October Setup- Forest Themed Collage

Hi everyone,

October is here and so is autumn! I love this time of year, the leaves changing colours is so beautiful, so my theme this month reflects that. I decided to go a bit out of my comfort zone and instead of painting I made collages using paper and photos.

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Here’s my October cover page. For my theme I used photos of forests, layered the pages with brown paper and card, doodled on the pages using fineliners and stuck in pen doodles. As I don’t have any autumnal washi tape (yet… washi tape shopping spree imminent) I improvised and cut strips of brown patterned paper and backed them with double sided tape.

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For a change I decided to use a two page calendar with boxes and I definitely like the look of it this way.

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Side note- please excuse the crinkly pages. I’ve just got a new Leuchtturm journal and the ghosting is much more visible than my previous Leuchtturm so I had to stick the pages together to avoid the next spread being ruined. Does anyone else have this problem? If you’ve found ways around this, like pens that don’t ghost, please do let me know in the comments.

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This habit tracker is definitely my favourite spread of this month. I’m really happy with how the pumpkins and squashes look. I’m already excited for Halloween and pumpkin season!

I really enjoyed trying collaging to make this month’s pages. When painting previous monthly set-ups I’ve felt very wary of making any mistakes, but collage is more freeing as if you’re not happy with what you’ve done you can simply cover it up with more paper! I will be continuing this in my weekly spreads and posting it here.

Thanks for reading, have a great month everyone!

Fiona

 

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September Monthly Setup- Autumn Berries

Hi everyone,

How is it nearly September already? This year is flying by. I’ve loved the summer but I’m really looking forward to autumn. The forest near me is beautiful this time of year so I’ve decided to paint some of the autumn berries I’ve seen on walks lately for my September spread: blackberries, sloes and rose hips. I love baking and using forest fruits in recipes. So far this year I’ve been blackberry picking already and made blackberry smoothies and baked blackberry cakes. I’m thinking I’ll have a go at making some sloe gin and rose hip jam or cordial and post the results on here. Has anyone tried any recipes using these? Let me know in the comments.

I used acrylics to capture the vibrant colours of the berries. I sketched everything out roughly with pencil first, then painted and finished by outlining  with a 0.5mm liquid ballpoint pen.

I’ve changed up my habit tracker this month. If you’ve seen my previous posts you might remember that I usually track all habits together in one big table. Now I’m trying out tracking habits separately. I think this way will make it easier to see the progress I make for individual habits within the month.

It felt like I spent years painting all the tiny red checks onto the jam jars! I think it was worth it though, I’m happy with how they turned out.

I think September is my favourite monthly spread that I’ve done so far and I’m excited to do some more pages for this month! Thanks for reading this, stay tuned for another post in a week or so. Have a great week!

Fiona

x

Washi Tape and Stationery Haul

Hi everyone,

Today I’m excited to show you some beautiful washi tapes and stationery that I’ve picked up recently for journaling. They’re mostly from WHSmiths, some are from Hobbycraft and one thing is from Waterstones. So let get started!

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First up, the adorable Moomin deskpad at £5.99 from Waterstones. Having read the Moomin books when I was younger, I love anything and everything Moominvalley, so I was very happy to find this. I’m looking forward to prettying up my mundane everyday notes with this cute background. Waterstones currently have a great range of Moomin items so if you love these characters like me, definitely have a look on their website here. I will be doing a Moomin themed monthly spread at some point soon so follow me if you want to see that!

In WHSmiths I was queuing up to buy a pack of 10 fineliners for £7.49 then at the till I came across this pack of 30 for £6.99! Such a bargain and so many pretty colours. I also picked up some squared paper for £2.49 as it’s so useful for making habit tracker boxes. Just cut it to size and it saves so much time instead of drawing out all the boxes. For £2.99 I got the adhesive roller for sticking stuff in my journal to avoid the faff and wrinkled pages caused by glue. I previously had one from Hobbycraft that broke after a few uses so fingers crossed this one is better quality.

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Much like a magpie I like to hoard sparkly things, so I couldn’t resist buying the craft gems in the top corner for £2.99. They will be stashed in my nest of craft supplies until I find a reason to use them. Due to my love of shiny things I also bought this blue iridescent notebook for £8.99. It’s definitely my favourite purchase, the quote on the front ‘When it Rains Look for Rainbows’ goes perfectly with the colours. The saying’s a bit corny but I’m going to use this as a diary so it definitely acts as a good reminder to stay positive and look for silver linings when I’m venting in it! All these WHSmiths items can be found under the stationery and crafts sections here.

Next up: washi tapes!

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These tapes are all from Hobbycraft- which by the way is an amazing store for finding craft supplies. The Watercolour Plants and Travel tapes came in packs of 5 for £5. The plant tapes are quite translucent so the designs aren’t clearly visible on the rolls but they look really cute on paper, I’ve been using them for my weekly spreads of my August watercolour wildflower theme. I absolutely LOVE the travel tapes, they have such adorable tiny detail close up, like the writing on the passport stamps. They’re perfect for planning vacations, writing packing lists and scrap booking vacation photos, wish I had a vacation planned just so I can start using them.

The blue starry tape was in the sale bucket so I can’t see it on the website but you may get lucky and find it in store. You can see the rest of the tapes and so many other pretty ones here. (I’ve just now seen a pack of iridescent tapes on there… I have to buy it to match with my iridescent notebook, right?)

Let me know which your favourite item is from this haul. Have you bought any pretty stationery or washi tapes recently?

Thanks for reading and have a good week! Until next time,

Fiona x

 

August Monthly Setup: Wildflowers

Hi everyone,

August is nearly here and this month I chose to to do a wildflower theme. As you may have noticed from my previous posts, I’ve been doing a lot of flower themes lately. Next month will be something different, but for now I want to make the most of the summery flowery themes while I still can!

I sketched out my drawings first in pencil then used watercolour paints, starting with the background, then the flowers and grasses. I finished it by partially outlining everything with pen.

This habit tracker isn’t quite finished yet as I’ve run out of graph paper for the habit boxes.

I really enjoyed making this theme, let me know what you think of it and what your August layouts are. Thanks for reading, see you later this month for another post.

Fiona

Watercolour Mountain Landscape Using Salt and Cling Film

Hey everyone,

Here’s a short post on watercolours as promised. As a newbie to watercolour painting I had a lot of fun experimenting with different techniques in this.

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I painted the night sky first, starting with lighter blues at the bottom and working up to mixing with darker blues and purples for a gradient effect. To make the moon I blotted away the paint with kitchen roll. I then painted the mountains in a mix of browns, dark blues, and green and finished with the fir trees and grass hill in the foreground. If anyone has any advice on improving perspective, I’d appreciate it.

Now for the exciting part: using salt and cling film! Not things I would have linked with painting before but, as it turns out, very useful for creating effects in watercolour pieces.

I used coarse sea salt to make clouds and finer table salt around the moon. Simply apply to the paper when the paint is still wet, and remove gently when the paint is dry. I’m not completely happy with how the clouds turned out, I’d advise spreading the salt over a larger area than I did here.

The cling film is my favourite part about this. When the mountains were still wet I applied some cling film and removed it when dry. The crinkling of the cling film makes for a great rocky texture and I’m excited to try it out in other paintings with different subjects.

I’ll be adding this to my bullet journal at some point, maybe overlaid with a quote, watch this space!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it and try out these techniques. Back soon for August’s bullet journal setup.

Fiona

July Bullet Journal Setup- Watercolour Lavender

Better late than never right? It’s halfway through July and I’ve just got round to finishing my July setup so here it is!

Something I love about this time of year is the lavender blooming and the bees buzzing around it. So I’ve based this month on that, using watercolour paints.

I haven’t used watercolours much before so this was a bit of an experiment. I used two purples for the flowers and two greens for the stems. For the bee I mixed yellow with brown and brown with purple. For the translucent wings and for the water jar below I used hints of purple and green.

I kept my habit tracker the same (habits covered) and am using the stress log again as I found it useful in June.

I used double sided transfer tape-really cheap in Hobbycraft- to stick in the pages and it was great for ensuring the pages are stuck smoothly.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, especially the bees. I added these at the end and was worried I would ruin the pages if they didn’t turn out well, but sometimes you’ve got to just go for it. See you later this month for more watercolour painting!

Fiona

June Monthly Setup- Daisies and Buttercups

Hello everyone, this is my first post on WordPress, I’m looking forward to sharing bullet journal pages and art on here!

Since I started using a bullet journal last October I’ve kept my layout fairly simple as I’ve been busy with assignments in my last year of university. But now that I’ve completed my final year (yay!) I decided spend some time to do my first monthly bullet journal theme!

A few days ago I went to the park to enjoy my freedom and the sunny summer weather and made a daisy and buttercup chain. I pressed the flowers- you don’t need a flower press for this, you can put the flowers between two sheets of paper in the pages of a heavy book and weigh it down with more books on top for a while. I will be adding the pressed flowers to my memories section at the end of my May layout (post of this coming soon). This is what inspired June’s theme. Buttercups and daisies always remind me of childhood summers: making daisy chains and holding buttercups to people’s chins to see the reflected yellow glow that meant they liked butter.

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Throughout this spread I used a Pilot black rollerball 0.5mm pen for the writing and a Uniball POSCA 0.7mm marker for the gold accents in the writing and flowers. The gold marker is is beautiful: vibrant and sparkly. Unfortunately these photos do not do justice to the gold sparkles due to my low quality phone camera and bad lighting- sorry!  I did find that finer pens would have been slightly better for the small details I needed here. I used a yellow pencil and light green and dark green felt pens to partially colour the buttercups and flower stems. I used the end of a paperclip to apply gold sparkles from a nail varnish to the daisy centres and here and there on the buttercup petals.

For my June cover page I drew some daisies and buttercups, searching online for photos to use for reference. I drew the writing and spacing of the flowers out in pencil first, then went over in pen and erased the pencil lines.

When I came to stick in this first page with PVA glue I found that the thinness of my Leuchtturm journal’s dotted grid pages resulted in a bumpy finish. I will definitely be buying some glue tape to prevent this in my next spread!

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Next up is my June calendar with some daisies and and buttercups from the bottom of the page. I prefer a simple layout with the days set out vertically like this rather than boxes for each day as I find it allows more space.

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Opposite my calendar I have a page for notes- for anything I need to remember to do that month which isn’t date specific. I varied the daisy and buttercup theme from the side view of the flowers in my previous pages to a chain along the edge of the page.

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Next up is my habit tracker with a few larger flowers in the corner. I always find habit trackers really useful to track the progress and upkeep of things I aim to do every day or every week. The dates go along the top of the grid. In this photo I’ve covered the habits I’m tracking with a piece of paper, but I wrote them beside the grid and used a ruler whilst writing them to ensure straight lines that align with the grid. I had the idea to use graph paper for the grid as it can be time consuming to draw it out, and difficult on plain paper. The black lines in the grid divide the habits into three sections to make it easier to follow when using as when you get toward the end of the month it can be tricky to see which box aligns with which habit. For example you could split it into work/school, routine and housework.

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Lastly is my stress log. Last year I decided to log my stress every day due to the workload of final year assignments. I write a sentence every day saying whether I’ve felt stressed, and if so how I dealt with it. It can be really useful to write these things down in order to pinpoint what causes you stress and how you can manage it well. Now that I’ve finished my degree my stress levels will likely be lower but I’ve kept it this month to see if I still find it helpful.

I drew some daisies and buttercups along the bottom and this is where a finer point pen would have been particularly useful, although the photo does make the flowers appear a lot darker than they are in reality.

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Here’s a close up where you can see slightly better, (although still not great), the sparkle of the gold nail varnish.

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Thank you for reading! If you have any comments, advice, or questions I welcome feedback. See you soon for July’s Monthly Spread and other journal stuff.