Monday, 13 August 2018

Artline Monday - National Allotments Week

Today is the start of National Allotments Week, "What is that?" I hear you ask!  Well it is a special week being held to encourage people to try their hand at gardening, growing their own food and maybe even decide to rent their own little allotment and see just how green their thumbs are!  I also thought it would be a great time to introduce you to the brilliant Artline garden-marker!

Artline Garden Marker

The garden marker was specially made to be used outside, it is UV and water resistant as well as quick drying making it the perfect pen for plant labels (or lolly sticks as they are know in this house) and anything else you would like to write on like plant pots and tools.  It won't fade in the sun or run in the rain so I guess you could say it is weather proof and ideal for gardeners or general use outside.

During National Allotments week allotments all over the UK will be opening their gates to visitors and sharing their knowledge and passion for this pass time so if you are interested in learning more it might be worth googling your nearest allotment and seeing if they are doing anything special to mark the week.  

Grow your own fruit and veg

I have a friend who has rented an allotment for years so I popped down to visit this weekend to take a peek and I have to say I am really toying with the idea of renting my own space there!


Some people use their space for growing flowers and make it really pretty so they can sit on their plot and enjoy all their hard work once things begin to bloom while others are busy growing fruit and veggies like these tomatoes.

I'd be so proud if I could grow my own tomatoes

I was put to work on my visit labelling plants with the garden-marker and tying back any straggling plants so they can grow tall and strong.  I have to say I'm grateful there was no digging involved!

Perfect pocket sized tools

After I finished my tasks I took a wonder through the allotment and had a small taste of how quiet and peaceful it was out there.  I really can imagine taking a flask of tea with me and trying to grown some prize winning fruit and veg, or you know, any kind of fruit and veg and I would be happy!  I think I would save the flowers for my garden though and just enjoy the view of everyone else's.

Exploring the allotment

Are you a keen gardener or do you already have an allotment space you are proud of?  I'd love to know your hints and tips for growing things if you have any!  

Monday, 6 August 2018

Artline Monday - Holiday prep with Artline

Are you off on your holidays soon?  Have you got everything prepared and ready?  Artline pens can help you with more than just writing your packing list so I'm here today with a few ideas for your upcoming travels!

Make sure you are protected

If you are going somewhere hot it is important that you protect your skin with sun cream!  The manufacturers recommend only using the lotion for 12 months once it has been opened as it is less effective after this time so it is a good idea to write the date you first use it on the bottle with a permanent marker like this Artline 70 one.  If you don't want to bring a marker on holiday with you then you could just write the date of your first day away on the bottle before you pack it and leave the pen at home.

Kids travelling kit

Whether you are travelling by plane, train, ship or car it is worth putting something together to keep any children with you entertained!  I found some activity books and cute bags at The Works this weekend which will be perfect for keeping my girls busy when we drive down to the seaside this month.

Bags of fun with Artline!

I will put a book or two in each bag along with a selection of Artline Stix pens, some stickers, snacks and a bottle of water.  If the girls get bored of the books they can colour in their bags and design their own unicorns too!

Whiteboards are also great for travelling, you can use them to play games like hangman and noughts and crosses or just doodle on them and then wipe it away and start again!

Doodling with Artline whiteboard markers

If you are going to use these boards for a long journey I would write an ETA on them before you set off so your child/children know roughly what time you should arrive and just maybe that will be enough to avoid the dreaded "Are we nearly there yet?" question the whole trip!  But it probably wont unless your children know how to tell the time and can remember the time you are supposed to arrive once they have cleaned the board to play with it!

Are we nearly there yet?

Okay, that is it for now.  If you are going away then I will wish you safe travels and if you are staying at home I hope the weather is nice for you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 30 July 2018

Artline Monday - World Friendship Day

Did you know today is World Friendship Day?  It is the perfect time to reach out to your friends and let them know just how much you appreciate them!  Of course you can do this by text, email or message but how much nicer would it be to send them a card or letter and surprise them through the post?

I recently brought some lovely linen card so I thought I would use it to make my own greeting cards for my friends and show you a few different designs you could have a go at yourself.

Rustic edges

The card I used is A5 size so I folded it in half (top to bottom) and then tore it along the crease using my ruler.  Then I folded my two separate pieces in half again (side to side this time) to give me the basic shape of my cards. 

I attended a workshop a while ago with an amazing man who makes his own bespoke cards and he said that he prefers a rustic edge on his pieces so I thought I would try to do the same with mine.  I placed my ruler against the edge of my card leaving a small slither uncovered and tore it off along the ruler.  I repeated this process along both sides of the cards and used the raw edge from when I ripped the A5 card into two as the top.  I left the bottom edge as it was so the cards would have a stable base to stand on.  If you don't like the rough edges then use scissors to cut your card down to size instead.

Okay so now we have the basic card shapes let me show you my designs!

Hand lettering with my Artline Supreme brush markers

If you are confident with you lettering skills or just want to have a go then why not write a message on the front of your card?  If you are worried about making a mistake have a few practice goes so on some scrap paper before you move onto the card.  I love my new Artline Supreme brush markers so I selected my two favourite colours and wrote "hello there!" on mine.  Take your time writing each letter and remember to put more pressure on your downward strokes to make those lines thicker.  

Hello there!

My second card is a little easier than the first one.  I went through my sticker collection and found this fun ice lolly one which says "You are FAB" on it.  I used a pastel pink calligraphy pen to write "I think" above the sticker but if you don't like using calligraphy ones then you could use a regular nibbed pen like Artline Supreme markers as they are a nice thickness and come in a lot of bold colours.

If you can't find a sticker you want to use then you could look for a journalling card with a meaningful message on it to glue to the front of the card instead.

Adding the finishing touches

To make the lolly stand out and to add a little more colour to the card I used a yellow calligraphy pen draw a few lines around the sticker which I think is the illustrative equivalent of shouting TA-DA!

I think you are fab!

My last card is for people who love to doodle or have some cute image stamps they can use.  Mine says "We go together like.... coffee and donuts" and has a sweet little illustration of a tasty donut and travel cup of coffee.

Colouring in with my fineliners

I coloured in the images with some Artline 200 fineliners which are really vibrant against the white background and perfect for adding small details like the sprinkles I drew on top of the donut.

We go together like....

Once you have made your card or cards you just need to write something inside to tell your friend/s how awesome they are and why you are happy they are in your life!

My cards

I think World Friendship Day was invented by Hallmark as way of selling more cards but it is a really nice idea!  So if you make your own you are still sharing the love and it feels a lot more personal than a store brought card too. 

Who will you be sending a card too?

I would love to receive some happy mail in the post so I hope these cards bring a smile to my friends faces when they arrive!

Happy World Friendship Day!

Have a wonderful World Friendship Day!

Friday, 27 July 2018

Planner Friday - July

Who's ready for another Planner Friday?  Please pop over to the Trendy Twine blog and check out my latest post!

It's finally summer and the schools have broken up for the holidays here in the UK!  I am all set for fun in the sun, days out and lots of adventures which I want to document in my cute little travellers notebook and Annie's Paper Boutique have the perfect stamps to help me do it!

Products used: Choose Happy stamps
Used but not pictured: Mini calendar card

I wanted to create a spread I could fill in whenever something memorable happened during the break so I got out my stamps and planning essentials and set to work!

My summer holiday spread

I started with a strip of washi tape along the top of the page and then added a sweet mini calendar which I filled in with the dates for August.  I am going to use this to record any important dates during the month and the week my husband has booked off work.

I used stamps from the Documenting The Everyday #1 & #2 sets to make sections for my memories and stories so now I have space for Family Time, So Fun, Time With Friends and room for my favourite photo I take over the summer.

Creating sections

I stamped my kraft tag-it with the Details stamp from the Documenting The Everyday #2 set and glued it next to the place I had made for my photo so I can write about when and where the picture was taken and why it is important to me.

You can read the rest of my post here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 23 July 2018

Artline Monday - National Parks Week

Yesterday saw the start of National Parks Week, if you haven't heard about it then it is a week of fun and events taking place at the National Parks we have here in the UK and it has inspired my latest collection of #ArtlineRocks!

Rocks and Artline pens

I know that not everyone is lucky enough to live near one of our amazing National Parks so if you can't get to one to join in with the celebrations then you could go and spend some time outside in either a local park, forest or wood and enjoy getting in touch with nature.  With this in mind my rocks are based around things you can do in the park or any wide open space.

Adding a base coat

Because the rocks I am using are quite dark I started off by giving them a coat of paint with my Artline poster markers and then put them to one side while they dried.

Working on the rocks

On my first rock I drew a picnic scene because picnics are one of our favourite things to do together as a family.  I don't know why sitting on a blanket outside to eat a meal makes it more fun but it just does!  

Enjoy a picnic at the park

I used poster markers, Artline 853 OHP markers and a yellow paint marker to draw a sandwich, strawberries and a cupcake on a picnic blanket and the green base coat looks like grass.

Painting a red base coat

The second thing we like to do in big parks is to explore nature.  We go on nature walks and see what animals and insects, plants and flowers we can find.  I usually take a notebook or two and my Artline pens and we record and sketch our findings on our adventure.  If you head outside this week maybe you could do the same?

I had a large flat rock that just screamed ladybird to me so I used a red poster marker to give it a base coat and then added the insects features with a black Artline 325T water colour marker and a white poster marker for the eyes.

Explore nature

When the weather has been a little more forgiving than it has been recently there are usually lots of lovely flowers dotted around the parks.  My girls and I love to walk around them and enjoy the colours, shapes and scents so for my third rock I painted a daisy using my poster markers again and the Artline 853 OHP pens and a paint marker.

Look at all the pretty flowers

Parks and open spaces are great for playing games!  Football, tennis, rounders and cricket are lots of fun with friends so I drew a ball on my fourth rock!

Play a game with friends

My last rock was inspired by Marry Poppins, let's go fly a kite!  Now I'll be honest, I've never successfully managed to get a kite in the air whenever I have tried but it's quite funny watching my children run up and down with string trailing after them trying to launch one!  And who knows, maybe one day we'll get one flying!

Let's go fly a kite

These rocks have just been varnished and are sat on the side drying so they will be ready for us to hide in the next day or two.  I'm planning on taking them to a couple of parks around Birmingham this week so keep your eye out if you are in the area!

My park collection of #ArtlineRocks

Can you see who has invaded my picnic rock?  It's a little ant looking for a treat!

I do hope you get to spend some time enjoying the outdoors this week, especially as the weather is so nice at the moment!

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.