My New Simplified Bullet Journal

Snow storm, cancelled classes, cleaning out and organizing studio spaces. For me it goes along with getting my everyday, calendar journal ready for the year. This simplified bullet journal gives me lots of freedom as I begin to live out my word of the year: FREE as in “be free.”

By simplified I mean, not a lot of “to-do” lists or coding, unless I want to, but more of a loose design format to happily contain my thoughts, prayers, dreams, and activities of the year.

Journal writing and research make up much of my everyday journal, but I want to jazz it up a bit. I still enjoy making a monthly calendar, so that will be included.

I’ve decided to give myself a fun challenge for the calendar pages: to put the name of each month in a different banner. I doodled a page of just banners as a reference for ideas:

That led me to Pinterest, and decided to use a different visual day/date style each month. Here is a  page of ideas I made to refer to throughout the year:

There are now a bunch of new image/ideas on my Pinterest “Calendar – Bullet Journals – Moleskine – Leuchtturm” board. You will also find posted images from my current blog posts on Pinterest’s “Valerie’s Art board” if you are interested in following.

I’ve let go of designating the placement of “special” pages in the book, such as “Books Read”, and am placing them wherever the next blank page is at the time. I mark them with Washi tape folded over the long edge of the page.

Then I record the name of the page and page numbers in the Content section at the beginning of the Leuchtturm journal, so I can revisit them easily. It surprising to me, how much fun playing with Washi tape is. I’ve never been into it much, having a few rolls on hand that I like. I bought a few more and then visited mu local Michaels Craft store. They have a good selection $10 sets of Washi tape. It’s a great bargain. If you have a store near you, you may want to check it out.

As mentioned in the post I made a year-at-glance, a new addition for me, and finding it quite helpful across from the reminder to live out my word of the year:

If you are wondering what supplies I use and would like to see most of them listed in one place, I am building an Amazon store on my website, and will be adding helpful resources and supplies periodically. Here is the link: or click on the image below. You can also link to the store page anytime by clicking on the square image in the blog sidebar.

Cheers to You with blessings of Hope in this New Year
and a new journal!

Amazon links & info:


A note about Amazon links on my website: I am an affiliate with Amazon, which means I receive a small percentage commission per sale, when products are purchased by clicking on links on my website/blog to Amazon. There is no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and books I enjoy using and produce good results.


  1. Help! On your YouTube video showing how to avoid wrinkles you use “Golden acrylic glaze” so I go to my local Hobby Lobby. I had a white bottle of “glaze” Liquetex Brand! I can’t remember the exact words. It was a different brand, I do believe it was the same stuff as yours. The girl in the art department says “Oh! Don’t use that! Use this! Liquiglaze natural-Non Toxic, Oil Color, Soft Gel Meduim, Glaze, Speeds Drying, Improves flow and gloss, Transparentize, clean up with soap and water. The color looks like a tan thick liquid. I tested it on two pages. 3 hours later? Its shiny too! It’s a oily mess! I really messed up! I wish I could send you pictures! I do not know how to fix the pages? And do you think if I buy the other stuff it’s what you used?
    Thank you-Kathleen

    • Hi Kathleen, I understand that panicky feeling because I had it on my cross page when I used Liquitex clear gesso. It was gritty and shiny and the pages tended to stick together. The most important thing for me was not to give up because I felt I had ruined my page. Even though the pages literally stuck together twice because of what I tried, and then a tear happened taking the pages apart, I was able to fix it. It is certainly not perfect, but that process of “messing up” caused me consider the content of the passage in a new way, the way of the cross for Jesus and his redeeming me personally. Now, that page, even with its scars, brings a sense of gratitude and learning.

      Practically speaking, I haven’t used the product you mentioned so I can’t speak specifically to it. The question I have about it is: Is the product oil based? Since you said it cleans up with water, my guess is that it is not oil based and that is good, because then you can put another water-based product easily on top of it. As said in my video and on my website, I use Golden brand acrylic glazing liquid. I have also used Art Basics Gesso, clear and like the product. I had to order the Art Basics clear gesso on Amazon because my local art stores didn’t carry it. Check out my recommended art supplies and resources: Rebekah R. Jones highly recommends Dina Wakely’s clear gesso. I haven’t tried it yet since I’ve been happy with the two products I already use but Rebekah ( has done a ton of experimenting with products so I recommend you check out her website if you haven’t already and consider her Page Prep class. As far as improving the surface of your current glazed pages, you may need to do a bit of experimenting like I did. For me, it didn’t help that much to put the Golden brand acrylic glaze on top of the Liquitex gesso. Matte medium did not work either and I found that product a bit too heavy for the thin Bible pages. The Art Basics clear gesso worked pretty well. The good part about using any of the products (and for yours too) is that I could paint on any of them, so the page was not ruined. I just had to figure out a way to get rid of the shine so they wouldn’t stick together. Someone suggested to rub a cold wax product on the surface. I think that might work, but didn’t try it since it doesn’t seem to need it now. A matte fixativ spray may also work, but I didn’t feel I needed to try that, but it was an option I was willing to try if the others didn’t work.

      Here are a few tips:
      -Because the Bible pages are so thin, start with a thin coat of whatever you use. With newly painted pages, when they are dry and you want to close the Bible and/or flatten the page more, put a piece of wax paper between the pages before closing the Bible and leave it there over night.
      -Make sure you don’t leave your Journaling Bible in a hot car or let it get so warm that the pages with shiny surfaces fuse together.
      -And the most important thing: don’t give up! You just found out something that doesn’t work and that’s valuable information.

      I’m getting ready to start experimenting with some new techniques, so this time I’ve decided to test my products on a Bible from high school that the binding has fallen apart. Low risk. Live and learn… never give up. Onward and upward with Jesus.

      Blessings to you as you spend time with the Lord journaling.


  2. Valerie, your artsy journal reflects a creative beautiful life designed by the Master Artist. I love it! I’m curious as to how you do your little calendar squares with various designs and colors and keep it all tucked neatly within each squares. Do you have a YouTube video demonstrating these painting techniques? I’m giving myself freedom to play with art this year instead of viewing it as a luxury I don’t allow myself time for, so I’m new to various techniques. Your blog is this first place I turn to for inspiration because I am drawn to your style, your words and your gentle spirit. Thank you for allowing us a peek into your life.

    • Hi Ann, I’m happy to hear you are inspired and also giving yourself freedom to play with art this year. At this time, there is not a YouTube video demonstrating the process of the calendar page of my journal. I am considering offering a YouTube video and a class for the calendar/everyday journal. There have been other inquiries about it. It may not be until later this year or beginning of next though.

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