Starting anew in 2017: finding momentum

Hi guys, it’s been a while since I’ve updated and I finally got the energy and drive to update today. So massive massive update ahead, but also lots of photos to feast on.

My current status is that I’m officially unemployed for the past 3 months (wow how time flies). I should saw that I’ve been busy looking for a job, but that’s a lie because the time just consists of a lot of waiting. What this means for my art and creativity though is that my life currently consists of no structure, like I’m bobbing along in the great big sea. Since starting blogging, I found that my most productive creative days happen when I’m busy with other tasks, so I am now consciously aware that having momentum allows me to flourish best. Spending 3 months without any sense of structure and time though… not a good environment to be doing art.

Perhaps it’s the idea of a new year, or perhaps it represents the start of a new life as I leave my undergraduate life behind, this year, I’m finding it easier to start something new (fingers crossed I don’t jinx it). Not just something new, but starting anew, as I try for a past me that have disappeared into the wind in the past few years.

I’m taking up planning again, like those student handbooks that you are forced to buy when you are in school. I have to confess that I used to love them though, and each year my handbook get filled up with reminders and homework and crossing outs. It’s nothing fancy of course, but it didn’t matter because it’s functional. I’ve tried to use planners again during my university days, spending the time and effort to search for planners that would suit my needs AND look pretty. It’s not that much of a lost cause, but often times I find myself not using them, and when I try to pick them up again, I found that I actually didn’t like to use them. This time though, I’m heavily inspired by videos of bullet journals I seen (particularly this and this) so I decided to go simple. I had a B5 binder notebook that I used for German note taking so I decided to use that. And with some new inserts, my planner is thus born. What I loved about this (and probably why it worked so well for me), is that I can just throw papers away if I did something wrong or if I didn’t like it, which frees me from a lot of the stress and pressure I put on myself.

There are tabs that came with the notebook that I used to keep section separate, but the main tab that consist of everything to do with planning is a mishmash of things that goes by chronological order (of when I started the page, not so much what’s on it). I found that it doesn’t bother me so much, and it’s actually kind of nice to be flipping the pages back and forth, rather than just staying on one spread for the week and never needing to move away. It’s adds to the illusion of doing something too, because most days I don’t need to spend too much time writing in the planner. A few photos of how my journal looks:

These quotes used to hang on my wall, but I’ve stopped paying attention to them and one could only feature one at a time so I stuck them into my planner instead
Daily log page where I write down the things I need to do/plans for the day. I don’t use it as often as I should, but when I do it works fabulously to keep me on my (self-designated) tasks
This gratitude page started out from a monthly challenge prompt and I’ve kept it to see where it would take me. I’m reading a book called “The Happiness Project” which mentioned that gratitude can make one feel happier
My Habit Tracker page, which is the page I used the most often and turn to the most

I’ve also started a page on tracking my habits and I’m enjoying it so far. I have unfortunately gained (more than) a few bad habits and lost a few good ones, so I’m trying to get back on track by making them visible, and having a chart to mark off each day allows me to track my progress, and reminds me each day of what I have to do the next day/week/month/whatever. Some habits are easier to get back into than others though, like remembering to put apply face cream in the mornings and nights, and others doesn’t seem to get done at all (the habit that read “Post on My Craft Diary once a week” has been there since January). Yet others seem to have mixed success that I can’t seem to achieve consistently, like sleeping early or bathing early. Nonetheless, keeping track of my habits works for me so it’s something I’m sticking with.

A lot of my drive in picking up new habits come from the first piece of artwork I did this year. It’s a reflective piece, in which I think about the things I want to achieve in my life, and the things I want to keep out. It’s almost like my resolutions for the year? Though I’m not sure if it can really be considered resolutions because they are just big and broad aims I have while I’ve distilled them into workable actions that are manifested in my habit tracker. The piece if now hanging on my wall though, and it makes me happy to just look at the piece on the wall, if only because of the colour. Here’s how the piece looks on the wall:


And here’s how it looks at the background stage plus some details on the layers. As usual, you can click to view an enlarged image.


collage, paint and drawings

paint, stenciling, drawing, paint splatters

collage, paint, stencilling with gold paint

I may not be doing a lot of art, but it has not been completely bare these past few months. I did go on a few shopping sprees, so I have quite a few additions to my supplies. They’re mostly utilitarian though (like 3 different type of glues or blade refills), though there are some new yummy supplies that I’ve bought to keep that creative spark (mostly the inexpensive stuff like new pens or ink colours). I finally finally bought the set of paper bead roller that I’ve been eyeing ever since this video came out and it makes paper bead making so much easier. I promptly broke in the new tool by making beads out of scrap pieces of paper that has been lying around for years – that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone 😉 Here’s a look at the bead making process:

Drying the beads after glazing

I’m also trying to reacquaint myself with the Jennibellie’s Journal Workshop community, and have been chatting with the creative peeps there occasionally. I may be very much out of it but it nice to have a place where I can just drop by, some place familiar where I feel comfortable, and Journal Workshop is just the place for those moments. I participated in the last art swap too, and I think it’s been almost two years since I last did an art swap. We made some paper flowers for the swap and I really liked how these turned out, with the embellishments and all. Hopefully my swap partner would like them!

My main project now is my Japan travel journal, which I started in December and then stopped because I got busy during the holidays (Christmas & Chinese New Year). I started picking it up again a couple of days back, and then somehow fiddled with a camera and video setup. In a stroke of brilliance, I found a set up that works, and doesn’t take too much time to set up, though the setup is rather amusing.


I use a short table as a temporary work for this project, because I bring out a lot of materials that wouldn’t fit on my usual workspace. You can’t see in this photo, but surrounding this table is an arc of supplies and things I would need for the travel journal, with just an empty space in the middle where I can sit down. Because my craft room is also my bedroom, I used my bed to help in the camera setup, and added cardboard boxes and even my pillow to prop up the selfie stick to a appropriate height. Nothing fancy, so hopefully this means that I might take more videos in the future! I also posted a video of a short flipthrough of the parts I worked on these few days on my instagram which you can view below:

A post shared by Wenyi (@nocloudypooh) on

As you can see, I usually go off on a tangent while I do things, even when I have definite plans. But it’s not a bad thing, because it usually end up being productive, like a new burst of energy to do things. While editing this post, the tangent brought me to create a stamp with the My Craft Diary logo, and it’s pretty easy to add to the images, so that’s a success. *Does happy dance* Have been wanting to do this for a while, but I was finding it a drag to learn how to do it. I did it on Photoshop before, but gimp is a little different and I’m not particularly familiar with the programme, so Google was the best way to go. I think that’s all the updates I have for this post, and hopefully, this marks the start of the habit to post on the blog once a week. Thanks for stopping by.


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?

Ponderings: Staying “on task”

(Warning: long post ahead)

I was sorting out my photos recently, in an attempt to keep my photos in order and clear my backlog of photos. I have left most of my photos unsorted since last year when I went on exchange, and what was on my computer was just folders and folders of photos as I continually import them from my camera, but did nothing more than that. I have also been neglecting photo printings for years; since 2012 to be exact so that’s a really long time.

There’s a lot of reason why I haven been “on task” with my photos: a mental block that it takes a lot of effort to settle them all, even more effort require to pick out photos and send them for printing, taking too much photos, not being able to find a good photo printer service, not having a system that works the way I want it to. Right now though, I know that some of these are false, or that the problem has been solved. Or sometimes, all it needs is a sudden motivation that brings you to settle them all. In my case, it was a really good deal for photo printing during this holiday season, hence I wanted to get it over and done with while saving money in the process.

Here’s what I’ve learnt these past few years from my photos problem:  Continue reading Ponderings: Staying “on task”

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.

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 (:

Organising stress

I mentioned in a previous post that I have gotten a new shelf for my craft area. Since then, I have been attempting to organise and move things around my craft area so that most of my supplies are localised within the shelf. Just earlier today, I went to Ikea and purchase some boxes that would fit nicely into the various compartments. Because I wanted everything to be perfect, I had procrastinated for a very long time, trying to make up my mind on what would be the best way to store all my supplies.

Unfortunately for me, today’s organising stint had not left me feeling happy at the state of the cupboard right now. Everything has a place to go to, but I felt like it was overcrowding, which to me also meant messy and I’m feeling stressed that things are not as organised as I hope it could be. I’m too tired today to try to think of ways to re-organise my things so I’ll leave them as it is. Until I get that brilliant idea of how to arrange everything in a conducive manner.

I probably sound too much like a perfectionist but really, I can’t work or focus on anything when I get the nagging feeling at the back of my head that tells me I’m not happy with the state of my workspace. At the moment, I am truly regretting getting ahead of myself and organising my stuff with the newly bought boxes because now I can’t even bear being in the room without feeling some sort of frustration, which could only be counter-productive to my art making. Sighs.

I find that the things that annoys me the most are supplies that I have hoarded, and don’t really use normally. Things like my recycled materials, art supplies from days long past (still usable but I don’t like to use them because they don’t give me the results I want),  homemade supplies that I thought I’ll give it a try to see if I would like to use them (not so much, but let’s see if I would use them more now that they are slightly more accessible and neater) and some non-paper ephemera that I thought I saved to do some sort of mixed media work (which didn’t work out because I decided that I don’t like too much dimension and honestly, mixed media isn’t my thing). Gotta work on these aspects, though I suspect that very soon I will start purging these hoarded supplies that are frustrating me the most. At the moment, I’ll revisit some organising videos that I have watched in the past, especially this video and hopefully gain some ideas on how best to store all these stuff.

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