Category: Paper Love

Pen Heaven #InkToWin Competition

There is nothing quite like using a lovely pen. I find that being able to do this is becoming a very rare thing. Sure I write in my Filofax everyday, but it’s not the same as having a reason to write by hand. My grandmothers always appreciated a good letter or postcard, but they’re no longer with us. With technology and social media being so prominent in everyone’s lives, I don’t really have ‘news’ that’s worth writing a letter for, especially as friends and family would have seen it online at least a day or two beforehand. As I get to use a pen, and a fountain pen at that, so rarely, when the lovely people at Pen Heaven asked if I could produce a piece of artwork to promote their #inktowin competition, I jumped at the chance.

Drawing isn’t my strong suit, but my handwriting has received a number of compliments so decided to write something. With the gorgeous weather we’ve been having and autumn being my favourite season, I decided on using this extract from Anne of Green Gables.

Hurrah for October #inktowin

Pen Heaven sent me a batch of Platinum Mix Free Ink colours and a Platinum Plaisir Fountain pen to play around with. After using up half an A4 pad and covering myself in ink, I decided on the above. When I was growing up, you had the choice of blue or black inks. The fact that I can not only use purple ink, but mix it up to make other colours too is mindblowing! Friends, expect all Christmas cards to be written in fountain pen! It’s an absolute joy to write with a fountain pen again.

The Pen Heaven #InkToWin competition is open now until the 19th November. The prize? A handmade Platinum fountain pen worth £2000. Not bad eh?! All you have to do is submit an image of a piece of artwork created using ink as their medium over here on their blog and explain how you created it. You can use any tool, as long as the medium is ink and it can be piece of artwork, calligraphy, picture, anything you want. All entries will be judged on creativity and innovation with the medium of ink so don’t worry if, like me, drawing isn’t your forte. Just grab your ink and get creative!

For more information, to enter and the full T’s and C’s, head over to the Pen Heaven blog. Good luck everyone!

#BEDM – Gadgets

I’m not much of a gadget person. If something is going to come into my house, it needs to have a practical purpose or it can just jog on. (Our house is small and space is at a premium, so unless it benefits my day to day life on a regular basis, it’s got not place crossing the threshold.) That being said, there are a few gadgets that are worth mentioning.

smoothie

First up is the Magimix blender. Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a blender. But it is brilliant. We had a blender that I’d inherited from a friend who no longer needed it. It sat at the back of a kitchen cupboard until I started the Feeling Fabulous course and my smoothie addiction was born. The old blender wasn’t watertight and every now and then would spray the wall with green smoothie mix. Not ideal. So we decided to splash out on a new blender as smoothies were going to be a daily occurrence in our house. We headed to the John Lewis site and picked the blender with the best reviews and wasn’t akin to a mortgage deposit. We opted for the Magimix Le Blender and it is A-mazing! I was so impressed with all the different options it has, much more than our old one. I love it and we do indeed use it daily. Money well spent. I got a little over excited a made a little video of me making a smoothie in it. Don’t feel like you have to watch it!

My new favourite gadget is something that has lots and lots of potential. It’s the new Cricut Explore that arrived last week. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities, but I had so much fun playing around with it over the weekend. Every thing has been thought of, from getting the machine out of the box, to carrying it around (it comes with its own bag), storage, to ease of use. You basically: Plug it in > Switch it on > Go! Seriously. I hate it when making stuff is fiddly and time consuming. Just let me get my craft on, damn it! This is why I don’t sew very often. Is there anything more frustrating than unpacking your sewing machine, fabric all ready to go, cotton threaded through only to find your bobbin thread is just about to run out?! ARGH! Too faffy. This is not like that. It’s way easier. It took just a few minutes to set up, find a design I wanted to make and get cutting. Perfect!

cricut

cricut explore I didn’t have long to play with it on Monday but I did pick a ready made design from the Design Room. I wanted to make something that I could put up on my wall and chose arrow art.

arrows poster

What do you think? (Apologies for the shoddy iPhone photos! It was getting late and I was losing the light) It took less than thirty minutes from start to finish. Not bad at all! And that’s just the beginning!

My final gadget is my iPhone. It’s the first thing I pick up in the morning and the last thing I put down at night. Not only is it amazing design, but it is an amazing invention. Sure, you can use it for phone calls, you know, if you want to be old school about it. But for me, the thing that impresses me most is what it does to connect us beyond that. For example, my sister can post a picture of her tea cup from Canada and in an instant, I can see it on my phone through Instagram. Even though she’s on the other side of the world, I still feel connected to her. Things like that blow my mind!

Now, if someone could just great glasses lenses that don’t need cleaning every five seconds, I’d be mega impressed! How about you? What’s your number one gadget?

Disclaimer: I received the Cricut Explore to review. All opinions are my own.

#BEDM – Passion Projects

One thing that has been a constant love in my life has been stationery and it is my dream to open a stationery shop. I would fill it with lots of brightly filled stationery that was designed to help you be organised and plan for pretty much everything you needed. Last week I received some stationery from Viking. I was able to pick a few things that would be useful. Here’s what I picked:

stationery1. Stabilo felt tip pens 2. Post-it Full Adhesive notes 3. A4 Headbound notepads

In my view, you can never have too many post-it notes and I’d never seen these before. (I’ve been going through a self-imposed stationery shopping ban!) These are excellent and they stick to walls without falling off. This is great news as I’ve always used post-it notes for reminders, prompts, planning and organising. Plus, these are small enough that I can also use them in my filofax and on my computer. I am in love with these post-it notes. Seriously.

pensI am pretty picky about my pens. I hate when ink goes through the page so I use specific pens in my filofax. However, when I’m brainstorming, I want colour and a pen with a bit of weight behind it. So I got this Stabilo range. I love them! There’s such a great range of colours and they are great for planning. I used them straight away to plan some blog ideas and some WordPress sites I’ve been working on and this is why I also got some A4 notepads. I don’t like notepads that are bound on the side and don’t even get me started on ring bound pads. *shudders* I like to be able to use both of the sides of the paper and being able to make notes and draw things out so A4 pads are essential.

getting organisedI started using the pens and post-it notes straight away, planning my ideas and sticking them on my wall. I can’t put into words how much fun I had writing these notes out! This is why I’d like to open my own stationery shop so that I could spend my whole day being surrounded by brightly coloured stationery. Plus, think how much stationery I’d have to use running an actual shop?!

In all seriousness, I am taking a course on hand lettering as I’d love to be able to design my own stationery. I’ve designed a few inserts for my Filofax so when I’ve perfected them, it might be the start of a whole new stationery empire! Watch this space! How about you? Is there one thing you’d love to do?

Disclosure: I was sent the items to review, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday Treat – New Stationery

Well, I had a whole other blog post planned for today and then the postman delivered something that has thrown my morning into chaos: stationery. Yep, new stationery. I’ve received a little box of goodies from the lovely people over at Viking and I am in a state of bliss right now. I’ll blog about the items in more detail over the next few weeks, but for the moment, I have to share this picture of my new Post-its.

post it notes

I’ve already started using them and have written down all my ideas for blog posts that have been whirling around in my head and stuck them to my wall (the ultimate post-it test – will it stick? If so, how long for?). I’m like a kid at Christmas, and that is very excited. Seriously. I’ve written before about how much I love stationery and paper, but this delivery has put me over the edge into euphoric! What’s the one thing that would make you smile, no beam, from ear to ear like a kid, right now?