Unboxing July Ipsy and August Planning

Hello, interwebz!  I’m combining two short posts today – the July Ipsy unboxing and my August planning.  I’m working hard to catch up on all of the reviews and tutorials I want to do for you all so that I can start doing blog and vlog posts while I still have steam!

My July Ipsy Glam Bag contained two Secret Key Nature Recipe masks (honey and tea tree), a blue iridescent makeup bag, an Ofra eyeshadow pan refill in Millennium Gold, Dr. Lipps original Nipple Balm, a Lord & Berry lip liner in Mandarin, and Bellapierre Banana setting powder in Medium.

I tried to take a few pics to really get how pretty this bag is, but it made everything else washed out and hard to see.  This is a nice little bag that I might take with my phone, keys, and wallet when I’m running errands.  I have never heard of Ofra, but this eyeshadow looks pretty and shimmery.  It’s a pan refill that is supposed to fit multiple makeup palettes, but I don’t have any that this would fit.  So, it might make a good travel eyeshadow.  I’m excited to try the Lord & Berry lip liner and Banana setting powder!  The lip liner is the same color as the Kat Von D orange lipstick that I discussed in a previous post, not that the lipstick needs any help in staying powder, but I do like putting lip liner on my lips under lipstick.  I’ve heard that the banana powder does good things for oily skin and shine.  I’m wondering if it’ll help with sweaty Texas heat faces.

I am addicted to face masks, so these two masks were pretty exciting to see in the package!  Honey and tea tree oil are both good for inflamed skin and acne.  Honey has natural antibacterial properties while also being soothing and moisturizing.  Tea tree oil dissolves pimples and calms skin inflammation.  So , the masks are a welcome addition to my beauty routine.  The Nipple Cream struck me as odd at first, and then I remembered reading about this.  You can put it anywhere from your lips to your shoes.  The lanolin mixture will act as a deeply absorbing moisturizer, perfect for my sun sore skin.  Imagine what my skin would be like If I weren’t using lotion and sunscreen every day!

Now, on to my planner.  I need a simple monthly layout since August will be filled with so many back to school items in a week or two.  I finished up my crappy tape in the school design.  So, I decided to try to stay on the blue and red path.  I added a few stickers and left the rest for writing.

The day after I set this up, I added about four things to the monthly calendar.  So, it was a wise choice to keep the monthly spread sparse.  Now that I think of it, I need to record a few other things.  I use my planners to record my daily health record so that I can look back at the end of the week to see if it was a good or bad health week and what may have caused it.  This heat is killing me right now, but usually it’s other triggers like lack of sleep or extra stress.  Back to School time is always a bit extra stressful for everyone, amirite?

I subscribed to the July Mommy Lhey box, so I should get that soon.  It inspired me to use alot of Mommy Lhey art in my weekly spread.  Most of these stickers and washi are from the November Mommy Lhey kit.  I love these little animal cuties and girl/woman stickers!  I still have quite a few things from that box because you get SO MUCH in them.  The boxes are a little expensive, so I told myself that I could get one every six months.  As you can see, the supplies last much longer than every six months.  So, I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth for the beautiful art and high quality stationery products.  Plus, supporting small and independent business women is my favorite kind of shopping!

Well, thanks for reading this post!  Did you like the combination of unboxing and planning?  Let me know your thoughts if you’ve tried any of the items that were in my July Ipsy glam bag.  I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

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Planning – Week of 4.9.18

This week, I was inspired by Mommy Lhey to do a spread with stickers and stamps. Mostly, I though it would be a good opportunity to use my colored pencils. I also thought it’d be nice to try a non-washi spread. I don’t have much in the way of stamps, but we’ll see what we can do.

I have the stamps that came with my Mommy Lhey November kit, some Hampton Art ink and Recollections acrylic blocks that I got on sale at Michaels, and my collection of stickers.

I started off with the girl. I don’t know if it’s the ink or my lack of skills, but she always comes out a bit muddled. Lhey uses baby wipes to clean off her stamps after each use, so I decided to try that. I’ve seen other planners who don’t clean off their stamps, but the idea of storing dirty stamps makes me want to pull out all of my hair.

The lighter inks seemed to have dried out because I couldn’t get decent lines from them with my little coffee cup. The soda cup in darker ink looked better, but the lines were too thick. I’ll get these stamps figured out one day!

After stamps, it was time for stickers! I used a sticky note, a cut-out from a magazine, and a card from a set of motivational quotes that Christina gave me to make a little weekend collage. At the top is a quote from a set of travel stickers – “How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards.” That is how I like my weekends, but it rarely happens.

I used some clear stickers just to add a bit of pop in the layout. Since I need so much space to record my daily health stats and To Dos, I added stickers to designate some notes areas. After filling in some plans, I decided to skip coloring in the stamps. I know from experience that when the stamp lines are jacked, the coloring looks messed up too. So, I’m stopping with the spread as it is now.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any suggestions about stamps because I really need help on that 😀

Watercolors – Swatching Koi Water Colors

Until recently, I had only used Crayola watercolors. I mean, you know, they work, but not if you want to try to learn to do something other than paint a picture of a house and a tree for your mom. I have some watercolors that I got from an old job after they switched to digital mapping instead of handrawn maps. I tested a couple of colors and didn’t want to waste my fancy paints on another picture of my cat with hearts and stars in the background. When I saw Lhey and others online using watercolors in their journals, I thought, “This could be the way I use my fancy paints!” I didn’t want to start with them, though. So, I used a coupon at Michaels to buy a palette of Sakura Koi Water Colors (Pocket Field Sketch Box).

After over a month of journaling with watercolors, I’ve made some progress.

I like the crinkly paper in my journals, but I have problems recreating the effects I see on tutorials online. I have a hard time following directions, and all of the beginning watercolor tutorials say to swatch your colors and to use watercolor paper. I have some Canson Watercolor Paper (cold press, 4×6, 140 lb) left from a collage project that a group of my friends and I did as a birthday gift 10 years ago. It happens to be the perfect size to swatch the watercolor set. I gave it a try.

The results are so much better than I expected! The colors went on easier and were much easier to manipulate on this paper than random notebook paper. This must be why everyone working with watercolors has the same tips.

I also found a great series of watercolor how-tos from The Witty Gritty Paper Co. I did the first transparency exercise and was surprised at how well it looks. There should have been more of a difference between 1 & 2 and 3 & 4, but I still don’t think it came out looking too bad. I really have a problem with staying in the lines, both in art and in life. So, I clearly need to work on that (in art only!)

Well, that was my adventure in swatching my Koi watercolors. As you can see, I am still very much a watercolor Noob, but I hope to improve so that I can look back on this post in a couple of years and say, “Ah, the innocence of no experience and cheap materials. I remember those days of yore with much fondness.” (I may or may not have been watching a bunch of period pieces about Frankenstein and alienists lately.). Thanks for reading and starting this voyage with me!

Random Saturday’s – Journaling

Over the past couple of months, I’ve really gotten into journaling and planners. I found creative forms of bullet journaling on Pinterest a couple years back, but ended up really only tracking tv shows that I was watching.  That made me sad because I like to think that my life is made of more than work and tv (it’s not). I got into lettering last year, but didn’t make much time to really practice it right away. Sometime around last summer, I figured out how to practice lettering on my iPad so that I wouldn’t have to use paper. I tried to work on journaling as a way to practice lettering on paper, but it just took on much time. I want to do so many things, but have no time or energy!

That’s my big problem – everything takes time and energy…and money.

I’m sure most people feel this way, though. I started watching YouTube videos by Mommy Lhey on accident. She had a family, but also managed to do journaling, planning, watercolor painting, logging, and so much more. Plus, she seemed to be at least part Filipino. I never see people like me on tv or movies. So, imagine my surprise at finding this woman who worked on projects of interest to me and drew pictures of people who looked like me (and people of other ethnicities too)!

This opened a whole new world of creativity and organization to me. Blending so many interests of mine led me to join Facebook groups, find Etsy stores, talk to strangers at craft stores, and reignite a general feeling of ME-ness that has been missing for so long. Even before I got married, I was in a creative rut and couldn’t find anything that really excited me. After getting married and having the added pressure of craziness as a corporate peon, I though creativity was a thing of the past. It made me sad, which made me feel useless, which made me sad, which made me feel useless, and so on and so forth.

This week’s journal layout makes me happy! This week’s journal layout makes me happy!

In the past month, I’ve worked on lettering on my iPad and on paper, did some wine & painting events with good friends, started creative planning in a beautiful journal, and have already completed my first artistic journaling notebook. I also enrolled in a Skillcrush career blueprint that will hopefully help me make some money as a side hustle on art and web design/programming/anything while my day job helps keep this roof over my family’s head. I’m feeling better about myself and my life, and I hope my family has felt the effects too. It’s so nice to have a creative outlet again that helps relieve stress and connect me to other people in the world who have the same interests.