After using the scrap book I made (from scrap paper and corrugated cardboard) as a calligraphy practice book, I realized that it wasn’t the right use for the book. The paper was too dark for subtle inks to show. The paper was also soft, and wasn’t right for pointed pens, fountain pens, or anything else except markers.
Time to re-purpose the scrap book. It seemed OK for a nature journal. Before you laugh, we have more than one kind of weather in Phoenix. We do have four seasons–often very subtle changes. The times of the seasons are different than the East Coast, and how people react is different.
For example, in February in New England, if the dog wants out, you crack open the door and encourage the dog to get out. You may keep an eye on the dog to make sure it’s not too cold for him. The equivalent happens here in July. You let the dog out, but keep an eye on him. The heat can overwhelm a dog in a few minutes.
The nature journal I have in mind is not an exact scientific study piece. I’m less interested in subtleties in barometric pressure. I’m very interested in knowing when the temperature at night will drop below 80 degrees F. Once the night time temperature drops, even 100-degree temperatures in the day won’t be so bad.
Once the humidity ebbs, the temperatures are not so serious. But I don’t know when that will happen. I don’t remember from last year. So using a heat map and decorating it in hot, fluorescent colors seemed like a good way to cover some of the previous exercises on this page.
To cover the last of the calligraphy marks, I wanted to use something bright, but natural. When I cooked the beets for the beet and chocolate cake, I used some of the beet puree to dye some washi paper. I glued the paper into the book, although I don’t know what I’ll put on that page yet. I covered some of the other pages in a woven map, gesso and paint and newspaper clippings. It’s casual, but so is the whole scrap journal. I think this is a better use for the book.
—Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach. She engages in creative projects not just because she loves to, but because it is important in knowing what her creative clients experience.