How to Start a Stationery Collection

Do you have a relative or a friend who loves to collect notebooks, writing sets, pens and pencils, envelopes, and even Post-its? That person could be a stationery collector. Even with the popularity of electronic gadgets, a lot of people still find collecting stationeries a therapeutic and rewarding activity.

Stationery is a catch-all name for writing, typing, and printing materials. The name probably comes from the name of the vendor, a stationer, who has a store, such as a book shop, in a fixed spot.

Here are the things you need to remember if you want to start your own collection.

Seven Basic Types. If you are overwhelmed with the choices in hobby shops and bookstores in Singapore, you can start by building up your collection using the seven basic types of stationeries. These are memo pads, flat cards, folded notes, stamps and embossers, labels, contact cards, and non-personalized notes and cards. This list, however, still lacks other stationeries, so don’t limit yourself to these.

Build Your Collection. Like any type of collection, the stationeries you will select will be based on your taste and style. There are no rules that say you should collect only certain types of items, but if you’re planning to use some of your stationeries, you should stock up on the basic pieces. These include personalized stationery, memo pads for lists, formal stationery for correspondences, and stationeries for special occasions, holidays, and celebrations.

Enjoy the Hunt. One of the most relaxing activities that stationery collectors will tell you is shopping for new items. What makes the hobby more addictive is the satisfaction of finding a rare-looking piece with a different scent, color scheme, shape, text or illustration, and other details. If the activity is relaxing or therapeutic to you, go ahead and enjoy it, because that’s what hobbies are for.

Don’t Feel Guilty. If you feel like you have too many unused notebooks and your desk is cluttered with colorful pens and pencils, you don’t need to feel guilty about it. Unlike most hobbies, collecting stationeries will not eat up most of your income, because paper and office supplies are usually cheap. They don’t take up a lot of space, too, unless your collection already consists of overflowing shelves.

They’re Useful. While most collectors would feel horrified at the idea of writing on their collection, they can be useful for special occasions, like sending cards or letters to people on special occasions. They are also useful for other art-related hobbies such as drawing, calligraphy, and painting. You can give them away to friends and family instead of buying pre-made cards.

Get to Know the Best Things You Can Do for Your Home This Year

The first step to living and relaxing better is making improvements to your home in order to make it a much more suitable place to live both for your practicality and for your tastes, and because nothing you do for your home is a wasted effort, it’s time to go all-out to give your home the sprucing up that it desperately needs.

To start, here are the best things you can do for your home this year:

1. Get that piece of furniture you always wanted
It might be hard to get rid of something that has sentimental value, but if you’re only keeping something because you can’t replace it, then you have every reason to splurge on something that will last you longer.

The same can be said about furniture. If you’re holding onto pieces of furniture at home just because you can’t afford to replace them, now is the time to splurge and finally switch it out for the one piece that you’ve always wanted.

You also don’t need to ditch everything in your living room, either. Even having a single high-quality piece at home, like a sofa or a shelf, everything else will simply fall into place around it.

2. Add more art
People hang things on the wall not just as a sign that they have really moved into a space, but because it makes them happy whenever they look at it – it gives their home a soul and sets it apart from other places, especially their work office.

The way you can make your own home distinct is by adding not just any painting, but a particular painting that speaks to you and moves you every time you look at it.

There’s also no need to go out and buy the expensive stuff from famous artists. Even vintage wall paintings from thrift stores or your photos from your last holiday or vacation can work well for this effect.

3. Share your space with a furry friend
If you’re living alone, one of the things you will miss is sharing the space with your loved ones, and this means that it might get lonely at times.

One remedy for this is that you have the option of having people stay over, or avoid being alone most of the time by moving in with roommates that you know well. Another option is adopting a furry friend.

So while pets aren’t for everyone, you should definitely get one if you are really inclined to love them. However, keep in mind that having pets can be a bit more work, which can take more energy from you especially when you already work full-time.

Home Repair, Your Toolbox, and You: A Quick Guide to Tools

Problems can come up at home when you least expect them. But when you can’t afford to pay a contractor to fix them for you, your next best option is to do your home repair by yourself.

While you might take it for granted at first, having a complete all-purpose toolbox is essential for fixing all kinds of emergencies in your home in Singapore, from your electrical circuit to your plumbing.

What’s In Your Toolbox?
You can actually take on most minor jobs on your own, and all you need are the right tools to handle them properly. A complete toolbox should have the following basic items for any home construction and repair:

Tape measure
Screwdrivers/ hex keys
Utility knife
Adjustable wrench
Hammer
Markers
Putty Knife
Other essentials (WD-40, electrical tape, gaffer tape)

While these tools don’t seem like much at first, they can spell the difference between doing a job properly and not being able to do it at all.

This includes having a proper tape measure to get accurate measurements, a Phillip screwdriver or a flat one depending on the screws needed, or even an adjustable wrench to open things that you can’t with your and alone.
You can easily find them at your nearest hardware store, and even cheap ones are likely to last for a long time when given proper care. You can also choose to buy more specific tools that make repairs easier, but keep in mind that these will be more expensive.

You should also make sure to add safety gear and equipment to your toolbox to avoid any potential injuries:
Work lamp/flashlight
Work gloves
Pliers
Safety goggles
Ear muffs

Taking Care of Your Tools
Your toolbox offers great protection and storage for your tools, but there’s more to maintaining your tools than simply storing them in the right place after use. Here’s how you can take better care of them to make them last longer:

• Keep them dry. When it comes to taking care of your metal tools, water and moisture can be your biggest enemy.

• Store power tools in original cases. If you have any power tools, such as hand drills or circular saws, don’t throw away the cases they come in! They are specially designed to protect these tools.

• Use silica gel. Those gel packets you find in shoes aren’t there for no reason – take them and stuff them in your toolbox to keep them moisture-free!

• Clean tools after use. Wipe your tools down with a clean cloth to get rid of any dust, debris, or even grime or water that could stick to them

How to Take Care of Your DSLR Camera in 5 Easy Steps

The most important thing you can do with your camera is to make it last as long as you can. It may be easy to learn how to start taking amazing pictures, but not everyone can keep their camera working through proper care and maintenance.

To get the most out of your DSLR camera – and to keep it working for a long time – be sure to follow these steps:

1. Turn it off before doing anything to it.
Whether you want to swap lenses, change memory cards, or even attach or disconnect cables, switch off your camera first!

Not only is it useful for conserving batteries, but it also minimizes the risk of you accidentally ruining its circuits and lenses when you open it up.

So while it seems simple enough, it’s easy to forget when you’re really busy or accidentally stumble onto a perfect scene that you need to capture. Getting into the habit of turning your camera off will help you remember early on.

2. Invest in a cleaning kit!
DSLR cameras are expensive, but what’s more expensive is having to buy another camera because you didn’t take care of the first one properly. You can avoid this by investing in a quality cleaning kit that includes microfiber clothes, liquid solutions, and brushes.

You should also be especially careful around the LCD screen and camera lens when cleaning, since you want to avoid scratching them at all costs.

3. Don’t keep the batteries in for too long.
Old camera batteries used to leak acid. Today, this is no longer the case, but can still be corrosive to your DSLR’s circuits especially when they’re empty.

To avoid this when you plan on shelving your camera for a long time, it’s best to take out the batteries when you’re not using them. This minimizes acid leaks and keeps your batteries’ shelf life for longer.

4. Camera bags are essential.
Most people tend to stuff cameras in backpacks, suitcases, and fanny packs, but these actually make them more prone to damage since they bounce around a lot.

Cameras also scratch easily and are magnets for dust and lint, which is why there are special bags for them that address these problems. When you’re not using your DSLR, it’s best to keep it in the camera bag.

5. Take care of your memory card.
Your memory card is just as important as your camera – without them, you won’t be able to enjoy taking great photos and capturing beautiful memories.

Not only should you keep it dust-free at all times by placing it in a protective case, but you should also only remove them indoors and store them in cool places away from any magnets and electronics such as speakers and monitors.

8 Reasons to Keep a Journal

Some people think that keeping a journal is unnecessary and the time that you write on it is time wasted. If you do keep a journal, you’ll know that it’s cheap and worthwhile to have one. Plus, there are a whole lot of benefits in journaling. So go and just do it!

For daily reflection
Having a journal helps promote self-awareness. The ability to examine our own conscious thoughts and feelings allow us to become more compassionate towards others. Writing on a journal can help you reflect on what kind of person throughout the day, thereby helping you become a person each day.

Idea bank
Keeping a journal can also help you remember old ideas and list new ones. From everyday activities, to hobbies you want to try out, writing your ideas in a journal prompts you to be reminded of them or at least have you plan them out.

To list goals and dreams
You can write both you short-term and long-term goals in your journal. Because you put your goals on paper, there is a greater chance that you will work hard to achieve them. You can also write your dreams for the future. Just think, “if money wasn’t a problem, what would I be doing now?” Heck, you could even write being the next prime minister of Singapore.

For safety and emergency situations
Keeping a legal document but you’re scared you might forget where you place it? Your journal is your best friend. Sometimes you may otherwise find yourself in a desperate situation and keeping a record of your experiences may be very helpful.

To make better decisions
If you’re having a hard time making decisions, you can use your journal. If it’s a decision that can significantly affect your life, you can take note of its positive and negative effects on you. You will get a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of a certain action, leading you to decide whether it’s good or not.

Keep track of your progress
Because it’s so easy to take notice of our mistakes and failures, we tend to miss our everyday triumphs and victories. Writing down your accomplishments can help you celebrate them and see how much you’ve grown and how far you are now from where you started.

Recognize problems
Of course, to get rid of problems, sometimes we have to take action. But you’ll be surprised at how therapeutic it can be to write your problems down, like taking a heavy burden off your shoulders and releasing it all on paper. After that you could even choose to tear off and burn that paper as a metaphor of getting rid of your problems.

Spark creativity
A journal isn’t necessarily made only with words. A journal can contain pictures, drawings, whatever you can think of really. You could just be scribbling and doodling on your journal, and later on notice you actually already have a piece of art on paper.

How to Restore Old Wooden Furniture in 5 Easy Steps

While it’s true that a build-up of dirt and grime can make furniture lose their former appearance over time, you can still save them with the right tools and materials.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Observe proper safety!
Thick gloves, a dust mask, and a work apron (along with long sleeves and proper protective eyewear) will be your best friends for all things related to woodworking, especially since you’re using varnish that will produce noxious fumes.

You should also do this in a place with good ventilation. If you can, re-finish all pieces of old furniture outside so that the fumes will disperse instead of lingering in your home.

2. Know the type of finish used for the furniture.
The next step to restoring old furniture is knowing what kind of finish was used for it.

While natural finishes, such as varnish or lacquer, are hard to identify with sight alone, you can usually get a good idea on what it is by applying a small amount of denatured alcohol to a small area.

If it comes off, the coating is shellac. If it takes lacquer thinner, the finish is probably lacquer. If neither of these work, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a varnish.

3. Clean and re-amalgam.
After identifying the type of finish used, it’s time to start cleaning and re-amalgamating.

Scrub wood, rattan, and wicker surfaces with an oil-based wood cleaner to get through any dirt and wax on the surface, which should bring back some of the finish’s original luster. If this doesn’t work, use a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Because finishes can develop scratches over the years (which dulls wood surfaces), you need to re-amalgam them using a solvent to even out the imperfections. Next, buff it with steel wool along the wood grain.
Keep in mind that re-amalgamation only works for shellac or lacquer finishes and not varnish.

4. Strip off the old finish.
Strip away old finish by using a stripping formula – the more layers, the tougher the formula you will need – and applying it from top to bottom. Wait for twenty minutes before scraping with a scraping tool.

Switch to a liquid stripping formula for the last bit, and use a steel wool for carvings and corners.

5. Apply a new finishing coat.
Before proceeding to the last step, it’s important to make the much-needed repairs, such as filling in cracks or fixing any broken areas in the upholstery. But if there are no needed repairs to make, you can proceed to the re-finishing.

Do this by sanding the piece first with a rough grit sandpaper. Clean up any remaining dust on the surface before applying your finish with a natural-bristle brush, and then leave overnight before sanding it down again with finer-grit sandpaper.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)