Monday, 23 April 2018

Story stones... the return!

I have been working hard on my story stones recently and those of you who follow my page will see plenty of posts showcasing my new designs.

So why the revamp? Well I pretty much stopped creating my stones when I discovered it was actually illegal to remove pebbles from beaches.  I was aware there were some beaches that you couldn't do it and I avoided those I knew about but apparently it is all beaches in the UK!  Oh my, that really changed things.  I couldn't find any pebbles to buy in the UK that were exactly what I needed and I didn't want to add to the cost even more.  I needed to rethink.

This is an image of my original stones.  I used to draw and colour the illustrations onto media paper and then cut them out, glue them and then cover in varnish!  It was a very long process and only worked successfully on flat surfaces. 

I am very keen on not using materials unnecessarily and looking after the environment and of course upcycling. So I needed a rethink! 

I found some small 4cm square tiles.  Perfect!  not too costly.  So on testing they were great for manufacture but on the drop test.... OOOOPS!  smash!

Back to the drawing board again.  How can I make responsibly sourced story stones??

I had lots of wood left over from a project so thought I would have an experiment!

I created these slithers of wood, perfect size to hold and I love the texture.  Now can I get away with calling them story stones?  I did wonder about changing the word to tiles instead of stones, but you know what?  I love the way story stones sound!

So that's how the revamp started.

Here is a set of my finished tiles stones.  Each is double sided and sealed and varnished in toy grade varnish.

I have also created add on packs.  These contain 6 double sided tiles all in a theme.  So far these include mini beast, on the farm, fantasy, emotions and woodland.  There are lots more on their way tho!!! If you'd like to see the full range do click here 


I am also close to releasing these roll a story cubes.  These contain 5 images and one title and will be sold in sets of 6, 4 or singularly.

I also needed to revamp my logo!  So here is my new sparkly logo.  I really wanted to get over the feeling of telling a story. 

If you would like to follow my story stone journey then feel free to join my dedicated facebook page or my webpage.

I have also created a Youtube playlist showcasing all my story stones.  Do pop by and say hi. 

I can also create custom stones so if you have any particular ideas feel free to give me a shout. 

I will be sharing my post over at Handmade Monday if you fancy popping by to find some fab new blogs to read or even to take part.

Jen xx

Saturday, 14 April 2018

So What Planner Is The Best For Me?

Oddly enough I get asked this question quite often and so I thought it an ideal opportunity to chat to you about the different planners and a look at the pros and cons to them all. 

So first off. How do you like to plan?  

Do you like to make lists?
Do you like everything to be ready for you to fill in?
Do you like colour or inspirational quotes?
Do you like accessories, stickers and clips?
Do you like to doodle as you think?
How do you feel about pages that look a mess?
Do you like to rearrange your planner often and move things around?
Do you like to stick with a particular format?

So these are a few basic yet important questions to ask yourself.  If you are new to planning though don't panic, you now have the exciting opportunity to find out the answers to the above questions!

SO we looked at how you plan.  Now the best sort of planner to fit the bill. Here are a selection of planner styles, all are great in their own ways and fully adaptive to your style, especially if you know someone (hint hint) who can make you a customised planner if needed.

RingBound , like a filofax, Carpe Diem etc

Ring bound planners usually have 6 rings inside that open so you can pop in whatever inserts you wish.  The idea with these planners is to customise them yourself.  You can often buy planners with diary inserts in place and a few blank pages from high street shops.  Or you can pop me a message and I can find a few to suit.
Inserts are easy enough to come by.  Places like WHSmiths, Paperchase and Amazon are all good places to look for inexpensive inserts.  (or you can ask me! lol)

You can move your inserts around easily until you find an order you are happy with.
You can remove pages you have used or don't need easily
You can add dividers and pockets
There are lots of things you can bling your planner up with including decals for the cover.
The cover usually has handy pockets on the inside, great for storing business cards... you never know when you need to drop one of those!
You can get ringbound planners in a variety of sizes
There is only so much you can put in them.  unless you get giant rings of course.  So a day a page insert will pretty much fill it up.
To add your own inserts you will need to purchase a holepunch that can punch the correct distance

Have a look at my Carpe Diem business planner set up here

Discbound ~ Such as Happy Planners, Arc and Leverage

These planners are similar to the ring bound, you can move your pages around easily enough and remove or add inserts

Can be used for day to day planning or memory planning (although you can get really creative!)
Lots of accessories available!  (I mean loads!  Happy Planner is American so it is harder to get some supplies but Staples sells Arc supplies)
The Americans seem to have access to the most wonderful accessories and ridiculously low prices (very envious!)  There are still nice ones here however but not as many
The holes can get a bit worn and pages can become loose if used a lot.
The planner becomes flimsy if there isn't much in it and it also becomes unrealistic if you try to cram too much in it (you can get different sized rings which help)

Here are a couple of examples or Discbound planners.  This one is of the Happy Planner which I transformed into a health planner.
This one is a business planner I created for a customer.

To have a look at some of the wonderful discbound planners and accessories I have in stock click here!

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journalling, Or BuJu, is a style of planning which can be as simple or complex as you like.  All you need is a plain notebook.  You can have it hard backed, spiral bound or even stapled.  The key thing with Bullet journalling, or rather it's primary goal was list making.  Now you will find so much inspiration regarding this method of journalling that it really is a case of the world is your oyster!

Cheap, You only need a book and a pen.  Although it can cost a bit more if you want pretty pens and dotted paper!  (I can even custom make you a dotted hardback book, perfect for the job!)
Great if you are creative but also perfect for those who like clean lines and the simplistic look.
Really adaptable and totally yours.
Ideal for anyone who likes lists.
If you make a mistake it isn't always easy to remove a page.
Can take a lot of time o set up if you really get into it... maybe that can be a pro too!

Here is a look inside a couple of my past journals.  These were just notebooks and were a great way for me to find a system that worked for me. I will be adding a look through my latest BuJu soon.
Here is a link to my BuJu Pinterest board for a little inspiration

Travellers Notebooks - Midori, Jendori and lots more

This is possibly one of the most versatile (although I often flit between these and my bullet journals)
A Travellers Notebook or TN is a cover with elastics inside which you then fill with inserts.  You can have all sorts of inserts from a diary, celebration calendar, plain, dotted, colouring in.... Oh it is endless (and you guessed it I make these!!!!!  )
TN's can come in a variety of sizes and so it is always a good plan to check you are asking for the right size inserts when ordering.  There are lots of places to buy inserts (Or from me!!  hint hint)
I sell my own range of these called Jendori.  They are fabric covers and have either one or two folds and can come with or without internal pockets. Jendoris are made to order and I always try to match the fabric to your tastes.

Each TN is so different
You can fully customise it with charms and accesssories
You can have just the inserts you need
Unique to you
Few Brick and Mortar shops sell inserts or accesssories (although this is changing slowly)
It can become really addictive!
If you like perfect it may be too irregular for you, things can often stick out all over the place depending on your style.

Click here to have a look through some of my Jendories and get an idea of how adaptable they are!

Well congratulations if you reached the end,  Extra brownie points if you watched the links too!  I do Hope I have helped a little in your quest for the ideal planner.  I still juggle between a few if I'm honest, I love them all for totally different reasons which makes it so much harder to choose just one.... so I don't!

So if you fancy a new planner or want to browse my shop I have lots of ready to post items reduced at the moment!

As I often make all these planners I thought I would share this post over at Handmade Monday.  Do pop by if you have created anything recently and join in. xx

Jen xx