Thursday, 25 February 2016

Knitting Frenzy + Update

Hi everyone! 

Oh, sometimes time does fly! Feels like it was not that long since I was in New York and still trying to keep my blog updated! I have neglected this blog, and my IG (although I am trying to update my IG daily). The truth is, recently, not much crafty things have happened. Well, other than my opening a new shop on Etsy, and learning how to knit socks and mittens... that's about it. 

But I thought it'd be nice to post a knitting update! Things have been flying off the needles recently, because all I did was watch movies and knit. All is good... I've got ambitions this year for knitting! :) 

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll and Knitpicks Hawthorne. 
Boyfriend's socks. These are knitted in simple stockinette. I've always knitted for myself, and I hadn't realise how BIG  a man's feet are. *giggle* But these are marvellous, and I fell in love with knitpicks Stroll yarns. I should get more! 

Sirdar's Heart and Sole. 
Second pair of socks! I didn't quite like the yarn because it feels itchy. This is the first pair that I blocked, and wow, it sure just look more sock-shape after! Totally blocking all my socks from now on! It's very easy too. I just wet them, squeeze the water out, and stuff them into these acrylic sock blockers that I got from Knitpicks. Best idea ever! The pattern is called Frank's Little Cables

Yarn: Knitpicks Felici Yarn 
Third pair of socks done! Just finished this off last night. Don't you love the stripes? Oh, why do I only got 4 pairs of Felici yarn?! Definitely going to get MOOOOOORE..... :) I'm going on a sock yarn rampage. The pattern is called Pillars of Atlantis

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll, Knitpicks Felici, Online Supersocke 100 
First time I tried knitting mittens. This is just so soft and beautiful. And they knitted up fast too! I used the Whichaway Mitts pattern from Fringe Association, except I casted on 64 stitches in sock yarn. I'm so glad I chose the green color stripes! Can you see the color change? Isn't it wonderful? I'm ranting here, but oh, it is just so beautiful! 

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Another version of the above. I put in some simple colorwork because I wanted to venture into that this year. There are too many beautiful designs that I waned to try! Although I got the yarns all tangled up sometimes, these are certainly good practise! Plus, I love the colors. 

Yarn: 4 Seasons Marvel 8 Ply
A melon coaster, pattern from PurlBee. This is the first time I knitted something in a circle! This will definitely come in handy. 


This year, I've taken to keeping notes on all my knitting projects and all patterns and edits, plus any other information. I kept it in my original blue Midori, but that later turned out too small, so I switched it up to an orange Pelledori. The thing is nearly 2.5inches thick! You can also see the new braided cable bracelet in the photo. :) 


Finally did up a yarn swatch of all my 4 seasons Marvel 8 Ply yarn. I've a lot of colors and I don't want to buy multiples of them (if ever I buy anymore). They're 100g each and over 400m so I do have a lot of yardage. Plus I seldom use acrylic yarn, other than to make toys or accessories or homestuff, I don't use them often. 


Took out my acrylic yarn and placed them in a drawer in order to encourage my using them. Hoping that I'll use them more this year! Plus, doesn't it look colourful? 


Speaking of yarn stash, I sold all these last week. I cleaned out my room and packed away yarns that I'll never use in order to minimise the creative chaos. This year's goal is to use more yarns than I buy! 

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Well, that's it! Thanks for listening and following my knitting rant. Sometimes I just wanna share about knitting a little. It is my current top hobby.  

I'm contemplating if I should switch up this blog to a knitting blog specifically, but I don't think I will. I don't have that much knitting to share, plus it'll kind of annoy non-knitters if I keep yakking about my knitting, won't it? ;) 

Love, 
Jennifer 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Making of Midori Dashboards (with stamps)

Hi everyone! 

It's Saturday again, i.e. blogging day. As my exams drew closer, my weeks gets more and more chaotic, and my knitting more frantic. I am still solidly in my sock knitting phase, which means lesser time for my other crafts, like lettering or watercoloring. But just last week, I saw a very nice dashboard in a Filofax planner decorated with stamps. I knew I had to do something similar, so here they are. 

I apologise for the lousy photos. It has been raining for 2 days consecutively and I couldn't get any natural lighting at all! Plus the weather is miserable and it just makes me want to hug Penelope and laze in bed all day. 
I made four dashboards. This is one side of them. 
I have made a lot of dashboards for my midori/ fauxdori. Usually I cut them to size, corner punch them, and bind them with clear tape. But this time, it took extra time to do the stamping and all the coloring. Five hours in total! 

The other side of the dashboards. 
I used Bitty Bungalows by Paper Smooches, Little Edibles by Mama Elephant, Baah Humbug by Lawn Fawn and Iconic by Studio L2e. Stamped with Memento Black Ink and coloured with Derwent Inktense color pencils and a water brush. 

I'm really loving the ME and Lawn Fawn stamps. Aren't these fruits cute?
 Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes with my dashboards. 

First of all, my measurements are way off. I chose to size my dashboards at 20.5cm and 10.5cm but I cut the new dashboards at 7cm width! So I taped them further apart with the tape. I don't really mind, except it's annoying because I should have been more careful!

Secondly, I initially wanted to use copic markers to color them in, but as copic users know, the paper will bleed through. So unless I want to put those papers together, back to back, I can't use copic markers. However, the paper that I stamped my images on is not suitable for Inktense, which prefer water-colour paper. 

Thirdly, I shouldn't have chosen that black and heart birdhouse for a stamp. I find it too much black on the dashboard and it doesn't look as nice. I'd love to ink them all up in multicolour stamping inks. Perhaps next time!


A look at one of the dashboards in my midori. I love sticking post-its on the dashboards. The clear tape made it more durable, and much nicer. Of course, I'd have laminate it if I own a laminator! I have a clear film post-it in the photo above that I bought from Daiso. There're always fun and handy things to be found in Daiso! :)

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Thanks for letting me share with you my dashboards! Perhaps you'd feel inspired to handcraft your own dashboards! These are easily adaptable into different sizes, even an A3 size that you can hang on the wall and use as a noticeboard! 

Have a great weekend, 

Love, 
Jennifer

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Valentine Weekend

Hi everyone! 

It's the Valentine weekend! Do you have something special planned, or do you perhaps choose not to celebrate Valentine's Day? My boyfriend and I don't really celebrate Valentine, but our anniversary falls a week before that, so it is kind of a mash-up celebration. It is just a day when we feel extra grateful that we have met and are together. Like Thanksgiving! ;)

I made a special Valentine card this year. I got some spinner stamps from Art Impressions last black Friday and decided to try it out! I thought it looked easy to make, but like always, Instagram always makes everything easier and simpler than it looks. Here's my card. 

The spinner card that I made. You twist the center piece and when you open the card, it'll spin right back. 
I took a photo of it in the room that we got for the day, so don't mind the background. One thing that I noticed immediately after I assembled the card was that the string would loosen over time as you keep twisting it. I added some glue to it at the tip because the washi tape doesn't help keeping it in place, but it still looks like it might come off eventually! If I am to make another of it, I will glue the string down sans tape. 

Calligraphy on the envelope. 
The card feels pretty simple so I jazzed it up with a colourful envelope. I got this paper from Michaels in New York. Did the brush calligraphy with Pentel Touch brush marker, my current favourite. I really need to practice brush calligraphy more! I feel rusty. 

Coloured page from Johanna Basford's Enchanted Forest. 
I'm trying to do more coloring recently. Trying to play around with my watercolors, because I have an idea for the next series of cards. I am a fan of Johanna Basford's coloring books, I've got all three of them! Dug out my huge box of Derwent Inktense color pencils and my water brush for this particular page. I wanted to accentuate the birds, but perhaps I should have stick to greys for the deer's antlers too. If you haven't fallen into this whole coloring craze that has been going on recently, you really should give it a go! It is good for relaxation. I tend to color before bed. 

The second pair of socks I finished this year. 
I am also a big knitter. Currently, I am crazy about knitting socks. I am on my third pair now, and I aim to at least knit 12 pairs this year! I can only do cuff-down socks now, but eventually (when I'm bored), I'll learn how to do them toe-up! Or maybe on a circular needle, two at the same time! There are so many ways to knit a sock, so many techniques to try, that I'm really quite happy with just knitting this for now. It helps that I have bought a lot of sock yarns that are all so pretty and clamouring to be knitted. 


I heard about TokyuHands on Instagram last week and wanted to visit. Confession: I saw a fellow planner girl on IG with this beautiful leather pen book band on her midori that I just had to have. I have been to TokyuHands before, but it didn't wow me (probably because I didn't look through the shop entirely). This time I headed to the stationery section straightaway, and it blew me away! I found so many things, including the leather pen book band that I was looking for. I got an extra Sierra Incense Cedar ballpoint pen that I love (I bought 3 during my trip to Shanghai and have been wanting to get more ever since), plus their pen refills. They even stocked their mechanical pen companions! Then I saw the yellow pencil case and it went straight into my shopping basket -I am a big fan of yellow. I also got a cute pair of travel scissors. I initially intended to bring it to snip yarn and threads when I travel, but it wasn't that sharp. But it is still a handy little thing. Several other things that I got: a tea infuser and several refills. 

I am a big fan of TokyuHands now! True, their prices aren't cheap, but their selection of stationery is superb. They even stock all kind of Midori accessories! I saw a lot of notepads and post-it notes that are so beautiful and funky. I didn't get any because I already have too many at home that I can't finish. I wish that they could have more kinds of washi tapes though and perhaps more coloring options. I only saw a little shelf for Copic ciao and some coloring pencils and paints. It certainly wasn't as big as their pen section. 

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I'm hoping that I would be able to finish another pair of socks by next week, and also get more studying done! The Chinese New Year certainly threw everything into a jumble! In the meantime, I'm settling down at my table with some chocolate ice cream and my knitting for the weekend! Because chocolate ice cream is the perfect companion for Valentines! ;)

Thanks for dropping by, 

Love, 
Jennifer

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Shop Opening and the Pilot Batch

Hi everyone!

I am Jennifer from the newly opened the Penelope Card Shop over at Etsy. I have been making cards for a few years now, and up till now, I have only made cards for family and friends. So I thought, with my excessive card-making materials, I really should spread all these goodness around! Thus, the Penelope Card Shop was born! 

I spent the last week and half trying to get everything together for the shop opening. It definitely felt a little crazy, probably how Alice felt when she fell down the rabbit hole. I am also in the midst of reorganising my room to create a craft space as well as spring cleaning for the Chinese New Year. Opening a shop includes more than just making cards. There are some administrative things to do too. But as my family and friends say, once the shop is opened, the worst of it is over. I have already hammered out many such details. 

I am going to use this blog to interact with you, potential buyers, so that I would be able to make cards that match that match what you prefer. I will also put up each batch of cards here and if one of them proves popular, I will put it back up on Etsy again. I will also use this blog to showcase what I am working on as well. 

Because I handmade each card, each design will have limited quantities. In this case, 2-3. I am calling this the Pilot Batch after all the first episodes of a new show. 

Love Cards

Love Socks Love Card 
Mousey gives a Cupcake Love Card
Umbrella of Love Love Card
Hugsss Love Card
I love you more than Ice-Cream Love Card
Apple of my Eye Love Card
Prince Charming Love Card
We Make A Perfect Pair Love Card

Birthday Cards

Magical Birthday Unicorn Birthday Card 

Cheerful Birthday Cake Birthday Card

Cheerful Birthday Slice Birthday Card

Late Birthday Turtle Birthday Card
Contented Birthday Puppy Birthday Card 

Congratulations Card

Succulent Congrats Card

Thank You Card

Flower Power Thank You Card

Do drop by my etsy shop if you are interested in any of them. If they're out of stock, please drop me an email and I'll see if I can make a few more. 

Thanks for reading, 
Jennifer