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!

Posted in Planning and journaling, Setting goals and intentions, watercolour painting

Setting up my bullet journal for May: Succulents theme

Earlier this month, whilst picking up some watercolouring supplies from The Range, I found a Dovecraft sticker book full of cacti and other succulents plus little plant related phrases. I decided these would be perfect for decorating my May bullet journal quickly and easily.

I’ve set up my spreads over the last few days and thought I’d share them with you. I’ve kept it quite minimal with a cover, monthly overview on two pages and a double page fitness tracker which is something I wish I’d started last month as I’ve been working out in different ways almost every day.

For the cover page, I decided to get out my watercolour paints and create my own image. I searched Google for step by step succulents and came across an amazingly simple tutorial from Dear Ann Art who can be found on Instagram @dearannart I also learned, after I’d followed the step-by-step that she has her own YouTube channel jam packed with tutorials and even her own book which I’m definitely adding to my wishlist.

This is a close up of my version of the cactus and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

After painting on cold press watercolour paper, I photocopied the image onto regular printer paper and added May in brush lettering. I then trimmed it down and placed it in my bullet journal using double sided tape.

For the calendar page, I stuck to my usual format and decorated with lots of the stickers. I think it looks really bright and cheerful.

On the exercise tracker, I intend to do a bar chart showing my daily steps count as recorded on my FitBit. I’ve been ensure I do at least a 30 minute walk each day and also get lots of steps on doing my aerobics routine.

On the calendar part of the tracker, I intend to record each time I do a yoga routine, my daily LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) walk and my aerobic workout. I’ve been following an old beginner’s routine from Instructor Live which I found for free on the NHS website.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my spreads for this month. I haven’t included any weekly plans because I don’t actually make any in advance as I prefer to create daily plans which I sit down to make in the evening or first thing in the morning after breakfast.

Have you done your bullet Journal spreads for next month yet? Have you picked a theme? Let me know in the comments and include a link and I’ll go check it out.

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.

Posted in art, creativity, Planning and journaling, watercolour painting

Setting up my bullet journal for October

Hi everyone. Hope you’re all well and enjoying the beginnings of Autumn. We’ve finally got some okay weather this morning so I’ve been able to take some bright enough photographs of my BuJo set up for next month and thought I would share them with you.

I decided to keep my spreads relatively simple and to a minimum this time as I found that I was tracking far too much in September and couldn’t keep up with it all and got quite overwhelmed. I’ve just done a quote page, a cover page which features a little watercolouring piece that I did, a double page monthly calendar and a planning page for my blog.

For my quote, I chose a simple Autumnal reference and as I was writing it, I had a vague feeling I’d used it before. I checked back in one of last year’s Bujo and there it was. I figured it didn’t matter and that I must really love it!

3 bright and juicy Crayola supertips plus a drop shadow using the grey tip of my Tombow dual brush pen

This watercolour was created using my new Daley Rowney Aquafine Travel Set. I followed an online tutorial and although the results don’t look the same as those done by the professional artist that created the step by step, I’m pleased with the results as I’m a total beginner. If you want to have a quick look at the tutorial, you can find it here.

Autumn tree produced on an A4 sheet from a watercolour pad

I then spent about two hours working out how to scan the image into a format that I could shrink to stick into my BuJo. After much perseverance (and a glass of wine which was most helpful ha ha!) I got it sorted. I ended up sticking a piece of paper over a mistake I made with my brush lettering but I think it looks okay now I’ve made it into a border for my picture.

October cover page

And here’s the two pages together. I think the bright colours look lovely. What do you think?

For my monthly calendar, I chose to decorate with some Autumn leaves and berries. I’m not wonderful at drawing but I think it looks okay. I used coloured pencils to shade them in but the only problem I seem to have it that when I write on the next few pages of my notebook the colour transfers. I’m not sure if there’s a solution to this, maybe I press on too hard? If anyone has any ideas, I would be grateful to hear them.

And finally, my blog planning page. On here I’m going to record days when I’m planning, reading researching as well as the titles of my actual posts.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my spreads for October. I would love to hear about your chosen themes for the month and what you have planned for the Autumn. Let me know in the comments if you get the chance.

Posted in Planning and journaling, wellbeing, wellness

BuJo love!

Hi all, hope you’re having a lovely Summer and that those of you who have kids are making the most of having some extra family time. Over the last few months, I’ve been falling in love with getting creative in my bullet journal all over again. So much so that I’m already on p.79 of my Scribbles That Matter notebook and have 16 pages at the end of the notebook filled too!

I can’t share every page or this blog post will take you the whole of the holidays to read but here’s some of my favourite spreads. I’ll keep it photo heavy so you can just see rather than spend ages reading and digesting! Of course, if you have any questions about the layouts or my supplies, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments.

Also, I’ve just read an email about adding columns to your WordPress blog posts so hopefully I’ll be able to apply what I’ve learnt below!

Enjoy x

Just a little reminder for those days when my mental health isn’t as good and I’m on a bit of a downer.

My cover page for August using a combination of stickers, hand lettering free hand drawing and colouring

I like to make a packing list for each time we go away. This time it was a visit to family. The great thing about putting it in my bullet journal is that in years to come, I can refer back to it to make it quicker and easier next time.

I’ve now started adding any leaflets or information on local events or exhibits to my BuJo so I have a handy reminder or ideas for places to go and things to see. This information is a combination of cuttings from The Crack magazine, screenshots from my phone and extra info which I’ve found online.

I’ve uplevelled my reading log and just love this layout which includes space to give hearts out of 5 for how much I loved reading a particular book.

As much as I’m loving drinking Summer drinks such as pineapple, orange and lemon squash and Mixed berries cider, I still need at least 3 cups of coffee to function on busy days!

I have lots of frames ideas pinned to one of my bullet journal Pinterest boards but as someone who needs a little reminder at hand (I’ve just turned 42 and need things right there and in multiple places!!!!) creating a spread in the back of my bullet journal has been really helpful. As you can see, this is ideas bank 1 as I’ve had to go on to a separate double page for yet more ideas.

This spread is a work in progress but I love it so far. And if you’re wondering what’s with the stickers and the black and brown paper – they’re hiding mistakes better than Tippex! (lol)

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the spreads I’ve shared. If they’ve given you some inspiration or got your creative juices flowing, don’t forget to leave me a comment and maybe even attach some photos of your own bullet journal spreads.

Much love,

Laura xx