Sunday, 21 December 2014

So long (2014) and thanks for all the fish

This is the last blog post on Empress Bat's Journal for 2014! I would normally make reference to the year flying by, but it has been a long year full of challenges and frankly I am looking forward to the holidays where our office is shut and I can relax!

As it is near the end of the year I would like to spend a moment to reflect on my goals this year, and see how I went with them.

My goals for 2014 were:

  1. blog at least once a week: keep writing, creating, reviewing, and sharing
  2. schedule/organise my time efficiently so I can fit in designing, making, blogging, writing, housework; with my day job!
  3. keep new designs ready to sell in my Facebook store page as well as my etsy store
  4. stay positive, keep positive energy and help others to do the same, support small businesses, promote happiness, fight against negative thoughts
1. Blog at least once a week: In 2014 as well as blogging 56 posts on this blog, I created a new blog about Herbalism and alternative therapies, which has 23 posts, and a website on Herbalism called Apothecary Greens, which has 6 posts in the Apothecary Recipes section. So all up that is 85 blog posts for the year!! That equates to blogging 'at least once a week' , (in fact that is blogging 1.6 times a week, but who is counting... oh yes I am..) per goal number one! YAY I can tick that one off as successful!

2. Organise my time: I am still perfecting this, but I think I have done pretty well, because as well as working full time outside the home and running my hobby business, cooking, cleaning, and other household errands, I have completed 2 Diplomas and started another! 

I am giving myself another tick on this, however organising my space.. needs work!

3. Keep designing and creating and stocking my hobby store: I have made a number of sales this year, plus created many items for charities to use. Although I have not been as productive with my hobby store as I would like to be, I feel I have certainly worked in the right direction!. Additionally I have created a new range of one of a kind brooches that will be for sale in the new year! 

4. Stay positive and support others: This year I created a Facebook Page to support other small hobby and family run businesses; I have also been involved with  the Documented Life Project to ensure I spend time for myself being creative to help me feel happier. Additionally I have created a project called  Project Funmail where I send cards or small gifts to people at random throughout the year to spread some happiness, I am still doing this. It has not been easy all the time to stay positive or to help others to be positive but I have put a lot of effort in!

WOW!!! How many of you can say they actually STUCK to there new year goals / resolutions all year ?? Feel free to let me know in the comments section how you went with your goals for the year!

I am so pleased that I achieved my goals this year and am currently patting myself (figuratively speaking) on the back!

I have already worked out my goals for 2015, but dear batlings you will have to see what they are in the new year! 

In 2015 I hope to introduce you to a guest blogger or two, as well as bring you more reviews, some fun, and more free printables.

As this year ends, I am reflecting on the challenges in the year, as well as the high points and successes of the year. I wish you all a safe and happy end of year holiday time, and look forward to blogging more for you in 2015!

So long 2014, and to quote the late great Douglas Adams 'Thanks for all the fish'

............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! ...Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Blogs to follow

Hi Batlings!
It is raining and storming here,  the power is flakey, there is odiferous slimey mud outside and the house smells like mould.. ewwwww.

What better way to spend the wet, muddy day than to read some blogs!

Blogs are like: magazines, snippets of an autobiography, a way to learn, a virtual chat with friends. I enjoy blogging and I enjoy reading the blogs of others.

So today I will share with you some blogs that I enjoy reading.

Find of the Day

Firstly I would like you to know about a BRAND NEW blog from a lady I 'e-met' in a Facebook group, her blog is called Meet me at the Watershed. This will be a blog to follow in 2015 as it chronicles her mature age uni studies (well done!!) her love of filofaxes and planners, and all sorts of things to chat about over a virtual cuppa.
The photos, she has included on the site, of her Greyhound are gorgeous and also worth a look! Book mark Meet me at the Watershed and follow her journey!

Planners and Craft Blogs

Another Goldfish is authored by a lady originally from Canada who lives in the UK, she shares her planners/filofax ideas and fit outs, craft creations , and chats about her life. 

Philofaxy is a well known planners blog, and has a huge following, goto place if you want to know about filofaxes and how to use them, also has printables for your planner pages.


I am of the Gothic persuasion and I enjoy reading about others who like me are a wee bit different than main stream, This is Corp Goth is a blog I enjoy, this lady works and incorporates her unique style into her day to day working life. Funky and Funblog!


More Nail Polish has nail polish reviews and how tos, with some very creative nail art!

Texts from Mittens a humourous blog about texts a tuxedo cat sends to his human 'Mum' and his animal and human friends

Please share your blog links in the comments section I would love to read your blogs too!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Review: typo Taylor Satchel

I recently purchased a Taylor satchel from Typo, and I am very pleased with it. So that all of my lovely batling readers can have a look at this lovely bag, I thought I'd review it!

The Taylor satchel comes in six different colours/designs, and costs $39.95 AUD. It comes with a detachable shoulder strap and the bag is 28 cm * 35cm * 8cm. 

On to my purchase!

I decided on the vinyl tooled/engraved style brown Taylor satchel, a nice mix between professional looking briefcase, and gothic goodness!

I ordered online from Typo (also known as Cotton On), and it arrived within a week of purchase.  I found the customer service and reliability of ordering fro Typo online great!  Typo has many stores in the 'real world' but I do not like crowds and too much noise so I try to avoid shopping in 'bricks n mortar' stores!

My order arrived, nicely packaged in a box, and everything perfect!

The satchel!

The Taylor Satchel does not disappoint, strongly made, and quality product, the 'engraving' look of the scroll work on the surface is beautiful.

There is a handle attached to the top of the bag, as well as the adjustable and detachable shoulder strap.  (gratuitous shot of my funky nail polish as well...)

The bag is lined in matching fabric, and contains an internal zipped pocket.  

There are two pockets on the front big enough for a phone and a 7" tablet, or a small diary. (Another gratuitous shot of my funky nails!)

The front pockets have the same engrave/tooled leather look on the vinyl as the satchel flap does.

The bag has enough depth to carry files, a sandwich, wallet, small camera, phone, tablet device, small laptop computer, planner or diary, and whatever else you want to stash in it!

I am very happy with this purchase! Thanks Typo!

Please share your bag purchases!

Have you bought yourself a groovy bag? please share the info in the comments section below the post!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ready for the Documented Life Project 2015

I purchased the gorgeous Dylusions Journal as part of my participation in the Documented Life Project 2015, and reviewed the journal in a blog post.

Today I decided to decorate the cover of it.
  • I started with a wash of green, blue and yellow watercolour paint.
  • Then I painted in scroll framework, a monogramme of 'DLP', and started to paint in detail of the greenery and a castle.
  • Once the paint was dry I added some metallic gold ink to add some lustre.
  • I then glued a chipboard lattice gothic style gate to it
My decorated DLP 2015 cover
I haven't decided whether or not to varnish the completed cover yet.
Maybe I should, just to ensure that if the cover gets wet, it won't ruin the decoration!

I have also added a gold tassel bookmark to the journal.

tassel bookmark added
All ready for DLP 2015

Are you joining in with the Documented Life Project?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to see how you are decorating your journals too.

Friday, 21 November 2014

REVIEW: Dylusions Dyan Reaverley's Creative Journal-LARGE

I recently purchased a new art journal to use in the 2015 Documented life Project; I chose to use the one the admin of this amazing art project suggested which is the Dylusions Dyan Reaverley's Creative Art Journal in Large. I had never used any journals from this range before, so I was curious if it would be worth the $33.50 AUD plus $11.70  AUD postage I paid for it on ebay! 

I was so excited when it arrived in my letter box!  Who doesn't love a new art journal?

Okay ... I know, I know, not every one is into stationery..  but i am!!

I have not used the art journal yet, but I would like to share with you all what it looks like, so if you are deciding whether or not to buy one for yourself, you get some idea of what an end user thinks of it!

The front cover 

The front and back covers are made of very thick cardboard (referred to in the official description of the journal as 'chipboard', to me chipboard is a type of particle board made of wood slivers glued together and forming a type of simulated wood board, this is definitely thick cardboard so I am unsure why it is called 'chip board')

There is an elasticised cord attached to the cover to hold it closed.

The journal has a piece of removable paper over it giving some information of what the pages can be used for.

front cover 

back cover

Inside the journal

Inside the front cover, on the left page is a large cardboard envelope with one of those cool retro style loopy closure thingos!
I think this is so handy! a place to stash scrap book type pictures, ideas ripped out form magazines, stickers, all sorts of cool things!

envelope inside front cover of book
The pages are thick and creamy, and have a light texture. I do not know how they will go with watercolour paint or highly pigmented indian ink pens yet, but they are gorgeously creamily thick, and I can't wait to try!!

the creamy pages

There are 64 pages inside this book, they are unlined and just begging for some creative energy!

More Information

The information about the journal from the official website is below:
The journal cover is made from sturdy chipboard and filled with 64 unlined pages for endless paper crafting creativity.• Ideal with Dylusions Ink Sprays, Stencils and Stamps• Sturdy cover, elastic closing and string-tie envelope included• 64 pages of unlined white matte cardstock• Sturdy cover, elastic closing and string-tie envelope included• Cover measures 11 13/16" x 9"; book pages measure 11 3/8" x 8 1/4"


I really like the sturdy feel of this journal and the good quality card stock pages and cannot wait to use it!  I think I may start using this one before the Documented Life Project 2015 starts for my jewellery designs and maybe get myself another one to use in the DLP 2015!

I will post again another time on decorating the cover and what the pages are like to draw and paint in.

Have you used this journal before?
What do you think?
Please let me know in the comments section below!

Friday, 14 November 2014

New downloadable for A5 planner pages in swirling watercolour

I have three planner binders, two Filofaxes and one Kikki K. I use all three of them plus a diary!

  • The Filofax A5 Metropol contains my courses/study; my home business records; and a place for me to put lists of stores i like etc
  • The Filofax Personal Domino has my grocery lists, my project funmail addresses, and stamps, receipts and other shopping stuff
  • my Kikki K A5 planner is my project planner and it has to do lists, addresses for businesses, and meeting notes
I like to create my own personalised pages for my planner binders, and I am always happy to share them with anyone else for free for them to download and print and use for themselves too!
Please if you share links to any of my downloadables be courteous and state where you got them from and please do not onset any of the free stuff!

Today I painted some swirls of colour in watercolour paints and scanned it in as a background for some new planner pages.

If anyone would like to use them you can obtain them from my Google drive from this link, if you have any challenges getting them to download please comment on this post with your email addy and I will happily email a copy of them to you!

Print these on A5 pages!

This is what they look like:
cover or divider

ideas page

a page for lists: shopping, wish, books, movies all sorts of things

a page for notes

the timetable page

the to do section

Friday, 31 October 2014


Hello everyone! I thought it was about time I did another review! The last review I did  was about washi tape from Chiyogami Designs, back in March this year!

Last week I ordered some goodies from Kikki.K, and I have been (im)patiently waiting for them to arrive. I placed the order on Thursday evening 23.10.14, and it arrived today, Friday 31.10.14. They sent my order on the Friday 24.10.14, so it took five working days to reach me. Melbourne to the outskirts of Brisbane Qld delivery of 5 working days isn't too bad, and this is an Australia Post thing anyway, nothing to do with Kikki.k!

WARNING: this post has heaps of photos... I wanted to show you all what the planner looks like inside so please bear with me!

So, what did I order?

  1. 2015 Time Planner in Lilac with Gold specs
  3. Adhesive dots

Opening the box

The excitement that welled up in me when I caught sight of this box on the door step had me almost jumping up and down in glee. Only other stationery aficionados could ever relate! 

Hooray the delivery from Kikki.K has arrived

An Aladdin's cave inside the box!

I opened the box, and the first thing I removed was the large plastic bag air cushions that Kikki.K use to protect packages. It would be great if they could maybe use recyclable/more environmentally friendly inserts to protect the package, but I am a wee bit too excited about getting to my order in the box to think too long about the future of our planet.

First glimpse of contents

I really love this little canvas drawstring bag my goodies arrived in! 
Here you can see my planner, the Uppsala refills and the sticky dots I ordered! Sitting on the canvas drawstring bag, and on top of the Kikki.K wrapping paper!


I will review the Uppsala planner refills in another post, today I would like you all to see the wonderful lilac and gold Time Planner. (If you have been trying to decide whether you want to buy one or not, hopefully the pictures and my comments will help you make your decision either way!)

Still in its plastic bag, 'Arabella' my new planner is waiting to be unpacked! Yes I have named her Arabella...any objections??? 

The folder  of the Large Time Planner is slightly larger than my Filofax Metropol A5 (blogged about here, here, and here), and it takes the same refill size as an A5 Filofax. The cover is softer than my Metropol, but this does not mean it is in any way flimsy. The lilac is a lovely pastel lavenderish colour and the gold specs make it look fun as well as being useful!! 

There is an elasticised strap to hold the planner together which I prefer to a snap closure, as when i have a heap of documents in a planner I would prefer knowing they will stay there and not break the fastener!

Inside the Planner

Firstly I will share my not so happy thoughts of the inside of the planner. The we can speak at length of all the good parts of it!

The dividers are pink.. this for me is not a good thing, I dislike pink, and personally in a lilac planner I would have preferred purple dividers, or gold like the dots on the cover.  This is not a deal breaker for me, as I can decorate the dividers or make new ones anyway. But be warned if you don't like pink, you won't like these dividers!

There is a section for restaurants and shopping. This really isn't me.. but again this is not a deal breaker, i can rename the divider and i can give the restaurant and shopping pages (there aren't many) to someone who will use them!

What I love about this planner:
Firstly the ring mechanism is large and can hold heaps of paper! It is also well constructed and has no closure issues (the first thing I check with planner binders)

The cover of the planner is stylish, fun, and strong; I love the elasticised closure to hold all my papers in!

There is a zipped pocket, and flaps to put notes, stickers, receipts,  tickets and whatever else you can think of in, on the inside of the front cover. All very handy!

Inside the back cover is a slot where an A5 sized notepad sits, and there is a pen loop as well, which JUST fits my Parker pen.
The paper the planner comes with is slightly cream coloured (off white) and has a satin finish. It is quite strong and smooth to write on, but my Stabilo fine point felt pens do leech through the pages a bit, this is not an issue, I have other pens and pencils I can use.


I bought this particular planner to use as a project planner, I have a specific use in mind for it. I believe that its size, additional pockets and the fact it has an elasticised closure is ideal for the purpose.  

I am very happy with this planner and personally recommend it. You can find it in Kikki.K stores and also from their online shop. Like all their planners I believe it may be a limited edition so if you are wanting one, maybe buy one soon! 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

FREE PRINTABLES!: planner pages. To DO pages for work, home, and the garden!

Hello everyone!
I am spending Saturday evening doing some housework (blek) and also working out my schedule for the next few months.

I have recently enrolled in Diploma Languages (german), as well as Higher International Diploma (Herbalism), as well as work fulltime outside of the home, travel with work, have volunteered to project lead a conference for next year which is being planned feverishly at the moment, and run my hand made jewellery business.

This means i am busy.

This means i need to reassess my schedule to ensure I fit everything in that i need to in a day and still have time to relax!

So i was going through my A5 Filofax Metropol (which I have previously blogged about here and here) and realised i needed some more customised pages to help me keep myself organised.

I am not a fan of some of the bland commercially available ones, and I really would prefer to create my own anyway.

I have previously made some inserts for my Metropol, which i am happy for people to print and use for themselves, these can be found on my Free Downloads page and there are also printable affirmations on my Positive Printables page.

Tonight I realised that I want TO DO lists that are specific to the areas in my life they pertain to, rather than having a rambling to do list that contains work, home, garden, shopping, pets, ....
Having To DO lists specific to the area they belong to, means i can shove the lists in the sections in my Filofax they are relevant ot as well. Making it easier for me to work out what i need to do when for any given area in my life!  This makes sense to me ... it may not make sense to the rest of you ... but I hope it does!

I find these pages I created for myself to be very useful to me, and help me to plan and organise all the things I do each day.  I have shared them here in case anyone else would like them!  They are free for you to download and print for your own personal use. If you wish to share them online please ensure you link back to my blog, as a courtesy! Thanks.

The pages are:
To do for work, To do for home, to do for garden, and to do for study.

Image files of the pages are below. You can download these and then paste them onto a word document and size them as you wish for larger or smaller pages.  I have also added links to the word documents after all the image files!

The links to download the word document files are below, if you have any problems with those links please let me know!

I am creating more for myself so my planners can all have a groovy new Springtime feel! I will upload my pages to my blog for anyone to use as I create them.

Have fun!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Positive thought: pay attention to the good things in life


About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Advanced Herbalism, subsequent to completing a Diploma inHerbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! ...Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Illustration: Crow in Sunset

It was raining a couple of days ago, and as I stood at the train station near home waiting for my husband ot pick me up, I saw two wet crows on the power lines shaking themselves out to dry.

Their shaggy wet black feathers were a stark contrast to the grey stormy, early evening sky, and it inspired me to paint a silhouette of a crow against a sunset.

Here it is -  watercolour on Arches Rough A5 paper
As always I am happy for you to share, download, print, PIN, etc, but please be kind and state where the image came from!


About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Advanced Herbalism, subsequent to completing a Diploma inHerbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! ...Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Illustration: Queen of Hearts

Yesterday I showed you my Alice in Wonderland art work, and tonight I would like to show you my Queen of Hearts mixed media piece. Feel free to share, download etc, but please be courteous and say where you got the image from!


About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Advanced Herbalism, subsequent to completing a Diploma inHerbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! ...Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy!