Posted in art, bullet journal, Bullet journaling, Hand lettering, Planning and journaling

Setting up my Bullet Journal for December 2022: Christmas trees theme

Last month, I decided really early on that I wanted to do a Christmas trees theme for December. I was debating doing a watercolour scene featuring real trees and snow for the front cover but knew this would be quite time consuming as I would have to find tutorial to help me and then I would have to paint all of the other trees throughout the month for a cohesive look. However, in the last few days of November, I took to YouTube, searching the videos for inspiration and found this fairly easy but pretty set up from Claire Marie Bee which I was excited to recreate and make my own. I’ve copied quite a few of her ideas and, although it took quite a while to sketch out the tree pattern it was simple enough to do and I love the result.

Front cover

I started the process of creating the front cover by sketching the outlines of the trees in a diagonal pattern. I then turned to the back of my bujo and spent some time practising different designs. The inspiration for the trees was taking from Claire’s video and also from images I found by typing in ‘tree doodles’ into Google. I used just two colours of Tombow ABT for the colouring – dark olive 158 and asparagus 192 and a red Pentel sign brush pen for the sparkles. The page was then outlined using a 0.,1 micron. I also used Claire’s idea of writing the word December on vellum and this meant I could practise a few times and pick the best one!

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative Blog

The monthly calendar

This is my usual 6×6 box calendar with trees dotted about in the background. I didn’t create a pattern with these two pages – I just chose some designs and placed them where I felt they would look good. Again, I wrote December on vellum, this time using a Tombow brush pen in poppy red 856. The Pentel pen and the red Tombow are very similar in colour and I don’t mind that they’re not a perfect match.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative Blog

Finances

These pages are the same layout as I’ve been using for a while now. Again, I added a title using the Pentel sign brush pen. The words income and expenses are printed on green paper and stuck on because I messed up the writing on them first time. I wish the words were central on the page, but I guess I’ll just have to put up with it!

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative Blog

Final words…

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my spreads for December. If you like finding time to do something creative each week, I really recommend having a go at doing some tree doodles. My sketches are 2cms wide by 3cms tall, but you can make them any size you want. Sitting down and quietly drawing is a wonderfully mindful activity and a great way to destress during the very busy month of December.

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Posted in art, bullet journal, Bullet journaling, creativity, Hand lettering, Planning and journaling, watercolour painting

Setting up my Bullet Journal for September 2022: Coffee theme

Next month in my bullet journal, I decided to go for something I absolutely love, which is coffee. During the summer, I always try hard to keep myself well hydrated and as it’s been particularly hot this year, I’ve developed a liking for iced coffee along with all my usual cold drinks. I hope you enjoy looking at my spreads – I’m really pleased with how they turned out and although I did a coffee theme already back in November 2019, the pages are very different to the ones I did then.

My cover page

I wanted to have a go at doing some coffee rings on this page but I experimented with real brewed coffee and it soaked through the pages really badly. In the end, I created the effect using brown paint and although it doesn’t look the same, it worked okay and more importantly, didn’t soak through! I printed a range of small photographs of coffee related images I found on Google and Unsplash. However, despite using glossy photo paper designed for my printer, the darker colours smudged even after being left to dry for ages. So, in the end, I used just one photo in colours to match my theme but with no darker shades. Using just one collage image meant that you could see the rings that I spent lots of time on better than if I’d included more. The little coffee beans are stamps which are from a really cheap set I purchased from The Works. I used StazOn jet black ink which dries really quickly and doesn’t soak through the page.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative blog

Calendar pages

As usual, I drew out a large calendar over two pages so I could fit all of my appointments and coffee meet ups in! I also used some more stamps and added some drawings of my own too. The title is created using one of my new Pentel brush sign pens which I bought with some of my birthday money this month.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative blog

September Finances

Last month, as part of my Monday Matters series on The Wheel Of Wellness, I wrote a post about Financial wellbeing in which I mentioned the benefits of keeping track of your incomings and outgoings so you can learn more about your spending. I thought I’d give it a go and have created a spread for the last three months. I try to fill it in on a weekly basis so that I can keep running totals more easily.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative blog

Final words…

That’s it for my September spreads so far. I’m thinking of creating weekly 2 page spreads when I start working with the university but I will draw those up as and when I get some hours. I’ll probably do some little coffee cup illustrations to decorate but will otherwise keep the layouts pretty basic using a horizontal set up. I might add them at a later date so watch this space!

Posted in Hand lettering

Brushing up on my hand lettering

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Daily brush lettering practise.

Hi all,

I’m excited to see that Spring has finally arrived – the sky is blue (today anyway), the Sun keeps popping its head out and the daffodils in my garden are starting to open up. I even have washing on the line which is actually getting a little drier than when it went out. Yes, the clocks went forward a few weeks ago, but the weather certainly wasn’t matching with my expectations and I found the dull, cloudy, dark and dismal days providing me with little motivation to do anything!

But, hopefully now, with a little sunshine and a lot more light, we can all feel happier, more awake and ready to meet our goals and challenges each day. We can also spend some much needed time outside, perhaps getting some gardening done or going for breezy walks in local parks and countryside without the need to thermals and a woollen hat and scarf.

One of my goals for 2018 is to work on my brush lettering and get to the stage where I can form all letters and their swirly bits from memory without having to copy from the various alphabets I have pinned up in my craft room and get my script flowing and looking neat and generally impressive. Over the past few months, I’ve been practising almost every day using the tutorials and worksheets from Destination Decoration, click here to find out more. After a while, I felt confident enough to try out some words and have been adding bits of brush lettering in my planner and my journals. Then I decided it was time to try out doing longer pieces of writing in the form of motivational quotes. And, as luck would have it, on this very day, my friend Michelle Webb posted a link to some fantastic worksheets on her Facebook wall. They’re by Dawn Nicole Designs and are absolutely free to download. You can find a wealth of her awesome hand lettering stuff here.

The worksheets are printed on my old Epson deskjet which I’ve had for years but is still going strong. I used lovely thick paper Navigator 120gsm which I seem to recall I picked up from Wilkinsons. It’s really smooth and there’s no bleed through with my Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip pen.

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Watercolour background, plus my very first attempts by tracing and then on my own!

I also decided to make a simple background using my cheap watercolours which I picked up a few months ago from Tiger. The paper wasn’t particularly wonderful for this and I found that if I worked it with the brush too much it kind of developed bobbles on the surface (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this – please enlighten me if you know!).

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Cheap watercolours from Tiger and some random brush marks in sunny, bright colours.

I used some crinkle cut scissors to add a bit more interest and double sided tape to stick the quote down. I’m quite pleased with my first attempts but there’s definitely plenty of room for improvement. I have lots more quotes left to do – I think there’s about 11 pages worth in total.

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Second attempt! Skinny washi by MT.

What do you think? Are you currently working on your hand lettering and what have you found to be the most useful resources for learning?