It is time to get organized and inspired for the month of February! This month I am doing a hot air balloon theme dutch door cover page, I'm getting ready for baby, and so much more. If you haven't started your 2021 journal yet, it is never too late, go back and check out the yearly setup and January blog posts. Sometimes January can feel like an extension of the new setup and now I'm ready for a fresh start, so let's jump into February.
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To begin this cover page I started with a pencil sketch, tracing a circle to help me keep that form even and round. Once I have an outline of the balloon shape and the banner for the title, I'm ready for the fun part. What else would I fill it with but flowers? I started with some larger forms, simple daisies and leaves and then filled in the entire space. Don't worry about the smaller leaves crossing the outline, it can look a little dead, but with the leaves peaking out it will look more lively and organic. Once you are happy with it you can go over everything in pen.
In pen, I added a little line shading, the details on the basket, the clouds and stars behind and finished the title banner. As always, the very last step is cutting out the dutch door. I start with the straight edge and then take my time going along the rest.
Next up, I am going to create a little month-at-a-glance under the dutch door. I am drawing another hot air balloon, tracing a circle to help me with the form. For this one I wanted some classic stripes and color. Using some scrap paper I still worked out a color palette beforehand to make sure the colors would work together. I can always work my classic warm grey from Faber-Castell into a piece and added a little shading to the clouds. After adding color I outlined everything in pen with an .03 nib.
Double checking that the placement works with both pages I added my mini calendar and then my usual goals and to do lists.
Flipping the page over I am creating a larger calendar. This month's is really simple, around the border or the calendar I added a few stars and moon. I am keeping a similar color palette running through the entire month so I'm repeating those burgundy, pinks and grey in the flowers along the bottom. I've also introduced a darker purple color. Again, I did the color first and added a sketchy black line afterwards.
This months calendar is pretty small, I tend to use mine for video ideas and patreon bonus content. The majority of my scheduling is done in my weekly layouts. But, if you like a larger calendar, you can expand this one across a two page spread by stretching it out and adding more flowers along the bottom.
On the blank page I create a little collage of paper and washi tape for a simple floral illustration. I tend to use this for any blank pages or spaces so it adds cohesion throughout my entire journal. It is perfect for adding a quote or bit of inspiration.
For my weekly layout this month I am trying something totally new. I have divided each page into four sections, if you are working in an Archer & Olive, they are nine squares each. I put the days of the week in each space (I always combine the weekend), and am adding a fun floral icon. I like the way it divides the space but creates something pretty and simple. If you are looking for inspiration for flower doodles there is an inspiration page in the yearly setup.
By dividing each page into four and offsetting my days of the week I am left with two spaces in the corners. At the bottom I am creating a notes section. I call this my "double line print" - you simply go over each line twice, which is a great way to hide any little mistakes. I finished the page up by grabbing a little piece of craft paper and gluing that in with a small post-it. I included my calendar again, and used my white gel pen to write in the week. I want to bring those floral illustrations up to the top of the page to finish everything off and give the spread a nice balance.
Flipping back one page, I left space before my weekly layouts for a two page spread of lists. My topic is getting "ready for baby" so its several lists that fall under this one header. I have furniture DIYs, knitting projects, shopping lists, etc. If you are not having a baby, there are obviously a lot of ways to make this works for you still! It can be lists of books you want to read, things that inspire you, cleaning, projects, or anything you need help organizing. So still feel free to follow along and adapt the lists to your needs.
I have left two corners open and filled the rest of the spread with boxes for different lists. I started filling in my lists right away, leaving only one empty, but you can leave as many free as you want. Now for the fun part, to create an illustration that is bordering and peaking out from behind all of these boxes. Using the same colors I am doing some more daisies. I do a little dotting for the stamen and then use my warm gray to sketch in the petals and add some line shading. This makes the white flowers pop off the white page. I want to make sure there is a variety of angles, facing straight on or to the sides.
Using a purply grey I added in leaves, butting them up against the flowers and tucking them in behind, which helps the white flowers pop even more. I love this purple but it is from a local art store here in Canada called DeSerres. I don't have a comparable Tomboy but it is always worth checking your local art shops and trying out the markers they have. To finish it off I added a little low lighting to the stamens in honey brown and a darker grey to the leaves. After adding the title, I'm all finished! I think this is going to be a really helpful spread for me in the coming months!