June 22, 2015

The Traveller's Notebook

I've been wanting to share my favourite notebook since March but time hasn't been cooperating much until now so here it is.

Now, since my pudgy fingers can't quite keep up with my smartphone which in return, cannot keep up with my scatterbrain - ink on paper always works best for pudgy me. So earlier this year, as I was running out of pages in my then dog-eared-falling-apart A5 sized notebook, I bought myself a traveller's notebook from Stickerrific.

If you're wondering what a traveller's notebook is - well, you are not the only one. In the world of journalling, trying to figure out what is what is quite similar to trying to make sense of who is who in the Game of Thrones; from the Starks to the Baratheons to the Lannisters. In journalling, there's the Midori, the Filofaxes, the Hobonichis, ... and that's just to name a few. It's quite confusing in the beginning but after a while, it will make sense.

Ultimately, choosing which notebook to go with will depend on what you want to use it for and the inks/mediums you'll be using it most with. For me, I decided on a traveller's notebook because of the rustic look of leather and the character scratches that will develop over time. It's also an extremely customizable system with a huge collection of refills in different paper weights and accessories to make your notebook unique.

A traveller's notebook or TN is a Midori system which comprises of a leather cover that is slightly slimmer than an A5 width wise with two strategically placed elastic bands; one band loops twice around the centre spine and the second secures the contents {called refills} of your notebook in place.

It comes in two sizes - the regular sized TN, which I am currently using (approximately 22 cm x 12 cm) and the passport sized TN (approximately 13 cm x 11 cm). Refill notebooks {or simply, refills} come in blank, lined, grid and sometimes grid-dotted and the papers are usually off-white or ivory. They also come in light weight or sketch paper and brown Kraft or black.

An original Midori traveller's notebook system does not come cheap, which is why I opted for a faux-Midori system from Stickerrific. A regular sized starter TN kit will set you back at least RM160. It comes with a cowhide cover, a simple blank notebook, a cotton case and a spare rubber band. Everything else is an add-on. You will be extremely tempted to customize your TN, and when it comes to leather and brass and all things original, well ... you do the maths.

Right now, my biggest splurge is this original Midori brass label I sewed on the bottom left corner of my leather cover and my Pilot Kakuno fountain pen. I've also changed the glass bead fastener that holds the elastic together to a metal one and added a zipper pouch {all from Stickerrific}.

Inside, I have two refills - a twenty-fifteen weekly calender refill to organize my week and a dot-grid refill for my doodles - both downloaded from My Life In One Place, which I then customized, printed, trimmed and hand-bound with brown Kraft paper.

I will eventually purchase an original Midori system when my current faux-Midori has seen the light of day but until then, I'm absolutely in love with this little leather notebook of mine.

May 26, 2015

Playing Catch-Up

The last couple of months since my last post way back in February has been ... well, let's just say the phrase chaotic madness would be an understatement! So in this post, I am going to attempt to play catchup so you know I'm still quite alive ...  well, barely in April but here we go.

I was kept pretty busy in March with a birthday box card for a twelve year old boy where I tried very, very hard to keep the colours less girly because you know, I design a lot for girls. I also included an un-presuming box, with instructions that pops open with a fully customizable cake and light up LED candle for almost 60 hours of birthday wishes. 

I also caught the travellers notebook art-journalling bug and bought myself a regular sized faux-Midori Traveller's Notebook from Stickeriffic, plus a host of other journalling accessories like my current favourite fountain pens - the Pilot Penmanship EF Fountain Pen and the Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen. Since I over-splurged on accessories, I went the DIY way for refills with help from Google and that in itself kept me quite occupied.

I also did my first collaboration with May from Jumps & Jiggles for her mom's 70th birthday party where we came up with a vintage polka dotted blue and red roses theme, which I am absolutely in love with. 

Then came April came along and boy, was it an extremely tough month to get by! My little man was diagnosed with broncho-pneumonia in early April and was admitted for almost a week. Going to work during the day and staying in the hospital at night was tough. Unfortunately, three weeks later he was readmitted again because his little lungs hadn't fully cleared up and that was super duper rough because in between that, I was admitted for a week for pneumonia. So yeah, April was totally sans designs and was instead filled with hospital stays and horrible tasting medicine for me and my little man.

With May, came a little reprieve. I got to go to KL for a week which was really nice because for one, I did not have to think about work - at all and two, I got to sleep in until 8 am. It would be nice to sleep in until 9 am but the mini monkeys just would not sleep past 8:01!

Anyhoo, the week was spent visiting daddy's office where my little man got to play the boss. Then while I visit Szetoo at Stickeriffic, the kids had loads of fun and laughter with Frankie the Clown at Jaya One. We later had dinner at our must-visit restaurant whenever I'm in KL {... well, because I live in the jungle and we don't have good western diners in the jungle} and the kids had more fun with their cousin while the husband and I chatted away with my brother and sis-in-law.

After one whole week of almost-sleep-ins, good food and tons of stationary hoarding, it was back to reality. I kept busy the entire first half of the month with ...

... a Sophia the First's birthday party. Another collaboration with Jumps & Jiggles.

... my daughter's Teacher's Day presents, which I totally forgot about so I was up until 3am finishing these.

And finally ... the company's May CSR project; an exclusive movie screening of Dreamwork's Home at GSC for 100 underprivileged children from 4 homes around the state of Perak.

So, that was my past three months. Right now, I'm learning calligraphy and water colouring so yeah - quite a bit of posts on that will be heading your way soon. Until then, fingers crossed that my next post won't be three months down the road!

February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year of the Sheep!

February is almost at an end and phew! ... what a hectic month it has been but it's still not too late to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year of the Sheep; may it be a year of good health, great wealth and plenty of prosperous luck!

January 7, 2015

2015: One Week In

2014 was probably one of the hardest - physically and emotionally draining year for me. The country didn't fare much better either and the year ended on a devastating note for many affected by the floods in the East Coast for the family and friends of those on-board Air Asia flight QZ 8501.

But life goes on and we move on with our daily lives until another curve ball comes along. The difference this time is that we take the lessons we learnt the last twelve months and see how best to dodge and avoid getting hit again.

We are now one week into 2015 and the last seven days has been good to me and the family. I am trying to block out the worse bits of 2014 but the year did see me do a little bit more of something I love - craft, and here are some of the highlights:

I gave my little girl her best birthday last year which I hope to trump that this year. Right now, I am waiting for her to decide on a theme which should roll around a week before her birthday {... gah!}. I'm also hoping my little man has a theme too because mama does not want to play guess-what-the-baby-wants-for-his-birthday-theme with grandma.

I also got to plan and design one dinner party and one birthday party which I thoroughly loved but wished I had more time to design - blame the OCD in me.

The husband and I finally got around to fixing up our little girl's room and I finally managed to de-clutter some bits of the house. It is amazing how much crap two kids can hoard. Fortunately, mama is a champion de-clutter-er.

The finale was definitely our Christmas tree which the kids loved although I think they preferred their presents more {... duh!}.

For 2015, I think I'm going to focus a little more on me. I don't do resolutions because I can never find the time to implement them but if I had to choose three ... it'll be to craft more, so I can put more smiles of the faces of others; to a healthier me, so I can keep up with my kids and #daretobegorgeous; to really forget and let go of the past hauntings so I can be a happier person.

What's yours? I hope your 2015 started off awesome and continues to be so.

Hugs to all!