Chic Sparrow Austen Leather in Lady Catherine

I purchased this narrow traveler’s notebook from Chic Sparrow and have fallen madly in love. It’s gorgeous.

I currently have a similar leather, a Mr. Darcy Lemon Drop, purchased three years ago, which has patinated to a nice darkish yellow (photos of it further down). The leather of the Dr. Darcy and Austen are exactly the same. The name was just changed (and I can’t remember why). It’s a super sturdy, non-floppy full-grain leather. It’s also flexible and smooth. I can’t resist touching it.

The color is salmon but at times it can look darker or lighter. Love the striations and the sunburst on the front. This is a one-of-a-kind and it makes me feel a little special.

Here it is next to the Outlander Fraser B6 for color comparison.

Next to the Mr. Darcy Lemon Drop B6.

7″ Kindle Fire in between.

The plan is to use it for taking notes for my fiction stories.

Bujo Using Altenew Watercolor

I started bullet journaling not too long ago. I’d say, less than three years ago. This is my second official bujo notebook. I did some bujo here and there in other notebooks before going official. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bujo so I followed a few Youtubers until I found what I needed for my lifestyle. As far as the artwork goes, I’m still working on that. Most the time I’m just tweaking from others.

I try to add my own touches like quotes. It’s not new or different. I just like flipping back and reading them. Some of them have meaning during that point of my life and others are just quotes that I liked.

Here was May’s page. For both May and June, I used this watercolor set from Altenew. Earlier in the year I learned Altenew was comging out with a pallet and it looked so pretty I had to have it.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how smooth the watercolor is to work with and by how vibrant the colors are. I’m no expert on the different watercolors, but to me, this one feels like it’s up there with the pros.

Reaching for the Moon

Created this for my About Me page.

I often start these projects and then never finish. I’m just happy I’m able to get one done. The images were from Unsplash except the one of me. It was a self-timed image with the Nikon DSLR taken about five years ago.

Foxy Fix Traveler’s Notebooks in B6

I began writing “Dear” letters to my daughters in hardcover notebooks in 2011 on and off. Recently, I merged their notebooks into softcover Moleskin notebooks and put them in a large traveler’s notebook to keep them in one place. I sometimes include photos or bits and pieces of things they’ve written and tossed, even drawings left behind, in these notebooks. In a few more months, when I’ll be done with the Moleskins, I’ll be moving into these traveler’s notebooks from Foxy Fix. I plan to make the inserts myself to create shabby chic style notebooks so it doesn’t look or feel too formal. Years down the road, I want them to read these letters, and look at the photos and bits, with a cup of tea in a sitting room, and maybe some nostalgic music in the background. A mom can dream, right?

These B6 sizes were from a mystery sale on the Foxy Fix website a month ago. The deal was so good (half off) that I couldn’t resist getting two. I had no idea what color I would get or leather type, but I’m very happy with what I received. One daughter loves purple and one loves pink so it was a perfect match.

These traveler’s notebooks normally come in a cloth dust bag, but because they are mystery items (items that Foxy Fix is getting rid of because of over production), they come in these plastic covers, which I don’t mind since I currently have quite a few dust bags from previous purchases I can store them in.

Leather/color, left to right: Sugar/Cherry Blossom and Sugar/Lilac

Outdoor Plants and Flowers

Took the Olympus to the front yard. The setting was on Shutter Priority Mode. Minor editing were done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Columbine.

Pine cone from the giant pine tree in the yard. The tree is starting to brown at the top. I hope it’s not a sign that it’s dying.

This is a ground covering flower called a Vinca. They grow so fast and wildly. I want to get rid of them completely but husband wants to keep them.

Aspen.

The peony is stuck inside the branches of a huge bush. When we first landscaped the yard, the bush was tiny so I thought I could fit a peony plant there. Ten years later and there’s no room for it to grow. I’m planning to take it out and plant it in an open area. It used to bloom so beautifully.

Maple.

The giant bush. Its leaves are tiny now but come summer and fall and this thing becomes a beast. I happen to really like this bush. Just wish the peony wasn’t stuck inside it.

I believe these are morning glories. Not sure what the little periwinkle colored flowers are called but they are so pretty.

And last, a lavender my sister gave me for Mother’s Day. It’s inside the house now but I might transfer it outside. Can you see the spider web between the two flowers? We just had a spider egg sac open in the backyard and watched the babies fly off (like in Charlotte’s Web). Some sneaked inside the house and made the plants their home. I think they’re safe so I’m not worried. You’d think I’d be more scared of spiders since I was bitten pretty badly by a Brown Recluse years ago. There are other bugs I’m more scared off, but we won’t go there.

Orchids Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL8

These photos were taken in RAW and converted to JPEG. Nothing else was done to them. I should also mention that the setting was on auto.

Olympus PEN E-PL8 Mirrorless Camera

I purchased this camera on Amazon for $280. The original price was $600. The sale is still going on so if you have extra cash hanging around and want a small camera that can do big things, grab it before it’s gone.

I’m not being paid for talking about this camera. I’m just excited. It’s small and stylish. It’s an older camera but it’s still works wonderfully. The newest one is a PL10 and closer to $700.

I’ve been eying mirrorless cameras for some time now but never really needed another camera. I did some heavy research on other mirrorless and because of the price, I went with the Olympus.

Pros: It’s lightweight and takes pretty decent pictures. It’s not meant for pro photography but more so for stuff like blogging and YouTube vlogs. It’s also a good camera to take on trips because it’s light and small so it’s easy to carry around.

Cons: Not a big fan of the WiFi. It doesn’t work properly so I’m finding myself having to use the USB cord to upload to my computer. One reason why I went with this camera was because I wanted the WiFi but I guess I’ll have to try another camera with better connection. I searched everywhere for answers to the issue but there doesn’t seem to be any.

I’ll be sharing photos from this camera soon.

Happy Mail Sent

Earlier this month, I made some happy mail envelopes with stickers and washi tapes and sent them to my sisters, sisters-in-law, and friend. It was a lot of fun to make and assemble.

The washi sample was made using a Project Life divider tab. The stickers were cut with the Silhouette Portrait. The mini envelopes (below) for the washi tapes were made following a Youtube tutorial by 49dragonflies.

These vellum envelopes were purchased from Michael’s about three years ago. Never really used them so was happy to finally put them to use.

Made these larger mailing envelopes using 12×12 Prima Marketing papers.

Sticker credits: Flamazing digital scrapbooking kit by Blagovesta Gosheva, Good Vibes by Webster’s Pages, Roots by Illustrated Faith, and Happy Place by Illustrated Faith.

Book: Robinson’s Dream

This book was sent to me to review. I’m really excited to get started. Right now I’m reading The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton and hope to finish within the next day or so. I’ll get started on The Whispers of War next and then Robinson’s Dream after that. With all this time home and nowhere to go, I should be able to move through the books faster.

The cover of this book is eye catching.

Scallion Pepper Sauce

My mother gave me a handful of scallions from her garden and I decided to make scallion pepper sauce with it.

These were so pretty I just wanted to look at them all day, however, I didn’t want them to go bad so I had to do something quick with them. I also couldn’t think of anything else to make with them since I don’t have a lot of food in my fridge at the moment. With hot pepper sauce, I could freeze it for later.

I had an extra bag of frozen Thai peppers in the freezer and some leftover cilantro from pho last week so they went into the mix. If I didn’t have frozen peppers, I would have used dried peppers.

I chopped everything up.

And used a mortal and pestle to mash it all up. I also added salt, fish sauce, and lime juice.

This made about a cup and a half.

Yum!

I put most of it in a container to freeze for later and put a little aside for the next few days.

But, my daughter and her boyfriend stopped by and her boyfriend loved it so I sent him off with a little bit. I told him he could always come back for more.