Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nature journal

Even if it takes time to figure out watercolours, I still can work out ways to bring in birds and paints into my life.

The little boy was gifted a camera for his birthday yesterday, and I thought that this was a great time to start him on a nature journal. Birding trips always result in us writing lists on random sheets of paper, that's how much we rely on photography as documentation. But there is so much more to see than just birds, there's seeds, seed pods, spiders, dragon flies, beetles, butterflies, mushrooms, slugs.... A boy needs a place to record all this.

So I picked up this inexpensive handmade journal bound in fabric so that it could be used as a nature journal. I used my painting of the Flame-backed Woodpecker as a reference, and used fabric paints, to make the cover more interesting. When painting on fabric I use a really tiny brush with short bristles which functions almost like a pen. It is easier than I expected really.

My boy  loved it. I do hope it gets him started on journalling. I also had an idea that I could use the tea bag pouches that I refuse to trash on some pages so that he can store treasures like tiny seeds and feathers.

A fabric bound handmade notebook

Ah, can that be an inspiration?

A perfect present for a little boy -- and coming full circle really because the painting I made was based on his photograph of the bird!


  1. to really complete the circle - a print of the pic needs to be the first one in the book :)

    You amaze me - yet again. can i send my kids to you for a couple of years - to sensitize them. We'd recently attended a program organised by BNHS called 'Breakfast with Butterflies'. Son's reaction at the end of the trail - BORING. I wanted to slap him :( Nothing that is not on a back-lit screen has any interest for him. Art and craft are so far from his realm - i'm sure i have failed somewhere - badly :( His attention span would rival that of a gnat.

  2. Funny you mentioned that a photo should be there -- I was thinking that too, that I'd have to dig out the photo if it had to make sense.

    About the kids, you have not gone wrong anywhere, she who rescues snakes in broad daylight! Breakfast with Butterflies -- it sounds so good, really, I can imagine all of you sipping on tiny cups of nectar and eating rose petals - imagine a fairy breakfast table. So what if he is bored with butterflies -- we can't hand over our enthusiasm second-hand to them however much we want to. In some ways, I actually feel I am the least enthusiastic of the three in all this, and certainly the least good at bird spotting thanks to my eyesight. We went to the Yamuna Biodiversity Park the other day, unfortunately it was raining so much so we could not go around. They have butterflies, hares, lots of birds, on reclaimed land etc. the best part -- you need special permission to enter so you can imagine how nice it is. can't wait to go there again.

  3. I knew when i wrote it that you'd be imagining a fairy tale scene of tiny cups, nectar, fluttering company et al. They of course meant that you came over, did a bunch of activities related to butterflies - trails, talk, photography tips, face painting and papier mache craft for the kids, butterfly gardens etc...then had breakfast, a few more activities and then left for home :D

    Actually what bothers me about him is how unwilling he is to give it a fair shot to see if he JUST MIGHT get interested in it :( I find it very disappointing.


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