Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Planner Cover-First Look!

I was getting antsy thinking about creating a DIY planner again, and I know that I could be looking for that "perfect" notebook for months.  So as I was planning on Mod Podge-ing some coasters using the left over maps from the Europe trip, and I thought, "how about I just make this planner happen!"

I had not created a DIY cover for my previous planners, but I have done this type of cover on hardbound journals in the past.  I picked up a grey, lined Moleskine Cahier in the largest size for this planner.  The decorative paper is from the scrapbook section at Hobby Lobby and the rest is washi tape that I had in my tape collection!

So here is the first look at the cover!  The Mod Podge is still drying so ignore the wax paper that I am using to mask the pages.  I haven't even began to consider the different layouts yet, but if this all works out, this cover is a sneak peak at what is to come!

Friday, November 23, 2012

DIY Planner for 2013

I loved my DIY planner.  I had used a large hardcover Piccadilly notebook and I have also used a grid lined Clairefontaine multiple tabbed notebook with colored pages.  I currently still use that type of notebook for my work notes and to-do list b/c it fits in my Louis Vuitton cover. (I did just order a Kokuyo CamiApp notebook from jetpens though, as I want to experiment keeping my work notes electronically for a month or so.)

I had quit doing a DIY planner and switched to a weekly Moleskine and now have been using various undated planners like from MMMG or other Korean brand planners.  Now that my life has gotten less busy, I find myself having enough time to go back and do my own DIY planner pages each week.  Unfortunately, this a double edged sword, b/c now I have less things to plan or record in my planner.  Even in my undated planners, I have a lot of blank pages.  Also, since the Piccadilly was so large/hardbound it made my purse too heavy.  I will probably look at using something a bit smaller, even if it isn't as small as a medium Moleskine.

Basically I am on the fence about starting back over with DIY, I feel like if I could find the perfect notebook, I might just go ahead and try it out again. 

So here is my wishlist of the characteristics of the notebook:
  • Smaller width lines, like a Moleskine
  • No spiral binding or perforated pages, hard or soft cover
  • Lined, not grid
  • All one color pages, non-multicolor
  • Blank, solid color cover
  • It would be awesome if one page was blank and the other lined, but that will probably too much to ask for.
  • Paper is friendly to markers, felt tip pens, paint pens etc. 
  • Smaller than the large Piccadilly bigger than a medium weekly Moleskine
I think this may be an impossible wish list, but I'm going to look through every blank book I have and I am open to suggestions!  If I can't find anything to use in what I currently have or online, I think I will try an extra-large Cahier since it should be lightweight.

I will also need some new DIY inspiration, so if there are any sites out there with some DIY planner post/pictures, please leave it in the comments!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pens From Europe!

Stockholm, Sweden
In July, my husband and I went on a cruise that left from Stockholm and traveled to several European countries. We had an extra day on either end of the trip in Stockholm so I had a chance to do quite a bit of browsing for both office supplies and everything else.I took this opportunity to purchase a lot of pens and paper in Stockholm and Visby, Sweden.  I have always loved the idea of buying the supplies that "the locals" use so this was my chance!   

We saw a lot of amazing things on the trip, but Stockholm was one of my favorite places. To quote my husband, "Three truths I have learned about Stockholm: 1) Stockholm is an IKEA the size of a city. 2) Every store is apparently a TARDIS, from the street they look like a small storefront, but hold more stuff than a Wal-Mart. 3) There are only about twenty different stores in Stockholm, they just repeat every few blocks.
One store that I only came across once in my travels, was a department store called Ahlens. This is where picked up the Muji markers above and the unknown short makers in the photo.  The pen test is for the white markers.  I think the real winners in the maker set are the  purples, there are a lot of very subtle shade differences that make each color unique.  If there was a tag with these markers, it was long gone by the time I took the pictures, so I am not sure what brand they are.  There is a tiny tag inside the zippered pouch they came in, but it says made in China, so that isn't much of a clue. (The Muji pens below also came from Ahlens.)

In Visby, I stopped into a bookstore and they had a large stationery section.  I picked up several of the pens in the following pictures from there.  I think my favorite one has to be the retro looking, retractable, teal BIC pen.  I also like the orange BIC pens because they are fine point and they aren't sold much, if at all, in my area. 


The pen above the Faber-Castell pens is a "b.n.t/office pen." I do not know much about this pen, and a quick google search didn't shed any light on it for me either, so I am not sure if it is sold in the US or not.  But it seems to be very similar to a Pilot G2 pen, only in ballpoint.  Surprisingly, I do not have a G2, otherwise I would compare them side by side to be certain that they are as similar as I think they are.

I know I have a few more pens hanging around that got adsorbed into my pen drawer at work so they weren't available for review.  I also have around 10 notebooks that I picked up in Sweden, but I'll save all that paper for a following post!

If there is anything you want to see a better of picture of or would like more details about, just leave a comment and I'd be happy too oblige!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So it has been a year since my last update....

Well it has officially been a year since my last post.  So it probably goes without saying that it has been a crazy time for me.  Last year, I was excited to have more time to post due to a job change and then last November my job chose that moment to explode.  When it finally calmed down towards spring, I took another job within my company and that one is currently still exploding.  But I did manage to finish my graduate degree which freed up some time, so I am just left with work to take up my time.  Throughout the craziness of the year though, one thing has remained constant---I still LOVE pens and paper.

I have managed to continue to collect items throughout the year.  I have a bunch of new things actually, including a nice assortment of pens/paper I purchased when my husband and I traveled to Sweden and some other European countries this summer.  So barring any uptick in crazy-town stuff at work, I have quite a few things to share!

One of my favorite purchases from the last year, is this file cabinet for pens.  Who doesn't need one of these?

Pen File Cabinet!!

I picked this up from The Container Store.  I purchased it in-store when I happened to be near one, but I assume they sell it online as well.  I did have to look at several to make sure there were no scratches or dents so that is one good reason to pick it up locally, if there is a Container Store near you.

This cabinet feels very solid, sturdy and it is metal, just like a regular file cabinet, only smaller.  The plastic inserts are sold separately and help to divide up the drawers.  They aren't necessary, but I wanted them so I could sort my pens.  The inserts had two size choices, one deeper and one that was shallow.  I purchased a mix, but ultimately ordered replacements for the shallow inserts.  They just didn't hold enough pens.  I have left the bottom drawer without an insert for now, it is just a catch all drawer.  This cabinet  holds all of the pens I have from JetPens and the like that I have at home and I rotate items between this and my desk at work. Right now I have around 300 pens in this cabinet and I think I could fit at least 150 more without a problem.

As you can see from my photo, I also have a small cardboard type drawer organizer on top of the metal cabinet.  This is pretty much only for mass market pens and markers. Just to compare the two, I think the cabinet makes for much better organization than the cardboard drawer simply due to how much it holds and the fact that the drawers are more shallow than the cardboard, you can actually see what you have. 

Keep in mind, this metal cabinet is not small, it takes up quite a bit of real estate on my craft desk.  Even though it is large, I would love to pick up one or two more in the same color as what I purchased.  I figure I could easily fill them up with additional JetPen items over time.  For example, I just purchased all 18 colors of the Uni Mitsubishi Pure Color Double Sided pens. They will probably take up about half of the depth of one the compartments of the plastic dividers.  That is another reason I love the dividers as I tend to buy all the colors of a pen, so it is great to be able to store them all in one spot together.

Does anyone else use a cabinet like this or have other innovative ways to store your pens?