Sunday, May 31, 2009

Natural Beauty and Nature Book (Part One)

Gathering slate blue skies bring needed rain.

A visiting Western King bird surveys a field.

Wildflowers, not as numerous as previous years, curve around a walking trail.

Baby barn swallows stretch their beaks for food under the house eaves.

Trees begin shedding their winter barks.

Young mockingbirds squeak and squeal on the back fence, getting flying lessons.

The last of the spring flowers push up and spread before the crushing heat of the summer.

Sunsets glow in ephemeral colors before quickly fading.

All this month of May, I have witnessed the scope and grandeur of Nature. I am inspired, nourished, refreshed, uplifted, and delighted by Her presence around me.

In response, here are some mixed-media Nature samplers I created.

When I began, I listed a range of materials that might be used for the signature “pages” and how (and if!) they could be bound into a book form. Some things worked; some didn't. As a result, pages are made from watercolor paper, felt with a adhesive backing, thin cotton fabric, dark gel pen paper, various types of tulle, handmade paper I made last summer, gelatin prints on various substrates, transparencies, fabric with photo transfers, cotton mesh, vinyl, upholstery fabric, copper mesh, transparent plastic with flower designs, paint sample cards, vellum, scrapbook paper, and photo paper.

Attaching items or backing thin pages, I experimented with brads, hand sewing, staples, copper wire, glue stick, and fabric glue.

When I began, I could not decide whether to put blank surfaces in to use as a journal but settled upon making a sampler. As I drew close to completing the signatures, I also realized more could be done by layering over the existing pages with paint, markers, colored pencils, gel pens, sewing, buttons, metal pieces, natural items, and other embellishments. So even though they have been completed and bound, in a way, these nature books can be expanded.

And isn’t that similar to Mother Nature, who is ever changing?


  1. What a beautiful post! I love the nature photos, and the books you've put together are such a great idea.

  2. We are so drawn to nature’s beauty and various critters, aren’t we? Don’t you find it difficult to take a bad nature photo?! Thanks for the encouragement, Angela.

  3. loved seeing the whole book- very nice

  4. I’m glad you like my nature book, Wen. Thanks for visiting. Your blog is a wealth of wisdom, techniques, and beauty—I’m adding it to my blog list so I can catch your posts!