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As you may very well know by now, I have been cramming my arts & crafts box, which I lovingly named Pierre, with all sorts of washi & masking tapes. It’s gotten to the point where I can barely close Pierre‘s lid. I’ve been using washi & decorative masking tapes a lot more in my stationery crafts, & I’ve even used them in spicing up a few Christmas decorations. When I brought back my new batch of washi tapes from my Asia trip, I was partly thinking that Jian would only complain that I never use these tapes, & partly thinking about ways I could use my new tapes. So, I decided to come up with a DIY project & decorate a few of my blank notebooks.

I had got the inspiration from a vlogger on YouTube who showed off a custom hand-drawn notebook that her friend had designed for her. I was so inspired by this YouTube vlogger, but alas, I cannot draw to save my life. I can barely draw stick figures, no matter how much I practice. So…instead of drawing a custom cover art, I thought about using other materials, & that’s where my washi tapes came into play. Of course, using washi & decorative masking tapes to customize something really doesn’t need any explanation, but I figured I’d show you what I’ve done & how I did it.

DIY notebooks1

1. scissors, 2. blank notebook (or any object with a blank, smooth surface), 3. decorative masking tapes of your choice

Basically, there’s three materials being used, & approximately three steps to decorating the item of your choice. First you select the decorative tapes you want to use. Next, you cut a strip of tape to the desired length of the object. At this point in the project, you can also cut your tape into various shapes & patterns. For example, you can cut the ends of the strip of tape to look like a ribbon. Finally, you affix the tape to your object. Yes, that was entirely obvious, but maybe this will give someone out there in our world wide universe some inspiration for themselves.

And…Here is the final result.

DIY notebooks

I bought these three Moleskin notebooks from Target & tried to use as many of the washi tapes from my Asia trip as possible. The first notebook is a sweet pastel theme. You can’t really see it from my photo, but the notebook is supposed to be a soft pink. I used some fabric masking tapes with some paper washi tapes to give the cover a little bit of texture. I wanted to choose colors that would stand out, but would also match the pink notebook.

The second notebook is a khaki color. At this stage of my DIY project, I couldn’t think of any specific design or pattern, until I came across my London themed tape roll. The inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks & I turned this boring notebook into a London/UK theme. I was especially proud of myself when I was able to add in the part of the tape that says “This is London“. I thought it was very fitting (& very much a lucky coincidence) that the words ended up on the bottom corner of the cover.

The final notebook in the set is a lavender color. I had already decided on using my special edition Sanrio stamp tape. I was trying to get as many of the characters on the cover as possible. I even tried to fill the entire cover with the stamp tape, but the band of the tape was too wide, so I wasn’t able to fill the cover completely without some overlap, which would cover up the stamp design. So, I ended up leaving the top portion of the cover blank, which I think makes the design look even better than if I had filled the whole cover. Filling the whole cover would have made it look to busy anyway. I added a few of my own Hello Kitty stickers just for fun, & there you have it!

I feel like although I have a very creative imagination, & I’m pretty good at decorating cards & stationery, I’m not very good at executing arts & crafts projects or DIY projects. My intentions come from a good place, but I can never really quite make it take shape. So, for me to actually finish a DIY project & it looking pretty good, I’m quite happy. Maybe this is a sign for more arts & crafts projects in the future. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“The Only One” by The Black Keys

The Only One

My head has really been out of it for a while. It’s hard for me to sort out all the hundreds of thoughts coursing through my mind at this moment. Lots of things have been going on that I feel like I’m just swimming though a dense fog.

I went to my very first acupuncture session last week. My mom’s cousin (who used to be a semi A-list TV star in Taiwain) married an acupuncturist (who also practices Western medicine at a hospital). I went to see this aunt last week and started my regimen of herbal remedies. Even though I, myself, am Asian, this all feels quite foreign to me. Nonetheless, I am excited for the outcome of my sessions.

Aside from all of my personal health matters, there have been frequent family events that have kept my schedule very full. I’m not a girly dresser, but I got all dolled up for my cousin’s semi-formal bridal shower party. I even got a fancy manicure, just a little treat for myself. I got my manicure at a Japanese nail salon that I go to every once in a blue moon. This is the design I picked. It’s a pink & glitter gradient nail color with various-sized gemstones on each nail. I love going to this particular salon because they are so creative, talented, & they do an excellent job as well as provide friendly service. This manicure lasted over three weeks & did not chip or get in the way of my everyday activities. The gems were also affixed so securely that I even had a difficult time removing them when my manicure finally decided to expire & give up on me.

I also recently visited the Japanese thrift store DAISO and picked up a few things I’ve been wanting to try for a while but didn’t want to spend the money on. I got two sets of fabric textured washi tape and a pair of heart-shaped scissors. Firstly, washi tape in general is very expensive, especially the cloth kind. The washi tape I got at this thrift store isn’t a very good quality kind, but it only cost me $1.50 for a set of three, so I don’t mind the mediocre quality. Secondly, I saw a pair of ergonomic heart-shaped scissors at my favorite stationery shop a few years ago, but I felt it was expensive ($14) considering it’s supposed to be more for cuteness rather than function. I was very excited when I saw those exact scissors for only $1.50 at the thrift store. Now I can try it without splurging on a fun but functionless craft tool.

Finally, I close this blog post by showing a photo of my latest craft project. I was sitting at my local coffee shop as I was writing this post & eating my lunch. I used the scraps of my lunch packaging to make this little wand. The materials I used were: long straw, hot beverage cup sleeve, sticky label from my lunch wrapper. The tools I used were: my imagination, my hands, & MUJI travel scissors (that I always keep in my purse). I had fun making this ridiculous little thing, but it brightened up my day, & I hope it brightens your day too. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“No, Not Now” by Hot Hot Heat

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Apparently @oasis wrote my fortune cookie fortune. 🥠
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