Posted in bullet journal, Bullet journaling, creativity, gardening, Planning and journaling, productivity, TN journaling

Spring is coming! Pretty, practical and creative journal spreads you must try

Spring officially starts on Saturday 20th March but there are already so many signs that the season is on its way. It’s a pretty chilly 3 degrees here in Sunderland today (warm coat and scarf weather), but last weekend, the temperatures rose to highs of 13 and it felt like Summer had arrived (never mind Spring) when my husband and I took a coastal walk in the bright sunshine and under cloudless blue skies! The warmer conditions have meant that lots of things are starting to pop up in the garden including early flowerers such as daffodils and tulips. One of our regular hedgehog visitors has even been tempted out of hibernation which is pretty early in comparison to previous years. There might still be lots of worries with regard to Covid around at the moment, but I think its super important to celebrate the small stuff and remind ourselves that there’s still lots to be grateful for right now and plenty to look forward to in the not too distant future. With that in mind, today I’m sharing some practical and pretty journal spreads, for your BuJo or your TN inserts, that I’ve created this week and really encourage you to try.

Spring flowers collage spread

This bright and colourful collage spread was created using pictures printed from Google images following a search for early Spring blooming flowers. They depict shrubs and bulbs which we actually have in our garden but most of which are not yet out. I copied the text in the left hand corner of page one of the double spread from an article which I found on the Woodland Trust website as I thought it was particularly fitting for the theme. The stickers are some I had left over from the Blooming Lovely collection and I discovered I had matching washi tape in my stash too. Both of these pages make me feel happy every time I look at them and I revisit it most days.

A pretty quote page

This was a free printable from https://www.bluemountain.com/blog/ I’ve printed it twice and put one copy in my bullet journal and a slightly larger version on the wall in my craft room. I found the quote by typing ‘spring quotes and sayings’. There’s lots to choose from and as long as you’re just printing them for personal rather than commercial use, you can add them to any of your journals or a prominent place in your home!

Garden jobs for Spring

This spread is purely practical, although I did add a few cute stickers! My husband and I sat down and listed some garden jobs that we would like to get done this month as a useful reference to see what needs doing and to see how much we’ve achieved. There’s not much on it yet, but by the end of the month, I reckon the list will be much longer (hopefully with lots crossed off!).

Time spent in nature

I love to document days out which my husband and I enjoy and, even though we’re limited to the local area at the moment, due to lockdown, we still go out for a walk each day. Last weekend, as I said earlier, it was really warm so we headed to our local coast. It was really busy there but as we’d had lots of sunshine, the grass was dry enough to walk on and it was easy to keep socially distant from others. I took a screenshot of the temperature on my phone as we couldn’t believe how warm it was for the end of February!

Shoots and leaves

There’s lots starting to emerge in the garden and so I took my phone out there and snapped a few signs of growth. It’s exciting to see things popping up even if some of them are weeds! The photos aren’t wonderful as I wanted them to just be quick pics but it will be good to compare how things look now with how they look in a few month’s time.

Plant and flower factfiles

This is something I started doing as part of last year’s garden related spreads. Basically, it’s just info from the plastic card you get stuck in the pots when you buy a plant or details which are included on the seeds or bulbs packet. It’s handy to know the exact variety you have and what they will look like when they come into bloom. Also, doing a little sketch of them is quite relaxing and therapeutic too! I messed up the lettering on the page so have stuck a piece on I cut from a page at the back of my journal. IRL, you can’t see it as badly as you can at the bottom of the header as you can in the photo.

Final words…

I hope you are tempted to have a go at at least one of these spreads – I guarantee they will make you smile when you look back over them if you do. I would love it if you would take the time to add your thoughts or your own ideas in the comments below. And, as always, if you’ve created any Spring spreads and shared them online, leave the link and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Posted in bullet journal, creativity, gardening, Planning and journaling

Setting up my bullet journal for July: Meadow flowers and grasses theme

This month, my husband and I went to a local place called Rainton Meadows which is a nature reserve run by Durham Wildlife Trust. It’s somewhere we go regularly for walks and to spot the variety of flora and fauna there. There’s so much to see, including a variety of water birds on the wetland areas, woodland birds from the new hide, ponies grazing on the grass, dragonflies around the water, along with butterflies and stunningly beautiful wild flowers in the meadows. For my July BuJo spreads, I decided to take inspiration from my visit to the reserve and the flowers and grasses we saw. I did want to take some my grassy and wild flower finds home with me so I could do some observational drawing but unfortunately, it started to rain heavily just before we left and we had to run back to the car. I had, however, taken plenty of photographs and was able to find line drawn images online to help me with my sketching. So, here are my pages for July. I hope you like them.

During lockdown, I’ve been addicted to watching plan with me videos on YouTube and I came across a vlogger who had done something similar to the idea I had in my head for my meadow and I took inspiration from her layout for my cover page. I had intended to have a go at creating a watercolour painting but I liked the effect of her designs with felt tip markers and fineliners so I decided to have a go.

For my calendar page, I stuck with a two-page spread as I like plenty of room to write down when I have published as blog post and any appointments or birthdays. I did a mini meadow in the bottom right hand corner and used one of the grass colours to for my boxes. The ‘make it work’ sticker is from a Happy Planner sticker booklet and I thought it finished that side of the page off nicely, whilst reminding me to keep going and find pleasure in life despite the restrictions due to Covid.

I kept my exercise trackers the same as June but changed the colours and added floral decoration to my workout chart. I found they worked really well for me last month and I was motivated to keep up with filling them in each morning and night.

Finally, I created a Garden Jobs for July double page spread so that I know what to focus on for the next month. I used the Gardener’s World and RHS websites for this as they both contain really helpful advice.

I would love to know what theme you have chosen for your bullet journal spreads for July. Let me know in the comments and add a link to your blog if you have one so that I can take a look.

Wishing you a wonderful July,

Posted in bullet journal, gardening, Planning and journaling

Useful gardening spread ideas for your bullet journal

As I was setting up my bullet journal spreads for June 2020, I decided that I would really like to begin to record key information about our garden including new plants, veggies we’re growing this year, plants which are thriving and which are not and why, plus sketches of our front and back spaces. I debated creating a separate garden journal but in the end I decided just to dedicate some pages each month within my planner so that everything about my life and our home and garden is all in one place. Before deciding on some layouts for my gardening spreads, I trawled Instagram, Pinterest and various websites for ideas. I found some really great spreads and took inspiration from them to set up my own.

I decided that over the next couple of months, I would like to create the following:

  • Jobs for each month – split into general tasks, flowering plant care, veggies and notes.
  • Information cards for new plants and our potted herbs
  • Photos of our actual plants in flower each month
  • Gardening quotes and motivationals
  • Wildlife spotted in the garden – with sketches
  • Plants to encourage wildlife
  • Birds in the garden – sketches and info
  • Aerial drawings of our different planting / garden areas

Garden tasks

There are lots of jobs for us to do in June but we’ve ticked off quite a few of them already. We certainly won’t be needing to water the garden or mow the lawn right now as it’s very wet out there because we’ve had rain showers for the last week or so. I intend to create one of these spreads each month using information collated from various websites.

I finished off the information cards for all of the plants that we’ve bought so far and also created some for our garden herbs. I’m hoping to get a few more different herbs soon so I’ve left some room for those on the spread too. The layout of these pages was inspired by the work of Emma at http://emusing-emma.blogspot.com who shared her houseplant information cards which she produced in her BuJo (direct link here). Make sure you check out her website if you love looking at ideas for your own bullet journal.

Information cards for different plants

I showed the beginnings of this type of spread in my June plans but I have since added some more drawings and information. I’ve also created some cards for the herbs we have in our containers. Again, my inspiration for these layouts was from Emma over at http://emusing-emma.blogspot.com/ The specific bullet journal spreads can be seen if you check out this link but I think all of her blog is well worth a look if you are like me and enjoy using a bullet journal and also love to get creative.

Garden related quotes and motivationals

I’ve recently written a blog post about the health benefits of gardening and the opportunity to practise mindfulness whilst you are spending time in your outdoor space. As part of the article, I included some quotes about gardening. I found some more quotes whilst I was perusing the internet so I decided to handwrite some of them in my BuJo. These were written with my lovely left handed Lamy fountain pen which flows beautifully!

Wildlife friendly planting

We’re really keen to encourage wildlife into our garden and already have a bird feeding station, two bird baths, a bug hotel which my husband made and a small pond. We also like to have lots of plants which attract bees and butterflies so I decided to create a spread of wildlife friendly shrubs and flowers. We have some of these already but I have red valerian on my wishlist for the front garden.

Bird’s Eye View’ of our garden areas

This is the first of my aerial view sketches of areas of our outside space. Just this one section took me a while to draw and add some colour and it’s not even to scale! I decided to use coloured pencils to shade around the outside of the shapes denoting our containers so that I could remember which of our pots we used for each of the plants. I’m going to aim to have all of my garden sections drawn out in my BuJo by the end of next month – let me know if you want to see the rest and I’ll do my best to take some decent photos when we have some brighter weather.

Wildlife spots

These pages are going to have little sketches of minibeasts which have been spotted in our garden and key information about them collected from a variety of sources. My spread is completely blank at the moment as I want to capture the bugs with my macro lens and at the moment, it’s too wet and drizzly to go out!

Birds in the garden

We get plenty of birds in our garden, particularly in the Springtime so I thought I’d create some pages in which to include sketches of our visitors and some information about them. I decided to do the actual drawings in my sketchbook and then transfer the pictures over to my bullet journal by scanning them on my scanner and then printing them off. This has lots of benefits – it means I can make several attempts at them if necessary, I can use decent quality drawing paper and I won’t end up getting pencil smudges in my BuJo. I’m yet to start my sketches yet but hope to be able to share some soon. As I’m typing a goldfinch has just landed on our sunflower seed feeder. It’s the first one I’ve actually seen visit our feeding station this year. We have two seed feeders containing niger seeds and a tiny seed mix specifically for finches and typically, it hasn’t gone for either of those – maybe collecting tiny seeds is too much effort in the pouring rain!

Do you keep a garden journal or do you just keep the little plant label information things from the pots like we’ve done previously? Have you got a dedicated notebook or do you prefer to produce spreads in your main planner? I would love to hear about the kinds of records you keep and if they’ve particularly helped you with your garden.

Happy gardening!