Friday 25 October 2013

Download a free NaNoWriMo tracker printable

NaNoWriMo comes around every year. New and experienced writers undertake to produce a full novel in the thirty days of November. This requires a certain amount of planning. In collaboration with my friend, Rhomany, I have developed a NaNoWriMo tracker you can download in several formats and use to track your progress over the month.

You have a number of choices when it comes to format.

1. Four page A4 or Letter paper

Click to enlarge

This prints as four pages of A4 or Letter paper that you can print single- or double-sided and slip into a folder or punch and add to your binder.

Download A4 version as Word file or as PDF file

Download Letter version as Word file or as PDF file

2. Single sheet booklet - A5 or Half Letter

Inside view

Outside view

This version you can print onto A4 or Letter paper, double-sided (flip on the short edge) and fold in half. If you want to file this in an A5 Filofax, use this version and cut instead of folding, then punch and you're good.

Download A5 booklet as PDF file

Download Half Letter booklet as PDF file

3. Midori Traveler's Notebook

Inside view - outside is as A5 booklet version

You can use this version either as a single folded sheet to tuck into the back of an existing booklet, or you can use the source file to seed the pages into a mixed self-printed booklet. Print just like the A4 booklet, then cut down to the usual width of 110mm.

Download the booklet as PDF file

Download the Word source file

Make your own Mini Wrap wallet - video tutorial

Here's a great wallet you can make from scraps you have left over from making your notebook cover.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Interview with Raine Boyd: Tiny Creative Chefs

Something special today. You might know Raine as the woman behind I love her work, in particular the beautiful printables that she passes on to the Filofax and planner community for free. When I learned that she was launching a new product combining cookery and crafts for kids, I signed up immediately. I asked her if I could interview her and help more people find out about it. (By the way, this isn't code for "She asked me to publicise her stuff for a kickback" - I really did approach her and asked if I could do this. And no kickbacks are involved, I just really want to help her succeed and for my readers to know about this cool product.) Read to the end for a discount code.

So here's the interview.

1. Who is Raine Boyd? Please seize the opportunity to use the third person unashamedly and let people see what you look like.

Raine Boyd is a reawakened artist + illustrator transforming humdrum day-to-day routines into enjoyable, fun, exciting and nurturing activities. Currently living in the Caribbean, over the weekends she has been sipping coconut water by the beach in search of the perfect “flat” wave to start surfing lessons with her cats. {the odds!}. During the week she has been making functional eye-candy art and releasing it to the world. You can find her musings, artwork and Filofax printable planners, calendars, desktop wallpapers, and all around helpful tools at

2.  Tell me about Tiny Creative Chefs. What gave you the idea and how did you
develop it?

Since I was a kid I wanted to illustrate children’s books and children’s cookbooks because I grew up surrounded by them. The recipes in the cookbooks were all so easy and yummy to make (I always loved food too!) and the illustrations were the icing on the cake. About a year ago before TCC’s release I realized that I could really start illustrating recipes on my own. I didn’t need to wait for a special “something” to happen to get started. I illustrated the first recipe and even gave a sneak peak to my subscribers at that time. :) Then my husband and I decided to move out of the country and the project got delayed but never forgotten. :D I have a Filofax specifically for “Projects & Ideas”. In it I have specific tabs for each project where I break down each stage of development into sections (and more tabs!) where I write notes, questions, procedures and such. Since we decided to move out of the country I had to delay TCC’s release by A LOT! We moved into a temporary place before reaching the Caribbean and so I didn’t have my studio all set up and things were messy. I was not able to paint much but during that time I learnt a lot about all the technicalities of making a project like this come to life completely online and TCC’s designated section of my Filofax got filled quickly. The timing worked out perfectly at the end. As soon as we settled into the new place and my studio *ahem* dining area/studio was functional, I started illustrating and implementing it all. A few more months of intensive labor and love and Tiny Creative Chefs was released to the world! :)

3. What did cooking mean to you when you were growing up?

It mostly meant fun times with my mom. :D She wasn’t a big fan of cooking and during the week she would cook mostly on her own. So I knew it was “us girls” time for fun when she would ask me to grab one of my books and bring it to the kitchen. ;)

4. Is the chef character you? Is it based on someone in particular?

That’s an awesome question that I didn’t think about! :D The chef from the website itself came to me as I was sketching it. He appeared also on an earlier version of a printable menu planner and kept showing up again when I was drafting the main buttons and layouts. In the recipes, there is a character that shows up twice and she is such a doll! ♥ She is the same sweetheart that popped into my pages the very first time I attempted to illustrate a children’s book many years ago. I guess those little guys are insistent. They wanted to be heard and come to life. :)

5. Where do the recipes come from? How about some hints on what we can expect in the coming weeks?

All of them were recipes I used to make with my mom. Some of them I adapted and twisted over the years, others are exactly the same. I have such a sweet tooth and if it was up to me the recipes would all be desserts. :D I selected the recipes on my best behavior adding salty snacks and sweets into the mix! ;) 

6. What about art? When did you learn you could draw these fabulous creations? 

I had drawn/painted most of my life. You see, doodling is what kids do naturally, especially in a household with TWO fulltime artists! :D My parents were very good at supporting and encouraging me to polish those skills throughout my entire childhood and early teens. However they – unfortunately – excelled at incorporating and being a personification of the “starving artist” myth. In an effort to avoid that “curse” in my life {as I saw it at the time}, I took a break from art for almost 15 years. A little over a year ago, I finally allowed myself to explore and experiment with art again. And it has been A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! {of course, right? How wouldn’t it be? ;) } I have been working hard not only to perfect my skills but especially to overcome internal challenges and change my expectations of what an artist is supposed to be and how he/she is supposed to live a creative life. Today I am on a mission to clear out those old beliefs and step into a free and empowered Artist Life. Art can bring me abundance or not. It all depends on me. :)

7. How challenging is it to draw/paint specifically for kids? 

I LOVE illustrating for kids! It is my favorite style and it comes so naturally and fluent to me! That is probably because I spent most of my childhood devouring comics and children’s illustrated books. I could be dragged anywhere and everywhere without a complaint as long as I had my stash of comics handy. :D They worked like a babysitter for me. Sometimes I see stories as a comic strip. If I only could draw/paint as fast the events unfold in my mind. :)))

8. My nearly-11-year-old is planning to use one of the kits for a special night at his Scouts group. Some of the Scouts will work on making the food, while others make the decorations and prepare the table. I think they'll have a great time. How do you hope people will use the sets? 

My goal is the interaction between parents and children. It was such an important experience of my upbringing that I dearly want more families to experience moments like this away from the TV/computer; just having fun creating without concerns about the end product. The process is the fun and important part, you know? :)  
And I LOVE that idea of a huge group effort as well! TCC can definitely be used as a way to empower children to cater and host their own parties. As a group, they can cook and decorate the whole thing on their own! Such a blast!  
They can even create a guest-book and have friends and family sign it, taking pictures throughout the process and afterwards creating an album and adding stories of each recipe in it or even journaling about the party. SO many possibilities to work with those recipes and create lifelong memories! 

9. What are your plans to extend the project? Can we expect themed one-off packs for Halloween, Christmas and so on? Further seasons? A book? 

Ray you totally read my mind! I am definitely planning on creating seasonal and holiday themed ones, hopefully next year! And for future development….. My mind is always bubbling with ideas. I can’t spill all the beans just yet because most of them are in the very early stages and depend greatly on how this first round develops. :) 

10. How can people reading this get on board? 

Anyone that follows my blog knows I am a talker and I am always giving hints here and there about next steps and that I always make a huge splash when something new and exciting is about to happen. So definitely stay tuned to my blog! ;) For more info about Tiny Creative Chefs you can hop over to and get to know me better, my blog is

I'm a fan of everything Raine does, and Tiny Creative Chefs is such a wonderful project. I hope you'll look into it further, sign up (use the code "mylifeallinoneplace"  in the shopping cart to get 30% off) and enjoy some quality kitchen time with your kids.

Saturday 19 October 2013

DIY Field Notes size kraft file

If you have a Field Notes size Midori-style notebook cover, you might like to make this insert which provides some nice pockets to hold receipts, index cards and other bits and pieces.

It's really easy to make one for yourself. All you need is:
  • A piece of A4 card
  • A pencil
  • A sharp knife 
  • A steel ruler
  • Glue
Follow these instructions a step at a time and you can't go wrong.

To begin with, place the card down in landscape orientation and draw a vertical line the divides it in the exact centre, then on line on either side of this, each around 2mm from the central line:

Next, draw further vertical lines as below:

The next line is horizontal:

Note how these measurements mirror those of the Field Notes books - 140mm x 90mm.

Next you'll need a couple of short horizontal lines - one each end - a couple of mm above the main horizontal line:

Now mark two diagonal lines at the bottom:

Using the steel ruler and the knife, cut where shown:

Your piece will now look like this:

Score along all the remaining pencil lines that remain, using the ruler and knife, but pressing lightly so as not to cut right through the card. Then fold the two side flaps in towards the centre:

Now apply some glue to the bottom part of these side flaps:

Finally, fold up the bottom flaps and hold in place for a minute or two while the glue sets:

You can use a corner cutter if you want rounded corners. Your kraft file is now ready to sit behind the booklet(s) in your notebook cover.

A dot grid booklet for your Midori Traveler's Notebook

The dot grid format is becoming increasingly popular. Today I am making available a version you can use to create a dot grid booklet for your MTN, or to use on a stand-alone basis if you don't have one.

There are two files you'll need. The first is the basic dot grid page. This is double-sided and you should print about 10-15 of these, depending on how thick you want your booklet to be.

Click to enlarge

    Download the Word version or the PDF version.

There is also an optional cover page. On one side, this is the same dot-grid pattern, whilst the other looks like this:

Click to enlarge

Download the Word version or the PDF version.

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions.

Friday 11 October 2013

Sunday 6 October 2013

Monthly PlanPack for the Midori Traveler's Notebook - now in landcape

Did you like the concept of the Monthly PlanPack?

Do you prefer to use your booklets in landscape rather than portrait mode? Well, you're in luck. Here's what the monthly spread looks like turned around:

And here's the weekly planner parked on its side:

What you'll download is a PDF file, in 'pre-shrunk' format. This is ready to print straight away, without any need to use booklet format on your printer. Just print this straight to A4, with duplex set to flip on the short edge (I'd recommend you print just one or two pages first to make sure your printer deals with this correctly and make adjustments as necessary.)

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions.

Of course, the real nerds among you (you know who you are) will want the source file to tinker with. Here it is.

Friday 4 October 2013

New Monthly PlanPack insert for the Midori Traveler's Notebook

This is a new concept in Midori inserts, based on an idea by my friend Rhomany (her site is here), who helped me work out the details and build the individual layouts.

As you can see from the pictures above, this is an all-in-one 48-page insert with a variety of pages. The idea is that you have a fresh insert for each month. The insert starts with a title page:

Behind that, there's a two page spread for the current month:

You can fill in the dates and note down key events and monthly goals and make notes for a monthly debrief - matters to carry forward to the following month.

Behind the month spread, there are six weekly spreads that look like this:

Finally, the back two-thirds of the booklet is freeform note space:

What you may not be able to see unless you click to enlarge that spread is that there's a faint dot grid pattern, which lets you use these pages very flexibly, which you can hopefully see in the pictures at the top of this post.

The real beauty of this insert is that it can do so much for you while only taking up a single booklet's space in your notebook cover. And saving your used monthly books will create a very useful and well-ordered archive. 

What you'll download is a PDF file, in 'pre-shrunk' format. This is ready to print straight away, without any need to use booklet format on your printer. Just print this straight to A4, with duplex set to flip on the short edge (I'd recommend you print just one or two pages first to make sure your printer deals with this correctly and make adjustments as necessary.)

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions.

Of course, the real nerds among you (you know who you are) will want the source file to tinker with. Here it is.


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