EDC TN: July 2016

It’s been nearly a month since I got my Sunday Leather Craft Hobonichi Weeks wallet cover, and I’ve been carrying it ever since. It’s such a convenient piece since it’s able to hold my phone (and various other stuff) in the gusseted pocket.

 

Shades of brown

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I also switched over to the Zenkraft Rustic Roadie A6 for my pocket inserts because I’ve been missing it, and I also brought out the Midori Passport Camel for something I’m currently testing.

What’s your July carry?

 

Cool Finds For My Planner

I’m a big fan of stationery, but it’s especially so if it’s stationery specifically meant for my planner. I found three things that go really well with my Hobonichi Weeks.

1.Tiny Stickers

The first is this pair of tiny stickers, which I got at Powerbooks for Php190 for the glittered stars and Php150 for the transparent circles. The glittered stars comes with two sheets while the transparent circles have three, but what’s really great is that both sets come with a plastic pocket that you can stick onto anything. I felt that these were really nice for marking dates on the monthly view, or for marking special events in the case of the glittered stars.

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Here is what the pocket looks like, and how one sheet of the transparent circles looks like. You can really see underneath the circles which is exactly how I wanted it! There are several other variations of these stickers available: there are hearts, squares, etc in various color combinations and even sizes.

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2. Cat Page Marker

I found this cute little cat page marker at a temporary bazaar at my workplace, for Php100. I suspect that might have been a bit overpriced, but I thought it was not too bad. It’s basically just a long copper chain with a cute cat charm at the end. I felt it looked really good with my SLC Weeks Cover.

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The other end of the chain has a pretty sturdy clip that’s supposed to anchor the page marker. As you can see the chain was actually quite longer than the Weeks, but I fastened the clip to the pocket underneath the Weeks to adjust for the extra length.

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3. Metal Stencil/Ruler/Bookmark

Lastly, I found this interesting looking stencil at National Bookstore. If I recall correctly it costed PHp85. It’s a clock themed stencil with a nice 8-bit one that comes in really handy even outside of telling time. There’s actually a ruler on the other side of this stencil, and the clock at the top also functions as a bookmark/clip. It’s quite a multitasker and I really like it!

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What are some of your interesting planner finds lately?

 

More Pilot Pens in Rotation

It is no secret that I love Pilot pens, both fountain and otherwise. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that I got a few more Pilot pens that found themselves in my current rotation.

These pens are the following, pictured from top to bottom in the photo below: Pilot G-Tec-C Maica, Pilot Birdie Ballpoint, and Pilot Fineliner.

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The Pilot G-Tec-C Maica, as the name suggests, takes G-Tec-C refills and packages them in a slightly more interesting barrel. It is all plastic except for the part that unscrews and reveals the refill. The cap has no clip, but has a tiny protrusion to keep the pen from rolling off the table. I think this protrusion is meant to look like the handle of a teacup. The end of the cap also has some shiny material that makes it look like a gem, and the overall feel of the pen is something royal or princessy. It also comes in a good range of colors.

The Pilot Birdie Ballpoint is an all-metal pen and is really slim and tiny. I bought this mostly to fit in a Leuchtturm penloop, but it turns out that it actually writes pretty well. The tip is revealed by clicking on the knocker. The clip is quite serviceable.

Both the Maica and the Birdie Ballpoint are available at National Bookstore. The Birdie is only available in select branches, and you have to ask over the counter for it. Refills are also readily available for both pens.

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The Pilot Fineliner is one of the items that I got in a Maker Monthly box. It is a felt tip marker that has a certain amount of give, and you can actually achieve a sort of brush calligraphy with this pen because of that. The pen is made mostly of plastic, except for the clip. As far as I know, this pen is not available locally.

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All three pens write beautifully. As I mentioned earlier, I am a big fan of fine tipped pens, and both the Maica and the Birdie produce a tolerably fine line. I think the Maica comes in a narrower tip, but the 0.4 works pretty well for me. The G-Tec-C refill is excellent and rarely skips. The Birdie on the other hand has some starting issues, and can sometimes skip.

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The Fineliner produces a pretty pigmented black, and with my regular hand can even produce a relatively fine line. I like using this marker for writing addresses on snail mail, and for making small brush calligraphy.

 

Sunday Leather Craft Custom Hobonichi Weeks Cover

While I was quite content with my SLC TN Wallet, there was still the fact that I carried my planner (Hobonichi Weeks) separately. I still felt that my setup could be improved, and it was either I changed my planner into a pocket sized insert or get a cover for the Hobonichi Weeks that could also function as wallet. Hobonichi Weeks was working quite well for me for a few months now, and I was unwilling to change it while it was still working. That left finding the right cover that could work with my Weeks. Unfortunately none of the existing Weeks covers were made to also be a wallet, or I didn’t feel like they would work for me. There was only one solution I could see: commission one!

Sunday Leather Craft was of course my favored leather artisan, and I felt that they could make me the perfect Hobonichi Weeks cover that I desired. I sent them a rough design, and emphasized that it was to be the cover for my Weeks, and waited for them to perform their magic. And my custom Hobonichi Weeks cover is born!

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It is made of this luscious dark brown leather that looks almost black, and stitched with a lighter brown thread for contrast. The closing elastic is black. This is such a wonderfully professional looking package that went beyond my expectations!

And yes, one of my cats immediately made his/her mark on it. As I mentioned several times, I don’t actually mind this and I feel that those marks makes this piece really mine.

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The cover is pretty big, much bigger than I expected. I was afraid I would immediately hate it because of that, as I do prefer smaller packages! The whole thing is just one awesome cover that I can’t help but fall in love with it!

Let’s take a look inside!

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Card pockets galore!

One of the first requirements I had was that it needed to hold all the cards that I bring everyday. On the front flap there are four vertically-oriented card pockets and one ID pocket with a window. All the inside parts are made of a smooth brown leather that matches the interior of the dark brown cover.

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Right underneath the card pockets is a secretarial pocket where I keep my bills. This can also be used to hold boarding passes when traveling. Under that is a full-length pocket that is quite roomy, and I currently use this to hold my miscellaneous papers (medicine prescriptions, the odd receipt, bandaids, promo cards and discount vouchers).

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More card pockets!

Over on the back flap I have another seven card slots, now oriented horizontally, bringing my total to 11 card slots plus one ID pocket in my custom Hobonichi Weeks cover. By the by, each of these pockets is loose enough to hold two cards each. Under this row of card slots there is a full-length pocket which I slide in my Weeks. It fits perfectly!

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And here’s the most amazing part: under that is a gusseted full-length pocket that can hold anything from a small book or my cellphone or even the actual Weeks! I don’t use this pocket most of the time, especially when I’m perusing the planner on a desk, but when out and about this is a great secure place to carry my phone. I don’t actually need to bring my purse on short errands with this around!

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Here is the whole of the cover laid flat. Beautiful piece! I am in love!

This cover cannot be considered a traveler’s notebook, because the inner elastics are not present. I suppose I could have specified that feature to be added, but I specifically wanted this to be for my Weeks. Without the Weeks, this works quite well as a travel wallet. Perhaps the only thing I forgot to request is a penloop, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. You could also point out that this does not have any way to store coins, but again it’s not really a deal-breaker since I don’t like carrying coins around anyway. In an emergency, the gusseted pocket can temporarily hold the coins. This is my most expensive SLC piece to date, and rightly so!

Kudos again to Sunday Leather Craft for a wonderful masterpiece!

 

TN Setup: July 2016

As I have mentioned in my last EDC post, I have moved back into the Foxyfix Wanderlust in Espresso. I have decided to streamline my carry and only bring along the most active of my pocket inserts. Let me show you how my TN is currently set up.

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As you can see from the photos, the TN has gotten a lot more dings and indentations in the leather. It’s starting to show use and character! Here’s a view of the top of the TN, where my tabs and bookmarks are shown.

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When first opened, the Foxyfix vinyl dashboard is revealed. In the front part I have a scrap piece of decorated cardstock as well as my car maintenance booklet whose front cover fits just right in the dashboard.

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Inside the dashboard, after the car maintenance booklet, is my first insert. This Word. notebook serves as my current Book of Lists, and holds stuff like wishlists, addresses, package tracker, quotes, and things like that.

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The back of the vinyl dashboard is yet another piece of scrap cardstock. The next insert is an Alunsina lined insert which serves as a record of my hobby expenses. I used a pink paperclip to denote my current place in this book.

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The next insert is my blog planner, which is a small unlined Moleskine cahier notebook. I’m still continuing in my current format, which I find to be really how I like planning my blog.

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The last insert is an Alunsina graph insert which is my current journal insert. I’m nearly to the end of this book, and I’m already considering what my next one will be.

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And here is the very back of the TN. I’ve started decorating the journal insert since I’m about to finish it, and I really like how this vintage-y sticker looks against the bright blue of the insert.

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At this point I’m very happy with my current setup. This will probably change as soon as I feel uncomfortable with one part of it or another, but at the moment this is what works for me.

 

Stationery Haul from BeeHappy Crafts

Shopping is a major weakness of mine, and it was almost inevitable that I would find BeeHappy Crafts irresistible. They have such a large selection of crafty things, and they have not neglected the stationery lovers. Here’s what I got for my first order.

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Washi tapes and stickers are a no-brainer, and I am quite happy with my finds. In addition I got an Amy Tangerine clear stamp set, mostly because I wanted a stamp of a world map. I also took this opportunity to get two sets of postcards and finally try out a Distress Stain (shade name is Brushed Corduroy). I finally bit the bullet when I saw that the map stamp was about to run out of stock. Ironically, that stamp set is the only one I have yet to use in this haul!

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At the end of the same month, I could not help but get yet another order. Again, it was because my target stamp set was about to run out of stock, and in this case it was the Bo Bunny postage clear stamp set. While I was making the order anyway, I also got this Kelly Purkey Coffee and Donuts rubber stamp set, which I had been eyeing for a long time now. I also got a second Distress Stain since I was really happy with the first; this one is called Weathered Wood. The tags and that cute little cow thing at the corner are freebies (I also got freebies from the first order, but I neglected to include it in the photo).

I’m really happy with BeeHappy (ha!), and it’s taking all my willpower to stop browsing the store again. There’s still a lot there that I want to buy!

 

After 3 Months of Hobonichi Weeks

In my last Hobonichi Weeks post, I showed how I used the Weeks for planning. I’m now in my fourth month of using the Weeks as my main work and personal planner, and so far it seems to be working well. I wanted to update you on how I am using the various sections after three months of planning with the Weeks.

Monthly View

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I use the monthly view in much the same way as I did for these three months. I just write in notable events or major meetings on the boxes. The list boxes on the lower right side holds my monthly tasks or goals. The circles mark the days when I was able to avoid spending money on hobby stuff (notebooks, TNs, stickers, washi, pens). I am almost out of these nice transparent circle stickers, hence the hodgepodge of colors used in this month. Lastly, I still have not found any use for the left margin.

Weekly View

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Nothing has changed much in my use of the weekly pages. The left side holds my events and meetings as well as my coffee and meal trackers, while the right side holds my task list (squares) and bullet journal (circles). I added reminders on both the bottom of the left side and the top of the right side, although on most weeks it does not really help me remember and I need a better way to highlight these areas.

Brain Dump

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A new section had come up suddenly, the Brain Dump section, and it went into the blank pages before April. I don’t really brain dump everyday, but I do this whenever I feel particularly disorganized at work. In a future Weeks book this will probably be transferred to the Notes pages at the end of the book.

Wishlist

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In the hopes of controlling my spending, I dedicated a page in the Notes area to be my wishlist.

Snail Mail

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Lastly, I added another page to be my Snail Mail tracker. This is where I try to keep track of which penpals I have not yet replied to, so I know how much behind I am with my correspondences.

At this point in my Weeks use, I feel like I really may have found my planner peace. I love how compact and light the Weeks is, and how tolerant the paper is to most gel pens and fountain pens. At the beginning of the second half of the year, I feel pretty confident that I will be staying with the Weeks for planning my 2017.

 

After 1 Year of Traveler’s Notebooks

This post is about two months late, but I’d like to share my thoughts after a year of delving deep into the world of traveler’s notebooks.

How It All Started

My very first TN was actually the Alunsina Mini-Kislap, a local maker of beautiful hand-tooled leather journals, and I got it around February of 2015. It was my first foray into traveler’s notebooks. Shortly after that, I got my first Midori (brown passport size). From there it went pretty much downhill.

Settling Into A Preferred Size

At some point around the middle of that first year, I went on a buying spree and basically tried out all the locally produced brands of TN in standard size. It was after doing the write-up that I realized standard size was not really something I was comfortable with. It took me about a month to finally accept that pocket size is my preferred size.

Venturing International

Once I had determined my preferred size, I started looking to try out international brands as well. I was able to try out Speckled Fawns, Zenkraft (although not pocket size), Jot, Chic Sparrow, and Foxyfix. My main conclusion from this is that there are really a lot of leather variations out there, and at this point there aren’t a lot of variety available locally.

My Current Collection

At this point, I really do have quite a lot of traveler’s notebooks of various sizes. I honestly cannot really keep them all in rotation, and while I do need a few to hold my completed journals, I probably have too many for comfort and sanity.

Happy national notebook day!

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I’m looking at a future downsize at some point. I really need to evaluate my needs against my wants, and whittle down the collection into a more manageable size.

 

The Sunday Currently #24

June was rather hectic in both work and outside work. I was able to go on a beach vacation with family which was a good interlude and broke up the relentless rhythm for a bit.

Reading

That said, I did get a few things done on the reading end, although most of them are comics.

Journey Into Mystery Volumes 1 and 2 – A story about Loki when he was resurrected into a young boy. As Kid Loki he had very little of his god powers but has all of his wits and wile. The premise was interesting, and the ending was very emotional for me. Kieron Gillen is a genius writer!

Young Avengers – Since I enjoyed Kieron Gillen’s Kid Loki story, I decided to see what came next and he appears in Young Avengers next. I did not like this as much as Journey Into Mystery, primarily because of the very confusing montage when his group was traveling through dimensions.

The Girl With All the Gifts – I had been looking at this book by M.R. Carey at the bookstores for quite some time now, and finally I decided to pick it up. I originally wanted to read this because the title (and the blurb) led me to believe that it’s a paranormal story about some girl. It turns out to be completely different, but good different, since it turns out to be a post-apocalyptic story instead (one of my favorite genres). I got my husband to read this right after I finished it, and he absolutely loved it as well!

Fantastic Four and Future Foundation – In the same thread of reading comics, my husband recommended me to read these two (series of) titles by Jonathan Hickman. If you know Fantastic Four, then basically the premise is that this is the time when they were older and the Richards had kids. The plot is quite involved and almost rather convoluted since at some point it alternated between Fantastic Four and Future Foundation, but it was awesome and I loved the entire thing.

I really like reading comics, because it seems like it takes me less time to sit down and finish stuff compared to reading novels. I’m probably going to continue going through my husband’s recommended comics reading list, while hopefully getting in a novel or two per month.

Writing

As per my last post, I’m reinvigorated with my journaling because of my decision to incorporate some creativity into it. I’m enjoying this activity a lot! Aside from that, I got myself another journal called Q&A A Day: 5-Year Journal where the idea is that you will briefly answer a question daily. There is space for five answers per question for the five years that this journal is intended to be used, and it would be interesting to see how my answers change for each question over the years. I like this journal and I’ve incorporated it into my nightly routine so hopefully I can keep up with the entries.

Watching

The biggest thing for me this month was watching Warcraft: The Beginning. As a long-time player of both Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft, this movie was a must-see. I have to say that I saw it through rose-colored glasses, and loved everything! Of course there are issues such as the rather weak plot development, but I’m hoping that things will become clearer for the planned sequels.

We also saw Finding Dory with my daughter. It was an enjoyable film, and I really like how it handled the concept of disability. It gave me some insights into the disabled culture, and how families with disabled kids cope and adapt. It’s probably not going to be my favorite animated film by any stretch, but it was definitely worth seeing.

Clicking

I’ve suddenly been consumed with the wish to collect reaction gifs, so I started browsing the vast reaches of the internet. Here’s a couple of my favorites, both found through reactiongifs.com.

because tastes nasty

Wearing

I got myself a new pair of shoes for the office, and it’s called the Yogi style from the brand Parisian. It’s a nice pair of shiny black platform shoes that go well with officewear and skirts. It gives a bit of a height boost, without the strain brought by regular high heels or pumps. It does give me footaches if I walk in it for some time, but I mostly sit at a desk while at work so it’s all good. For photo reference here’s an old post by Anagon that covered the release of this shoe.

Thinking

World and local news are really quite depressing nowadays. I don’t really want to discuss them here, but rest assured that they weigh heavily in my mind.

Wanting

I want to buy more stuff! I’m feeling the itch to get new traveler’s notebooks (I totally don’t need new ones!), stationery (I have too much already!), and pens (again I have too much already!). I need to find a way to not give in to this itch!

Feeling

Super tired! Now that my daughter has finally started school again, that means I need to wake up earlier to help her get ready for pick up by her school bus. That means less or interrupted sleep for me! I probably just need to get used to it again, but I’m really feeling the effects of the routine change right now.

Hope you all have had a wonderful first half of 2016! Here’s to hoping that the second half will be better!

 

Creative Journaling: Pocket Size Edition

Instagram can really provide lots of beautiful inspiration, and the field of creative journaling is not exempt. I really love looking at other people’s journaling pages, and for some time I was hesitant to try it on my own. I just mostly did haphazard layouts without an overall theme to the page, and attached my ephemera randomly. This week I decided to try out layouts with specific themes, in my pocket sized journal (Alunsina Graph insert).

Before the ink: decorated a journal spread with a washi tape I got from @beehappycrafts. Loving all the envelopes!

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

Today's journal spread, before the ink.

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

My first two attempts took advantage of two of my newest washi tapes of envelopes and tickets. It’s basically just a series of different prints of envelopes and tickets, and I cut them up individually and interspersed them throughout the page.

 

Today's journal spread. Loving that cute sticker up top!

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

At some point I also incorporated some kawaii elements such as this adorable anime-ish sticker which served as the focal point of the layout.

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In my latest vacation I printed out some photos and attempted a bit of scrapbooking. I find it hilarious that I journaled about my journal in my journal.

I really enjoyed this little experiment, and I think I will continue doing themed spreads and scrapbook photos. I am planning to incorporate other techniques such as brush calligraphy and mixed media.