Tuesday, 13 August 2019

World Calligraphy Day 2019 - Get involved!

Tomorrow is World Calligraphy Day!  To give you a little history, it was started by Manuscript back in 2017 and it is a great way to meet people who share your interest, learn some new skills and have fun!

World Calligraphy Day art

The Pen Museum will be hosting their third annual event to mark the occasion and there are still tickets available (here) but if Birmingham is too far away then you can join in online with the tags #worldcalligraphyday and #saysomethingspecial.  There are also some craft projects you can try on the Manuscript website ranging from card making to storybooks for children which you can find here as well as some templates and worksheets to help you with your penmanship.

To get you in the mood here are some photos from the last two World Calligraphy Day celebrations at the Pen Museum!

2017

Some lovely writing by one of the guests


Calligraphy & card making workshop with Stephen Duckett


My Celtic letter D for my card

My 1st wax seal

Letters for the say something special campaign

2018

Gift bags from Manuscript for workshop attendees 


The worksheets we used


Practising modern calligraphy

Make sure you are following Manuscript on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get involved online and my social media links are on the top left hand side of this page (in desktop view) and on the contact me page if you're not following already.

I'm so excited for tomorrow, I can't wait to see what everyone gets up to!

(Sorry I've been absent, my trusty old laptop died and I was unable to post anything until I got a replacement!) 

Friday, 5 July 2019

Little update and some changes

Okay, so I wanted to let you know about a few changes that are going on with the blog right now....

You might have noticed that there hasn’t been any Artline Monday posts for a few weeks, that is because my time as their resident blogger has come to an end.  I have really enjoyed working with them for the past couple of years and I am proud of the things we created.  You will still be able to read all of these posts here so if there was something you wanted to try but haven’t got around to yet don’t worry, I won’t be deleting anything!

Sticking with stationery

Going forward I will be concentrating on planning, stationery and lettering posts for a while.  They are what I enjoy doing the most and I want to do more of those things right now.  I also have quite a few reviews lined up so keep an eye out for those.  If you want a little preview then check out Paper High and Pigeon for some super lovely stationery!

Notebook and pencils from Paper High

Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to do, explore or review and I'll look into it!

Thanks for sticking around!


Friday, 14 June 2019

National Stationery Week 2019 - a week in pictures

I know National Stationery Week was a little while ago but I've had an unexpected break from blogging and not gotten around to writing this post until today.

Anyway every day of #NatStatWeek week had it's own theme which inspired me to take a photo a day based around those prompts.  I did share them on Instagram during the week but if you missed them, here they are! 

#PaperchaseLovesLists

Monday was sponsored by Paperchase and the theme was #PaperchaseLovesLists so I took a pic of one of my to do lists and a couple of notebooks.  You definitely can't have too much stationery during National Stationery Week right?  

#RymanLovesPens

Tuesday was sponsored by Ryman and the theme was #RymanLovesPens.  I broke out some of my favourite Stabilo pens and did a pen test in my bullet journal.

#WorldStationeryDay

Wednesday was my favourite, it was #WorldStationeryDay and it was sponsored by the London Stationery Show.  I wrote a special post for Artline with ways you could celebrate, though you could do any of them today too.  You can read the full post here.

#TakeANote

Thursday was #TakeANote day so I flicked through my bullet journal and found a little note I had written in there.

#DerwentFeelGoodFriday

Friday was #DerwentFeelGoodFriday and, as you can probably guess, it was sponsored by Derwent!  I wrote a list of things that make me feel good using a Derwent Line Maker pen and doodled some flowers down one side of the page.

#StationeryShopSaturday

Sarah from Marple Stationery Supplies contacted National Stationery Week to say she thought more independent stationery shops should be involved with the week and ended up sponsoring her own day!  #StationeryShopSaturday was a day to go and visit your local indie stationery shop and show them some love.  I Googled my local shops and had a list that I was going to try and visit but then my youngest was poorly and I couldn't get out the house *sad face*.  I do still have the list though so I'm going to go a visit a couple of them when I get the chance.  As I didn't have a pic for this day I'm showing off my #StationeryAddict pin badge that National Stationery Week sent me instead.

#SendALetterDay

#SendALetterDay was the perfect time to share this photo of a fancy wax seal I did at a workshop last year.  It was my first time and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Did you enjoy National Stationery Week?  The dates for next year have already been announced so don't forget to pop them in your planner, it's the 20th-26th April 2020.  I can't wait!

Monday, 27 May 2019

Artline Monday - Half term ideas

How are you enjoying half term? Are your children bored already? Well I’ve got a few ideas for you today to keep them busy until they go back to school!

Half term ideas - created with Artline pens

Rock painting

My girls love it when we paint rocks together!  Some of them we keep to hide around our garden and some we give to family and friends as little gifts, the rest of the rocks we take out with us to hide for anyone to find and we wonder about where they will end up.  There are quite a few posts on this blog about how to get started and ideas for things you can paint, you can find them all here.  If you want to know if anyone is painting and hiding rocks in your area check on Facebook to see if there is a local group and then you can go on a rock hunting adventure too!

Put up or make a tent

Some of my favourite childhood memories are of being in a tent in the back garden with my brother and our friends, if you have a tent why don't you pop it up outside?  If you don't have a tent it is fun to try and make one out of blankets, sheets and pegs, you just need to be creative with planning it out!

Have a pj day

PJ days are the best, especially if it is raining!  If you have a day where you don't need to leave the house this week then tell everyone to keep on their pjs and spend the day playing board games and watching your favourite films together.  Don't forget the snacks and a fluffy blanket if it's a bit chilly too!

Visit the library

If you are lucky enough to still have a local library, take advantage of it and go and choose some books to borrow!  There might even be some fun sessions on over the holiday so it's worth asking the staff if they have any children's activities taking place.

Do some baking

Even if you're no where near "Bake Off" standard it is still nice to get in the kitchen and make some thing together.  We quite often make fairy cakes and cupcakes using packet mixes and sometimes cookies out of a roll of premade dough, I'm not great in the kitchen but I try!

Arts and crafts

There are nearly two years worth of Artline arts and crafts posts on this blog, take a look through them and see what takes your fancy!  I think my all time favourite craft was the cute cloud bookmark but you can find all the other posts here.

Have I missed out your favourite holiday activity, let me know and maybe we can try it!

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Lamy Safari fountain pen in rose powder

If you don't already know Lamy is a German company who have been designing and making all kinds of pens since 1966.  I am a big fan of their fountain pens and I have a small collection of them at home.  When I saw their new pastel range I thought it would be nice for me to review one as they are very popular at the moment so I reached out to Lamy and they said they would send me one for this post.  I chose the rose powder pen but it really was a close call between that and the blue macaron and mint glaze colours, they are all just so pretty!

Anyway, here she is in all her glory!  Isn't she lovely?

Lamy Safari fountain pen in rose powder

I absolutely adore the pale pink shade they used for this pen, it reminds me a little of strawberry milkshake and other sweet treats like cupcakes and macarons!

Pen test in my notebook

The Safari range was first released in the 1980's and is still a firm favourite today!  Lamy introduce new colours each year but the overall design stays the same, why mess with perfection?

Design points of the Safari fountain pen:

  • Made from ABS plastic
  • Black chromium-plated steel nib
  • Spring loaded pocket clip (usually silver in colour)
  • Triangular grip
  • View window for ink cartridge

Triangular grip for comfort

The pen is made from a sturdy plastic so it feels quite substantial in your hand but without being too heavy and the ergonomic grip is designed to help you hold it comfortably, making it perfect for writing letters, lists or taking lots of notes at work or school!  The whole pen (apart from the nib and clip) is the same colour unlike the Lx and Al-Star ranges which have a transparent black grip section instead.  

Medium silver steel nib

This pen comes with a medium nib but if you prefer a different size you can change this as replacement nibs are sold separately.  Talking of nibs, one of the main reasons I love Lamy fountain pens is because they write beautifully, they don't skip or drag as you use them and I've never had one leak on me!

There is a cartridge of blue ink in the box so you can start using your pen straight away.  When the blue ink runs out I think I will replace it with a nice pink one, let me know if you have any recommendations!


Pretty, pastel perfection

I really can't fault the Safari fountain pen, I have been using my green one for the last three years and it's still great!  It is a fantastic "everyday" pen, you can pop it into your bag, pen loop or pocket without worrying about it getting scratched or damaged and for under £20 it's a bargain!  If you want to start using a fountain pen or are looking for a nice, shiny new one then I would definitely recommend a Safari!

If you want to check out the other colours available you can find them all on the Lamy website and if you want to see my fountain pens you can find them here!

Thank you to Jessica from Lamy for sending me this beautiful pen and thank you to you too for stopping by and reading my review!


Do you love the pastels collection?  Let me know which is your favourite!


*Disclaimer - this pen was given to me free of charge for the purpose of this review, as always all opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Artline Monday - World Meditation Day

Tomorrow is World Meditation Day, a time to focus on yourself and your wellbeing.  I have been thinking about ways I can unwind recently so when I discovered this day it felt a little serendipitous!  I am definitely going to give it a go tomorrow and if it helps me it might become part of my daily routine!

World meditation day - created with Artline pens

The best way to celebrate this day is by making an effort to relax and clear your mind, whether that is by finding a quiet spot and sitting there while you try to calm the thoughts whizzing around your brain or by doing some yoga or other physical activity that helps you find peace.

If you can, take some time tomorrow and find a place where you feel at ease and relaxed.  This could be outside in your garden or somewhere with a nice view or you could sit in your lounge or lay on your bed.  Then get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, slow your breathing right down, inhale for 7 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds and then exhale for 7 seconds.  Try to let go of all your thoughts and clear your mind.  Even if you don't master the art of mediation straight away you should feel more relaxed and less tense after you have spent some quiet time focusing on yourself and your breathing. 


Do you already meditate or are you thinking about giving it a go?  I'd love to know!


Monday, 13 May 2019

Artline Monday - Birthday tracker for your bullet journal

It feels like it has been a while since we have done any kind of bullet journal spread so I thought I'd show you a nice and easy birthday tracker today.

Birthday tracker

I know you can add birthdays to your monthly log but if you have a place to record all the birthdays together it is easier to plan ahead for buying cards, presents and arranging celebrations too.

I started off by writing "birthdays" across two pages of my bullet journal with a Supreme brush marker, in magenta if you are trying to place the colour, and then drew six boxes with pink and magenta Artline 200 fineliners.  I halved the boxes so I had space for all twelve months and the wrote the first three letters of each month at the top of these sections.

To make things look a little more interesting I added backgrounds to the boxes by drawing a second shape behind them, either a little bit higher than the first box or a little lower and then drew diagonal stripes across them.

I also doodled a little banner on the right hand page and wrote "celebrate" inside it and then added a flora sticker in a small space I had left over.  

Now all that is left to do is for me to fill in the birthdays of all my friends and family!

I have written quite a few bullet journal posts over the last two years, including how to set up your own journal if you wanted to get started.  You can find all my previous post here if you are looking for some more inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, 5 May 2019

Send a letter day with Artline

Today is the last day of National Stationery Week, it's send a letter day and the Sunday before a Bank Holiday, how perfect!  

If you've been here before you might know that I love to decorate the envelopes of any cards or letters I send so they cheer someone up before they have even opened them.  I had an idea about a vintage style letter and envelope the other week so I thought I would give it a go and show you how to make your own.

Writing paper, envelope and Artline pens

You will need:

  • Writing paper and an envelope
  • A used tea bag
  • A little bit of coffee
  • Artline Supreme brush markers in brown or dark brown
  • Artline fineliners in brown and dark brown

Ageing the envelope

I started by adding some colour to my white envelope with a cooled, used tea bag.  Make sure you squeeze out most of the excess water before you start as you don't want to soak the paper!

You can cover the whole envelope in tea or just sections of it, get started and see how you like it.

Adding teacup stains

The next thing I did was add a splash of hot water to a teaspoon of instant coffee powder and stirred it.  Then I dipped the bottom of my teacup into the super strong coffee mix and added some ring stains to a couple of corners on the envelope.

Distressed with stains and splashes

I also added a few splashes with the coffee and then I dried the whole thing out with my hairdryer.  I could have left it to dry on it's own but I was eager to continue!


Adding some doodles

Once the envelope was dry I doodled a little birdcage in one of the corners with my brown fineliner

Drawing a butterfly

Next I added a butterfly in the top left corner.  I used a dark brown fineliner for this as I think pairing two different shades looks more interesting that doing it all in the same colour.  I also drew an old fashion style key on the flap of the envelope.


Addressing my letter

I addressed the envelope with my Supreme brush marker and then use a sticker that looked like a vintage stamp.  I placed it next to the spot where I will add my real postage stamp so I wont need to hand deliver it.

My writing paper has vintage style Alice in Wonderland illustrations on it so I think it already goes well with my newly decorated envelope but if your paper is just plain white then you could repeat the process to make a matching stationery set!

Now I am ready to start writing my letter, I'm going to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and drink it this time instead of using it as part of my craft!

Will you be sending anyone a letter today?