Sunday, April 8, 2018

Whimsy Planner Meetup Review

I have attended a lot of meet ups over the last three years and the Whimsy Planner Meetups in Carlsbad, California are one of my favorites to attend because they usually include a tutorial/ project, a cute handmade gift tag that can be used for my memory book, a snack, beverages and use of the crafting equipment that Michelle sets up for us to use.

If you haven't experience a "Whimsy Planner Meetup"  by Michelle Ledesma Hill, you have been missing out.  Michelle currently charges $10 for her meet ups.

This fee includes the use of planner and crafting tools, a DIY Project, and more.

She provides beverages and a snack. Everyone is encouraged to bring a some snacks to share.  I usually bring a large veggie tray with dip (from Costco) to keep me on my diet and help me avoid some of the fabulous sweet treats that are usually there.
The cool shimmery travelers notebooks are made by 
Of course, everyone brings their planners to work on. It is pretty cool to see the various types of planners that people use.  Travelers Notebooks with monthly and weekly inserts are getting more and more popular.  I took my Leather Quill Travelers Notebook which holds both my water color supplies and my weekly insert so I could work on both.

During each meet up, Michelle offers a fun DIY project that is themed in accordance to which ever holiday may be coming up.  The last one I attended was just before St. Patricks day (March 2018), so ours had a very green theme.  Michelle also made us each a really cute name tag which you can see in the photo below.

There is also the usual gift exchange with the value depending on the limit set by Michelle.  In addition to the the gift exchange, there is usually a swap.  If you have never attended a planner meet up, they usually hold swaps which are items that vary in value.  Most attendees make their swaps  which can be pins, pens, stickers and planner clips.   I like to have a variety of items to swap, because I do tend to run into the same people at these events and want to swap items that they do not already have.  For  the last swap I offered a choice of charms, felt planner clips or a fun travelers notebook dangle. I enjoy collecting the swap items I receive because I have found that they can be unique, as well as functional.  There are so many creative people who are into planner meet ups so the type of items swapped can truly vary. Below is a sample of some of the swap items I received.

The other reason to attend the planner meet ups is that I find that I meet some of the nicest people.

It is also fun to see all the different planners and their uses.  I have one friend who had a planner that
she uses only to plan sewing projects.  It is pretty cool how she lays out her projects.  Another friend uses her planner for budget planning and grocery shopping.  Her planner is an insert because she likes to switch them out each month to keep it from getting too thick.  The "Whimsy Planner Meet Up" is a lot of fun and located in Carlsbad California (very near the outlets).

The price of each of the planner meet-up is incredibly reasonable  at $10.  It is a very casual atmosphere and they are held in an outdoor tent so there is plenty of room for everyone to layout out their planning supplies and work on their planners.

It is also a fun way to meet new people.

Note: I learned a great lesson at this particular meet up from an established artist.  I tend to bring too much stuff (supplies) and always end up not using them.  She explained the best way to get stuff accomplish is to set small goals.  She was right. Now I think about what I want to work on and bring only the supplies needed to do that.  I found that I am taking a lot less supplies with me to these meet-ups and getting more accomplished.  I still find time to meet new people and chat.  Also, I am not sponsored nor associated with Whimsy or Polkadot Studios.  I just love her "Whimsy Planner Meet ups" and the "Whimsy Weekend" crafting weekends.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My review of the Wind Chime Studio Stencils and Tutorial

The "Wind Chime Studio" stencils are made of 7 mil thick plastic that is perfect for a variety of crafts which include card making, painting, decorating planners, and airbrushing.  The plastic is see-through which makes it easy to work with.  The plastic stencils are also very flexible which makes it perfect for using them to  airbrush makeup.  Nancy Ibsen, the owner of Wind Chime Studio,  sent me a couple to test out and see if they would work for my particular projects.

Test 1 - Koi Fish Painting:

The first stencil I tested was the Two Part Koi Fish Stencil.  The outline stencil offers the outline and the actual Koi fish cut out which can be used as a mask for various painting techniques. Part 2 of the stencil set is the Koi fish detail stencil.  Nancy Ibsen, the owner of Wind Chime Studio has included two square registrations on the plastic stencils that can be used to properly line up the detail stencil over the Koi Fish outline stencil.  If you look that the photo below, you can see the two registration squares.
The two alignment squares before lining up.

You just have to line them both up, so that one is perfectly matched up to the other (see photo below).  Then tape them down so that they do not move.
The squares should be perfectly aligned before using the detail stencil.
Koi Fish Painting Tutorial


  • Canvas
  • Bright colored paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencil Tape
  • Koi Fish Stencil and the "Botanical Stencil"
  • Black Pigma Ink Brush Pen
  • Glitter glue or glitter gel pens

Step 1:
Take the cut-out part of the two part Koi Fish stencil (you will find the fish inside the outline stencil or it might be lose in your package).  Tape down the Koi fish cut-out and paint around it.  I used removable tape on one side of the fish to hold it in place.  If you don't have removable adhesive, you can always just hold it in place while painting around it.  This step allowed me to have a clean white base to make sure the Koi Fish colors were not mixed with the outer colors.  One you finish painting around the stencil, remove the cut out before the paint dries to avoid streaking the paint.

Step 2:
Tape down the outline stencil. Paint the Koi fish with some peach and orange paint to create the Koi Fish base color (or use any color you like).  Allow the paint to dry before you do step 3.

Step 3:
Take the detail stencil and place it on top of the outline stencil.  Once you line up the registrations, tape the stencil down to keep it from moving.  Use a darker color paint to add the detail to the Koi Fish.  Remove the stencils and allow the paint to dry. Don't forget to clean the stencils.

Step 4:
Add more details to the picture by using the "Botanical Art Nouveau Stencil".  This is a single stencil so you don't need to worry about lining up any of the registrations.  Just decided where you want the plants to be and tape it down before painting.  Once you finish painting the plants, remove the stencils and allow the paint to dry.

Step 5:
Add any additional detail you may want to the painting.  I decided to out line the flowers with colored markers.  I also added some glitter glue to parts of the fish to make it look more dimensional.

Hobonichi Weeks decorated with the Cherry Blossom Stencil

Test 2 - Planner Decorating:

I use a Hobonichi planner which is made of Tomoe River paper.  The Tomoe River paper is 52 gsm which is great for Fountain Pens but can be tricky when using stickers.  The planner I used last year got pretty thick from all the stickers and washi tape I added to it. Since then,  I have been searching for a way to decorate the pages without adding so much bulk.  I was interested to see if I could add designs and color into my Hobonichi planners without the added bulk by using the Wind Chime Studio stencils in my Hobonichi Weeks planner.  I decided to test the "Cherry Blossoms" stencil from the Wind Chime Studio collection".

I taped the Cherry Blossom stencil down using stencil tape.  Since the paper on my Hobonichi is so thin, I removed some of the adhesive from the tape by putting it on my hands then removing it.  The oil from my skin made the tape less sticky and less likely to tear the Tomoe River paper.

I used the Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Inks and the blending tool to blend the color onto the paper. I wanted to be able to write over the design, so I decided to stick to light colors.  I began to add the Tim Holtz Ranger Distress inks one at a time.   Since the stencil is so thin, the application went smoothly.  I love how I was able to achieve these results.

After I had stenciled on the inks, I added some details using the Sakura Pigma Micron Ink Pens.  I love how they came out.  I could have left the flowers as they were without the black ink outlines and it would have been great too.  By not adding dark colored inks, I did not lose any writing space on my pages.  I use the Hobonichi Weeks, the Hobonichi Techo, and the Jibun Techo which all have the same wonderful thin paper.  I love that I will be able to use this stencil line in all of them and be able to decorate them without losing writing space nor making the pages too thick.

My daughter demonstrating make-up airbrushing techniques to other students.

Test 3 - Air Brushing Make Up:
My daughter has done school events where she needed to air brush a lot of kids in a short period of time. She always needs an assortment easy to use stencils that allow her to cover a large area of the forehead or face.  We decided to test out the "Milky Way Stars" stencil and see how well it would work for these type of events.  Since the plastic that these stencils are made from are fairly thin, this makes them very flexible.  She was able to bend them to use for airbrushing makeup onto skin.

Since she usually has so many kids to do, she tends to stick to one color per person.  Then after airbrushing the makeup on, she usually accents the design with some glitter (specially made for using in make up applications).  She used the "Milky Way Stars" stencil for a onstage demonstration at school and she found that this stencil worked great for her.

Nancy Ibsen sent me a note to let me know that she will be creating some smaller stencils that will be easier to use for airbrushing makeup.  We enjoy applying fantasy makeup (fairies, witches, etc) for Halloween and Comic Con and stencils make it so easy to do various effects with the airbrush. I can't wait to see what new airbrushed makeup stencils she releases.  Makeup stencils can be expensive and I found the prices at the Wind Chime Studio Etsy store to be really reasonable.   If you are interested in seeing more of her designs, you can find her at

Note:   I was not paid to do this review.  Nancy Ibsen sent me some of her stencils for me to test out and review.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

My Polkadot Whimsy Weekend Experience | Event Review

The owner of Polkadot Whimsy offers a unique experience in her Whimsy Weekends which are listed 

as a 3-day crop type of event that not only offers a space to create in and but also offers a fun atmosphere.  Additionally, you have the opportunity to get creative input from fellow attendees and Michelle that make it a special experience and can enhance your projects.

The weekend includes some lunches, snacks, and dinners that are prepared by Michelle.  You are not limited to what is offered, there are various restaurants and stores in the area where you can pick up your own meals if you like.  Since I do not cook, it was rather cool to eat the delicious homemade meals that were prepared for us instead of having to order fast food.  I have posted some pics of some of the meals so that you can get an idea of what type of food was served.

Michelle did a beautiful job of making everything easy to serve and to create a fun family style atmosphere for us to enjoy.
Michelle (owner of Polkadot Whimsy)
For those who are unfamiliar with the Whimsy Meetups and/or the Whimsy Weekends, Michelle (owner of Polkadot Whimsy) has been working in the creative industry for years.  She has taught scrapbooking, card making and planner workshops.  She has also attended the Creative Hobby and Industry  (now called the AFCI ) trade shows to keep on top of the newest trends for her customers at Polkadot Whimsy.
Haley and I having fun at the Whimsy Weekend Event.

She offers these Whimsy Weekend 3-day crops several times a year and they tend to sell out fairly quickly.
Haley and Michelle

She limits the event to 16 people so that each person can have the space they need to work on their project. Each person had an assigned seat that included a special paper pack, stickers, die cuts and a cute pair of socks with their own personalized skate name tag.

The Whimsy Weekends are not limited to scrapbooking.  Several of the ladies attending brought their

sewing machines to use to work on various projects and designs.  One person had a cool Beginner Style Janome Sewing machine that so cute.  I love that you can get a sewing machine in a variety of colors and styles.  I especially liked Keely Reichman's black sewing machine.  It is made of heavy metal and can sew a variety of materials.  It look pretty sturdy.
Keely Richman makes some very cool leather travelers notebooks. She also made the very cool fabric one in this picture and the two leathers ones in the photo above. She also designs stickers, travelers notebook pouches and more. You can see more on her Etsy store.
Odd Girl Journals

Below is a picture of my friend Haley working on one of her planners.

I worked on several projects which included a no-sew blanket, my junk journal, and some time planning in my hobonichi planners.

Michelle has all types of crafting supplies available for use during her event
 (she will specify what items are available for guest use during the event).

For a crafter, her craft supplies were sheer eye candy.

Below is picture of one half of the room set up. As you can see each person has a nice area to hold their supplies and work in.

She also had an outside area set up in a tent that had different machines available to use during the event.  This included a sewing machine, iron, glue gun, Cameo, paper cutters and other fun items.

We  also did two fun "Make & Take" projects that Michelle prepared for us to make.  The first one was a really cute DIY Easter Rabbit Frame project.  Michelle provided all the materials and each person was invited to make the project adding their own personal touch to it.  It was a success.

All the bunny's were different and yet they all looked so festive together.

The second project we had a choice of making a "DIY Junk Journal",

a memory journal,
or a travelers notebook insert.  I choose to work on the junk journal and gathered my supplies to start this project.

There was also a variety of raffle prizes that were given out throughout the crop event. Below is a pic of the grand prize which had some fun supplies in it.

The Whimsy Weekends are a lot of fun.  Michelle is a wonderful host who really works hard at making sure her guests have a fun time.  We enjoyed the wonderful meals she prepared, the fun projects we got to make.  The whole weekend is just a fun atmosphere that it just seemed to fly by too quickly.  My friends and I had a great time there and hope to go back again soon.

I forgot to add that this cute little dog (that Shawnie is holding) came to visit us for

a little bit on Sunday.

Note: I recommend that you get a hotel that is not close to the freeway so that you can get some sleep during the weekend.  I made the bad choice of booking our hotel right off the 5 freeway and it was loud.  The hotel was only a mile away from the event location so it was certainly quick to get back and forth. However, I think to truly enjoy the weekend, you need a bit of sleep.  We stayed at the Day's Inn and it was so loud. I was fortunate enough to pack some really good earphones and play my music all night to cover the noise.  However, if you don't have noise cancelling earphones, you may not get much sleep.