10 Things – Must have Paper Crafting Tools

Paper Craft Must Haves || Inspired Life with Jess

I’ve been really working hard at putting together a good stash of my everyday paper crafting tools that I use daily on many different projects. Whether it be albums, pen pal letters or cards, the items below are some of my most used supplies, and together they make a pretty well-rounded paper crafting basics kit.

  1. Project Life pens (I have 01, 03 and 05)
  2. Glue runner for large areas, glue sticks for fiddly areas and thick double-sided tape for when something needs a little pop
  3. Scissors. I’m picky with these, and this set is my favourite!
  4. A metal ruler, for cutting, measuring, ruling lines and lining things up
  5. Cutting mat and a craft knife. I don’t actually have a paper trimmer since the ones I’ve had weren’t the best, but love my craft knife!
  6. Black Memento ink. This is my go to since I can use it with Copic Markers
  7. An acrylic block for stamping, along with stamp cleaner
  8. Lead pencils, eraser and pencil sharper. I use these to make lots of notes. measurements and sketches, and it’s great to be able to rub the marks out
  9. A needle. I use this for stitching and punching holes in things, like when I want to use a brad
  10. A bone folder. Great for getting my card edges nice and neat!

So these are my main go-tos, and they are all housed in a nice little kitchen container together, so that I can get to them at a moments notice. Having my main supplies together like this has meant that I have not had to search for it since, either!

Paper Craft Must Haves || Inspired Life with Jess

What are your main paper crafting tools? Any recommendations for missing must-haves?

Grateful For…

Grateful For || Inspired Life with Jess

I’ve been feeling quite grateful lately, so after being inspired by Ali’s post here, I decided it was worth sharing a list of some of the top things I am grateful for. Twenty seemed like the perfect number for me, so here’s what I’ve come up with over the last couple of nights:

  1. That Michael is back home from his night away for work. I always miss having some one to hang out with in the evening, even though he was only gone for one night this time
  2. The electric blanket we have on our bed. The nights are getting quite chilly here at the moment, so this helps to keep us toasty warm!
  3. Socks and pajama pants (for the same reasons). I don’t like being cold!
  4. Technology, namely FaceTime and good internet, because it allows me to chat to Mum while she’s living on the other side of the world
  5. Creative time and the long list of inspiring ideas I have in my head
  6. Podcasts while commuting to work. I listen while on the train, and sometimes instead of the radio while driving. The ones I currently have on my list are Elise Gets Crafty, Creative Start, Raise your Hand Say Yes, The Lively Show and Creating your Own Path
  7. New routines. I’ve been working hard at making the bed each morning, taking the washing downstairs each day, and doing an evening tidy up each day
  8. The weekend and time at home working on some fun projects
  9. For the fact that I enjoy knitting now. When I first tried it, I hated it, but now I find it so peaceful!
  10. New shows that are right up my alley. Currently it is Reno Rumble, a reality show all about renovating (weirdly, I hate reality TV, but do enjoy the renovating shows)
  11. Getting happy mail. This week I have had 2 pen pal letters, a book, new jeans and some flair badges delivered. So much nicer than bills!
  12. Books that I am excited to read. My two latest ones are The Kill Order and A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home
  13. Good food and good company over the weekend. I love having people visit us!
  14. Trying new recipes. Sometimes they end up good, other times not so much. It’s fun though, and the results are always interesting!
  15. Tissues! I have an endlessly runny nose when it’s cold!
  16. Writing regularly again. It’s been awhile, and I have missed it!
  17. Tea. It is my favourite thing to drink in the cold weather, even more than coffee!
  18. New indoor plants, especially when it’s a free one that would have cost $90 if we had to buy it ourselves!
  19. Making progress on the house. We have our monthly list of goals, and it keeps us on track and getting a lot done! I will share more on this soon
  20. Working on organising my craftroom. I’m making great progress, and you can even see half the floor again! (Yes, it was that messy!)

These lists are so fun to put together. I love the reminder to be grateful on a regular basis, and need to remember to do this more often!

Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast || Inspired Life with Jess

If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you probably know I love food. More specifically, I love breakfast foods. For breakfast, lunch or dinner. Isn’t all day breakfast the best?!?!

When Michael goes away, I live off scrambled eggs for almost every dinner. Lately, I’ve decided to dress it up and add some variety to my dinners though. A few reasons beyond variety include eating more nutrients and using up huge amounts of veggies left in the fridge. The fun stuff, of course :S

Along with my less-than-2-minutes-in-the-microwave scrambled eggs, some of the things I have been mixing it up with include roast mushrooms, roast tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, roast capsicum, garlicky buttery spinach and rocket, and cous cous, ham or avocado.

Because breakfast is the best, I wanted to share how I make a few of my extras for my favourite meal ever!

Breakfast || Inspired Life with Jess

Roast Mushroom – Preheat oven to 180°C (360ºF). Put the mushrooms on a tray (if you’re like me, use baking paper under them and you can avoid the extra dish!) and roast for about 20-30 minutes depending how you like them. Easy stuff, right?

Roast Tomato – Using the same preheated oven, cut some tomatoes in half and remove the top bit the stem attached to. Add a little salt and a lot of pepper (or you can adjust it to how you like it instead), and roast for the same amount of time. Oregano or basil also taste awesome on these! If you’re using cherry tomatoes, these just go in plain and uncut, for the same time and temperature.

Roast Capsicum – Deseed a capsicum, and cut it into about 24 pieces (8ths and then 3rds). Spray with spray oil, then add some salt and pepper and any herbs you want, then roast with the same instructions as above. See a trend forming here?

Garlicky Buttery Spinach and Rocket – Melt about 1T butter and 1/2 t garlic in a pot on low heat. Add a large handful of the green stuff, pop the lid on, and stir after about a minute. Leave for another minute, and you’re good! This reduces down to very little, so add more than you think you will want!

Avocado – This doesn’t need any cooking, just chop it up and spread it on some toast instead of butter. Yum!

Cous Cous – Boil the jug, add a 1/4 cup boiling water to a pot with a little stock powder, then add 1/4 cup cous cous and mix through. Sit with the lid on for 5 minutes, then fluff up with a fork. When I make this, I like to mix chopped shallots and the roast capsicum through, but I bet it could be good with butter also.

Ham – I’ve done this a couple of ways… Just using a slice on toast before adding my eggs, or also cooking shredded ham in the scrambled eggs

On the topic of eggs, some of my favourite twists are with Parmesan cheese (the best by far! Grate some and mix it through when it first comes out of the microwave for cheesy goodness!), with salt, pepper and spring onions, or with the ham mixed through. There are lots of things you can do with eggs!

Quick, easy and yummy! Any other good suggestions I should try?

Art Journal Page

The weather here in Sydney has been pretty crazy the last few weeks. And by crazy, I mean there have been massive storms, power outages, hail, and endless rain (with a few days of limited sunshine in between). I don’t mind the rain, it makes for fantastic weather to curl up and read in, but when it is as relentless as it has been, it can become a bit depressing being cooped up inside and stuck walking through the rain to and from work.

Weather Art Journal Page || Inspired Life with Jess

To counter the depressing vibes of being stuck inside, I decided that I would work on a weather inspired art journal page. It started with an idea to hand cut raindrops out of patterned paper (and I ended up with way more than I used!). From there, I was inspired to splatter some blue mists on the background paper. The raindrops didn’t stand out as much as I wanted, so I decided to ink the edges.

Weather Art Journal Page || Inspired Life with Jess

This is where my page sat for a few days while I decided what to do next. I decided that to have rain, I needed rain clouds, so after searching the Silhouette store, I found these ones here, and cut them out of silver card stock. I thought grey would be a little to drab, so silver was perfect for it! I also cut the words “Rain, rain, go away!” across the top. Even if I didn’t have a Silhouette, I would have hand cut the clouds and used letter stickers.

Weather Art Journal Page || Inspired Life with Jess

The edges of the clouds needed a little definition, so out came a grey marker. I then glued it all together, and absolutely love the end result! While this page took longer than I expected to put together, I think it sums up my mood with the weather pretty well right now.

Sunday Seven

Sunday Seven || Inspired Life with Jess

Each month I will be sharing a Sunday Seven post, which will be a round of a few of my favourite things I’ve seen on the web. I like the idea of celebrating some of my favourite sites, along with new sites that I discover and find inspiring.

  • This Art Journaling class at Big Picture Classes looks awesome! I can’t wait for it to start tomorrow!
  • Having a couple of Pen Pals now, I thought this Mail Tag Generator was an awesome idea! I actually started a list of ideas last week before finding this, but have it saved for when I run out of ideas.
  • My computer is in desperate need of a Spring Clean, even though it’s autumn here. I found this post helpful
  • I am super in love with Elsie’s Video Home Tour. So much amazing inspiration here!
  • Kelly Purkey’s Project Life album is quite inspiring to me… Love the size and the videos she shares of her process
  • All I have to say about this recipe is yum!
  • I finally found this one in a bookstore and I can’t wait to get started! I have very little left on my current book, and I’ll be starting this one in a day or 2 now.

Hope you have all had a lovely weekend!

BOLD Intentions || May

Inspired Life with Jess || Bold Intentions

I haven’t been doing much with my little home on the Net this year. I’ve been feeling rather burnt out and not at all inspired to write. Once writing because more of a stress than a joy, I realised I needed to take a bit of a break. Turns out it was a good thing, since I’ve spent plenty of time working on some projects, catching up on day-to-day life and working on some new routines. It’s been refreshing, to say the least! But now I’m starting to get the itch to write again, so I’ve decided it’s time to stop neglecting my space! So new month, new energies, and new goals abound!

As part of my One Little Word for 2015, I am setting a handful of BOLD Intentions each month. These are areas that I am going to focus on each month to try to make some good progress with my One Little Word.

For May, my BOLD Intentions are:

  • Organise 2 years worth of photos and get them backed up
  • Work on my May list of house projects (I’ll be sharing more about this soon!)
  • Welcome Mum back to the country, since she’ll be back here at the end of the month for a bit
  • Read 2 books
  • Keep working on my new routines (these are all around keeping the place tidier and more welcoming for when I go to bed or get home each day)

I will report back at the start of June with an update as to how I go :)

Sunday Seven


Each month I will be sharing a Sunday Seven post, which will be a round of a few of my favourite things I’ve seen on the web. I like the idea of celebrating some of my favourite sites, along with new sites that I discover and find inspiring.

  • Loving this series of paintings on Instagram. The ones by PaperPaintStudio, at least. 28 paintings in 28 days actually sounds rather fun!
  • Reading I Quit Sugar. It’s quite fascinating, and I realised that all her suggestions to cut down are already things that I do, so I’m not doing too badly so far! I also have her second book, I Quit Sugar for Life.
  • On the topic of food, I want to try these different spice mixes and these double stuffed oreo jello shots. I love all the recipes on this site!
  • I really need to assess my craft room to make it work better for me and this post gives some interesting ideas. Love all of the art in this room, and the plant!
  • Super inspired by Paige Evans scrapbook pages. So colourful and happy and intricate!
  • These bookends are pretty cute, and very fitting for a bookshelf!
  • I love reflecting posts, and this one by Elise about 20 lessons learnt in her 20’s is awesome as always!

BOLD Intentions || February

Inspired Life with Jess || Bold Intentions

As part of my One Little Word for 2015, I am setting a handful of BOLD Intentions each month. These are areas that I am going to focus on each month to try to make some good progress with my One Little Word.

For February, my BOLD Intentions are:

  • Start working on an Autumn capsule wardrobe. There are at least a few things that I need to add to it, so I see a shopping trip on the horizon
  • Start an 8 week sugar detox following the advice in I Quit Sugar
  • Give my blog a bit of a face lift. Nothing major just yet, mostly an updated header and side bar and maybe the footer
  • Paint 1-2 doors
  • Research selling stock photos. I think this could be a fun project to collate and sell a few stock photos

I will report back at the start of March with an update as to how I go :)

Cards, Cards and more Cards!

This month I’ve had 3 family birthdays to celebrate, an 80th birthday for one of Michael’s work colleagues, and a pen pal card, so I’ve been kept busy with card making so far! Below are some of the cards I’ve made, using card stock, sequins, washi tape, wood veneer shapes, silhouette cuts and stamping.

Inspired Life with Jess || 80th Card

Inspired Life with Jess || Girls Birthday Card

Inspired Life with Jess || Pen Pal Card

Inspired Life with Jess || Woman's Birthday Card

I am thoroughly enjoying card making lately, and find that I’m sticking to fairly simple designs but ones with good amounts of impact. And I can happily say, so far, all the recipients have loved them!

If you have any card inspiration to share, feel free to do so in the comments :)

You can see some of my other card posts here, herehere and here.


Michael’s Christmas Present

Inspired Life with Jess || Yearly Art Journal

Call me crazy, but I have already made a start on Michael’s Christmas present for this year. I had an idea just before Christmas that I fell in love with, and knowing that it will be one of the most ambitious projects I’ve ever done, I decided I better get started as early as possible!

Inspired Life with Jess || Yearly Art Journal

This year for his present, I am making a book that records our year together. Big things, little things, and everything in between. I am using an A4 visual art book, and made sure it has about 100 pages, so that I have enough room for the year. I am doing a double page spread for each week, and adding in random art journal pages and notes and things in between.

Inspired Life with Jess || Yearly Art Journal

Some things I am including throughout this book will include photos, hand drawn images, business cards and tickets for when we go places, random memorabilia that fits within a week, things like grocery lists and what we are eating, house projects, date nights, little things I love about him, events that we go to like family birthdays, and I’m sure there will be much more! As for supplies I am using, since I want to keep the book fairly flat, I am sticking mostly with stamps, washi tape, and paints or pencils for colour.

Inspired Life with Jess || Yearly Art Journal

I plan on working on this every couple of weeks, and printing photos about once a month once I know roughly what size I want them to be. And the best  part is, he doesn’t know a thing about it, since I can do some of it at work, while visiting my sisters or when he is away for work, so I should be able to keep this as a surprise for the whole year!

Inspired Life with Jess || Yearly Art Journal

You can see that I plan the pages out in pencil first, just to get an idea of where to place photos or memorabilia, what to journal about, and where I want to add a doodled image. This makes it a lot easier to work with when I sit down to work on the album to say the least! I still have to add the photos to the pages that I’ve completed so far, but I’ll probably do that over the weekend.