Jazz up your washi tape

Today I’ve got a quick and simple tip/tutorial for you to jazz up your washi tapes. If you’re like me, you probably have lots of washi tapes in your stash, and can’t help wanting to add even more to your collection. But we all know that each roll of washi tape lasts a long time, and it will take a long time to finish up even one roll. Not to mention that sometimes, we get tired of the designs we own (even though we still really like them) and just want something different for a change.

Well, I’m here to share a way for you to jazz up the washi tapes in your stash so you can get different looks from the same washi tape – and that’s simply by doodling on your washi tapes with a pen or marker! And it sounds simpler than it actually is. Take a look at some of the ones I made:

I first laid down strips of washi tape on sticker sheet backing so I can work on them on a flat surface. I tend to keep sticker backings for projects involving tapes and handmade stickers so it’s easier for me to work on them or store them, and I can shift them out of the way easily. You can of course work on them on any surface that the tape won’t stick permanently to, such as a non-stick crafting mat/sheet, waxed paper or deli paper.

Now onto the designs! You can see from the examples above that there are many designs you can doodle on your washi tapes. You can make dots and any other polygonal shapes you want, or just make a variety of lines, such as stripes, plaid, zigzags, dashes, ‘x’, ‘+’. Really, any kind of mark making will work here. You just want something that will jazz up your washi tape and make it look a little different. Try using different colours for the same design, and you can end up with a washi tape that has a different look to it. Even adding some highlights to the original design will give it a different look, as seen in the sakura washi tape.

You can use just about any pens and markers you have in your arsenal. In the above examples, I used Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gold, Staedtler Pigment Marker and Kuretake Zig alcohol markers, but any gel pens, pigment markers or alcohol markers should work. I didn’t show it in the photos, but water-based markers will work as well. You do need to let the gel pens, pigment markers and water-based markers dry for some time though, and be careful not to smudge them while you’re adding your designs, because the surface of washi tape tend to repel them. I let mine dry overnight and they were completely smudge free by the morning!

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how to jazz up the washi tape in your stash, and make them go further, and no longer repetitive and boring. Don’t be afraid to try out different designs! If you mess up, well, it’s just a small strip of washi tape and you can always start over again without fear of ruining your whole roll of tape. Hope you have fun with your washi tape (:

Here are the links to the washi tapes that I used in my photos: plain pastel yellow, plain baby blue, purple dots, sakura blossoms. I try to link to Amazon whenever I can because I am an affiliate member of Amazon, and I will receive a small amount if you shop through the links (at no additional costs to you).

How to make your clear stamps cling again

Hi friends, today I have a quick tip to share with you, on how to get your clear stamps to cling again. I own quite a few clear stamps, because they come in a lot of designs and are much easier to store. Unfortunately, cling stamps have a tendency to lose their stickiness on the back, and doesn’t want to cling to the stamp block or the plastic backer sheet during storage. This can be problematic not only when you’re stamping, but you can also easily lose the stamps in storage, if they drop off without you noticing. I’ve lost a few tiny stamps this way and I’ve never been able to find them again! Even more troublesome if these are alphabet stamps – what to do with a alphabet stamp set that’s missing a vowel?

The problem has been sitting on my mind for a while so I set about trying to solve it the other day, and found a way to make them cling properly again!

Here’s what you need:

  • Your clear stamps
  • A rag (I use a microfibre cloth that I use all the time to clean my stamps)
  • Stamp cleaner, I use a homemade one using this recipe for years

Here’s what you have to do:

Step 1: Spray some stamp cleaner onto your rag.

Spray some stamp cleaner onto your rag.

Step 2: Place your stamp, cling side down onto the rag.

Place your stamp, cling side down onto the rag.

Step 3: Rub the stamp onto the rag a few times. You can also bring the rag to the stamp, if you feel like you want a little more control.

Rub the stamp onto the rag a few times. You can also bring the rag to the stamp, if you feel like you want a little more control.

And that’s all! The process is actually very similar to cleaning your stamps, because you are effectively cleaning off all the dust and dirt that have stuck to your stamp, which is what make it doesn’t cling anymore. Here’s a photo of how my stamp set look after I’ve cleaned the cling part, in contrast to the original. That was a couple of weeks back, and the stamps are still clinging well so this method definitely works!

I hope you enjoyed this little tip and tutorial and that you would give it try! Let me know what you think, or if you have other methods that you would like to share as well. Until next time.

 

Pen review: Uniball Signo dx/Uni Style Fit

I recently added 10 pens into my already large pen collection, because I had a voucher to a book store and didn’t have any books that I wanted to get. I thought it would a good idea to review my entire pen collection, and to tell you what I like (or don’t like) about all the various pens.

We’re going to kickstart this mini series with the Uniball Signo dx, which is my favourite writing pen of all time. I started using these pens when I was in school and fell in love with them, and have been using them to mark and notate my class notes. Now that I’ve moved beyond school, they have become my go-to pens for a variety of journaling – art journal, scrapbooking, and daily journal.

Continue reading Pen review: Uniball Signo dx/Uni Style Fit

December’s Instagram 2015

Here’s a look at my craft related Instagram posts from the month of December! As mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t do much art in the month but there were still plenty of crafty things, particularly the arrival of new supplies!

Photobook
I made this Photobook a couple of months back and it arrived on my doorstep right after my finals ended! Talk about reward for hard work ^^ This is from Photobook Worldwide, and is my third photobook from the company. I have been very pleased with the quality of photobook, and is getting better at making them! I have taken to making photobooks for travel trips because I can get flexibility to size the photos, crop photos, and to add text and notations all in one application, which is a lot easier than handmaking my own travel album.
Studio Calico Ferris Wheel kit
My first kit that I ordered from Studio Calico! There were some issues with shipping so the kit didn’t arrive until months later. I always drool over the SC kits, but could never bring myself to subscribe to them because of the price (conversion rate) and shipping costs. I only bought this because past kits were on sale and I spent a long time deciding which one I want to get. I haven really started using the kit yet but I am looking forward to it!
Carved stamps: numbers
This was my first attempts at carving a number set. I have gotten a set of stamp carving tools from my friends for my birthday and decided to do a set of numbers because I am lacking in a good solid set of number stamps. It turned out to be easier than expected, and I did these five numbers in two nights, spending about 1-2 hours each night. I have since completed the whole set of numbers but I didn’t post any pictures of those.

Ponderings: What to buy for your craft room?

(Warning: another long post ahead)

As a crafter, I think all of us are to some extent, obsessed with supplies and buying stuff that we can use in our craft room. Not too surprising actually, seeing that the craft industry does so much marketing, and new products are released more than once a year. So amidst all these new release of products and all, how do you know what is the right thing for you to buy? For me, I always want to get the most out of my money, be it spending the least money on what I buy, or making the item I buy worth it through the amount of usage. Here, I’ll share some tips that I have as I reflect from my own experience in crafty shopping.

Continue reading Ponderings: What to buy for your craft room?

Pen review: Pilot Juice vs Zebra Sarasa Clip

Pens are my one favourite supply that I don’t mind adding and adding too. They are relatively cheap and affordable supplies, comes in many many different colours and also many different styles! There are some fancy ones like metallic colours, ones with glitter, or even those that gives dimension when completely dry. Ah the possibilities! The most common type that I go to are just the normal gel ink pens though, because they are the most fuss-free, drying quickly and has the most colours.

Today, I would like to do a review comparison between the Pilot Juice pens and Zebra Sarasa Clip pens. Before I bought either of these pen, I would always look at the two and wonder what is the difference. They are from different companies but the pens look similar, in terms of the size, and the range of colour they offer. Hopefully this short comparison would give you a better idea of how they compare with each other.

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Here’s how the pens look like, and how the ink appears on paper. You can click on the image to enlarge for a clearer look. On paper, you really can’t tell the difference in ink, and both are waterproof. Granted, these are different colours, but the inks are equally opaque and flows well on the paper, making them both good writing instrument. I would say though, the Pilot Juice pen writes a little smoother than the Sarasa Clip pen, so if you like to write fast like me, and tend to join all your letters together, the Pilot Juice pen would be a better pen for you, and it’s what I like better. But don’t just take my word for it! What you can do is to go into a stationery store and try out the pens for yourself! This is what I will always do before I decide to buy a pen. Only by trying out will you find out whether it is suitable for you. Plus you get to find out whether the inks will dry up just by sitting on the store shelf.

In terms of the grip and barrel though, both feels similar to me, having about the same size barrel, though the Sarasa Clip appears to be slightly bigger. To me, this barrel size is rather comfortable, though they would be considered a little larger than most other pens on the market (e.g. uniball, and any permanent markers). You might want to try out the how the pen feels too, because some people with smaller hands might find larger pens more uncomfortable to hold.

Both pens comes in a larger variety of colours, and are sold in packs or separately. You can view the range of colours available here: Pilot Juice, Sarasa Clip. At a glance, the Pilot Juice pens offers a greater range of colours than the Sarasa Clip, but I need to say that the link provided doesn’t offer all the available colours for Sarasa Clip. How would I know this? Because the colour that is featured in the photo above cannot be found in the link. The Sarasa Clip pen that I bought is one of the pastel milk colour, and these colours are not found in the Pilot Juice series.

A quick disclaimer: I do not know if what I have just said about the Sarasa Clip above is absolutely true. No information is stated on the Sarasa Clip pen other than the brand, so I am not even sure what the official colour name is (it might have been written in Japanese though, which I can’t read). But according to what I managed to find on Google, what I have written is what I think is true. And the most likely colour name of the pen I bought is Milky Blue Green. I didn’t have such an issue with the Pilot Juice pen, because the colour is clearly written on the pen.

Both pens are not refillable for its colour range, though refills are available for basic colours that you would use in school (e.g. black, standard blue). They also have a clothes pin like clip for you to clip the pen to any paper or notebook. I don’t carry my pen around so this feature doesn’t mean much to me but it might be a bonus for you to have a pen that won’t slip off when you carry it around.

And that is all for the pen review comparison I think. A final note before I end, I did say I like the Pilot Juice pen more, but I went ahead to buy the Sarasa Clip pen because it came in a colour that was special and I hadn’t seen around before. So moral of the story: Just buy what you like! Be it how it writes or just simply the colours available. Hope you enjoy this pen review comparison! It’s my first time doing a review so I’m not sure if I’m giving too much or too little information. Let me know what you think by commenting!

Disclaimer: The links offered in the post are not in any way sponsored. They are linked because they offer a quick look at the pens. I bought all my pens in store as I mentioned, because I like to try out my pens before buying them, even if they don’t cost much. You will realise that I try not to mention the name of the website I link to because the purpose of the post is to purely offer a review of the pens, and not promote sales of the pen. All opinions are my own. 

Crafty haul and update on organising

I’m not sure if every crafter is like me but my idea of shopping is almost always to shop at a craft store, scrapbook store or stationery store – I can spend hours just browsing through everything in the store, comparing prices, making mental notes of things I might want to buy in the future, basically just window shopping, before I start to feel tired or have the urge to leave the shop. That patience is much much short-lived compared to say shopping for clothes. Anyway, today I will share my last crafty haul with you to give you a glimpse of the things I buy and why I buy them.

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An overview of my crafty haul

The list of things I got:

  • Reeves acrylic tube paints, set of 18 from Art Friend: I wanted some new acrylic colours, but couldn’t choose which colours i wanted to get so I decided to get a multi-colour set instead. I do like the Reeves brand quite a bit, I think that they have good pigments in their paints (I own their watercolour pan set), and their prices are rather affordable. Plus, the entire brand is having a discount at Art Friend’s once a year sale. The set also contained viridian hue, which for some reason I am attracted to (as well as all sort of greens as the moment), and apparently viridian hue cannot be found in separate acrylic tubes.
  • Chinese calligraphy ink from Popular: I still have my old calligraphy brushes and paper from old school days and one day (one fine fine day) I am intending to break them out and use them in my crafts. Perhaps some chinese calligraphy writings (though my calligraphy was never good), and to use the ink like india ink perhaps? There is never anything wrong with having all sorts of black mark making tools in the craft room.
  • Pilot Juice gel pen in Coral Pink from Popular: Pink is a colour I reach for pretty often because it tends to align with my emotions a lot. Coral is a really pretty shade of pink, something not so bright and rather sweet. I do recommend the Pilot pens and Juice gel series because it has good pen qualities. The pen writes really smoothly across the paper, and discharge an optimal amount ink in the process – meaning it doesn’t smudge as you write. It has a nice comfortable grip as well, so if you are looking for some coloured pens, the Juice series offers quite a lot of colours for you to pick from, as well as sets of multi-colours.
  • Staedlter Lumocolor permanent marker from Popular: This is another brand I like to use because there’s mileage in the inks, and perhaps also a pinch of brand bianess there. Unfortunately, the refills are not available in Singapore or it will give even more mileage. Seems like the refills are only available in Germany (on Amazon, no less) and it is regretful that I missed my chance to obtain them when I was away in Europe for 4 months.
  • Rubber carving block from Paper Market: These are Japanese rubber carving blocks that were on sale 2 @ 60% off so I thought I will get them to give stamp carving a try. I have never used carving blocks before, and till now I have not open the packets to give it a try so I can’t say much. But stamp carving has always been one of those things I’ve be drawn to because I like stamps, and I like the idea of handmaking something that you can call your own. It was just unfortunate that the tools require for stamp carvings are not cheap, and I am not prepared to invest in them just yet when I am not fully sure this is something I would like to continue in the long run. I do have an old set of woodcarving tool that looks like they were from my parent’s school days, and there are some similarities in the carving heads of the tool so this is what I will use in the meantime.
  • American Crafts Thickers from Popular (Urban Write): If you ever want to get some Thickers, always get them from Popular. I repeat, always get them from Popular because they are significantly cheaper. Granted, they do seem to offer less variety than scrapbooking stores like Paper Market, especially “limited edition” ones that American Crafts comes up with every new line/collection. But if you can find what you like at Popular, then get them there! Thickers are rather versatile, and one thing I really like about AC Thickers are the greater abundance of commonly used letters (e.g. ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘r’, ‘s’ etc) instead of like having the same number of letter stickers for each letter. This means you can use them more effectively for you don’t run out of the letters to form words that quickly! You can see a close up at the Thickers I got; I picked versatile fonts and colours so that I can use them for different kind of scrapbook layouts.
AC thickers close up
Close up of the American Thickers I bought – Cecily on the top and Alyx on the bottom.

And once again, I find myself typing more things than I intend to. Sometimes I wonder if I should film myself instead but I’m still not confident of that, finding myself tripping over tongues and words and forgetting the actual thing I want to say. Just a note on the links on the blog post: they are not linked to the places where I bought them because the stores I bought them from either have no online presence or have no online shop. They are linked so that you can see more about the things I have bought, and I am in no way affiliated to the links.

And as the title also mentioned an update on my organising space from the previous post, I am pleased to say that I am currently in a much happier state of my cupboard once I have cleared out a space elsewhere to be used as a storage space. So bulky things like reams of cardstock and stock of page protectors have been moved out of my cupboard and out of my room to somewhere I can’t see but know it is there when I need to reach for them. This small little action had made all the difference because what is in my cupboard now are things that I would reach for and use. So if you are finding your craft room cluttered, identify the things that are merely in storage and move all of them somewhere else so that they do not interfere with your crafting.

And that’s all for now! Thanks for sticking to the end if you had reach through everything – took me more than an hour to write them! I got to admit that I am rather longwinded. Virtual cookies to you for sticking to the end (:

It’s not waste! Saved from packaging

We bought a new shelf for my room and my dad helped to put it together. While I am excited about the new shelf so I can be more productively organised (and also have more space which I can fill up with even more craft supplies) I am equally excited about all the random packaging that came with the shelf!

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Spot the cardboard and the sheer fabric/cotton like thingy. Photo isn’t too clear or focused but I tried my best and my phone camera doesn’t seem to want to do that right.

I can’t wait to put some use to these recycled supplies. Cardboard because it’s always always handy to have cardboard around. Also I watched a video earlier today in which the corrugated sides of the cardboard are used as stamps and I want to try it out for myself to see how it looks. And the fabric like thingy.. well it’s just seems such such a waste to throw away such perfectly good stuff! I might have a small stash of it that I have saved up somewhere but I’ll admit that I’ve actually never used it in a project before. Right now, I can foresee sewing it into some kind of pouch or travel shoe/laundry bags, or attaching it to paper for some texture. Well, one day I’ll find the perfect project for these kind of thing.

What was the last recycled object you saved up? You’ll be surprised what ideas come up when you start to seriously brainstorm on the many ways recycled objects are useful in the craft room.

(Links are not affiliated, I just want to let you know what I have purchased.)

My Craft Vault: Hey There! stamp set by Amy Tangerine

I wanted to start off the first crafty blog post by giving you guys a look into some of my most used and most loved items in my craft room. I was playing around with my stamps today when I thought of this idea so the first spotlight of My Crafty Vault is the Hey There! stamp set by Amy Tangerine.

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It has some really cute images on this stamp set and I absolutely adore it. It was one of my impulse buys because I was so attracted to it, and I grabbed it even though there was no discount. That was quite a few years back but I like how the images don’t become outdated with time. There are many possibilities for this stamp sets too, as the images can be used as it is or to make overall patterns. I realised that the pictures aren’t very well taken. Perhaps I should try to angle the pictures more vertically next time or try scanning in images. (And no, I didn’t spell “realised” wrongly because we used British English here.)

Supplies used: Hey There! stamp set by Amy Tangerine | VersaFine Small: Vintage Sepia | Drawing Block for kids crafting |  *Note: I am not in any way affiliated with the product links, I just put them in for the convenience of my readers. I usually buy my products in the store rather than online because where I live, the possibilities of online purchase with reasonable postage is low.