Monday 30 July 2018

Starting a new bullet journal

I've always loved starting a brand new journal! Initially, I have a little fear that I might spoil it within the first few pages. I try to start out perfectly neat but I do get less paranoid about that after I make the first few mistakes. In a couple of days — end of July — I will have finished yet another bullet journal and will get to start a new one for August.

I'm so grateful to my friend Rita for telling me about Bullet Journals to begin with. I've been using them since 2015. They are the only journal/planner that I have been able to stick with religiously. With all other types, I'd be lucky to get as far as April before I'd fizzle out. Not sure why that is but I do love that I can use my bullet journal to suit my own preferences. It works perfectly for tasks/events and things that I want to keep track of. The formula is different for everyone.

My bullet journal layouts are very basic and simple. I LOVE vertical columns! I mark in the month vertically too.

I like to keep it at two days to a page — vertically, of course. I record my tasks/events at the top, meals at the bottom, and notes from the day in the middle of the column.

My new bullet is all prepped for August! I keep a small calendar of the previous month as well as the following three months where I can record future events for those months. Kinda like a mini-future log. I do keep a bigger future log at the back of my bullet.

The dailies are two to a page in vertical columns.

For my new Bullet, I was hoping to find page tabs that were all one colour unlike the multi-coloured tabs in the pic above. Unfortunately, I had no luck at Officeworks or elsewhere. So, I was considering cutting off the thin colour strip at the edge of the tabs until I had a brainwave.  I just painted over the coloured edges with a Posca acrylic paint marker. Worked a treat! Now, the tabs match my bullet journal — I love it!

For digital planning, I use the 2Do app for tasks, Google Keep for my lists, and Samsung/Google calendars for events and reminders too. I also use the Five Minute Journal app for daily gratitude.

Do you use a Bullet Journal?  Digital journals/planners? Or both, like me?

Thursday 19 July 2018

Scribble Picnic - Hot Dog

This week, the prompt for Scribble Picnic is HOT DOG.

My eldest son and I brainstormed on this one and I ended up going with the following....thanks, Bradley! 

On hot summer days, THIS particular 'hot dog' likes to to go for a relaxing time at the pool. He loves going for a dip in the water to cool down. 

First a rough sketch with pencils 

And the end result 

To see what my fellow Scribblers have come up with for this week, click HERE

Michael has opted to put the Scribble Picnic co-op on hold for the moment.  He will be back with a further announcement on August 22nd. Stay tuned...

Thursday 12 July 2018

Scribble Picnic - Stars

Time ran away from me again this week so it will be a quick post and run for now.

This week's prompt for Scribble Picnic is STARS. 

I was thinking of the Don McLean song 'Vincent' where part of the lyrics are 

Starry, starry night, 
Paint your palette blue and grey 

SO, a starry night sky was in order. I will admit that this was my third attempt as I've never done a night sky in watercolours before. I have done a few in acrylics with reasonable results but that's it.

To see what my fellow Scribblers have done for the prompt this week, click HERE
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.

In keeping with my thought process for the prompt this week, I've included the music video clip of the song - Vincent. Enjoy!

See you next week at the picnic!

Sunday 8 July 2018

Moment Sketchers weekend - Foxtail Palm

Hi everyone, 

Due to varying reasons at the time, I've missed a few Moment Sketchers weekends this year. The last one I participated in was back in February and I can't recall if I posted it to my blog or not. However, I did post it to Instagram so, for those of you who don't follow my Instagram feed, here it is - 

Aaron, Bradley and I had taken a trip up to Mount Tamborine and went to a lovely Japanese-themed Gardens while we were there. I sat and sketched this little bridge.


This weekend, I have been stuck indoors due to a bout of asthma.   We've had rain for a few days and the cold winter air always goes straight for my lungs — the moisture in the air from the rain made it worse. 

SO, I didn't want to miss another Moment Sketchers so I opted to sketch the Foxtail Palm — botanical name is Wodyetia bifurcata — in our back garden. 

Sketched directly with watercolours first 

Then added some ink using an XS Faber-Castell PITT pen

I felt like it needed something else so I penciled in the back fence. I think I will leave it at that.

Moment Sketchers is a worldwide online art challenge that happens during the first full weekend of every month. This wonderful co-op is hosted by Candace Rardon. To find out more about the Moment Sketchers group, click HERE. It is open to all so do think about joining us each month. Candace is an amazing artist and storyteller — you can check out her blog HERE.

Hope to see you there in August.

Tuesday 3 July 2018

My New Love

A few months ago I treated myself to a Kindle Paperwhite and I am now an eBook convert! 

I LOVE my Kindle! 

Without a doubt, I will always love traditional books but there is a lot to be said for eBooks too.

I can basically carry a library around in my bag. The Kindle Paperwhite is lightweight, comfortable to hold, better for the environment, eBooks are cheaper, and I don't have to worry about glare that can occur with my Galaxy Note 8 or iPad. That said, the Kindle app for Smartphones, computers or tablets is wonderful in that you can see pictures and book covers in colour. The Kindle app also gives you the option to change background colours. Another thing I love which is offered in the Kindle and the Kindle app is that I can choose a font style as well as enlarge it — a definite bonus for these old eyes. hehe 

Amazon offers tons of great Kindle eBook specials so my library is fast expanding. Like my taste in music, I have a broad range of likes in book genres. I enjoy reading memoirs, true stories, thrillers, horrors, crime series, information books, etc.

Since buying my Kindle Paperwhite I have read 24 books in just three months! That would be a record for me. I've detailed a couple of recent books below.

One of the first books read on my Kindle — Even Silence has an End by Ingrid Betancourt.
A real life account told by Ingrid Betancourt, a Columbian politician, who was kidnapped in 2002 by FARC — a terrorist guerrilla organisationIngrid was held hostage for SIX years! The conditions that she and fellow hostages lived under in the Columbian jungle were deplorable. How they survived at all is a miracle. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

I recently completed — Never Stop Walking by Christina Rickarddson (see below).
Parts of this book still stay in my mind — heart-wrenching in areas. It follows the real life account of young Christina who lived on the streets with her mother and younger brother until she was eight years old when she and her brother were adopted by a couple in Sweden. Christina shares her memories of what life was like as a child living in extreme poverty in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as sharing parts of her life in Sweden. She recounts her experience when, as an adult, she returns to Brazil in search of her biological mother. Some parts of Christina's story are very hard to read but I find it hard to condemn a starving child for making a spur of moment decision that led to bloodshed and the loss of life all over a scrap of food.

I also wasn't aware that, even in recent years, police death squads in areas of Brazil search the streets at night looking for 'rats' — rats being a term used for street kids. They actually catch and kill these poor, defenceless kids! Some of these kids are under the age of five. They call it social cleansing — I call it a crime against humanity! I am horrified that humans can commit such atrocities against their own kind, especially innocent children. It's bad enough what humans do to animals.

Christina does a lot of soul-searching in her book trying to meld her childhood in Brazil with the privileged one she came to know in Sweden. I gave this one 5 stars on Goodreads.

A Kindle page from Christina's book

I have also been reading a couple of detective series. One written by Patricia Gibney following Detective Lottie Parker set in Ireland and the other by Robert Bryndza following Detective Erika Foster set in the UK.

Expect to see more reviews in the future...

Feel free to share any of your own book recommendations in the comments.