How quickly these last days of 2007 have passed. Can it really be that we are at the end of another year? With the Christmas holiday come and gone in a flurry of excitement, we stand on the threshold of 2008.
Even though I pride myself in thinking I am quite organized and always with a plan, despite my best intentions there never seems to be enough hours to do all I wish.
It is funny... no matter how much you map out a path in life or even the events for a day, there are twists and turns that inevitably arise from nowhere to grab hold and beckon for you to rush off in an entirely different direction. However, I have often found that fate takes us on these detours, to inspire and change our course for the better.
Such was one diversion that began on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when I happened to be in a small town outside Kansas City enjoying an afternoon of holiday shopping. My mother-in-law, Marylin, and I were wandering main street, popping in and out of stores, searching for Christmas gifts when we passed a used bookstore.
A book, displayed in the front window at the far corner on the top shelf, captured my attention. I stopped to take a closer look and minutes later found myself standing at the register inside asking if I could, perhaps, see the item that had caught my eye.
The clerk gave me a wide smile and her response was... "Oh YES... that is such a charming book filled with the loveliest drawings and poetry".
My heart nearly stopped as I carefully opened the cover and turned the pages... for what I had discovered was "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady".
The store clerk was entirely wrong. It was Not JUST Charming..., but Enchanting..., Awe-Inspiring, AND INDEED, MESMERIZING. I could barely bring myself to let go of this treasure long enough to pay for it.
Over the next several weeks, I fell in love with the diary of Edith Holden. Not only were these pages abundant with the most beautiful drawings from her days of exploring nature, but she had also paired her illustrations with verses from some of her favorite poets.
And after further investigation, I even found that there was a companion book to this diary called "The Nature Notes of An Edwardian Lady" which happened to contain additional pages not published from the first work.
I knew, deep in my heart, that finding these pieces of literature was a beginning. But I was never so sure of this feeling until I ran across a series of four vintage books with the most inviting titles, "Nature Rambles from Winter to Spring- Spring to Summer- Summer to Autumn- Autumn to Winter", while browsing a local antique store only two weeks later. This flea market find coupled with the inspiration I found from Edith's diaries sent my creativity whirling with the most delicious thoughts of art, poetry, and journaling.
So, I begin 2008 by not really saying goodbye to my beloved fiber journal, but instead, allowing myself a chance to grow, change, and tweak this idea of journaling for the New Year.
I will be taking these vintage books and creating four altered journals that explore and revel in the offerings of nature's four seasons.
I intend to fill each cover with an overflowing of lush fiber pages, more painted illustrations on fabric, more original poetry, and bits of preserved natural elements, pattern, and papers that can all be neatly gathered in an accordion style binding contained within their proper corresponding title. This binding technique will make it easy to add pages on a daily, weekly, or whenever basis.
I dream of broaden my horizons by capturing more wildlife, flora, and fauna, as well as my beloved birds among my journal entries.
My heart pounds with excitement as I think about these new works, this new challenge, this glorious adventure... this declaration to make art.
I invite you, dear friends, to come along with me on this journey. I promise to share my pages with you as 2008 unfolds before us.
But before the clock strikes midnight with the start of a new year, I want to leave you with a view from my studio. I call this my wall of inspiration from my 2007 fiber artworks.Wishing you and yours a Very Happy New Year!