an update and future plans

I have given up on my paper crafting business for now, for the following reasons:

  1. I don’t have enough time to craft, since I’m too busy with teaching these days.
  2. There was not much interest in my products and it was a bit discouraging.

I feel like I was going through a manic phase when I started the Etsy shop. (I’m bipolar.) I was so enthusiastic about creating things, and in my excitement I dove headfirst into financial jeopardy by investing so much time and money into a new business.

Now that some time has passed, I have a clearer vision of where I would like to go with my website. Here are some things I plan to work on:

  • Another Galen Leather review. I have purchased many more products from them during my absence from blogging; and I have much to say.
  • More blog posts. I would like to bring more of myself to my website; help my audience get to know me better. I am planning to write about:
    • Tips, recommendations, and product suggestions for home organization
    • My personal struggles with mental health
    • Marriage, relationships, and friendships
    • Finding peace through different kinds of therapy: art, journaling/writing, quality time with loved ones, self care, etc.
  • Board game reviews
  • Sharing teaching resources and ideas
  • Sharing ideas for journaling: tracking tools, product reviews, daily/weekly spread examples, etc.

I have not been writing much poetry lately, but I have been reading some. I feel a lack of creativity and energy. I will keep working on my website and myself, and I hope that we can connect with one another.

What would you like to see from my website? What interests you? Leave a comment or email me if you have any feedback.

landscape

I have no poetry in me;
in me, there are valleys
full of dark memories,
there are rivers foaming against the rocks,
full of incomprehensible thoughts and anxieties.

In me, there are mountains,
made of challenges I am yet to overcome;
struggles with my sense of self-worth,
fear of the unknown,
a cruel view of my own self.

There are dark clouds made of past mistakes,
threatening and ominous,
obscuring a blue sky full of hope,
nevertheless,
the sun shines through,
and love endures.

💕Favorite Journaling Supplies 🖋

I have been writing for as long as I can remember; in notepads, on scrap pieces of paper, in the margins of my books, and even in my graphing calculator when I could get away with it at school. I started journaling more consistently in May of 2016. My first “bullet” journal was a black Moleskine with square grid pages. I experimented with layouts, scrapbooking, junk journaling, etc. My first journal is full of doodles and poetry in the margins around my wish lists, daily tasks, and the like.

While doing all this journaling and doodling, I had the opportunity to test out a number of different notebooks and journaling supplies from various brands. I would like to share some of my favorite products with you in this post. Please note that I am not getting paid to recommend or review any of these items.

Notebooks

Pick Mackerel A5 Dotted Notebook by Tekukor
Pick Mackerel A5 Dotted Notebook by Tekukor

Pink Mackerel by Tekukor
A5 160 gsm Dot Grid Notebook

I use this notebook for daily journaling. It is my favorite notebook for the following reasons:

  • Thick, bleedproof, smooth paper (do not expect your alcohol-based/copic markers, to work with this, however)
  • 5mm dot grid that aligns well across pages
  • Beautiful hardcover design
  • 3 color coordinated satin bookmarks
  • Well constructed material
  • No unnecessary index/key pages
  • Numbered pages
  • Back pocket and pen loop
  • Elastic cover band

For a more in depth review, see this post.

Leuchtturm1917 - A4+ Master Slim Dotted Notebook
Leuchtturm1917 – A4+ Master Slim Dotted Notebook

Leuchtturm1917 – A4+ Master Slim Dotted Notebook – 100 gsm

I use these notebooks for my work journal (lesson plans, tasks tracking, etc.) and scrapbooking. The size and paper weight make it perfect for those uses.

Pens

Sakura Pigma Micron 05
Sakura Pigma Micron 05

Sakura Pigma Micron 05

I have all of the colors of this pen, and use it daily for journaling. It dries very quickly, and doesn’t smudge. If you prefer gel pens instead, I would recommend the Pilot G2 series.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

Excellent pen for coloring and daily journal use. Dries quickly and lasts a long time.

Highlighters

Zebra Mildliner Double Ended Highlighters
Zebra Mildliner Double Ended Highlighters

Zebra Mildliner Double Ended Highlighters

These highlighters comes in beautiful colors and do not bleed through.

Brush Tip Markers

Tombow Dual Brush Pens
Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

These pens work very well for brush lettering. They have an excellent assortment of colors.

Prismacolor Brush Tip Markers
Prismacolor Brush Tip Markers

Prismacolor Brush Tip Markers

These markers are easier to use than the Tombow pens due to their size, but do not offer much variety in color. The tips are resistant to fraying, unlike the Sakura brush pens.

Zebra Mildliner Brush Tip Markers
Zebra Mildliner Brush Tip Markers

Zebra Mildliner Brush Tip Markers

These brush pens are dual tipped. They offer beautiful pastel colors for journaling.

I know most of these products are already crowd-favorites, but I still wanted to share my all-time favorite journaling supplies with you. I did not include any links, because my aim is not to make money off of this post. You can find them all on Amazon.

My Favorite Notebook💕

Let me start by stating that I am not getting paid, nor have I received anything for free, to write this review. Journaling more or less consistently since May of 2016, I have searched far and wide for notebooks that meet the following expectations:

  • Thick, bleedproof pages
  • Smooth paper texture (to avoid damage to my brush markers)
  • Dot grid that aligns well across pages (preferably 5mm)
  • Hardcover
  • Numbered pages
  • Elastic cover band

The list above covers what’s most important to me in a notebook that I plan to use for daily journaling. I don’t care for “Key” and “Index” pages, but I don’t mind them if they’re there. I love the option of having satin bookmarks, but they’re not essential. Back pockets and pen loops are nice, but also not essential when it comes to my use of a notebook.

My past journals

My favorite size for daily journaling is A5, so all of the following notebooks were in that size. My first “bullet” journal was a black Moleskine with square grid pages. The paper was thin, but it was a well-constructed notebook and it withstood my heavy use. Then, I tried Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebooks, and I loved the smooth paper texture and sleek hardcover design, even though the pages had heavy ghosting due to the thin paper. During my search for a notebook that would withstand heavy artistic use, I also bought the Archer & Olive Watercolor Notebook this year, swayed by the flood of blog and social media posts raving about the brand. I was extremely displeased with the notebook, but they have excellent customer service; I was refunded in full. I tried a Vivid Scribbles notebook, and the main issue I had with that one was that the grid did not align well across pages, even though the paper quality was good.

📕 Tekukor 160 gsm Notebook Review

I first saw Tekukor notebooks mentioned in a review by Pam from Stationery Nerd. Her review was very detailed and informative. I wanted to try this notebook immediately! I ordered one and loved it so much that I bought 5 of them 🤓

My Tekukor Notebooks

After using this notebook for the past month or so, I can recommend it with the utmost confidence to anyone looking for a 160gsm notebook, for the following reasons:

  • Thick, bleedproof, smooth paper (do not expect your alcohol-based/copic markers, to work with this, however)
  • 5mm dot grid that aligns well across pages
  • Beautiful hardcover design
  • 3 color coordinated satin bookmarks
  • Well constructed material
  • No unnecessary index/key pages
  • Numbered pages
  • Back pocket and pen loop
  • Elastic cover band
Pink Mackerel by Tekukor Notebook Cover

There’s no ghosting or feathering on these expertly aligned pages. The texture is smooth enough to be safe for my brush markers and the cover design is beautiful! I am very happy with my Tekukor journal. Thank you, Pam!

I am not going to include a link here, because my goal is not to make money off of this review, but you can find this notebook on Amazon. I hope that you like it as much as I do!

What Brings Me Joy

The smallest things in life bring me joy;
seeing my husband smile,
hearing my cat greet me at my feet,
the smell of fresh pastries,
and the warmth of a cup of tea.

I love using my hands to create;
beautiful little boxes for tidy drawers,
paper flowers that last forever,
drawing, painting,
crafting, and writing.

I find joy, sometimes bittersweet,
in memories, keepsakes,
and personal treasures that remind me of
a time when I laughed from the heart,
a place where I was filled with wonder,
or a person whom I loved.

Daily Journal Spread

For my personal journal, I use one or two pages per day, since I like to leave myself room to write, doodle, and scrapbook. On the left of the daily spread page, each droplet represents one 40 oz bottle of water. B stands for brushing my teeth in the morning and at night, f stands for flossing daily, and s is for morning and night skincare. I use a / to denote morning and \ to denote night, so if it shows an X, I have met my goal.

Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Quarantine Life

I’m just tired
of you treating me
like my father did my mother.

I’m tired
of you slamming doors
and raising your voice at me.

You tell me not to take it personally,
but how can I not,
when I’m the only person around?

Quarantine Life
brought us closer,
so you want to go far
away from me.
Distant.

I love you,
but I’m tired.

My Workspace/Desk Organization

I have come a long way from storing my art/journaling supplies in places I never think about – to where I can always easily access them. I am really happy with my desk setup and wanted to share it with you. 💕