Blog, Memory Keeping

Me And My Big Ideas CREATE 365™ The Happy Planner™

Hey guys, have you spotted the little snippets of my planner I’ve been sharing recently on Instagram or in my last newsletter? Well some of you certainly have and have asked me to share more about it, so here it is!
(by the way there are some affiliate links in this blog post)

I’m A Happy Planner

Me And My Big Ideas (MAMBI) CREATE 365™ The Happy Planner™ is now in charge of organising my life and a big task it has ahead of it! For the last few years I had been using a series of notebooks which I would alter with a calender and a weekly diary section but it just was not keeping up with the job or I wasn’t keeping up with it more like. So I have been looking around to replace this system and I’ve been looking at all the planners that are on the market or even thinking about making my own again, but who has the time to do that! I mean that is why the notebooks were no longer working for me.

Anyway, I’ve been looking at planners for a while now, trying to decide which would suit me the best.  But then earlier this year the MAMBI Happy Planner popped up and as soon as I saw it I KNEW that this planner was just what I needed to organise my life and when it popped up in a daily sale at Blitsy I snapped one up.

Close up of the MAMBI Happy Planner Discs

It has totally revolutionised my life! I’m not kidding, I’m now all organised and know what needs to be done and when, it even makes my afternoon cup of tea. Ok, that last bit was a lie, it doesn’t make tea but what it does do it does brilliantly. I use my planner to keep track of commissions, key dates, things I need to do, it is also my blog calender and social media organiser and I’m even using it for some memory keeping too. Perfect!

Why The Happy Planner?

For me this is easy to answer –

  • Customisable
  • Size
  • Price

What I love about this planner, and why I picked it over the many others on the market, is that it is customisable. It works on a disc-bound system which is surprisingly robust and you can add in or remove pages as you need. There are different versions of the year planner and I got the Life is Beauty Full version with a couple of the planner accessories, like the gold expander rings, some note and graph paper, I’m a sucker for note and graph paper, new covers, pocket pages, notepads, inspiration cards.

Ok, I confess, a few accessories might have jumped into my shopping basket!

A page from my MAMBI Happy Planner

A close up of a page in my Happy Planner

Planning Is About Details

It is also a great size approximately 22 cm x 24.5 cm (8.5 x 9.5 inch) or a bit bigger if you use the expander rings, so a good size to have as a desk planner. It is perhaps a bit on the big size to take out and about in a handbag, depending on how big your handbag is of course, but I really needed something for my office so the size is perfect for me. The Year planners come with 18 months worth of planning and start in July 2015. I got mine at the end of July so I’ve used the first month for a some memory keeping.

Each month starts with a tabbed divider and a double page spread so that you can see the month ahead and then the following pages are a week by week view. The last page of the month has a notes page where you can put important dates, or your goals for the next month. My fellow Blitsy Creative Team member Laurel Beard did a great video walk through for her Happy planner so go check that out.

Some MAMBI Happy Planner extras

Make It Yours

Did I mention it is customisable? Erm, yes you did Kim, like only a nanosecond ago. Well when I got mine I swapped out the front cover and added in some of the pocket pages. I’ve also set up an overflow / notes planner using the expander rings, this is where I hold the months I’m not using at the moment as well as the extra planner bits and bobs that I got to keep them all in one handy place.

But customising doesn’t stop there, I have the heart of a papercrafter after all so I’ve been doing a bit of planner hacking. I made my own pocket page using some journalling cards and the MAMBI Planner note paper. You can see the full tutorial to make your own over at the Blitsy blog,

A DIY Happy Planner pocket Page

You really can use your planner how ever you want and there is a lot of inspiration out there. Plus there are some themed Happy Planners too such as one for organising your recipes or one for helping you to keep track of your exercise (I totally NEED that one!).

Where To Buy Your MAMBI Happy Planner

I got mine for a steal in one of the 4 day Blitsy daily deals and if it pops up again I shall shout, so make sure you are following me on Twitter or facebook. Or just go sign up at Blitsy to get the sales information first hand!

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE! I’ve just heard from a very reliable source that the Happy Planners will be back on sale at Blitsy on Friday 18th September! That is this Friday! You can wait until Friday can’t you?

If you are in the UK and want some tips on buying from Blitsy then check out my new As Featured On Blitsy post which has the link to more Happy Planner inspiration too.

Thanks for all the questions about it, if you have more questions please do get in touch. For all of you already planner-obsessed folks, which planner are you using and what to you like about it?


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Blog, Memory Keeping

Project Revisited – Sn@p! Layouts

I’m giving my blog a long overdue makeover, changing the design and trying to streamline it a bit. As part of this blog tidy guess what? I found a guest post in my drafts that I wrote in 2013 for the amazing blog of Katharina Frei. I never published the full post on my blog and I’m sure Katharina won’t mind if I do now.

Back in 2013 I bought my first Simple Stories Sn@p! album and promised myself that I would fill it full of lots of lovely pics. Since then I’ve gone a little pocket-style memory keeping CRAZY haven’t I?

Mmm, I really must show more of them on my blog. If you happen to have the Jan/ Feb 2014 issue of Simply Cards and Papercraft 120 then you will have spotted some more of my pocket memory keeping pages in there.

Scrapbooking. Project Life and memory keeping supplies from Simple Stories

This set of pages documents a day of pottering out and about on 15th June 2013, with my partner David.

A day in the life of Kim Dellow in London, a page from my Simple Stories memory keeping journal.

At that time we were lucky enough to live in a wonderful part of London. Give a Toot for Tooting! Walking distance to all sorts of amazing areas of London. 

On that particular day in 2013 we decided to potter about Brixton for the day and try out a pizzeria that David had heard of called Franco Manco – super yum! We shared a pizza then pottered around the shops. 

A day in the life of Kim Dellow in London, a page from my Simple Stories memory keeping journal. Project life and pocket memory keeping.

Of course after all that pottering we had to have a piece of cake didn’t we? There is a cafe called Opus that my cousin introduced me to that does Italian style hot chocolate – chocolate heaven to any chocolate freak!

A day in the life of Kim Dellow in London from my Simple Stories memory keeping journal.

Ahh bless we look so young all the way back in 2013, happy days!

I wonder what other blog posts I will find lurking about…

Catch you later,
Memory Keepingators (yeah, don’t think that -ator works so well! Doesn’t trip off the tongue now does it?)

Blog, Memory Keeping, tutorial

DIY Watercolour Gem Journaling Cards

I’ve been experimenting with the Derwent Graphik Line Painter pens, have you tried them yet? They are a fine line marker pen filled with an opaque, water-based paint and I’ve got to say I’m a bit in love with them. There are lots of techniques you can do with them but I thought I would show you these fun little watercolour effect gem journaling cards I’ve made and how I made them.

You Will Need:
Derwent Graphik Line Painter pens
ZIG Watercolor BrusH2O
Watercolor paper
Faber-Castell Pencil
American Crafts Becky Higgins Project Life Dies
Spare paper

Step 1

You need to draw some gem shapes. If you can’t sketch the shapes try making yourself a paper template like the one shown above for the octagonal shaped gem.

It is a symmetrical shape so I folded a piece of paper in half then half again and drew the shape in the folded corner of the paper, then cut it out.

Step 2

Now when you unfold the paper you have the gem basic shape. You can draw around it on the watercolour paper in pencil and fill in the interior details by hand.

Step 3

Next I added colour using the Derwent Graphik Line Painter pens and a waterbrush. Press the nib of the Graphik Line Painter pen on a piece of plastic so that some of the paint comes out, then pick up the paint with the waterbrush and fill in the different sections of the gem sketch.

Step 4

Colour each section of the gem separately to give each ‘side’ of the gem different colour intensities, as if the light was catching the gem in different ways.

Step 5

Let the gem sketch dry completely then with a clean waterbrush add water to one of the gem sides. Before the water has time to dry flick the pen over the picture, the pen will give a nice splatter effect and with luck the gem side with the water will catch some more colour to give a really intense look.

Let the paint dry completely then cut the gem sketch out with the journaling die to use as a journaling card.

Cute aren’t they? I have another watercolour effect tutorial using the Derwent Graphik Line Painter pens on the Blitsy Blog so don’t forget to go check Blitsy too.

Catch you later.


Blog, Memory Keeping, tutorial

DIY Journaling Cards Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

I have been putting the Cricut Explore through its paces this week and what a fun week it has been. The more I do the more I want to do! Yep, definitely loving this machine. So do you want to see what I have been up to? I’m going to share a few Cricut Explore DIY project tutorials with you this month starting with this…

 DIY Journaling Cards with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

DIY Journaling cards, project life cards, journal cards, or whatever you like to call them, are super simple with the Cricut Explore and once you have started you ain’t gonna want to stop!

You will need:

Patterned paper


Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space 

Pen to fit the Cricut Explore

Cricut Explore mat 
Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

1. Open up the Cricut Design Space and login, if you aren’t logged in already. Start a new project and insert a square (I used #M46C02) and then make both layers visible and resize the shape to 3 inch by 4 inch. Ungroup the shape and resize the nested journal card shape to approx 2.45 inch by 3.45 inch. 

If you have used a square that doesn’t already have a layer then just copy and paste it, then resize the copy to fit inside the first.

Cricut Design Space Software workspace page

2. Once you are happy with your journaling card sizes, select both shapes by clicking outside the shape and holding the left-hand mouse button down to drag the select box over both shapes, or by clicking on the shapes in the ‘Layers’ window and holding the CTRL button as you select both shapes (sorry Mac users, I don’t know if this is the same for you guys).

With both shapes selected, either right button click and select ‘Weld’ from the drop-down menu or use the ‘Weld’ option in the ‘Layers’ window.

Ta-da! You have a border / frame!

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

3. You can now put in it all sorts of things! Go on have a go! I was looking for words for my journal / Project Life cards. You can of course write them yourself with the ‘Add Text’ option; remember, you can now use all the typefaces you already have on your computer – Score! 

But for mine I thought I would use some of the word art already in the Cricut Library, so after clicking the ‘Insert Image’ button, I searched for ‘hello’ and spotted #M3049A. 

Welding images in the Cricut Design Space Software

4. Move and resize the word to fit the journal card frame, then select all the shapes and weld them together.

OK, so that is pretty cool. But this next bit is way cooler! Copy and paste your new card and click on the little ‘Cut icon’ circle on the copied hello journal card layer in the ‘Layers’ window. A little side window pops up with a colour palette and three little icon circles at the top in the ‘Line Type’ option. Click on the middle icon that looks like a pen nib. 

It’s magic! You have just converted your die-cut journaling card into a written journaling card!

Making journaling cards in the Cricut Design Space Software

5. To make it into a complete journal card that cuts out, just make another journaling card blank, just as before, size it to 3 inch by 4 inch and resize the written design inside, then select both the blank card and the nested written design and either right button click and select ‘Attach’ or use the ‘Attach’ option in the ‘Layers’ window.

There you go – it’s a written journal card ready to cut and write.

MASSIVE TIP: Whatever you do, make sure that you save regularly whilst working on your projects in Cricut Design Space! Yeah, I found this out to my cost when they did some maintenance work on the website but had only let folks know through Facebook *sigh* #notahappybunny. Really hope they start using in-program warnings for those who aren’t looking at their Facebook page at the right time!

But all is forgiven ‘coz look at all these…

all the journaling cards in the Cricut Design Space Software

Oh yes, I might have gotten a bit carried away!

Using the Cricut Explore pen to draw

Oh and another super tip…something looking familiar about the pens below?

Pens you can use with the Cricut explore

You get a silver medium nib Cricut pen with your machine, and I’ve been really lucky and got sent some more of the metallic pens which I am super grateful for, but I really needed a black thin nib pen – I know, so ungrateful! Then I realised that something looked really familiar about the pen that came with the Cricut Explore, it is the same design as some of the American Crafts pens. So if you have some Slick writers or Galaxy markers, they will work beautifully! YAY! 

Having said that, I have so got my eye on the Cricut Antiquity Colour Pen Set, love those colours!

Journaling cards made with the Cricut Explore

I’ll be back next Friday with another Cricut Explore DIY tutorial so do drop on by and in the meantime let me know what you want to do with your machine. What will be the first thing you will make?

Catch you later.


Kim Dellow Blog post signature

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Blog, Memory Keeping

New Issue of Simple Cards And Papercraft

It is time for the new issue of Simply Cards and Papercraft, say hello to issue 120…

There is a yum looking Prima marketing kit cover gift with this one… Ooooo! I’ve not seen the magazine yet so can’t tell you much about it, but I do know about one article and that is mine which is all about memory keeping and easy pocket photo journal keeping. 

I can’t wait to see this one as I had great fun putting the article together and I got to put some of  my pocket scrapbook pages together that I’ve been meaning to do for a while but hadn’t done yet. Nothing like a deadline to get you moving on something!

Hope you enjoy the magazine and have a good Saturday.