Archives for March 2017

Are Your Goals Limiting Your Dreams?

I am all about goals. I've built my business around the concept of rewarding yourself for succeeding in your goals. But something just occurred to me, and that's the title of this post.

Are your goals limiting your dreams?

We get so wrapped up in brainstorming about goals and thinking about the practical aspects of achieving that we forget about the bigger picture.

Ask yourself: What would I do with my life if I had no obstacles holding me back?

Ask yourself: If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?

Ask yourself: How do I picture my most whole, most authentic, absolute best self?

Ponder those questions for an hour, a month, a year. Allow yourself to imagine, to dream what your life would be like.

That is the point at which you start making goals about how to achieve that dream.

Remember, your only limitation is you.

Celebrate Your Strength and Persistence

I'm pretty sure we're all inspired by stories of women achieving amazing success despite overwhelming odds. Sometimes those stories make me depressed, though. I think, “She overcame such huge odds. There's no way I could even come close to doing what she did.”

And yet…

We do amazing things everyday. Sometimes I consider getting up and making it to work an achievement. You become used to your routine and your struggles, and it doesn't occur to you to celebrate that you sent your kids off to school fed and clothed. You don't celebrate resolving a work situation with integrity. You don't celebrate a thousand “little things” you do every day.

If you still don't think you are strong, determined or persistent, remind yourself that what's easy for you isn't easy for someone else. My mom often mentions how impressed she was that I took a job in another city where I didn't know anyone. I never thought of it as being a big deal. I had to do it so I did.

I'm not saying all this to discount a big show of strength at a crucial moment. But I'm confident that before Elizabeth Warren persisted in the Senate, she succeeded in lots of small ways every day. Strength is made up of small acts of persistence.

Celebrate your strength. Celebrate the strength of those you encounter every day. It's not a big deal. But it really is.

Joyous Colors for Your Journal

Today I want to talk about a serious topic I have on my heart: colored pens! Hey, jazzing up your journal is important. Your Success! journal should be your personal statement, full of doodles and patterns and whatever colors you choose. With this goal in mind, I'm sharing three pens I recently acquired in a range of fun colors. (Please note that these are affiliate links, and if you choose to purchase through those links, I'll get a small percentage of the price.)

PaperMate InkJoy Gel Pens

I originally received a blue InkJoy gel pen through my SCRIBEDelivery subscription, and really liked the way it wrote. Very smooth and very turquoise blue. About a week later, I spied this set at Target and had to have it. They're also available in larger packs of colors on Amazon. Unlike what's shown in the picture, the ones I bought at Target are transparent plastic, not soft opaque. While I prefer the softer pens, I'm still using the pack, because the colors are fun and bright: Pink Pop, Red Rush, Orange Rise, Lime Light, Luscious Green, Teal Zeal, Bright Blue Bliss, Slate Blue Spin, Pure Blue Joy, Wild Berry and Jet Black. I tested all three types of pens on both textured and smooth paper, as you can see below. The InkJoy pens didn't perform quite as well on the textured paper (if you look at the larger version of the image, you can see the indentions), but that's because I hadn't picked all the wax off the end of them. The InkJoy pens are smooth, as are most gel pens I've used, and an inexpensive way to have fun with color in your journal. Buy this on Amazon.


Pilot Petit-2 Felt Tip Pens

This pen is another one I was introduced to through SCRIBEDelivery, in black. I liked it so much I've since ordered three more through Amazon. And then I discovered they came in colors. W00t! I was in. What was really neat is they come in a plastic zipper pouch. An added bonus? The stickers on them are in Japanese. I'm pretty much a sucker for “exotic” writing, especially Japanese. (In this case, “exotic” means, in Alabama speak, “it ain't from around here.” Which is a good thing.) The pens are short, about 10.5 cm or around 4 inches, just tucking into the palm of my hand. To use them, you unscrew the bottom, remove the little yellow cap, and shove the top down into the cartridge. Screw the barrel back on, turn the pen tip-down, and watch it flow down into the felt tip. I find it strangely mesmerizing. The flow is lovely on both textured and smooth paper, as you can see on the samples below. I use a black one exclusively for my Plum Paper weekly planner, which has thick smooth pages, and the felt tip works quite well. I'm starting to use the colored pens as well, but I haven't worked out a system for it yet. I find these pens delightful. Note that Pilot makes several kinds of Petit pens, but I haven't explored them yet. The pens are water-based, and refills are available. Colors available in this particular package are: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Lime Green, Emerald, Baby Pink, Pink, Pure Pink, Mandarin Orange, Orange, Golden Yellow, Light Blue, Sky Blue, Blue Black, Purple, Brown Black. Buy this on Amazon.

Platinum Preppy Rainbow Fountain Pens

Kooky story, but the set of Petit-2 pens I purchased recently were the second set I bought. Somehow I misplaced the first set. Amazon is so helpful in encouraging me to spend money; they showed me these fountain pens when I bought the Petit-2s. I adore fountain pens, and pens in color? Oh, yes. The set comes in Black, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, and Yellow. I haven't used these much yet, but they seem to do best on smooth matte paper. I don't think they'll perform well on shiny paper, but we'll see. These also have Japanese stickers on them, so they make me happy. The color is rich and mostly smooth, although they seem to take a bit of time for the nib to become sufficiently moistened to write well. The main problem I've had in the past with fountain pens is that characteristic ink smudge on the middle finger, but maybe that's just with those that use bottled ink. Buy this on Amazon.

I plan to try these Preppy Rainbow pens out in my CreativeLive and Craftsy class notebooks. For some reason, I decided to use a fountain pen for taking notes on online courses, specifically the Pilot Plumix Refillable Fountain Pen. I adore this pen, and have purchased refills for it. It comes in various colors of barrels (black, turquoise and purple), but ink choices seem to be limited to black and blue. Buy this on Amazon.

Writing Samples

textured paper

I thought you'd be interested in seeing how these three pens write. The sample on the left is on a notepad of textured paper, with quite a bit of tooth to the surface. The fountain pen didn't do as well on that surface. The other two were fine on it, although the Petit-2 was superior, as you'd expect from a felt tip. The InkJoy pen took a bit of time to get going, but to be fair, I had not written with the blue or the orange before.

smooth paper

The sample on the right is from a long, skinny notepad of thick, smooth paper. All three pens performed well on it. The Petit-2 really grabbed hold, and the color is much more vibrant on smooth paper.

I hope this review has helped you discover or share in the joy of colored inks on paper.

Remember, your success in your control!