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?

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

World Stationery Day with Artline

Happy World Stationery Day!  I think today is always my favourite day of National Stationery Week because absolutely anyone, anywhere in the world can join in with the celebrations!  If you are looking for ways to join in with the fun today you can try some of these ideas!

Ways to celebrate World Stationery Day - created with Artline pens

Send a letter

You could send a letter or card to a friend today or write a love note or message for someone special to find!

Write in your journal

Don't have a journal?  Start one today!  Already use a journal?  Great!  Spend some time recording your thoughts and feelings!

Make a wishlist

What shiny new stationery do you need (or want!)?  Make a list of all the things you have been dreaming about!  Also check out all the new Artline products here!

Get creative

Break out your paints and brushes, find your colouring books and pens, grab your sketchbook and pencils, today is the day to do something you love!

Treat yourself

Buy something off your wishlist!  There can't be a better time than World Stationery Day to treat yourself to some lovely new bit and pieces!

Share your favourites online

Get online today and tell people about your favourite pens, pencils & paper etc!  Use the hashtags #worldstationeryday, #natstatweek, #nationalstationeryweek, #stationerylove and #stationeryaddict to find other stationery fans to talk to.  You might discover something new to add to your wishlist and you could inspire someone else to try one of your favourites!

I hope you have a great day and enjoy the rest of National Stationery Week!

Monday, 29 April 2019

National Stationery Week with Artline - Writing matters

Hello!  Today marks the start of National Stationery Week so you can expect lots of stationery related fun and content from me over the next seven days!


One of the main ideas behind NSW is to promote the use of pen and paper, to highlight the fact that writing still matters and to encourage more people to get writing.  Cards, notes and letters are so much more personal when they are hand written.  It’s not often I get excited by an email or message online but when someone takes the time to send me a letter or card through the post, that makes me feel very special!

I write for lots of different reasons including communication, planning, pleasure and work.  I send letters to my friends, I plan my life and I really enjoy spending some of my spare time lettering and practising calligraphy.  I can do all of these things electronically on my iPad but it just isn't the same as selecting a pen and getting to work in a notebook or on a nice sheet of paper! 

With that in mind I thought I would talk to you about the different types of pens I use regularly and why writing matters to me.

Every day pens

For general notes, reminders, work and planning I want to use a pen that is comfortable to hold and that writes smoothly.  A pen that skips is one of my pet hates!  Artline’s Ergoline range has an ergonomic grip designed for greater comfort and increased control while writing meaning I can scribble away for longer using these pens! 

Calligraphy pens

I love how calligraphy writing looks, all the fancy swirls and little flourishes make even the most mundane words look amazing on the page!  I have been practising calligraphy, on and off, for years now, it is something I always come back to and enjoy doing.  

Artline's calligraphy pens are great for learning with because you don't have to keep stopping to dip your nib in or worry about knocking over a bottle of ink.  You can just take them out of your pencil case and get started!  The pens come in a range of colours and nib sizes too so you can create all kinds of different looks without having to flush your nibs out or buy a huge collection of inks in different colours.

Brush pens and fineliners

Hand lettering is something else I like to do in my spare time,  I do a lot of it in my bullet journal and like combining different styles and fonts together.  Pairing Supreme brush markers with Artline 200 fineliners always looks fun because of the difference in thickness between them.  The fineliners lend themselves towards little details and patterns whereas the brush markers are great for swirling and swooping around the page.

Writing is a pretty big part of my life, I know I type my blog posts up on a laptop but they nearly always begin in a notebook or inside my planner!  I have written love letters and received them, I have kept cards from special birthdays and occasions over the years and now I can look back at them whenever I feel the need too.  Snail mail and pen pals brighten my days and I hope my letters are received in the same spirit.  Writing connects us all and gives us something physical to hold onto, it becomes a part of our own history and help us plan our futures too.     

Have a great National Stationery Week! 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Artline Tuesday - English Language Day

Today is English Language Day, a day to reflect on the all the things we love about our language and celebrate the written and spoken word.  I thought the best way I could do this would be to select some of my favourite quotes written by British authors and create a spread in my journal to mark the occasion!

Celebrating English Language Day

It feels like it has been ages since I have done any lettering so I dug out my Supreme brush markers and Artline 200 fineliners and started creating my pages.  For the title and date I used a blue fineliner to write the letters and numbers first.  Then I went back over the down strokes with my brush marker in the same colour blue ink to make them look thicker.  Doing the lettering this way was a good way to easy myself back into it as I haven't done any calligraphy practice for a while now and I'm definitely a bit rusty!

If you are just getting started with hand lettering this technique will give your writing the look of calligraphy while you are still learning all the strokes and what pressure to use for them.

Some of my favourite quotes by British authors

My second page is dominated with a quote from JRR Tolkien, I used the same trick to create this with my brush marker and matching fineliner and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

I decided to add a few doodles to the pages before I filled in the remaining space with lots and lots of quotes.  Some of them are from my favourite books and some I found while researching British authors.  I used lots of my fineliners to write the quotes and add some extra colour, I also wrote some of them in different directions to make the whole thing look a little more interesting.

My full spread celebrating the English Language

Have you heard of English Language Day before?  Will you be doing anything to celebrate today?

Thanks for stopping by!