Mother. Artist. Nature Lover. Photographer. Writer. Painter. Farmer. Canner. Conservationist. Naturalist. Emergency Manager. Hiker. Camper. Lover not a fighter. On my way to make a difference in the world. Being the change I want to see in the world!
2019 came and went, quickly! I am not even sure where October, November, and December went. I am sure there was not a whole lot of nature study going on. There was a lot of baking, there may have even been some canning in there. Even as I sit here and look at my calendar and my daily notes for work, I am not sure I can tell you what I did, There are only 2 sketches in my sketchbook – 1 from the Octoberfest in Salem (Pumpkins lined up on the porch rail) and the other is the start of the fall leaves falling outside my window (I got as far as the window).
As I begin to look through the photos that I took with my phone, I begin to see what I did.
October was greeted with fog and the final push in the garden before a frost or freeze. It was apple harvest time and apple pie filling time. I tried my hand at sugar beets to make sugar – this is a lesson learned. Did not work out so well. Going to try again in 2020 for sure. Ah yes, jelly and jam making also.
November was cats, snow, and Thanksgiving Dinner (Homemade apple pie anyone?) Ah yes, and there was a finished piece of art completed.
My Nature study goals for 2019 were not reached. However, that being said, I did learn not to be so overreaching. Maybe step down to the reality of life and what is really obtainable.
December came and went without much ado at all. The weather was mild and very little snow. I was busy with work, finishing Andy Christmas Present (Quilt), visiting grandma at the nursing home and resting in preparation for the new year on the horizon.
Keep watching… There is an update coming by the end of March!!!
In my defense, I started handwriting this post in October.
Summer in 4 lines:
Hot! Hot! Hot!
Weed, Weed, Weed!
Harvest, Harvest, Harvest!
Can, Can, Can!
After being under water through May and June, it quit raining and there were deep and wide cracks in our apple field. But the weeds kept growing…
Review of Goals:
Read Books: Does still reading the paper and maybe a catalog count? Still working my way through Thoreau’s Walden. I still have 17 days left in the year J
Long Term Photo Project: Farming through the seasons. As I scanned back through my photos, I did stop and take a few while on my way from one point to the next. I pulled in the farming lane between two fields and took a few.
Long Term Sketch Project: sketch property corner to corner… I have a few more sketches but not many, I have some photos? Does that count?
Visit 1 new state park, visit one new National Park, Ohio History Project (2 places) and take 2 hikes from field guide: Let me please refer you to my summer in 4 lines above. However, having said that, we did visit Zoar Village (this is part of the “Journey” Project with my mother. Andy and I went to see the “Tall Ships” in Cleveland (on like the hottest day of the year, my phone said we walked over 3 miles that day). I believe this goal will be carried over into 2020 with a more comprehensive plan to make it happen.
52 Journal Entries: written or sketched. I added 5 sketches more during the 3rd Quarter. This brings the total to 45. I also keep track of the weather usually 5 days a week and take some other notes throughout my notebooks and journals.
One plant in garden from seed to plate: Hmm. This leaves me a little boggled on whether or not this was accomplished. I have many plants I followed all the way through from the garden (or orchard) to the counter where they were canned. I believe that counts as completed. I will add a post for this goal before the year is over and let ya’ll decide.
I am quite grateful it is Friday. It seems to have been a long week. But at the same time, it seems like it was just March yesterday. So lets review my goals:
Read books: the only book I may have finished reading (ok, skimming through) is the Farm and Dairy Newspaper once in a while.
Long Term Photo Project — Farming through the seasons. I see the farmers out and see the animals walking here or there and there is so much to see, but alas, I have not had much chance to stop and take photos. I do however, have a handful that I might put up here from the last year or two. But to be honest, most of the farmers here were under water for weeks on end and some did not even plant a crop and those that did, planted late.
Long Term Sketch project — sketch my property corner to corner. I guess if you look at the big picture, I may not be sketching the “trees” but I have been sketching around my property. (Photos to come)
Visit 1 new state park, visit one new National Park, Ohio History Project (visit 2 places), and Take 2 hikes from field guides — well we are like the farmers around here — make hey when the sun shines. We were under water for two weeks right after planting season (we had like 4 inches of rain or more in just as many days) and it took a week or so after that for us to be able to get in the garden and it has been one thing after another — rain, heat, bugs, disease — it is amazing anything is still alive.
52 Nature Journal Entries — written or sketched: I have 40 and it is just August 9th. I do believe I will complete this one, as not only do I have almost 5 months yet but I also did not count all the nature journal entries in my little book.
One plant in garden from seed to plate — I almost have this one. I have it sketched in the garden, still need to do the seed, and then the plate. –> unless we count the apple trees then all I need is two more there too… darn… 🙂
So there we have it, all my sketches in the sketchbook from the second quarter. Did any of you choose to have some nature goals for 2019? If so, how are you doing?
There are many that wonder how do I do custom clothing and design. Well… there is a process. Below I will give you one example step by step on a denim skirt I created.
Step 1: Measurements of client (in this case it was me)
Step 2: Design — what does the client want you to make? (I wanted a long denim skirt)
Step 3: Make a rough template of the basic skirt pattern (this will be used for the skirt sloper after measurements are accurate)
Step 4: Make a muslin to fit the client (from the rough sloper)— to be sure all measurements are accurate before moving on to the actual pattern development. (On mine, I fitted myself — I ended up being off about a half inch on each side seam)
Step 5: Go back and edit the rough pattern with the new measurements — in my case removing ½ inch from each side seam (which is a total inch on each side)
Step 6: Pattern Development for final product
Step 7: Create the garment
Step 8: Fit the garment to the client (I stood on a chair while Andy fitted it — remember above where we needed to bring it in an inch on each side, and we had to shorten it by almost 5 inches) — Lesson learned — when you are making your own clothes — have someone fit you before you put the final stitching in the garment.
Step 9: Make any necessary changes/corrections
Step 10: Create a sloper from the basic skirt draft above, that has also been corrected from the fit on the final product. This sloper then will be used as a template to create any other type of skirt for the client in the future.
Step 11: Give garment to client or if yours, Wear it proud!
Oh my goodness there seems to be a never ending bombardment of try this app/program and try this app/program for all your time and project management needs. To be honest in the digital world I have yet to find one that can handle my life and all its pieces. As I type this blog, I am using Agenda. This is a pretty good App, but it is only for Apple products. My computer is a MacBook Pro and my phone is an LG (Android OS) — do we see the problem? And if I wanted them to sync between the two (if it were possible) I would have to pay a monthly or yearly fee.
So lets break it down first into analog. Oh, I forgot not everyone that reads this (it is in digital format) knows what analog means. Analog is the way we did it for hundreds of years and it seemed to work out marvelous until someone invented computers and programs on those computers. So, analog is paper/book/writing it down instead of typing it on a screen and seeing it there or printing it out.
Digital is just that — digital. A computer operating system that is running a program or app. The list of them is tremendous just for to do’s, calendars, mail, etc…
To be honest, I have my calendar in digital and I use an analog planner.Why? Because I cannot write quick notes exactly where I want them in my digital calendar (or most programs), and because during a meeting (if I am bored) I can sketch a quick thought. I have tried a whole handful of task management, calendar/planner, notebook type programs and not a single one is really all that favorable. I write out a “battle plan” on paper for every day during the work week with check boxes. This helps me accurately (most of the time) budget my time accordingly. Some days, instead of checking the box I am putting an arrow and moving it to the next day or even two days later — in which case I either make a note right there to move to the next day or write on the day I plan to work on something again.
I can assure you that I am on Twitter and Facebook — however, I am not on their every day anymore. I have more interesting things to do with my life than post what I had for dinner or that my clothes are hanging on the line, or that the grass grew and it had to be mowed. I choose to be the change I want to see in the world.
I challenge each and everyone of you to power your electronic down on Sundays and see how much more your family is together. You will start to see a change on non-electronic Sundays! Heck, I have even left my phone at the house when I have left!
I am including this article I ran across in one of my emails. I have put it in quotes as I have taken it directly from the author — take a minute and read it! It is astounding what has become of us (humans) and how we got to where we are today.
“There is a growing epidemic that is killing us as leaders, and it’s completely curable. Our culture is filled with more anxiety and stress than ever. None of us were built to handle what we are all dealing with on a daily basis. The average knowledge worker today is interrupted every 11 minutes by some form of communication. Many of us wake in the morning and immediately reach for our phones which we strategically placed on our bedside table the night before so that it will be the first thing we see each day. The people in our lives expect an answer to their messages in seconds, and they think we are ignoring them if we take even a few minutes more than that.
The result of all of this is chaos and chaos creates stress. Stress is a killer. It effects our health, causes confusion, and steals our joy. If it goes on long enough it might steal our time here on this planet and that would be even more tragic.”
Wow, hard to believe it is May already. It seems like I was just writing about my Nature Study goals for 2019. Well, I have completed a number of written entries in a number of locations (including my notebook on the kitchen counter, my actual nature journal, and even in my sketchbook), what looks like 17 or 18 sketches/drawings and taken a large number of photos, some with film and some with digital. (More images coming in a future post)…
I have only finished the one book, see post Keeping a Nature Journal. However, I am reading 3 different books at once and I have changed 2 of my books for the year. I am removing Richard Louv — The Nature Principle and Botany in a Day. Instead I am adding
A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold
John Muir : Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays
I have not had a chance to get out and go on any hikes yet. But alas, the weather has just now finally broke enough that we can go outside and not be cold. In fact it has been in the upper 60’s and 70’s around here the last few days. If only it would dry up enough to get into the garden.
Leave me a comment and let me know how you are coming along with your Nature Goals for the Year so far.
Keeping a Nature Journal by Claire Walker Leslie and Charles E Roth is both inspiring and invigorating. As an artist of many years, this book gives me the courage to go out and keep doing what I do, only now with a better feel for Keeping a Nature Journal.
There are 4 Parts and 11 Chapters.
Part 1: Getting Started
Discovering Nature Journaling
Beginning Your Journal
A Sampling of Journaling Styles
Part 2: Journaling Through the Seasons
The Ongoing Journal
The Autumn Journal
The Winter Journal
The Spring Journal
The Summer Journal
Part 3: A Seasonal Celebration – A New Selection of Pages from Clare’s Journals
Part 4: Learning and Teaching Nature Journaling
Getting Started with Drawing
Teaching Journaling to Groups of All Ages
Journaling with School Groups
I will be completely honest, I had begun to read this book many a year ago and even flipped through the pages and used some of the pages when I would teach Nature Journaling. That being said, to read it from front cover to back cover, opened my eyes to a myriad of thoughts and ideas I had never thought before. Their idea of Nature Journaling is not simply confined to “Nature” in the most common sense, but nature is tied to each of us, and each of us is tied to nature. Everything is part of nature.
On page 7, they distinguish a diary from a journal; “It is important to note here that whereas a diary or personal journal records your feelings toward yourself or others, a nature journal primarily records your responses to and reflections about the world of nature around you.”
Charles E. Roth states in the Preface, “I wish I had kept a journal that recorded my childhood discoveries of nature, and people’s reactions to them.” It was not until college that he began to take detailed field notes of his natural history observation. I, too, often recall my many discoveries growing up, not just nature, but in life in general. I have often sketched something here or there along the way, but if they are not in a “book” they have been lost among the many moves I have made over the years.
Last year, I began to sketch a few more things here and a few more things there. I take my sketchbook, aka, Nature Journal, with me, everywhere I go. There are many times, like at the airport or in the hotel, I wish now I had sketched or painted instead of using the camera. The camera just doesn’t really begin to capture what my eyes truly see.
This book does not start off with a lot of you should do this and you should do that, or you need this item and you need that item, it begins with an introduction to recording nature. “Nature journaling is the regular recording of observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you. The recording can be done in a wide variety of ways, depending on the individual journalist’s interest, background, and training.” (p. 5). It goes on to talk about the medium and the format and their point is, you can record anything and everything in any form using any medium, drawing, writing lists of what you see, the weather, a poem, notes to look something up later. YOUR nature journal is ALL yours. There is no right and there is no wrong way to use it. The key is TO USE IT!
The benefits of nature journaling are far and wide and to list them all, would be tedious and cumbersome. The two most important benefits I take from nature journaling are the time to slow down and really see what I am seeing – is that a Northern Cardinal or is that a Tangier? Is that a Grackle or is that another type of black bird? Are those barn swallows or house swallows? Are my cherry trees really beginning to bloom already? By recording these observations in written and in sketch form, I now have a recording of who is visiting my property and when. I can then look back year after year to see if the populations are increasing or have I lost some of my bird friends? I can tell you after a few years if the cherry trees beginning to bud in February was a fluke or if it is a regular occurrence.
The key information to record in your nature journal when observing: (written or drawn)
Your name àunless it is written inside the cover of your journal
The time (does not have to be the exact time)
Cloud patters and cloud cover
The wealth of information covered in this book is too much to include in this one blog. I may come back at a later time and cover some of the other parts of the book that I found very useful and helped me find my way. But at this time, I would recommend this book to ANY beginner or novice nature journaler. It will give you the confidence you need to go out there and put the pencil to paper, so to speak.
If you have read this far. Thank you. I do not receive any financial income from any person for discussing their work. I do not have any affiliations with any book store or any company. In all honesty, if you can go out and buy the book used or have your local Independent Book Seller bring it in for you, that is a much more feasible way to purchase the book.
So, for now, have a great day and I look forward to seeing ya’ll real soon. Feel free to leave a comment or a link to your posts.