Friday, April 12, 2019

New Fern Journal

This is a new Booksmith journal I created around the theme of ferns, and includes the first story of Fernie's World, a new series. It is also a Traveler's Notebook and comes with:
*4 inserts/notebooks: one lined, one drawing paper, one "eco-printed" green dyed paper, and a Junk Journal insert with a combination of lined, ink-stained, fern-imprinted, ledger and music paper. Paper is all 32 lb. paper and is fountain pen/rollerball friendly.
*The first chapter of Fernie's World is included as a booklet 
*An ephemera packet: cards, fabric, lace, washi tape, music paper
*Gold fountain pen, ink cartridges & ink blotter page

To construct the journal, I combined The Adventures in Booksmithing course along with The Hollow Back Binding course. To learn how to make your own Booksmith tomes and a whole lot more, here's a link to her FABULOUS online classes: Nik The Booksmith's Booksmithing courses.  Here's a link to her Nik The Booksmith YouTube channel for more tutorials and inspiration.

To learn how to make your own Traveler's Notebooks, here's a link to my Ledger & Lace Teachable classroom for a free course.

Here's a video flip-thru of the journal: 

Here's the story:

Here's Nik The Booksmith's Fern journal of AWESOMENESS:

Chapter 1
Fanny was unintentional in her pursuit of ferns. It was her nature--and curiosity of Nature, that led her into the woods with her father, a botanist, and her older brother, William. Her father was more intent on the measuring and preserving of botanical specimens with their proper Latin names, and William was more interested in the artistic rendering of the landscape. Initially it was to stay out of the way so that Papa wouldn't leave her behind with Nurse and her younger siblings. She was not to touch any of the plants with which he was working, and she was not to stand in William's view. 

On a hot, sunny day by Queen's Brook, as Papa collected and William sketched, Fanny grew weary from the heat. "Fanny," said Papa, "Fill the water flask for us, please," as he handed her his field flask. She followed the path down to the creek and filled it. At six years old, she was happy that she could be helpful in such serious, scientific endeavors, if only to bring water. She took a long drink, refilled the flask, and brought it back. "Here, Papa." 

Papa took a drink and handed it to William. She was delighted that they could forgo the social propriety of cups, and be "heathen Barbarians" as her mother called them when they were out in the Wilds of Nature. As Papa wiped his brow, he said, "What did you notice at the creek?" 

She knew he was asking a botanical question, but she was more impressed with the frogs that had jumped into the water with several "Plops!" at her approach.  "I saw several Amphibia of the Animalia kingdom," she answered. 

Papa laughed. He looked down affectionately at his daughter with her damp forehead and flushed cheeks.  "Perhaps you will find something of botanical interest in the shade by the brook," he suggested. 

As she settled on a large boulder with a mossy patch, she noticed that flowers weren't growing in this part of the landscape. In fact, it was cooler and darker and somehow greener. She brushed her hand through the lush moss and gently rested her cheek against it. She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath of the earthy fragrance about her. No flowers here with their wafting, sweet scents. 

She opened her eyes and stared intently across the creek, waiting patiently for the frogs to reappear. As she did, she took notice of the ferns; how beautiful and abundant they were!  She felt a slight breeze and watched as it rustled through the ferns to make them sway and dance.  How delightful!  

"Papa!" She called out, forgetting to be quiet for the frogs. "What is the botanical name for ferns?"

Papa smiled and called back, "Pteridophyta!"  

She sat up and ran back to her father with gleaming eyes.  "I suppose," he said, smiling and reaching into his field satchel, "You will be in want of a proper sketchbook."   

And so it began. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

To the Artists

My friend Betsy forwarded me Eric Rhoads newsletter, Coffee with Eric and his blog post, Doing Your Soul Work.  I just LOVED this quote!
Bird graphic from The Graphics Fairy

I'm reminded of the story of John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls telling the story of writing Name.  They were a punk band, traveling around in a van and he was approaching 30 and thinking about getting a "real job," and maybe going back to college. Or plumbing school, because apparently he's really good at plumbing, which back in the 80's would not have wowed me, but now I just think, "Oooooh, bathroom remodel!"  :-)  But I squirreled. Anyway, he was having that what-should-I-do-with-my-life? conundrum and sat down on the sofa, and wrote Name, which was their first song on the radio and the rest is rock-n-roll history. 

Here's a clip of him telling the story, but this video is too adorable not to show:

And how could we not include Seth Godin on a conversation about art?  :-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT! Ledger & Lace is on

This has been a labor of LOVE, combining my passion for Traveler's Notebooks and teaching.
Here's a video explaining the two courses I have in the Ledger And Lace Teachable online classroom:

Here's a link to the classroom:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Repost: 10 Years Later

Marlene's Birthday

My youngest niece turned 13 today.  13!!!  So in honour of her birthday, I thought I'd re-post the story of her third birthday. All the things I saw in her at the age of three, remain and have expanded in these last 10 years. She is bright and smart and innovative and funny and creative. She is sensitive and kind and compassionate. She has the same joie de vivre and enthusiasm that she had when she was riding down the stairs at age 2. It is such a delight to see her grow into more of who she is, as she has become more and more of a young lady. My brother and SIL have done a remarkable job with all their daughters, and I am so grateful to be their auntie!  

Here's the post from 10 years ago:

Last weekend, we celebrated Niece Marlene's 3rd birthday. I LOVE this girl. She's so smart and funny. A familiar refrain is, Marlene! What are you doing? She replies, Plotting and scheming. Thanks to my brother.

On the famous YouTube stairs.

SIL was v. wise to get ONE balloon colour. Noooooo! I want the red ballooooooon! All avoided. It was a smallish affair with just the extended fam of aunties & grandparents. SIL picked up a cake. As a fan of Cakewrecks, I was hoping for something with a bit more wreckiness, but we got this:

You call yourself a Cakewreck?

Cakewreck worthy? Well no. But I do appreciate the migrating border in all its ploppiness. And the squiggly writing. And the brown leaves around the Crisco roses; v. appropriate for the winter season. Cue music: All the leaves are brown . . .all-the-leaves-are-brown . . . and the sky is grey . . . and-the-sky-is-grey . . . . If only it said "Happe Brithday" or we'd had a few misplaced quote marks. Alas.

That night at dinner after the rest of the extended fam left, we were at dinner. Mum asked Marlene how she liked her birthday. It was incredible, she replied. That's right, she's 3.

To the "brithday" gril:
May you're thrid year be
as good as to.
Underneat that write
Yay U in blue 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HAPPY 2019!!!

Here's my quote for the day by that magnificent philosopher, author and genius, Robert Heinlein, since I was not up at my usual 5:30 a.m.-ish:

"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something."  

I only woke up at 8:38 a.m. because Bingo was squeaking for breakfast:
Bingo's "FEED ME" Look.
And by "squeaking,"  I mean whining.  On the other hand, I was awakened at midnight by the neighbors ALL AROUND me setting off fireworks!  Across the lake, next door, across the street.  Good times.  Then I was awake, so I reviewed my 2018 journal for a coupla hours and noticed how much I actually accomplished. So I wrote a "Yay, me" list.   

One of those things: I built a boom for my camera!  (And by "I" I mean that I got the materials and Brother Atlasta whipped it together for me, lickety split. I could have done it, but I would have been less lickety-splitty).  As I stood staring at my camera set up on the tri-pod trying to figure out how to film a new way, I thought, "Why am I trying to reinvent the wheel here?  Someone has already done this and has a tutorial on Youtube!"  And so THANKS to water colour artist Wonder Forest, I saved a LOT of time: 

And THANKS to my bro. Just waiting on clip thingie from Amazon to secure to the galvanized pipe and then I'm set for overhead, hands-free filming. Squeeee!   I did it.  2019, here I come!  Tutorials, journals, and courses, oh my!   :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

In Gratitude of Mum

  I think one of the keys to happiness, if there is a key, is cultivating a Gratitude Practice. Gratitude brings you into the present moment and connects you to the abundance of everything around you. It adds sweetness to the bitter and beauty to the mundane. It is not just a spice of life, but a kind of life force itself.

Having a practice of gratitude requires discipline; it means that you do it consistently, even when you don't feel like it or don't have time or are not even feeling particularly grateful. It is especially useful when outside circumstances are less than ideal and you are struggling. It is helpful to have a record of the "good stuff" when things are difficult and it's hard to remember the good.

I began my Gratitude Practice in June of 2015 at a particularly challenging time in my life.  I was back to having migraines every day and was exhausted and had brain fog that I couldn't shake. I discovered 6 weeks later that the pharmacy had cut my dosage of thyroid medication in half when it did the conversion math to generic meds; and so I was grateful with that discovery; and how much better I felt back on my proper dose. It made feeling better even easier!

Prior to finding out about my thyroid meds, I thought, "I gotta do something, here," as I was in the Pit of Despair. So I got one of my pretty little A6-sized journals that I'd been hoarding,  and started a separate, dedicated journal of all the good stuff.  Paraphrasing Victor Frankl, outside circumstances don't have to dictate the inner landscape of your attitude or feelings.

What I didn't realize at the time, was that I was also documenting the last 5 months of my life with Mum. I spent almost every evening with her, and in my journal I wrote seemingly mundane things like, "Tonight, Mum made soft-boiled eggs and soldiers with knobby greens (Brussel sprouts)."

Eggs and soldiers.

 Or another time, on the way to her place, I watched in wonder as traffic stopped both ways to let a mother skunk and her 2 babies waddle across the road and disappear up a hill. I wrote about the magical light show of watching the first night of fire flies and the perfume of honeysuckle and the sounds of frog songs and toad trills. These were things I might have a vague memory of, but as Anais Nin says, "We write to taste life twice."  These memories are particularly sweet.

It was after Mum's car accident that I was astonished by the power of a Gratitude Journal to keep me grounded and sane. By then, gratitude had become a daily ritual and habit. My sibs and I took shifts and stayed with Mum at the hospital; I stayed til 10p and then would drive home.

As I lay snuggled up with Beagle-boy Buddy at the end of a long day, I would write things like, "I am so grateful that Mum told the nurses she had bossy daughters," because it meant she still had some spunk. I was grateful for the nurses and then later, Hospice, that brought her home where she wanted to be. I was grateful that she finally got to have a cuppa tea when she got settled into bed in her flat.

One of those ordinary days. There's her favourite tea cup, too. 

I was grateful that we got to say goodbye and that she was surrounded by her loved ones at the end.
For all of that, I am grateful.
Mum looking snazzy.  :-)
Most of all, I am grateful that she was my mother because there were rocky, teenage-into-my-early-20s-times, when I wasn't. I am grateful that I had this blog when I moved across the river from her, so that I could keep an online journal for her. I documented the funny things she said and photos or ordinary vizzies and I was able to express my appreciation to her in a way that doesn't translate with a card. Altho, of course I gave her those, too! 

She was typically British with a stiff upper lip, and would roll her eyes if things got too sappy or sentimental. But when we were cleaning out her flat, I found a box, tucked away, that had all the cards and letters friends and fam had written her. And in there, she had printed out the first Mother's Day post I did for her.

It has been 3 years since she died.  I didn't know how I would get thru those first few months; but somehow, the months have turned into years. I think of her everyday, but now I can smile. I like to think that somewhere, she is smiling down on us, too.  At Thanksgiving, we went to Pioneer Sister's new seafood restaurant, Crabby Maggie's. It felt like the first family gathering that didn't have a gaping hole where Mum should be. It was joyful and fun and great to spend time with the whole fam.  In addition to the traditional T-day fare, we started off with trays of JUMBO shrimp. After that, as the regular food was dished out, nephew Ro said, "I was told there would be crab legs."  My BIL said, "You want crab legs?  You got crab legs!" And a few minutes later out came a tray of giant ones.

My niece has been playing violin for a couple years now. She played Bach's third Brandenburg and Chiro-sis and I just sat there and wept, she was so good! Mum would be so proud of her!  Mum played violin at her age and I imagine that she looked very much like my niece, with her red hair swinging as she swayed with the music. It was so sweet and it was such a BEAUTIFUL day.  And it made me so grateful for our family and to be part of Queen Anne's Clan. 

I continue to be Anne Holliday's daughter; and so GRATEFUL to be so.  :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Science of GRATITUDE

Loyal readers of this blog are familiar with our beLOVEd Bruce Lipton. Just in time for the season of Gratitude, comes this brilliant explanation of how gratitude enhances your health, happiness and life! EnJOY!!!  :-)

"Whatever you're waiting for, be of peace of mind, contentment, health. It will surely come; but only when you're ready to receive it with openness and gratitude. Of all the characteristics needed for both a happy and morally decent life, none surpasses gratitude. Happiness and health are the just rewards for living in gratitude." ~ Ben Franklin