Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Nature Journaling on St. Patrick's Day


Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've created a 9-minute video with the history of St. Patrick and a whole bunch of nature journaling ideas you can use to record this day! 

Find the video here on YouTube. 

Find the accompanying PDF's to download here on my nature journaling website. (My easy recipe for Irish Soda Bread is also included!)

Friday, January 15, 2021

Nature & Nurture Journaling Class

It's time to sign up for Nature & Nurture: a six week online class (do at your own pace) covering the lives of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Beatrix Potter. We'll talk about their lives, the landscapes they lived in, how that nature translated to their writings, and what observations we can make about our own lives in nature. As a bonus we will also explore teatime with these authors and try our hand at painting some food.

Landscape has a huge effect on one's life, even when we don't realize it. The three landscapes of these authors are unique and varied. 

Each of these authors lived during a different time in "tea history" and we'll explore what kinds of tea they drank, what they had to accompany that, and how we can "taste history" ourselves.

The houses these women lived in played another role in their lives and writings.

We'll talk about the moods of landscape and how those moods appeared in the books that were written.

Included will be plenty of watercolor tutorials so you can add to your sketchbook!

And there will be an optional live Zoom each Wednesday evening so you can join others in the class to discuss what we are learning.

If you have any questions, find me on Facebook or Instagram and send me a DM.

I'd love to have you join me! Find the sign-up info by clicking this link. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

FREE Journaling Winter Nature Journaling Course in January


I am so excited to offer you a free online nature journaling course this January called Journaling Winter!

You can access this course by signing up for my newsletter (see the left side-bar of this blog). All you need will come automatically to your email inbox (well, except for physical painting supplies)! You can then view the course whenever you want on your own schedule.

I created this course because I want to encourage everyone to get out and explore nature this winter as one of the biggest ways to beat the winter blues and find encouragement and joy in what can be a discouraging time of year. I am convinced that connecting with nature will reap benefits in each of our lives. 

I hope you find a way to make nature connection a part of your winter! If you take the course, let me know if you enjoyed it. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Christmas Botanicals Class

 Time has flown this fall and here we are at Thanksgiving! I have been busy giving nature journaling classes online this fall and am excited to announce my online Christmas class: Christmas Botanicals! This class is all about connecting with nature through the month of December. With videos you can watch whenever you want, we will dive into nature walks, learning all about conifers, berries, and pine cones, discuss the historic use of greens for decorating at this time of year, and of course spend time painting all these lovely things! You can find all the details over on my website here

You'll also see this class advertised: it's part one of my signature class on famous artists and authors and the nature that they loved. I can't wait to explore with students the nature that captured the imaginations of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Beatrix Potter and paint it all into our journals. This would make a great Christmas present for someone!

I'm off to work on the Christmas class and then get some pies baked! We aren't doing a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year -- just soup and salad and pies, ALL THE PIES! Everyone has chosen a pie and I need to bake them today. For those of you celebrating, have a Happy Thanksgiving! A heart of gratefulness can be one of the best things we take with us into 2021.

Monday, September 7, 2020

End of August Beginning of September

 The last two weeks have been full, as usual. Look at this beautiful collection of spices! My neighbor who grew up in India has been teaching me some of her recipes and these were the spices (some of them) needed to make Biryani this past week. 

I took Michael's mom over to visit my mom for lunch this week. All this outdoor entertaining is wonderful and it was the perfect weather.

My mom's flowers are just stunning, and they went with the tea cozy!

David and Laura picked out pumpkins from the patch they helped Grandma plant. Earlier in the summer they spent quite a few days helping with garden work. 

The pumpkin patch grows in a big field. 

Of course we had to say hello to Job the donkey and his attentive care-giver.

Mom keeps busy taking care of her people and bringing them lots of joy and love and good food! 

I took care of myself this week by scheduling a kayak time to my secret point. I enjoyed studying, planning, reading, and painting, not to mention watching all the wildlife and doing some plain old thinking.

I spent some time creating flat lay pictures for my nature blog -- do you know about that? It's where I blog about nature! And soon I'll be sharing some of my favorite nature books!

It's dahlia season and on the weekends my sister orders lots to put up for sale. They are just too pretty!

Sometimes my morning walk is extra special. What a gift.

Since I last wrote we had a son turn 18! Congrats Drew! We decorated by finding a whole bunch of things one can legally do when one is 18 and hanging those ideas from the bunting. Finally Drew can buy spray paint and actually get a job without having to get a work permit.

I've worked at the flower shop quite a bit lately -- lots of weddings and extra orders. This was an anniversary bouquet made to look similar to the original wedding bouquet. Those types of orders are fun to fulfill.

One Sunday afternoon we met at the park to celebrate Drew and cousin John's birthdays. 

The cousins enjoyed seeing each other -- we all enjoyed being in nature!

One weekend we had a lot of social engagements and I made A LOT of pies. 

This one was rhubarb:

This was a peach tart:

Once in awhile I get a chance to paint the flowers at work.

My online nature journaling classes started this week! I am very excited about them -- can't wait to "meet" everyone I don't know in person. My mind is bursting with ideas for the next five weeks.

One last picture of flowers.

Our Labor Day fun plan was cancelled due to rain so we are now working on house organization and the to-do list. Wondering if our evening meal will be rained out too! 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Butterflies, Flowers, and Everyday Life

 We hatched our final butterflies last week. Since they seem to hatch around 9 or 9:30 in the morning I've missed them while at work -- but Michael takes videos and sends them to me so I don't have to miss out on the fun.

This is the end of my exercise walks: the reservoir at Eagle Creek:

Drew and I did an "end of summer before college starts outing" -- we didn't eat cake like Rachel and I did, we burned up calories by canoeing on Eagle Creek. 

We had some good laughs about this seemingly very tall Great Blue Heron.

I spent a total of three days at the flower shop. Such gorgeous flowers right now because Emily's in-law's are bringing in fresh flowers from their farm.

Such happiness is wrapped up in these bouquets!

While I worked on market bouquets the other talented floral designers created wedding flowers. They were so beautiful I could almost cry!

On Friday I got to help make the wedding installation on site (at our Central Library!):

Rachel went back to Purdue on Saturday and Sunday evening we enjoyed a barbecue dinner with both Grandmas present. There was local corn (thanks to James' side-gig as a corn-picker on Saturday) and local tomatoes (nothing like them!). 

Masks are our new art form around here and this week James created a dwarf beard mask for one of his teachers at school. 

My garden is just full of birds and butterflies and hummingbirds and praying mantis' right now. It's bringing me so much joy!

I also enjoyed taking time to paint our Cake Bake Shop experience from last week. 

And now we are into a new week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Beautiful August

I'm thankful for temperate weather so far in August -- it makes for a beautiful month. 

Flower therapy Monday: I loved the candy pink colors and the bright pink wheat stalks. 

I got two morning walks in and loved this view so much I had to paint it later in the week.

David met the sign that graduated in abstentia for him from eighth grade back in July.

White peaches are my favorite! They taste like a raspberry-flavored exotic fruit. Their color is just beautiful too!

I kept up the hard work on preparing for my fall online nature journaling classes. If you haven't checked them out yet, you can find all the information here! Did I mention that I'm also blogging exclusively about nature now on my new blog "The Nature Journaler"

Drew is about to end his Subway career so Michael and I went to visit him. 

Thursday brought more beautiful flowers:

Friday I snuck away to my secret point with blankets, books, paints, and food for a few hours of vacation.

It was glorious!

There was plenty of wildlife to enjoy as well!

Rachel heads back to college this week so we planned a mother-daughter outing to celebrate the end of summer. We headed to the Cake Bake shop in Carmel.

This was a FUN outing: chocolate cake, macarons, and loose-leaf tea!

This is a destination not to miss!

We're going to miss Rachel! She's got to go back and work hard on that engineering degree!

And that was our week......