August Bullet Journal & Reading

This month is my mother’s birthday month, so I wanted to go with a green theme. Because I have some green washi tape with Totoros, I decided to make August’s theme Studio Ghibli, specifically Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli work. My Neighbor Totoro is also her favorite Ghibli movie, so it worked out well.

As usual, I tried some new things. We’ll see how it works this month.

I have these little block letter stamps that I thought would be cute, so I used them a lot, including with the cover page’s quote which took forever. The quote is from Miyazaki accompanied by stickers of him.

I decided to utilize my calendar since it just sat looking pretty the past several months, so I made it a habit tracker, in a way. It’s habits/health issues I want to keep track of on my journey to better myself. I did keep the separation of bills, entertainment, creative, and bettering sections I used last month, since it worked well. And I separated them with the most iconic line from Howl’s Moving Castle.

For my weekly, I put in sections for individual days, which is my biggest help, and sections for various weekly things including meal planning, finances, weekly goals, and to-dos. These can be filled as needed, so there’s no pressure to me to fill them up. It’s for my benefit and not meant to be an obligation. Each week is assigned a different Miyazaki Ghibli movie: Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro (for my mom’s birthday week), and Spirited Away. There’s an accompanied sticker and quote.

With my decor page, I stuck strictly to Ghibli rather than color. Next to the decor page, I put a check list of Miyazaki Ghibli movies. I’ve yet to see two, which I will remedy this month.

Overall, I’m loving this theme and organization.

Now for books.

In July, I read FIVE books. Five! I guess nothing was happening this past month for me to do anything but read. The books were Never Grow Up, The White Sniper, The Scarlet Letter, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Unsolved Murders. Out of these five, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was the best; I’ve really loved Gaiman’s writing style and characters. No book was really bad; they were all good, so I recommend them all.

This month, I’m going to try to read three books. School starts up, so my time won’t be as expendable. The books I’m planning on reading are You Do You, How to Catch a Killer, and Tale As Old As Time. Let me know if you have read/are going to read these books and let me know what you think.

We’re here for bettering ourselves, through journaling and reading, so remember to work on bettering yourself whatever that may mean to you.



July Bullet Journal

Don’t judge my theme; I have a perfectly reasonable explanation…

So, for July, my theme is rainbow. Yes, I am fully aware that last month was Pride. But here’s why I chose rainbow as my theme for July: clearance. Because Pride stickers and material are cheaper at the end of the month (and I didn’t have an idea for July already), I thought I would use it for July. Also, because our personal pride should last longer than a month (but that was a cop-out afterthought). 

Anyway. I tried something different with my monthly and my weekly setup since last month definitely didn’t work for me.

I always start with a home page, something simple and with a quote. So. There we go. Nothing complicated.

For my monthly, I separated things in specific categories of stuff I want to accomplish this month. Bills (duh, can’t forget to pay those), entertainment (books I want to read, movies I want to see, etc), creative (stuff I want to do fuel my creative juices), and bettering myself (which will include going back to the gym). Maybe separating everything will keep me organized, less stressed, and more accomplished. We will see.

For my weeklies, I color-blocked according to stickers I found in the Pride set (the two missing weeks are orange and blue, and look like the green week). I just kept everything in separate days without much detail, which might work better for me. But to keep track of myself and some emotions I may feel (thanks to mental illness and empathy), I have a weekly affirmation, a little block to put the best moment that week, and a tiny block to put a little emoji sticker. Plus the color might help me out as well.

I also have a decorative page, but I did it after writing this so I didn’t get a pic.

img_9546As well as going over my plans for helping myself via bullet journal every month, I wanted to include book club again. Reading is beneficial to mental health, so let’s help ourselves by being accountable for reading once again.

This month, I’m going to finish Never Grow Up by Jackie Chan (I started it at the end of June), and I’m going to read The White Sniper and Unsolved Murders.

Remember, if you bullet journal, it really is about becoming the best person you can be. Make sure you’re helping yourself with what you put in it.



June Bullet Journal

We’re back with some bullet journaling.

I’ve discovered (or realized depending on how you look at it) that setting up my monthly bullet journal is a form of meditation. I’m calm-minded, nothing is bothering me, and I’m focused on one thing. So I take that time seriously.

As well, every month I try something new, particularly with weekly setups as I haven’t found one that really works for me. This month is no different.

For the month of June, I decided to do a camera/Polaroid theme. Summer has started, trips are happening, and it’s time to capture those memories.

I always have a quote and title page. For my quote this month, I just chose a comic that resonates with me and what I want to do this month…but in a Polaroid to stay on theme.

For my monthly overview, I have my month at a glance, and some empty space I don’t know what to do with. On the right, I have stuff I like to track: to dos, dates, and bills.

For weekly, I thought I’d try to focus more on tracking my health, including water and caffeine consumption, steps taken, and meal planning. A general tasks list for what I need to do this week, and since the theme is Polaroid’s, taking at least one Polaroid a week to put in.

And finally, I end my regular spreads with a decorative page. Kind of a break from planner to journal.

And that’s it. I’m always open to recommendations for quotes, themes, and of course, spreads.



A Recipe Post featuring My Snapchat

This is mostly for comedy’s sake, but if you want to try this as well I got you.

Once in a blue moon, I’ll put my cooking on Snapchat. It’s a fun step-by-step instruction on something super simple to cook (I’m not a chef and kinda suck at making fancy things). So, I thought I’d share one of my favorite meals to cook: teriyaki chicken and fried rice.

Supplies needed:

For chicken (besides the actual chicken), brown sugar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Easy.

For fried rice (besides the actual rice), frozen peas and carrots, two eggs, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Simple.

It’s best if the chicken is already thawed and cut up to make this even easier. Also, when you cover it up, make sure you keep it on low so it stays warm but doesn’t burn.

To clarify, it’s three cups of cooked rice (maybe one and a half uncooked since they double in size).

For me, taking the veggies out so I can scramble the eggs is easier. In general, you’re supposed to keep the veggies to the side of the pan while scrambling on the other side. Whatever, it works either way. Once you got the rice and soy sauce in, you mix it all up and it becomes fried rice.

And behold, you have some delicious teriyaki chicken and fried rice.

Via Snapchat.

Making a Dementor

If you don’t know what a dementor is, I suggest taking your booty to the nearest store and buying the entire Harry Potter series.

img_8313Anyway, four days ago there was a Harvest Fest in my area. I live in a farming community, so harvest is a huge thing. And the festival is a celebration not only in that, but in Halloween and in marking the end of the farmers market until next summer. This year, Kathy (the lovely lady who was in charge of everything) themed it Hogwarts. And it was incredible. The past two years I came to Harvest Fest in creepy costumes (a possessed deer and the Red Death), so she asked me to do something creepy again this year. So, what did we decide?

A 7 foot 4 inch dementor.

Here’s how I did it:

Starting with the mechanic that gave me an extra foot and five inches. I had a foam circle (Hobby Lobby) that I super glued the bottom of small football shoulder pads (found a used one at a thrift store for four bucks) onto. The circle went on top of my head, and I put some elastic on the circle as a chin strap so it can stay in place. I later also put some elastic on to support the back of my head.

I got a foam head (Hobby Lobby) that I totally carved out to look a little more bony, or at the very least deformed. Once his ears, nose, eyes, and mouth were gone, I painted him brown.

Turns out dementors are grey (oops), so I repainted the head and blacked out some deformities. Then I painted him around some more just to make him even more ugly. Once he was ugly enough, I super glued him to the shoulder pads, which made him 7’4″.

Then I made some hands. I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest (linked here), and made them a little thicker and more grey. Once they were dry completely, I super glued them to a pair of cheap black gloves (Dollar Tree). That way I was able to move my hands and even grab stuff I need to. I also glued little clasps to the back, and later sewed clasps to the sleeves so my real arms didn’t show and he was just a mess of black fabric.

Making the cloak took an approximate of 10 yards of fabric (Hobby Lobby and Walmart). I grossly hand-sewed the fabrics together, ripping and cutting where I wanted to look absolutely disheveled. The very last piece of fabric that went on was the hood over the fake head. I glued the top of his head to the fabric so it would stay in place, and bunched the fabric on the side so it shaped the head better. (Also, thanks to Vladimir who tested the mechanic).

I wore all black under the cloak (duh) and went out to the Fest. Thanks to the way it was made, I was able to walk around, move my arms (aka reach out to little kids to scare them shitless), bend, and nod when someone asked for a picture. I would make the cloak a little shorter than it was because I did trip on it a bit. The only real issue I had was the mechanic at the top was supported by my head, which did bruise the next day.

Overall, I had a blast. The pain was worth it, and everyone loved it. The costume itself took an approximate 35-50 hours to make and cost about 40 dollars to make. The most expensive stuff was the fabric. I don’t know when I’ll bust this guy out again, but he was awesome to have even for just the Fest.



Making a Poison Apple Pin

Recently I got to go to Disneyland as part of a birthday celebration. My friend Kiki and I went as a Disneybound Snow White and Evil Queen. The Evil Queen is my favorite villain, I love her (and that’s a psychological point for another time). So, of course, I went as her. I wanted to make something for the trip. It was originally going to be ears, but my lovely friend bought some fierce ears for me. So, I made a pin (partially because I thought my outfit needed something more).

img_8172Supplies used:

  • old corkboard I had lying around
  • scissors/a knife to cut the board
  • paint (red, white, brown, light grey)
  • white glitter
  • Krylon spray
  • a pin backer thing
  • some very good glue (I use E6000)

And of course, I had my queen on the side as inspiration.

First thing you do is trace the shape you want on the corkboard. It would be a total shame to cut and it come out looking like a pear. I used scissors for the basic cutting out and a small X-Acto knife for the small crevices/details. Also, please be careful cutting corkboard, whether you use scissors or a knife. It’s harder to cut and the extra force, if slipped, could be detrimental to your fingers.

Once you have a shape you’re happy with, it’s time to paint. Make sure, if you’re copying off something, that you have a reference. While my little apple to the side has green, if you look at the original movie it was white. Thus, I used white paint. Trace your design first, then paint. Go over it at least twice (I recommend thrice) so you can get all the little corkboard crevices.

After it dries completely, really clean the lines and add details. And because I’m extra as fuck, I had to add glitter. In order to do that, I put the glitter on carefully and a little bit at a time with my final layer of white paint instead of glue. I also highly recommend doing that with paintbrushes rather than pouring it on, only because I wanted to completely avoid getting glitter into the red apple. Once everything is on and complete, spray some Krylon on so that everything stays as is.

Let the Krylon dry completely. I let it sit overnight if I have time. Then you put a strip of E6000 on and firmly press a pin backing. This, definitely, you need to wait a solid overnight (24 hours preferable) for the glue to fully dry and stick. Open and close the pin a few times so it doesn’t stick when you try to put it on and take it off.

And here it is, on my backpack at Disneyland. It lasted the entire day with my ripping my backpack on and off, and the paint/glitter stayed crisp and clean.

I’m actually interested in making more pins. I really enjoyed the process.

If you decided to do this, let me know! I would love to see.




Creative Week

This week has been quite busy (if you couldn’t tell from the last post), but I’m excited to bring Creative Week to the blog next week!

Monday will be a DIY on something I made for Disneyland.

Wednesday will be a costume made for a festival.

Friday will be a choice (meaning I’m not sure what yet). I’m debating between trying watercolour or going through the process of drawing people (from when I did commissions). If you have one you’d rather see, do let me know. I’ll take it into account.

But it’s not just the main posting days that are getting creative!

Tuesday and Thursday will bring a new story for my writing tab.

Saturday will bring…a surprise (*wink*)

Sunday is a day of rest. Or just basic sketching.

Let’s get creative! Join me if you want, I’d love to see your creations.



Making Floating Candles

img_7984Remember my teacher friend from previous posts? It’s been a hot second since I talked about her, but she’s back! For her classroom this year, she themed it Harry Potter. And because she trusts my creativity(?), she asked for input. So I helped decorate her classroom. One of the things I came up with were floating candles to hang from the ceiling. Here’s how I made them.

img_7939Supplies I used:

  • Hair rollers from Dollar Tree
  • Paint–light blue and white–from WalMart
  • Plastic wire typically made for making jewelry. I grabbed this from my jewelry making kit and don’t remember where I got it but I’m sure you can get it anywhere that sells jewelry making stuff
  • Orange construction paper
  • Paper clips

Because the rollers were dark blue, painting it white over it immediately wouldn’t give a good effect, so I painted all the rollers in a light blue paint. These rollers have plastic ends on them, and since only one side will be visible I painted one end but not the other. This’ll actually help in the long run.

Once the blue dried, I thought I’d be good to go for white. Well, word to the wise, paint one end first, because what’ll happen is the blue will come off with the white if you touch the wet paint. So, I painted the majority of the candle white, waited for it to dry, then painted the rest of it white. Now I have white, flameless candles.

Here’s why it was good not to paint over both ends: I was able to secure the plastic wire around the plastic end piece and tie it so it wouldn’t randomly fall off. Once I’ve got plastic wire on every. single. candle, I cut out tons of flame twins out of orange construction paper. And I don’t know why I didn’t get a pic of this (good job, Alexandra), but I put the flame twins against each other on the plastic wire so the stay up.

Then I attached the plastic wire on a paper clip slightly opened (again, no pics, Alexandra?). The paper clip goes into the ceiling, and if you know public school ceilings you know that they are cardboard tiles, practically. So I put the open end of the paper clip in the tile borders and the candles are thus floating!


I only made a solid 18, but from what my teacher friend told me the kids really like them. And I suppose that was the point, lol. It all worked out, and it cost less than 10 dollars.

If you decided to do this, or even have a different way of doing this, let me know! I would love to see.



Bullet Journal Set Up for July

Something I’ve been watching on YouTube lately is bujo layouts.

Because I’m poor, I can’t always afford to order some bujo stickers, so I was wondering what I could do instead. Considering I have quite a few sticker collections, I decided to create my own themes using what I already have (which makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?)

For the month of July (aka hot-as-fuck month), I decided an Ancient Egypt theme using the sticker book I got in Glasgow.

First things first, supplies.

  • pen/pencil
  • scissors
  • red and gold washi tape
  • red, peach, and golden brown Crayola Supertips
  • brown skinny Crayola marker
  • forest green, light brown, orange brown Pen+Gear markers
  • the stickers
  • and of course, your bujo

My title page, as every month has one, has the quote “All things are possible. Who you are is limited by who you think you are.” It’s apparently from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which seemed to fit. The symbols is hieroglyphics for July. I thought it was a cool touch, and I hope I got it right.

My monthly page with important dates and goals. I also have a challenge tracker since I dubbed this month Challenge Month, so it’ll keep me on my toes or whatever.

Then, I have a habit tracker. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of habits to track being under a commitment contract.

And finally, I have a weekly page. I have a to-do list, a tiny section for work (though, it’s not often used, it does offer a spot to put meetings or goals), a section for my digital stuff like blogs and videos, and notes for whatever I need at all.

If you want to use any of these, go right ahead.

The point of this is you don’t need expensive kits or whatever. Use what you have already and you’ll probably have a fun time.



Trying Chinese Brush Painting

Something like two years ago, I got a Chinese brush painting set. It was something else I could learn and maybe enjoy. Also, Chinese brush painting is beautiful, so I definitely wanted to try it.

Two years later, I’m finally trying it.

First things first, I gotta look into it. Luckily it came with a book, by painter Danny Han-Lin Chen.

Once reading is complete, gather your supplies:

  • Brushes (white cloud and orchid bloom)
  • Ink stick
  • Ink stone
  • Brush rest
  • Watercolor palette
  • Sketchpad that can handle watercoloring

In the book, there are paintings to try. Of course, I choose the easiest on to try first.

First attempt at a stroke was a fail, so let’s try again.

Better (not perfect, but I definitely didn’t expect it to be).

After I got more familiar with the brushes and how the ink worked, I diverged a little from the instructions. Not because I thought I was good enough to, but because some parts still confused me, so I did what I could/knew how to do.


And done.

I added some Chinese in the corner. I double, triple, quadruple checked that I got the word right, but I’m still nervous that I did wrong and accidentally wrote something real offensive. I tried to write the word ‘learn’.

Because that’s what we do here.

It’s not the most beautiful painting, but I think it’s pretty, and I’m proud. I’ll probably try it again.

Any tips are greatly appreciated.