Monday, January 02, 2012

Journaling The Garden Week 1


Welcome!! WELCOME!!!... to the first post of a new, year-long
blog series: Journaling The Garden.

Each week, I plan to share a mix of art journaling tips, techniques,
prompts, tutorials, and finished pages, as I record my experiences
communing with nature.

I am very excited about this endeavor, as it is something I have been
pondering and longing to do for several years now. I hope you will
follow along on this adventure, perhaps even participate by starting
your own nature journal.


So when starting any sort of journaling project, the first decision is
selecting a book. There are lots and lots of choices, which can be
somewhat confusing because each has its own merits. Choosing a
journal depends both on personal tastes, and how you plan to use it.


Because of my affinity for vintage documents and handwriting,
I decided to use an antique ledger book. I have a collection of
ledgers, shown at the top, in varying sizes but was immediately
drawn to one particular book, shown above, as it was in good
condition with many pages of beautiful writing.


Although there was no significant damage to the binding or
structure of the book the inside cover page was torn, so I
simply applied hinge tape, (a product I had readily available)
to prevent the tear from becoming larger and give the torn
page strength.


However after applying the hinge tape, I think I would have
preferred using something that looked and felt more like
fabric, such as linen tape, mostly because linen tape has
such a nice texture. But the hinge tape worked fine, plus
saved me time and money.


Working with a journal that already has writing is one way
I help myself overcome the fear of beginning with a blank
page. Although I adore the handwriting present, I want it
to be a much more subtle part of the background.

So I elected to cover up some of the writing by prepping
the page surface.


There are many product available for preparing paper. I used
Gesso as an undercoating and Golden's Absorbent Ground for
over the dried layer of Gesso. The Absorbent Ground when
applied on top creates a porous surface that allows for wash
and staining effects.

These additional layers will also help seal the vintage paper
and provide some additional strength to the more fragile
pages.


The application of Gesso and Absorbent Ground is sparse
around the edges of the page so the handwriting can still
be seen.

I only prepped the first 24 pages, as I had to give each one
time to dry before moving to the next. I intend to prep more
pages, as I move along through the year.

29 comments:

Sorana said...

I love this new project of yours, Tracie! I too tend to a garden (a very small one in my urban backyard, for which I am so thankful!) and have a journal (and even separate blog) dedicated to it. This first post has already given me a lot of very useful tips!

Kathy said...

What a treat! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your journal project. I'll bet it will inspire me to find and keep a garden journal of my own. Happy New Year Tracie!

Jeannie said...

Thank you so much for explaining the different surface treatments. I look at them in the art stores and know that they have a purpose. I look forward to following along. Wishing you a beautiful week.

sjmcdowell said...

A wonderful idea Tracie!

I adore journals and gardens. I made a garden journal for a friend of mine a couple of years ago..but always wanted one of my own! You have rekindled my desire once again to make one for my very own!!

Hugs and Blessing for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Susan

Dandelion and Daisy said...

You have my attention! I have been garden journaling since 1990 My journal is more of a diary of plant purchases, where I plant them, plans, tips and photos. That diary has morphed into a daily diary....now, I'd like to do something that is more "garden art journal". I'm sure your book will inspire me, I can't wait to see more.

Cynthia Schelzig said...

What an interesting project...I look forward to following along with you.
Happy New Year to you!

Barb said...

I am so looking forward to your new journal project. I may not do much gardening, but I know I will learn some interesting journaling tips.
I have learned something already by reading your first entry.
Barb

Lisa said...

Traci,
Love this project! Love your journals always. Traci, I went to your shop looking for the bird fabric you designed, I bought some last year & used up every bit of it. I need some for a class. Do you have any that you can sell?
Thanks,
Lisa

Jane LaFazio said...

wonderful! thanks for the tutorial. Can' wait to see how your journal progresses through the year.

mama bleu said...

love this!!! what fun!

donnarae said...

Wonderful idea! My family has talked about nothing but our garden for two weeks, and my husband and son have been working on an irrigation project, the greenhouse, and other improvements. Maybe I should be journaling about this!

Thanks for the tutorial; I learned something about prepping pages.

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Fabulous start! I love the idea of gesso and the absorbent ground. Are you using just one coat of the Absorbent Ground?

Ann Somerset Miles said...

Tracie - just how fantastic is this idea of yours; it's BRILLIANT and I wish I had known about it before I posted on garden/nature journaling on my Dobies blog (http://dobiesofdevon.blogspot.com).

BUT, if you agree, I will add a link in the blog sidebar, so that others can follow - let me know and I'll do so this week, as my next blog post for them will not be until mid-January. And I'll also be talking about garden diaries again at the end of the month. Over to you - I;ll await your reaction.

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Hi Diana... I wanted to answer your question publicly so all could benefit.

I covered my page with one to two coats of gesso... to cover the words to my satisfaction and since I was not worried about covering up anything I used only one coat of the Absorbent Ground to help with future backgrounds I might like to make.

Eileen Sottovia said...

Oh this is just fabulous! I am an avid gardener and an occasional art journaler so this will be such fun to watch your process. Already I'm excited to learn about the Absorbant Ground. Pretty cool to be able to do washes more effectively. Thank you sooo much!

rajns (carolyn) said...

I never knew what absorbent ground was for - now I need to do some shopping! Can't wait to see your journal over the year - thanks for sharing!

paperbird said...

I LOVE this Tracie- thank you for sharing your sweet gifts!

quinncreative said...

What a great idea! I love nature journals, it's such a great treat to keep and read through year after year. Can't wait to follow you on your quest.

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Wonderful of you to share your adventure! This is what I love about artists- so generous! A wonderfully blessed new year to you and your family! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Lee said...

Oh, I love this and want to do it!! I do so much better when I have inspiratins, prompts, etc. Now, I don't have a decent book... hmmmmm, can you believe I sold my old ledgers before we moved. Bah!! I can be creative! Can't wait, and hope to follow along. Off to raid my book shelves!!

Lee said...

Oh, PS- I have Gesso, can I start with that? I am a little tight on cash and am trying to USE UP the stuff I already have. xo

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Hi Lee.... Use any sort of journal that inspires you... doesn't need to be an old ledger... write words across the page and then you can cover them up.

Gesso is fine... that is what I started with... Acrylic paints will work great on top as backgrounds.. I added the Absorbent Ground mostly for other washes like Watercolor or Walnut Ink Stains.

Gloria said...

Tracie, this is wonderful! I'm going to spread the word so that more people can follow along!

Sharon said...

I love the idea of an old ledger. I made a book last year and did watercolors of the plants in my garden. I love looking back in the dead of winter at them.
I shall have to try your version and start my new garden book for 2012. What were you using the clear gesso for? I have never used it so that explains the question if it sounds dumb. Thanks Sharon

Sharon said...

I love the idea of an old ledger. I made a book last year and did watercolors of the plants in my garden. I love looking back in the dead of winter at them.
I shall have to try your version and start my new garden book for 2012. What were you using the clear gesso for? I have never used it so that explains the question if it sounds dumb. Thanks Sharon

Kathy said...

I am very excited to see your journal unfold throughout the year. Your artwork is so beautiful! I've never used gesso or absorbent ground, and I'm interested to see how you'll create on top of this background. The vintage book is a beauty too :)

Antiquer said...

I love those old journals and wish I could find one. However, I would not cover the page with acrylic medium. They are too precious. I would copy a page and then prepare it with the medium and write or paint on it and use it in a collage. I love your book and reading your blog. Norma

Antiquer said...

I love those old journals and wish I could find one. However, I would not cover the page with acrylic medium. They are too precious. I would copy a page and then prepare it with the medium and write or paint on it and use it in a collage. I love your book and reading your blog. Norma

Joolz said...

Oh so lovely, thanks for sharing!