Sunday, 5 May 2019

Happy Mail For A PenPal! - #SendALetterDay

I was trying to think of something more 'interesting' for this hashtag, but figured that actually sharing some happy mail I'm sending along with a few of my personal tips when it comes to sending mail, might be helpful.
I've been out of the routine of sending letters to my penpals for a while now. My journals took over at one point and when MyGreenCow became my full time job I had to focus my time into other creative hobbies that I found myself being more motivated about. I basically had too many creative hobbies, and not enough time to do them all!
But I'm slowly getting back in the groove of things with happy mail, and I have missed it a lot. Saying that, the past couple of months I have been a little MIA from my penpals with everything that's been going on. But I am getting there, and I'm excited!

I wanted to share this not so 'super fancy' piece of happy mail. As much as I love sending out a flip book or something that I've spent a while creating, I do love putting together a simple but fun piece of mail. 
My go to for this is just the letter, and a little pocket of goodies. It doesn't have to be super decorated and packed full of things. I do my best to keep my letters to the 'letter' sizing that Royal Mail have, not just to keep costs down, but it also restricts me from going too over the top on decoration etc.

The little pocket of goodies tends to include some fun bits and pieces from my stash. In this one there is a few pieces of ephemera, some sticky notes and some mini envelopes. Sometimes I don't include a whole pocket of things, I might just pop a few flat pieces inside the letter. I think for things like goodies, you just have to talk to your penpal and see if they are wanting to do lots of goody swapping, or if they would prefer to focus on the letter writing. 
Personally I like shorter letters (1 or 2 pages) and a couple of goodies, with both sending and receiving. I don't have the time to sit and reply to a letter for hours on end, I'd prefer to be able to write a reply to someone in half an hour or so. 
There's no right or wrong length to a letter, just make sure you and your penpal are on the same page.

Envelope decorating is probably one of my favourite parts of creating happy mail. I think it's because I know that this part of the letter will put a smile on any postal workers faces too (well I like to hope!).
With all the bland, beige envelopes passing through the system everyday, I feel like it's nice to just make a little effort on the outside to break up all the blandness. 
You do have to be considerate of placement of stickers etc. Make sure you leave some space for the address label, the stamps and if you're sending it abroad then an airmail sticker and sometimes a customs form. 

One of my personal must have tools for happy mail is a set of weighing scales and one of these postage rulers! I have used this thing so much since I've had it. It's handy to be somewhat prepared for how much things will cost to send, before I get to the post office. 
I sometimes buy stamps in advance, and use the online postage calculator Royal Mail have. That way I don't have to go to the post office to buy stamps and send things, I can just pop them in my nearest post box.
You can find these rulers for about £5 on ebay if you search 'postage ruler'.
The ruler I have has two slots, one for the 'Letter' size and one for the 'Large Letter' sizing (I'm not sure if there's something similar for those of you who aren't in the UK).

Do you sending happy mail?

- Daisy X
*Please note, no products featured were sent to me for the purpose of this blogpost.


Saturday, 4 May 2019

Shop Spotlights! - #StationeryShopSaturday

I have decided to share three of my long term favourite shops with you all today! These are small businesses that have been doing what they do for a while now, and I have been a big supporter of for a majority, (if not all!) of that time. Every single one of them I know for a fact spends hours each day building their shop up to be the amazing places that they are today.
It wasn't an easy choice narrowing it down to just three, but here are the lovely ladies I wanted to share. 

First up I have one of my very good friends and an all round wonderful artist, Anna from Mrs Brimbles. I've known Anna for most of my 'creative career' and she has been a wonderful support along the way. She has an amazing worth ethic and brings out some wonderfully put together collections! 
You can buy her products separately, or the full collection as a 'Brimbles Box' which retails for £15.00, and includes things like journal cards, papers, and stickers. They are great if you want a corresponding collection to use on a journal spread or scrapbooking page.

If you join her Facebook group you can see sneak peaks on her future collections, plus she sometimes asks for ideas and feedback on themes.
She has been creating her own products for her collections for a little while now, and I personally love seeing what beautiful illustrations she comes up with each month. 

Next up I wanted to share Michelle and Patch, another amazing lady who designs all her own products! I've been a big fan of Michelle and Patch for a while now, and use her stickers in my journals all the time. They are so beautifully illustrated with so much detail put into each design, and the sticker paper quality is top notch!

She has recently branched out from stickers and has a few new items available, including desk pads, pencil cases and pins! Again all of them have been beautifully designed by Michelle. 
I think two of my all time favourite products from her have to be her stationery stickers, and the mail themed stickers. I can't even begin to count how many times those stickers pop up in my various journal spreads!

Last but by no means least is the lovely Crafty Ali! She is my go to for paper goodies, as she has such a variety on her shop. Along with Anna and Michelle, she also illustrates and designs some of her own products. 
I have been lucky enough to be gifted a few bits and pieces from her shop in the past, as well as a couple of purchases. Ali also prints all my postcards for my Patreon which are always brilliant.
She's great at what she does and if you are on the hunt for inserts or just some fun paper goodies, definitely take a nosey!

She has multiple listings on her Etsy shop for TN inserts, and you can customise everything about them. Paper colour, lines, blank, dots, etc. I'm always getting asked what inserts I'd recommend getting for a TN style journal, and I always mention Ali's shop. There's not many places that do them so customisable. 

Have you heard of all these shops before?

- Daisy X

*Please note, all the shops featured I have worked with in the past, but I have chosen to share them as I genuinely stand by what they do and would recommend time and time again.


Friday, 3 May 2019

Craft Space Inspiration! - #DerwentFeelGoodFriday

One of the things I was a little worried about when moving back here, was if I'd have enough space to put up all the little display pieces that meant a lot to me.
Considering today's National Stationery Week hashtag is 'Feel Good Friday' I figured I'd share some of my favourite things in and around my desk, that inspire and motivate me to be creative. 

First up is my cork board, this one specifically I fill with lots of bits and pieces. Some are my own artwork, some things have been created for me, and others I have been gifted. This board sits directly in front of me when I'm sat at my desk working, so I'm always glancing up at it. 
It's not full yet and I have been adding to it gradually as and when I find things I want to put up there. I think if you have any wall space in your craft room/creative space, I'd recommend putting a cork board up there. Not only do they look good in an aesthetically pleasing way, but they are also quite practical for inspiration as you can change it up every day if you want to.
In the old room I had them stuck to the wall with command strips, but I couldn't do that here, so instead I've attached some screw pins in the top and hung them from the picture rail at the top of the wall. 

This is a random little space, but I love it! I got the sweet dispenser in Flying Tiger (during their £2 sale, so a total bargain!), and honestly wasn't 100% sure what I was going to do with it but knew I just 'needed' it. Here we are a few months later and it's got a sort of purpose... It now holds all my pom poms, and yes if you open the catch pom poms do fly out.
The rest of the little nick nacks on here are from my peg board I used to have on the wall, and no longer have space for. I've just been popping things on here that aren't flat enough to pin onto a board, but are too cute to store away out of sight.

My washi shelf.... Need I say more? If you've followed me along with that journey, you will know that it's probably one of my favourite pieces of furniture(?) in my whole office/craft space! I designed it myself, and with help from my dad we got it made. 
When I said I was going to paint it a bright yellow I had a few odd looks from him, but now he's seen it in the flesh he agrees that it was a good decision! Not only is this the most practical storage I've had for my washi tape collection, but it also doubles up as a massively inspirational piece of wall art. I don't think I would be able to find something like this in a store, which has so much colour and patterns on it. 

Last of all is my slowly growing pin collection. They all live on my other cork board, and I've been collecting them for a little over a year now. This board also holds my monthly work overview/timetable that I've been trying to stick to. Having some fun things to look at around the work stuff helps to make it a little less of a 'boring board'.
If anyone knows any other pin designers that have stationery/craft themed pins, please let me know!

So those were a few of my favourite things in/around my desk space. I am someone who finds themselves directly affected by their surroundings, and I do struggle sometimes with inspiration and motivation to get things done if I feel like my surrounds are too bland. But I know if I can make my space as colourful (but not overwhelming) and as inspiring as I possibly can, then it will help with my motivation. 

Do you have a favourite part of your craft space?

- Daisy X

*Please note, no products featured were sent to me for the purpose of this blogpost.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

My Handwriting 'Journey' - #TakeANote | AD

AD | This blogpost contains gifted products

Today I thought I'd share a little about my 'handwriting journey' (if that's even a thing?), because there was a point where I absolutely hated it. Throughout the whole of school I don't think there was ever a time where I had the same handwriting for more than a couple of days in a row. I know back then many people were probably in the same boat, and of course you would have to prioritise getting the information given in classes down on paper, even if it was scribbles. 
But I really didn't like any of my handwriting and it changed ALL the time.

I went through an old Science book (so please ignore what the writing actually says), and found many perfect examples of this 'all over the place' style I had going on:
Back then I was also a massive lover of all things stationery and I found myself using different pens every day, which probably didn't help things. I tried out many different styles, writing straight, in italics, joined up, not joined up, and at one point I had a phase of making all my Ms and Ns have long tails just to see how that looked. But I could never figure it out, so all my school work books look a total mess!

Eventually I found 'my' handwriting. When I started this creative/crafty journey, I was writing happy mail regularly, and through doing that (and not being in a total rush to write large chunks of writing like I was back at school), I finally figured things out!
First of all I realised I much preferred writing with gel ink pens over anything else. Also I started looping my Ys and Gs, which seemed to make a massive difference in my overall handwriting. It just flowed better which made everything much more neat and together. 

I don't tend to use many other pens for writing now, I stick with black gel ink pens. 
But I have been lucky enough to be sent a few pens for National Stationery Week to try out, one being this beautiful fountain pen from Maped Helix!
I haven't used a fountain pen in years, the last time I did was probably in school (during my experimental pen days!). I'm definitely a black ink person in general, but this pen comes with a blue ink cartridge so I thought I'd pop it in and make use of it. After writing a little letter to my future self (because I didn't have anything to really write about, highly recommend doing this if you are wanting to test a pen. Give your scribbles a purpose), I actually really like it. I'm going to have to find some black ink cartridges for it so I can use it a little more often. 

The lovely team over at Maped Helix have sent me an extra fountain pen to giveaway. I chose to keep the silver one for myself, and the rose gold/copper coloured one will be heading off to one of you! 
It's a really beautiful pen and they are not wrong about the 'Smooth Writing' claim at the top of the packaging!

If you would like to be in with the chance of winning this fountain pen, then you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below:

The giveaway will close at midnight on Sunday.

Do you like your handwriting? Or are you still trying to find 'your' style?

- Daisy X
*Please note, the Maped Helix Fountain Pens were kindly gifted to me to create some content on during National Stationery Week. 
All views & opinions shared are 100% my own.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Desk Tour! - #WorldStationeryDay

As many of you I'm sure are aware by now, I recently moved back in with my parents following a break up. It's been a little bit of a process to settle back in, but I'm pretty much there and it feels really good to be back (despite the awful internet!). So for World Stationery Day I thought I would share my new desk set up! All of my stationery, in all of it's glory!
I will likely do a more in depth video at some point, but for now you can hopefully get a feel for it. It's a LOT smaller room, so I had to get creative with some storage and I spent a couple of days just moving furniture back and forward, trying out all the different furniture configurations.  

The room I've moved back to is also my bedroom, I no longer have my beautiful office space anymore. This came with a few issues because I had to fit a bed into the equation, plus I had to figure out where to put my clothes. 
I decided to sacrifice having a wardrobe in my room, so my clothes live downstairs in a spare wardrobe for the time being. This means that all my work and craft stuff can be together in this room. It's inconvenient, but the best option for now.
The above photo shows the main section of my desk, I still have my little filming space on the left hand side. Which has been such a great help when it comes to being productive. When there's a clear space to film or take photos I'm more likely to use it!
I also have one of my Billy Bookshelves to the right of the desk, with the desk push right up to it. This worked out pretty well as I still have all the storage space below, and one of the shelves is almost perfectly level with my desk so it creates a little extra room there.

To the left of my desk as I said there's space for me to sit and film videos, or take photos (I've moved the tripod in this photo though, so you can see things a little better). I have a little box seat tucked under my desk so I don't have to move my chair around the place. Because it's a box it also doubles up as a recycling box, so I have somewhere to separate all of that from my rubbish bin.
The cube storage to the left was a tricky one because they were so bulky, but I figured with the lack of space I might as well try stacking them vertically to see if I can get away with not loosing that storage space at all. It worked a treat! If it didn't I wouldn't have either of those in here.
All my planners & journals now live on here as that's the wall with the window on, so the sunlight doesn't hit them.

On my desk I have downgraded the amount of planners and journals I have to hand, I wasn't using them all everyday, and now I have the Billy Bookshelf to my right I can always grab some off there if I want.
I've kept my creative journal, my Bonniedori, some fineline pens (in an old shortbread tin), my Moomin mug of everyday pens and pencils, my iPad, accounts book, gratitude journal, art journal, list journal, brain dump and my project planner (The B6 Kikki.K). I also have my vase of fake flowers.
The rest of the space is taken up by the rainbow towers which house my pen collection, and various other smaller bits and pieces!

My washi shelf was definitely something that completed the room once it was up on the wall. I felt like I was finally all unpacked after it went up. Originally I wanted it straight in front of me, above my desk, but with the tower drawers it just wouldn't have fit. I'm happy with where it is now though as it's right beside me when I'm filming, so I can just grab what I need without leaving my seat.

I did have a little sort through of my planners when I got here, because there was simply not enough space for them all. These shelves have also become a space for little nick nacks, like the Biscuiteers box (which I've kept purely because it's so cute), and my jar of fake sprinkles that I'm yet to get round to using as a yearly memories jar!
I will have another sort through I think, and try to make it a little less busy. For now I'm happy with these shelves though, it's nice to look over to my left and see fun things.  

This shelf is at the top of the Billy Bookshelf that's to the right of my desk, it's my only other nick nack kind of shelf. It's where I keep most of my finished and 'in progress' type of journals. I have also got photos from past events pegged up too, and a couple of little mementos. 
I might eventually sort through these and pack some of the completed ones into a box for safe keeping so I can have a bit more free storage space.

For now though, that is my desk space! I'm happy with how it has turned out, though I do miss my office.
The first few months of 2019 have been a rollercoaster to say the least, but the break up and move was 100% the right decision. I'm happy again, I'm inspired, and I'm ready to take on the rest of the year!

I hope you have enjoyed having a little nosey around my desk, what's your favourite part of your craft space?

- Daisy X
*Please note, no products featured were sent to me for the purpose of this blogpost.