Favourite Blogs

A Beautiful Mess
 Blythe Ponytail Parades
 Miss Indie

Things To Do 30/07

While scrolling through A Beautiful Mess, I found these loooovely tutorials that I will definitely have to try out at some point.

DIY Wrapping Paper from justb.
Paper Flowers from 100LayerCake

Recipe: Savoury Muffins


1 Large Onion (Finely Chopped)
1 Large Pepper (Finely Chopped)
6 Eggs
2 Cups Self Raising Flour
1 Cup Cheese
1 Cup Oil
Salt, Pepper and Chillies to taste
Chopped Parsley or Coriander
1 Cup Chopped Polony (or sausage or cold meats) 


1. Mix all the ingredients together
2. Drop spoonfuls into baking cases in a cupcake tray
3. Bake for 18-20 mins at 180'C

Easy peasy and super delish! 
You can also use other veggies besides pepper! 

Review: KUM Memory Point Brushes

The lovely people at Cult Pens chose me to do a review of the new brushes by KUM. When the brushes arrived, I was really pleased with how they felt and couldn't wait to get started with them. I've never done brush Calligraphy before so I needed to do a bit of practising. I was so majorly excited! 

I'm not normally a painter, but I've been looking at so many different calligraphy styles and always thought brush calligraphy was so lovely. It is hard to do, and there really is a certain knack one has to acquire to pull it off. It was recommended that these brushes be used with water colour, gouache, acrylic, glass and silk paint. I decided to use Gouache paint because I could make the colour more intense, but still have it quite watery.

 I was pleasantly surprised by how swiftly it flowed over the paper (almost too swiftly!). It made it a little harder to control, so my first attempts were a bit wobbly! (It looks like my 10 year old sister did that!) 

 I did get used to it though, and it felt really nice to work with them. The paint brush picks the paint up really well and it's just such a pleasure to work with them. 

I still need a little more practise with brush control. 

The brushes are easy to clean too. Some brushes I've used for other work get paint stuck on the bristles, but that wasn't the case with these ones. The brushes are very light, so it's possible to not feel strained if working with them for a long time. They feel very comfortable. I love that none of the bristles fell out, because nothing annoys me more than a brush that does that! It's all very well made. They also aesthetically pleasing with the cream pearly shine handles. 

Overall, I'm very pleased with them. I still need more practise working with them, but I like them a lot. They're good quality and I would definitely buy them for future works. If you're an artist who does a lot of painting, I would definitely recommend these. 

Dave Has A Friend

I made a friend for my bunny Dave (Pink one). This new orange edition will be going to one of the little girls I look after, as it's her birthday. Don't you just love it's ears? They are Liberty fabric! Fancy fancy! Dave's ears are just normal material. Dave is so much smaller because I used a smaller crochet hook. I didn't think it would make such a difference!

Paper Sample Reviews: Midori and CIAK

Yesterday on my calligraphy travels on the Internet, I saw people using Midori notebooks. The ink flow looked spectacular! So I did some research, trying to find out more about Midori notebooks when I came to The Journal Shop. This website is like a heaven for me. It stocks high quality products at reasonable rates. There's quite a few special offers on and it stocks a whole variety of products, from notebooks and pens to quirky office accessories. I was looking in particular at the Midori notebooks and they look very cool. I came across a free sample section and originally thought it too good to be true, but you are able to add free sample papers to your basket and checkout without entering any payment information.  I decided to get some samples of the Midori range and the CIAK range. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up this morning to find that they've already arrived. Well done on your free, super fast delivery The Journal Shop! 

Here we have, from left to right: 
-Midori Travelers Notebook 012 Sketch Paper Sample
-Midori Travelers Notebook 013 Lightweight Paper Sample
-Midori Travelers Notebook 003 Blank Paper Sample
-Midori Travelers Notebook 002 Grid Paper Sample 
-CIAK Paper Sample- Plain
-CIAK Paper Sample- Multicolour

I've only got around to sampling 3 pages, I'll do the others on another day! Today I saw how the papers responded to Promarkers, Diamine Ink from a Noodlers Creaper Fountain Pen, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pens, Pilot Parallel Pens and Tombow Brush Pens. These are the pens I use most frequently. I often have to use different notebooks for different pens because they all just react very differently.

-Midori Travelers Notebook 002 Grid Paper Sample

The Pilot Parallel pen is very ink heavy anyway, so it didn't respond very well. At first I marvelled at how smooth it was, but there was a bit of bleed at the end of my strokes.

The Diamine ink worked quite well. The colour is a bit more red on this paper, in comparison to what it looks like on a Rhodia pad. On there, it is much more pink.

I usually have a terrible time trying to find papers that work well with Promarkers. Currently, there's only one sketchbook I use, which I got from Asda for £2, but believe it or not, is the best with Promarkers and is actually a really good quality of paper. This works okaaaay, but not great. Better than a lot of other papers, so it will be quite high on my list. Nothing can compare to Asda though!!

-CIAK Paper Sample- Multicolour

I was happier with the Promarkers on the CIAK paper. It bleeds very little if you put more than one layer, but other than that, I'm very pleased with it.

There was significant bleed across the page for inks, even for normal note taking with a fountain pen. I wouldn't use this paper with a fountain pen.

 -Midori Travelers Notebook 012 Sketch Paper Sample

This paper performed the best out of all of them. It is actually a really good quality sketch paper. Tomorrow I'll try to do a few drawing on it to see how it goes with it.

For a sketch pad, I would have thought my markers would be a little crisper than this.

 Tombow Brush Pens performed so admirably on all the papers. It just came out so perfectly. Even on the grid paper, which is quite thin, it didn't bleed through. Overall, I would pick the Midori because it works better with fountain pen ink.

Tomorrow when I try the CIAK Plain Paper Sample, I will probably pick that if it does as well with Promarkers as the lined did.

Leonardt Dip Pens and Copperplate Nibs

I have fiiinally bought a dip pen. I got the Copperplate nibs with it, because they're the kind of calligraphy I haven't tried yet, apart from dabbling about with my Noodlers Creaper Flex Fountain Pen. I initially read that to get a variegated line with a fountain pen, you need either a fountain pen with a flex nib (hard to come by, either expensive or not a flex nib) or some dip pens because they are soft and able to flex.

When I saw these, I fell in love with them! I have been an active part of the calligraphy community on tumblr, following some great people. I've learnt a lot from them and we all seem to be having our own trials and tests and seeing what works and what doesn't. I discovered that calligraphy I want to do is Blackletter, which I still need to practice and also Copperplate which is just fancy and really nice, and also easier to do than any of the others. I just like the way it looks! So to achieve a true Copperplate, a dip pen and Copperplate nibs were needed.

Now, when I unpackaged them, I just loved it. It all felt special. The tin is so handy, so you don't lose your nibs and it's also pretty. I got out my ink and put a nib into the pen and set down to write. Little did I know, it would not work. The ink didn't flow from the nib and it was hard to do even one stroke with a full ink flow.

So I set about researching how to use dip pens properly, I thought I must be doing something wrong. I found out that dip pen nibs come coated in a laquer or oil to prevent rusting from the time it's made. There were also several different methods of getting the coating off from the nib. I tried the ones that appeared to be less risky to me. I first tried brushing it with toothpaste and rinsing and drying it. That worked a little bit, there was definitely and increase in ink flow, with the standard Copperplate nibs. I was still having trouble with the Shorthand one, so I tried the riskier method of passing it through a flame. When I tried writing again, there was a definite improvement. 

It's still not 100%, and these nibs will take some getting used to. 

 I think I was too gentle with the flaming because I was worried it would make my nib too soft. So I will attempt it again, but maybe keep it there a little bit longer. The ink still struggles to flow freely. I also saw a method of immersing them in boiling water and then in cold water, a few times, but I am yet to try this method. If this second flaming doesn't work, I'll try that.