Saturday, 15 September 2018

Motivational Layout

Hello, planner friends!

This week I wanted to go back and create a layout that was inspiring and that reaffirmed a positive outlook. This time of year can be quite chaotic and it's easy to fall back onto negative outlooks and feel like everything is happening at once, so it's nice to take a step back and have something positive staring at my (in planner form) during the week. This layout features some older stickers and Brimbles box items - but they're super versatile and can be used any time during the year, which I really appreciate.

Along with some stamping, I've revisited an old favourite technique of mine - washi tape layering. The awesome thing about washi tape is how it can be torn into all sorts of shapes and layered to create interesting effects. Because of the gold foiling on the stickers, I wanted a hint of gold in the washi tapes (so as not to overpower the layout itself) so I just tore the strip in half and added it on opposite sides of the page!

I hope you've enjoyed this layout. As always, if you want more planner inspiration, I post planner videos every Sunday (AEST) on my Youtube channel, Noveltea Corner. Until next time, happy planning! Stef

Thursday, 13 September 2018

SMART Productive Planner

“Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” "You've Got Mail" - Nora Ephron
You've Got Mail is one of my favourite films. I just love cheesy chick flicks, that are usually so predictable you just know that the girl and guy who hate each other at the beginning will fall in love along with some kind of misunderstanding along the way. But there's something about it too. I think it feeds into my love of New York but also the fact that it starts with "Fall" well Autumn here in England. I love this quote because it makes me think of "Back to School" season. As I write this Jaxon is on his third day at school. After the first day, he said he wasn't going back. Then yesterday morning he was a bit more for going to school. Today the debate was which side of the road we had to walk and then where to cross outside the school (there's a pelican crossing but about five metres away there's also a small traffic island in the middle of the road so you can wait for the lights to change and then still cross the road further along - if that makes sense!) So what have I been up to with my days so far of "freedom"? Well, lots actually. I'm almost up to date on the washing and have managed to clear some other bits of clutter that have been gathering around the house. I even got the bedding and towels back into the airing cupboard instead of them migrating across the landing.

  My bullet journal. On the left page there is a tick chart for the jumper I'm currently doing and on the right side is my to do list for the 6th September.
I may have got distracted by pretty highlighters too. Interesting colourful spreads make you more productive right? Well I'm sure it might but not 100% I was as productive as I could have been! Then I got onto longer-term goals. What did I want to achieve next week and in the rest of September? Well, I might have got to a "Before Christmas" stage as well but decided to pause that one. SMART Goals. So I don't know about you but when it comes to making goals that aren't just a "cross of a to do" kind of goal I often end up back at SMART goals. (For daily goals I sometimes try the 1-3-5 method that my friend Rickie introduced me to. 5 little tasks, 3 medium tasks and 1 big task each day rather than a long to-do list like I normally do. You can read more here). Back to SMART goals, so let's go back to the beginning. What does SMART stand for? Specific - Make sure the goal is well defined. What do I want to accomplish? Why is the goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? What do I need to achieve it? Measurable -  Make sure the goal is obtainable - think about how will I know when it is accomplished? (For instance, rather than ride my bike more, I might set a goal like ride my bike 10 miles a week) Achievable - how I accomplish this goal? How realistic is the goal? Relevant - is the goal relevant? Does this seem worthwhile? But also is this the right time? Time-Bound - Every goal needs an end day so that you have a deadline to focus on. Maybe it's the day of a big race (like London Marathon is always around the 25th April - actually it's nearly always the weekend before my birthday!)


My planner is definitely more of the appointments along with daily to do list kind of goals. I've decided to try and start a new insert in my standard TN for the longer goals. With Jaxon now being at school on weekdays, I'm trying to be more proactive and try and achieve some of those goals that I kept putting off because I couldn't do them with Jaxon in tow. September started with a lot of decoration, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and even if Anna's September stickers weren't technically HP and Hogwarts themed they did work perfectly (with some additions) to decorate the week leading up to what is the day everyone catches the Hogwarts Express to school. I paired the stickers with red and yellow washi. They were the closest I had to the Gryffindor colours (although I did discover at last year's Jingle and Mingle that technically I'm a Hufflepuff. Have you booked your tickets for this year's Jingle and Mingle? They are available here)



Monday, 27 August 2018

Stickers and Self-Care in the Crazy Hannah Bubble

I would say I'm a bit of a logophile then again I thought something like etymologist would be more official (not to be confused with entomology which is the study of bugs!). I like reaching for a well-known search engine to look for the dictionary definition of terms (especially big words - the bigger the better sometimes!). But what's this got to do with my planner or journalling? Well certainly this week has been about self-care. For one week in August, it all goes a bit crazy and Mum and I along with 15ish other volunteers run a Holiday Club at a local church. It always seems like a good idea then by the time we get to this week we start to question our sanity! Along with this my amazing Dad and Sister in Law have taken Jaxon for a little across two days which meant I could try and get my head in the right place and clear the decks a bit! I worked through my emails, wrote some tweets and did some work tasks but I didn't make it to this week in my planner (As you can see below). It crossed my mind to do it Friday morning when Sister-in-Law had Jaxon but I woke up with a bad head and decided to snuggle on the sofa instead. (As Mum said, I was burning the candles at both ends and that's why I've had a bad head twice this week!)


She's exactly right. I get up with Jaxon around 8ish then I'm on Mum duty until he goes to bed. Because he's been at Holiday Club too his bedtime has been later than usual. I've got home around 9pm and then started to try and fill in what I need to get done. Any parents who survive on minimal sleep because their kids think sleep is for the weak, I applaud you because I'm one spoilt Mummy when it comes to sleep! Ever since Jaxon was born he's been a good sleeper overnight - nap time was a different story but overnight - I'm spoilt! (As I finish typing this out, it’s getting towards 1am and the timer on the lights has switched the lounge lights off - I am really up past my bedtime now!!) But on Thursday when my Dad/Jaxon's Grandpa had Jaxon for nearly the whole day I managed to get September sorted out. With Jaxon starting school, I can see the monthly view coming in handy to make sure we're organised and keeping up with washing uniform and things like that. When I saw the fairytale/woodland stickers, I wasn't 100% sure they were my thing but then I got thinking about how as kids we'd go conker hunting in September and October once the leaves started to change and things like that. So I decided that I'd use them across the September Monthly and actually by the "end" I wanted to try and fit more stickers into the spread so actually decorated the first week of term too!


I cleaned down the kitchen table, got the tripod out and decided to go for it. I could edit out the rubbish parts and talk over it later when needed. As I was stood there mid filming, Our Sidekick arrived in the kitchen chatting away followed by Our Sidekick's Social Worker coming for a visit. Part of me was tempted to load it at the end as a blooper reel! The SW got all excited about how my tripod was set up and how I was using my phone and things like that - It was kind of entertaining to listen back to it while editing! But we got there in the end! I think I'll go back and do the August Monthly one as a memory keeping kind of thing because I've done zero journalling.


 So when I've actually had time to do self-care, what have I been up to? Well, I've been knitting a jumper designed by a lovely lady called Nicky. It's all knitted in one piece and from the neck down (Rather than back, front and two sleeves like most jumpers I've done in the past). It's knitted in DK on 4mm needles so feels like it's taking ages but it's at a point now where I can do a couple of rows, put it back in my bag and carry on with something else so it's perfect for knitting groups etc. This week I had two knitting groups. I ended up talking Disneyland Paris to one lady as she's off on an adventure with her daughter, son in law and grandkids next year and wanted to know every piece of information I could bestow on her! I also caught up with my lovely friend who's recently opened her own shop in town. The two knitting groups I attend are definitely my self care slots. Even if I'm having bad day and want to miss group, I know that if I can just get out of the house and get to the group after 10-15 minutes I will feel better. I know that once I get through the door someone will watch Jaxon if I just need to go have a little cry in the corner or someone will hug me tightly and tell me it will be okay, maybe not right away but it will be okay. And you know what, right now it's exactly what's needed. There's been various things on top of the holiday club crazy and I've been so grateful for those lovely ladies picking me up and giving me a hug.  

 You can find me here: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Blog

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Travel Journal and Memory Keeping

I adore keeping a travel journal, what a perfect way to document your holiday and to save memories. My latest journal took advantage of the July and August patreon resources and printables from Anna Brim's patreon goodies. I also sourced ideas from Anna's Adventure Journaling course. It's always a sad occasion coming back from your holiday's and I really loved my latest one in Palmanova, but I also love finishing off my journal and seeing it come together.

I always start my travel journal with a details page of where and when I'm going and staying. I also always set it up before I go. I add printables, ink, stickers and leave a space to write and add in photos. I don't have a portable printer so I always print my photos when I return and then stick them in after it is all filled in. I prepare my page before I go away using Anna's patreon printables, project life cards and a variety of stickers and washi tape. I find the whole process of setting it up before I go away so relaxing and it helps to get me in the holiday mood (not that I need it!). Read about how I set up my journals here - How to Create a Travel Journal 

Completing the journal on holiday

I love the mix of printables this month, some are photos that Anna took and added text to and others are her drawings and journaling cards that she has a space to write on. This month Anna has also included lots of quotes and text too, perfect for my journaling style.

I always fill as much in as possible whilst on holiday, it's a lovely way to relax by the pool (hey, who needs an excuse!). I love Anna's hot air balloon printable and the mix of her own photos merging with mine, which this time I had printed through the post.

I also love adding pockets made with cute envelopes, they are perfect for adding larger photographs and Anna's gorgeous journaling card (which I think came from a Brimbles Box last year). Then of course there's Anna's cute pineapple stickers! Tip in's are also a great way to make the most of your pages and are a great way to add in leaflets and tickets.

I honestly have used so many of Anna's collage sheets this month that I do apologise for the amount of photos in this post... but how cute are they? I love the beach girl and the ice cream, again there is space to write inside the scoop. There are also a variety of papers to print. I am in love with the fruity one in the last picture. 

I hope this has inspired you to get started on a travel or an Adventure Journal and don't forget you can get ALL of these goodies every month when you join Anna's patreon, it really is great value (I used printables from just some of the range from the last 2 months). Now the holiday come down really starts, especially as it's back to school where I teach in less than 2 weeks... ssshhh.

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Monday, 13 August 2018

Using poetry to inspire art

I use poetry a lot in my art journal- it inspires a lot of my pages and gives additional meaning to my art.  I usually just store photos of poems I like on my phone but I've recently found this hard to keep track of.  So I've created a travelers notebook to collect these words that inspire me.  I write them poems or quotes in here and use a simple decoration on each page.  For these two poems I've used collage sheets from this month's Patreon and think they set the poems off nicely and look so pretty (making me more likely to continue with this notebook).

I've just started a new journal about the seasons and plan to include some of my favourite poems about change within it.  This is a found journal (basically anything that can be repurposed for art - in this case a children's book but it can be as simple as a mail order catalogue or a pamphlet you find at the doctor's office).

For my introductory page I wanted to journal about my journey as a woman, the seasons in our lives.  So I drew some figures based on some images from Jane Davenport's book and painted them.  I wanted a background that was airy and clean but it was impossible to watercolour on the glossy papers.  I sorted through some of my paper stash and thought this collage paper from last month's patreon was perfect - the exact style I needed in a format that I could add to the glossy pages.

As you can see I kept the original book page on the right and added my poem around the clouds.  I like the daytime-sunset contrast between the two pages and feel it helps further illustrate the idea of the seasons of our life.

 Don't forget to check out Anna's Patreon which includes all of Anna's beautiful collage sheets including these gorgeous pages as well as art tutorials.

You can find more of my art here, on my blog, or on Instagram.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Unicorn Planner Pages


 Welcome to Part 2 of my Unicorn Sky sticker kit layouts. I loved this set so much that I made two layouts in the same month to celebrate them because I just couldn't help myself (you may have seen my August layout earlier). Again, I mixed and matched Anna's stickers with papers and washi tape I already had lying around, and for a change I decided to be sparse on my stickers to make them stand out more.

Up until this year I've never been a big fan of vertical planning although now that I've been playing around with it for a few months I can see the appeal and it definitely ticks a lot of my list-making boxes (planner pun intended) because I am such a list person. I've been experimenting with different layout styles and have settled (for now) on a half-page columns for Monday-Thursday - because, honestly, I'm so busy working that there's not a whole lot happening on those days! - and full page columns for Friday-Saturday where I need a lot more space to document what's happening.


 It was also really nice to get back and grab some pens and do some doodling on my pages. I haven't done that for ages, either, and it was a lot of fun to just fill in a few little spaces that popped up in the layout.


 I'm a huge fan of layering pieces together to create something different and I loved using Anna's unicorns to pull the whole thing together. Look and this precious one - it's like she's waiting for all the amazing things to happen in this week!


 All the extra paper, ephemera and washi tapes come from stores locally here in Melbourne (and some of it is quite old now so tracking them down was tough) but I'm a firm believer in using what you have and mixing and matching where you can. It just creates a lot of visual interest.


 I'm looking forward to putting down all my plans in this week's layout. I think it's going to be a great week! 


Friday, 3 August 2018

Completed Planner / Diary Insert Flip Through (April - June 2018)

Today I am sharing with you a flip through of a completed planner / diary insert from April to June 2018. I mention where all of the stickers etc are from in the chat through but they are mainly from my shop. The insert is a B6 that I made and designed myself.