Blog > February 2016
Today I wanted to share with you the planner that I am using for 2016 – a personal sized Filofax. Working a day job, having a house renovation and a life to live, along side running Butterfly Crafts as a business, I need to keep organised. I have always been a to-do list maker but this year I am really starting to use a planner as my “command centre” for want of a better expression – it’s helping me side hustle and stay organised whilst doing so.
I have a separate Erin Condren journal which I am using for my business planning, noting down goals and such like, but my day to day planner is my personal sized Filofax. I have had this Filofax for a number of years but this year I am stepping up my game in using it and making it more ‘mine’ – you can see a post I wrote about making your own dividers to personalise your planner even more.
The inside cover of the Filofax is great as it has a few pockets which I use for page markers and post it notes, my KikkiK ‘Top 3″ post its, a small stencil, and my stickers. I have created a dashboard with decorative acetate and a motivational KikkiK sticker.
I have my Filofax divided up into six sections – a diary, to do list, blogging, notes, money and addresses. The address section is fairly self explanatory and money is where I keep a track of various targets and shopping.
In previous years I have used the standard Filofax inserts but this year I opted for something far more pretty! These printed inserts are from Poetic Soup Designs on Etsy, they are a perpetual calendar in that they don’t have dates printed on, but space to write your own. Each day is in a vertical format which much smaller boxes for the weekend. I have a small stencil, it was actually a gift in a Christmas cracker, and I use this to make checkboxes as my to do list on each day. I sit down each Sunday evening and plan out my week.
At the bottom of the pages is a To Do list and I have chosen to use this as a social media to do list to check that I interact with people daily. At the bottom of the right page is a water intake tracker and a menu list, I meal plan separately so have chosen to use some narrow washi tape and instead keep a list of cleaning for that week.
Notes I use to keep track of family birthdays (along with this printable birthdays calendar) but also my cleaning system. I have started to read up on the Fly Lady system of cleaning and house management. I have the different zones written down and what is involved so that each week I can bullet point into my ‘zone’ section for the week. I love the KikkiK magnetic page markers so I can jump right to the information.
I have a separate notebook which I use for blog planning and I also use a wall planner but I have started to use a month spread in my Filofax to plan out blog posts for the month – this is really useful to have in one place so that if I am having a planning session out of home or have a little bit of time on my hands to brain storm I have information all in one place. These pages are a printable I purchased from Organise With Katie on Etsy.
I have tried to use a planner before but have never really stuck to it, maybe I didn’t have enough to plan! Something that I am finding is helping me use my Filofax in a better way in 2016 is stickers! I mean, who doesn’t need a reason to buy stickers!?!? You can search online for planner layouts and planner inspiration and you can see amazing layouts for planners which REALLY use stickers. I haven’t used stickers to that extent, mine are more functional and I love it! Any excuse to have a search on Etsy or Instagram for planner supplies! My favourite so far is definitely Stickers Washi and More on Etsy which is where I picked up these lovely stickers.
Are you using a planner or a Filofax this year? I would love to hear how you use yours or if you have any recommendations for places to buy stickers!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I wanted to share a super cute craft DIY to make a felt heart garland to decorate your home a little for Valentine’s Day. I’ve made this felt heart garland in shades of red but how cute would it be in different colours for a baby’s room or a craft room?!?
To make the heart garland you will need some felt in whatever colours you choose, a length of ribbon, needle and thread, toy stuffing, 3″ heart template, pencil and scissors. These are the heart templates I use for crafts. I opted for a variegated look with two shades of red felt from Pocket and Pin.
Garlands look better with odd numbers of hearts so have a think how many you would like to have. With the heart template, draw around the heart on the felt and cut out, you will need two hearts cut out per finished heart. To give them a fancy edge use pinking shears rather than regular scissors.
Cut the length of ribbon you would like for your garland, I used a metre length of gingham ribbon. Find the middle and then pin the first heart in the centre. One layer of the heart goes under the ribbon and the other heart lays on top. You can either pin all the hearts in one go or complete each heart in turn.
With the needle and thread (sew with double thread) sew a small running stitch close to the edge of the heart to sew up, remember to leave a hole for the stuffing!
With the stuffing, fill the heart as plump as you would like it to be and then finish sewing up the hole. If your thread is long enough when you start sewing, you can just keep the thread hanging whilst you fill the heart and then finish up sewing.
Hang up your garland and enjoy it for Valentine’s Day! If you make a garland I’d love to see it and what colours you use. I’m tempted to make one in shades of purple for my Craft Room.
Today I thought I would start a new little blog series all about Stationery Love! As part of my 2016 goals I want to strive to be more organised because balancing out a day job, a house renovation, life in general *and* running a creative business can be a tricky challenge and I hope being more organised is going to help. Plus, who doesn’t love pretty stationery right? (Keep reading for a money saving offer to buy stationery!)
You may have seen on the blog before that I use a Personal Filofax as my planner – the next Stationery Love post will show you how I have set it up – but also that I love stationery and really loved discovering KikkiK (see that haul here). I am a sucker for a notebook so when I started to hear things about American based company Erin Condren I was intrigued.
Erin Condren is rather famous for her Life Planner – basically a spiral bound diary and journal that comes in a few formats with different layouts. There is a huge community of Erin Condren fans who frequently share on Instagram their prettified planner layouts each week – the sales in Washi tape must have increased so much.
I was tempted by a new planner but my Personal Filofax works fine for me right now, but my fingers could not resist making a few purchases so I thought I would share my recent Erin Condren haul.
My first purchase was this spiral bound notebook, its just a little bigger than A5 in size and comes with a clip in ruler which acts as a page marker. There are 154 pages with most being lined but a small section towards the back is blank.
I am planning to use this notebook as my business brainstorming book as I just love the inspirational quote on the front. This notebook is from the Good to Go range, but there are lots of different ones where you can customise the cover. With a business notebook I like to divide it into sections and what I love about this notebook is that you can get clip in dividers that you can move about when you need to. I stated with the motivation theme and added this set of three to my order.
Like most people in the Planner Community I love stickers, I like how they make my Filofax look pretty but are also functional at the same time. When I saw that Erin Condren had an ‘Always a reason to celebrate the season’ sticker book I knew I had to have this too! Each page has multiple stickers so you can decorate your planner with a theme and yet be functional – basically stickers make being organised pretty!
Just like any stationery lover I do love a good pen, in particular a purple one as I find colour coordinating some notes in my Filofax or in a brainstorm helpful, this box of six funky pens was only $5!
I knew when I was shopping that I would be getting a free notebook as there was a special offer running to those who spent over a certain amount, but it was a lovely surprise to also receive a complimentary pack of decorative stickers for gift giving, and a motivational postcard which I will pop in my office space.
As a new customer I was really pleased with my Erin Condren order, postage was a little pricey from the USA but it all arrived in super fast time and in a very pretty pink box which made unpacking even more exciting! If you love stationery as much as I do and want to give Erin Condren a go then following this link you can take $10 off of your first purchase, what are you waiting for – go buy pretty stickers!!!
Take $10 Off Your First Erin Condren Purchase
Do you use a planner? I’d love to hear how you decorate it or about your favourite stationery shops, I am always to discover a new place to buy a pretty notebook.
*This post has not been sponsored by Erin Condren, I purchased all items and just wanted to share, the post does include affiliate links*
Can I just start by saying this is a photo heavy blog post! Last year I set about challenging myself to improve my photography for both blog posts and product photography for my online shop. I never thought I took awful photos – they have improved vastly from when I had my first online shop back in 2008 – but I felt scared of my dslr and wasn’t too sure what to do with props and backgrounds.
I had been aware of Emily Quinton for quite a while, mainly because she has a truly stunning Instagram feed, and I had completed an online course of hers in 2014. When I saw that a special photography for paper lovers one day workshop was being held at the Makelight studio I knew I had to attend – and I could not recommend it, or another course, enough.
The Makelight Studio is in south London so one night last October I headed off to my hotel for the night ready for a long day ahead of me. The studio is amazing, the natural light is something else – I can totally see why Emily loves where she works, it’s just perfect for learning about photography and she has recently created a YouTube video tour of the Makelight studio.
On the day, we started with introductions about who we were and why we were on the course, many with the same thoughts and feelings – intimidated by a dslr, is it ok to just use an iPhone, how to style for a blog post, how can I take good photos of paper products when they are just flat objects etc.
Firstly Emily talked a lot about light and how important it is to have natural light so to make the most of it on good days and on not so good days just hope you have a good bank of photos to continue to share online or to make blog posts with. We learned about taking photos by windows and how to never have a light on in the room you are taking photos in. Then we were off to have a practice with the various props and stagings that are in the studio – oh the stationery love was impressive and Emily had clearly loved shopping for props!
After lunch from the cafe downstairs (included in the price) we talked more about visual social media, how it’s always good to take photos for Instagram square and use the grid on your phone, and we got technical with our dslrs. All of us had bought along some of our own products which Emily had suggested so that she could answer questions we had about styling and we were off to take more photos.
A highlight of the day was seeing the ‘master’ of the flatlay at work creating one of her famous Instagram flatlays and trying not to giggle whilst she did it as a live Periscope film!
The day ran over but only because we were all asking questions and soaking up the advice whilst we could. I headed back to the car, and the M25, tired but with my head buzzing, and hopefully capable of taking better photographs to use on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but also in blog posts and for product photos.
If you have a goal of improving your photography, whether you are a blogger, a creative business owner or just want to take better photos of your family life I do recommend going on a Makelight workshop. Being able to ask questions and get practical advice is extremely useful and has made me feel more confident behind the camera lense.