A bit late, true, but it took a bit of time to get all of the pics I’d taken of my planner last year and somewhat-organize them.
I made SO MANY STICKERS last year! I absolutely loved some of my themes – especially, it seems, the color-palette ones, which account for a large percentage of my favorites. By the end of the year, however, I’d gotten pretty burnt out on sticker-making; I had been doing it almost every week for two years, after all. I decided 2018 was time to try something different, which I’ll talk about in a later post; but it’s entirely likely I’ll end up back to my old habits in a few months, as those lovely colorful spreads are tough to beat.
It’s really interesting to me, going back through all my spreads for the year, seeing the evolution of what I tried, what worked, what didn’t, and what came back. I tried out meal planning for a couple of months and various forms of mood tracking, but eventually what stayed was a sidebar tracker for daily habits and the “this week” sticker above it for items that needed doing but weren’t dependent on a particular day. Also in September my work week shifted from the typical M-F to Sunday-Thurs, so I had to adjust how I looked at the week.
At any rate, here are my ten favorite weekly spreads of 2017, in chronological order, I think. I’m putting a “read more” here in case all the images clog up your reader or browser.
Every time I think I’ve got a handle on this year’s mad pace, I turn around and it’s the end of the month! You’d think that, spending as much time as I do playing with an actual paper calendar that has the date all over it, I’d have a better grasp on where I’m at in the year. Apparently not.
Meanwhile, please enjoy my planner themes for the bulk of July.
July 10-16 – The Princess and the Frog
I felt the need to celebrate one of my favorite Disney animated films, and in my mind one that’s criminally underrated given the somewhat baffling obsession a lot of people have with Frozen. (I loved Frozen too, but not nearly as much as, say, Tangled, or Moana.) In addition to being the first African-American Disney Princess (a dubious honor but one long overdue) Tiana was the only one I can think of with an actual job and a work ethic.
The font is Stalemate (available free), and all the images were found on Pinterest and Google.
July 17-23 – Blue Blue Butterfly
Feeling a bit of Theme Fatigue, I used a single “sheet” of digital paper and chopped it up into the shapes I needed.
The font for this one is Fieldfare by MediaLab.co, downloaded from Creative Market.
July 24-30 – Darling Elephant
For once, I decided to start with a premade kit – gasp! I happened on this one on Etsy and thought it was absolutely, well, darling.
It was an Erin Condren vertical planner design, but little known fact: to print an ECLP vertical kit that will fit a Plum Paper easily, all you have to do is print it out at 96.667% size. I did things the hard way – I took the individual stickers I wanted to use and sized them down to 1.45″ and made a sheet on my Silhouette Cameo design software, which is how I usually do things. I made the banners myself, though the kit comes with its own – nobody ever has the exact headers I use, and it takes a couple of minutes each to make my own using the same colors.
La Vie Prints has quite a few really adorable kits, so check them out if you need new ink in your planner!
I used two fonts this week, one for the daily headers (Conchoid) and another for the Weekend, Dailies, and This Week stickers (Waterlily).
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This week is a funny story, and it illustrates the fact that no, my planners aren’t always pretty or cool, and the process of making them that way can be face-clawingly frustrating.
I had a theme all made up for this week – I mean, it was done. I had printed it, cut it out, and was laying it out over the empty pages to see how it looked as a whole.
Turns out I HATED it. Hated it, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee! The colors hadn’t printed true, the designs were just boring, I didn’t like the font…it was just shit from bottom to top.
(I was using a digital paper pack, like I did on the Peacock Watercolor theme, but I’m not going to tell you where I got it, because the paper is quite pretty and I may try again with it later, with considerable color adjustments.)
I had put time and effort into it, though, and I had an actual internal argument over whether I could just chuck all that work.
But you know what? To use a mantra I’ve adopted for myself of late, I’m a grown ass lady and I do what I want! I threw that mess away and started over.
Turns out it was a great decision – I happened to see a quote about writing on Pinterest, and it gave me an idea. Next thing I knew I’d made a theme about writing that I absolutely love, and I’ve enjoyed looking at it all week. I’m so glad I went with my gut and didn’t force myself to stare at something I hated for seven days!
I especially like the combination of the parchment-paper background and the blue-grey accents – I just nabbed a color from one of the photographs and used it for headers, and I love the way it looks with the “paper.” The whole thing just makes me feel good when I look at it, and really, who could ask for more from a planner?
Been a while since I pointed at anything, so let’s have some videos!
I am a woman of odd enthusiasms, as are, I imagine, many of my readers. Looking at the channels I subscribe to on YouTube or the Instagrams I follow would be pretty instructive to those trying to figure me out – just, um, don’t read too much into my Tumblr, I’m really not *that* into gay porn.
I think the entire internet just gave me this face:
While Instagram for me is mostly pretty things and food, however, I actually use my YouTube for some practical purposes, including getting the hell to sleep. I follow a number of meditation music channels and ASMR-related channels to help my anxiety and help me sleep, so they make up a significant chunk of what you’d see on my feed. I also have several art-related folk I follow, particularly devoted to art journaling and the like, and remarkably few planner-related bloggers, although I used to follow a bunch. A lot of planner-related channels pay way more attention to things like dieting than I really want to hear about, not to mention some of the ones I used to really enjoy have stopped updating (the eternal YouTube struggle).
Here then are some of my favorite YouTube channels, in no particular order. I’m not listing some of the more obvious ones, like Maru – I wanted to point out YouTubers you might not have heard of.
This channel is brilliant – the creator has built a variety of “rooms” that are basically soundscapes, combining nature sounds, ambient sounds, occasionally voices, and the background noise of a particular location. In this example she’s captured the Ravenclaw Common Room at Hogwarts, but she’s done rooms from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, and others. They’re all incredibly soothing and evocative.
Another ASMR-ish sort of channel, this one combines lovely cooking noises with vegan recipes. There are usually two versions of each recipe, one with music and one just with the cooking sounds so you can listen as you watch. I’ve always found cooking sounds – like dicing, pouring, and stirring – really soothing, and the videos are beautifully shot. The creator is Japanese and occasionally appears on camera but the emphasis is always on the food and the process of prep and cooking.
A prolific channel for meditation and relaxation music. They post at least once a day. Some of their posts are classical music, some acoustic, some ambient, and they range from 15 minutes to 6 hours in length. There are also videos meant to help soothe babies to sleep, and music for reiki and healing practices.
Vicky is one of my favorite art/craft YouTubers, partly because of her wonderful Greek accent, partly because I enjoy the bright exuberance of her style, and partly because her cat Ginger makes periodic appearances walking around on her work table. I’m not into making handmade cards, but I enjoy watching her try new techniques and show off new supplies, and her art journals are a totally different style from what I originally found online. It’s obvious how much she loves doing what she does.
Adriene is from right here in ATX, which was my impetus for clicking on her “beginners’ yoga” video when I was tooling around YouTube looking for videos to start playing with. I loved her almost immediately – her teaching style is a good combination of woo-woo and pragmatic, asking students to meet themselves where they are and “find what feels good.”
She’s definitely not a plus-sized yogini, and there are a couple of weight loss videos on her channel, but she typically doesn’t bring up that sort of thing unless that’s the subject of the video. Since that’s not what I’m there for, I just steer clear of those and stick with what inspires me. She has videos that focus on all sorts of needs, from yoga for your back and shoulders, to yoga for swimmers or cyclists, yoga for migraines, anger management, yoga for those in wheelchairs, you name it. There are also meditations and some videos that focus on getting deeper into a particular pose.
I also love her dog Benji. You know you’re watching an Austin yoga video when the teacher’s dog is in it.
A relative newcomer to my lineup, I happened across Molly when looking for meditations, and I don’t know if it’s her voice, her enthusiasm, or just her flat out adorableness, but I was hooked. I’m planning to go back to the beginning of her channel and watch anything that sounds appealing.
Molly’s a Pagan YouTuber, and does videos on magick, ritual, and some of my favorite subjects: BoS/Grimoirekeeping and altar building. To be perfectly honest it had never occurred to me to look for BoS tours and altar show-and-tell the way I’ve watched planner-walkthrough videos, and how could I have been so blind?!? Those were always some of my favorite aspects of the Craft, and if I had a remotely video-friendly bone in my body I’d do a walkthrough of my old, hand-drawn BoS just to show how much work and love went into it way back when.
Anyway, thanks to Molly I have a whole new YouTube rabbit hole to fall down, and I’m looking forward to it. But in the meantime I just love listening to her talk (her voice is an ASMR trigger at times, which only makes it that much more awesome) and love her ideas. Not to mention she combines magick with something else I love hearing about: Bullet Journaling.
Incidentally, do you have any mystical or spiritual YouTubers you love? Pretty much any tradition, as long as it’s non-conservative. I’m a soul-slut, as you know. What I’d really love to see are more Pagan planners, bullet journalers, or BoS-keepers. Recommend away in comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.
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For more info on this week’s theme check out the original post – it has links to the artwork, the font, and more about why I created the theme.
Random note: I usually get pics of my planner on Mondays, at work, where the lighting is terrible but before I’ve had a chance to scribble all over the week. Some of these were taken later in the week after I’d already started actual planning and listing and so forth. I’m kind of tired of having such shitty pics for you, though, so I’m going to try and start getting better shots in better light.
And now we move into June, which I haven’t already posted, so a bit more detail about those.
May 29-June 4 – Fluorite Color Scheme
There wasn’t really much to this one – I just wanted to do a week with my favorite color scheme, the colors of rainbow fluorite. I also managed to forget to write down the font name, so, I have no idea what to point you toward if you like it. Sorry!
June 5 – June 11 – Sunflowers Theme
If you know me at all you probably know I hate summer. Loathe it. I’m sure people who live in areas where the sun doesn’t try to murder them half the year think I’m a madwoman, but after years of prescription-induced photosensitivity, I’ve gotten to where being out in the heat and especially direct glaring sunlight like we have here literally makes me sick.
Summer in Texas is endless, brutal, and awful. And since I don’t like the beach, don’t like swimming or water-related funtimes, and am too vegan to really enjoy 90% of barbecues, most summertime activities are kind of wasted on me. I want Autumn, Winter, and even Spring – Texas does boast a lovely, if brief, Spring. But I hate every minute between Memorial Day and pretty much Mabon – it doesn’t even really start cooling off until the end of September if we’re lucky and sometimes not even till Halloween. So you probably won’t see lots of brightly colored beach-themed and camping-related themes from me from now until Fall – if anything the opposite as I try to distract myself from the season.
However, there are a couple of things that early summer in particular offers around here that I do like: Sunflowers and storms. Oh, summer storms! Violent and wild and electric! I adore them. And even though yellow isn’t remotely my color, something about the brazen happiness of sunflowers always makes me smile. There are stalwart stands of them all along my commute, and they cheer me up amid the relentless heat. Thus, I wanted to capture them in my planner to remind me that not everything about Summer is awful…although ask me again in late July and I’ll probably say even sunflowers can jolly well fuck off.
Shockingly (not), I loved Wonder Woman, and I absolutely had to do a theme for the movie. I had to be sure and include Robin Wright’s magnificent Antiope – can we have her in all action movies from now on?