This week, as my craft room is very chaotic due to my decluttering, I decided to bring my laptop downstairs and work at the dining table. This has given me the chance to open the patio doors on warmer days and listen to the birds in the garden. As well as it being milder, we’ve also had sun and rain creating rainbows and quite a few windy days. Just outside, we have a bright windmill stuck in a plant pot and it’s currently spinning round so fast the colours are merging! Although the wind here tends to be cold, at the moment, it’s not too bad – making me think that it’s perfect weather for kite flying. It’s this thought that gave me inspiration for my bullet journal theme for April. I’m excited to share my pages super early – it was certainly time consuming to create them so I hope you like them!
My cover page
Before designing my spreads, I like to have a look on Pinterest, YouTube and Google to see if my chosen theme has been done before. I found relatively few examples but my pages were inspired by the beautiful work of Claudia Joseph and her set up video. I’ve made it my own by choosing a different colour palette of primary and secondary colours, an alternative combination of art supplies and a number of pages which I know I’ll make use of next month.
I had the idea of creating a mixed media cover page with a pale watercolour wash and inked kites filled in with felt tip pens. For this, I decided to use my masking fluid on the kite shapes and then create a pale blue using cerulean blue and chinese white watercolour. Ask I hadn’t used masking fluid in my bullet journal before, I decided to test it out in the back of my notebook. I’m glad I did, as, although the watercolour itself looked good, the masking fluid pulled the coating off my page in several places and looked a mess. I also tried using my Tombows to colour in the kites and wasn’t happy with the results of that either!
In the end, I decided not to colour the background as sky and settled for ink and coloured pencils for the kites. I had used them in the past in my bullet journal to good effect with the only problem being colour transfer to the opposite page when completing later spreads. In an attempt to solve this, I popped to The Range and picked up a small can of Winsor & Newton Fixative to spray on my pages. This seems to have worked well and although it has an awfully strong chemical smell to it which permeates the air, I’m glad I purchased it.
Here’s the result using Staedtler Ergosoft Coloured Pencils, a Derwent colourless blending pencil, a 0.1 Pigma Micron (which broke on me halfway through but luckily I had a spare in my stash), a grey Zebra mildliner and the small tipped end of a Tombow dual pen for the writing.
To make sure my kites were neat and symmetrical, I folded a piece of thick paper and cut out designs in different sizes. I then drew around the stencils lightly in a 2H pencil. I’ve always used a HB to sketch out my designs but a 2H is much lighter – you just have to make sure you don’t press on too hard and it easily dents the paper (I’ve realised to my cost!).
My double page calendar page
I decided to try out a slightly different set up for my calendar boxes this month with individual 5×5 squares. I drew it up lightly in pencil first and then used the bullet pointed end of some of my Tombows. Creating the squares was made much easier by using a Helix metric squares template which I remembered I had as part of my supplies. I mostly love how the double page has turned out – it’s so bright and colourful and I think it will be a joy to see each day. The only thing that’s annoying me about it is that I pressed on a little too hard with the colouring in on front cover and it has dented the paper and caused it to be raised on the left hand side of the spread. I tried ironing it flat but it didn’t work as the paper has been stretched. Looking at it positively, I’ve certainly learnt something and hopefully I’ll remember this next time.
Finances for April
If you’re a regular here on my blog, you might notice that I’ve made the expenses section shorter for April. This is because I’ve had very little work at the university in March so my income will be a lot less. For this reason, I hope to have a low spend month. This has also meant that I had some space to do a little more decoration.
Just like watercolour painting, drawing and colouring in is are great mindful and meditative activities and both provide a wonderful way to relax and de-stress. Although the pages for April were quite time consuming, it was nice to try something a little different and I like the way they’ve turned out. I might even use the bright coloured Tombows to draw out my weekly plan for the first full week of the month, rather than the usual fineliner.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my spreads and I look forward to seeing the work of other bullet journalists on social media over the next week or so.
Wishing you all a wonderful April,
4 thoughts on “Setting up my Bullet Journal for April 2023: Kite theme”
Beautiful work. Love the bright colours for Spring.
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Thanks MJ. Yes, they’re certainly bright even if the weather in April isn’t!
I love your spreads Laura. I agree with MJ about the bright colours, particularly for the calendar spread. I also really loved your clouds
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Thanks Brenda. I really enjoyed creating the pages and I’m looking forward to using them.
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