Stationery Haul from Japan Summer Trip

This summer, I planned a special trip to Tokyo as a goodbye tour to Asia as I prepare to move to the US for the next two years (Goodbye, stationery heaven!). My friend Esther is nice enough to offer me a place to crash in Yokohama, so I had the opportunity to explore many places between the Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo city!

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I compiled a detailed list of stationery stores I have to visit from reading various stationery related magazines in bookstores. Of course, with some help from google translation, I also found many local unique stationery stores that have interesting items. The random finds on this trip are also an intriguing experience, and you bet I definitely stock up on a lot of stationery items!

I’ll be sharing in this post my haul from my Tokyo trip. I like to get things that are practical for my journaling hobbies, pen pal exchange tools, and paints for my drawings and water-colour doodles. Another fashionable trend among stationery addicts are small toys they call Table Top Things (such as figurines from gashapon dispensers and paper weights), and I cannot resist getting some cute ones to put on my future reading desk.

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Stationery in Taipei – Vision Stationery

Taipei is a pretty small city, and yet so many interesting stores are crammed in its limited space! What I love about weekends is that I’m able to hop into a bus and go on an adventure of exploring new cafe and stores. A friend’s recommendation brought me to Vision Stationery 明進文房具.

Vision Stationery is tucked in a small alley near MRT Liuzhangli Station 捷運六張犛站. The brassy sign is next to the brightly lit glass wall of the shop itself. The warm yellow light is very inviting to stationery addicts like us.

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The owner, Mr. Chen, is a stationery addict himself. He is very selective about his products, and he took the effort to try out all the items he sells before putting it on the shelf. He is very particular about paper items and notebooks, because he believe that good quality paper and system can help people achieve great things. Behind the small cashier is a small stack of recent notebooks that he is test writing before he starts selling them.

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Drawing Tips – Painting with Waterbrush

Friday was a national holiday in Taiwan because the government was compensating a day off for Qingming Holiday where everyone goes home to pay respect to the ancestors. My friends and I took advantage of this day off to go on a Picnic to Qingtiangang, a beautiful expanse of plain on top of Yangming Mountain.

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Of course I brought along my paints and sketchbook in hope to capture the beautiful scenery. I wasn’t disappointed, because the weather was super nice and I’d say it’s even feeling like summer has arrived!

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I recall when I was here last time (about two weeks ago), the weather was dreary and there was heavy mist up on the trail. We couldn’t see a thing within 10 feet, so we gave up and went home disappointed. (However, we did get to see some cherry blossoms on the way down the mountain).

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Hobonichi Flip Through January Part 2

wHAT ARE YOU WRITING IN THERE ALL DAY?

says Mom.

In today’s post, I’m continuing with my Hobonichi Filp Through of January! This month I had the opportunity of visiting many exhibitions and art shows, so there are a lot of colourful things to draw. It’s also when I started exploring and experimenting different uses of washi tape and stickers in my diary as well.

I’m contradictory in that I wanted to use up all the cute stickers that I own, but at the same time I wanted to keep my diary in a minimalist style, keeping everything in black and white. Apparently with my latest addiction with watercolour, that’s not going to happen anytime soon (the black and white thing).

A dear friend sent me a happy mail of Sai Watercolour brushes! I immediately wanted to try it out in my journal. Unfortunately my first grasp of this pen is not very well, and I ended up with super saturated strokes. However, I love how many colors this set of pen has! Too lovely for words.

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I love to use washi tape to save all the tickets of the exhibitions or shows that I’ve been to. Usually the tickets are beautifully designed, and can be a colourful reminder to your adventures.

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Drawing tips – Waterproof Pigment Ink

For many doodlers out there, there must be some discussion on what’s the best pen to draw with. Some people might want to use water-colour together in their drawings. In this video I share my favourite waterproof pigment ink pens I use in my Hobonichi Techo. They are Uni-pin fine line, Sakura Microns, and Unchida pens~

They have a harder nib than normal pens, and their waterproof nature makes it very convenient to paint over them without the lines smudging. Check out this video for some speed doodling using these pens!

Hobonichi Flip Through January 2015 part 1

It feels really good to start off the new year by art journaling in the Hobonichi. The format of the Hobonichi Techo and the constant reminder to put in something wonderful each day really helps give a sense of purpose in keeping this journal.

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To recap, this is a A6 Hobonichi Techo English Planner. Although it lack the detailed timeline bar, the check boxes on top, and has a different type of format from the Japanese Techo version, I feel that this layout allows more blank spaces for writing and drawing.

I wanted to start this year with a bang, so I figured I’d buy a lottery ticket to test my luck. Well, if I had won, this ticket won’t be stuck to this page now ;). I love cutting out cute pictures from beautiful brochures and flyers, especially in the city of Taipei where there are many artists showing off their trade.

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Hobonichi Flip Through December 2014 – part 2

Continuing my previous post on my December page flip throughs, my daily entries consisted of a main illustration for the day, and surrounding it are my journaling of the day’s events! I’m not that great a writer, and I don’t want to pressure myself into writing fantastic entries that are full of meaningful thoughts or anything like that. Therefore I try to focus my art on doodling and replicating photos that I’ve taken in my iPhone for that day.

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Sometimes I take inspiration from Hobonichi entries shared on facebook pages or cute images I’ve seen on Instagram. Luckily I don’t have to rely much on prompts yet to come up with things to draw. There are too much interesting things around me that I would love to put into doodles and writing.

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Hobonichi flip through December 2014 – part 1

I got my hands on the Hobonichi Techo planner in November last year. It was the English planner, and its December pages actually start from the 24th. Of course I couldn’t wait to start using it already, so I skipped ahead and actually started using the 2016 December pages! I figure that I would have gotten a new planner during planner season (September – November) later this year, and it will all cycle out eventually.

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My hobonichi planner set-up includes a cover page that I put on the inside of the planner cover. This one is a collection of inspirational phrases that make up the Good Life Project Creed. For those who would like to know more, the author and host of this website Jonathan Fields hold talks and conversations with entrepreneurs and incredible people. I love watching his videos and listen to his podcasts. This creed really speaks to a lot of things in life that we face, and which inspires us to be amazing everyday. I would always flip to this cover page for daily inspiration.

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Hobonichi Unboxing 2015 Spring Cousin

Many people probably have seen my unboxing of my Hobonichi Set up for 2015, but here it is again! This is my first online order via the Hobonichi Webshop. In this video, I also show some of my tools for journaling and the basic set up of my planner for the year. Hope this helps you in making your decision on whether to get a Hobonichi planner or not!

30 Day workout challenge

Part of using a planner is trying to put some organisation in my life. It’s also the place to record new commitment and project plans! The latest priority in my life is getting more healthy and fit.

For me, working out always require some discipline, whether it’s a training plan or a fixed schedule of exercise. Using the vertical calendar of the Cousin to track eating plan and exercise hours is looking to have a fruitful result! I’m already loving the dropping numbers in my weight and body fat. My next challenge is to actually take photos of my before & after, and putting it inside the planner as well…(this is going to take some courage).

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One of my latest commitment to a exercise plan is Blogilate’s 30 day thigh slimming challenge.

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