14 January 2019

Noteworthy Notebooks

It's all about notebooks today!

Even if we have the technology to go all digital, I still prefer old school pen and paper. There's nothing like the joy of filling blank pages and the feel of cursive handwriting.

Here are some of the notebooks that I use on a daily basis:

My Bullet Journal which I told you about last week.

This notebook is for blog ideas. The pages are filled with an editorial calendar, sketches and lists, and a pocket for magazine clippings that I use for inspiration.

This is a date book that I like to use as a birthday calendar. I like to keep it for quick reference and as a back-up if digital reminders fail (ex. Facebook alerts me of friends' birthdays but not everyone publishes their birthdays and not all of my friends are on Facebook).   

One of my favorite authors, Curtis Sittenfeld, mentioned a smart tip: use an address book to keep all your passwords. You can write your G-mail password under "G", your Instagram password under "I", and your Twitter password under "T". And because the idea of a paper "Address Book" feels outdated, no one will think this is where you keep your passwords (but I recommend that you still hide this in a safe place)!     

It's not easy to find Address Books these days. They still have it at Barnes and Noble and Rifle Paper Co. makes really cute ones. 

Peter Pauper Press, Barnes and Noble
But look, there are special address books for all our digital addresses now! Like a traditional address book, it has alphabetical tabs on the side.  

Peter Pauper Press, Barnes and Noble
Here's what it looks like inside...lots of space for the password because we have to change them often for our security. Just remember to update them here, remove the label from the book, and hide it in a secure drawer.

I also like to keep sketch journals and watercolor pads so I can practice my drawing and painting. This is my low commitment way to "do something creative everyday", the promise I made since I did the "100 Day Project".

I hope to continue filling the pages with these:

Painting ordinary things that I often overlook.

Positive words as I practice my brush lettering and calligraphy.

And using it as a travel journal for journeys near and far.

These are just some of the ways to turn blank notebooks from blah to TADA!

07 January 2019

My Bullet Journal

It's the start of a new year and that means a new planner! I've always loved paper calendars and datebooks to jot down events and reminders. And even if everyone has gone digital, I'm staying loyal to my planner.

Specifically my Bullet Journal.

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In this post, I mentioned how to use a bullet journal.

Moleskine notebook, planner, 2018 calendar, craft stamps
And in this post, I detailed how I made the bullet journal my own.

And now, there's a book written by the inventor of the Bullet Journal, Ryder Carroll.

I even got to meet him at the launch last October.

Moleskine, craft stamps, ink pad, planner, journal
I love this method because everyday starts with a blank page and there's enough room to write down a To-Do list, a gratitude list, a list of accomplishments (no matter how small), and reminders on how I made that day meaningful.

My version is minimal and straightforward. It changes depending on my needs and I've updated it to include:

Page Numbers for quick reference

And monthly cover pages where I write down my goals at the beginning of each month. At the end of the month, I use it to reflect on what I've accomplished.  

I'm currently experimenting with different notebooks. The only criteria? It has to be black.

I've tried the ones made by Moleskine and Shinola (both were tokens from work). And I'd like to try the Bullet JournalLeuchtturm and Blackwing journals, too.

Right now, I'm using this one from Muji:

It's very inexpensive (only $6) compared to brands I mentioned above which range from $15 to $25 each. 

I like that it opens flat and it's slightly bigger. However, it has a cardboard cover (not leather or hardbound) and only 160 pages (not the usual 240 pages). 

It also lacks a few accessories. But instead of complaining, I'm turning this situation from blah to TADA!

First I made a ribbon page marker:

It's a strip of ribbon that I attached to the back page with hot glue.

It quickly finds the current date.

I used ribbon from a spool. The elastic is for the pen holder:

I measured the circumference of the pen, cut the elastic to size (it shouldn't be too tight or too loose), and glued the ends together.  Then I glued this on the inner back cover of the notebook.  

Now my pen has a permanent spot on my journal...TADA!

And I added a paper pocket, too:

It's shaped like an envelope and is made of card stock. It's attached to the notebook with hot glue.

I can easily put receipts, post-its, and a ruler in it...TADA!

Maybe you can use these ideas for the journals and notebooks that you own.

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If someone were to accidentally rifle through my journal, I hope they perceive me as someone who was grateful, who paid attention to mundane things, and that I made the most out of every day...TADA!

01 January 2019

A New Year

Welcome 2019!

Carpe diem Seize the day Make your life extraordinary
via Pinterest

May this year be filled with opportunities for all of us to make a difference.

Happy New Year!

31 December 2018

Affirmations for the New Year

Another year is coming to an end. Sigh. 

For our new beginning tomorrow, maybe we can add some affirmations as part of our routine? Let me share a few samples that I picked up from the book, "In the Company of Women":

I say the following affirmation first thing every morning:
"God goes before me making things smooth and easy; clearing my way. No person, place or thing or outside condition can affect me. I am power. I am worthy. I am free. I am creative. I am unique. I am confident. And so it is."Carla Hall (Chef and TV Host)

"I have been doing a gratitude list for the last year. Every day I think of three things that I accomplished or experienced the day before that I am grateful for. The trick is to think about each one in full so that it doesn't become rote; with each thing that I am grateful for, I have to expand upon it to think about why I feel grateful. It's a nice way to start the day and a reminder that although some days I feel like I'm barely raising the dust, I am actually moving mountains."Karen Young (Product Designer and Entrepreneur)

Whether it's one line or an entire paragraph, borrowed words or something we've written, affirmations will surely attract positivity in our day, our week, our year.  

Happy New Year everyone!

25 December 2018

A Christmas Greeting

Merry Christmas everyone!

Whether you were naughty or nice this year, I hope you will have a delicious day and something special to open under the tree. 

Have a memorable holiday!

24 December 2018

Two Angels

Hi guys, I haven't told you this but 2018 was another sad year. 

In April, my father passed away -- 6 days after my birthday and 15 months after my mother's death. It's hard for me to even write this post but this event is etched heavily in my heart and will be the one thing that defines 2018 for me. 

This Christmas, my brothers and I are orphans. And while we're all grown up, married, and independent, it's difficult not having our parents around.

Last Christmas, I made this angel ornament to represent Mama who's now our angel in heaven. The heart she holds is Papa, and the three smaller hearts are me and my brothers. 

I wasn't expecting to make another angel so soon.

As I had mentioned in last year's "100 Day Project", arts and crafts has been my distraction for loneliness. So today, I'll show you how I made my new angel ornament.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
It's basically a clothespin doll dressed up with felt and fabric.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
I used a wooden bead for the head and a permanent marker to draw the hair and face.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
For the angel's robes: white fabric trimmed, folded, and secured in place with hot glue.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
I made arms using the same fabric.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
 Angel wings cut out from felt plus a shimmery outline using glitter glue.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
Little red hearts to represent the family.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
The biggest heart represents Mama. 

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
And the little hearts are the children, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
Then I glued on the angel wings and fashioned a loop so I can hang the ornament on the Christmas Tree.

crafts for healing, art heals, a craft when you experience a loss, healing crafts
Mama and Papa are together now. We have two angels in heaven watching over us.

17 December 2018

Holiday Greens

Hey ho! Or should I say Ho-ho-ho? If you're still at a loss on what to give your friends or co-workers for the holidays, I've got an idea for you.

Why not some small potted plants? Succulents to be exact because they're low-maintenance and are a very lovely addition to a desk, shelf, or coffee table. They're eco-friendly and they're gifts that keep on giving: clean air, good vibes, something to care for (in a not-so needy way).

I got these at my farmer's market. You can also check a garden store for the best variety.

I'm using some craft stamps and an ink pad to add a handmade touch.

Make as many tags as you need.

Cut them to size and punch a hole in the corner. You can even personalize it with a handwritten message and a short list on how to care for their new plant.

Attach the tag on the pot.

And everyone will be dreaming of a green Christmas...TADA!