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

Setting up my Bullet Journal for April: April showers theme

Hi everyone, hope you are all well and enjoying the warmer weather. This month, I’ve gone for an April showers theme featuring umbrellas and raindrops. Again, I had fun practising my drawing skills for the brollies and I also decided to get out my watercolours for the cover page using my Winsor & Newton Cotman paints for the large umbrella and my watercolour pencils for the tiny raindrops. I hope you enjoy looking at my spreads.

Cover page

For my cover page, I kept it simple with a single umbrella which I sketched in pencil onto hot pressed (smooth) watercolour paper and then inked using a Pigma micron pen in 02. I then wet some Cadmium Red deep straight out of the tube and used it for the top of the umbrella, applying the paint with a size 6 brush. After that had dried, I added a tiny amount of black to the mixture to create a darker contrasting hue for the underneath of the umbrella. By letting the first colour dry thoroughly, I avoided any colour bleeds when applying the darker colour. After leaving the umbrella to dry overnight to avoid any smudging, I drew the raindrops with the Pigma pen and then coloured them in with a dark blue watercolour pencil before using a small damp paintbrush (in size 0) to activate the paint. I was really careful not to lean on any of the wet paint as I didn’t want any issues like those I had with the calendar page as you will see next! The image was then scanned into my computer, pasted into a MS Publisher document and the month added.

Monthly calendar

For my calendar, I wrote April on dot grid paper and then cut it out to stick in as the header. The calendar is my usual six dots x six dots grid drawn with a 0.3 Pigma pen. The umbrellas are hand-drawn and coloured in with my watercolour pencils and then wetted to activate the paint. The raindrops were also done in the same way. As you can see, there are a few smudges, one from some Tombow ink and the other from accidentally dripping water on a couple of the raindrops. I’ve tried to cover them over with my white gel pen but I’m still not happy with it!

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative

Another two double page Spring collage!

I enjoyed creating the other collages so much that I decided to do another one. Again, the photos are from Google Images. The paper backgrounds are from a paper pack I got from The Range and the hearts and flowers are cut with mini punches from Hobbycraft. Some stickers and ephemera completed the spreads nicely! The pages are such a joy to look at and I’m so pleased with how they turned out.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative
Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative

Yoga session tracker

This is where I record the session I followed on YouTube or the e-book sequence I followed. I also write in my yoga journal but I find writing in here gives me an at a glance record so I can be sure to have focused on stretching different parts of my body throughout the month. Again, I got smudges of Tombow elsewhere – the joys of being a leftie!

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative

TBR and reading information spread

Again, I wanted to do a spread which shows the books I plan to read over the next couple of months. I also have an extra novel that I’m not going to get around to by the end of March too but I’d already done the spread so I shall read it in a few months time.

The benefits of reading fiction spider diagram was useful for reminding me about the benefits of reading for pleasure and also gave me the idea of writing this blog post. I’ve also done a bit of journalling about my reading and the books on my virtual TBR pile. I think it’s nice to include colour versions of the covers in my BuJo because, as I think I’ve said before, you don’t get to see them on the Paperwhite version of Kindle.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative

2 lines a day gratitude

A simple spread where I record at least three things a day for which I am grateful. I did this last month too and really enjoyed filling it in each evening.

That’s most of my spreads that I thought you might like to see this month. I have really got into using my bullet journal again now that my mental health has improved. I would love to know what theme you have chosen and, as usual, if you’ve shared your spreads on your blog, don’t forget to include a link so that other readers can have a nosey as well as me!

Happy bullet journalling!

Posted in creativity, Planning and journaling

Setting up my bullet journal for April 2020 – Hibiscus floral theme

Hellebores in full bloom – March 26th 2020

For my bullet journal spreads for April 2020, I have taken inspiration from my own garden. This year, we transferred our hibiscus plant to a larger pot and it is now thriving and has so many flowers on it that it looks so pretty. I wanted to have a go at drawing the individual blooms and also the pot and plant. I hope my spreads inspire you to try out a nature theme this month too.

Drawing the flowers required a bit of research into drawing techniques but a quick Google search came up with a great tutorial that even I could follow with my limited sketching skills. Click here if you want to see how to create the basic shapes. For the colouring in of the individual flowers, I copied directly from my plant, but I relied on the demonstration to get the dimension and detail right.

I found this quote online and thought it was perfectly apt for me at the moment. I’m just starting to get better after a long spell of overwhelming anxiety and depression and with time and an increase to my medication I’m taking small steps towards the life I want. I accidentally stuck the piece of paper (which is incidentally covering my first version of writing the quote because I messed it up) on a bit wonky and couldn’t remove it as I used strong adhesive tape!

My April cover page is a simplified version of my actual hibiscus plant. I’ve drawn a smaller amount of leaves and a lot less blooms than there are in real life but I didn’t want to make the sketch too onerous. After drawing a rough image with pencil, I used a Unipin 0.2 black fineliner to outline the flowers, stems, leaves and pot and then coloured pencils from my WHSmiths set to do the shading. I’m quite pleased with the results although I think the leaves look a little un-natural as I made them a bit to uniform. Anyway, I’m just a beginner so there’s always something to learn!

My calendar page is a double spread as always, with boxes six dot spaces wide and tall. I like plenty of room to make note of each day’s events, including birthdays and appointments (although I just realised I probably won’t have any face to face contact with anyone this month due to COVID-19!). I’ve added a space for notes at the bottom in case I need to write about something at length.

I’m not tracking my habits this month as I don’t want to put the pressure on myself but I will be making sure to drink lots of water each day and need to keep applying moisturiser to my hands as they’re all dry and cracked from all of the handwashing. I’ll probably record my mood each day over the month but for this I’m going to be using the Bipolar Mood Scale chart to check that I’m not getting too hyperactive from trying to do too much in a bid to make up for all of the months I haven’t felt like doing anything.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at and reading about my April Bujo spreads. I’m excited to see what everyone else has chosen for their theme this month. Drop me a comment below if you’ve shared yours on Instagram, YouTube or on your blog and I’ll be sure to take a look. This social distancing has meant that many of us seem to have got our spreads drawn up well ahead of time – we’ve got to celebrate the positives, right?

Until next time, stay home, stay safe and stay well.