Featuring Gabi Cox of Chroma Stationery

Last week I shared my joy at one of the best journals I've ever bought (and I've bought quite a few). Today I'm sharing an interview with Gabi Cox the founder of Chroma Stationery

Chroma Stationery personalised notebooks

Tell us about Chroma Stationery 
"Chroma Stationery is a brand all about colour. I have always been fascinated by peoples relationships with colour, why they have favourites and hate others. Colour evokes emotions, feelings and memories and can remind you of people, places and moments in life. This is why there are 20 colours available across the three current Chroma ranges."
"Chroma also provides a free embossing service allowing customers to create a truly unique notebook. I gift wrap each order as I believe that everyone deserves to open a beautiful parcel and receive a personalised product no matter their budget!"

Chroma Stationery font and logo

Why journals? 
"I love notebooks and have collected them for as long as I can remember. I also found that the current market was full of either boring, corporate looking notebooks or more ‘childish’ notebooks covered in patterns. I wanted a plain, no fuss notebook in a beautiful colour. There was also a divide in the current market price wise - you could either spend a fortune on a luxury notebook or pennies on a very boring, bad quality one. I wanted something in the middle! "

chroma story.jpg

Do you keep or use a journal?
"Yes I do! I am an avid note take and list writer. I am always jotting down ideas and thoughts and keep a notebook next to my bed at all times. I would be lost without my journal."

embossed journal via Chroma Stationery

Chroma feels like a very personal journey- from the names of the colours to the personalised product. What do you love most about growing your own company?
"It is very personal and I love creating personal products for every customer. Thanks to the personalised embossing, each notebook I put together has its own story behind it - I love this idea!"
"Growing my own brand is so exciting, I love working for myself and learning as the company grows. Nothing beats watching something become successful due to your own hard work."

 

An Inspired 2015 design

Love what you see? Don't forget you can get your hands on this collaborative design that Gabi and I created for you and it's 20% off till March 31st 2015. 

To order the A Playful Day embossing design shown above (front: 'An Inspired 2015', back: 'playful days') please visit the Chroma website, choosing your colour notebook and the colour of embossing - your notebook will then feature the A Playful Day design! Remember you can choose whether your book is spiral bound or not and dictate what the paper will be inside. The discount code is - PLYFLDY1. Code will expire 31st March 2015 so grab yours now! 

Be sure to let us know on social media by tagging me (@aplayfulday) or Chroma (@chromasationery) and #aninspired2015. 

Announcing a Collaboration with Chroma Stationery

I have a journal problem. 

I'm fairly sure a lot of you can relate to this addiction. There's something intensely satisfying about a favourite pen, a journal and all your creative ideas, travel notes or garden plans being jotted inside. I must own about 15 journals and 6 are actively in use at any given time. To me, there's nothing better than a stack of magazines, a pen, a journal, my knitting and a long train ride. 

You can imagine my excitement then when a parcel arrived with the tell tale sticker on the front from Chroma Stationery. After the success of the 'Journal along' last year and the theme of travel and Treasured Memories creating lots of journal chatter this year, I just had to see if Chroma Stationery could create the perfect journal. 

You know what?

'An Inspired 2015 journal' with silver embossing

'An Inspired 2015 journal' with silver embossing

They did. 

Gabi, Chroma's founder, created her company after years of trying to find a good quality notebook that won't break the bank and came in the exact colour she wanted. Chroma is all about colour and has 20 different options for your journal, each with its own name and personality. Let me tell you now that choosing just the right one nearly broke me (in the end I opted for 'Meredith' because of my grey love). 

My journal's back cover has a little motto for me 'playful days' to remember while journalling

My journal's back cover has a little motto for me 'playful days' to remember while journalling

Chroma offer a free embossing service where you can choose exactly what to put on your notebook, in your chosen font and size. You can opt for plain, lined or square paper (hello knit designers!) and there's an option for bound or spiral bound. 

Chroma journal, wrapped.jpg

Your order comes beautifully wrapped with the Chroma story and mission tucked inside for you to read once you've torn off the paper and delved gleefully into your bespoke notebook. Cookie while opening is optional of course. 

Hart and Honey magazines, Rooibos and my journal. Perfect. 

Hart and Honey magazines, Rooibos and my journal. Perfect. 

So here it is, my perfect journal, ready to capture all my hopes, dreams, ideas, travels and journeys this year for An Inspired 2015. It gets better though because I've collaborated with Chroma Stationery to create this journal and you can get one too!

Chroma are offering a 20% discount code when you order a Chroma notebook with the A Playful Day embossing design shown above (front: 'An Inspired 2015', back: 'playful days'). To order please visit the Chroma website, choosing your colour notebook and the colour of embossing - your notebook will then feature the A Playful Day design! Remember you can choose whether your book is spiral bound or not and dictate what the paper will be inside. The discount code is - PLYFLDY1. Code will expire 31st March 2015 so grab yours now! 

I hope you join me in this creative mission and grab your journal too. Be sure to let us know on social media by tagging me (@aplayfulday) or Chroma (@chromasationery) and #aninspired2015. I can't wait to see what you choose!

ps I'll be featuring an interview with Chroma Stationery founder Gabi next week so stay tuned for some amazing creative business inspiration!

 

 

 

- this is a non sponsored post. Chroma love is entirely authentic. Get the addiction too ~x
 

True Brit Knits do Journals!

Some of you might remember that I talked about the awesomeness of True Brit Knits amazing knitting journals a few podcasts ago. Remember? Jen AC and I geeked out at Belinda who was a great sport and sent one home with me after Unravel. They're awesome and I've been waiting till they're available to purchase before I flaunt mine in front of you all. I'm a good friend, no?

Firstly these journals are stylish, slim and so retro. I want to keep one of these in my desk at school Miss. Seriously, how much do I love the useful squares inside? LOTS. 

Open the notebook and inside there's a handy dandy ruler. I'm always short of a measuring tape despite having several and this is just inspired as far as I'm concerned. 

It doesn't stop there either. Also inside the cover, you will find a list of common stitches and abbreviations for reference. The last few pages are perforated so you can tear them out and stick in elsewhere and the whole thing just screams 'knitting journal full of awesomeness'!

Interested? Well the link just went up over on the True Brit Knits website (also, go check out their patterns, I'm currently lusting after a Highland Bling. Get ready to make notes on your future design sensation!

The ANSWER

Yes I did it. 

 

This post was going to start with me waxing lyrical about the wonders of the Bullet Journal system and tell you all about how AMAZING I felt after organising my life into said journal. Do you know what happened today though? I lost a day. Yup. Been thinking it's the 31st alllllll day. 

 

Sometimes organisation can only get you so far. 

 

Anyway.... here's my take on the Bullet Journalling I described in the previous podcast. If you'd like to join in this month with any ideas you have for your own journalling please come join in the thread I'm setting up in the Playful Group on Ravelry. I'm even going to stickie it because I am that organised now. Don't let my day loss fool you, I'm totally on it. I'm going to review how it went at the end of this month (which I do actually know is April now) and see how it went. 

 

If you need more structure, here's how I tweaked it for me: 

 

First I assembled all the notebooks I had already scrawled in (there were many), various pens, stickies, a fresh journal and a half chewed cookie. It was cranberry and white chocolate and I felt it was crucial to the session. 

Essentials and non essential essential cookie. 

Essentials and non essential essential cookie. 

Like the Bullet Journal, I created the first page as an index and the next page I began the numbering for the calendar. HOWEVER, I spread this across an additional page (I chose 2 consecutive lefts) and made the second page a running quota of bookings vs childcare. I find this is the thing that has been consistently flooring me each month. At the start of each month, if I'm not even remotely square with childcare I need to address that asap. 

The exciting details that make up my weeks. No really, welcome to my brain dump

The exciting details that make up my weeks. No really, welcome to my brain dump

Then I started my bullets. Or at least I planned to because this was all going to start on the 1st and I would be uber organised (April Fooool's!). I put a sticky note (I love these happy bits of paper) in to remind myself of other things I'm going to add. An event circle as outlined in the Bullet Journal is now things of note that happened I want to record. Events in my calendar are more planning and work related. Then I have hearts (corny I know but they're easy to draw) for things I'm truly grateful for. Today's was a first sentence 'More cuddles Mummy!' 

So then I thought about this 'collections' part where the lists on steroids get organised. Due to freelancing I often work with several people on several projects at once. It's like a bajillion moving parts that need to be thought of today and in 6 months. I often need to chat to editors about a project and do the press release and make the test knits happen and...... you get the idea.

I handled this by placing all the notes I had collected over the last 6 months, under headings for each lovely indie I work with, in one uber list. As I was starting at the back, I lettered these. 

journal 5.jpg

I also wrote some incredibly long and painful lists such as 'work to do on the house'. One day I'll blog about our house project when it doesn't make me shake and tremble like a dog terrified of fireworks. For now, there's a list on super steroids that's holding all the things that make me stressed. Many of these lists will have multiple letters (some already do) but now everything I'm juggling has a place and I can refer to that list and draw things off when I'm writing my daily bullets. 

What I noticed, and as you can see from yet another sticky, I was finding things out as I went that made me love Bullet Journalling even more. As I filled in the calendar for example, I noticed I didn't have some vital dates on things like cancelled swim classes, so I emailed straight away- no need to even write a bullet. There was a family birthday- a sticky saying 'bullets needed!' went in. I also filled out my monthly budgeting sheet in super fast time because I knew how many bookings I could handle thanks to the child care situation. 

I'm seriously in love. Do you want to join in? Look for the sticky in the group. No one mention that I lost a day despite the ANSWER. Ok?

 

ps Journal lovers will love the next post I'm featuring. Serious. 

pps Thanks to these feats of organisation, I might just have some recipe content organised too!!

For the Love of Writing

A few nights ago I was melancholy. There were various events over the last week that left me listless, dissatisfied and a little emotionally raw. In the past I kept a journal which I poured my soul into but having stopped the habit years ago, picking up a pen now feels overwhelming.  I felt like that was what I needed though and while the blog helps my urge to write and tell tales, I don't have that same release any more.  

I started at an empty page wondering where to start. I needed to work through, cataloguing things to find a pattern, a catalyst and hopefully reach a resolution. I didn't know how to any more though. I was overwhelmed by the words I suddenly didn't have and still, there was this noise in the background, making it hard to focus. I wanted it out so I could move on. Nothing BIG was wrong. I was just blue and struggling to move on. 

So I put out a plea via Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry and found others who kept journals. A few different systems were suggested:

- Bullet Journalling (I NEED this in my life too, also I need something reflective too though..... how to incorporate?)
- One thousand Gifts. (while not religious myself, I found the idea of finding joy in each day interesting.... this could easily be included in the Bullet Journal format)
- Every few days, writing highlights and notes, collecting pages, adding details through tickets or photographs (note: I would love a polaroid for just this reason)
- 5 year diaries. A small note each day that you return to year after year. My grandfather has done this for decades. I hope to inherit these as I understand the preciousness of the daily act. 
- A journal with additional clips and sticky notes, colour coded for different types of note such as knitting, anxiety and shopping lists. I liked this idea a lot. 
- Doodles, yarn swatches and a visual index of things that have provoked a reaction. 
- Journals with prompts such as quotes or images already on the pages.
- Describing your immediate setting as a way to launch a meditative entry. 

I've been left with lots of ideas that I like so I wanted to share them with you. I might try and develop a 'system' and share it again, inviting you to join me. 

Do you write? And if so, how? Come tell us over in the group. There's more than just me who'd appreciate the inspiration I can assure you!