Saturday, 21 November 2009

I am so excited ...

first notebook page detailing my new commission - double-click on each pic throughout this posting to see it at larger size.

Hot on the heels of my euphoria at actually completing a project (the little fabric keepsake for one of my grand daughter), my 2010 commissions arrived for a magazine for which I write every month. I am thrilled to bits about one of the topics, for you would not expect what will be essentially a craft article to appear in a gardening magazine.  Though when I come to think about it, I have had other 'craft' articles published in other gardening magazines. However, this one is different and stemmed from a suggestion I put to 'Grow it!' magazine some months back:

This is the idea I put forward: 'Garden Journals: more than a useful record, a visual delight to remember the gardening year. Starting from scratch – a bought or handmade book – and suggestions (with techniques) as to how to fill the pages.'

And this is what the editor asked for when he commissioned the article: "If we could cover this as a one-off piece, perhaps with a step-by-step somewhere within this, and plenty of pics showing relevant examples and the journey of recording the information to presenting it beautifully."

"Presenting it beautifully": with these words running through my head, I knew I must start now, even though the copy deadline is not until the end of September 2010; not just the words but the actual 'Garden Journal'. A month at a time. This is such an opportunity, to be able to combine the two things I love - journaling AND making an artifact that I hope will give pleasure to readers. I am so excited.

working thoughts are coming together on the page

Ideas were instantly flooding my mind; jottings on numerous pieces of paper all around the house, in pockets and diary and my various journals in whichever room I  happened to  be. And so I decided to catalogue the journey and make a notebook to keep all my ideas together. The first pages are a mish-mash as I jigsawed together the scraps of scribbles, and then tried to combine them into semi-decorative pages to which I will refer as I make the actual garden scrapbook/journal.

I am ready to begin

And herein lies a dilemma, for I want to make fabric pages as well as paper-based ones and I cannot yet decide how the two will marry. Then I also want to add some of my paper 'pocket-pages' as 'seed-keepers' - places to stash seed packets or notes as the months progress. I want readers to feel they are creating something they can use in their own garden, a record and a worthwhile reference to their personal gardening year.

Then came a feeling of pure terror, for as I pulled out some of my samples prepared for other projects using techniques I want to suggest, I could not in many instances remember the sequence of how I made them! So as I work through experiments and the actual making of this new fabric/paper journal, I decided only this morning that I must record instructions for every single technique I use. I only have 2,000 words for the article itself when I come to write it, but at least all my notes of the making will be there to guide me, and to be able to respond to anyone who asks for further instructions.

next stage is to prepare the base pages - both fabric and paper and start to assemble the materials I will use. Everything must be documented in photographs to visually record my progress.

I hope you will follow and share my journey. I will post my notebook pages and little experimental pieces from time to time, though not the actual 'Glory of the Garden' journal, for that should wait until the article is published in a year's time. Please join me on my journey, and feel free to comment; I welcome input from my dear online readers - your thoughts, constructive or critical, will encourage and sustain me in the long months ahead.


  1. I will follow your journey happily. This will be exciting for all of us I believe. What an adventure for you!

  2. What an exciting project, I can't wait to see the finished article. It doesn't look as if you are short of inspiration, but if you want some additional reference material to point people to there is a wonderful book called 'The Painted Garden' by Mary Woodin. I have also featured some Garden journals on my blog -

  3. You put so much work and thought into everything you do. Will look forward to reading and hearing about how your project progresses. Sounds wonderful.

  4. I am sure you will do very well once you get started and the 2000 word limit can be overcome by a line or two under each picture to assist in the explanation.

    It will be a pleasure to follow the progress and I know I will learn from it.

    Thank you for stopping by both my blogs today and commenting on each, this was indeed very kind of you.

    Wishing you all the very best,

  5. Well done ..this should be such fun. Are you a Scrapper too?... if not can I suggest that you look at how some scrappers add extra space to a page by using flip books etc and use envelopes etc for storing special items ...might be useful. I shall watch your progress with excitement.

  6. Congratulations. This sounds like such an exciting project. And I love the look of your journal already!

  7. I love project and can't wait to see it completed.

  8. Well, well, here it is. Planning a project, laying it out in steps, splendid.

    Germinating ideas of my own, long deep in the cold dark celler of procrastination and down right fear.

    Guess this is a good place to begin at the beginning. Hi-ya.

    May you know in your heart of hearts how you have touched my life in one day. The beginning was reading your blog, found on another blog, and I cannot remember the blog at this moment.

    I'm so excited.

    Be well....