November 29, 2013

Notebooks addiction

I think I can easily say that I have an addiction for notebooks, any type, any make, any size. And since I promised myself not to buy any new book until I've completed the ones I've already started (which is many), I've started making my own. I've spent the past week making these two 5" squared notebooks, using some new fabrics I recently bought at the knitting & stitching fair in London. My inspiration was the squared journal from that Jeninne Zlatkis uses for her weekly journals. And since I'm planning to document 2014 in a similar way, I made myself a 52 weeks (26 pages) journal to fill in. 
For the inside I chose some 130gsm 100% recycled paper. I bought it from a UK based company called Ellie Poo Paper and is made with post consumer waste mixed with elephant dung. It sounds gross, but the paper is beautifully textured, does not smell if you are wondering, does not contain bleaches or detergents and the paint/pen does not bleed through. I'm so impressed with it so far.

For the notebook itself, I followed this tutorial on You Tube, almost to the letter, with some very minor changes to suit my needs.
I still haven't decided which one of the two I'm going to be using, but once I do, I will make the other one available to buy in my etsy shop. Any preference?

November 27, 2013

A list // November

I am...
making: rubber stamps. almost everyday, and when i'm not, i'm thinking about them.
cooking: as less as possible. pre-packed and already cut vegetables are my way to go.
drinking: miso soup in the afternoon, at work. it makes me feel cosy.
reading: the power of habit. why we do what we do, and how to change.
wanting: to go Christmas shopping. but there's too many people around.
looking: for the perfect autumn raincoat, still.
playing: with puzzles, all day long.
wasting: time at work, seriously.
sowing: hope for the future and a positive attitude.
wishing: for the perfect house to be found soon.
enjoying: my evenings, working on my own stuff or watching some tv.
waiting: for the weekend to start.
liking:  my date nights with my other half.
wondering: if I’m doing things right.
loving: the me time during my lunch breaks.
hoping: that everything will be ok.
marvelling: at how much the little miss is growing.
needing: a change. soon.
smelling: the cold air in the early morning.
wearing: hats, scarves and gloves. and more layers.
following: Jeninne Zlatkis and her art blog.
noticing: the naked trees and their silhouettes against a clear sky.
knowing: this could be a good thing.
thinking: it will be hard.
bookmarking: my favourite notebooks for 2014.
opening: tons of mails. and it's not even christmas yet.
giggling: when we cuddle.
feeling: very emotional and a bit tired.

November 25, 2013


It's week 47 and getting closer to the holidays! This week has been hard with me not feeling well, dad feeling tired and you catching a cold again. But we survived, and even managed a quick trip to the playground.

This week you:
  • discovered vibrations are fun, and spend lots of time banging on the tray of your highchair to make the nuts jumping and going around.
  • gave me a kiss on my belly when I told you I had a stomachache.
  • loved loved loved waiting for dad to come home in the evening. You got all excited waiting for him at the window and then rushing down the stairs to surprise him behind the front door!
  • Have been down with a cold again. But you have been very brave in taking all the medicines you were prescribed, even that cough syrup which tasted horribly.
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 23, 2013

30 Days of Lists // my listing book

December is almost here, and so is the December edition of 30 Days of Lists! I like to get things ready before hand, especially this time with the holidays approaching and things getting crazier than usual. So here we go, my listing book is ready to go and so am I!
For this edition I went a bit overboard and decided to try something new. I have previously used an A6 eco seawhite sketchbook, and embellished it with printed out daily lists, stickers, washi tape, and whatever felt appropriate for the daily challenge. This time I will be using something totally different and handmade. I have been enjoying very much making sketchbooks and notebooks lately from scratch, and this is no different. After much debating I went for an easy-to-make concertina book. 
I used two pieces of 4x5in dark grey cardstock and 8 strips of 12x5in watercolour paper, each folded in 3, and attached them together with double sided tape. If you are looking at making one for yourself, check this tutorial from design sponge.
For the front cover I used a bit of everything, from some ribbon, which will also hold the book together once I'm done, to a used first class stamp, but sticking to a black, red and white colour scheme. 
For the inside of the book, it got even more messy, but oh so fun to do! I splashed some red watercolour paint all over the pages, without giving much attention to where the colour would end up and letting it bleed in all directions.
Once dried, the real fun began!
For the daily lists, as usual, I printed out the complete list in advance. Surprises are not really my thing and although I do each list daily, I like to know in advance what's to come.
For this December edition, I printed each title using some fillable Christmas labels from Catherine Auger (you can download them for free here). To avoid any spoilers, I deleted the titles from the pictures below, so feel free to have a look!
I drew some black stripes to divide pages and title areas, attached the daily titles and used some stamps, butterflies cut-outs and handmade rubber stamps to embellish each page. Here is a sneak peak of the inside of my #30lists // December edition book.
I'm planning to use a stamp for the date, as before, and maybe add some more embellishment as I go along. And I will be using a pilot G-1 0.7 for writing down the lists. Can't wait to start listing! 
There's about a week left before the start of this year's December edition of 30 Days of lists. If you want to know more about this monthly challenge visit 30 Days of Lists and have a look at all my previous related posts here. You can sign up here (it's an affiliate link), there is still time to register!

November 22, 2013


Today is one of those days when outside is sunny and beautiful, although probably cold, and you are stuck inside with a kid not feeling great trying to fight a nasty cold. And between comforting her and trying to get some work done, the day feels longer and never ending. But nothing a warm cup of ginger tea with lemon and honey and a nice view from my kitchen window couldn't fix. After all tomorrow is another day.

November 20, 2013

Pick of the Month: November // Warm and cosy

1. Wooden Crate Cabinets (9 Drawers) from truffula forest / 2. Birdie Print Weekender Bag from Accessorize / 3. Hand.Book Journal Square Sketchbook from CASS ART / 4. Print Leggings Trousers from Uniqlo / 5. Chunky Long Snoodfrom Accessorize / 6. Fleece Full-Zip Long Sleeve Jacket from Uniqlo / 7. Baby Body Warm Lite Full-Zip Parka from Uniqlo / 8. Garden Path Bootiesfrom Anthropologie / 9. Willow Catkins Botanical Giclee Art Print by Golly Bard on Etsy

November, November, November. It is amongst my least favourite months. The clock has just changed to winter time, the days are noticeably shorter by the day, the weather sucks and the Christmas holidays are still far away. But on the positive note, November is my other half’s birthday month, so we get to celebrate, it only has 30 days, so it feels less long, it brings up beautiful colours, and a lot of inspiration, it’s the month to make things and to start prepping up for December. xxx

November 18, 2013


It's week 46 and I still love this project! This week we were back home and our life went back to its daily routine.
This week you:
  • Asked to join in every time your dad and I kissed and/or hugged each other. We love family hugs and kisses.
  • Had a play date with your little friends and finally started to sort of play with each other. We have been been waiting for this moment since you all were born.
  • Refused to sing happy birthday to papa (didn't even let me do it!) but loved blowing the candles of his birthday cake.
  • Loved lying down next to me after waking up in the morning and putting your arm around my neck. And I looooove it!
And from last week, I love this little dancer from Woven with Spirit. What a beautiful scenery to enjoy. 
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 15, 2013

A project a month

Every year, around December time, I start thinking about the following year goals and expectations. I start making lists of thinks I would like to accomplish, plans I would love to follow and specific goals to achieve. Unfortunately, only on rare occasions I have been able to stick to my plans (like that year I decided to enter a painting competition). But this year, something changed. I didn’t make any plans, if not very bold ones, and somehow I managed to do a lot more than expected. How did I do that? I discovered the beauty and easiness of monthly projects.

My first ever one was 30 days of lists, back in March. I discovered it on twitter, and didn’t know what it was exactly until I signed up for it. But as soon as I did, it was love at first sight! Then an online 4-week sketching class followed in April/May, the phone photography project from BPC kept me occupied in July, 30 days of lists started again in September, October was the month of a doodle aday, 30 grateful days from Paper Issues is still going on in November and next month I will be joining the December edition of 30 days of lists.

The best part of these monthly projects is that they involve as much time and effort as you feel like. You can choose to do them at your own pace, or put some work in every day. It has been a very rewarding process for me. I’m one of those persons who lose interest with time and long term projects are not really for me (although I also joined a yearly project this year and still keeping up with it!). The other good thing is that there are millions of monthly project to choose from, covering photography, art, scrapbooking, crafting, just search on twitter, instagram, flickr and so on. These are mainly free, although for some you have to pay to join. And if you can't find anything interesting, you can still make up your own monthly challenge. Just make sure you share it publicly, as this is the best way to keep up with anything.  I love the feeling of community each project creates; you get to share your work and see others’, make online friends and get inspired by them. And by the end of the year you are left with something tangible to enjoy.
Surely I will try it again next year, maybe with a bit more structure and planning that it was in 2013.

November 13, 2013

Last week in pictures

Last week we were in Central Italy, visiting family. As we live in a different country and don’t see them often, we try to go back every now and then for a quick visit. This time we had a special occasion to celebrate and decided to make it into a mini vacation. Little we knew that we would all catch a cold, as soon as we’d land, and someone would even get high temperature and a yeast infection. But despite these minor shortfalls, we had a great time. The weather was still warm for daily walks, our usual breakfast place was still in business and as good as ever, Olivia played a lot with the dog and loved having her grandparents and aunty around (not so much her little cousin!).
We do miss Italy, a lot, and every time we go back there, it’s harder to leave, even more now than my little is growing up. Dreaming of going back one day and living in a nice house in the countryside or by the sea. In the meantime we treasure out time spent there and collect photos over photos.
Italy we love you!

November 11, 2013


It's week 45 and it's only 4 weeks away from your 2nd birthday! We spent the week in Central Italy visiting your grandparents and as usual, time went by too quickly.
This is you in your grandad's vegetable patch, apple tasting. 
This week you:

  • Asked to play with the dog all day long. It was your first thought in the morning and the last in the evening.
  • Had a temperature for two days and a candida infection, but you did brilliantly, except for one night where you woke up screaming several times and only felt asleep in mama's arms watching some tv.
  • Visited the local playground and loved it. On top of playing with the seesaw, sling and slide you collected lots of leaves to carry around.
  • Went out almost everyday for a walk with your cousin's bike. As soon as you were on it, you adjusted the mirrors and put the music on.
  • Got a new pair of shoes and still trying to figure out how to put them on.
  • Had a go at blowing bubbles. We ended up with no bubbles and a very soapy grass.
And from last week, I love this little red head from Ellieboo. Doesn't she look like a top model in the back stage of a catwalk?
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 08, 2013

30 days of lists // December 2013 edition

30 Days of Lists is coming back for a special December edition this year! and I'm very much excited about this. I discovered 30 days of lists back in March this year, joined in and never looked back. It's an awesome and easy way to record a snapshot of your life through daily lists for an entire month.
There is no right or wrong way to make a list; some people use just a simple scrap of paper, some others do it digitally, some add photos and embellishments. Whatever suits you, is more than fine. I personally prefer using a little notebook and embellish each page with photos, stamps, stickers. You can check my previous lists here. For more inspiring lists from previous rounds have a look on Instagram under the hashtag #30lists or on Flickr under the 30daysoflistsgroup.
If you are looking for an excuse to get listing, then this is the challenge for you. Subscribe to the 30 days of lists newsletter by clicking the banner below and get ready to sign up for it this Monday, November 11th!

If you don't feel like waiting until December, you can take up on previous rounds at your own pace. 
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the links above are affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my blog. Thanks in advance if you do so.

November 06, 2013

Weekly planners

I’m totally in love with Jennine Zlatkis work (see my previous rubber stamping post). And now I’m obsessing over her journaling pages.  A few weeks ago, I gave it a go at making my own, and although the results are far from her beautiful work, I’m totally in love with them.
As usual, I worked with what I had available; I function much better this way than having to plan anything from scratch (too many options and I’m not good at choosing).
This is what I used:
  • 2 sheets of Fabriano Accademia watercolour paper 240gsm 27x35cm. These will make 10 10x15cm landscape weekly pages.
  • Staedler 0.3 pigment liner pen to draw the lines.
  • Watercolours for the background wash and the tiny paintings. I use artist’s Windsor and Newton.
  • Stamps, including a date stamp. I used mainly handmade stamps.
  • Ink pads. I’m currently using basic office inks + finger puppets ink, but I’m planning to upgrade to Stazon and Versacolor soon.
  • Coloured felted tip pens for the writing. I’m using Stabilo point 88.
  • Butterflies cut outs. You can download them from vintage printables
  • A ruler, scissors and a glue stick.

I have been using these to keep track of my creative activities, more like a weekly journal than a weekly plan. And it has been great! Not sure what I’m going to be doing with all of them once I’m done; I will probably make a mini book of some sort.
I already have some exciting ideas to use this type of journaling for documenting 2014; I will share it here once I have it exactly figure out how.

November 04, 2013


It's week 44 already! In a month time you'll be turning two, and we are so not ready for this yet! Although I wonder if we ever will.
This is you with your papa walking around his hometown

This week you:
  • Loved singing all day long! not sure what tune it is, but it's awesome.
  • Kept waking up in the early morning asking for milk. But after shsss-ing you, you went back to sleep. Hoorray!
  • Asked for Becca, your teacher, every single day. But when we asked you if you wanted to go to nursery you said no.
  • Had your afternoon nap around 2pm, as usual, on Thursday and missed the nursery's halloween party.
  • Hugged and kissed your grandma at the airport and didn't leaver alone, not even for a second. Even asked for her when you woke up during the night asking for water!

And from last week, I love Maile, the sleeping beauty from See You There. So calm and peaceful, there is nothing worth more than a visit to this blog!
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 01, 2013

October in doodles

At the beginning of the month I joined a doodle a day challenge created by the talented ellolovey. There are plenty of these type of mini projects over the internet, but this one seemed fun and also some of my IG friends were doing it too.
I made myself a teeny tiny sketchbook using a collage cover I made about a year ago and never used, 32 pages of watercolour paper and a 25mm ring. I printed out the October list, glued to the first page and I was set to go!
You can find the overall set on my Flickr page (here) or on Instagram (here) with the #doodleadayoct tag.
If you fancy join in for the November challenge, click on the November list. Happy doodling!
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