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Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me...

Today is my birthday. I woke up early to have breakfast with 2 good friends, splurged on books and magazines at the bookstore and had a hotdog and fries for lunch. I went home full and contented and stuck myself in my study to journal, draw and now, blog. :) 

Years ago, when I was much, much younger, I wanted a big party. The kind where I could invite all my classmates with fancy invitations. We would play party games on the day itself, (where presumably I would be allowed to win all of them), eat a ginormous birthday cake and I would open lots of great presents. 

Well, my folks were broke though, so that never happened for me. I did get the cake and some presents though.

When I was older, I outgrew the idea of party games, birthday cakes and eventually, presents. I didn't need the whole shebang, but I did like the idea of having all my friends with me. We would eat dinner at a special place, you know, not the kind we usually ate at, but somewhere nicer and fancier than usual, and it would still be a special kind of day. I still look on the memories of those days fondly on photos and Facebook. 

Now at this grand old age of 36, I find I'm not even interested in that. I just wanted to have a slow, comfortable day consisting of the big loves in my life: books, fries, friends and family. So I arranged to have a breakfast date with friends, I decided I would have fries for lunch (oh, what a decadent treat at our age!) and I would splurge on books. After that, I would stay home, eat chips and watch TV. 

It's a very simple plan and I'm fine with that. In fact, with work and all its obligations being what it is, having the time in the whole day to be able to do all that without any shred of guilt feels like a decadent, luxurious treat. More so than any fancy restaurant or present I ever received.

Because now, I'm learning that happiness is not just about the big grand parties in life. A stronger, more lasting form of happiness can also be found in the smaller pieces of our everyday lives and in everywhere that we are. I am grateful that I have found some of those small pieces of happiness and they are enough for me for now. :) Happy birthday to me, and here's to more chips and fries. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Story of 2 Journals

This is the story of 2 journals. 

The one on the right, labelled "It's gonna be okay", was bought when I was going through a low time of my life. I seemed to be screwing up all the time at work, even when I was trying my best, and I felt like I was alone and had nobody. I bought the journal to rant, basically, to release all the excess toxic thoughts and to help me think a way through. 

The '16' journal on the right has a different story. It was given by a friend who had no use for me and ironically came a year late. (It really is a 2016 diary.) I loved all the cute illustrations inside and I thought it looked so happy, it ought to be a Happy Book. I started writing about happiness and all the little things that made me happy. 

After I started in it, I remembered the other journal and I took it out. The person who wrote those words inside seemed so far away from the person writing inside the Happy Book. I couldn't help but wonder: which journal would fill up first? Perhaps only time and my own efforts can tell. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Junk Journals Tutorial 2: Part 2: Making a Book Cover

Hi all, sorry for the long break! We've been celebrating Chinese New Year here in Singapore and now that it's nearly at an end, it's time for me to finish up this tutorial too!

Today's tutorial covers how to make a cover for your journal and is very useful when you are making journals of your own. Once you have some simple steps mastered, the technique can be applied to making any kind of journal.

Making A Book Cover

You will need:

Tools and Materials
Paper (This would become your cover)
End Paper (Any kind of coloured paper, for the inside of the cover)
Adhesive
Bookbinding stapler (Or ordinary stapler and eraser, if you are following my alternative stapling method)

Here, for this tutorial, I have chosen a page out of Frankie magazine as the paper for my cover. The paper from this magazine is quite sturdier and after the end paper is pasted, will become strong enough to act as the cover.

Step 1: Fold the top and bottom edges of the magazine page to your required size. To gauge the size, I've put the paper from Part 1 on top. Leave a few millimetres allowance at the edges.


Step 2: Fold the right side down but cut the corners away. You should have something that looks like the picture above.

Step 3: Take away the notepaper. Stick the right side down. Then do the same on the left side. 


We're almost done. By this point, the top picture shows the inside of the cover and the bottom picture shows the outside after I folded it in half. 

Step 4: Open the cover and stick the end paper of your choice on the inside. Here I chose a piece of white paper to keep a clean look. This will also cover any ugly folding marks you made.

Step 5: Open the cover and open the notepaper to the centre. Clip the notepaper to the cover as if it were a finished book. The clips will keep the paper in place and make it easier to staple.

 Step 6: Turn the whole thing over and staple the paper to the cover.

Done! Here is the finished journal when closed and the tools I used!

Like I said, this tutorial is handy for making covers for any kind of journal or notebook, so save it and keep it handy!