Monday, January 10, 2011

Envelopes Envelopes Everywhere

Going off of my last post, how about some more hand-crafted envelopes?

Polar bear for winter, which I vandalized enhanced with stickers, penguins, and wrapping paper :



Have some contrast-- here's one I made over the summer, featuring a pitcher of lemonade. This envelope traveled to the Philippines:



Fields of lavender. I had some extra room on the address label I made, so I drew a flower there. Hey, why not?:


A pretty waterfall (this was one of my favorites, sent to an ex who decided he didn't want to get back with me after all. Talk about wasting a good envelope XD; (Hehe) :



Part of the fun of making these was deciding not only the cut of each envelope, but the shape, color, and location of the address label.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Recycle Magazines and Calendars

By now, most of you probably know that I went through a massive envelope-making phase around this time last year. I cut up magazine and calendar pictures and used them to make fun, quirky envelopes to send to my pen pals. This is the template I used (feel free to print out and use it yourself, if you so desire):


This is how the front of an envelope looks right after I make it and before I add any labels:


Step 2: Adding the address labels. You can have a lot of fun deciding their shape and placement on the envelope (at least, if you're an arts-and-crafts mail geek like me):


Finally, an unimpressive back shot:


If you are an avid snail mailer and haven't tried making your own envelopes, give it a try -- it can really add some originality and personalization to your correspondence.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Happy belated new year! I hope everyone had a wonderful new year's eve, and that you all have a wonderful, healthy, and lucky new year!

In case you haven't already started hunting around for a new agenda planner to purchase for 2011, here are some viable options from Exacompta, the company which owns Clairefontaine and Rhodia:

~Exacompta Journal 21

~Rhodia Weekly Notebook Agenda Planner

~Quo Vadis Ib Traveler Weekly Planner

And now,

My New Year's Semester's Resolutions:

+ Blog on a regular basis, perhaps weekly. This should also help me unwind from studying in a semi-productive way

+ Alternately, make time for leisure activities

+ Make time for martial arts; hunt around for a nearby, affordable dojo

+ Get back into meditation. (Deeeeep breath...)

I'm not stupid enough to write, "Excercise on a weekly basis!" or something, because let's face it: Everyone writes that and nobody actually accomplishes it. Come March, the gyms have mostly emptied out. Which is why I resolve to make time for martial arts, instead. I'm hoping that indirectly referring to exercise will result in not jinxing the resolution. Yes, I know I sound crazy. So what else is new? :D

So, what are your new year's resolutions for 2011?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Havasu Turquoise

Wow. Grad school grabbed me by its teeth, chewed me up like crazy, and then spat me back out, an exhausted and discombobulated pile of....uh...student. Lots of stressing and mini-freakouts have occurred over the past 3 months or so -- new environment, new living situation (the first time I'm living on my own, actually. I always dormed or stayed at home) -- but at the end of the day I wouldn't want it any other way. I love learning, and I love the fact that at the end of this, I'll have a grad degree in something I'm passionate about. Whoohoo!

But, Christmas break has allowed me a chance to take a breather. This means, BLOGGING!!! It will be a Diamine inkfest with snail mail art thrown in, and whatever else pops into my head.

Let's start off by looking at one of those Diamine inks:

Havasu Turquoise was released waaay back in Fall 2009. This review is long overdue (sorry, Diamine Ink company! Here you go!).

I did something a bit different than I usually do for ink reviews, which I'm going to do from now on. I included samples from different types of paper to show how the ink fares in terms of drying time on various papers; you can see a closeup of them below the review. Below that is a closeup of the color swatches.

Color looks lighter than it actually is; but for the most part, very true to life.


In case you can't read the handwritten review:

COLOR: Light blue-turquoise. Not seeing any green here. A bright light blue

PROPERTIES: Average flow in this Cross ATX (m)
Shades on the back of thinner paper but no bleedthrough
Colorwise, lovely shading
No feathering :)

CONCLUSION: A well-behaved blue-turquoise ink. Pleasant color. More blue than Noodler's Navajo, brighter than Asa Blue.

Closeup of drying times on different paper types. I didn't bother to do any color-correction, so the ink looks darker than it is:


Closeup of color comparisons, very obviously color-corrected (:P) :


As mentioned above, Noodler's NT, though not by ANY means "green", definitely has a stronger greenish tinge than Diamine HT; it's more visible in real life.
Both are bright blues, but Diamine HT is darker and bluer.
Lighter and brighter than Diamine Asa Blue and Diamine MB

Diamine Majestic Blue (Diamine MB) has, in the photo, some odd splotches that kinda make it look like a petri dish. This is because of its near-legendary saturation: Diamine MB is so highly saturated that light bounces off the darkest parts of your writing (or, in this case, ink splotch) and creates this effect where it looks like the light reflected back is almost red, not blue. Diluting your MB with some water is a commonly used solution, assuming you don't like the reflect-red effect (I don't, personally).

The above are the only two turquoises I own, but out of them I prefer the Noodler's. I feel like the Noodler's NT color is more interesting with its green hue, as opposed to just being a pretty shade of blue.

So what's your favorite turquoise?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Hope PInk

This is really a lovely color, and a portion of sales from this ink goes towards breast cancer research. If you like pink inks, buy it!


Color comparisons seem accurate enough:

Hope Pink is bright without being neon, and a true pink
Noodler's Rachmaninov is more neon and leans towards magenta-blue
J. Herbin Rouge Bourgogne is warmer in tone, and looks almost earthy compared to the other two.

Here are some close-ups of how this ink fares on different types of paper in terms of feathering. There is slight to moderate bleedthrough, depending on how wet your FP is. (NOTE -- in these photos, Hope Pink looks cooler in tone than it actually is)



I would caution against using this ink in a wetter pen because the flow is very good, so it might be a tad too wet and really cause some feathering issues in, say, a Pelikan with a medium or broad nib.

Washes out very easily, so it's a snap to clean out if you like to switch inks a lot.

Overall, a well behaved ink that I definitely recommend for pink lovers!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Going Postal: A Traveling Journal

Waaaay back in January, I received Bianca's traveling journal to decorate. The theme was "mail" or "postal"; basically, anything associated with a mailbox or the postal system. I had a lot of fun decorating 3 pages. Here they are!

Avian Air Mail: When carrier pigeons just aren't enough. The albatross is missing from his post, because he's off to deliver a letter overseas.




No one had done it yet, so I decided to make the last one a "love letter" theme.



Can you decode the message?


Ahh, it feels good to be posting again!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

And The Winner Is....

The winner of the Diamine Classic Red giveaway is..... axolotl66!!!

Axolot166, please e-mail me your address at so I can send you your ink :)

To everybody else: Thanks for participating! I just finished moving in to my new apartment, going grocery shopping, registering for classes, going to grad student events/, talk about hectic.

Speaking of classes, mine start on Monday. I'm going to try real hard to do....biweekly reviews/posts? Does that sound good? We'll see. I'm sure I'll need the wonderful world of pens, inks, art and penpals to keep me sane as I proceed through grad school :^)

Upcoming: Ink review of Diamine Hope Pink