My very own hobonichi! At last :)

I’ve been dreaming of having my own hobonichi techo planner since I saw them a couple of years ago. When we visited Japan, I was a bit taken aback by how pricey it was and when I flipped through it, I was a bit dismayed to see that the paper was so thin. I knew that the paper was tomoe river paper but I wanted to do watercolor paintings on mine so I was admittedly skeptical about this paper. Until I tried it on a friend’s midori planner which had tomoe river paper. Mind blown. I was so amazed and I regretted not buying a hobonichi immediately at that very moment haha. After that I always added it in my wishlists and lo and behold! My gf got me one for my birthday, yay! The universe heard me haha 🙂 Thanks, love!

Added gudetama stickers to the cover:


So happy and excited about it and I loved figuring out what to place in the pockets too:


Made some washi paperclips, and washi samples for on-the-go journaling:


Here are some ways I used it:




I’m lusting after the original accessories but am trying to curb my enthusiasm for spending so am resorting to DIY. I made a pencil board using a sheet from the hobonichi paper (s) notebook (which was what I bought from Japan when I couldn’t afford the hobonichi techo) and my friend @monicarize and I did a collab artwork on said page and I had it laminated:


Am happy just seeing it and am excited to make it as chubby as my 2016 starbucks gratitude journal:



Journal peek! Last quarter

It’s almost the end of the year! I’m happy I got to journal the highlights of these past few months:





I’m realizing my pages don’t have to be perfect and I’m teaching myself to journal under the keyword of abundance. I’m going to be using more stickers and washi and art materials and I’m going to be using more pages. I have this fear of supplies running out but one thing I have learned is how the universe manages to provide and deliver, in ways that surprises me (not just in art but in life in general) 🙂

Journal Journey series: Gennalie of @genspens



Hi Gennalie! Tell us about yourself. What made you start journaling and when did you start?

Hey there! I’m Gennalie, but people know me as Gen for short. I’m a design student who loves stationery, journaling and drawing! I was an avid journal user as a kid, and I picked it up again last year as a way to sort out my mind. Last year I encountered the Hobonichi journal through an artist’s youtube and I was amazed by the simplicity and how flexible a journal could be used- so I bought one myself and it’s been history since.

What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?

I’m currently using two journals – a Hobonichi Cousin (A5) and an A5 Leuchtturm1917 grid book. The Hobonichi is my daily journal where I write about random topics or recall about my day while the Leuchtturm1917 is my bullet journal, a rapid and customisable planning system. I like grids and good paper quality when it comes to journals. The grids help me align and centre the content on the page and good paper quality = more tools to use!


What can we find in your journal pages?

Tidbits about my life, stories, my days and adventures in both reality and fictional worlds. If I don’t have anything for an entry for the day, I draw something instead to fill the page! The Hobonichi is great in this sense with daily pages. In my bullet journal however you’ll find lists and to-dos I need to work on for the week, including assessments and stuff I need to follow up.


Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? 

I like to journal at the end of the day, as a way to cool off and vent and to drop off all the stress. I normally sketch out something with my mechanical pencil first and ink with either a Sakura Micron Pen, a brush pen or my fountain pen. I then colour in using either my Mildliners or my ZIG Clean Color brush pens. I like to keep my pages as monochrome as possible!

For my bullet journal, I set up the weeks (and month if needed) spread on Sundays and I write down my daily to dos the night before or morning of the day. It’s simple enough to set aside twenty minutes or less to set things up!


What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?

Hobonichi for sure- the Tomoe river paper is a beauty and can withstand a lot of materials! It’s not too bulky as well and the covers allows you to carry additional stuff like stickers around! I also like the Leuchtturm1917, however the grid size is something I have to tolerate as I prefer the Hobonichi’s tiny grids. My favourite stores are Kinokuniya, which is a bookstore that also sells Japanese stationery, and Dymocks Stationery, where they sell popular western brands- Both can be found in the Sydney CBD!

What are your favorite journaling tools?

I absolutely love my Kakuno fountain pen, Sakura Microns and Zebra Mildliners. The latter two have been my tools since the beginning, and the first is a versatile, but great tool to work with! I also love the Sakura Gelly Rol White Gel Pen to touch up any additional details. Washi is also great to journal with- as it fills up the page easily with cute designs. I have a stash of washi in my drawer waiting to be used!


 What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?

Journaling is a very therapeutic practice and is a great way to look back on how you’ve grown or developed. Writing down my concerns and issues really helps my psyche and it’s fun to see how I have dealt with situations. Journaling is also very inexpensive if you wish it to be- a lot of journal enthusiasts are also stationery enthusiasts which is why a lot of people have a lot of supplies. I used to journal with just a pencil and a cheap scrap notebook!


Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?

Stop worrying about getting things perfect or pretty and just start writing. No matter what, just write. I guarantee you that if you start writing for two minutes, you’ll fill up the page in no time. Journaling, like other arts and crafts is very subjective! There are so many types for you to explore- if one doesn’t work, just change it up!


What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?

Right now I’m in the midst of a gaming phase, and it’s motivating me to keep journaling and jotting down my adventures so I can remember little things in each game- Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon moon! Those little successes really brighten up my day. Also the community itself keeps my inspiration up high. There’s so many creative people out there it astounds me and excites me to see what others are up to with every page!


If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why?

This is one of the toughest questions I’ve had yet….. I’d probably go with my Pentel Fude Touch Brush Pen and either my ZIG Clean Color Brush Pens or my Sakura Koi watercolour palette (so I can work on my skills of course!). I love all my journaling tools so much, it’s too difficult to choose!


Thank you Gennalie! You can follow Gennalie via her instagram account:  @genspens

Do check out her tumblr as well!:


All photos provided by Gennalie.

Journal Journey: Ria of Imfeelingcraftytoday


1.) Tell us about yourself. What made you start journaling and when did you start?

I’m a mom of 2 boys.  I love documenting our family adventures through scrapbooking and journaling.  I had kept a diary (from papemelroti!) when I was in high school.  I didn’t write everyday, only on those days when I had something interesting to write about my crushes. 🙂

After high school, I didn’t write much except during moments when I felt sad or angry.  Then, I realized I didn’t want to have a record of those sad/angry moments lying around for someone to read, so I stopped again. I picked up journaling again a year after my second son was born as a form of therapy to combat the stresses of daily life.  This time,
it was more than just a “dear diary” thing, because I added some art into it.

2.) What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?

I have more than one because I like to compartmentalize.  I have separate journals for food, patterns, travel, planner, recipe, bucket list,  #listersgottalist, etc.   I like buying journals with plain covers that I can personalize by adding stickers or stamping.  The binding is also important for me; I noticed that handsewn journals are better than stapled ones because they have less tendency to collapse.  The journal has to be able to withstand the wear and tear that stickers, watercolor and other materials can bring.  I almost never use lined paper.  I like blank pages that can handle even just a little watercolor. I don’t use the back pages because I don’t like bleed-throughs or show-throughs.


3.) What can we find in your journal pages? 

I like documenting our family adventures.  When we travel, I journal about our trip by painting the places I visited and the food I ate and then I also write down my memories of the trip.  I like sticking the memorabilia like plane tickets, brochures, etc.  to make it even more authentic.  I’m also obsessed with drawing my meals.


4.) Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? (What time of day you do it, your journaling setup in terms of materials, etc.)

I do my journaling late at night when everyone is asleep.  I can only work on my journal when it’s quiet and there are little distractions.  Doing it at the end of the day always feels like some kind of therapy to counter the stresses in my daily life.  My materials (stickers, pens, watercolor, stamps, inkpads) are all within reach so that I can start working immediately.

5.) What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?

For journals, I love using Labrador and the Hobonichi planner.  I also like using traveler’s notebooks from Traveler’s Factory and Airees Creates.  I use a lot of scrapbooking stuff from American Crafts, Kelly Purkey, Studio Calico and many more.  For stickers and stamps, I like buying from online stores like Saffy Tenten, Bee Happy and Hobby Depot.  I get project life cards from Life Documented Manila.  For items bought abroad, like from Studio Calico or Kelly Purkey, I join a monthly group buy hosted by my friend, Nicole Chua of Scrap Happy.  For physical stores, I love Lasting Impression in San Juan which has everything!!! National Bookstore and Scribe Writing Essentials too.


6.) What are your favorite journaling tools?

I like using acrylic stamps because they’re so versatile and reusable.  I am also crazy about stickers.  For illustrations, I use watercolor.  For writing, I just use a waterproof pen or any ordinary black pen.


7.) What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?

It’s a good way to record memories.  It always feels good to flip through an old journal and remember the past. It also inspires me to go out of my way to make my life more interesting to document.



8.) Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?

Don’t think that you need fancy art materials to start journaling. All you really need is pen and paper and commitment.  You can start with something as easy as writing “A Word a Day” to describe how your day went.  Then you can move on to doing “A Sentence a Day” and more until such time journaling becomes a routine.  I recently started journaling in a planner; I love that the pages are small so there’s no fear of the big blank page or the fear of having to fill a huge space.


9.) What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?

I follow a lot of journalers like you on my instagram feed. I always feel inspired to create after seeing other people’s work.  I also enjoy going on art tambays or any art event because it feels good to be around people who share the same interest.


If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why? 

It would have to be my Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Sketch Box because you can do anything with watercolor like paint, do lettering, etc.  The other tool is a Uni-Pin fineliner waterproof 0.1 pen so that I am free to write as much as I can.



Thanks Ria! Here’s where you can find more of Ria’s art:


Instagram: @imfeelingcraftytoday

All the photos in this post are from Ria.

Journal Journey series!

Hi everyone! I’m starting a new series here inspired by my journaling adventures. It’s no secret that I absolutely love journaling, and recently I’m happy that I got to meet friends who adore it as much as I do. You’ll be seeing their answers in this blog very soon, but I thought I’d begin it by answering the questions myself haha. I hope this inspires you to start journaling if you haven’t yet! If you love journaling and would like me to feature your journal, kindly email me here: 🙂
I’ve been featuring a flip through of my journals in my instagram (@mabuhaydiy), if you want to take a peek.
Let’s start!
1. What made you start journaling and when did you start?
When I was a kid I’ve always been obsessed with notebooks and paper. My mom is a writer and my aunt is an animator so I grew up hearing typewriter clacks and playing with my aunt’s art materials (shh). I guess you could say they inspired me to have this desire to write and to make art. Everyone in my family loved books and reading too and I am forever grateful that this lifetime allowed me to be surrounded by books and comics and magazines and paper since birth haha. I was given a diary with a lock for my 7th? 9th? 12th? birthday (I cannot remember exactly when, sorry haha), and I made that diary my BFF. I was a bit shy and very awkward in social situations so that diary was everything to me back then. I wrote on it daily and shared all my feelings and all the highlights of my day in it. I still have it, btw. A few years later before I graduated highschool I was also given a very colorful planner and a barbie scrapbook because everyone was very encouraging and I filled those two as well: the planner with quotes and song lyrics, the scrapbook with news articles I liked (spice girls and leonardo dicaprio interviews lol) and letters from pen pals and other evidence of obsessions. Those are my journaling roots, in various forms. I also was very devoted to my sticker and stationery collection at that time. I considered my sticker book one of my most-prized possessions. My spiral notebooks from class had some leftover clean pages so I removed the wire and bound them using yarn. Used some to begin ambitious YA novels, some as journals, some for art journals. Some of the pages made it till today:
2. What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?
I have more than 1! I have a bullet journal for work and lists and quotes and tracking habits, a midori that I use as my travel journal/scrapbook/highlights of my day journal, a starbucks moleskine planner for daily gratitudes, and several little ones and thick ones for writing down self-help tips from podcasts, books and magazines haha. I haven’t included my sketchbooks because that’s a different story, heh. I’m quite in love with notebooks and paper in general.
My planner pages:
Some of my journals! I am not exaggerating when I say I probably have more than 50 filled journals for the past 10 years hahaha. I go through notebooks like popcorn:
3. What can we find in your journal pages? 
Everything! I write, experiment with art materials, document my days and highlights of my week, use it as a scrapbook, experiment with collage, etc. etc. I’m not too particular with what I can or cannot include there, I just like compartmentalizing so I have a bunch of journals half-filled all the time. I’m training myself to finish filling up the pages in my journals before I open a new one which is challenging (because #hoarder) but so far, so good! 🙂


4. Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? 
I basically journal when I’m not in a hurry. I like taking my time and preferably with some tea as my companion. I fill up my planner before I sleep and insert my ephemera in my midori journal so I can fill a page when I have free time. Mornings are spent on painting practice (right now am doing my #inktober project every morning).


5. What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?
Right now I’m loving the Midori Traveler’s Company number 13 refill. I got this from Scribe and I also love the stickers and foil washi tapes I got from beehappycrafts. I buy stickers from local makers too–from The Craft Central and Common Room.


6. What are your favorite journaling tools?
 Zebra brush pens, my waterbrush which is the best thing to have when you travel or want to make quick artworks (I have various waterbrushes from different brands like Pentel, Derwent, Craftdoodle, Craft Central hehe) and washi tapes, stickers, stamps. I also love brush pens for writing down titles or highlights of my day. And mildliners!
7. What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?
It’s the best gift for your future self. I’m forgetful and am thankful  my journals help me put things in perspective and remind me of how I should be grateful, always. They also serve as time capsules! You’d notice that if you draw something that you’re seeing in your journal on the spot, you’d remember everything about that moment when you see the image you’ve drawn sometime in the future. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done, and it just has to be done by you. 🙂 I find that super magical, like an easter egg from the Universe.
8. Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?
Do it now. Just buy a notebook/sketchbook that is right for your budget and if you like writing, find a pen that you like so you can write on your journal a lot. If you want to fill your journals with art you can start with considering the medium you like best. Figure out when you want to journal. While waiting in line? While waiting for your food in restos? At home, while the baby sleeps? During lunchbreak? You’d discover that deciding when you want to journal and where you want to do it will highly influence the types of materials you will want to use. For example, I do my journaling in milktea places, without sockets mostly, so a heat gun and all the embossing paraphernalia might not work out for my journaling session, haha.
Start with what you already have, like a pen or pencil and maybe a basic 3-12 colors watercolor palette. Expand your toolkit when you’ve figured out what you want to record in your journal. But don’t stop experimenting! Remember that you’re doing this for yourself, and your eyes. It’s up to you if you want to share your pages or not.
Bring it with you all the time, everywhere. You never when inspiration might hit you. Consider having a small travel journal if you’re a commuter like me just so you can have it with you on the go, and one for home use.
Don’t be afraid to use it. Sometimes this is challenging especially if you’ve invested in a pricey, high-end journal. But remember why you started this journey, when you’re hesitant to use your materials. Your future you will be forever grateful you too the time to document your life right now. What I usually do when starting a new journal is to skip the first page. I just put the date there and move on to the next page. Always add the date somewhere in the beginning of your journal. Some people advice adding the date you filled it up at the last page as well. You’d see the benefits when your  filled journals have accumulated and you want to track your progress (or your life story).
9. What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?
I really love listening to podcasts by The Accidental Creative. They’re helpful and give tips for all aspects of life and I find that they’re soothing to listen to while I journal. I also enjoy artambays with friends where we meet in some place, have tea or dessert while working on our journals and while showing each other our journals.
If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why?
Definitely my waterbrush and DIY watercolor palette. I can write using the brush and paint, because I like writing and making art in my journals. 🙂
Do let me know if you have additional questions you want me to add in this series, and just email me: if you want to be featured or if you want to request for me to feature a certain journal-keeper. 🙂
If you want to read more about the journaling journey of other creatives, please stay tuned! 🙂
Thanks for dropping by!

Let’s talk about art with #realtalktambay!

So honored and excited to be talking about creativity and art and making next Saturday at Local Edition for #realtalktambay! This is hosted by @ella_lama and here’s the poster:


There are a few slots left, so do click the link if you wanna join:

Also joining @getfiled’s fun challenge!

Constant creation is my #GoldenGoal in life because I believe it is the best, fastest, and easiest way to improve as a creative. Practice makes permanent, after all! 🙂 

Can’t wait for the unveiling of the @getfiled 2017 planners! 🙌.  Planning on using it as an art journal and filling out mine with creative art prompts.


Will be talking more about daily practice in #realtalktambay and I’ll be sharing tips and techniques that might work for you if you want to try it as well. 🙂

Hope to see you there!!

P.s. Here are some bouquets from my #30daysofimpressionisticbouquets using colors from the #colorexploration challenge:


Magical notebooks: Eden Street

A beautiful parcel arrived yesterday and I was delighted that it matched the theme of #colorexploration! Yellow and green 🙂


Inside were these beautiful items from @edenstreet. Swoon.


Couldn’t resist placing my little pony and unicorns in this shot–they belong together!

Snapped another photo, this time with my #colorexploration bouquet, featuring mint and green.


They make me smile and feel so happy and giddy. I just adore the feel-good sentiments in the journals and I love how it’s just like a love letter from the universe. 🙂 I can’t wait to fill these with positive quotes and lovely sayings.

Thank you very much, @edenstreet!

To order these items, check out the instagram page of Eden street: @edenstreet 🙂

Stay golden!

Journal peek: July 2016

I’ve been having “such fun” (as Miranda’s mother is fond of saying–have you watched the Miranda series? I want to be her when I grow up) with my midori traveler’s company journals.

I am influenced by the many comics and books I’ve been devouring like a madperson recently and I was a bit concerned that reading would take a chunk of time from making art but am pleased to report that it’s feeding each other. I read more and listen to more music, I make more art. Or maybe I’m just more relaxed lately.






This last one is inspired by my idol Frannerd 🙂

What I’ve been up to: July 2016

Hi friends! July has been a pretty productive month, so far! I’m learning watercolor via a book by Yuko Nagayama. The first lesson is painting apples which I thought was easy. 2 hours later, and I almost gave up  haha:


Have you watched Ghostbusters? Please do and have your kids watch it too. It passed the Bechdel test and is pretty empowering and just plain fun:


Obviously I love Kate Mckinnon so I had to have that funko pop. 🙂 I’ve been making more comics too!

Here are my memories of NY via washi collages:


I also tried painting flowers using gouache for the first time! I enjoyed the process:


Painting in my travel journal a lot, and painting flowers more. I wanted to try that beautiful loose airy Yao Cheng style but I guess I’m just more a messy, cluttery type of flower painter. Lol. I am accepting this, Universe! 🙂 For more of my adventures, see you on instagram! @mabuhaydiy 🙂