Monday, October 20, 2014

Good mail days- Incoming from Germany (and outgoing)

These songbirds stamps are actually still my current favorite. I mean, look at them. Just so bright and lively. It'll make any plain ol' envelope that much better!
 I put together this little parcel for Alessa in Germany a few weeks back. Alessa was actually one of the amazing supporters and purchasers of my very first zine, The Ephemera Scrapbook.
A little after she received my zine, she was so kind and sent me this "thank you" package full of happiness and surprised goods. It was such pleasant surprise, to say the least.

Thank you so so much, Alessa!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My 2015 Hobonichi Planner

 I did it. I ordered the Hobonichi Planner Cousin size for 2015. Now I'm all set and ready for the new year! (planner wise)

This little pen and tissue holder came free with the purchase.

Compared to my 2014 original size you can see that this planner is much bigger and roomier.

This is just what I need, all this wonderful page space.

As far as the cover goes, I wasn't too impressed with the Hobonichi's A5 line this year, so I opt for this filofax Flex cover instead. It fits like a glove!

Being that the Flex has two slip pockets in each side, the Hobonichi cover slips right in.
And it sits in there pretty securely.
The scuffs on the cover are still driving me crazy, but I try not to worry about much. I'm on a mission to find a thick enough band to cover them. For now, I'm using this thin elastic hair band to keep the binder shut when not in use. I haven't decided if I'll actually need the band once I start shoving papers into my planner or not, but I still have a few months to tweak some things around.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Using the Filofax Flex A5

Introducing my new 2015 folder in which I was lucky enough to find on Amazon for $35. 

Unfortunately, Amazon thought it was a great idea to stuff my fiance's headphones right on top of the binder (we combined orders to get the free shipping) into a teeny tiny tight envelope box thus creating indentation on the top of the cover.
I was hoping that a good rub would make it somehow go away, but no. These marks are here to stay. Definitely not happy about it, but what can I do (besides send it back, but I was too lazy and not wanting to go through the inconvenience of that).
This A5 Flex binder will be replacing a current Cambridge binder I'm currently using for work. I'm going to need a change for the new year.
The thing that appealed to me the most about the Flex was just how many pockets and slits this little folder had. There are so many hiding spots for receipts, bills, invoices, etc. Perfect for what I need and have planned.
The binder also came with a ruled notebook...
which underneath reveals come pockets and card slots.
And tucked inside one of the pockets is a removable, yet sturdy, pen holder, which I plan on using as a writing pad. 

On the ride side of the Flex is another jot pad...
with a pocket underneath

and another pocket on the side.
The back side
And this how it looks closed. It's actually pretty compact and smaller than imagined, in a good way.  

Make sure to check out tomorrow's post to see how I intend on using her for the upcoming year!

Monday, October 13, 2014

For the love of snail mail- Jenni

Hello, friends, and happy Monday! Today I have a very special guest that I would like to share with you all.

Typically, each week, I try to post all of my lovely incoming mail and parcels, but then I thought, "How fun would it be to see the creations of other wonderful and fun snail mailers out there, too!" It's always nice to discover other people that share such similar interests, right?

I know a lot of you are seeking or enjoy the craft of snail mail so I decided to start a new segment introducing you to a few of the people and their crafts that I admire. In this case, I'd like to welcome a good Instagram friend of mine, Jenni. I'm sure you'll find her works very beautiful and inspiring. Let's take a look, shall we?
- Hi Jenni! Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
My name is Jenni, I am 53 years young and I'm from Melbourne, Australia.

- How did you get into snail mail and penpaling, and how long have you been doing it for?
I got into snail mailing earlier this year, as one of my followers asked if she could send me a letter. Of course I said yes, any excuse to get to know people better, and exchange mail is a positive thing. 

Years ago I had pen pals, that was back when I was in my teen years and now I'm enjoying writing all over again. It's been one of my favourite experiences so far, and very exciting meeting new people online and writing for them. For me it's all about the mail, not the parcel.

When we were young we didn't send gifts, it was just lots of letter writing. I sent letters to so many countries, and I loved keeping the stamps back then too. I love sending friends letters and gifts, I'm just not big on receiving gifts. Only because I'm 53, and I know many of the people I write to are younger and starting out in life. I don't like to see them spend too much money.

- How many penpals do you currently have, and where are they from?
Right now I have around 20 people I'm writing to, and I'd like to write to a few more when I have time. My pen pals are from all over Australia, Paris, Indonesia, America, Canada, UK and the Netherlands.

- Where did you find most of your penpals?
Most of my pen pals are from Instagram, the rest are my friends I've had for years who have moved away from Melbourne.

- What are a few things you enjoy sending?
I love sending letters, mail tags, little personal surprises such as soaps, lace hankies, stationery, pens, washi tapes, books, magazines like Frankie and hand made gifts.

- What are some things that you enjoy receiving?
The one thing I love receiving the most is a letter, especially when the writer is so open and friendly. After that it's probably stationery, washi tape, anything I can use for my planner, basically in expensive things. I honestly don't like anyone spending too much money.

- What have been some of the most memorable mail you've received?
The most memorable mail I have received has been some of the letters from my pen pals, telling me about themselves and their lives. Recently I was given a few un expected gifts, and they all had so much wow factor. One dear friend knitted me a beautiful tea cosy, another friend sent me one of her gorgeous hand made quilts! I expected neither, so I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm always surprised by people's kindness, because I never expect anything.

- When is the best time to put together your snail mail?
I usually put my snail mail together when ever I have free time. If I can, I love to spend time crafting a little each day, so I try and combine some snail mailing with crafting. It means I don't fall too much behind with my snail mailing, and I have time for other things too. On average I probably snail mail and craft for 1-2 hours a day at the most. If I could I would craft all day!

- Have you met any of your penpals in person?
I haven't met any of my snail mail buddies as yet, but I would love to meet them. I've been fortunate to meet a couple of lovely ladies from Instagram offline when they came to Melbourne. After meeting these ladies we don't write to each other we text, as they live in other parts of Australia not over seas.

I always tell my pen pals if they ever come to Australia I would love to show them around Melbourne, and spend a day or two with them. When one of the ladies from IG came to Melbourne we spent the day together, I showed her all my favourite thrift shops and cafés. Recently she returned to Melbourne, and I took her on a tour of the Dandenong Ranges. We spent the day shopping in the little vintage shops, having afternoon tea and taking photos. I'm hoping she will come back before the end of the year.


Thank you so much, Jenni, for showing us your wonderful snail mail and crafts! I love the pretty vintage feel to these all! And for all you Instagram users out there, you might want to check out Jenni's Instagram gallery, @jennilee61, where she posts daily pictures of her letter writings, tea times, and so much more!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Journal Diaries- Ryo's Hobonichi Journal Project

The Journal Diaries is a blog segment where we get a sneak peek into the journals, notebooks, organizers, and diaries from people all over the world. (Click here for past posts.) My special guest today is "Ryo" from Japan.

- Tell us a little more about yourself!
RYO is my screen name. My real name is Kaori.
I was born and raised in Japan, but currently live in Montreal, Canada.
I am a speech-language pathologist with no training in fine arts.

- When did you start drawing/journaling, and how long have you been doing it for?
I started drawing when I was old enough to hold a pencil. I was always drawing on pieces of scrap paper, on pages of notebooks and textbooks during classes, on presentation handouts, on meeting agendas... ;-p In the past, I kept drawing journals here and there, but never consistently. I started the drawing journal project 2014 with some of my friends. I have been journaling everyday since January 2014 and posting photos of journal pages.

- Can you tell us a little more about your journal drawing project and why you decided to start it?
絵日記倶楽部 The drawing journal club is a project I have started this year with some of my friends. I have been blogging for almost 10 years and I made friends all over the world. My photo-editing and typing skills have improved dramatically over years, but I started to miss handwriting and drawing. Then, I discovered Ms. Mogu Takahashi's Daily Doodles.

I thought, "This is it! It will be a lot of fun to share drawing journals among friends who live far away!" I'm 10 months into this project and I'm still loving it :)  Journaling can be a lonely chore. But having a group of friends working on it together actually helps me keep journaling.

This is the blog entry introducing the drawing journal club project (in Japanese)

- When do you find yourself journaling?
Everyday at night unless I fall asleep after dinner unintentionally...

- Where is most of your creativity captured?
I'm currently journaling on the kitchen counter. I moved in April and I still don't have a decent office space.

- What inspires your artwork?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Things I see, people I meet, things I experience and want... I always try to find small pieces of happy moments in everyday life and capture them in drawings. Little things are easily forgotten. But piles of little pieces of good things get you going.

- What attracts you particularly to the Hobonichi planner?
The Tomoe River paper and the Hobonichi community. The Tomoe River paper is a brilliant quality paper. I cannot find anything negative about it. I just love how the pen flows on the surface. And one of the big charms of the Hobonichi is the community of people who just love Hobonichi journals. It's almost like a big family of people who love to share their experiences. Really fun.

- Do you have any other favorite notebooks that you use?
Traveler's notebook. I am currently using the traveler's notebook as an agenda/life-log.

- Do you carry your notebooks around or do you store them someplace.
The drawing journal book stays at home.

- Where are your notebooks stored when not in use?
In a big basket with pens, scissors, stickers, washi tapes...

- What is you favorite stationery tool, supply or product at the moment?
STAEDTLER pigment liner 0.05 is my favorite pen. But I find the color of the ink is a bit too light for the Hobonichi Planner because of the grey grids. Farber-Castell pitt artist pen XS works well on the Hobonichi Planner. I also like uni StyleFit, a ballpoint pen that you can customize the combinations of ink cartridges. In general, I like superfine-point pens. I am also crazy about washi tapes (decorative masking tapes) and stickers.

- Do you have any favorite stationery stores or brand?
LOFT and Tokyu Hands. I visit my family in Japan once a year and I cannot skip (multiple) visits to these stores. I hope at least one of them will open a branch in Montreal someday...

- What advice, tip, or suggestion would you give for anyone looking to start creative drawing and journaling themselves?
Start small. A blank page is full of possibilities, but it can be scary. Draw things like today's weather, clothes you are wearing, food you have eaten, things you saw on your way to work...Once something is put down on paper, it will be a lot easier to keep going. If you cannot start drawing, cut images out of magazines or print photos small and glue them onto the pages. Fill the rest of the pages with words and drawings. Don't try to be fancy and fake an extravaganza. This is you journal full of little happy sparkles, not Facebook.

- Other than journaling, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?
I love photography and photo-editing. I take pictures of Blythe (big-headed dolls), miniatures, food, daily life... Photoshop, blogging, crocheting, dancing, baking & cooking, interior decoration, restaurant hopping...I do lots of things that are totally unrelated to my day job. :D


Thank you so much, Kaori, for sharing your Hobonichi planner with us! And for all you wonderful readers looking to connect, you can can find Kaori aka Ryo here:
Instagram: @amidwinternd
Blog: (in Japanese)

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