New year, new projects

New year, new projects

It’s hard to deny that as you get older the festive season seems to come and go quickly. I’m getting back into the daily grind, starting afresh this new year in my new Hobonichi planner.

It is a significant change from my weekly planner from last year. In addition to yearly and weekly views, there are daily pages. The company encourage self expression with the planner and put forward a ‘use-it-your-way’ approach. I haven’t really quite decided how to attack it yet. It is serving as a daily journal for me so far.

I want to keep track of when I start and finish my projects. I finished a couple of knitted Christmas presents at the end of 2017, and now I’m ready to start something else. I bought a set of 3 skeins from We Love Knitting. The set fades from blue to white to pink and is the most adorable combination ever. I have big plans for this yarn, watch this space.

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Taking stock: December 2017

Taking stock: December 2017

I’ve spotted these ‘taking stock’ posts (first seen at Meet Me at Mike’s) around the place. I haven’t taken part in it before, but being the end of year and feeling all 懐かしい (find the meaning here) I decided to take some time out and declutter my brain. I don’t know about you but I don’t really make any new year’s resolutions either. I like to think I just go with the flow. 

December has been a blur of constructing greeting cards, wrapping presents and just general life. We purchased an apartment off the plan and now it’s coming to completion, it feels as if there are a billion and one things on the list that never, ever seems to get shorter.

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Making: A bunch of knitted Christmas gifts. I can’t reveal what they are just yet, but I thought I had started early on these. Turns out not early enough. I’m making a mental note for next year to start earlier if I want to go down this path again.

Cooking: Over the weekend we had a dinner party with some friends, on the menu were marinated chicken wings, roast pork, veggies, lasagne and a hummingbird cake. So good.

Drinking: Copious amounts of water. Sydney weather is forecast to be in the high thirties, so staying hydrated with my fancy new Memo Bottle.

Reading: Classic Style by Kate Schelter. Well really I’m admiring the pretty watercolour illustrations that accompany minimal living.

Next read: There isn’t anything on my list at the moment, but I’m really into biographies these days. I recently finished reading a book by Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector.

Wanting: Time off work. It can’t come soon enough. I thought this time of year would be winding down, but nope. It’s all gogogogo.

Looking: For my next craft on-the-go project. I like having something to do on my (short) train ride into work.

Playing: A really interesting YouTube video on why people are awkward. See here.

Deciding: On which phone to purchase next. Tossing up the X or the Pixel. Both have their pros and cons but I am running out of time and need a new phone, stat.

Wishing: For the Sydney weather to show some mercy for the Christmas break.

Enjoying: The prospect of having 2 weeks off work. No meetings. No phone calls.  No emails. Yes.

Waiting: For this day to be over. Meetings hurt my head.

Liking: This taking stock process. It is forcing me to reflect back on myself and what I’ve achieved this past few weeks.

Wondering: If I’ll do this more regularly. It feels quite therapeutic.

Loving: A giant therapeutic stuffed bear I bought from MiniSo the other day. He sits on my bed and looks super cute.

Pondering: How many questions are left on this thing?

Considering: Finishing this later, I’m running out of steam here. Hah.

Buying: Nothing really, I’m trying to stay away from the shops these last few days. I hate hate hate the holiday crowds.

Watching: Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan. I’ve been meaning to watch it since it came out, and got super excited when I spied it whilst browsing SBS on Demand last night.

Next watch: The OA on Netflix. It stars Emory Cohen who starred in the previously mentioned Brooklyn.

Hoping: The lead up to Christmas would slow down a little. I love this time of year. Being able to enjoy festive food and celebrate non-stop!

Marvelling: At all the Christmas lights in my neighbourhood. I love it.

Cringing: All of the vloggers clutching at straws for vlogmas. Taylor R started her viral Christmas tree eyebrow trend the other week.

Needing: Coffee. All. The. Time.

Questioning: Whether I want to redo the layout of this blog.

Smelling: Wild Bluebells from Jo Malone. Loving this scent for summer. It is just so floral and fruity at the same time.

Wearing: Dresses and skirts. Aforementioned heat has dictated it be so.

Following: A bunch of JVLOGGERS. I’m getting obsessed with Japan all over again in preparation for my next trip and I’m SO EXCITED.

Noticing: The ladies that wear slippers to work. Is that appropriate in a corporate environment?

Knowing: There are only 5 days to Christmas. Eep!

Thinking: About how much there is left to do before Christmas! Double eep!

Admiring: How creative some people are getting with wrapping their Christmas pressies.

Sorting: Through life.

Getting: Antsy.

Bookmarking: I’ve been pinning loads of homeware and furnishing ideas lately.

Coveting: A capsule wardrobe. But I like things too much and that will never, ever happen. A gal can dream.

Disliking: Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy. I really admire Jake as an actor, but this movie did not do him any favours.

Opening: The Hey! VINA app on my phone – I love finding (platonic) friends to match with on the app, but I’m so terrible at

Giggling: Not really.

Feeling: Like I really need to go to the bathroom after drinking aforementioned copious amounts of water to get through this heatwave.

Snacking: ThinkFood Munch snacks. I love the entire range but almond trail is probably my go-to right now.

Hearing: Sia’s Christmas album (on repeat) – after seeing her in concert the other week, she has pretty much dominated my playlist.

Springing into spring

Springing into spring

Spring is definitely here. Well, it pounced on us with a 30 degree day then ran off far into the distance. I’m glad the rain is back this week. I feel like we haven’t received a decent drenching in a long while. I know my plants could certainly use some rain water.

My indoor plant collection has all but multiplied since I found the plant of my dreams a few months ago: the chain of hearts. I absolutely adore it and there are so many new shoots now that the weather has become a lot warmer.

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I’ve been getting into cacti and succulents. I have to say that I was never into cacti at all. I didn’t find them very attractive and to be honest found them super boring with their spikes and slow growth. Fast forward to 2017, where I’m completely obsessed and enamoured. The different shapes and sizes and colours. I love it all. Not to mention the surprise blossoms that show up after a good season.

The biggest catalyst I would say would have to be my latest trip to Europe. Having gone smack bang in the middle of spring, we went to market after market with stalls filled with cacti in full bloom. I desperately wanted one to call my own.

The other weekend I took apart the stand of succulents that had grown haywire. A lot of the jelly bean plants had aerial roots, so I had to fix that. It was a hot mess of plant roots and wayward stems.

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I started off by pulling the plants apart, cutting back the roots and repotting into some of the seedling pots I had laying around. If you’re concerned about having to trim back succulent roots, don’t fret. Succulents are hardy plants that can propogate quite easily from cuttings.

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Then it was just a case of rinse and repeat. I stacked them nicely on one of those cheap plant stands that you can purchase from Aldi. Go figure I ended up with a surplus of succulents, and a lot of them didn’t make the plant-stand-cut. I ended up giving some away. Anyway, end my boring plant rant.

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Hobonichi mania

Hobonichi mania

I was never one to religiously keep a journal or a diary for any given period of time. I would have some great yearning to kick off the year and complete a photo-a-day or something to that effect. At the moment I have an Appointed weekly diary, which serves it’s purpose for the time being. I keep track of my daily tasks on my weekly spread and note down any important dates on the month view.

More recently I’ve had an interest in journalling and sticking bits and pieces from my day into my diary. I love the idea of incorporating elements of scrapbooking and documentation. I find it fun to look back on what I did on any particular day.

This started my hunt for the ideal diary for next year. I stumbled on the Hobonichi Techo – a Japanese lifestyle diary made from Tomoe River paper which can withstand fountain pens with minimal bleed through. There are countless vlogs and reviews of how different people have used them in different ways. This was the biggest selling point for me. I love seeing how creative everyone is getting with these books!

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I’ve settled on the A5 Techo Cousin Avec book, which basically means the entire year is split up into two 6-month books. This is ideal for me as I dislike carrying too much with me (I already carry way too much in stationery heh).

I’m having issues with deciding which cover to pick with the Cousin. I really love the Hanajutan cover as it reminds me of a plush carpet of moss. If you know me you’d know that I am more than a little obsessed with mossariums.

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Not meant to be though. It’s only available for the original A6 size which is just too small for my purposes. The Liberty cover this year is a little underwhelming. I love Tana Lawn fabric but the butterfly-eque pattern isn’t really doing much for me, nor is the red interior. I love how Hobonichi have styled these photos BTW. It does wonders to the customer experience to be able to see these covers in context.

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I’m tossing up a couple of the zip around cases – the Mermaid and the Flower Rug have caught my eye, but I’m not sure about how practical the zipper would be. I like to be able to just access my book without barriers and flick to the page that I need to go to. Plus would it sit flat on my desk? But the patterns are so adorable and I love how luxe the fabric looks.

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Either way, if you’re interested I encourage you to see the full line up over on the Hobonichi website. Hobonichis don’t come cheap, so it is a bit of an investment. I’m keen on the idea of archiving yearly books onto my bookshelf, sorta like photo albums for the year. We’ll see how I go.

Five things: The July edition

Five things: The July edition

One. I’m crazy about card making right now. I’ve dived head first into YouTube land with the likes of Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire (and more) and have gathered bundles of inspiration that I think my head is going to explode. Thank goodness for Pinterest! I need more excuses to send cards to friends. And I’m hating on the fact that Australia Post keeps increasing postage prices but it won’t stop me. How I love snail mail.

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Two. I’m in full KonMari mode again and attempting to purge all my unwanted material possessions. I’ve discovered Carousell and Shedd. Why do these apps need the superfluous extra letter you ask? Maybe it adds to their success. Who knows. I’ve sold a bunch on both apps. I find it convenient enough to list quickly and efficiently, but find the hagglers a bit much to deal with.

Three. Truffle season is happening right now and whilst it is usually Canberra that gets the bulk of the celebrations, Sydney is getting onboard with the truffle party. I’ve visited some restaurants with truffle specials and I’m addicted. I just can’t say no to a smattering of fresh truffle atop my jaffle. And all other indulgent foods just because. Winter.

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Four. Hobonichi research dominates my free time right now. At the moment I’m using an Appointed weekly notebook planner. I love it for task planning and an overview of what’s to come, but what I’m really craving is the day-to-day journalling. I guess this related to point number one and documenting and stamping everything in sight. I think I’ve decided on an A6 version, now whether I want the Avec or the traditional… I really wanted some cute planner clips so I ended up making my own.

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Five. I saw they just released the Instax Square, which is a hybrid camera. Not sure how I feel about this. I love how the older Instax captures moments without any editing. However I can see why you would want to edit your photos to print. I just purchased the SP-2 printer after years of detesting it, just because I can’t deny it in this digital age. I have SO many photos on my phone, on my hard drive that I just want to physically touch.

Now, all I need is some time to pursue my 103,482,298 hobbies. That is all.

My European birthday

My European birthday

International birthday travel is fast becoming a tradition of mine. While last year I travelled through Japan, this year I traipsed ate my way through Europe. I loved every moment of it, and despite it being my third visit I feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface.

I’ve commonly heard of France as being a love it or hate it city with no in between. I have to say I fall smack bang in the ‘love it’ camp. It holds a special place in my heart and I don’t think I could ever travel to Europe without a visit. On this trip we were fortunate enough to drive through the south of France all the way up to the Italian border. I loved how wide and varied the scenery shifted in such a short distance.

I think I OD’ed on cheese and wine, although can one really get sick of cheese and wine In France we ate at Mirazur for my birthday (I was sooo spoiled), which is currently number 4 restaurant in the world. I can’t stop thinking about the trolley of cheese they brought out post-meal. I spent some time in Lyon – know as the foodie capital, I ate endless quenelles and saucissons at the downtown market. We were blessed with clear blue skies for most of our trip.

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We stopped by London and Amsterdam to say hello to our expat friends that have since gone onto live fun adventures abroad. I’m a little jealous of all the European countries they have at a stone’s throw. Coming into spring, it was lovely to have the flowers (especially those gorgeous tulips) in bloom during our nordic leg of the trip.

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Take me back! <3

See ya later, June

See ya later, June

We’re halfway through the year already and I don’t really know how time is flying by so fast! I’m just trying to stay dry today. I left the house with my gumboots, my fab new Elka rain jacket I got from Europe *love* and a brolly.

In an effort to keep myself accountable I’m going to document my current work in progress (in terms of my craft projects). I brought a few bits to work on whilst in Europe, but I’ve gotten a bit discouraged with the length of time that it is taking. Lesson learned I’m focussing my energy on short and portable projects that I can put down and pick up without recalling too much pattern information.

At the moment I’m making a turban style headband which will be perfect for keeping ears warm in winter. It’s a gift for someone that I started maybe one or two nights ago? I’ve already had to frog it and restart twice, but I’m pleased to say it is almost done. All I have left to do is sew all the ends in. It uses the brioche stitch which is perfect as I’m a continental knitter, but I can get easily distracted by things and miss a stitch.

I adore how chunky these stitches are!

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