Category Archives: stationery

Catching up and Crochet Mood Blanket 2014

Hi all!

This year is off to a great start. I am a week into my very first practical training regarding the practical nurse degree that I am in the middle of. More on that a little later. ๐Ÿ™‚

We celebrate Christmas pretty much the same way everybody else in Finland does. We prepare all of the food ourselves (I think it’s close to a sacrilege to eat store bought!). I make potato and rutabaga casseroles (liver and carrot casseroles are also traditional Xmas food, but liver casserole is part of our everyday, and nobody in our family really likes carrot casserole), rosolli salad with hard-boiled eggs and whipped cream, gravlax, herring, mustard and rice porridge. My man J is the master at preparing the ham.

Herring and mustard from xmas 2012Christmas tree get its decorations by the 23rd, at the latest and this year was no exception. Usually the elves have snuck in one present for each kid the previous night (to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls waiting for Santa ๐Ÿ™‚ ). We start the day with rice porridge with cinnamon, sugar and milk. Then it’s TV time, the day is packed with shows that air every year and cannot ever be missed! ๐Ÿ˜€ After Xmas sauna and dinner, it’s Santa time! There have been times that we have been in the sauna and he has just left the presents under the tree, but this year we were lucky enough to be home and the man himself had also a few minutes to spare before heading to his next destination. ๐Ÿ™‚ Judging by the pressie piles, the little ones had been good all year! The rest of the evening is spent in PJ’s, playing with the whole family, eating some more, burning candles and just chilling.

On Christmas day we headed first to my parents’ house along with my three siblings and their families, and later to my in-laws.

New year’s was also spent @home making tortillas, casting the predictive tins, shooting fireworks. I was the first to go to bed, well before midnight (and it wasn’t the first time, either!) ๐Ÿ™‚

My predictive tinI hope this tin means that I get to work with old people, and not become one myself just yet!

So after the luxury of three week holiday, it was time to get back into routine. The kids went back to kindergarten and were greeted with very sad news of one of their teacher’s tragic and untimely passing during the holiday. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They had a priest come and talk to the kids about it and answer any questions they had. I don’t think neither of mine really understood the real deal, though.

On a happier note, hubby went back to work as usual and I started my six week long practical training. I’m at an retirement home, taking care of those living in there. It’s very versatile and rewarding. It’s awesome to think that I can be a part of someone’s everyday life as it’s coming to an end. During the first week I mostly just got to know the people there, getting familiar with everyone’s names, routines and likings. I’ve done morning and evening shifts for now, and by the end of the week I had even gotten to deal with a few residents by myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ The best part of it all is noticing them getting to know me, and asking for my help. I think that shows some trust, and I am privileged to be worthy of that trust. I am looking forward to the next five weeks, the last of which I’ll be giving my examination, which I’ll be graded on. Exciting!

I’m taking part in the Crochet Mood Blanket 2014! It’s a granny square project that goes on on Instagram (#crochetmoodblanket2014) and Facebook (Crochet Mood Blanket 2014 group). So far there are almost 2,500 members on the FB group, and over 6,000 pictures under the hashtag on Instagram!

The idea is to make a granny square each day (or one a week) of the color(s) that best suit your mood on that day. Then at the end of the year (or sooner if one is using the join-as-you-go method ๐Ÿ˜€ ) the squares are sewn together (in a chronologic order) and ta-dah! you I have a mood blanket! At first I planned to make one square a week, but after the first day I was literally hooked and have been going at square-a-day pace. It’s so addictive! And to have a clear goal and timeline – as well as all of the support of both of the communities – makes it easy-peasy to actually finish this project.

A few grannies A few more granniesI chose “Queen Anne’s lace” from Jan Eaton’s book “200 crochet blocks” as my pattern. At this point I think I’ll be doing all of my squares the same, but that might change over the course of the year ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m using Novita’s Wool/Nalle as my yarn, and with a 4 mm hook, my squares are approximately 15 cm by 15 cm in size. I’m doing 10 in a row, and will be joining them with a simple sc join (with white). The blanket’s gonna be HUUUUGE! I might do one that’s 10 blocks wide and 20 blocks high, and then do something else with the rest of the squares. I might not.

Of course I wanted to include my Travelers Notebook in this as well, so I’m taking notes of the colors I’m using, along with the reasons why I chose those colors. It will be fun to look back at it in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mood Blanket notesAll in all, I welcome the year 2014 with open arms and have a feeling that it’s gonna be great.

Midori Traveler’s Notebook

In a previous post I plucked up the courage to go public with my stationery nerdiness (partly because not many of my “real life peeps” read this blog ๐Ÿ˜€ ). This continues.

After posting a couple of photos of my planner on one of the lovely communities I’m privileged to be a part of, I had a request for doing a blog post on it. So here goes; a journey inside my Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

When I first saw one of these (a little over a year ago?) on one of Crazy Suburban Mom’s awesome YouTube videos, I was still using a Filofax. It was going not so well; I hadn’t really figured out the perfect system for me and I wasn’t using it effectively. So when I realised that there was life beyond Filofaxes – and beautiful life, I might add, I just had to dig deeper. A little googling led me to Patrick Ng’s Flickr feed and blog – a point of no return.

I found an online store in The Netherlands that carries a lot of the inserts, and regularly ooh’d and aaah’d on their site. It took me over six months to finally make the decision to get one, and I was very pleased that my husband wanted to treat me and pay for it (I guess sometimes it pays off to have patience loud sighing noises and eyes glued to the computer screen). I chose the brown one in standard size and a bunch of different inserts (I’ve since ordered some more of the ones I like and taken out some that I don’t like to use that much).

The Traveler’s Notebook has an elastic band which runs along its spine. That is where the notebooks are attached. There are various ways to fit more than one notebook in. Mine currently holds 5 (two of which are on the same elastic). The TN comes with one plain notebook insert, many many others are available.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it, but when I had figured out the order of the notebooks, it’s been all smooth sailin’ ever since. I have not looked back on other planners.

So without further ado, here it is:

Cover

The front cover. Thick, beautiful, superb quality leather that will only get better with age. All the scratches show love and only add to its character. I use a Pilot Coleto and a basic ball point on the go. When I fill the pages at home, I have various other pens that I like to use.

IMG_4902Mine’s quite the chunker! I like it.

Front cover insideThe inside front cover. I bought a packet of stick-on pockets for my TN, there are three different ones in the pack. Here you can see the credit/business card stick-on and another one on the bottom. They stick to the leather really well. I keep a tiny yearly calendar with Finnish national holidays in the bottom pocket, because the Midori calendar is obviously Japanese with Japanese holidays. ๐Ÿ˜€

Here I store some stamps, kids’ photos, a few of my business cards and some random papers. The photo collage on the cover of the Kraft file used to be in my personal Filofax. It was a pretty good size in here, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_4969

I love my Kraft file/business card insert. It holds a ton of stuff! I put both of them in the same elastic, and it works like a charm for me. I also stuck my Leuchtturm pen loop in the credit card insert (didn’t want it on the leather in case I wanted it removed). Some things I keep in there:

  • Some more of my own business cards
  • Some more stamps
  • Kids’ tiny drawings
  • Arrow paper clips and Oli clips
  • Other people’s business cards
  • Important info
  • Index flags
  • Stickers!

IMG_4948On the back of my Kraft file I have put a Moomin comic strip. It says:

Excuse me Mister, but I have just found a large and dangerous BOMB!”

IMG_4949

I love it. And I love the navy blue color of the diary insert. That’s next y’all. I decorated the first page with some stickers (’cause I looove stickers! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), and there’s also a bit of personal info that I have covered up here.

Yearly and monthlyThere are both yearly (2013 and 2014) and monthly calendars, which is great. I don’t make any markings on the yearly calendar, because I like it clean and simple. I only need it to look at anyway. The monthly calendar is for birthdays.

Here are a few ofย  my weeks (can ya tell I like sticky notes?!) ๐Ÿ˜€

IMG_4953IMG_4938 IMG_4955 IMG_4956 IMG_4957I don’t color code, the different pen colors are just for my amusement and eye-pleasing ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to decorate with washi tape (as do quite a few other people) and stickers. I write down to do’s and appointments and regular routines beforehand (naturally), but I like to add some things later. Feelings, funny stuff, sometimes the weather, what was on TV… And I take up every excuse opportunity to add a little washi or a sticky note, a ticket or a receipt (who doesn’t?!).

IMG_4958 IMG_4959Then I have a Kraft paper insert. At first I was gonna use it as a weight loss diary, but at the moment it feels like that’s going south big time, so I think I’ll just use it as a general brain dump. I love the eco-feel of the paper.

IMG_4963 IMG_4960Finally I have my absolute favorite insert – the light weight paper. All of the other Midori notebooks have 64 sheets of paper, the light weight has double that. You can see from the photo that there is some see through, butย  z e r oย  bleeding – even with fountain pens. The paper quality is so excellent!

I use this as my journal. I don’t write every day or even every week, just when I feel like it or something has actually happened.

I love the well-used and -loved feel the light weight notebooks get when the pages are written full. I love the bumpiness when I stroke the paper (and I do that a lot!). There’s nothing better than a notebook filled with love, stories and memories.

I just love it.

IMG_4964At the inside back cover I have one more stick-on pocket, which currently holds a few Moomin stickers.

IMG_4967I’ve stocked up on some inserts. There are four light weight inserts, extra elastic bands and a repair kit, double-sided stickers, a grid refill, a blank one and a plastic zip envelope.

So there you have it!ย  I hope you enjoyed a peek in my beloved. ๐Ÿ™‚

Secret second life

As some of you may already know, I have a secret second life as a stationery nerd. I love notebooks, stickers, washi tape, sticky notes, pens, stickers, paper and the lot. Not many people in my real life know this and I have chosen to keep it that way, since I don’t think they would quite understand it.

I like a lot of the cute stuff, which is very hard to find here in Finland (and I don’t mean Hello Kitty and Disney), so because of that I have had to search elsewhere. And I have found a lovely community of people whoย do understand me and the object(s) of my affection! ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s a heap load of blogs and YouTube vids on stationery, Instagram accounts, FB groups… and if one’s active, a lot of swapping opportunities.

Hallelujah!!

one of my favorite things to do...

one of my favorite things to do…