Friday, October 13, 2017 0 comments

$5 Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal Alternative at Michaels

If you're a member of any bullet journaling Facebook groups, you've probably heard about this already. However, I only follow a few minimalist bullet journalists on Instagram, so I hadn't heard of it until I hopped on YouTube for something else (bullet-journal-related) a few days ago. So, in case you're like me and have been hiding under a rock, let me tell you some pretty exciting news:

Michaels has come out with a $5 alternative to the Leuchtturm1917!

Funny thing is, I was just at Michaels looking at their notebooks the day before I heard about it on YouTube. I didn't see them. So, I happened to be in the neighborhood the next day (honest!), and I went searching for them. Would you believe I had actually stood in front of the display the day before and didn't know what I was looking at? There was nothing to indicate what they were inside. They looked like all the other sketchbooks that Michaels carries, and they were actually below eye level on the end cap.

If your store doesn't have them yet, you can order it online. But trust me - our stores are always the last to get anything, so your store probably has it.

And here's the ironic thing about it all: I was doing research on journals because I was thinking about adding a fancy one (hello, Leuchtturm1917) to my Christmas list. At this price, I don't need to wait until Christmas. And I can go through two in a year (if needed) without putting a crimp in my spending money.

But a few burning questions remained: How does it compare to the Leuchtturm1917? Is the paper a lot cheaper? Will my pens bleed through the paper? Will the pages fall out? Will it lay flat as I work through it?

YouTube came to the rescue again. PlanningWithLove did research and discovered that it's made from the same paper quality as the Leuchtturm1917. Bonus: It's bright white instead of off-white. I much prefer bright white paper.

There is a very slight size difference, but it probably all evens out in the end. It's slightly bigger than the Leuchtturm1917 one way and slightly smaller the other way.

There are several colors to choose from, but I chose basic black for this first one. It goes with everything I own, so it made sense. If there was a yellow, I probably would have opted for that instead.

There are two ideal bullet journal insides to choose from: dot grid and graph. I prefer the added structure of the graph lines because it helps me to keep my writing straight, instead of angling upwards or downwards (a bad habit of mine). The lines (or dots) aren't an overpowering color, just enough to guide you without distracting the eye when you're looking at the completed page.

I'm not planning to start using my new journal until 2018, but I've started working on a plan for what works, what doesn't, and what I need to add to my next bullet journal. In preparation, I also decided to do a pen test page. I chose the last page in the journal, as some other bullet journalists recommend. This way, if something bleeds through, it's no big deal. You're not ruining a usable page. Here's that page so far:

A note about how long this will last me: My current journal (a graph composition book from Wal-Mart) has 200 pages. I've been doing six months in each of those before starting a new one, but there have always been a decent amount of empty pages leftover (just not enough for another six months). This has 49 more pages, so I may be able to get a whole year out of it. I'm a math geek, so here's how I figured this:

249 pages - 12 months (2 pgs/monthly spread) - 52 weeks (approx. 2 pgs/week), 12 months of check registers (approx. 2 pgs/month) - 12 monthly budget pages - 4 future log pages (for the entire year) = 168 pages used, with 81 pages left for collections

That sounds like it might work, but I'll see how full it is when June rolls around. As I said earlier, it won't break the bank to use two per year.

One thing I wasn't sure about was how to carry a pen around with the new journal. Then I saw a few hacks on Pinterest. The first one involved a binder clip along the side of the journal, mounted out just far enough for your pen's cap clip to fit through. Sorry I don't remember where I saw this one, but it's probably been around for awhile with several people re-blogging it.

The other idea involves angling the elastic closure across the front of the journal and hooking your pen onto that. I actually saw this on one of Ryder Carroll's YouTube Q&A's.

I'm trying to think of something nice to do with the first page after the index. I'm leaning toward adding in a beautiful cardfront that was given to me for my 40th birthday two months ago. That way, I can enjoy it all next year. If you bullet journal, I'd love to hear what YOU do with your first page.

P.S. If money isn't an issue some year, I'll probably buy an official bullet journal as a thank you to Ryder Carroll for developing the bullet journal system and offering all the information for free. You can find them here, if you'd like to show your gratitude that way, too.
Saturday, July 22, 2017 0 comments

New Bullet Journal Weekly Spread

This week I'm trying out a new spread in my bullet journal. This was inspired by journalphine from Instagram.

I wanted something a little more decorative than my usual minimalist rolling weeks. I hope this works well for me because I love the look of it!

Supplies: washi tape: Dollar Tree; pens: Triplus Fineliner (small details), promotional PaperMate Flair (headlines); highlighter: Promarx; journal: cut down from a Wal-Mart graph composition book
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 0 comments

Custom Bullet Journal

Yes, it has been a long time since my last post. A lot has transpired, and I may post about it someday, but I'm going to just get right to the point of this post: my newest bullet journal.

I'm a paper snob. I have always loved paper, but I have always wanted paper to feel a certain way when I write on it. I'm also frugal (i.e. sometimes too cheap for my own good), and I can't bear the idea of spending nearly $20 or more on a notebook whose paper may not feel good to me.

If you're familiar with the bullet journaling community, you probably recognize names like Moleskin and Leuchtturm. I don't have a local source to feel them before I buy, and I've already found a paper that I love that doesn't bleed through when I use my PaperMate Flair or Triplus Fineliners on it. Surprisingly, I found it at Wal-Mart. It's a graph composition notebook with 100 sheets, and it costs a whopping $0.97 as of today.

The only problem is that a full-sized composition notebook is a bit big to carry around with me everywhere. I used one (actually two different notebooks) for the last year, but I now need portability, too.

I've thought about this for a few days. I need a new journal for July, and I don't have much time left. Fortunately, the right solution came to me last night. Basically, I tore apart a new graph composition book (the exact one that I love), cut it down to the size I needed, and then put it back together.

Let me walk you through the process, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel if you ever want to do this yourself.

First of all, I used a seam-ripper to cut the threads that hold it together in the middle.

Then I pulled the pages away from the cover and clipped the threads that wouldn't pull off.

Now it was time to cut down the pages and the cover. I needed it to fit into this folio cover, so I measured the ideal dimensions:

Then it was time to cut the pages and cover. I measured out from the "spine" where the binding holes were and cut everything to the right size. My paper cutter can handle the composition book cover, but you need to know if yours can handle it. If not, you may end up breaking your paper cutter. That would make your notebook signficiantly more expensive, so please don't make that mistake.

With all of that out of the way, it was time to reassemble everything.

The first thing you want to do is use a large, sharp needle to poke holes on the cover from the inside out. Otherwise, you won't know where to insert your needle from the outside, and the process will be very frustrating.

Now you should be ready to sew it back up. Use a large, sharp needle and strong thread. I used upholstery thread, but hand quilting thread should work fine, too. And, of course, bookbinding thread would work perfectly, if you have some on hand.

Here it is, all sewn up:

I chose to round my corners, too, but that's just a personal preference.

And that's really all there is to it. Here's my new bullet journal, all ready to start writing in:

I hope that helps someone else. If nothing else, it will remind me next time how I did it!
Friday, October 7, 2016 0 comments

Etsy: A Cowl and a Scarf

I just listed two more items in my Etsy shop and thought I'd share them here, in case you're shopping for your fall or winter wardrobe.

This cowl is almost identical to one that I made for myself and absolutely LOVE.

It is made from polyester yarns. The inside fuzzy part was knit, while the outside dangling part was crocheted.

This is a very full scarf/cowl that will make a wonderful statement piece for your wardrobe.

It measures approximately 82" around the inside, so there is plenty of room for any size woman. I am an XS and like it best triple-looped (as shown), but it would easily work for plus-sized gals just double-looped.

You can find it in my shop here:

This scarf is also made from polyester yarn. It measures approximately 80" long, but it isn't as full because I only used one type of yarn.

This would be perfect if you prefer your scarves to be slightly less full.

You can find this one in my shop here:

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, September 29, 2016 0 comments

Etsy: Hazelnut Mocha Cabled AG Sweater

I finished another doll sweater and it's live in the shop now.

This one features a cable design in the front and a foldover cowl neck.

There are cables running the length of the 3/4-length sleeves, too.

If you'd Iike to add this to your collection, you can find it in my shop here:

posted from Bloggeroid


Ice Blue AG Sweater in the Shop

I just added the first of several 18" doll sweaters to my Etsy shop. I love to knit these sweaters, and I hope they bring some little girls hours of pleasure.

This is an ice blue cabled sweater, perfect for those chilly nights of ice skating ahead.

It features a double cable design in the front and the back.

There is also a cable running the length of each arm.

If you'd like to add this sweater to your doll's (or daughter's) collection, you can find it in my shop here:

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 0 comments

Shop Update: Handknit Fall Dishcloth Sets for Sale

It's been a few years since I added anything to my Etsy shop. (I sold all of my vintage sheets when we moved from our previous home.)

Recently I've been bitten by the dishcloth knitting bug and decided to list some sets in my Etsy shop.

The first set is a basketweave design. Bonus: The design is reversible, so it looks good from any angle.

You can find this set in the shop here:

The second set is a textured design that is good for scrubbing dishes. It's also reversible, looking exactly the same on both sides.

You can find this set in the shop here:

Each set is $9 with shipping figured in. They would make an excellent Thanksgiving hostess gift, if you're planning to spend the holiday at someone else's home. Of course, you could just treat yourself to some new dishcloths, too!

If you're interested in different colors for your dishcloths, I'm happy to discuss special orders. You can send me a message on Etsy, if that interests you.

posted from Bloggeroid