Back on the wagon

Why is it that when we need time to recuperate and be a little less productive for a while, some of us beat ourselves up for not reaching our “usual” standards? And why is it that “usual” standards are often the level we manage when we are at our peak? Shouldn’t it be some kind of middle ground instead?

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Sometimes we need to do nothing. To know that yes, in a few days we’ll have to do well at something or other, but that’s way over there in the future. For now, we can rest.

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Bujoing has helped me see the things I actually do instead of the things I don’t do. Maybe it can do this for others as well. Instead of constantly focusing on the future and what we haven’t done, we can go back over the pages and see the things we dreaded last week, the giant hurdle we braved last month, and feel satisfied that we pushed through.

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And while on the subject of bullet journalling, why beat yourself up over the gaping holes in your habit tracker? So you needed a few days off. Who doesn’t? Be sensible: you’re not going to clean the house every day for the rest of your life, no matter how much you believe it while you’re drawing up your habit tracker.

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By all means reach for the stars and reach the treetops, but don’t reach so hard that you dislocate your shoulder. It’s fine to fall off the wagon. The wagon will be there when you want back on, and guess what? You have the perfect getting-back-on list in your habit tracker. A few tasks in and you’ll feel like you were never off track!

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Be kind to yourself. You never know when you’ll pay it back. 😉

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January on paper and in pixels

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So my next week is all planned out, and I went for a candy colour scheme because why not. Outside is all pinks and baby blues, so this reflects in my journal.

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The rest of January is also set up by now.

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I have my calendar…

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… my project master list…

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… my complaints page, my list of things learned, the pat-on-the-back “Well done!” page, Today’s Bonus, and the menu/entertainment spread…

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Bra gjort

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… and finally my indispensable “home pages” where I jot down notes about all my projects.

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Mat och media

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Häslokommunikation

Renovering

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No excuse now to lose my way as I venture into 2018!

Incidentally, the way forward is equally clear outside, for which I owe a debt of gratitude to the snow mobile crowd: they create these perfect, hard paths through the woods. If they didn’t, I’d be knee-deep in snow on my walks!

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Rediscovering watercolour

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You may have noticed that I’m a creature of obsessions. What can I say, it’s my auxiliary Ne that throws these wonderful spanners in the works. 🙂 Anyway, my latest obsession came from nowhere and ripped through my life like a tornado. I’ve mentioned that Facebook targeted me with a relevant ad for once: Little Coffee Fox. I was so inspired by her blog, and if all her tips and tricks and cheering on weren’t enough, she started a watercolour planner at about the time I started following her.

Now, I didn’t think I liked watercolours. I have trouble maneuvering with a brush, and I didn’t like the finality of it: that you need to know what you’re doing before you start. But Little Coffee Fox’s Month in Color showed me that you didn’t really need to know! You could just doodle and add linework and white gel pen highlights and basically do what you liked. So that’s why my November cover page turned out a riot of mixed media!

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So I dug out my old watercolour pencils and rediscovered a childhood passion. They’re the perfect compromise: the nib of a pen that gives you some control, and then the water soluble colour that blends and makes beautiful gradients.

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And as I continued working with a lot of watercolour on my spreads, I discovered that they were an excellent way of entering diary elements as well – like this little doodle of hubby playing the piano late one night after we watched a movie.

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And as if she’s read my mind, Little Coffee Fox has a giveaway this week: a watercolour kit with a Moleskine Watercolor Album, a Finetec gold palette, a set of three Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens and a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Wow… I mean, just those metallic colours has me all itching to start a new weekly spread! Or imagine painting a January cover page with silver and black…

Yes, you get it. You need this thing. Follow this link to enter the giveaway too! And while you’re at it, if you like bullet journalling, you need to follow her. 🙂 It’s a veritable rabbit hole, but so prettily decorated that you won’t notice when your life goes up in flames. 😀

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Baron Samedi

I think this is a work in progress, because it probably needs some added linework in ink, but I’m too cowardly to go ahead and do it! At least now I’ve documented how it looked before I ruined it, haha!

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While I was drawing it, so many thoughts went through my head. It began as a doodle to plan a photo I’m taking tomorrow for Halloween (so this is a teaser). Then I really got into it and started feeling like the picture meant something. The weariness of the girl seems like a representation of my hypothyroidism, and the way she leans in for support from the skeleton seems fitting, like the “sleep of death” so longed for by Hamlet.

But then I also felt like the drawing represented trying to connect with dead loved ones – which is fitting for All Hallow’s Eve. Remembering and honouring the dead, lighting candles on their graves… it’s a kind of connection, isn’t it? Dipping a hand into the warm nothingness where they once were.

Spot the mistake!

I’m trying to move into proper bujo photograpy, and today was sunny so I thought I’d give it a shot. Problem is, it was too sunny. But even if that meant looong shadows where I didn’t want them, it also meant lace opportunities. 🙂

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That’s not the mistake, though. I’ve been pimping the cover of my bullet journal today, and I added some decorations which will certainly come off in my bag, but I just couldn’t stop myself.

Still, that’s not the mistake I’m talking about either. So can you spot it? It’s tiny, and in a way it makes sense in my case. Maybe it’s a metaphor for how I live and make my choices compared to the norm… 🙂

Preparing for November

Yesterday I made the cover page for November, and if October was all about butterflies, November will be about candles and lights.

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It’s the darkest month, the deep, inky black before the snow comes. It needs a flame to brighten it.

This monthly overview is just a start, but I know I want those lights to be a recurring feature, both on paper and in my home.

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I’m also trying out a food, music, and movie tracker. I’ve written those things on my dailies so far, but I think I want it all in one place (plus I need more space on my dailies!).

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Same with this: I’ve doodled these symbols on my dailies to signify something distressing that happened, something I learned, something I did well, and something good that happened. Now I’ll list it all on one spread, which means I’ll have to write really tiny letters!

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My first speed drawing video!

Ta-daa! I’ve been devouring these speed drawing videos for so long, and tonight I had hours to myself and a new month around the corner, so I thought “Why not?” and went ahead and made one. I’m so pleased with the colours, but please don’t look too closely at the wolf, I think it’s got rickets… 😀

Some miserable photos of a lovely spread

I really should start taking proper pictures of my bullet journal spreads with good lighting, instead of snapping a shaky, dark photo at night and then trying to make it look slightly less depressing in the editing software. But sadly I’m not there yet. Anyway, maybe a year from now it’ll be fun to look back at how dismal my bujo posts were this autumn, and I can feel smug about how pretty my photos have become by then!

Anyway. I tried a new thingy this week: the dutch door. I won’t waste time explaining something that others have explained/shown better here and here. Instead I’ll just tentatively say that I’m loving it!

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I’m using the top strip for a weekly overview with anything that needs to be done at a certain time, like meetings and such. On the row below it, I put dinners, music I’ve listened to, and any movie or TV show we watch.

On the bottom left I have my work related tasks, divided by context (read, Uni, computer), and to the right I have things to do at home plus a square I meant to track my moods in but I lost the motivation so I’m saving it for something else – a better idea, hopefully!

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As you can see below, I’ve put the names of the weekdays on my dutch door pages plus four symbols that stand for “pain in the ass”, “something I learned”, “well done” and “today’s bonus”, because these are things I always want to write down.

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And these pages are my favourite, because one thing I really enjoy with my bullet journal is the diary part of it. I tend to use it both for remembering fun things that happened, funny quotes, lightbulb moments, etc, but also for pictures. When a day is done and the page doesn’t have to look structured anymore because I don’t need to be able to quickly check my tasks, I like to wind down and reward myself/debrief by drawing or painting something, like I’ve done below.

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And so a grey, depressing day with no sun becomes something beautiful because charcoal is beautiful! That’s one point of art, isn’t it? To make the drudgery beautiful?