Video Swatching Miya Gouache Set and Night Skies Paintings

As you know I thing for gouache. This is my third set. I’m still debating on reviewing the first set because the plastic odor was too strong so I haven’t been able to use it for awhile because I can’t handle the smell. I may just do a really quick review. I don’t know…still thinking about it.

This is the video swatching of the Miya Gouache.

To test the gouache out, I painted four 5×5 paintings. Two are of the Northern Lights and two are of the Milky Way. They were done on Arches 300 gsm/140 lb hot pressed watercolor paper (smooth). My first try on hot pressed paper was a mess and I didn’t finish it. I almost thought about switching to cold pressed paper (rough) because I painted with gouache on cold pressed before and was comfortable with it, but I’m glad I hung in there because I actually like the way the paintings turned out on the hot pressed better. These paintings were given away as birthday cards to my siblings.

May’s Playlist 2022 and Ramblings

Last weekend, went to grab donuts and coffee and couldn’t resist taking a photo of the clouds. Aren’t they something? If you’re curious as to why the road looks rough and uneven, it’s because they are repaving it. May usually feels like a forever month because of that extra day, but it pretty much flew by this year. I guess I should accept that as I/we get older, time starts to feel as though it’s moving faster. I remember wishing for the time to pass quickly. Now, I’m always aware that I only have so much time in a day to get things done, and there’s never enough time.

I was so busy with writing and trying to get my hands at doing more crafting that I didn’t get a chance to listen to anything different other than my default playlist of Enigma and writing music. Husband and I did go see the movie, Top Gun: Maverick and we both enjoyed it. The soundtrack was nostalgic and excellent. Afterward, I told him that returning to civilian life felt a bit slow and boring, but that I enjoyed it. The speed of those jets was a serious adrenaline rush and I don’t think that kind of life would ever be for me. It’s very different for sure, but you know, maybe it’s just the age thing.

Anyway, the one song I did listen to a few times was Meet Me Halfway but Kenny Loggins. He’s also the singer of the song Danger Zone, which was played in the 1986 Top Gun movie as well as the new movie release. Meet Me Halfway was a song played in the 1987 movie called Over the Top, which I haven’t seen yet.

My daughter is on summer break now. She finished 9th grade and will be starting 10th grade come fall. She’ll be taking classes for her driver’s permit this summer. Once she passes, she’ll be able to drive with me or her dad in the car with her. Then come her 16th birthday next year and she’ll be able to test for her driver’s license. Strangely, she doesn’t want to drive.

Hope you all enjoy your summer.

Book Review: When She Woke

Title: When She Woke
Author: Hillary Jordan
Genre: Sci-fi; Dystopian
Year Published: September 18, 2012

Date finished: May 22, 2022

This story is about a future America where religion is a political power and having an abortion is a crime. Hannah Payne, the main character, falls in love with a pastor and gets pregnant. She is then chromed red for her sin. People stare at her and judge her because her red skin speaks for her crime. She refuses to tell anyone who the father is or the doctor who performed the abortion. She escapes the last institution she’s put in and stumbles upon people who were willing to free her from this strict world.

This story started out interesting. I couldn’t put the book down because I love myself a good dystopian story. It’s been a while since I’ve stumbled upon a book I couldn’t put down. The opening really grabbed me and kept me reading. However, midway through, the story slowed down and went a different direction. The ending was just meh. I may have had such high hopes that I was left disappointed. I wanted some sort of victory for Hannah. I also wanted to know what happened to the pastor, her family, and her friend. They all just seemed to disappear. There wasn’t anything said about what happened to them.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad read. It had a lot of potential, but just didn’t hit the right spot for me.

Who should read this book: If you enjoy “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood, you’ll probably like this one.

April 2022 Playlist

I was surprised to see the magnolia in the backyard bloom. A few years back only a few flowers bloomed, so I thought this bush was on its way out, but I’m so glad it’s still thriving.

I finished Camp Nano and hit over 100K words so I’m really happy that I was able to get that far. My goal was 80K. As a gift to myself, I purchased quite a few celebrity perfumes. Once I receive them all, I’ll probably share some photos.

Something was in the air in April and I got hooked on the song “Never Enough” from the movie, The Greatest Showman. Have you seen the movie? What did you think? It came out in 2017 but I only watched it a year ago and I wish I had seen it sooner. I knew how popular a lot of the songs were, but there is so much more meaning in having watched the movie. I love the original “Never Enough” version by Loren Allred, but also love Morrissette Amon’s version as well as Kelly Clarkson’s. If you get the chance, watch Morrisette’s version. It’s very beautiful. Here’s Kelly’s version. I believe they’ve played this on the radio. I remember hearing it driving the kids to dance practice when oldest daughter was still in high school. She’s now finishing up her second year of university!

Here are a few other songs I listened to:

Into Dust” by Mazzy Star

Je T’aime Till My Dying Day” by Enigma

Glass Palace” by Jens Gad

Unboxing Falcon Travelers’ Book of Faerie Traveler’s Notebook + Photos

I’m so excited to finally have this beautiful leather notebook cover in my hands! I ordered it early in February, and because this is a small business owned by Monique (aka Lady Falcon) and Martijn in the Netherlands, I expected some wait time. The company is called Falcon Travelers and they make leather traveler’s notebooks and folios. What’s unique about them is that they not only make your basic leather notebooks/folios, but they also make artistic-work notebooks.

The one I ordered is called “Book of Faerie.” I had been visiting their website for awhile and at one pointed wanted to get their “Pendragon” notebook cover, but by the time I was ready to order, the Pendragon leather was no longer available, however, something else caught my eye, and it was this very lovely engraved book-style cover.

I got it in the classic B6 size. Classic means there are no pockets. I regret not getting pockets because I’ve actually come to really like them, but I still love this one without pockets, nonetheless.

Unboxing and Photos of the Lancaster Leather Notebook Cover

I don’t normally use the personal size leather covers because I just find that they don’t have enough room to write, but the Lancaster Traveler’s Notebook cover was so tempting that I had to get one. I already have a personal cover for my address book, etc., but went ahead and switched the notebooks out into the Lancaster. I really like the button closure and I think it works better for the address book.

Here’s the unboxing video if you want to watch it. It’s a no-talk video with music in the background. It’s just shy of two minutes.

Here are the photos of this gorgeous leather cover.

These photos were taken after I had put in the notebooks.

This leather scratches easily but it’s okay because sometimes I just want a very rugged scratched up leather. Right now because it’s still pretty new, it looks smooth and divine, but given time it will show all the wear and tear it’s meant for.

Photos of Sugarplum, January, and No. 8 Leather Notebook Covers

Earlier this year, I shared an unboxing on video on Youtube of the three full-grain leather notebook covers above but didn’t get the chance to share the photos (you can watch the video here >>> Unboxing 3 Notebook Covers), so here they are.

Sugarplum B6

January (this is the name of the leather) A5:

I’ve been using the January notebook cover the most and it’s one of my favorites. It hold just one notebook. I currently have a Wonderland 222 in there. I’m using it to track my writing but I think it will work better as a book review notebook, so next year that’s what I’ll be using it for.

No. 8 Standard Wide

I’ve got two more leather unboxings and photos to come so be ready! I’ve also finished reading three excellent books and will be reviewing them soon.

March 2022 Playlist

The movie “Free Guy” came out last year and at first I didn’t have any interest in watching it because I’m not a fan of Ryan Reynolds, but I ended up watching it and it’s become one of my favorite movies. It is soooo good! I loved the storyline and all the great actors. Even though Ryan basically played himself, I think he meant to let all the other talents shine, and they did.

The song “Sweet Fantasy” by Mariah Carey is pretty much the main theme song. However, the version below is so beautiful. I didn’t know this happy and bubbly song could be turned into something so heartfelt. It’s played near the end of the movie when the main character was separated from his friend on the platform going across the water. I learned that the actress who played Milli/Molotov, Jodie Comer, sang it. That made the movie all the more amazing. So, March’s favorite pick from my playlist is the cover of “Sweet Fantasy.”

Other songs from my playlist were:

Favorite Greens

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I don’t always celebrate this day but once in awhile I’m reminded that I should. I’ve only gone to one St. Patrick’s Day parade and that was almost two decades ago. Today’s a snowy, cold day so we’re staying warm inside.

A few months back, I suddenly had this urge for the color green. Green has never been a big color favorite of mine, but now it is. It’s so strange how our thoughts and feelings can change like a switch. Above are a few of my favorite green colors. The only green I’m not a fan of at the moment is the muddy brownish green, but one day I might change my mind.

These are all my green notebooks and notebook covers. Clockwise from top left: Archer and Olive Blank A5 Notebook, Archer and Olive Dotted Lines B5 Notebook, Hobonichi A5 Cover from Etsy, Chic Sparrow B6 Glas Express Folio Leather Notebook Cover, 5×5 Watercolor Notebook from Etsy, and Chic Sparrow A5 Artist Gastaldi Leather Notebook.

I don’t have a lot of green-colored book covers, but here are the ones that were mostly green:

Photos of Woodhouse Personal and Huckleberry B6 Traveler’s Notebook Leather Covers

By now you’re probably super tired of seeing all these beautiful full-grain leather notebook covers. I’m obsessed by them and could never get tired of looking at them and touching them, so just bare with me. I’m still reading books. In fact, I’m reading two books right now: Bleak House by Charles Dickens and an Indie book by Rebecca Crunden titled, These Violent Nights. I also have about three books borrowed from the library in which I probably won’t get to because I just received another book request that I will accept.

What’s so special about these leather notebook covers? Nothing, really. It’s just that I love to journal, do art, write stories, etc. I love all things having to do with papers and these notebooks are just a way for me to keep everything together. And, it’s also another way for me to keep busy. I think when life gets stressful, and it could be anything from work related things to family things, it’s nice to have something to comfort you, something that means a lot to you and that makes you feel good about yourself when you surround yourself with it. It doesn’t have to be costly. These notebooks are expensive, but before I got into them, I purchased vinyl ones. I wanted to test the water first to make sure that if I fell into this rabbit hole of collecting notebooks, that I wasn’t wasting money. Anyway, let’s move on. Here are photos of the Austen Woodhouse Personal and the Creme Chocolate B6.

Woodhouse is from the Austen line. If you’ve read the book Emma by Jane Austen, you’ll know that Woodhouse is Emma’s last name. I’ve shared an unboxing of the Austen Emma B6 here and photos of it here if you want to check them out.

Woodhouse is a dark blue but not quite navy blue. I’d stay it’s like a Prussian blue. The photos look a lot darker but it’s actually a softer color in person. Woodhouse is vegetable-tanned so it will continue to patina.

Here’s Woodhouse next to the Pemberly Personal notebook (the cover I’m switching from). You could see that Woodhouse is a tad longer. The photo below it shows the height differences much better.

I went with the Woodhouse Personal to replace the Pemberly Personal because the inserts I buy are a little longer and fit the new size better, and also because I love the Austen leathers. They’re flexible but sturdy and smell so good!

The Huckleberry B6 is from the Creme line. I didn’t really need this leather cover but got it anyway because I wanted to add to my Creme collection. I now have all the colors of the Creme line. I think this is the only line that I have all the colors. Another reason why I got this cover was because Chic Sparrow was switching from side facing pockets to cascading pockets and I wanted a side facing pocket cover before the switch.

The Huckleberry leather is a muted fuchsia color. I think there’s a hint of brown in them, but this one (in person) actually leans towards purple.

If you didn’t already know, I’ve had a Huckleberry B6 Slim Folio for a couple of years now. It was made very different from a regular traveler’s notebook cover and I had wanted to try it out to see if I’d actually like the design and the color. I’m not a big fan of purplish fuchsia color leathers. They’re just a little too bright for me, but I’m happy with this one. In the photo below, the top one is the B6 TN and the bottom one is the B6 Slim Folio.

That was a lot of photos but I hope you enjoyed seeing my joy. If you want to see the unboxing of these two notebook covers, go here.