Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to make envelopes (Quick tutorial)

Hello everyone! Thanks for passing by! Today I'm here to make a very quick tutorial about how to make envelopes/homemade stationery. I've been getting some requests on my Ask.fm about how I make my own stationery, so I think it'd be cool to make my own tutorial explaining how I do it. The reason I started with this was, there isn't a huge variety of letter sets/envelopes in Barcelona. The sets they sell are rather plain and very boring haha, so I decided I could make my own without spending a fortune in kawaii stationery on Internet :)

It recquires a bit of practice and imagination I have to say (the first ones you make always look terrible haha), but once you get used to it you won't stop making more and more :) Just be patient and use your imagination a little bit!


Step 1: Pick two paper sheets from the same color/pattern. I use decorative/origami paper from the Danish brand Tiger.



Step 2: Fold one of the paper sheets in 3.




Step 3: Put some glue in one of the borders of the paper sheet and fold it again.



Step 4: Fold the right side of the paper.




Optional: Cut the two corners and glue it back so it looks more like a real envelope!




Step 5: Fold the other side of your (Almost finished) envelope



Optional: Cut the corners again so it looks more realistic :B



Step 6: Cut one of the sides of the paper so  you can put the letter paper in!




Step 7: Pick the other paper sheet and fold it twice.



Step 8: Now cut both sides of the paper, so you get four small paper sheets to write in :)




And you're done with your handmade stationery! :) Ah! You can always leave the envelope under something heavy for a few minutes (a book for example) so the glue sticks well to the paper. You can leave it plain or decorate it a little! But as you all might know by now, I always prefer to decorate my stationery a bit ^_^



I usually use brown paper, paper gift wrap, washi tape and sometimes stickers or plain name tags.



And TA-DA! There you go, your lovely handmade envelope finished :)




PS. Sorry for the low quality pictures! :( I'll try to make a better one eventually, but as I said, this is just a quick tutorial on how to make them.

Hope you like it anyway and don't hesitate to give me some feedback or comment :)

Much love from,



CL

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013: This year's overview and New Year's Resolutions



So, what about your 2013, readers? :) You guys have New Year's resolutions in your country too? We have em, of course. But I have a different method I have to say ;) What I usually do when the year it's over it's, I write three different kind of lists:

One, it's a list of good things that happened to me this past year. 

The second, five bad things that happened this past year. 

Then I think about all I've written so far and I think if I've really enjoyed this year. And finally, my resolutions! I try to base myself into the bad things that happened to me as I write them, so I can make them up somehow. Also it makes me think of how things have gone in the past 12 months, and what can I do about the bad things that happened to me (so I don't make the same mistakes anymore)!

You want to find out my resolutions? ;) There you go then, my three lists for this 2013 and this upcoming 2014!



5 good things that happened in 2013

-I made one of the most important decisions in my life: Moving abroad
-I started growing up not as a girl anymore, but as a woman
-I had the best summer ever thanks to my wonderful family, friends and boyfriend
-I met wonderful people here in Korea, and I got the chance to meet up with my Korean friends again
-Someone very important to me asked me if I would be his wife! ;) Hahahaha (I'm not giving more details!).




5 bad things that happened in 2013

-I lost two very important friends
-Due to some problems with some relatives in the past few months, I don't talk to one side of my family anymore
-I saw my parents exhausted of taking care of my grandmothers
-People who I thought I was friends with turned out to be nothing to me
-I'm still fighting for my long distance relationship with Peter (meaning we're not a normal couple yet).






2013 Resolutions:

-Become a grown-up independent adult (I moved to Korea, so I guess I'm on my way! :D). 
-Pass the CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) exam (NO! And I never will hahahahaha).
-Save money (Well I got to Korea so I guess... Yes! :B).
-Gain weight (Nope...)
-Stay happy (Still trying to :)



2014 Resolutions: 

-Health and financial stability for everyone in my family
-Be responsible of my own money
-Make up my mind on what to do once I go back home
-Work hard on my research project
-Have a blast in Japan and Vietnam! :)


And this is all for now dearies! :) Hope you enjoyed reading this year's resolutions, and I wish you all the best of luck in this upcoming 2014! Do you share any of those resolutions with me? What do you think of mine? Feel free to comment below ! ^_^




Hugs,


CL

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Special update: What snail mail means to me

Hello my beloved followers! How are you doing? 
Today I'm gonna write a special post about snail mail, one of my hobbies since I was 15 and actually the main reason why I started blogging, hehe! It's something that means a lot right now and a hobby that I take very seriously, so I really feel like sharing and describing what snail mail means for me to you all (Plus, many people seemed to be very interesting in my point of view on snail mail, so I said "Why not?"). For me, penpal friendship is more than someone writing you a real letter. It's what you read in that letter, what this person is sharing with you! Haha well, I don't want to get too romantic at the beginning so let's start! Hope you enjoy this post :)



I have to say I don't really recall how did I get into this penpal world... But what I know is I've always been a very creative person. I've always loved doodling, scrapbooking and arts&crafts! As far as I can remember, I think it all started when a Korean penpal in the first penpal website I started visiting told me she wanted to exchange letters with me. Not emails, just old school letters! I said to myself "Oh well, I've never done something like this before, and sounds like a good idea! Let's give it a try!" I loved writing stories since I was a kid and the idea of writing a real letter to a stranger and getting to know her like that sounded cool to me. It worked for a few swaps, I was fascinated about those tinny little papers and polaroids she used to send me. Then she stopped writing for some reason... She must be busy, I thought by that time. 


Also I had another Japanese penpal who stopped writing as well. I had another one (Ayumi) who sent me the first postcard I have ever got (way before I started collecting postcards!). I still have it of course, it's from the Tower of Tokyo. But again, we lost contact... I really miss her I have to say, she was such a lovely girl to talk to and a great penpal!I emailed her not to long ago but it seems she might have closed that account because Hotmail said that address didn't exist. It's so sad when this things happen, but it's part of this snail mail world! :\

Later (around 2009?) my Chinese penpal from Interpals Xianxian asked me if I wanted to swap postcards. I had never considered it, as I wasn't used to swap postcards and such, but again  I gave it a try. That's how my obsession over postcards started :) I'm happy because I'm still in contact with Xianxian, we talk every once in a while on WeChat and Interpals, although we don't swap postcards anymore!

Almost 5 years later, I'm happy to say I still enjoy snail mail just like the first day. I love my penpals I have now, I love the things they send me and nothing's gonna change that :') Now, so you know how does it feel to have a penpal, let's check some pros and cons of this snail mail world I'm in...!

(PS: This is just based in my personal experience and point of view, I don't mean to offend anyone!).




Good things about snail mailing

-You learn to get to know people in a different way. Letters are a very personal thing, even more than emails I'd say! But there's a big difference: A letter is a small tiny package that someone has prepared specially for you, and only for you! He/she has taken his/her time to make it look cute and sent it so you can see it right there in your mailbox :) The feeling of making people this happy, it's just irreplaceable!

-Letter decorating is just addictive! <3 Specially now that I live in Korea, there are so different kinds of stickers, letter papers and washi (mask) tapes! I'm gonna take a ton of tiny things like this back home, haha. I love making my penpals happy! 


Decorating this envelope for Bianca, a new penpal from California (US)!


-You get surprises every once in a while :D Thanks to my penpals I've got adorable things like, special postcards, notebooks, agendas, stickers, bracelets, photos... Maybe that doesn't mean anything to you at all, but just the fact of getting something cute from someone else in the other side of the world make my heart melt! <3


Letter from my penpal Jennifer (from New Mexico, US), received in September. She wrote me a super cute & doddly letter instead of the average text one explaining her trip to Spain... And I loved it! <3





Beautiful giveaway I won last April from Yina, a blogger friend of mine from Dominican Republic. Everything looked so cute and adorable! :) 




Bad things about snail mailing

-It implies money. Haha, that's why many people don't want to get into it. Some of them just think it's a waste of time writing something in a paper when you can write it online for free. I respect that though, I can't pretend everyone shares the same opinion I have! :)

-(Rather than a bad thing, it's an advice): Don't do it if you don't have time. What I mean is, don't make your penpal wait needlessly. It is true that we all go through some moments when we don't have time to reply or write back. In that case, people should email their penpals to explain the situation! But quitting writing it's the worst thing you can do. Penpalling means having friends as well, and as friends we want to know when something's going on. It avoids lots of worries and bad thoughts, trust me! :\

-If you're not careful, you tend to lose contact with your penpals in one way or another. After those 5 years penpalling it has come a point where I'm not in touch with my first penpals anymore. They stopped writing at some point (even though I sent them messaged or I emailed them) and we just lost contact... And it hurts because you see they keep updating their stuff and you just wonder "Why isn't she replying to me?". But it's just how it is!

-It can be addictive, and by addictive I mean "saying yes too many penpals"...! That happened to me a few years ago and I just got crazy accepting new people that don't really wanted to be my friends (we don't really had much things in common), so I politely told them I had to quit writing them :\ My mistake, I know! Now I don't do that anymore, I have my list of beloved penpals I love with all my heart and they're all very special to me :)

-You send tons of non-replied letters... Just a waste of time, stationery and money that never will come back. But it's part of this penpal life I guess! We can't be too pessimistic about it ;)


Despite both good and bad things snail mail has, it's something you need to take seriously. You have to be 100% committed to reply to that special someone who took his/her time to write to you, and once you do it... You love it! Trust me, the feeling of getting home and receiving a letter from a friend it's too special to describe it with words. I enjoy writing to my friends and receiving news from them, and I'm happy I can fulfill my hobby in such a special and beautiful way. I'm proud of them and happy to say many of them I consider them my real friends :) I have a very nice and decent list of penpals, which you'll find in the right bottom bar of this blog. You want to get to know them?  I'm gonna introduce em to you all ;)




USA
Anna (Maryland): My boyfriend's best friend and my penpal bestie  We just have too many things in common for not to be penpals haha! Future bridesmaid in my wedding as well hehehehehehe ♥ Love you my sailor senshi!

Michelle (Idaho): Met her almost two years ago, we've been in touch for a long time now :) She works at Starbucks and she's a very loyal penpal! (Although it seems her last letter got lost in the way :\). She reaaaally reminds me of Zooey Deschanel. And ah, she's a blogger too! ;)

Jennifer (New Mexico): I was her first penpal and I'm very proud of that haha! She visited my country last summer and she just loved it, so we usually talk about trips we've done recently or our favorite serie... Breaking Bad! Before flying to Korea she sent me a beautuful package with BrBa merchandising and omg, I felt so blessed! I'll repay her someday haha, that was just too good!

Yanill (Florida): My favorite and flawless American/Latina penpal! We usually write each other in Spanglish haha, and I l love it! We both love vintage stationery, and she's always been a very sweet penpal (despite our letters have gotten lost on the way sometimes) >_< We never lose touch! 

Gaby (New York): What can I say...? I LOVE GABY! She's a super crafty and attentive penpal who I really look up to. I love sending her the most flawless stationery I have, and this winter I sent her a beautiful package from Korea full of cute stuff for her! ♥ Hope we can be in touch for a long long time!

Jenne (DC): American (raised in Thailand) penpal who I could talk for hours with :) I'm still waiting for her letter, hope I can get it on time!

Kimlee (Virginia): We started penpalling not so long ago but feels like ages now! :D Kimlee is super sweet, we're both very talkative and we have this kind of special connection that I love She sent me a special Xmas package to Spain, can't wait to get it >_< 
Piper (Massachusetts): She's an adorable penpal too! We met each other in summer on Tumblr and we've been in touch till now. She sent me a lovely Christmas package this time, and I can't wait to go back to Korea so I can send her sth back! ^_^ She loves manga, anime, Ghibli and food as much as I do! 



Canada
Robyn: We just did a letter swap so far (we started being penpals not so long ago), but she seems like a great girl to talk to! :) Can't wait to get to know her better as time goes by!

Kelly: She was my first penpal when I started taking this snail mail thing seriously, circa 2010. I'm glad we're still in contact, she's a very crafty penpal and despite she's gone MIA at the moment I can't wait till I get her next letter again :') 



Singapore
Corey: One of my best penpals too, super punctual and talkative. We always have things to talk about and we love talking to each other. Definitely the kind of person I'd like to have a coffee with in real life!

Vivien: One of my youngest penpals, very sweet, kind and talkative! ^_^ She got me a Starbucks tea tumbler for Christmas as she's been super busy doing an internship in China. Thank you sosososo much!

Faiza: We talked on Interpals in summer and we switched to letters when I moved to Korea. She's 6 years older than me so I love hearing from her and her projects as a graphic designer. 

Thailand
Ploi: Met on Interpals two summers ago now, feels like she's my sister from far away sometimes haha! I follow her on Instagram too so we both know about each other very often :) We swap letters very often and she's super punctual! We also swap little stickers, postcards and we talk about our boyfriends and our daily lives.



China
Judy: A very special penpal for me, we met on Intepals as well and we've been swapping letters and postcards for... Almost two years now? She's kind of busy with school sometimes so I don't get to hear about her that often >_<


Japan
Ai: A new Japanese penpal I just met. She loves Europe, specially Paris. We started writing to each other two months ago, and she's very patient with my Japanese haha. Thank you so much! ^_^

Hong Kong
Viola: One of my first penpals hen I started using Instagram to meet new snail mailers. I love her so much, we swap tea bags everytime but it's been a long time I haven't heard from her :( I need her back in my life, haha!



Russia
Nadya: A super kind girl, very sweet and punctual penpal! ♥ Met her on Interpals and we've been penpalling for almost two years now too ^_^ Very attentive, she's always sending me adorable Christmas cards or postcards from Voronezh (the region she comes from). We usually share anecdotes about our everyday lives or we talk about special traditions or holidays we have in our countries. 

Masha: Beautiful young married mommy who writes me every once in a while. She loves owls and floral stationery. Her letters are always beyond flawless! 


The Netherlands
Jennifer: We met on Instagram a long time ago, and even though she sends me letters from time to time it's always a pleasure reading them ^_^ She's visited my city and she's a very nice penpal, she's into arts and crafts and very good at it!

Finland
Dede: Probably the most adventurous person I have ever met, haha! Chinese born girl, she was raised in Vietnam and when she was a teenager she moved to Finland. She's studied in Austria, and now she's in Germany. Amazing, right? She's super nice and I'd love to meet her this summer when I go to Vietnam :)


UK
Nilafa: My Muslim/British penpal! ♥ I admire her so much and I love talking to her about our everyday lives and such! She's been through some problems recently so I haven't heard from her for al long time >: I miss her so much!

Ana: Spanish girl living in the UK! We have many things in common and we always have things to talk about :B She loves all the stationery I send her along with my letters! 

Shelley: She's still not my penpal but I sent her a special Christmas package last week :) We exchange emails once a week and we talk about our every day lives. Can't wait to get to know her by letters! 


Spain
Miranda: My 17 year-old penpal from homeland! I've known her for a long time now thanks to Instagram, but when I moved to Korea I decided it would be the best excuse to become penpals with her. Miranda loves reading (just like me) and she's a very good crafty penpal too! I wish I would be as good as her when I was her age ><

Sweden
Raquel: One of the most special penpals of mine, as it's the only penpal I write to in my native language (along with Spanish), Catalan. She's married with a Swedish man and they live happily together in Stockholm. I met her in real life last week and it was awesome! It's the first penpal of mine I meet in real life, she's super sweet! ♥ Hope we can be in touch for a long long time!


Australia
Flick: Someone I will never regret meeting :) Flick is an amazing and very creative penpal! We both love indie music and due to distances we don't get to know about each other super often... But it's always a pleasure getting her letters!





Hope I have the chance to meet all my snail mail penpals in real life someday. But until then, mail will keep doing that job for us!

Hope  you guys liked this post, and sorry if it's too long haha! What about you, though? What does snail mail mean to you? :)

I'll be more than happy to hear back from you! Please feel free to leave comments if you want, hehe! 



CL

Monday, December 16, 2013

First big snowfall in Korea

Last week snow season finally arrived to Korea. Now it snows a bit every day (or every two days, specially at night) and the ground is just a big ass plaque of ice and dirty snow. I already got used to the snow I think, the very first two days I was excited and I couldn't stop taking pictures haha. But once it's been snowing for three days straight you end up getting tired of it...

Those are the shots I took after the first snowfall. I walked around the campus as I didn't have class that day.


La semana pasada empezó la temporada de nieve en Corea. A partir d ahora nieva un poco cada día (O cada dos días, especialmente por la noche) y el suelo es una enorme placa de hielo y de nieve sucia. Creo que ya me he acostumbrado a la nieve, los dos primeros días estaba muy contenta y no paraba de hacer fotos y de hacer bolas y dibujar en el suelo haha. Pero una vez que lleva nevando tres días sin parar ya cansa...

Éstas son las fotos que hice después de la primera gran nevada. Como no tenía clase me paseé por el campus y fui haciendo fotos.



























Now I'm done with exams, aka I'M FLYING BACK HOME IN 6 DAYS! :) I'm super excited hehe, can't wait to see my family and friends again! I'll be in Spain for three weeks only though, which means I need to enjoy my time there as much as I can. All I have to do now is pack and get ready to move (Yes, I'm moving up to another apartment the same day I fly back home!). Luckily my flight is super late at night (11.45pm) so I hope I 'll have time.

Wish me luck, this last week in Korea won't be easy!



Ahora ya he terminado los exámenes, lo cual significa que VUELO PARA CASA EN SEIS DÍAS! :) Estoy super contenta haha, qué ganas de volver a ver a mi familia y amigos! Sólo estaré en España tres semanas, o sea que tengo que aprovechar mi tiempo al máximo. Lo único que tengo que hacer ahora es empezar a hacer maletas y prepararme para la mudanza (Sí sí, me mudo a un apartamento arriba el mismo día que vuelo hacia casa!). Por suerte mi vuelo es por la noche bastante tarde (11.45pm) así que espero tener tiempo.

Deseadme suerte, ésta última semana en Corea no será fácil!


CL


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Visiting palaces and temples: Changdeokgung and Jogyesa

This week César an I we've kept going sightseeing new stuff in Seoul before this departure to Spain. Last tuesday we went to Anguk (the traditional area in Seoul) visiting palaces and temples. That day was Changdeokgung's turn, a set of palaces within a large park. It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). As it is located east of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung, along with Changgyeonggung, is also referred to as the "East Palace".

Changdeokgung was the most favored palace of many Joseon princes and retained many elements dating from the Three Kingdoms of Korea period that were not incorporated in the more contemporary Gyeongbokgung. One such element is the fact that the buildings of Changdeokgung blend with the natural topography of the site instead of imposing themselves upon it. It, like the other Five Grand Palaces in Seoul, was heavily damaged during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945). Currently, only about 30% of the pre-Japanese structures survive.



Ésta semana hemos continuado la visitas turísticas por Seúl con mi amigo César. El martes pasado fuimos por la zona de Anguk (el área más bien tradicional de Seúl) viendo palacios y templos. Ése día le tocaba el turno a Changdeokgung, un conjunto de palacios dentro de un gran parque de la ciudad. Ése día el parque estaba cerrado así que sólo pudimos ver los alrededores de la fachada.

Changdeokgug Es uno de los grandes palacios construidos por la Dinastía Choseon y, por causa de su localización al este del Palacio de Gyeongbokgung es muchas veces llamado Palacio del Este. Changdokkgung era el palacio preferido de muchos reyes de la dinastía de Choseon y tiene muchos elementos coreanos datados del período de los Tres Reinos de Corea (Siglo IV - 668dC). Fue declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco en el año 1997.









Don't ask me why, but these policemen were posing as a Japanese high school club in front of the door..
No me preguntéis por qué, éste grupo de policías estaba posando cual club de instituto japonés delante de la puerta...


This kitty was completely uninterested in posing for me...
Gatito completamente desinteresado en posar para mí...


Then we walked 10/15 minutes until we arrived to Jogyesa, in my opinion the most beautiful temple I have seen so far. Jogyesa is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, becoming so in 1936. It thus plays a leading role in the current state of Seon Buddhism in South Korea. The temple was first established in 1395, at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty; the modern temple was founded in 1910 and initially called "Hwanggaksa." The name was changed to "Taegosa" during the period of Japanese rule, and then to the present name in 1954.

Luego caminamos unos 10/15 minutos y llegamos a Jogyesa, en mi opinión el templo más bonito que he visto hasta ahora. Jogyesa es el templo principal de la Orden Jogye en el Budismo Coreano, pasó a serlo en el año 1936. El templo de construyó en 1395 al final de la dinastía Joseon, pero el templo moderno no se contruyó hasta 1910, que en ése momento se llamaba "Hwanggaksa". El nombre cambió a "Taegosa" durante el período de colonialismo japonés durante los veinte primeros años del sigo XX, y pasó a llamarse Jogyesa en 1954.

This kind of colorful decoration is known as Dancheong. Dancheong refers to Korean traditional decorative coloring on wooden buildings and artifacts for the purpose of style. It literally means "cinnabar and blue-green" in Korean. It is based on five basic colors; blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center).Dancheong has various symbolic meanings. Dancheong also represented social status and rank by using various patterns and colors.[citation needed] It functions not only as decoration, but also for practical purposes such as to protect building surfaces against temperature and to make the crudeness of materials less conspicuous. Applying dancheong on the surfaces of buildings require trained skills, and artisans called "dancheongjang" designed the painted patterns.

Éste tipo de decoración tan colorida es muy típico de Corea, y se llama Dancheong. El Dancheong es un tipo de decoración tradicional en edificios y de madera. Literalmente significa "cinabrio y azul-verde" en coreano. Está basado en cinco colores básicos;. Azul (este), blanco (oeste), rojo (sur), negro (norte) y amarillo (centro) El Dancheong también tiene varios significados simbólicos. También representaba el estatus social y el rango del individuo mediante el uso de diversos patrones y colores. Su función no era sólo decorativa sino también práctica, para proteger las superficies del edificio de temperatures extremas y hacer la crudeza de los materiales menos visible. Pintar algo con la técnica Dancheong requiere mucha habilidad, y los mismos artesanos (llamados "dancheongjang") son los que diseñan los motivos.





For respect to the people praying I preferred not to take pictures inside the temple. But from what you can see there were three big golden Buddhas in the Eastern wall of the temple. It was kind of intimidating but also incredibly beautiful. I could've stayed for hours inside, observing all the details of the room.

Por respeto no quise hacer fotos dentro del templo. Pero dentro se pueden ver tres Budas de oro que ocupan toda la pared del templo. Puede ser algo intimidante pero es increíblemente bonito a su vez. Me hubiese quedado horas y horas dentro, observando todos los rincones del interior detalle a detalle.








When the sun went town they turned on the paper lamps in the entrance, giving to Jogyesa a very warm light.
Cuando ya oscurecía encendieron las lámparas de papel que había en la entrada, dándole una luz muy cálida al templo.


Then we headed to Jonggak metro station, but not without taking a look at the souvenir stores around the temple first ...
Y luego nos dirigimos tranquilamente hacia la parada de metro de Jonggak, no sin antes echar un ojo en las tiendas de recuerdos...





CL