Hello in Paris & Exciting News! : WIP Wednesday

I really wish the Blue Meadow Designs company were still in business.. they had some really amazing patterns! I found this pattern around the same time that Hello Luscious was released and I just knew that it had to be made in this fabric. I hung on to the fabric though and this project sat in my box waiting to be put together for a long while… which led to some problems as it turns out!

I laid all of my pieces out to get a feel for the colored blocks.. it turned out to be a bit more tricky than I thought to get the pieces to lay the way I wanted but after 3 attempts, I finally settled on this layout and began stitching up… and then the problems began.

Originally I had intended the cream fabric to be the inner border and the pink to be the outer.. however, whomever sold me the fabric cut me 1 square yard (36″x36″) not 1yrd by the width of fabric which I thought I had bought. The problem then was, I didn’t have enough fabric to be wide enough for the inner border. My husband (the math genius) discovered that I had just enough of the hot pink (because Moda cuts with generous yardage! YAY!) to swap the borders..

The wonderful Tracey Jay offered me some yardage but we had already cut.. but everyone on instagram seemed to like to new layout better than my original plan.. and it’s grown on me too! That light pink is the binding! I never bought backing for it.. but I am actually thinking I might back it with snuggles! Wouldn’t hot pink minkee be amazing!? I’ll have to see if one of my quilters will longarm with minkee (I know some who won’t).. I am pretty sure someone I know will!

I’ve got most of it stitched up, I just need to sew on the applique and then sew on the borders. It’s stitched up pretty quickly. The pattern was pretty well written (although some of the fabric requirements were a little confusing at first glance but it was easy to figure out.) I am loving this quilt. It’s a touch busier than I thought it would be but I think everything blends together very nicely.

I also asked my husband to build me a quilt ladder to display some of my quilts and this past weekend, he did! Isn’t it beautiful?! I want to make another and stain it to match our furniture, this one will go into my quilting studio… and guess what?! I won a contest!!

My friend is a longarmer and she does AH-MAH-ZING!! work. She recently held a contest on instagram where she picked 2 winners, one would win a mini quilt and the other a $100 gift certificate towards machine quilting. She pulled my name for the machine quilting! Can you believe it!? I never win anything let alone something that amazing!! I’m sew excited! I’m working on 2 other quilts (I’m waiting on fabrics so you’ll hopefully see those in the next few weeks) and I am definitely sending one of those her way! I’m still in shock! Check out her work here on facebook or on instagram.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Black, Pink, & White : Manicure Monday


It’s been a long while since I’ve done a manicure post! Truth is, I haven’t done much with my nails in a long while. I was growing out some damage, I’d get a break, I’d cut back, regrow, and repeat. I think I am at the point now where they are in decent condition again so the manicures are back! This time I ventured into some nail art by painting stripes and discovered that my line brush is in desperate need of replacement! But, I am wearing them (and sharing) anyway, squiggly lines and all! These are fun and very different from my usual style. My husband hates them, I love them lol.

Base Coat: Nail Tek Maintenance Plus & Nail Defense by Orly
Polish: Orly in Liquid Vinyl, China Glaze Shocking Pink, & China Glaze White on White
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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Filofax Malden vs. DayRunner Signature : Filofax Friday

One of the questions I am asked over and over are “what should I start with? where do I begin?” and I usually repeat my mantra “start with a binder you like, if you like it, you will want to use it.. it’s that simple.” This still holds true. I know many of you want to try out an organizer but don’t want to invest your hard earned cash on something you may never use.. the same was true for me. My first real planner was a DayRunner and I purchased it in high school and it still looks pretty good today! AND it’s still functional and in my opinion, it’s the perfect ‘starter’ option.. especially if you like the Malden or Metropol lines. Let’s take a look..

DayRunner Signature:

It is NOT leather but it has the look and feel of leather. It’s smooth and soft and has plenty of card pockets in the front as well as a large pocket. The rings are slightly smaller than the Malden but not by much. It is punched the same way Filofax’s are so the inserts can be used in both. It is classy enough that you could pull it out at a business meeting and it wouldn’t look ‘cheap’. The only con that I have is about the pen loop, I wish it had some subtle stitching around the edges.. that however, would not prevent me from buying the organizer (obviously).

The Malden:

This is a highly coveted design by Filofax and it is not hard to see why. It has decent sized rings, it’s completely stuffable, a nice long strap, tons of pockets and spaces to store things, it is leather, and it’s just plain gorgeous. Complaints about the Malden? Yes, I have some. Some of the finishes (mainly the colored ones) are easily scratched and when the leather wears it can take on a suede like appearance and, it’s leather.. that’s a con for me since I like to be as animal friendly as I can be. It’d be fabulous if they offered a Vegan line. I am fairly gentle with my planners and I have not had any trouble but I do have friends who have suffered unfortunate scratches.

DayRunner L – Malden R:

In my opinion if you cannot afford the Malden (as I think it’s pretty much the perfect planner) or you want to try the planning thing with a nice planner but an affordable option, the DayRunner is a FABULOUS choice. The accessories included according to the DayRunner site:

Ring size: 3/4″
Internal pocket, room for business cards, and pen loop
Binder Includes: 13 weeks of undated weekly pages, undated monthly pages, Holiday and Events calendars, 8 year overview, contact pages, business card holder, page marker ruler, note pad, zipper pouch
Available as an Assortment of Black or Red. Please indicate color preference in order comments on the shipping page. We will do our best to honor color requests.

Compared with the Malden:

Design Features:
Left: Two credit card pockets and one zipped pocket.
Right: Notepad pocket, wallet pocket. Pen loop.
Ring mechanism size: Six rings of 7/8″ (23mm)


Transparent flyleaf
Week on two pages diary
Ruler-page marker, black
Subject Index Tabs, 5 Subject, cream
To do, five language
Finances (with icons)
Pink ruled paper
Beige ruled paper
Yellow ruled paper
Blue ruled paper
Lavender ruled paper
Name, address and numbers, five language
AZ index, cream, two letters per tab
Transparent envelope, top opening

Calendar Included: Supplied with a 2014 week on two pages diary.

Please keep in mind that you can purchase all of the Filofax & DayRunner accessories to go with either binder. If you can afford the Malden, get one! If you can’t, I don’t think you could beat the DayRunner.

You can purchase the DayRunner here. You can purchase a Filofax here.

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The Little Black Book : Filofax Friday

You probably already know that I have a thing for Vampires & True Blood and that I am totally Team Northman.. When I got my black malden I had decided that I would dub it “the little black book” and it would be filled with all things vampy and it all started with this adorable little charm that my friend Jennifer sent me..

When it arrived it seemed a little dry so, a little leather conditioner and it was beginning to look as good as new! If you’re looking for some good leather conditioner/protection those clear ones made for shoes work fabulously, just be sure to test that it doesn’t lift the color if whatever you’re using it on has colored material.

Next came my black lacy dashboard cover and my Eric Northman filofax registration page… The dashboard hides him.. I figured that was best since I don’t wanna shock people at the grocery store or anything!

After that came my dividers.. You may remember that I made them a little while back.. I had this planner in mind when making them ;)

Then came the calendar decorations.. I may girl this planner up with pink dividers or something later but I am rather enjoying having a sexy little planner I can turn to during the month of February .. ;)

I was also gifted these animal print paper clips as a RAK (random act of kindness) by a wonderful woman who made them! Aren’t they cute!? They fit perfectly with this theme!

Happy Valentine’s Day/Week everyone! Whether you’re with someone or by yourself, I hope you do something to treat yourself this week.. after all, nobody can love you more than you can. <3

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The Essentials : Filofax Friday

Every so often I am asked “what do I need to start? does it have to be a filofax?” The simple answer of course is this — you need a pen and something to write on. That’s it. It NEVER has to be a filofax, that is just a brand.. a fabulous brand yes, but just a brand. You can use a moleskine, a 3 ring binder, whatever you have.. just as long as you will use it. So lets discuss the bare bones.

1.) A Planner.

This can be any planner/organizer you like.. but the key here is that you LIKE it. If you like something you will want to use it.. it’s that simple. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be functional or pretty. There are many options to use but the key is to begin somewhere, right now. Don’t wait until you think you can afford something better.. start now. The sooner you begin, the faster you begin to understand what you need in a planner. For instance.. will you use it as a journal? will you only use it for scheduling appointments? will you use it to plan your meals? your family’s budget? All of these things are important because they begin to make your planner unique.

2.) A Pen. (Pens & Highlighters if color coding)

I color code in my planner, this helps me be able to look at a page and quickly know that someone has something scheduled for that day. Each member of my family has their own color and/or symbol and it’s universal through everything in my planner.. for instance my husband is always a light blue.. if he has an appointment or we have something planned (like a business dinner) it’s always written in light blue. Highlighters also work for this (washi tape or stickers, the choices are endless.). If you don’t plan to do this, then just any old pen that you like.

That is REALLY all you need. Simple right? Now, if you want to know what I suggest for decoration.. that is just as easy.

1.) Washi Tape.

This is a pretty versatile tool. It’s pretty and decorative but, it can also be used to color code, reinforce pages, and cover up mistakes! You can find this in lots of places (JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, etc).. just cut to fit your needs, stick to the page, and away you go! It’s pretty and functional, and I am totally addicted to using it!

2.) Stickers.

I use some stickers simply as decoration but I also use some that have meaning.. for instance, I have little paw prints that mark my dogs birthdays on my calendars along with heart stickers in my family’s colors (see pen section above). These, like washi, can also cover up mistakes. (I am addicted to stamps too but I don’t think they are quite as essential as stickers which is why I have left them out, but see my stamps post to read more about it.)

3.) Sticky Notes & Paper Clips

Since I color code my planner, I always carry blank pages or sticky notes so that while I am out and about, if I need to write something (such as scheduling an appointment or booking an event) I write it on my sticky note and then when I am home later, I add it in. This way I don’t have to carry 10 pens around in my purse! I use paperclips for a lot of things.. holding pages together, clipping my sticky notes if they are no longer sticky, coupons, recipes, as bookmarks, and so on. I find that paperclips are something I always need.

There you have it. The essentials. You do not have to decorate your planner at all! In fact, quite a few people do not.. I do. A LOT. I like it, and if something is cute, I will want to carry it and continue to use it.. it’s kept me on track, on time, and much, much more organized.. when I don’t carry my planner.. I actually miss it. I know this sounds strange to non-planner people.. I know, I know.. but it’s true. It motivates me.. both physically and spiritually. I have quotes and other pick me up verses written in there and besides.. who can resist a really cute planner!?

Just remember, it’s about using it and making it functional. It is NOT about overwhelming yourself. Whatever you do in your planner is fine! As long as you’re using it and it’s working for you, that’s all you need.

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New Dividers : Filofax Friday

I have a slight obsession with Vampires & Zombies… and with Valentine’s Day coming up I decided to make some new fancy dividers for my filofaxes. What do zombies have to do with valentines day you might ask.. well.. nothing traditionally I guess.. except last year my husband took me to see Warm Bodies in the theater.. cheesy right? I think that’s one of the things I love about him most.. he’ll go to the theater with me and see chick flicks without complaining.. so I treated myself to the dvd too.

My aqua malden came in and I wanted to laminate the dividers I had been using to protect them. I’ve been toying with using a different style of the life mapping system so I set up the old life mapping system in my purple malden and the traditional calendar style inserts in my aqua.. This way I can see which one I tend to use/want to use more and it will give me a better understanding for next month.

And for the fun of it.. some decorated weekly pages and some random favorites :)

Is anyone else feeling the frustration with the weather? We have snow to my waist, billion below zero temps, and even our mail service has been effected… Oy!

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Economy Block -a-long : WIP Wednesday

All the cool kids are doing it. You know you want to. Just try one, you’ll like it. Yes, I’ve heard it all before.. the peer pressure, the enabling, the arm twisting.. well, ok, they didn’t have to twist my arm all that hard.. if you dangle a pretty, shiny, object in front of me chances are that I am going to want it.. It’s probably been true my entire life.. in fact, I would bet on it. I once nearly choked to death on a penny as an infant — my dad saved my life, no joke.. so you see? It’s something I was born with — see shiny, need shiny.

Enter the economy block along. It all started when I innocently stalked @imagingermonkey, I saw her rad blocks and I was hooked. There went my fussy cut scrap vomit materials, this makes all of those strange fabrics for the polaroid blocks I purchased a while back seem not so strange and actually useful. I haven’t made many blocks yet but I am insanely in love with the ones I have made. I hope to get some time to stitch next week.

The tutorial is up on Rita’s blog and there are instructions for larger and smaller blocks on the instagram feed with the hashtag #economyblockalong. I am making per Rita’s instructions. I haven’t trimmed my final blocks yet, I’ll do that when I am ready to stitch them (I don’t want them to fray).

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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The Malden & a Fountain Pen : Filofax Friday

It’s here!! It’s here!!

I ordered my Malden months ago knowing that it was “on-order” and I will not lie, the wait was hard. When people tell you that the Malden is the perfect planner.. it truly is. If you want to use it as a wallet, it has plenty of card slots and pockets and a little zippered section for coins.. if you want to use it just as a planner (which I am doing right now) all of those little nooks and crannies work perfectly to store notes, stickers, clips, and all the other essentials you may need to bring.

Just look at the gorgeous insides!! The Malden is leather. That is it’s only downfall.. it isn’t animal friendly. However, I have dropped Namaste a line about perhaps adding planners to their products list and they seemed genuinely interested.. they told me that their current binders would work but I do not think the rings are large enough for me but I am interested to see one in person.. you all know how I love my Namaste bags! I’ll keep you posted if I hear anymore about that or you could email them and let them know you’re interested in vegan planners too!… Until then, let’s take a peek at my Malden… This is how she came to me..

The purple is really hard to capture and there seems to be a little variation from person to person as well.. Mine is pretty much, exactly the color of the stock photos above. I ordered mine from Pens & Leather and I also snagged an Aqua..

I know that some of the colors are being discontinued.. this is a highly popular planner and if you really love a color and you find it in stock somewhere, do not wait to buy it. The aqua is being discontinued. When she arrives, I’ll share photos of her as well… until then… have a peek inside my purple Malden..

She was happily in my hands for Christmas. I have not entirely set her up yet but I figured it would be cruel not to give you a little peek at her insides after gushing about how much I loved her. I’ve just moved things from my pink original into her, I haven’t really decided on what sections I need yet but I would like to merge a bit of my home binder into her.. more on that later. I asked my husband a long while ago for a fountain pen for Christmas so I could practice some calligraphy and learn how to use one.. originally I had planned to carry the pen in my Malden’s but he has advised against it (fountain pens may leak unpredictably and you definitely do not want to ruin a spendy planner!) and so I am keeping the pen at home instead.. but I do use it to write in my planner… I never expected to get it for Christmas.. but my husband, a man full of surprises, got me the pen, ink, and the accessories for Christmas!

Isn’t it gorgeous!! It’s a Kaweco Sport AL with an extra fine nib. The ink is Iroshizuku in Yama-Budo (Bordeaux Purple). It’s nearly the same shade as the planner and it writes beautifully!! I’ve only had the pen a couple of days but I have not found my nib to be very skippy (is that how you describe it?) which is the most common complaint of fine nibs (according to my not-very pen savvy knowledge, aka. I googled it when learning about the pens).. I have always had a love affair of extra fine pens since I was in junior high.. I used an ultra fine pilot pen all through high school (this is the closest I could find to the pen I am talking about).. Nobody else liked them (fine points) in my family but me.. and I always had at least 3 on hand and I never changed through my high school years. I wish they still made them.. but they were very delicate pens, the barrels inside would often break and the ink would leak inside the pen.. I never had a pen actually break or bleed out but I have read on amazon since that it was a common complaint way back when… but this fountain pen writes lovely! It’s got good ink flow, it’s even, I have only experienced one blob leak out while writing and that may have been my fault as I was testing the writing positions… anyway have a look..

I first saw this pen on Jet Pens.. it was a gift so I am unsure where my husband purchased but I know Jet Pens has them. The pen is small without the cap added, I can still easily write with it that way (I have very small hands, I can wear children’s gloves) but anyone with larger hands would probably need the cap on to hold it properly.. it seems to be a decently balanced pen and fits pretty well in my hand but it does feel a little larger than I am used to writing with but it’s a standard pen size I have read. I don’t have a lot of experience with fountain pens but my husband has.. apparently in Russia you learn to use them in school.. so I took a lot of his suggestions to heart. I bought a ‘middle of the road’ priced pen that looked pretty (because that’s important right?) and had a converter and extra nib abilities.

The ink my husband suggested and I liked the colors and it dries very quickly so I highly recommend that! The only downside to my pen converter is that it doesn’t hold a ton of ink.. It could be a down side if you do a lot of writing but if you’re like me and don’t do tons of writing or want to change colors frequently (I can see me needing this..) you will probably enjoy it. I was able to do a full day of writing without needing to change but the next day I tried to write in my journal and it ran out mid-way through. No big deal, I just refilled.

This turned out to be a lengthy post.. to sum it all up, I love the planner & and I love my pen. I’m a happy, happy girl right now!

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Stamps : Filofax Friday

I get a lot of questions about my Filofax set ups and decorations so this week I’ll focus on decorations. I love stamps… LOVE them. I may be slightly addicted to them. I have 2 types of stamps that I purchase, strictly planner related and general purpose decorative stamps. I use the decorative stamps to decorate the calendar and daily pages, I also use stickers for this too but that’s another post for later. The planner related stamps are usually small and useful stamps that fit nicely into the calendar and daily pages.. in this post I will talk about my favorites and tell you where to get them too! The aqua text is links. :)

Let’s first talk about Studio L2e stamps.. I LOVE THEM! They are my favorite. I use them all the time, the list stamps fit in both the personal and the pocket sized planners (this has been the most asked question I get regarding the stamp size) using the original Filofax paper.

Studio L2e – Plan It

Studio L2e – List It

I use these to mark appointments, daily reminders, routines, trips, just about everything you can think of and the stamps are super cute! L2e Studio has a few other sets that I am planning to purchase in the future but these are the two sets that I use the most.

Next is my BoBunny Clearly Calendar stamps.. I found these before Studio l2e but I still use them and love them! They are a bit softer so they squish nicely when you stamp, if you prefer an ultra thin line that does not smoosh, Studio l2e is the way to go, but these are lovely as well and they do not squish out nearly as much as the Recollections stamps I will be showing next.

BoBunny Clearly Calendar Stamps – Remind Me Clearly

For my month on 2 pages calendar for my pocket Filofax I make my own pages and I really wanted something for the small monthly titles and I had trouble finding ones small enough that fit the space above the calendar but this stamp set works great! They squish out a lot so you will have to press lightly if you want a sharp line, they are the softest stamps I own. I found them at my local Michael’s.

Recollections – Year Round Fun

I absolutely love the little heart, bunny, clover, flag, ghost, christmas tree, and cupcake stamps, I use them to mark holidays.. and last but not least… my Owl stamp. I am asked about this one ALL the time.

I didn’t plan to purchase this stamp, I didn’t even look for it.. I was buying seasonal stamps for decoration and this one was offered to me at checkout by Amazon for something like $1! It’s a Hot Off The Press stamp, it’s very small and all pieces are individual (4 stamps, not 1).

Hot Off The Press – Hoot Hoot

For all of the stamping I have done on my Filofax this far has been with Versafine ink in Onyx Black. It does lightly show through the filofax papers but I wouldn’t call it bleeding as it doesn’t saturate the other side of the paper, you just clearly see the outline.. I call this shadowing. I have heard some brands of chalk inks will not bleed through the paper but I have no brand to recommend yet, stay tuned for that.

I hope that answers everybody’s questions.. if I have missed anything please feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to answer. :) And this post wouldn’t be complete without a few shots of those stamps in action!

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Scrappy Trip-a-long : WIP Wednesday

I haven’t made tons of progress on the scrappy trip-a-long quilt but I have finished a few more blocks and I just love how it’s coming together. I was a bit worried about not having any yellow so I raided my stash and found some left overs from my Junebug quilt.

This last one is precious. I just love how the accidental cuts made it look like I actually fussy-cut the girl piece. I can’t wait to piece more blocks! Hopefully next week I’ll have more to show you. I’ve only gotten 5 pieces done but I love each and every block.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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