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.