My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

Yarn Bombing by London Kaye

Yarn Bombing is a temporary form of street art that uses yarn instead of paint to transform everyday spaces (inside and outside) in a colorful unexpected way using all colors, textures of yarn and crochet pieces of various shapes.

They can be found wrapped around trees, on fences, on bicycles, chairs, tables, and so much more.  If you are familiar with Lion Brand yarn, you can easily see the various types of yarn that she used to create the lion.  The mane was made using the Lion Brand Fun Fur Yarn in two colors.  I love her use of textures to create these cool pieces.

  I had a chance to speak to a street artist called London, at a trade show.

She specializes in making colorful wall art using a variety of textures and colors.

The photo above shows one of the finished pieces she was working on at the Lion Brand Yarn Booth.

The video below was shot at the Winter CHA 2016 Show

where Street Artist London Kaye explains her process in doing street art and how she covered these fences with various crochet pieces over a period of three days.  

The work was sponsored by Lion Brand Yarn.

Disclaimer:  I do not work for Lion Brand nor do I personally know London.  I shot this video at the CHA and wanted to share with those who love seeing different ways that people express themselves creatively through street art.  Also I do not advice yarn bombing private property, it is always best to get permission to avoid legal complications.

DIY Watercolor Paper Inserts for Travelers Notebook

Most people have their favorite watercolor paper but it is hard to find the various brands in all travelers notebook sizes. It is even harder if you have one of the smaller pocket size and or micro size travelers notebooks.  I have been using my Hobonichi for an art journal and while that works well the size is a bit bulky (Cousin Size) to carry in my purse.  So I decided to make my own art journal out of my favorite Canson Motval 140 Watercolor Paper and add to my Onica Hamby Travelers Notebook.  It is great paper to watercolor on.  The watercolor paper is not too thick and it is perfect for folding into a more portable size.  It also dries fairly quick which I find helpful when i finish working on a page.  Additionally, I can easily find the paper online and at my local art store.

Instead of making a cover for my watercolor insert, I decided to purchase some great premade folders from Analog Stationers. They have a great selection of folders that offer different style pockets which I found quite useful for holding watercolor paper scraps, stickers and my favorite ruler.
Onica Hamby (Analog Stationers) Pocket Folders

Supplies Needed:
Canson 140 lb Watercolor Paper (or the paper of your choice) (9"x12")
Analog Stationers Travelers Notebook Pocket Folder (I bought the personal size pocket folder for my Travelers Notebook).
Paper Cutter
Plastic Bone Folder tool
Pencil (optional)

Step 1:
Measure your Travelers Notebook to figure out what size to cut the paper down to.

Step 2:
Lay open your pocket folder and measure it.  Take a 1/4" off the top and side measurement to be sure that your folded watercolor paper will fit into the pocket folder. If you are not using a pocket folder, you can also make your insert cover by just cutting a piece of card stock to use as a cover.  I just like the pocket folders because they offer the convenience of pockets to hold various supplies like stickers, ephemera and other things I like to use in my journaling.

Step 3:

Using the paper cutter, cut the paper to size.  The size of the these particular papers allowed me to cut a page for my personal and a page for my passport sized Travelers Notebook.  Tip: Save the scraps, they are great to use to test out your watercolors and for other projects.

Step 4:
Fold each sheet in half. Then use the plastic bone folder to score on the crease line. This helps the paper to stay folded and makes the paper fit inside the pocket folder better.

Step 5:

To finish, just insert the folded pages into the pocket folder and then insert them into the Travelers Notebook.

I don't sew or staple the paper because I want to be able to pull out the pages whenever I want.  It also makes it easy to add or remove pages to the pocket folder.

I was easily able to fit these pages into my personal sized travelers notebook.   Below is a video on how I set up my art journal to make it easy for me to carry with me and use.  I would love for your to share links to your set up videos below.

Note: This post is unsponsored. I purchased all items myself.


What To Bring To A Planner Event or Planner Meetups

For those who have never attended a planner event, here is some information on what to bring with you to a planner event or planner meet up.  This is just my list suggested items and keep in mind that everyone has their own favorite list of items to take to an event.  Also, what you bring to an event can vary.  I recently went to the My Prima Planner Launch Event in Temecula, California, which provided us with our choice of their new My Prima Planners.  So the items of I brought vary differently from what I would have taken to other planner events and meetups.

My first recommendation is to bring your planner and some pens.  Since each planner is made of its own unique paper, the type of pen used in a planner will vary.  When I take my “Happy Planner” to an event, then I can take pretty much any type of pen, which includes permanent markers, because the paper is so thick.   My Hobonichi planner is made of Tomoe River Paper, which is strong and bleed resistant.  However, I can see the shadow of some ink on the back of a page.  So I use gel pens and other lighter inks on it.  The Tomoe River paper is rather thin, so I also use a pencil board to keep from imprinting onto the following page (if you press hard with your pen or pencil it will leave an indention on the next page).   This also helps if you are testing out new inks. 

If you are new to planning, I can happily recommend PilotFriXion Pens.  They are erasable (be gentle while erasing if your paper is thin).  They also have a line of highlighters that are erasable too.  I love using those on my college school books, since I tend to resell those at the end of the semester.  Pilot also has a line of stamps called the Pilot FriXion Erasable Stamps that include a wide variety of images including holiday, meals, birthday and many more.

Amazon carries a Pilot FriXion Erasable Stamp set of 30 different images.  Since the FriXion pens and stamps work on heat (the process of erasing causes a heat reaction), then don’t be surprised if you leave your planner in a hot car and find some of your entries have disappeared. I left mine in my car on a 105° day (so it was pretty hot in the car) and I did have some entries fade.  I did some research and found that some people put the planner in the freezer and are able to recover some of their entries.  It did not work for me but maybe that was because it was my Hobonichi (which is thinner paper).  So keep that in mind if you use the FriXion Pens.

As you can see, the supply list can be varied in accordance to the planer and how each person uses it.  I often attend planner meetups at my local Michaels and/or JoAnns Craft stores.  Those events are usually only two hours long so I take a lot less supplies with me.  I try to make all my supplies fit into one of the "Me and My Big Ideas" Striped Storage Cases.

So here is a list of some items that you might consider taking with you to your first planner meet up.

Planner Meetup Essentials:
  • Planner
  • Pens / pencils 
  • Washi Tape (I wrap my washi tape onto used plastic gift cards so that I can carry a large selection while still using only a small amount of space in my tote bag.)
  • Adhesive
  • Stickers
  • Tweezers (To make moving stickers around easier)
  • Scissors
  • Sticky Notes

All Day Planner Events:
Additional Items if you’re going to an all day event or have more room in your planner tote bag:

  • Portable Paper Cutter
  • Hole Punch
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Stamp pads
  • Snacks and water (some places don’t allow other types of beverages)

Swap Items:
Some meetups have swaps (don’t worry the planner meetup usually will state if there is a swap or not):

  • Swap Items (check with host as to how many you need to bring).
  • Container to Hold Swap items you will receive.
I recommend a box like in the photo below because it makes it easier to carry and is great to take a quick Instagram picture.

Gift Exchange: 
Some meetups have gift exchanges that are set at a particular value.  I have now attended quite a few different meet ups and can say that it should be planner related.  Here is a picture of some of the items I received in a gift exchange at the @90twins planner event. It was a very generous gift. 

Now participating in a gift exchange can be tricky.  There are always new members who attend gift exchanges and if the host does not specify what should be in the gift exchange you may get something completely unrelated.  If you are picky about your planner supplies, just remember that you don't ever have to participate in the gift exchanges either.  If I am new to a group I will not participate in the gift exchange until I get an idea of what types of items that particular group likes.

Just a thought: I want to share a thought that my mother taught us.  She said that we should accept a gift with grace.  She also taught use that we should never criticize the gift itself, since it could hurt a person’s feelings.  After all, we all have different perspectives of what a planner supply is and what types of supplies we like to use, so we cannot expect another person to know what we would want.  

One of the planner meetups I am going to be attending in December is actually having a collection for new unwrapped toys which will be given to the “Choc Children Hospital Toy Drive”.  They decided that they would do that instead of the traditional swap and gift exchange.  I thought that was a lovely idea to give to others during the holiday time.

White Elephant or Destash Table:
These are my favorites.  Attendees bring planner supplies that they don’t want or need.  This included stickers, adhesives, paper, stamps, journaling cards, pens, and so much more. They are placed on the table to find new owners.  I love donating items to that table because then I don’t have to feel guilty about getting rid of something that does not serve my planner needs.  I know that someone who does want and need it will take it home. 

The great thing about planner events and planner meetups is that the host usually posts a list that offers suggestions of what items to bring with you to the event.  Those are mostly for first time attendees but are helpful just the same.  Also, the price for each event can vary.  I pay a small fee of $5 a year for my meetups membership that covers the cost of postings, etc.  However, each planner event can vary from $15 to $150.  Each one depends on who is hosting the event.  The “My Prima Planner Launch Event” was $120 which included one of the new planners that they were launching, 
a technique or accessory class that was structured to each planner, 
A watercolor mini class offered at the Prima Planner Launch Party!
some fun “make and take” projects, 
My Prima Planner Launch Party Planner Insert Page Project

a planner goody box, 

lunch, dessert, beverages, and wine tasting (for those who wished to taste the wines).  The event was worth far more than it cost.  The location was beautiful and I made some new friends there.

Planner events and planner meetups are a great way to meet people who share your love of planning and learn some new techniques.  I also find out about other future planner events from the people who attend.  They usually have popup shops that give you a chance to see and purchase planner related products.  It really is a fun experience and I enjoy attending them.  If you know of some fun upcoming planner meet ups, please share it by leaving a comment below.


2016 Marion Smith Planners Lovers Retreat Swag Bag | Part 3

Most Planner Events offer the attendees a fun swag bag, and the Marion Smith Planner Lovers Retreat had two different levels of swag bags.  The bag you got depended on which ticket you purchased for this Planner Lovers Retreat.

Most of the items in the swag bag were generously donated by the vendors who had booths at the Planner Event.

The bag itself was a cute design and will be great for holding my groceries when I go shopping.  Inside my  bag was the Marion Smith Designs Heart of Gold A5 Size Planner, which I really wanted. The exterior is a faux leather that is a very pretty shade of aquamarine. It looks more blue in this picture but it is actually more green.

The interior of this planner is so pretty, it has a white background with gold metallic hearts.

I also love that the pockets on the inside of the Marion Smith Designs Heart of Gold Planner were well spaced.  Each pocket on the inside interior was about 1" to 1 1/2" in depth. So I easily put sticky notes, planner clips and other items in it.

The pockets on the other side of the planner well thought out.  You can place paper inside the pocket, and it is deep enough to add one of those Target dollar grocery pads in it.  I used one of my Halloween temporary tattoos packages to give you an idea of how well they can fit.

The bottom pocket holding the back of the sticky note set is about 2 1/4" deep.  The next pocket is the  deepest.  It held most of the tattoo packet and there is a pocket behind it to store stickers and such. I really like it when planners have well thought out pockets.  I purchased a Kikki K planner that had horrible pockets and ended up giving it away because it drove me crazy that the pockets were so poorly designs.

My Retreat Swag Bag also had a Marion Smith Designs 4 Month Planner and Notebook in it.  I thought this was a great design for students.  In the past I have ordered 6 month planners from Plum Paper (on Etsy) because then I can fill it with information relating only to that semester.  So it was cool to get one that is four months and still has some space for adding notes.  Winter semester is so much shorter than spring so this will be put to good use by one of my daughters who is starting college.

The inside layout of this 30 days planner is not dated, so it can be used at any time.

It has a weekly layout with plenty of space to log my daughter's schedule and assignments.  There are quite a few blank lines pages in the back of the book for additional notes and stuff.

And my planner goody bag also had these fun travelers notebooks and adhesives in it.
This Tomboy Permanent Adhesive Sampler was really great.  

Additionally, there was a cute hello kitty planner clip from the Elite Planners Club.  You can also see more the Elite Planners Club planner supplies on her instagram .

My planner swag bag also had these fun die cuts and an interesting gem piece in it. I am not sure how I will use the gem piece but I may turn into planner charm of some sort.

There were also some stickers from Marion Smith Designs and some pieces of very pretty papers which I can use in my planner.

The Retreat had a "Make n Take" which was learning how to make a polymer clay dangle.  I never got to do it because each table took a turn at making them I did not stay late enough to make one.  However, I think Marion Smith has a video on her Youtube channel that covers the basic on that project, so I did not miss out on anything.

Marion Smith's Kids did put on a cute "Make n Take" where for a small fee of $1, you got to make a pretty floral planner clip.  I think I did four of those because it was so quick and easy to do (plus her kids were so sweet to do this).

Over all it was a pretty fun day and I met some really great people there.  I will do a post on the swap items separately, since there were so many of those.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I paid for my ticket and for everything I purchased at this event.