Week 52, The Final Week: Happy Planner Layouts

10:50 AM

Happy Christmas Eve!

This will be my last planner related post for the year, unless there is a repeat of last year's planner gifting fiasco. We'll find out tomorrow morning.

For the coming year, I'll be working with two Happy Planners. The Mini and the Classic. There will be a lot of decorating in the Classic as this planner will stay put on my desk. As for the Mini, this will serve as my on-the-go planner.

Last night, I started putting together the layout for the coming week in the Mini Happy Planner. Although I don't plan on decorating in the Mini, I decided to add next week's exercise regime and detox plan in it. I also added some stickers that I made from the stamps I purchased from the Sweet Stamp Shop as well as a couple of different stamp sets from other vendors.

As for the Classic Happy Planner, I've gone ahead and decorated. I used a variety of stamp sets, mostly from the Sweet Stamp Shop. Since I'm decorating the next week, I didn't want to use any of the Christmas washi tape on this layout. I would have gone gold, but I didn't have any that were about half a centimetre in width, so thus, I went with the blue theme.

For the materials used in this layout, I have pictures below. I will add a link to the shops I'd bought my crafting supplies in the next few posts. 

Stay safe and have a Happy Christmas everyone!


The Happy Planner Mini

8:27 AM

It's that time of year again! 2016 is coming to a close and if you're like me, you're going to need a new planner! There are quite a bit of planners out there to choose from. There are some inexpensive ones and there are some that can do quite a bit of damage to your bank account.

I'm a creature of habit when it comes to the things I like and for the last twenty years, I've been using a Filofax. It's a durable brand and the one thing I loved about it was that I can buy a binder and just keep buying inserts every year. But, as Filofax began adding different sizes and style of binders to their collection, I was no longer buying inserts, but buying the binders. The one big advantage to buying the binders was that I was coordinating them with my bags. If I was using my light pink Coach bag, I used my Filofax Personal size in Lavander and so on. It was easy to migrate or move everything from one binder to another. The only downfall to having a Filofax was that I can customize it any way I want it. Meaning, lots of custom inserts such as shopping list, goals, blog post schedule, the diary itself, university information, and so on. It can get quite heavy in my bag. 

So this year, I've decided to do a bit of a change. I've been using my Filofax in conjunction with Mambi's Happy Planner. But with Mambi's release of the Mini Happy Planner, I've decided to forego buying inserts for my Filofax and going with the mini Happy Planner.

The Mini Happy Planner is almost the same size as the personal Filofax binder.

The inserts in the mini Happy Planner come with a month at a glance as well as a week on two horizontal layout. This is what I like about the mini Happy Planner. The inserts come with the month at a glance whereas Filofax doesn't and you'd either have to search for a free printable, make it yourself, or buy the inserts along with your regular diary pages. As much as I love Filofax, their inserts are pretty thin and get quite expensive. The pages in the Happy Planner are made of thick paper and I don't have to worry about my pens bleeding through.

The inserts are larger than the personal size Filofax inserts and they are also lined. 

I've spoken to a older lady at the local scrapbooking store in Sacramento and she did not like the mini Happy Planner as it is made for people who just want to write their appointments in it rather than decorate and it seemed to me she thought it a bad thing. What I tried to explain to her, that in the planner community, we have multiple planners in which we can decorate or just keep appointments. For those who have quite a lot going on in their daily lives such as work, post-gradute university, family, and kids. Having a separate planner to plan everything without decorating it is a tool. For me, the Mini Happy Planner is a tool that is used in conjunction with my iPhone, MacBook Pro, and the Happy Planner. It is in the Happy Planner that I decorate, add my schedule and any other impromptu events that happen during the week.

If you like decorating your planner, but want an on-the-go one where you can quickly jot down things to do, assignments, grocery list, etc., but without all the bulk of a Filofax, then the mini Happy Planner is your best bet. I've always been a Filofax fan, but after getting my hands on the mini Happy Planner, I don't think I'm ever going back .... unless Mambi discontinues it.

I think I'll use my Christmas Wish on having Mambi keep the Mini Happy Planner for a long time to come.

Have a Happy Christmas everyone!!!


Artist Loft Markers: Making the Best Out of Low-Grade Markers

11:05 AM

When it comes to crafting, particularly stamping, many of us are on a budget and as much as we would love to own the entire colour spectrum in Copic Markers, that might just not be feasible to our pocketbooks, unless we've won the lottery.

Recently, I've gotten back into paper crafting, particularly decorating in my Happy Planner and making greeting cards. I haven't scrapbooked any photographs in ages, but decorating in the Happy Planner had become a pretty good hobby for me. It also allowed me to get into my creative side and gave me a break from the monotony of postgraduate studies.

For the images I've been stamping, I wanted to produce an image that had crisp and vibrant colours. I tried the Sharpie markers, but they bled through easily, even after embossing the image. I was also having trouble blending them. I wanted the Comic Marker look, but I was not willing to pay $8 for one marker. So, I went on a hunt for some inexpensive ones.

During the summer season, I was browsing through the art materials at Michael's Arts and Crafts store in the Natomas area when I found a set of relatively inexpensive markers. It was the Artist Loft Triangle Markers. They were a bargain at $5. With 36 colours in the box, it seemed like the practical option.

The colours are very vibrant, which is what I was after. However, there are a few caveats to consider before buying these markers. Although they were vibrant, they created some pilling on watercolour paper as you layer in the colour. This made me think that if you used it on regular paper, the pilling will be much worse. Also, the pen cap does not match the colour of the pen, so I suggest creating a swatch or testing it on a piece of paper before you colour your image.

Since I've already purchased the markers and used it, I don't think returning it would be a good idea. Plus, the gas alone to get to the store would cost just as much which makes it not worth it to go back and get a refund. So, I decided to figure out a way in which I can maximize my use out of these markers.

Thankfully, the markers are waterbased, which means, you can add a little bit of water to dilute the colour and prevent pilling. You can also even out the colour throughout the image and remove the fine lines that were present while you were filling in the image.

The image I'm using as an example is the Heartbreaker set from The Sweet Stamp Shop.

The most important thing in using these markers is to use watercolour paper since the markers are waterbased and you'll be using a bit of water in conjunction with the markers. You can use a cheap version. I'm mostly stamping and coloring to use on cards and on my Happy Planner that the Target brand watercolour pad works great.

First, you need to emboss the image. I used the Memento Fade Resistant Dye Ink in Black with a White Transparent embossing powder.  As you can see, I've already started colouring in the negative space in purple and the girl is already finished.

Once you have your image embossed, it's time to start colouring. If you want one solid colour without any shadows, just fill in the whole section. Using a watercolour brush or any paintbrush you have on hand, dip it in water and go over the entire image to make sure the lines are blended out and you have one solid colour. The brush I used is the ZIG H2O Water Brush.

You can also tone down any colour with water. As for the skin tone, the flesh tone marker is too neon-pink that when you colour in the skin areas, it looks ridiculously unnatural. The trick is to colour in a line either on the top or the bottom of the face or any body part and use water to pull the colour out to tone it down. As you can see, it worked on the girl.

But if you want to create some shadows, use a darker coloured pen or layer the colour in the inside corners of the image. Using the same technique, pull the colour out to the outside corners just as I did on the leaves and the flower.

The one thing to remember about this technique is to let your image dry. You can speed it up by using a heat embossing tool, but if you've used your toaster oven or one of those old school electric mug warmers, letting the image air dry would be your best bet. I wouldn't suggest using a hair dryer as it blows air, which will blow the colours out of your page and all that hard work would be for nothing. After it's dry, you can start cut it and affix it to a card or to your planner.

Good luck and happy crafting!