and there in the Scout Hut were two Imperial Good Companions in their leather cases. So, an early bid has secured one and I am inspired by your use for LP, and will try some vellum as soon as I have a new ribbon. I’ve really enjoyed being able to share our finds – courtesy of Shimelle’s link. Love your use of all those left over thickers too!

    • carsonriutta - August 11, 2014

      Ruth, I’m embarrassed by how long it took me to respond to your comment. I’m so glad you found your “one” typewriter, the thrill of finding something so cool and so vintage is a pretty great feeling. I too need to get a new ribbon. I’ve been wrestling a bit with the one I have and in the end, I need to squint in order to read my journaling. I love typing on vellum and I hope you’ll try it, I’d love to hear how it all goes with your new machine. Thank you so much for commenting and again, I’m so sorry for the late reply.

  3. ARC - August 10, 2014

    I had that same exact typewriter for a while, never used it and resold it on Craigslist 🙂 Now I have an IBM Selectric from my father in law and it suits me much better to be able to change the font balls and have it be reliable. It is enormous and heavy, though 😉 Also, hello from another Seattleite – I found you on Shimelle’s blog.

    • carsonriutta - August 11, 2014

      I’ve heard a lot about the IBM Selectrics and they really sound amazing. Those font balls make me jealous. I’m just getting in the swing of things with this little portable and I think its size and ease of use are going to make it a keeper for me. Honestly, I just don’t have the desk space for anything larger. I’m thinking we should have a papercrafter meet up with all the lovely Seattle crafters I’m meeting online. Thanks for the comment, I’ll see you over at SC!

  4. Chrissy Vieman - November 16, 2014

    Typewritten journaling on vellum looks so beautiful! Congrats in getting your dream typewriter! I will be searching high and low for the one I bought myself in junior high because this is such a neat idea. Love your story too. 🙂

  5. Irene - May 10, 2017

    Great post! BTW we used to make the the exclamation mark with a ‘ and than 1 space back and then add a .

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