Currently…

A collection of small things I want to share.

Being a somewhat studious student.
My last semester of university life, and I’m both dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time. I’m somewhat proud of myself that I’m being somewhat studious this semester, compared to the past year and half, in which my interest for being studious went downhill since exchange. I can’t really tell if it’s me, or it’s what I’m studying, but I’m really feeling the hardworking vibe, though compared to most people, it’s probably still not that hardworking. But at least I’m feeling good about it, and also proud of myself. Of course it helps that my grades so far this semester have been very promising, so that probably kept my morale up for studying.

Listening to classical music again.
I’m a classically trained musician, and I play the piano and occasionally play the double bass in the orchestra. Ever since university started (that’s years ago), my piano playing generally because weaker because I had less time and incentive to practice or simply touch the piano. I got to play more double bass though, because I joined the school’s orchestra, until I reached a point that I burnt out, and didn’t want to deal with classical music in any form during my free time. I’m happy that I have moved past that, and can genuinely enjoy listen to classical music again during my free time at home. (It also helps that my family is away on holiday and I can blast music from my computer and have the music just surround me.) I think the message here is to take a break from things when you feel like you are not enjoying things as much as you used to, even if it’s something that you love. It helped me refresh myself, and stopped myself from hating the things I used to love, because it was bringing me a lot of emotional distress. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 & 5, Schubert symphonies. This video of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 also made me stare wide mouthed at the screen, but it was so thrilling to listen to.

Playing games I used to play as a kid (or younger anyway)
I’ve been (re)playing several version of the Pokemon games that I played before – Emerald, Diamond, Y. I really love Pokemon, and the only ones I never played is Black & White and Black & White 2, but I’m hoping to convince my friend to lend me her copy of the game to play soon. I’m really trying to enjoy the game now, and really explore using Pokemon I’ve never used before, which is an interesting and refreshing experience. Right now, I’m eagerly waiting for the latest version to be released, and also baiting for time to buy my own copy of ORAS, if and when I overcome my economic sense. Of course there’s also the latest hype of Pokemon Go that I’m playing on and off. There’s also Yoshi Island, which I love but never gotten around to completing because I don’t own it (my cousin did), so it’s nice to go back to what I missed when I was younger.

Craft products that recently caught my eye
I have been trying very hard not to look at new products, because my wallet will complain. But recently saw this new frame punch board by WRMK and I’m just so awed by it, mostly because I’ve been hoping for an easier way to create frames for scrapbook and stuff.  While browsing through the Simon Says Stamp website I also saw these layering stamps by WRMK, which I felt was pretty cool, particularly the CMYK colours, even if I’m unlike to purchase them. I’m also contemplating actually investing in embossing powders, which I have been putting off because it’s not really my thing, since I don’t do that much cardmaking. But I think just the white and clear would do great for some techniques, without going all out into embossing.

Some crafty videos to share
I recently started subscribing to Shayda Campbell and Kristina Werner on YouTube. Shayda does illustrations and lettering on her channel, which is something I like to look at and hopefully learn. It’s rather different from the channels I have subscribed to so far, so it’s going to be a refreshing change. Kristina is a card making enthusiast that many people should be aware of if they are in the scene. I’ve known of Kristina and her works for a while now, but resisted subscribing to her because I didn’t want to subscribe to too many cardmaking channels. I have this uneasy feeling regarding the cardmaking industry, because they are always coming up with new products, particularly stamps. Maybe it’s my geography training kicking in, but I can’t help but feel like it’s wasteful to be always chasing the newest products, when older products also work well (in a practical sense). Anyway, I started following Kristina because of her letterings and envelope videos, which is something different from what I’m used to. There’s also this video from Jennifer McGuire on getting more out of your acrylic stamps by using the back of it, and this video that I randomly clicked on that showed new ways on using the WRMK envelope punch board, which I own. It’s always good to get new ideas and ways to use your tools and get more out of your money!

Hope you enjoy this little sharing on what’s going on in my life and the things that caught my eyes. Maybe I’ll keep a shorter interval to posting the next currently post. Until next time!

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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. 

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.