Friday, December 21, 2012

Last post of 2012

So, the holidays are upon us, and with it, the promise of a new, better year.

I just want to wish all of you the best for 2013, with the hope that the human race will improve itself and stop all the hate, envy, selfishness and greed.

Please spread the love, and not only during the holiday season, but also throughout the year, and the next.

All my best wishes,


Monday, December 17, 2012

My Planner's Cover

In previous entries, I mentioned that the plastic cover was one of the features I liked the most about my Mark's Planner.

I thought today I should show it to you in more detail.
As you can see in the following picture,

my planner

the planner is made up of a clear plastic cover, a paper sleeve (in lime green) and the book itself.

This is the plastic cover with its pockets

Plastic cover

This is the correct orientation of the cover. The zip pocket is the front cover, and the penloop on the back cover. But because I'd rather have the pocket on the back, I've simply turned it around. Now the penloop sits on the front, but low, so I've had to make it tighter by wrapping some washi tape around it.

Plastic cover
This is the paper sleeve

Paper sleeve
Considering that the sleeve is what decorates this planner, I have thought of designing another sleeve to use with it, IF I grow tired of this colour. But I don't think that will happen anytime soon, as I am currently in love with that lime green.

And this is the planner book.

Planner without its cover

Very simple and looks kinda tiny without its cover! (One thing I don't like about the design are the page markers' colours. One is brown, the other blue. I think they just look so plain and old-style for such a cool and fun planner.)

I remember how when I was using a Filofax, I would have it very full, keeping so many papers, cards, whatevers in the pockets. It would come to a point that it did weigh to carry it in my bag. Yet I just couldn't let go of all those bits of paper.
Ever since I switched, I feel I have been liberated from the need to carry so much crap inside it, which is also why this planner is more streamlined.
I still do carry some papers inside the pockets, but I try to keep it at a minimum. And if there is some important data I need, I write it down on the notes pages at the back, and then throw away the paper.

Those of you who carry a bound planner, did you also go through something similar? Do you carry anything imaginable in your planner, or do you try to keep it at a minimum?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


It's Wednesday today, which means that today's topic is 21Kittens, my brand of handmade notebooks.
I started this project about 3 years ago when I decided to learn how to bind notebooks using the coptic stitch for an Xmas present. Little did I know I would find it so enjoyable and become hooked!

I then went on to make notebooks for friends and family using not only the coptic stitch, but also long stitch and Japanese binding.

Tilde's Journal

But as life would have it, once I moved to London and started working, I found it rather difficult to make time for my project, let alone have any energy left to pursue my hobby!

Now that I have been working as a 'housewife' though, I have plenty of time to go on making more notebooks, so this autumn I reactivated my etsy store and have slowly been adding new items to it (although not as fast as I'd like; I am a cat after all and I get very easily distracted!)

Most of the work that I have done so far have been custom orders. I enjoy making them because of the challenge, not to mention the fun. Once a person tells me they want a specific book, ideas start popping into my head immediately. What sort of material to use, which sort of binding should it have, how the cover should look, etc.

Serch's sketchbook

But that can also be a trap. I tend to spend too much time thinking, and not doing. This is normally due to the fact that I can't always find the type of paper I have in mind.

For instance, a friend of mine has requested a dream journal. He's given me carte blanche on it, so I can decide size, pages, design, etc. The thing is, I already got the idea of how it should be as soon as he spoke the words 'Dream Journal'. The problem is finding the paper I have in mind, hence why I haven't started it yet. I am hoping I will come to a decision soon, as I want him to have it before the year's end.

Anyway, that was me rambling on again. I just wanted to give you guys an introduction to 21Kittens and let you know that it will be featured each Wednesday.

So yeah, I will post pictures and write an update here about the Dream Journal once it's done.

Ah, and before I forget, you can read older posts on my previous 21Kittens blog.
Take care,

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Planner so far...

As you already know I started using an 18 month planner by a Japanese brand called MARK'S in September. If you're just finding out about this, you can catch up here.

Seeing I was so excited with it when I received it and thinking that it would help with my previous Planner Fail, I thought it would be time for a little update.

The verdict?

I was right!
Although I not always update it on a daily basis, I can confidently say that I am not suffering from PF at the moment, and here are the reasons why:

1. The Layout: being able to see my whole week at a glance simply works for me. I like that the days are arranged as columns, for it gives order to my scribbles. The header space on top of each day highlights the important event of the day. And the space on the left is where I jot down stuff I need to remember, etc.

2. The Size: If you remove the plastic outer cover, the book is an A6. With the cover, it is slightly bigger than this (duh), but not overwhelming. So I can carry it with me everywhere I go, as it fits into my smallest purse.

3. The Cover: It's strange; I didn't think I would like a plastic cover, but I actually do. For this planner at least. Because I don't have to worry about putting it somewhere and getting the cover ruined, because I can stick little pieces of washi tape on it to use later on, because it's transparent and I can see the little notes stashed in the back. Yes, that is also one of the things I love the most about this little planner: the zippered pocket.

4. The Colour: this lime green just makes me happy every time I look at it!

I always thought that my Planner Fail was solely MY fault (at times I still do) and not the planner's.
Now I realise that the planner itself plays a huge part on it; having one I don't enjoy anymore is just going to make me more prone to abandon it.
I've read about other people going through Planner Fail and how some of them will insist on using the same book in the hope this will solve it. I have tried that in the past as well and it has almost never worked.
I think in my case I need to really like the planner, it's got to have something special to keep me going back to it even if it's just to keep it near me.

(I don't know if that last paragraph makes sense to you, I am finding it very hard to put my thoughts into words. For this I apologise.)

So yeah, I am still very happy with my lime green Mark's! :)

Friday, December 07, 2012

Field Notes

Those of you who follow me on flickr might have noticed I like taking pictures of my Field Notes notebooks. 
For those of you who have never owned or seen one in real life, here is my overview and humble opinion of them.

Since I don't want to go into much detail about where they're from and how they came to be, I will simply tell you that they are made in the USA and that you can visit their page here.

Used Field Notes

Each Field Notes memo book measures 8.9cm x 13.9cm (3-1/2" x 5-1/2"), which makes it perfect for carrying everywhere with you.
There are 48 pages, either lined, graph or plain. And they are sold in packs of three.
What sets them apart,for me at least, is their covers.

There are the plain ones, with a 'paperbag' brown cover with the text in black. I love customising these!
Plain Field Notes

There is the County Fair edition, with covers in blue, red and yellow, and the name of one of the 50 states on the bottom of the cover. Text printed in a sort of gold, yellow ink, and with fun facts about the selected state on the back cover.
County Fair field Notes

And then there are the seasonal Limited Editions. In my opinion, these are the best! For each season, the lovely folks at Field Notes HQ come up with a gorgeous design, not just for the cover, but also for the pages inside, and sometimes they even throw in a little goodie, like last autumn's Traveling Salesman edition that came with a cool FN Representative button.
Limited Edition Field Notes
But as the name says, they are LIMITED, so once they come out, you need to get them as soon as you can. (Or you'll be like me who missed this year's Summer edition).

The other thing FN does different is that they also offer subscriptions. Yes, you read right: you can subscribe and receive for a year all the Limited Editions that come out, plus the current one (if it's not sold out yet). I think you receive even more goodies, but I'm not sure as I'm too poor to subscribe just yet.

The other day, Laurie asked me about their paper quality. I personally can't stand low quality paper, therefore I am always on the lookout for the best papers I can find. Of course, for some stuff I don't need to have a Clairefontaine or a Paperblanks, but still I can't bring myself to use something like a Pukka Pad (I really can't stand those), or the generic ones you find everywhere. Moleskine cahiers are okay-ish, but tend to be a tad expensive for their quality.
That is where my Field Notes comes in.

Although their paper is not the best for fountain pen ink, as it will bleed in some cases, it is still pretty good. I have noticed that some inks will barely bleed or feather, such as the iro-shizuku or the J. Herbin Orange Indien, so I frequently use them on my Field Notes.
Field Notes Paper
Gel pens also work great, no matter what colour. I would say that if you're going to use a very wet pen, then you will experience more bleed-through.

I have also noticed that these little notebooks are also quite durable. Carrying them everywhere with me, I expect them to be able to take a beating or two, and come out victorious. Which they do!
I started using them in January this year. So far, I have used 6 already and have started my 7th just a few days ago. And every time I start a new one is simply glorious!

Have you used a Field Notes before? What do you think of them? Please do share your thoughts in the comments below!

Til next time,

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Welcome to the New Blog!

As you might have noticed, I've changed the design of my blog, as it was in dire need of a fresh make-over. But I've not only changed its looks; I have also decided to write more. As a matter of fact, I have even set up a 'schedule' of topics to help me decide what to talk about on my future posts.

The Schedule:
There will now be 3 weekly posts, each with a slightly different topic.

Mondays: will be dedicated to everything planner-related; how I'm using my planner, which planner I'm using, how it has helped or failed me, etc.

Wednesdays: will be 21Kittens Day. At the moment I have a separate blog for my handmade projects, but seeing how little I update it, I thought it would be best to sort of merge my two blogs into this one, thus making life easier for me. So yes, any post pertaining to a 21Kittens project will be featured on this day.

Fridays: on which I plan to write about all other stationery products I like/dislike. I have also thought of adding non-stationery topics, like when I wrote about my Lumia. It might serve as some sort of review for the product of the week.

On occasion, I might decide to write a post on the weekend, but I don't think that will be too often. I will already be busy trying to publish three posts per week, so we'll see.

So yeah, this is it. I am sorry if you tried to come to my blog the past week and couldn't find it, I had it closed while I was working on the design. 

To all my readers, thank you very much. Don't be shy and leave me your comments, after all, that is what blogs live off :)

take care,