Sylvan Points at Stuff: Favorite YouTube Channels

Been a while since I pointed at anything, so let’s have some videos!  

I am a woman of odd enthusiasms, as are, I imagine, many of my readers.  Looking at the channels I subscribe to on YouTube or the Instagrams I follow would be pretty instructive to those trying to figure me out – just, um, don’t read too much into my Tumblr, I’m really not *that* into gay porn.

I think the entire internet just gave me this face:

While Instagram for me is mostly pretty things and food, however, I actually use my YouTube for some practical purposes, including getting the hell to sleep.  I follow a number of meditation music channels and ASMR-related channels to help my anxiety and help me sleep, so they make up a significant chunk of what you’d see on my feed.  I also have several art-related folk I follow, particularly devoted to art journaling and the like, and remarkably few planner-related bloggers, although I used to follow a bunch. A lot of planner-related channels pay way more attention to things like dieting than I really want to hear about, not to mention some of the ones I used to really enjoy have stopped updating (the eternal YouTube struggle).

Here then are some of my favorite YouTube channels, in no particular order.  I’m not listing some of the more obvious ones, like Maru – I wanted to point out YouTubers you might not have heard of.

ASMR Rooms

This channel is brilliant – the creator has built a variety of “rooms” that are basically soundscapes, combining nature sounds, ambient sounds, occasionally voices, and the background noise of a particular location.  In this example she’s captured the Ravenclaw Common Room at Hogwarts, but she’s done rooms from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, and others.  They’re all incredibly soothing and evocative.

Peaceful Cuisine

Another ASMR-ish sort of channel, this one combines lovely cooking noises with vegan recipes.  There are usually two versions of each recipe, one with music and one just with the cooking sounds so you can listen as you watch.  I’ve always found cooking sounds – like dicing, pouring, and stirring – really soothing, and the videos are beautifully shot.  The creator is Japanese and occasionally appears on camera but the emphasis is always on the food and the process of prep and cooking.

YellowBrick Cinema – Relaxing Music

A prolific channel for meditation and relaxation music.  They post at least once a day.  Some of their posts are classical music, some acoustic, some ambient, and they range from 15 minutes to 6 hours in length.  There are also videos meant to help soothe babies to sleep, and music for reiki and healing practices.

Vicky Papaioannou

Vicky is one of my favorite art/craft YouTubers, partly because of her wonderful Greek accent, partly because I enjoy the bright exuberance of her style, and partly because her cat Ginger makes periodic appearances walking around on her work table.  I’m not into making handmade cards, but I enjoy watching her try new techniques and show off new supplies, and her art journals are a totally different style from what I originally found online.  It’s obvious how much she loves doing what she does.  

Yoga With Adriene

Adriene is from right here in ATX, which was my impetus for clicking on her “beginners’ yoga” video when I was tooling around YouTube looking for videos to start playing with.  I loved her almost immediately – her teaching style is a good combination of woo-woo and pragmatic, asking students to meet themselves where they are and “find what feels good.”

She’s definitely not a plus-sized yogini, and there are a couple of weight loss videos on her channel, but she typically doesn’t bring up that sort of thing unless that’s the subject of the video.  Since that’s not what I’m there for, I just steer clear of those and stick with what inspires me.  She has videos that focus on all sorts of needs, from yoga for your back and shoulders, to yoga for swimmers or cyclists, yoga for migraines, anger management, yoga for those in wheelchairs, you name it.  There are also meditations and some videos that focus on getting deeper into a particular pose.

I also love her dog Benji.  You know you’re watching an Austin yoga video when the teacher’s dog is in it.

Molly Roberts: HerSpeak

A relative newcomer to my lineup, I happened across Molly when looking for meditations, and I don’t know if it’s her voice, her enthusiasm, or just her flat out adorableness, but I was hooked.  I’m planning to go back to the beginning of her channel and watch anything that sounds appealing.

Molly’s a Pagan YouTuber, and does videos on magick, ritual, and some of my favorite subjects:  BoS/Grimoirekeeping and altar building.  To be perfectly honest it had never occurred to me to look for BoS tours and altar show-and-tell the way I’ve watched planner-walkthrough videos, and how could I have been so blind?!?  Those were always some of my favorite aspects of the Craft, and if I had a remotely video-friendly bone in my body I’d do a walkthrough of my old, hand-drawn BoS just to show how much work and love went into it way back when.

Anyway, thanks to Molly I have a whole new YouTube rabbit hole to fall down, and I’m looking forward to it.  But in the meantime I just love listening to her talk (her voice is an ASMR trigger at times, which only makes it that much more awesome) and love her ideas.  Not to mention she combines magick with something else I love hearing about:  Bullet Journaling.

Incidentally, do you have any mystical or spiritual YouTubers you love?  Pretty much any tradition, as long as it’s non-conservative.  I’m a soul-slut, as you know.  What I’d really love to see are more Pagan planners, bullet journalers, or BoS-keepers.  Recommend away in comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.  

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February Doodle Challenge

Hi all –

Big things afoot this week, of course, but in addition to that whole book thing there’s a month coming to an end. Didn’t it just start?  

This month I happened upon a Planner Doodle Challenge set forth by YesPleasePlanning on Instagram.  I’d been feeling like my monthly calendar pages were being dreadfully underutilized, and after a few days of playing along with the challenge I realized I didn’t want to use them as a calendar at all, but a tiny doodle journal.

I had so much fun!  Usually every month I tear out the last month’s pages to help make carrying around my big-ass coiled planner less of a Herculean effort, but I decided to start leaving in those doodled pages so I can go back to them for a smile whenever I like.

I used the prompts most days, but some I skipped either because I wasn’t inspired or because there was something else that needed to go in that space.

So here are some pics, first the whole month at a glance and then close-ups along with what the prompts were for those days.  I tried to write in the prompt in the square somewhere, but some are hard to see.

I’m really looking forward to March’s challenge.  Even if I don’t decide to keep going with her ideas, I’m so going to keep using the calendar for tiny bits of art – they’re so small they don’t have the intimidation factor of “real” art and the little square space presents a unique challenge.  I’ve always loved tiny things.

mo2p february wide 1

Month as a whole.  I couldn’t decide what to do with the empty spaces for the first week of March, so I just left them blank this time around.  The very bottom row was another week of blanks, but I had already covered them with washi at the beginning of the month.

There’s also a column of lines off to the far left, which right now I’m using as my blog and Patreon post planner/tracker; that was the only thing I was doing with the monthly calendar, and it wasn’t really working anyway, so trying something fun and creative seemed a good alternative.

mo2p feb left 1

So, on this side we have,

1 – (skipped) – free
2 – shadow
7 – bowl
8 – monkey (He’s a fire monkey.)
9 – beads
14 – love
15 – envelope (I was going to draw a Howler, but it just wouldn’t come out right.)
16 – bouquet (You only need so many coffee mugs made from the skulls of your enemies.)
21 – vine
22 – (skipped) balloon
23 – (skipped) planner   (My dad’s birthday.)
28 – movie
29 – leap

I love how because I started the drawing too far up in the square the “leap” woman looks more like she’s swinging from the ceiling of her box.

mo2p feb right 1

3 – sign
4 – hero
5 – XOXO
6 – date night (Yes, that’s Mr. Shaky, best date a girl could ask for.)
10 – candy heart
11 – lovebirds
12 – right
13 – music
17 – kisses (It’s supposed to be a Kiss of Death, but I couldn’t get the foil to look anything like foil – have you ever noticed that things that fold, whether paper or fabric, are the hardest things to draw?  Grrrrr.)
18 – jewelry (My wedding ring.)
19 – teddy bear
20 – tickets (In case you can’t read it, it’s a Karma Violation ticket, and the options are: Parked like a dick, left seat up, smacking gum, Donald Trump.)
24 – (skipped) heals
25 – aroma
26 – clip
27 – flourish

I thought it was funny how, without meaning to, I had a three-time theme of extended fingers – the Fire Monkey, BB-8, and Grumpy Bear…though different fingers for different reasons.

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A New Month, a New Form of Insanity

A couple, actually.

First, if you signed up for my email newsletter, you may or may not get one for April. I’ve made the decision to discontinue it in favor of a Patreon site – the simple reality is that if I’m not going to be traditionally published for a while, I need to find other ways to keep the wifi on and the coffee flowing (and the cat food, Owen would like me to mention), and a Patreon seems like a good way to do that where you guys will get stuff frequently if you sign up.

The site is not set up yet, but you may be familiar with artists like Amanda Palmer doing the same thing.  I’m not quite that ambitious, but subscribers will receive chapters each month, the final book itself for free, and access to all my extras, printables, new projects, and such before anyone else (and sometimes exclusively).  My books will still come out in hardcopy and digital just like normal, but you’ll have the opportunity to read them as they’re written, the way I used to write back in the day. (Hell of a day, right?)

I’ll have more details and hopefully the whole thing ready to launch by April 15.  

Secondly, I’ve signed up for a new e-course this April called Daily Musings: Agenda Journaling by Hope Wallace, the lovely talent behind  I really like her way of using a daily agenda as a diary – I had intended to do that in my planner, but it turns out I actually need my planner to plan things, so if I want to keep a journal or diary of what goes on in my life I need another format.  I’m really excited about it.

I don’t plan on posting my pages every day – maybe once a week, or just once in a while.  It depends on how well it goes.  But I wanted to show you where I’m starting off.

For my agenda I found a cheap-ass Moleskine 2015 Daily Diary, which was cheap for two reasons: one, 2015 is already a quarter gone, and two, it was this heinous shade of pink:

If you've seen the BBC Sherlock's first episode you can imagine the true horror of this pink. It's actually way uglier in person.  Sort of Pepto Bismol meets Barbie on acid.
If you’ve seen the BBC Sherlock’s first episode you can imagine the true horror of this pink. It’s actually way uglier in person. Sort of Pepto Bismol meets Barbie on acid.

I mean, damn.

I had no intention of leaving it like that, however.  A couple of hours and a lot of glue later, I have a sort-of-vintage looking agenda that I actually love looking at:

2015-04-01 09.13.02

Much better!

Moleskines have a pocket inside the back cover, and I added a library pocket I found while rummaging through my endless paper stores.  I crumpled and then inked up the “spine” of the book before gluing it down to give it a more old-book-feel.

Most of the materials were pulled from my scrap bin and stash so I have no idea where they came from, but I’ll list the ones I know:

The Paper Studio Tattered & Worn paper stack –

I’m not going to link to the product page as it’s an exclusive Hobby Lobby line and I refuse to shop there.  I bought this about 7 years ago before they had pissed me off.  But there are other cheap paper collections with the same sort of thing going: fakey vintage and worn out old paper.  The background patterned sheet, the green, and the brown papers all came from this same stack, which I’ve used extensively over the years:

You can get it on Ebay, though,
You can get it on Ebay, though, if that’s better.
Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Ornate Plates and Long Fastener Brads

1_35743_FS 1_45025_FS


Tim Holtz Distress Ink (by Ranger)


Colors used:

  • Vintage Photo
  • Black Soot
  • Old Paper
  • Pumice Stone

The dragonfly embellishment is by K&Company but for the life of me I couldn’t find it online.

Elmer’s Craft Bond Extra-Strength Glue Stick

1/4″ Scor-Tape (double-sided hella strong tape)





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You Won’t Believe These Hot Throbbing Pens!


Writers, as you might expect, tend to be pen whores, even if all our writing is done on a keyboard. There’s just something about that stark black line flowing onto a pristine page, turning into a letter, a word, a sentence…it’s like crack.  Today I got a package from JetPens, my new pusher in the world of office supplies, and just for fun, I thought I’d share my new toys.

Being left-handed, having essential tremor, and having tiny tiny handwriting, I tend toward quick-drying gel rollers and needle points to cut down on smudging and general floopyness.  Here’s a quick review of the pens I ordered this time round, along with a wee writing sample of each as well as links to more information over on the JetPens website.

Read more

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