Last September, Ambry Crafts, a good friend of mine, launched her own sticker shop! I was so happy with her new milestone and I was so excited to try out her stickers. I have written a product review of her first line of functional stickers and the quality is impressive! The stickers are waterproof, writable, durable, and repositionable (with care!)
Ambry Crafts recently announced a search for her first PR group and I just had to apply!
I am so happy to say that I am one of Ambry’s Pals! This is my first time being a shop rep and I am so elated to share with everyone what’s inside my first PR box!
There’s a teabag in the package, which I did not expect but absolutely because I love tea! I am a tea drinker and this is perfect for me.
There is a duck egg blue ballpen with a gold accent. I am usually biased towards shades of pink but I am loving this color!
I also pulled out another pen that had bubble ball beads inside. While I took off the cap, it actually wasn’t a pen…
…it’s a craft knife! I was really excited to finally own a craft knife, and I want to try if I can cut non-foil washi tapes with it.
The Rainbow Heart Memopad is probably one of my favorites! I love how it mixes pastel blue, pink, and purple into one sheet. This is so pretty that I don’t want to use it too much!
There is “Like a Boss” die cut stickers and the stickers are gorgeous!
I was not expecting to receive planner tabs! I receive two sets. One is a thick textured sticker and another is foam stickers.
I am unsure how to use some of the stickers from the foam sheets like the checkmarks and smileys but I guess I’ll eventually find out!
I also received Bible verse sheets, two kraft and two white sheets (the other white sheet is just not pictured). I will definitely use this for journaling!
Look at the animal deco stickers! I am both a dog and cat person so fortunately I have both sticker sheets!
The box also comes with functional stickers that work great for your planners! It has dates, days of the week, boxes, and decorative dividers.
Just look at the package! Ambry Crafts really stepped up her game by launching products aside from the functional label stickers she initially launched. I am so excited to see what’s in store and what her new products will be. I am hoping for washi tapes!
What’s your favorite Ambry Craft product? I personally go with the memopad!
You can shop for Ambry Crafts locally at Shopee and internationally on their website.
Want to get a discount? Use my code “AMBRYMICA” to get an additional 10% off for every purchase!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional at watercolor and I consider myself as an advanced beginner. This review is based on my personal experience and situation.
I personally have struggles mixing colors to achieve a skin tone look. I often have to rely on paints that have skin tone colors so blending would be minimal or even none at all.
I was so happy to hear that The Paint Pocket‘s has released the first batch of Handmade Matte Watercolors(Php75), which are more of skin tone colors. I was so excited to see a matte handmade watercolor by a local artist because no local artist has released a line of matte watercolors that are nude or skin tone colors!
I received my package that came with a corrugated box and a small pamphlet (thank you!). I forgot to take a picture of how it was packed when I opened the box, but it was filled with old book shredded paper.
The paints come in a free black tin can since I bought the whole collection, which is the standard size for 6 half pans and is the size of the palm of my hand. The pan has an embossed shop logo on doily that can be easily removed if you wish to.
Opening the can, you can see another sheet of embossed shop logo and underneath is a thin foam sheet.
Each half pan is individually wrapped with the shop logo and its sides are colored with the paint they’re wrapped with, with an inner layer of aluminum foil. The color shade is written behind.
The Paint Pocket’s first matte collection comes in 6 shades: Amber, Peony, Nude, Fire, Choco, and Mahogany. The names aren’t named after watercolor pigments like Burnt Sienna or Yellow Ochre and the names remind me more of lipstick shades.
The package comes with a letter…
…and a reminder card. It is very important to followthe instructions on the card before opening the paint.
These paints contain honey so they are softer than usual and do not dry as hard as other paints even after weeks of curing. They will most likely stick to the wrapper so kindly refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before unwrapping
I currently live in a dorm where I don’t have a refrigerator, so I decided to leave the tin can overnight in my cool room, praying that it would be enough to harden the paint. Perhaps the shipping can melt the paint slightly.
The next day, I took a deep breath and finally opened the paints. I have never been so nervous to open a package. I removed the foil as gently as I could but some paint still stuck on the foil. I was expecting the consistency to be similar like Prang’s that is a little moist yet hard to touch, but this paint is a little wet and can stick to your fingers.
The paint is protected by another layer of plastic for the paint.
Again, I tried to remove the cover as gently as I could but paint sticking to the plastic is almost unavoidable knowing the condition. I expected this because I did not put the paints in the refrigerator, hoping that overnight cool temperature alone will do.
The magnets cling well to the tin can, even if you flip upside down or shake the can, it won’t fall off.
Two of my paints also smudged at the side, but it’s manageable. They can be easily be cleaned off, or you can use them to paint!
The color is also written at the side of the half pan (not in picture) but they can come off if you wipe them.
Here is the result of my painstaking removal of the wraps. I still kept the wraps to swatch later on.
As you can see, the paint is moist, despite leaving it overnight. There is also a very faint fragrant scent when you try to smell the pan.
They paint is filled to the brim but is no longer pillow-topped because I opened the paints that are still a little moist.
A swatch card is also provided at the package but it isn’t watercolor paper. You may find it a bit difficult if you are used to swatch watercolor with watercolor paper, especially if you want to show gradient.
It also does not come in the same size as the tin can so I plan to make another swatch that would fit the tin can.
Here is the color payoff after 1-2 swatches. I used the paint that stuck to the wraps and sides of the pan to do my swatches.
I had no problems with the black sheet because I wanted an opaque swatch. It was a bit challenging for me to do the swatch at the white sheet because it was a regular cardboard, not watercolor paper. I was after a gradient swatch. Again, I am not a professional at watercolor so my swatch looks…not so nice.
I decided to try one last swatch and here is the output. The colors remind me of lipstick shades when it’s fully opaque and when you add more water, they look great as skin tone! They are opaque when you want it, and they are smooth and creamy indeed!
This watercolor contains honey, as mentioned in the card. Honey creates stronger pigments and prevents dry paint from cracking. The paint easily becomes reactivated with water and makes the paint smoother and creamier.
Now the drying time can be an advantage or disadvantage for some people. While most of the handmade paints I own dried within 5-10 minutes, this palette took me the more than a day to completely dry.
What I know so far that have skin tone watercolor palettes available in the Philippines are Prima’s Watercolor Confections in Complexion(Php1450) and the SeamiArt “Skin” Solid Watercolor(Php300), both with 12 half pans in the palette. I don’t own either so I cannot make a comparison between the brands. If you own either or checked out the palettes, you know that the shades are mostly shades of brown.
The Paint Pocket’s matte watercolors can be a great addition to your palette, especially if you need more pink undertones!
I will work on a swatch soon on portraits and will let you know how they actually look like on human painting!
This is The Paint Pocket’s first Matte collection and I was told that more matte collections are coming so I am really excited for her future releases! You can shop locally at Shopee.
I tried to make a swatch on a female sketch and all look amazing as skin tones!
What do you think of this watercolor palette? Let me know in the comments!
A dear friend on mine from the planner community recently opened her very own sticker line from her shop, Ambry Crafts! She has been selling planner products on the community for quite a while now but this is the first time she has released a line of her own products. She really put her heart into her new venture by spending time, effort, and resources to bring us these cute yet functional stickers.
Ambry Crafts opened last month in time for Shopee’s 8.8 sale and the reception was overwhelming!
The packaging is really well-thought out! The package is wrapped in custom printed paper and light blue twine string, sealed with the Ambry Crafts logo. On top of that, it is covered with a thick plain white cardstock to ensure it won’t crumple while being delivered.
I opened to a package of gorgeous stickers!
I love personal and handwritten messages. It is in small gestures like these when you can see that a shop owner really loves her craft.
The package came with 4 sticker vinyl die cuts. They are laminated in different finishes, removable, and waterproof.
The Ambry Crafts logo comes in a starry laminate touch. To my knowledge, this often comes as a freebie!
I could not test the sticker die cuts out for you because die cut stickers are too precious for me to use it casually. 😂
Finally, the sticker sheets! These stickers are a part of the first sticker collection which is The Planner Time! They have sticker sheets for disc, rings, and hobo planners! You can either opt for their colorful or monochrome sheets. I also have the header and shopping time (bags) sticker.
What catches my attention is this card in the package. It comes with a sticker to test on! And I love experimenting.
The stickers are waterproof, durable, repositionable, color busting, and is writable with any pen or marker. Okay, I am sold.
I tested three pens that I have on hand: Uni Pin Fine Line Pen, Pilot Juice, and Zebra Mildliner.
I tried smudging the sticker and I love how there aren’t any smudges on any of the inks!
I tried putting a drop of water on the sticker and the sticker holds pretty well! The sticker’s print did not scatter and pretty much stayed the same.
It is a different story with the inks, though. The Uni Pin Fine Line Pen’s ink still adhered to the sticker but the other two did not. If you still want your writings to be waterproof, you should still stick to a waterproof pen.
When wiping off the water, the sticker is still intact!
I am not so sure with the repositionable part. I was probably wrong of me to assume that I could peel it off almost like washi tape so I did not peel off the sticker gently. I ended up ruining the card.
But…look at the sticker. Most stickers would have been torn already but the sticker is still intact! It is transferable in a sense that it is more durable compared to ordinary stickers when you try to peel them off a surface.
All in all, the stickers are great! I really love everything: from the packaging with a personal touch to the stickers itself! I just wish there will be a release for sticker sheets for Travelers Notebook soon! I am looking forward to see more sticker designs and maybe even other products!
You can shop at Ambry Crafts locally on Shopee and internationally on the shop website and Etsy.
Your body after sleep is like a fully-charged device. It functions at its best immediately after sleep, when your brain is well-rested. The first few hours of the day are especially important: when your brain is at its most productive and functional. Making the most out of your mornings can maximize your time, improve your mood, and increase your productivity. On top of that, how you set your morning primes how your day will be.
A well-spent day morning gives you a feeling of accomplishment of being productive and can motivate you to be consistent throughout the day.
Before you read on, I just want to remind everyone that people run different lives. Some of us may have rushed mornings, some may have kids that need immediate attention, some may even work irregular hours. And that’s okay. In the end, you know what will work best for you to jumpstart your day.
Wake Up Early
Rise and shine everyone!
Some successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Michelle Obama give credit to waking up early as a contributor to their success. There are a lot of benefits of waking up earlier such as having the willpower to take control of your day, making the most out of your brain’s well-rested state, fewer distractions to get your attention, and so much more.
But wait, don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to wake up at 4AM in the morning just to have a productive day ahead. You don’t have to cut off a few hours of sleep to get up early. You don’t necessarily have to be a morning person in order to be productive. Waking up early in the morning may not be for everyone as well.
What matters the most is how you spend the first few hours of the day.
If you do plan to set an alarm…don’t you dare hit that snooze button! It’s a trap!
Say a Little Prayer
You don’t have to be religious to do some prayer. Just a simple thank you to life for giving you another day can do wonders to your mindset.
Stop Browsing Through Your Phone
80% of Americans follow this routine when they wake up…they open their eyes, stretch a bit, grab their phones, check the time, check urgent messages and calls, check not so urgent messages and emails, open Facebook and check notifications, open Instagram, check recent post interactions, browse the feed for a few…wait a minute.
Do we even realize how many minutes have passed since we opened our phones?
We haven’t even gotten out of bed!
Imagine opening your email and read work-related messages. You bombard your newly awakened brain with information, elevate your stress levels first thing in the morning, and put your brain into work right away.
You’re basically ruining your whole morning…and maybe even your whole day.
Stretch to wake up your muscles! Your body has been in bed for hours and your body needs a boost so your body can get up from bed. Stretching has a lot of benefits such as improved blood flow, stimulating muscles, preventing body pain, and providing energy.
Now it’s time to get up!
Drink Some Water
Your body needs to restore its fluids, especially after long hours of sleep and a morning visit to the toilet. Drinking water, juice, or milk, or fluid of your choice (coffee can wait later!) will rehydrate and freshen up your body! You can feel your body cool down with a glass of water and feel your skin more supple and hydrated.
Do Your Morning Self-Care
Brush your teeth, wash your face, do your morning skincare, comb your hair, and even take a shower if you want. You will feel refreshed and clean, and it’s an instant mood booster! Who would want to feel gross at the start of their day, right?
Smile In Front of a Mirror
After washing up, look at yourself in front of the mirror and smile. Looking at yourself smile after washing up can make you feel instantly better about yourself!
Track Your Day With A Calendar, Planner, or a Note
Write down your agendas ahead of time!
Write down all important events in your calendar, journal, or planner. A sheet of paper or post-it can work as well if you don’t own a planner or a calendar (but I highly recommend one!). Write down everything you need to take note of such as:
appointments or meetings
class or work schedule
other errands that need to be done for the day
Looking at your list would only take a few seconds for your brain to register what you have to do for the day. You know who to call to greet for their birthday, what time you need to prepare to go out for class, where to go for a lunch date, and so on. Your brain will do its magic at processing all the information and you already have a head start on what your priorities and commitments are for the day!
You can use your planner, a bullet journal, desk calendar, whiteboard, or even post-its: whatever works for you! If you use a planner and journal, this head start can give you a clear idea of how you can plan your day ahead.
Workout or Meditate
Exercising and meditating can happen at any time of the day, of course, but there are certain advantages of doing it in the morning or during the first few hours after waking up. For those who prefer being active in the morning, do some workouts! Exercising can release all those hormones that make you feel euphoric after a workout session. Do grab something to eat if necessary!
Meditating can prevent stress, calm your mind, and increases your efficiency to multitask. Doing it in the early morning when the surrounding is at its most calm can help you set the mood as well.
Grab A Bite
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day for most people, but don’t stress yourself too much to have a well-balanced meal like other people do. Some may not be able to digest a large amount of food at the start of the day.
Eat whatever your body can take. You can have a full breakfast or just have a slice of banana or a sandwich. What matters is you provide your body the energy it needs to keep you going for the next few hours!
Reward Yourself With Your Favorite Cup of Joe
Coffee and tea can stimulate your senses by waking you up and help you give the extra boost you need for your day. I mean, a coffee-loving person can’t function properly without coffee! If you are not a coffee person, tea also works as great!
This is the best time to relax and finally be on your phone while you sip your cup of coffee. You can now open your phone or laptop and start your day.
I know that this list may be a little overwhelming for some people, but don’t worry! A routine is not established overnight: it takes time and consistency for your body to naturally adapt to a routine or habit. It’s okay to take one small step at a time, no one is in a rush to develop new habits. You don’t have to follow every step either if that does not work for you. You may even add a routine to your morning as you see fit.
What morning routine do you have? Share it with us in the comments and let’s talk!
August 13 is Left Handers Day! We all share the same frustrations as lefties, living in a world where most tools are made for the right hand. While some left-handed tools are available in the market, they are often scarce and pricey.
I have been writing calligraphy for years using brush pen, watercolor, dip pen, and broad nibs. I do not claim myself as an expert but more of an advanced beginner. I practice from time to time just so my skills don’t get rusty.
I enrolled in workshops, watched Youtube tutorials, and looked at Tiktok videos, and I can see that there’s a difference between right and left-handed calligraphy. Being part of the minority, of course, lefties have some disadvantages, but of course, these do not matter in the long run.
I would like to remind everyone that calligraphy is not only challenging for left-handed people; right-handed people have their own challenges as well. What we find difficult can be easy for them, and vice versa. Every new skill learned needs practice and repetition to master the art. No matter what skill to try out, both lefties and righties can excel in their hobbies!
Here are some struggles I faced in my calligraphy journey:
You can smear your work with your hand…
I remember hating how I tend to smear and erase what I have previously written with my palm at a young age.
Back in grade school, writing on chalkboards and whiteboards were a huge inconvenience. As I continue to write sentences, my hand would unintentionally smear some of what I have written, and I had to start all over again. I learned that I had to lift the palm of my hand in order for my palm not to rest at the board as I write. Thankfully over time, I was able to write on both boards without smudging.
That old struggle came back to me (and often still does) when dealing with calligraphy. While brush pens and broad nib markers don’t pose a problem, dip pens using ink or watercolor and some wet markers can be tricky to use. Since they have not completely dried as they set on the paper, they can be very prone to smudging.
If you are used to writing while your palm rests on the paper, you may often experience smudging as a beginner. With practice and trial and error, you will eventually get the grip that you are most comfortable with…without having to smudge the paper.
…and your hand picks up the mess
Have you ever heard of Silver Surfer Syndrome? 100% of lefties have or had experienced this, but fortunately, it is preventable and curable. All lefties go through this phase when we started to practice writing with pencils.
This silver hand came back to haunt me as I began to write calligraphy, just much worse. Inks and watercolors staining your hand are just terrible, especially when waterproof ink stains your hand.
Adjusting your grip to avoid all that smudge
It takes a lot of practice and trial and errors to get that writing grip that you find most comfortable and convenient.
This photo by Kelly Creates demonstrates 3 ways you can hold your pens.
I personally am an underwriter when writing with dip pen, and a horizontal writer when writing with brush pens. There is no right or wrong way to position yourself when writing as long you find it the most comfortable and the most convenient.
Left oblique pens are a pain to find
I initially learned dip pen calligraphy using a straight nib holder at my first workshop. I had my first left oblique nib holder when I joined an advanced workshop and it was made by Artisan MNL. It was custom made and was made for lefties.
Unlike straight nib holders where both left and right-handed people can use, oblique pen holders can only be used by one hand. Right oblique pens can only be used by the right hand, left oblique pens can only be used by the left hand.
Most ready-to-buy and affordable oblique pens at the market are right-handed. Most left-handed oblique pens I could find online are artisan-made holders found on Instagram and Etsy. I could not find a single left oblique pen in Shopee. As much as I love artisan-made nib holders, they often can leave my pocket burning.
But once you hold your artisan nib holder, you feel like you made an investment of a lifetime.
Some nibs are made for right-handed people
I remember buying broad nibs for my straight and oblique pens when I was a beginner. I bought it out of impulse and wanted to try to self-learn other forms of calligraphy. When I tried it out, I could not seem to write properly. It was actually even a mess.
While some nibs can be used for both left and right hands, some are not. It turns out that broad nibs like Speedball have nibs for left-handed people. There are left-handed nibs available in the market, but of course, it is scarce.
I honestly haven’t tried doing it again so I am not sure if certain nibs can really be used for one hand only or lefties can make their way through these nibs.
Learning Gothic/Blackletter Calligraphy is like re-learning how to write…backward
I took a workshop on gothic calligraphy years ago. My instructor was surprised to find out that I was a leftie. I could not seem to write like how my classmates did so he taught me a very different technique on how to write.
I still write the same way: writing letters from left to right, but the difference is writing the letter the opposite way. For example, in writing a vertical line, most people write from up to down. I had to write it down to up.
I am honestly thankful that broad nib pens exist for gothic calligraphy. If I had to write this using a dip broad pen, I wouldn’t know how to write. And I will need to adjust my grip and practice all over again just to get the grip that works fine…while not smudging my work.
Filming can be frustrating
When watching right-handed people write in their videos, the letters come out fine as they write along. One reason why I don’t film my writing is that it can be frustrating filming a good angle where my hand won’t get in the way.
While we may be able to manage to find out how to avoid smudging, filming will be the next hurdle. When filming straight above, our hands obstruct the view of my writing. It is a huge disadvantage, but don’t lose hope there.
At angles right handed people can’t pull off, that’s where we can get good angles!
There may be a lot of things that left-handed people may find difficult to do, but everything has its ups and downs! Just remember that there are some tasks that right-handed find difficulty doing that we find easier!
Are you a leftie too? Share with me your frustrations as a fellow leftie!
My first planner cover from Noted Journal PH is the B6 Deluxe Rings in Blush Croc. I got this from Ms. V. as a swap in exchange for my unused Starbucks Japan Sakura notebook.
Noted Journal PH‘s planner covers are made of premium vegan leather. The ring binder cover is handmade, and handmade local products have a special place in my heart. She offers a variety of products aside from her popular planner/journal covers such as washi tapes, cover inserts, stickers and die cuts, notebooks, notepads, organizers, pouches, and other accessories!
I was so elated when Ms. V. sent me another package months ago, and I unboxed it to a really beautiful gem.
Voila, it’s a Deluxe Pocket Rings in Blush Pink, and I am so screaming in pink.
When I took it out from the box, I could just stare at it for so long. I love the color so much, the size is just soooo cute, and it looks fancy and expensive. What just worries me about this color is that I have to take extra care, because a tiny pen mark would look really obvious!
There is not much difference between this and the B6 Deluxe Rings I have since they are both from the Deluxe Ring Planner Cover Collection. The Deluxe Collection comes in five sizes: A5, B6, Personal, Personal Wide, and Pocket.
The planner cover has light pink stitching that blends well with the cover. You can also request to have your name or any word you particularly like embossed on your planner!
One thing I noticed right away is that the snap closure is hidden, compared to its previous models. My B6 cover has the snap button shown, while this newer design does not. Other than that, I don’t see any major difference between the old and new deluxe planner designs.
Newer planner covers have a wider snap than this one that I currently have!
The binder mechanism is also hidden when you look from the exterior because of the top-loading pocket, which we’ll get to in a while.
Here is how it looks like when you look at the entire exterior. You can see the embossed Noted Journal PH logo embossed at the lower left of the cover.
What I reeeeeeally love about Noted Journal PH ring binders is that it lays down flat. It lays down flat compared to some ring binder brands that I have owned and it doesn’t even take much effort to try to flatten it to the surface…it just goes flat on its own. This is perfect for people who love taking pictures of their spreads since it does not need any support to keep it flat.
All I can say is that it is absolutely gorgeous!
The Deluxe Rings also comes with a pen loop that can fit my 5-barrel Coletto pen and still have some space. It can also fit some 2 thin barrel pencils and pens. It can fit 2 Unipin pens but with a little difficulty.
There is also a slit to the left of the snap closure but I am not sure what its purpose is. I am guessing it has something to do with inserting the snap mechanism. Newer designs don’t have the slit anymore!
The left side of the planner cover, or the front if we flip the planner open, has 2 card slots. The right side of the planner, or the back, has a sleeve pocket.
One of the main differences between the Deluxe and the normal planner covers is the top-loading pocket. The size can fit money bills, papers, and other similar materials.
I just realized that minus a coin purse, this can act as a wallet! The inserts can act as your financial tracker or grocery lists, there are card slots, sleeves, and a pocket where bills can fit!
Pocket ring planner inserts are in size 8.1cm x 12cm or 3.25″ x 4.75″. Noted Journal also offers ring inserts with sizes that range from A5, B6, personal, and pocket, and designs that range from ruled, plain, grid, and dotted here.
The size of a pocket ring and pocket TN is different. The size of a pocket TN is 3.5″ x 5.5″, and it is slightly larger than the pocket rings.
I absolutely love this planner in general! I initially thought of using this as a carry-on for my errands when I go out, but unless I use a pouch to protect this beauty, I don’t think I would want to use it for that purpose. My bag can have a mix of different items inside and I am just so afraid I would screw up the cover somehow.
Kwaderno Notebook was launched last November 2020 inspired by the idea that notebooks are a piece of ourselves, history, and craft. The voyage, however, for crafting the notebook started way back in 2019 to research every little detail for the perfect notebook: from paper types, cover materials, technical sketches, and even branding! Even after the product launch, the brand still continues to strive for product improvements to make their craft more experientially provoking.
The Kwaderno Notebook is a piece of you in a notebook. The one-liner tagline says it all.
A few months ago, I received the Kwaderno Notebook in Midnight (Php399 regular price) and I was really excited to see for it myself. Here is how the notebook looked like when I received it minus the plastic packaging.
The Kwaderno Notebook comes in 5 different neutral colors: Deep Forest (Dark Green), Light Ocean (Grayish Blue), Midnight (Jet Black), Shadow (Gray), and Walnut (Brown). I personally requested Midnight so it would suit my Aviation uniform.
The black circles you see in the label are actually the notebook details. It can be difficult to read for some people so let me tabulate it for you:
Grid or Dotted
112Sheets or 224 pages
Soft Bounded Textured Leather
Built-in back pocket, pendant ribbon bookmark
Now let’s actually explore the notebook. The notebook gives off a strong scent that is neither pleasant nor offensive. I could not exactly pinpoint what the exact scent is but the smell definitely gives off a scent of brand new.
The cover is made of softbound textured leather. It feels like hard felt, except that it is leather. It is surprisingly soft for a leather cover and it is flexible. I can see my notebook in the future with patina marks, and I am honestly fine with it. It’s what makes old leather beautiful.
To be honest, I was a bit confused with the semi-pouch that came with it. After taking several looks, I finally discovered a black string elastic that was inside it. You can see the black string inside the pouch and pulling it out outwards turns out to be an elastic to cover your notebook like a travelers notebook. I am not sure if this is its exact purpose but it looks like it.
The cover of the notebook is plain and minimalistic. There are no marks, embossments, or logo of the brand at the cover. It is very unisex and all around, so anyone can use this notebook.
The notebook has a single brown ribbon bookmark with a pendant.
The front page of the notebook is actually this brown thick paper. Flip the page once more and you actually get to its first page.
What I love the pages is that the dots are neither too light or too dark, which is perfect for arts, calligraphy, and journaling. The dot grid size is perfect for my small handwriting and I really love it, but it may be a bit small for those who have a large handwriting.
When you flip the notebook open, it won’t be completely flat as you can see below. This may be an issue for you if you take pictures of your notebook in a flatlay position; you may need support because it cannot lay flat on its own. Despite that, you can see how the notebook holds out when fully spread, which is a good thing.
The pages are also sewn together, divided into 7 parts.
The dot symmetry between opposite pages are almost aligned, but this is not really going to be a problem for most people, unless you have a severe case of OCD.
The sides of the notebook are colored with a red-brown shade of color that compliments the bookmark.
As I said earlier, I could not see any signs of the brand on the cover, but as you look more into the notebook, the logo is actually at the bottom part of the last writable page of the notebook.
An expandable back pocket is also seen at the back of the notebook. It is made of thick brown paper which is the same color as the front and back page. You can insert receipts, sticker sheets, or other things you may need on the go.
What are my first impressions? The quality of the notebook is really great, very unisex and work friendly, and it is well-made. The cover may be an issue for some people, but I am okay with it.
I decided to use this notebook as my study notebook for Aviation and I finally had the courage to write my first few pages. My notes look really beautiful and professional. The pages may leave a little ghosting after thick gel pens, but it barely affects how my page looks like.
Again, thank you sooo much Kwaderno Notebooks for giving me an opportunity to try out your notebooks!
DISCLAIMER: Before reading any further, please be reminded that this is not an embroidery tutorial. I am self-learning this craft and I do not consider myself as an embroidery expert.
If you do not have any background on how ribbon embroidery works, you may check the basics of ribbon embroidery by reading The Spruce Craft’s article or watch Youtube videos. I also shared how I attempted to self-learn ribbon embroidery in a previous blog post.
This video tutorial also explains some basic concepts as well as patterns I will be doing for my ribbon embroidery envelope!
So how did I come up with this unusual idea?
I did a stationery swap months ago and I originally planned to send this via PHLPost. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, I had to limit my outside time to only essentials and decided to just have it sent via courier (DPX in my case.)
Despite that, I still decided to pack my swap as if I am sending a snail mail. It has been so long since I last sent a swap that is penpal-style so I decided to go creative.
During that time, I was practicing the basics (and still am to be honest) ribbon embroidery so I wondered how embroidering on paper would work out.
Combining snail mails and ribbon embroidery gives me a ribbon embroidered envelope!
What I Used:
Specialty paper (I am using a 160gsm white paper)
Ribbons (6mm green satin ribbon for leaves, 10mm pink satin ribbon for flower petals and buds, and 10mm champagne satin ribbon for buds and center of flower for this project)
Awl to pierce holes (embroidery needle will also do)
Thread and needle for sewing the envelope
Pencil to draw pattern
Double Sided Tape or Fabric Adhesive
Foil Leaf (I use Ferrero Gold Wrapper as zero waste and zero cost alternative)
I folded my paper into the desired envelope shape and pattern. I folded into three folds like this, and later on sew the envelope after doing the embroidery.
2. I flipped the envelope and sketch the flower pattern desired. In this envelope, I will go for pink flowers with a champagne center and buds and green leaves.
3. I traced my outline with a pencil. You usually don’t have to worry about the pencil marking because the ribbon will mostly cover it up. You can see a mini sneak peek at the left side because I already worked on the left side…which I will come to regret later on, which I will explain in a while.
4. Piercing the needle through the paper may be difficult so piercing the paper ahead of time may be easier for some people. Gently poke holes with an awl or your needle where the ribbon will pass through. Poking holes too hard can tear the paper. This step is optional and you can directly embroider your ribbons, but with personal experience, they make my fingers sore easily.
5. Thread you needle with your ribbons (in this case though, I did not knot the end of the ribbon but instead placed a double sided tape as you will see it soon) and secure the ends of the ribbon with lighter. Let’s start embroidering!
6. I began embroidery by making a French knot with the champagne ribbon as the center of the flower and surrounding rosebuds. Remember not to be too rough with the paper or you will end up tearing a bigger hole.
Remember how I said that you should secure your ribbon, like how you knot a thread when you sew fabric? I improvised by securing the end of the ribbon with a double sided tape on the paper. Tying the end like a knot may end up bulky later on when you will fold your paper into an envelope.
7. Let’s work on the petals! I did the basic ribbon stitch using the pink satin ribbon. Be careful not to pull it all the way. Same kind of stitch will be applied on the green leaves as well.
8. You can add more embellishments! In this envelope, I added gold foil. You can buy gold foil leaves but as a zero cost alternative, I’ve used the Ferrero wrappers as golden leaves! I used double sided tape as an adhesive but a good glue will also do its job! You can also use other embellishments like rhinestones, pearls, lace, and a lot more!
Here’s the part that I have come to kind of regret. Remember that in writing letters, the mailing details of the receiver is at the center, postage stamps on the upper right, and the sender’s mailing address at the upper left. The same spot where I have embroidered the other half of my design. Fortunately, I will be sending this letter by a courier and not through the post office or I might have problems sending this letter.
I secured the envelope by sewing its sides using a regular thread and needle. I feel that this would be much more secure than using double-sided tape, especially that I have sewn the envelope itself.
I added more details such as washi tapes and a rectangle gold foil where I will be pasting mailing details.
Here is the final project! I am so happy that my penpal loved the letter and its contents and I really enjoyed working on this project!
Reejcraft is a small shop that makes handcrafted leather traveler’s notebooks made with love. It uses full-grain vegetable tanned leather to ensure premium quality that lasts a long time and offers a wide range of sizes such as tiny, pocket, A6, personal, standard, and A5, and offer colors such as tan, choco brown, toffee, wine red, and violet.
The color of the stitches also vary and you can choose from coral, cream, dark violet, black, taupe, olive, and light yellow!
Last year, Reejcraft sent me a care package. The box contained a Pocket Traveler’s Notebook in that came with its own satin drawstring pouch and some goodies! I was not able to take pictures of the unboxing but fortunately I was able to take a video of what was inside the package.
My first impression of this cover is that it is simple yet elegant. I love how there aren’t too many details to see in this cover, and the violet color is simply beautiful. It feels lightweight, yet it definitely looks sturdy. What I like about simple journals is that they are very easy to decorate with accessories!
The stitching is light violet in color and the elastic strings are dark brown, and it perfectly compliments the color of the cover. It does not stand out too much, and it does not look too monochromatic.
Opening the cover, you can see that it has pockets on both sides of the notebook. The elastic strings are neither too thick nor too thin, but it feels sturdy enough to hold the strings and keep its elasticity for a long time. The strings alone can fit 4 inserts and you can 2 more inserts for each side pocket, if you wish to do so. Otherwise, you may add other materials such as sticker sheets, receipts, or whatever you may need.
This cover does not have a pen loop, but you can request for a pen loop when you have your notebook customized.
What I love about this notebook is that it lays down flat! This is perfect if you are into taking pictures of your journal spreads.
This is what the cover looks like when you flip it. You can see the Reejcraft logo at the lower left portion of the cover, or at the lower right at the back side when you close the notebook.
The stitching is also well-made. The lining is not as accurate as machine sewn stitching you can see in clothing, but you can see that it is nicely sewn and you can tell from a glance that this is definitely handmade.
You can see from the top view that the leather is not too thick nor thin. It is a balance of stiffness and flexibility.
I love how it fits my inserts and the notebook does not feel too bulky when you close it. I can close the notebook and still have space for a pen, and it does not simply slip off. Of course, having a pen loop may still be better but you can still do without it.
Overall, I love this notebook! These kinds of leathers look great as well as time passes, especially when the patina forms over time. This is something I would like bringing if I am traveling.
Of course, standard care for leather covers as these may apply such as conditioning, but I wouldn’t have to worry about flaking, (minimal) contact with water, dirt, or other stains that can be simply wiped off.
This notebook if perfect for people on the go because it is handy, lightweight, and sturdy!