2022 BuJo – May theme

It’s been a while since the last bullet journal feature. I gave the journal a break over April; I was in recovery and catch up mode. We have skipped to May which is the month of the tulip festival in Ottawa so the theme was an easy pick. Coloured pencils seemed to make sense too as I have been working with them a bit lately.

I drew all my calendar squares by hand purposely making them a little wavy with breaks and dots. The Penny Black clear stamp ‘springtide’ seemed to work with an outline theme so I stamped in jet black archival on each page then coloured with polychromos pencils.

For each tulip colour scheme I used at least two co-ordinating colours; for the yellow tulips I used four. I forgot that both Ranger archival inks and FaberCastell polychromos pencils are oil based so the first layer of pencil blending ended up dragging some black ink. As you can see it didn’t spoil the result but I probably should have stamped the outline in memento or distress ink.

I kept the titles simple with some hand drawn block letters. I know that to-do list is empty in the photo but believe me that is no longer the case! Visiting the Ottawa Tulip Festival will be on the list for sure!

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2022 BuJo – March theme

Yes we are a third of the way through March but better late than never. I live in the north where March rarely means spring flowers; more often it means spring snow so my theme is still wintery!

I actually left my home and went away last weekend to the mountains and did a little skiing and relaxing so this theme seemed appropriate. Our accommodation looked nothing like my hand drawn cabin but was lovely just the same.

The trees on these pages were stamped with a Simply Graphic stamp, ‘pine forest‘ in rustic wilderness and iced spruce inks.

Simply Graphic is a French company with some very cool stamp and die designs. The Foiled Fox just started carrying more of their product and sent me a few stamps to try out. You will see more in tomorrow’s post.

I used post-its to mask, drew my own cabin with Staedtler markers then lightly watercoloured it with distress inks.

I made many mistakes on these pages because I was rushing but I managed to cover them up or work around them!

If you haven’t seen one of my bullet journal spreads before I am working in a ‘Dingbats’ notebook; it’s A5 and dotted and I think the quality is excellent.

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2022 BuJo – February theme

I am a week late with my February BuJo set up; we are already 25% of the way through the month! I went with the snowflake theme as we have plenty of snow now and I assume more to come. It is a pretty simple layout on account of the need to get it done so I could record and plan in the journal rather than on scraps of paper!

I lay a piece of post-it tape across the page then used brushes to blend memento inks above the tape. I used three blue inks (listed below) and used the same inks to stamp snowflakes to decorate the top half of the page. I’ve found post-it tape to be very safe on these pages. Washi tape and painter’s tape (delicate) have both taken some surface off if I have not been careful. I wrote ‘February’ with the Bahama Blue memento marker but haven’t linked it as I am not sure where to get them these days. I was delighted to find mine still worked and had plenty of ink in it.

I ruled up the calendar grid as I often do then used strips of post-it tape to mask as I blended ink around the edges. Once again I stamped snowflakes from Penny Black sets to decorate the spread. As we are already a week into the month I added the to do list to the calendar page. The important thing at this stage is to do the ‘to-dos’ not to decorate them!

If you are in the middle of winter right now what are you up to? Are you hunkered down inside or braving the outdoors? I am definitely doing both; we have enjoyed several cross country skis and a few walks but I have also been busy with journal projects, sorting and organizing supplies and planning future classes and lessons.

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2022 BuJo – January theme

My plan for the new year was to take a different artistic route with my bullet journal themes but here I am with the same mask, stamp, blend approach. I still have fifty pages left in my current journal so I will continue in a similar style for now and make some changes when I switch to a new one.

I masked the edges of the page with painter’s tape for delicate surfaces but it was still a bit sticky for the smooth bullet journal page. I did press it on my clothes first but I think post it tape is a much better choice.

As well as a masked frame around the page I tore tape to mask snow hills across the page. I used the pinecones and needles from Darkroom Door’s ‘pine cones’ set and trees from the DD ‘majestic mountains’ set.

The inks are all distress inks (listed below) and you can see a bit of bleed through the paper. The juicier the ink the more likely it is to show through. None of the ink went right through the page so it doesn’t bother me or stop me from using the pages. I used a black fineline pen to rule the lines and letter the headings.

After a year using this particular dot journal I am still a big fan of the quality but havent’ settled on the best way to keep track of work projects past, present and future. I also want to come up with a workable chore tracker, not nearly as fun as the project tracking but necessary!

As I look at my ‘to do list’ page above I’m not so keen on the little trees to mark the list items; they look like tree shaped rain drops falling from a pinecone!

I’ll be setting up a new booklist for my 2022 reading and plan to put all the birthdays on one spread too. That won’t guarantee that I will remember to send greetings but it might help.

Supplies


2021 BuJo – December theme

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend setting up my December pages; I can’t even believe it is December honestly. It’s a busy week but I had a snowflake idea for the theme and a bit of a plan which you can see did not happen at all. But that is ok because I can save my snowflake plan for January or February or March or Ap…….

After creating the large panel for my recent stack of PB ‘delicate pines’ Christmas cards the stamp set was still on my table along with its buddy the PB ‘brilliance’ stamp set. I decided to use them together for some festive foliage. I used a mix of distress greens and blue along with a red marker for the berries and a white gel pen for the frost.

I reused a frisket film mask which I saved after creating October’s title page and stamped foliage from both PB ‘brilliance’ and ‘delicate pines’ sets. I blended over the stamping with prize ribbon distress ink then dotted white around the circle and on top of the red berries.

The to-do page and the calendar page have simple foliage stamping and some lettering with Pentel Flair pens.

I have used masking in quite a few of my pages this year; I might need to come up with a new favourite technique for next year. I hope your December is off to a good start. Because I can’t believe it is December I have a discount code for the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class. If you use HTDEC you will get 20% off. If you are interested in giving an online class as a gift please get in touch so I can help you make it happen.

Supplies


2021 BuJo – November theme

And just like that it’s November! I’ve been stamping and painting wreaths for the last few months while creating my new online course so it seemed natural to add one to my bullet journal.

I used stamps from the Penny Black ‘all natural’ and ‘beautified’ sets to create a wreath with dye inks and coloured pencils.

For the calendar page I stamped the same grass stamp in a different colour for each week day and added coordinating labels at the top of each column.

The same stamps from the wreath popped up again on the to do list page springing out of a masked corner and once again coloured with polychromos pencils.

No snow yet in Ottawa I’m happy to say. Still quite a few leaves to fall and collect. I have planted some bulbs and done a bit of garden clean up but I am hoping the weather stays nice long enough for me to finish the job!

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2021 BuJo – October theme

I had no trouble choosing a theme for October in my bullet journal, would it be leaves, leaves or leaves? I die-cut a surround circle mask to protect most of the page, a technique I used in August, April and January. I cut leaf masks from post-it notes using the ‘autumn jewels’ dies from Penny Black.

The same mix of inks carries through on all the pages blending yellows, brown, green and red over the masks with blending brushes.

I added hand lettered titles with a brown papermate flair pen and some shimmer with a nuvo gold shimmer pen.

When I cut the leaf masks I had both the negative space mask used on the pages above and the leaf itself which I used on the calendar page below.

There is a bit of shimmer on the title letters of October but it doesn’t really show up in the photos. It will make me happy each time I turn to the page. Have a lovely October.

Supplies

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2021 BuJo – September theme

This was not the original plan I had for the September theme; I’d thought instead of doing apples. I sketched a few apples in preparation then realised I would want to have them on all my pages and that would take me half of September. I would then want to colour them in and that would take the other half of the month. I was already late on getting this done so….

…when short on time and want something pretty what do you do? You pull out one of your faves! ‘Nature Walk’ from Darkroom Door is definitely a fave and for a late summer theme it works beautifully.

I began each page design with a masked sun, blended in harvest gold ink. Next I masked either a straight or hilly base and blended fine linen for the background then stamped flowers and grasses in gold, kraft and chartreuse.

Life now includes a few more commitments so I decided to spread the month of September over a few pages with the middle one cut down narrower.

I also have a page for my work commitments, current projects, future projects, etc. The title is my attempt at a mixed up font. There are plenty of examples on the interwebs but I decided to make up this one out of my head. Not too bad for a first try. You would think it would be easy to do every letter a different way but even a mixed up font needs balance!

Hope you are feeling more balanced than mixed up! Have a great week.

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2021 BuJo – August theme

This might be a first, having my month theme set up and ready to share before the month has even started! I wanted to include butterflies as the garden has been attracting quite a few. I’ve been enjoying both blooms and wings.

I masked the circle with an ‘express-it mask it sheet then stamped butterflies and flowers from the PB ‘perfect pairings’ set with soft stone ink. Before colouring I added memento summer sky ink with a blending brush.

As I did the last two months I used markers to colour the flowers and butterflies; I am still new to (non-blended) colouring with markers. Usually when I use markers for colouring I add a little ink then blend it with water to fill a space. As the bullet journal pages do not handle water in the same way as watercolour paper I’ve avoided water blending.

On both the title page and list page I filled the wings with blue first then added all the details over the top with black and white gel pens. I switched to a pilot fineliner to do the numbers and lettering.

After prepping my August pages with flowers and butterflies it is time I headed out to my garden and did some real life tidying up. Thanks for dropping by.

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2021 BuJo – July theme

With all the flowers blooming in my garden right now I have a wealth of inspiration. I decided to go for daisies but then realised I didn’t want to fiddle with white petals and settled on black-eyed Susans instead.

I tested the black fine tip markers currently in my possession to see which ones were waterproof and would give me a dark black. I ended up choosing the small and the medium from a set of Faber Castell Pitt artist pens. I did most of the drawing with the small tip (0.3mm) and then used the medium (0.7mm) for the calendar page.

I drew all the daisies myself and let the black ink dry before colouring with orangey-yellow and light green brushmarkers from the Staedtler set of watercolour brushmarkers.

I used the same four pens for all the pages. On the calendar page below I made a couple of mistakes, in marker! Not ideal but I came up with some fixes that satisfied me. I will do a bit more pencil sketching next time; I think by the time I got to the calendar page I was not being as careful as I had been for the previous two pages!

The first mistake you can probably guess was a vertical line which did not line up to make even 7×7 dot squares! To cover the mistake I made all the vertical lines off by one dot! The second mistake was drawing the title letters in pen without sketching them in pencil first. Both the downstroke of the J and the curve of the U ended up narrower than the rest of the letters. Solution? A few little flowers to pad them out!

Despite the errors along the way I am happy with the July theme because it is bright and happy and showed me I could draw my elements from scratch and not need a stamp or die every time! Hope your July is off to a great start.

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