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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2021 BuJo – June theme

New month, new bullet journal theme. I chose the PB delight stamp because it is just that, delightful. I also tried colouring with markers, just colouring no water blending! The journal pages are very smooth and a decent weight but nothing like watercolour paper so I’ve been hesitant to do much blending with water. I used Staedtler brush pens which are water-based ink and coloured the flowers and leaves as minimally as possible.

The red tended to go through the paper a bit but only where I had layered ink over ink. I stamped the image first in Gina K obsidian amalgam ink which doesn’t bleed when water based ink touches it. Stamping without a stamp positioner is not something I do very often any more, it was a bit nerve wracking but it worked ok. I didn’t put the stamp on an acrylic block, I just pressed it down with my hand, that way I could apply pressure to the whole stamp bit by bit.

For the wish & to do list I just stamped in Papertrey ‘new leaf’ ink and repeated the butterflies for list items. By the way for the first time this year I completed all items my wish & to do list in May! Of course the big item was launching the new online course but there were birthday cards made and sent on time which is rather surprising for me!

I used ‘new leaf’ ink again on the calendar page along with a pilot fineliner for the grid, a micron pen for the days of the week and staedtler brush pens for the shadows over the letters.

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2021 BuJo – May title page & to-do list

Each month I plan to post the theme for the next month just before the month starts. I even managed to finish this page a week before May 1st but didn’t get it photographed until this morning! Last month blossom was my theme and I am yet to see blossom in my garden, tulips however, have appeared. I only have one tulip that has survived the critters, it is a yellow-red mix and it is blooming at the moment.

To create my tulip panel I masked above and below with large post-it notes then die cut the tulips from masking paper using the PB ‘promise me 2’ die. Like my own tulip these ones are a mix of red and yellow.

I blended distress inks with blending brushes and got better at protecting the leaves while blending the flowers by the time I did the wish/to-do list page. I drew little stems in green then used the brush tip end of the staedtler brush pen to make the yellow tulip petals.

Just for interest I looked back over my Jan-April wish/to do lists to see how if I am managing to get things done. Most months I check off more than I don’t but never all. I have had my next online class as an item on every list this year and some months I made progress, others I didn’t due to how I was feeling and what other commitments I had. But great progress has been made in April and May so ‘FLORAL FAVES’ is coming!

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2021 BuJo – April daily record

Here is my month at a glance record with the April blossom theme. If you look closely you will see I left no space for April 1st so I tacked it on at the end of the March page and moved on!

I used the same blissful blossom stamp from Penny Black that I used on the title page and to-do list. This time I masked some strips for blending pink before writing the days and the month title. You can see some evidence of bleed through in the top left corner but it’s just blossom so I like the shadowy effect.

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2021 BuJo – April theme

April’s bullet journal pages do not feature snow! I haven’t seen any blossoms yet but I’m sure I will before April is over so I chose blossoms for this month’s theme. As I’ve done for January, February and March, I masked a shape in the middle of the page with a large piece of post-it paper and did all my stamping and blending inside the masked area.

This is the first page I’ve used stamps for in my bullet journal so there was some experimenting involved. The stamp I chose is a ‘brushstroke’ stamp designed to look painted and I never use these stamps without adding some water and blending. Stamping ‘blissful blossoms’ on the non-watercolour paper meant minimal water so as to not get too much bleed through to the back of the page.

For both the title page and the to-do list page I inked the blossoms with pink ink cubes then added the rest of the colour with distress markers. I spritzed the stamp ever so lightly with water before stamping and blended the flowers and leaves ever so lightly on the page with a blender pen.

There was some bleed through but it wasn’t bad and I stamped over the top of it with the same blossoms when creating my April month spread that I’ll share another day.

Hope April is off to a good start for you. We have had gorgeous sunshine all week but I have seen there is rain coming. But you know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers”!

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2021 Bujo – March to do list

This is the last of my birch themed pages, photographed before I added all the to-dos and wishes. We are two thirds of the way through March and I’d like to say I have done two thirds of the things I added to this list but sadly that is not true!

I used the same technique for this page that I described in previous birch + sunset posts here and here. One unexpected outcome of reusing the post-it tapes for four different pages was some pretty blue, pink and yellow tape to use on another page! Seeing I am primarily a card maker I plan to create a card using this technique and hopefully a video to show you the process.

Thanks for dropping by.

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2021 BuJo – March title page

Although it’s been a few weeks since I posted any bullet journal pages here on the blog, the journal is turning out to be a handy record and planner for me. So far I have done more recording than planning as I am still working out how to use it for keeping track of ongoing projects. I have been recording all the evening meals we’ve been cooking and eating which is really helpful when I am trying to work out what to make next. All four of us take turns cooking which I love but it is sometimes a little tricky as we have a range of food sensitivities and allergies to take into account, some with serious health consequences.

As you can imagine I am also keeping track of books I’ve read and thinking about keeping track of podcasts too. Some podcasts are long time favourites while there are others I subscribe and unsubscribe from as my interest waxes and wanes.

But here is my March theme, a sunset behind birch trees in snow. I have been seeing themes on the interwebs featuring blossoms and flowers but that is not a March thing where I live. We still have plenty of snow and have been enjoying some amazing sunsets so I decided on one more wintery theme.

I masked the edges of a rectangle with post it notes top and sides then cut a curved edge along one for the bottom mask. I masked the trees by cutting strips of post-it tape in different thicknesses including some very thin scraps to lay on the page as branches. With the masks in place I used blending brushes to apply the inks shown below to fill the sky. To get some pattern in my sunset sky I tore some post-it edges and blended ink over the top of the first layer along the torn edges moving them around to get the look of clouds.

Once all the sky was done I removed the bottom mask and put a different one in place to blend a snow bank shadow. I then removed all the tree masks and drew edges and black marks with a black Pilot fineliner then some grey shadows with a staedtler brushpen.

I’ll be back next weekend with other birch sunset themed pages. I’m continuing to be a fan of the Dingbats notebook I’m using and was given another for my birthday which is just as lovely. They have just this week come out with a new, bigger style with thicker paper, so who knows I might have to let that one join the family one day too!

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2021 BuJo – February pages

We are still in the thick of winter here in Canada so I chose a northern lights theme for my February journal pages. Like last month I masked a shape and did all the blending inside the shape. This time I masked a square and positioned a hilly mask to create a horizon. I used Papertrey Ink cubes and makeup brushes to blend the sky.

After blending a bold blue, green and purple sky I moved the horizon mask lower to lightly blend a snowbank shadow then positioned a die-cut mask for a deer and blended blue, then black through that. I did film the process just to give you an idea. It’s portrait orientation for instagram and it is 4x normal speed but you can see the steps.

Below are a couple more February pages completed using the same theme. As you can imagine the combination wish list and to-do list took a lot of ink blending which ended up being visible through the paper on the next page. Maybe they bled through because I used more ink on this page for greater depth of colour or maybe these inks are juicier than distress inks; I’m not sure but you can see the bleed through if you look at the February calendar page in the next photo. I’m not too worried about the bleed through, once I have recorded things on the calendar page it will be less obvious I imagine.

I used Stabilo point 88 finelines for the lettering once again but do intend to try some other pens I have on hand (confession – I have many types of pens and markers on hand!)

Last month I did a modified version of the traditional 7 x 6 grid for the January calendar page and a separate habit tracking page. This month I combined the calendar and habit tracker on a list style page. I will record any appointments and outings (you know, the exciting ones like the grocery store) on the left hand side and note down what we cooked, how much water I drank and whether I took all my vitamins on the right hand side. Do you struggle to drink enough water each day? I am the worst in my family but I have become much better since I put a reminder app on my phone. I also am quite good taking my supplements at breakfast but not so good the rest of the day!

I have a couple more pages to get done for February which I hope to share next week. Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you are a bullet journal user; I’d love to hear what you use it for.

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2021 BuJo – January pages

As I mentioned last weekend I have started a new journal or bullet journal or BuJo for short. This is the second one I’ve used and I am enjoying the process of working out what I need and don’t need to include. As you can imagine I am also enjoying making it pretty but in ways that don’t take all the time I should be spending on the ‘to do’ list I write in the journal!

This is my January title page; I know it’s almost February and I should be sharing the Feb page but I will catch up and start sharing ahead by March (I hope). I’m going to have a different theme for each month, otherwise I would get sick of them I’m sure. The January theme as you can see was mountains and trees. Start with what you know, right?

I die cut a 3¾” circle from a large post it then tore some more post-it edges to mask mountain tops while I blended a blue sky with chipped sapphire and stormy sky distress inks and blending brushes. Not too surprising that I would pick my favourite blue distress inks for my first theme. After blending the dark sky I turned the torn edge of the post it on its side to blend shadows on the mountain sides with stormy sky ink. I drew the trees with a Stabilo point 88 dark blue and a Papermate flair grey.

For the month double page spread I used the same products and method but added a circle mask for the moon before blending the sky. At present I don’t have activities outside the home other than groceries and exercise so I am recording those along with birthdays and the meals we make just so I remember what we’ve eaten lately and for ideas later when I don’t know what to cook.

During January I have also been using a habit tracking page for water consumption, vitamins and correspondence, a to-do list page and a project tracking page for design work, blogging and class planning. I’m still working the kinks out of the layouts and content but I used the same mountain and trees theme.

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