Monday, 16 July 2018

Artline Monday - Thank you teacher

It's the final few days of the school year!  Have you sorted out a thank you gift for your little one's teacher yet?  Don't worry if you haven't, I have a quick and simple idea to help you out!

I think most teachers end up leaving school on the last day of term with a lot of flowers and chocolate so I wanted to do something a bit different.   I found these sweet little mini mason jars in Home Bargains but looking online they have something similar in Hobbycraft, Wilkinson, Amazon and Ikea too so you should be able to get hold of some. 


Mason jars, tags and Artline pens

I wanted to fill the jars with sweets, for the first one I used mints and humbugs and matched these with a kraft card gift tag and brown and white twine.

This colour combination is great for male teachers!

I attached the twine to the tag and then used my white pastel calligraphy pen to write Thank you on the front of it.  I really like how the white ink pops against the kraft colour!  On the reverse side of the tag you can write your message to the teacher and your child's name.

Writing the tag

The last step was to tie the gift tag around the top of the jar and then screw the lid on.

Attaching the tag

Of course you could use full size mason jars for this but I think the mini ones look really cute and after the sweets have all been eaten the recipient can use them for stationery storage like paper clips and rubber bands or as a tealight or votive candle holder.  Or just refill them with more treats!

Finished gift

For the second jar I went with a red, white, pink and silver theme.  I used a metallic red poster marker to write on the gift tag and added some pink and white twine to attach it to the jar.

Filling in the tag

I wanted to make this jar different to the first one so I used a silver Artline 900XF pen to write Mrs R on the front of the jar (one of my daughter's teachers) and then tied the tag to it.

Personalising the jar with the teacher's initials

Here is the finished jar!

Personalised thank you gift

I used a chalkboard sticker for the last jar and one of my Artline chalk markers.  It was easier for me to write on the sticker before I put it on the jar but as the chalk markers are erasable I could have wiped out any mistakes and tried again if I hadn't.

The chalk markers are nice and bold

I filled this jar with some purple and red sweets....

Ready to add the treats

... and then tied a piece of purple and white twine around the top of the jar into a bow.

Finished jar

These gifts are so easy to make but I think they look really cute and it's always nice to receive a handmade present!

My thank you gifts

Which of these is your favourite design?  I can't decide, I hope my daughter's teachers and classroom assistant like them on Friday!



Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Kawaii Box review and giveaway

Hello!  I feel like it has been absolutely ages since I have done a Kawaii Box review and giveaway so I am really happy to be sharing this with you today!  If you like what you see then pop your details in the widget at the bottom of the post to be in with a chance of winning a box of your own *wink, wink*

Fun new design

If you haven't heard of Kawaii Box before then let me tell you a little about them!  The boxes are sent directly from Tokyo to your door and they are filled with 8 to 10 super cute items ranging from sweets to stationery and plushies.  It will cost you approx £15 for a one off box with free delivery or if you want to treat yourself regularly then the price of the box goes down when you subscribe to a 6 or 12 month plan.  

Okay, now let me show you what was in mine!


A box full of cuteness!

Oh my gosh, it's all so sweet! 

Information booklet

Each Kawaii Box comes with an information booklet that tells you about all the goodies you have been sent.  It is really nice to learn a little something about why each item was chosen to be included and how you can use them if you're not sure what to do with them.

Candy, hair tie, highlighter, pen, nail stickers & squeeze toy

I shared out the bag of watermelon sweets between my children as I'm not a big fan of anything melon flavoured and they all loved them!  My seven year old has claimed the set of doughnut hair ties for herself but the syringe highlighter, flamingo multi-pen, nail stickers and squeeze toy charm are all mine!

Cupcake kit, plush, stickers and washi tape

There was also a cupcake kit, some Hello Kitty washi tape and a Gudetama (the lazy egg) plush and pack of stickers in the box.  I have never heard of Gudetama before but my eldest daughter has so she asked for the toy and stickers as she thinks he is adorable!

It's so SQUISHY!!!

The Mochi squeeze toy is meant to look like a traditional Japanese rice cake treat, it is a bit plain but it's so squishy, I just can't stop playing with it!

Let's make cupcakes!

I wanted to try the DIY whipped cream cupcake kit so I checked out the handy tutorial on the Kawaii Box blog and then had a go at making my own creations.

My cupcakes and desserts

It was really fun making these miniature desserts!  The instructions online were easy to follow and now my girls dolls can enjoy some cupcakes and treats!

Pink, pink, pink

As a stationery fan I absolutely love this flamingo pen, it looks very sweet!  I painted my nails pink to match it and then used the cute nails stickers to really kawaii-fy the look.

My kawaii nails

Pink, glitter and unicorns... oh my!  All my favourite things!

If you want to win a Kawaii box for yourself then you can enter here!  The more steps you take the more entries you will get.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Artline Monday - *Summer Activities* Design your own bag

The summer break starts in two weeks so I think I will be sharing a few summer activities you can do over the holidays here on the blog.  If you don't have children but love arts and crafts then of course you can join in too and make your projects as simple or complicated as you like.  

For today's post I have made a summer tote/beach bag using some Artline fabric markers.

Summer beach bag

You can buy plain cotton bags like this one for a pound on eBay or if you have any promotional reusable bags they are usually blank on the reverse so you could draw your design on that side instead.

Plain cotton bag and Artline fabric markers

The best thing about these fabric markers is that the ink fixes to the material without you having to iron over them so once you have finished creating your bag it is ready to use!  The pens come in white, pastel pink, pastel blue, pastel green and pastel orange and they work great on coloured fabrics too so you don't have to stick with whites and creams. 

If you can't think of a design you want to do here are some ideas to get you started, repeating patterns, personalise with your name, your favourite quote, doodles or draw your favourite character from a TV show or film.

Starting my design

Before you use the markers you need to give them a good shake, this is always my youngest daughter's job!  


Finishing the outline

I drew the outline of my word first and then went back to fill the letters in afterwards.  The markers are really simple to use and have a bullet style nib which gives you a very precise line of colour as you write, draw and colour in with them.

Filling in the letters

Once I had finished my word I decided it still looked a little plain so I added a couple of flowers to the design in opposite corners of the bag.  

Adding some flowers

Again I grew the outline of the flowers first and then coloured them in.  Doing it this ways means if you make a mistake you have more options available to try and fix it like making your drawing bigger or colouring over the error.

Finished and ready to use

If you find the ink feels like it isn't flowing as well as you would like while you are using the markers then just push down on the nib using the pen to release more ink and you'll be good to go!

As I said before once you have completed your design the ink is set to the fabric so you don't have to get the iron out, which is great because I hate ironing especially in this weather!

All set for summer

If you enjoyed making your own beach bag then you could have a go at personalising a pair of canvas shoes or trainers, creating a t-shirt or top or adding your own bit of flair to different types of clothing.  I really want to buy a pair of black canvas shoes and add a splash of colour to them!  If I do I will have to show you how they turn out!


Monday, 2 July 2018

Artline Monday - Jazzing up plant pots and planters

During all the lovely weather we have been having recently I spent a lot of time outside sprucing up my garden.  I brought some new planters and pots and thought I would jazz them up a little with my Artline poster markers and pens.

My pot, planters and pens

The poster markers are great to use on plastic and metal surfaces and they will stay in place unless you wipe them off with a wet cloth.  This means if you make a mistake or don't like how your design looks you can wipe it off and start again.

For my first planter I used these two poster markers in pink and metallic silver.


Pink and silver

I used some washi tape to mark out a stripe around the top of the pot...


Marking out with tape


... and then painted it with a bright pink poster marker.

Painting the planter

The paint dried very quickly and then I slowly removed the washi tape.  Afterwards I used the silver poster marker to define the edges of the pink and mint sections by drawing along them freehand.

Removing the washi tape

Here is the finished piece!  I think the bright pink looks great paired with the pastel mint and silver.

Pink, silver and mint planter

For the yellow pot I wanted to add some flowers as decoration and I used all the poster markers below. 

Pens used

The 12mm size poster markers have a rectangle shaped nib so I used these pens to make the petals by dabbing them gently as if they were one of my stamps.  I drew in the centres of the flowers with the 6mm pens.... 

Making the petals

... and added some spots around the flowers for an extra touch.

Adding some spots

This is how it turned out.  Please ignore how sad the plant looks, it has had too much sun!

Pretty flower pot

On my last planter I decided to keep the original pastel look so I chose silver and white pens to work with.

Artline 900XF, poster and paint markers

Again I used washi tape to mark out the shapes I wanted...

Making a diagonal stripe with washi tape

... and then coloured them in with the white and silver pens.  I repeated this process until I had three new stripes on the front of the planter.

Colouring in with my silver Artline 900XF

After the inks and paint were dry I removed the tape and drew along the edges of my new sections with the complimentary colour (white along the silver stripes and silver along the white ones).

Highlighting the white stripe with silver

This is how it looks now!

Silver, white and mint planter

I'm very happy with my finished pots!  They are unique to my garden and I had fun decorating them outside in the glorious sunshine.  

On my doorstep

Have I inspired you to have a go a creating your own pots?  I'd love to see them if you do!


Friday, 29 June 2018

Planner Friday - June

It's time for another Planner Friday over on the Trendy Twine blog, please pop over and say hi!

Hello!  Welcome to Planner Friday!  I'm Amanda from She's Eclectic and I've been the resident planner girl here on the Trendy Twine blog for the last four years.  I stop by once a month to show you how I use my APB stamps to get organised and to pretty up my planner pages!

As it will be July soon I spent some time this week setting up the monthly overview in my travellers notebook.  I like being able to see exactly what I have going on each month all in one quick glance and the stamps are so much neater and easier to read than my handwriting!






One of the things I love about the APB stamps is that they work in so many different size planners!  They fit perfectly in A5, personal, pocket and mini size Filofaxes, all sizes of Travellers Notebooks and planners like Erin Condren's and the Happy Planner.  Over the years I have swapped and changed my planners, organisers and journals but I have kept on using my APB products as they are so versatile.

I have recently switched to B6 size and this gives me enough space for my notes and reminders without being too big or bulky for me to carry around daily.  I started to plan my month by adding a strip of washi tape along the top edge of the pages and matched my inks and pens to the colours of it.

Then I used some practical stamps from the School DaysAt Home and Title It sets to record things like clubs, field trips, the last days of school, bills, errands and planning sessions.  I also used the Brain Dump stamp from the Title It set in the long space next to my calendar on he left so I can record any random information and reminders as and when they come to me.

Once I had added in all my plans I decorated some of the free space using the sun stamp from the How's The Weather set, a couple of fun quote stamps from the Choose Happy set and some sweet coffee stamps from the Need Coffee set because if I'm going to survive a sweltering hot summer then I'm going to be drinking iced coffee all day, every day until autumn!

You can read the rest of my post here.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, 25 June 2018

Artline Monday - Monday motivation

Do you hate Mondays?  I know a lot of people really dread this day of the week and we could all use a little #MondayMotivation sometimes so I thought I'd show you how I try to embrace the worst day of the week in my bullet journal.

Monday motivation in my bullet journal

I use my bullet journal to get organised and as a kind of art journal,  I create my own planner spreads for each day and month and then add doodles and sketches when the mood takes me.  You can see how I set mine up here if you are a BuJo beginner or if you would just like a peek inside in my notebook.

I like to have a positive quote or two to start the week with, looking at Monday as a new beginning instead of something negative helps me face the day in a better mood.  I chose a couple of bright Artline Supreme brush markers that remind me of summer days and fields of buttercups to write this quote so every time I open my bullet journal I will be greeted by something cheerful!

Bright & cheery - Artline Supreme brush markers & fineliners

The second page of my spread is where I plan my day.  As Monday is the start of a new week I have a section for my weekly goals and the things I need to get done that day.  Some of the tasks are simple but I write them down anyway for two reasons, one is so that I don't forget to do them and two is because checking things off my list gives me a little fizz of satisfaction that is definitely needed on a Monday!

I have another section to keep track of my fitness and well-being, back in January I said I wanted to increase my daily move goal and get more exercise so this is where I record how I am doing each day.  Seeing the figures in black and white (or in this case green and cream) helps me focus on my goal and motivates me to keep going those extra few minutes or distance.

My plans for Monday

Tips for a better Monday 

  • Do as much as you can on Sunday evening to prepare for Monday morning, having your outfit, shoes, bag and other bits you need already to hand on Monday morning helps the day start smoothly and with less stress.
  • Wake up early enough to have a relaxed breakfast and fuel up for the day ahead.
  • Wear your favourite clothes, colour or scent to cheer you up. 
  • Make plans to do something you love after work or school, whether that is spending time at home with a good book or meeting friends for some fun.
  • Think of Monday as a fresh start and try to keep things positive.
  • Read my Artline Monday posts.
  • Smile, it will soon be Tuesday!

Do you have any ideas to help increase Monday motivation?  Let me know in the comments below so I can give them a go too!

If you want to see more of my bullet journal posts and spreads you can find them all here.

Have a great Monday!