It is time for our first bullet journal blog! Today’s video is the August Plan With Me and is all about capturing summer. For my bullet journal, I use the Confidant Baron Fig notebook for their great paper quality. I use about two notebooks a year for my journal and just started a new one in July. A running theme this year has been birth flowers and for August, my birth month, that means gladiolus.
Be sure to watch today’s video for more details and examples:
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Besides the gladiolus, my theme for this month is capturing summer in a jar. I am starting with my dutch door cover page, marking in a set number of squares on two pages and penciling in a rounded rectangle for the jar and lid. For the gladiolus inside, I create a pencil guide for the stems and add circles for the buds and flowers going down the length of each. A curved line on each circle will mark the center and help each one look concave.
Tip #1 Elevate a drawing by using a very pared-down color scheme. Maybe I am just nostalgic for my black and white journals of previous years, but I find that a limited color palette can be very sophisticated. For the cover page, I am using a few different grays, a very light pink, and dark blue.
Tip #2 Flowers do not have to have green stems. If you are drawing a lot of flowers you can get away from the green and create something that is uniquely yours. Here, the gladiolus are white, shaded with a light gray, and the stems and leaves are a dark blue.
I use pink for the sky, adding a little color to the drawing. It looks a little flat at this point, but using the Derwent Graphik Liner I add a sketchy black line to make the drawing pop. This is a great marker to get started with, and I will often use the Pigma Microns as well. As I go around the flowers, I wiggle my pen a little so none of them are too smooth. Where I marked that curved line, I do a ton of line shading coming out from the center to create the concave trumpet-like shape. I go around the jar twice to give the effect of clear, thick glass. The final touches are to add some stars and little bugs in the sky, add the August title, and label my jar ‘Summer’.
Tip #3 To cut out my dutch door, I slide my cutting mat under the page and use a ruler and a paper-knife. I cut all the straight lines first wherever I can. Then I take the knife and cut out the rest. For this step, you can also use small embroidery scissors.
Goals and Affirmations
On the under page, I’m doing my typical goals and affirmations page. Next to the cover page, you can see the monthly calendar and I highlight the days of the week with one of the colors used in the drawing. Underneath, I’m sketching a few more gladiolus in pen. Without color, I’m using the Pigma Microns to add even more line shading. In addition to that concave center, I am using a smaller nib size to add more shading to the edges of each petal, to show that they are sort of ruffled. In pen, I make the leaves and stems even darker, fully shading them in.
Tip #4 Be creative. There is no reason you can’t do these gladiolus in another color and try out some new color palettes.
On my next page, I am doing a simple and whimsical calendar for the month of August. Since I don’t have a lot of specific needs for my calendar, I tend to change it up every month. You can check out past videos to see dial calendars or different grids. This month I’m creating a small 2 by 2 grid. I never love using a ruler so I pull the pen towards me to create some nearly straight lines to make the calendar.
In the bottom corner, I am creating an offset illustration of simple flowers - it is easy to do and looks really cute. Another simple way to draw gladiolus is to create a row of circles in marker and then use a secondary color to add a little circle at the center of each flower. I am framing the calendar with tiny leaves and adding some other messy flowers. At their simplest, flowers can be circles and triangles, and leaves are just lines on branches. The most important thing here is to have a color palette that will tie it all together. I just bulked out the palette from the cover page adding a little more blue and pink.
I put the ‘August’ title in a circle at the top. Then I fill in the circle with an alcohol-based marker from a local craft store because I like the gray so much.
Two-Page List Spread
This month I wanted to create a two-page list spread for all of the things I still want to do this summer. In Canada, it feels like summer is so important and you have to take full advantage of the warm months. This year, that has been difficult because it has been hard to plan ahead; the way things are, we cannot get together with family and that has put a real damper on our plans. So, I want to write down the things that I want to and can still do. I find that writing things down gives them power, so this is my way to enjoy the summer and focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t. We are lucky in Eastern Canada that things are starting to open now, plus we are always able to get outside a lot. My list will include things like hiking, berry picking, camping, reading, and making jam.
This page starts with a little fern. Begin with a stem and add tiny little oval-shaped leaves to the top. Then two stems will come out, each with a couple of leaves on them, and then longer stems will be added with more and more leaves until you reach the bottom. The illustration will carry on across the bottom of the two pages with different ferns and flowers. Each one begins with a stem - go about one-third or halfway up the page and just keep it simple with leaves and little flowers. It comes together easily because all you have to do is think of some different flowers - you can do the exact ones as in the photo, or just follow whatever your hand wants to draw.
I wanted to add a small amount of color to this illustration, coloring in some, but not all, of the flowers. I’m still using a similar color palette to my first couple of pages but have added different shades of blue and pink and I even ended up adding green and yellow as I colored.
On the left-hand side of the page I am just putting my title: Things I Would Like to Do This Summer. I call this my greeting card print, and it is just a mix of upper and lower case letters that looks fun and cute. If you are looking for more ideals or want to practice your lettering you can check out my video Hand Letting + Quote Design for Beginners. On the right-hand side, I have a nice big space for my list. Have fun filling this up!
For the weekly layout this month I’m switching it up but keeping it familiar and easy because August is not the month to sit inside and doodle. I start with lines across the pages, marking out where I want to write the days of the week - this helps me keep everything straight and even. I pencil in a little circle above each to mark where I will put the date. Basically, the layout is the days of the week with the circles above for the date; above you have space for an illustration or adding a calendar or notes area. Below each day of the week, you have room for your daily schedule, lists, and to-dos.
Tip #5 Depending on how intricate you want to be with the illustration, you can use a marker or pen and select a flower that you are comfortable drawing. I’m really quick with this four-petaled flower but you can fill in as much or as little of the space as you want.
I fill the circles in using my Faber Castell - a good brush marker is less likely to bleed through the page since you don’t have to get as heavy with it as a pen. I’m using my favorite white gel pen to add the dates on top, the Uni-ball Signo. Have fun with all your layouts and getting ready for August!