What’s in my craft case?

Lately I’ve realized that I have been lugging around such a huge and heavy bag everyday because of all my planning and crafting supplies. I even had two completely filled pencil cases, and the travel craft box! I really didn’t need to be bringing everything all the time, so I decided to downsize and consolidate my planning and crafting supplies to a single case too keep the weight down. Here is the case I chose.

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I like the fact that it’s very compact and small, which forced me to really consider what I think are the essentials. It is made of some thick linen-type cloth, and has a zipper that goes all the way around so it opens like a book. I think it really goes well with my Blue. I also like the fact that it’s slightly smaller than my travelers notebook.

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It measures 195x100mm when closed, and is currently around 35mm thick. (That’s about 7.75×4″, 1.25″ thick.) Let’s take a look at what I was able to fit in this case.

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First there is an expandable zipped pocket on the back. I tend to not use this and only put really flat items to keep it, well, flat. I have only this magnetic cat bookmark in here at the moment. Here is the case when fully opened:

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There are four elastic pen loops on the left side. At the moment I carry only three: a pink Pilot Petit3 brush pen, a 3-barrel Pilot Coleto, and a Pilot Metropolitan (ahem, Pilot fan). Only the Metro is fully inserted in the loops; the other two hang from the loops by their clips. On the right side of the case, there are four card slots. In the bottom slot I have a washi sample card full of my favorite slim washi and a portable box cutter which is again hanging on the pocket by its clip.

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The other three slots have the following: a Post-It Full Adhesive sticky note in the second pocket, a set of sticky tabs and some DIY stickers in the third pocket, and more stickers and page flags in the fourth pocket.

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The left side of the case actually has an expandable pocket under the pen loops. In there I was able to fit quite a bit of stickers and a set of sticky notes.

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The right side also has a pocket under the four slots, and in there are… more stickers. I really love stickers. These are the slightly larger sheets that I have.

There we go! I am really pleased with my craft case at the moment, and I feel that I do have the essentials all in there. There are a lot of options for cases (check out passport cases, travel wallets, and pencil cases), but I particularly like this one because it’s small but can still pack a lot.

I’m interested to see what’s inside your craft case! Leave a link to your post/photo in the comments below!

DIY Accessories For Your Traveler’s Notebook

When I got my Blue, I only got a blank notebook insert with the kit, and I neglected to order the usual accessories that one might like with one’s traveler’s notebook. I had been previously successful ordering accessories for my Midori Passport from pencils.jp, but this time I thought I would try making my own accessories first. If it failed, then maybe I’ll go place an order.

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The first thing that usually comes to mind when accessorizing a traveler’s notebook is the zip pocket to hold various items such as stickers, sticky notes, and even pens. I went to my trusty local bookstore (National Bookstore) and found a few items that might be good candidates for such a project.

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This is a clear zip pocket from Lihit Labs Aquadrops line, and it measures about 11.2x21cm (4.3×8.25″) which is rather perfect for the Midori regular size. The material seems to be sturdy and the zip mechanism is good. It comes in a variety of colors, and costs Php95. I bought a couple of these, in pink and blue.

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I attached the pink one to a relatively small pencil case I found in the same bookstore. I just basically used some clear tape to connect the two cases, but giving ample room in between (about 1.8 cm or 0.75″) as I was planning this to be the outermost in my Blue. Here they are in action.

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The pink Aquadrops zip pocket holds Post Its, a few sheets of stickers, and some other ephemera. This is the first one you will see when you open up the Blue. The partner pencil case is located all the way at the very back of the TN. This one holds the random pen that I sometimes slot in, some page flags and a few loose stickers, and some extra elastic bands.

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I also wanted a few extra pockets in my traveler’s notebooks, the type that can be considered dashboards if I wanted it, or just plain pockets if I need extra flat things to bring along. I found these clear card cases of various sizes, also at National Bookstore. They come in the standard paper sizes (A5, A6, etc, B5, B6, etc) and the measurements are clearly stated in the cards that are inserted. These are not really very expensive; the A5 is Php13.75, the B6 is Php11.75, and the B8 is Php5.50. In this particular example, I used a pair of the B6 clear card cases to make a dashboard insert.

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This is the finished dashboard insert. Again I attached the two sides with strong clear tape, but this time the separation is just 1 cm or 0.5″, as I was only intending this to go around a single notebook insert. The B6 size is quite wide, so I trimmed the outer edges, cutting out around 25mm worth of plastic. Here it is in action.

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As I mentioned it goes around only one notebook insert, in this case the journal insert. As you can see the bottom photo shows the pencil case side of the first DIY zip pocket insert I made.

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The third accessory I wanted to make is just a plain sort of sleeve that I can slide a card or something similarly sized in. I used the B8 clear card case, and basically just used a glue runner around the edges and attached it on the cover of an insert.

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As you can see, here it holds one of my cute paperclips (this one was a freebie from @dolcesonline IG). It can also hold an ID card or any B8-sized item that I wanted to slot in. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect this can be removed and reglued into another location since I just used a clear adhesive.

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Lastly, I wanted the option to replace the elastic closure of the traveler’s notebook. I found a couple of these colored elastics (still at National Bookstore, in their sewing materials section), which I unfortunately have forgotten how much they each cost. They should not have been more than Php50 each, I am sure. There’s a good amount of elastic in each pack, more than enough to make a few replacement elastic closures for your traveler’s notebook. What I did is to just measure the same amount of elastic as the one that originally came with my TN, which I took out and measured. I then made a simple knot, and threaded it the same manner into the back of the TN, and now I get a new elastic closure!

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These elastics are not as good quality as the original one, but since I have a lot of leftover elastic it should be no effort at all to make new ones once the old ones wear out. I’m on the hunt for new colors now!

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I keep my extra elastics in the pencil case insert. Just as a reference, here are the two adhesives that I used for this DIY post. A strong clear tape with a width of 1.8cm (0.75″) and my favorite brand of glue runner.

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If you have any questions about any of these DIY accessories, just leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as best I can!

Planners and Journals July Planner Kit

It’s that time of the month! I received my PnJ July Planner Kit just in the nick of time, on the last day of June. It gave me just enough time to set up my planner for July. These are the contents of the July Planner Kit.

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July’s theme is Japanese, which I absolutely love. I’m a huge fan of anything Japanese. This month’s kit came in the usual kraft box, and the kit contents are neatly wrapped in this wax paper bag sealed with a washi tape. I like that the PnJ kits are starting to be similarly packaged as the popular international planner kits that I’ve been seeing around the internet.

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Inside that big wax bag are these. Some of the contents are wrapped in smaller wax bags, which are a nice touch.

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Here are the contents, in no particular order. First we have a duo of products from the instagram shop @dolcesonline: a Pilot Juice 0.5 pen in Baby Pink and an MT slim washi tape. It’s my first experience with a Juice pen, and I’ve been hearing a lot of good feedback about this pen so I’m very happy to get to try one. I’m also a huge fan of MT brand washi tape, and also of slim washi in general, so this MT slim washi tape just hits the spot!

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Next we have a super cute planner charm from @genndesigns. It’s a tiny wooden kokeshi doll decorated with a few beads. I love kokeshi dolls and this was immediately attached to my Midori Blue.

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Next we have a handmade bookmark from @bookmarks.planners, who is a paper recycling advocate. This ningyogami (Japanese paper dolls) bookmark is absolutely stunning, and made with different paper products.

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I just also wanted to show the back of the bookmark. The detail work is just awesome, as you can see that her hair goes all the way down her back, and still shows the back of her kimono. I’m a little afraid to use this because it’s just so beautiful!

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The next ones are a couple of cardstocks designed by the PnJ team. I always appreciate the cardstocks as I can always use them for all sorts of things such as pencil boards and bookmarks. This month we have origami designs on pale backgrounds.

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There is of course the insert. This month I got the regular sized insert for my Midori Blue (as opposed to the previous months’ passport sized inserts). The cover is a beautiful blue wave design with a cute kokeshi doll in the corner. That writing on the side is actually my name written in katakana, such a great touch!

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What was interesting about this month’s insert is that it’s printed! It has an undated day-on-two-pages layout, which is similar to my June insert layout. I love the overall Japanese aesthetics, and the boxes all seem to be things I can use and there are still enough space to add my own decorations.

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It also included a flyleaf filled with kokeshi themed transparent stickers! Stickers are of course always welcome, and I really love the theme here!

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Lastly we have the contents of the second small wax bag, which is from Planners and Journals themselves. It has a couple of nicely designed pockets that can be used for various purposes such as project life or even for planners. One is a pink floral square pocket with a string closure mechanism and the other is a blue and white wave pattern pocket. Pictured with these are a pack of cute printed origami sheets that can be used for many things as well, and a Fullmark Japanese gluey tape (!!!).  I love this glue tape to bits! I have a few backups of this already, and am quite happy to add one more to my stash!

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There we have it! I can see myself using all of the items in this box, and in fact I have already settled myself in the July insert. I’ll show you my July setup in a separate post. Here again are all the contents of the July kit.

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I paid a total of Php830 for my box, which is broken down as follows: Php700 (standard TN size, trial subscription) + Php80 shipping fee + Php50 Paypal fee. I really feel that this box is super worth it with all the cute contents, and the theme is absolutely lovely. You can check out more about Planners and Journals and their products at their Facebook page.

My traveling craft supplies storage box

The very first question is, do I carry a craft box every day? Prior to my getting this storage box, no, but I did carry with me a crap ton of craft supplies in various pouches and envelopes that clatter around in my work bag. It is for this reason that I went around looking for a box to begin with.

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This is the box I’ve been talking about. It’s a three-tier plastic box measuring 15cm x 15cm x 13 cm. Each tier is customizable, up to six compartments if you use all dividers, and connects to the tier above (or to the cover) by two clasps on the sides. You can actually extend the levels of this if you buy more, just attach more tiers since all the tiers are constructed exactly the same. This was originally intended for loom bands and their components, and that’s in fact where I found it, in the loom band section of Toys R Us!

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For size comparison, here is the box compared to a single Daiso washi tape. (Note my really cute wallpaper. No, that’s not my cat.) Let me show you what I currently have in this box.

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The first tier holds a few of my smaller washi tapes. In particular I really love the slim MT washi tapes in the lower right corner. I was able to squeeze in a couple of wooden stamps in two of the top compartments.

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The second tier is my stamping supply storage. I have two Artline stamp pads in the lower left corner and four smaller Love Qiao Shou stamp pads squeezed in everywhere. There’s a roller phrase stamp on the bottom right and a Muji rectangular label stamp in the upper right. Those things in the upper left, when spread out, are these:

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That’s a square acrylic block for mounting clear stamps, and the lid of a Muji puncher container to protect my acrylic block. Below are a few of my clear stamps. A Hello Kitty set and a couple of bunches of clear stamps that I am currently liking. I just cut out those clear folders from card cases.

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Lastly, the third tier is my stickers storage. I keep all my loose stickers here, which basically means all stickers that don’t come in a sheet. This includes sticker flakes (stored here separately in small plastic bags), my own DIY stickers, and random other stickers that I got from kits and boxes. There’s a lot of room in here, which means I probably will move these stickers around or something, or put in even more stickers!

I really love this storage box! To be honest I don’t bring this around with me everyday. I just bring this to work on Mondays, and bring it back home on Fridays. One of the perks of this box is it keeps my stuff in one place instead of several pouches, it’s fairly light, and it’s easy to just bring in and out of bags. The best part? I paid only Php100 for it, as it was on sale!

Planners and Journals May Planner Kit

Yes, I found yet another planner subscription service! Planners and Journals is an online store specializing in customized planner inserts for ringed planners (Filofax, Kikki K, Franklin Covey, etc) as well as fauxdoris (non-Midori traveler’s notebooks) and their refills. They have recently expanded to planner kits, and this May Planner Kit is their first. I was a little confused at first, because I was expecting to get my kit in May (as the name suggested), but apparently it was so named because it will give you the inserts you will use for the month of May! Naturally it arrived before May so that you have enough time to set up your planner with the included stuff.

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My kit arrived in this nice kraft box, with a twine and a thank you tag. I have a very good idea of what was going to be included, because they released the list of contents on their facebook page. The only surprise I had was what form my refills were going to be, since I had a traveler’s notebook instead of a ringed planner; the inserts they previewed were for a ringed planner.

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What greeted me upon opening the box was a pretty lengthy welcome letter personally signed by Summer. Here are the rest of the contents, in order of my favorites.

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Review: Pink Paper Box Spring Summer Fling (April)

Heads up, there’s a new subscription box in town! This is Pink Paper Box, a planner and crafting oriented monthly subscription box, and it’s very new. This month’s box titled Spring Summer Fling is only the second, but I’m already quite hooked!

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How does Pink Paper Box work? Sign ups happen over at the Pink Paper Box website (Facebook) and submitted through a google form. The subscriptions cost Php500 (1 month), Php1450 (3 months) or Php2850 (6 months), and this fee already includes the shipping. Owner and main girl Marrien is very hands-on and personal, and will keep in touch with you regarding your subscription.

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Want to know what’s in this intriguing April box? Read on ahead! (Warning, a LOT of images ahead!)

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Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions

Summer is the time for workshops and not just for kids! Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions, in partnership with Manila Workshops, is a weekend arts and crafts workshop series happening every Sunday beginning April 19 (this weekend!) and will run until May 10. Sessions are 1PM to 5PM. These workshops are for anyone who’s into arts and crafts, or who’d like to get started on them. They will be conducted by some of Manila’s finest artists, and will be held at several restaurants at Tuscany, the awesome strip of dining establishments at Upper McKinley Road.

One of the things you can learn is basic brush calligraphy, conducted by Mimai Cabugnason (check out her work at IG @chrrrmaine) at Marciano’s.

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Other workshops available include:

  • basics of doodling: Nelz Yumul of WeeWillDoodle, at Lucky’s Burger Bar
  • basic paper cutting: Hey Kessy, at Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes
  • rubber stamping: Manila Workshops, at Sophie’s Mom
  • acrylic and oil: The Artologist, at Sauceria
  • DIY tote bag designing: Nica Cosio, at Sophie’s Mom

Interested? Register for the Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions at manilaworkshops.com or 09266167720. For Basic Paper Cutting, contact Hey Kessy at www.heykessy.com. For those taking part in the Acrylic and Oil Sessions, register by emailing theartologist@yahoo.com or by calling 09165673351.

Workshops are Php2000 per session inclusive of food, art kits, and materials. Only 10 slots are available per workshop, so register now!

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This is the press kit I received. It may or may not be the same kit you will receive in your brush calligraphy workshop.

 

Disclaimer: I was invited to the press launch of Summer Art Sessions, which included samplings of selected workshops mentioned above plus press kits.

What I Packed: Crafting (Caribbean 2015)

This is the last of my What I Packed series for my latest Caribbean trip. I can’t go on without talking about what I brought for my crafting and writing needs.

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Most of these are packed in my checked in luggage, especially the green mesh bag as it contains my scissors. It had a too-long blade which means I can’t bring it with me on the plane cabin. In any case let’s start with the notebooks.

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As you can see I brought a lot. Clockwise from the top left: Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook (which came with me in my purse), an Acryl Ringnotes refillable notebook (I think this is A5 sized) which was for my work notes, a black lined Moleskine notebook which is my personal journal, a black dot-grid Copelle notebook which is my art journal, and two unopened sets of Venzi Flexy2 notebook refills for my traveler’s notebook. Only the first three were actually used. I had underestimated just how busy I was going to be in this trip that I simply didn’t have the time to try any lettering (in the Copelle) or do as much journaling as I wanted. Let’s move on to my pencil cases.

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This first one is the pencil case part of the Filed pen roll I recently bought. In it are, from the top: three Frixion stamps, a magnetic bookmark, a black Pilot G-Tec-C3, a black Pilot Drawing Pen, a black Daiso marker, three colored Frixion Point pens, a Faber-Castell eraser pen, a Staedtler pencil, and an extendable plastic ruler. Again, most of these were left unused, except for the Frixion pens, the magnetic bookmark, and the G-Tec.

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The other pencil case is a very slim Bear Huggs pencil case and contained only three Frixion Point pens. These came with me in my purse, and was used mainly with my traveler’s notebook. Lastly, we come to my craft bag.

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This is a green mesh bag that I borrowed from my daughter. In it are a pack of stickers (most are from Toys R Us), my long-bladed scissors, seven rolls of medium-width washi tape, six rolls of slim washi tape, and three planner clips. Now these were all used, I think, since I did have time to play with my planner. As I mentioned earlier, these were packed in my checked in bag because of the scissors.

There we have it! Thanks for checking out what I packed in my trip!