Friday, September 5, 2008



Many of my fellow bloggers sensed the return of autumn already in August with the fall of a few yellow leaves, chilly evenings and an indefinable but definite tang in the air. I felt none of that then, not even when the kids returned to school - because it started on August 21, for pete's sake.

But autumn showed up here exactly at the turn of the calendar page. Since September 1 it has been cool and rainy. Finally, my mind has turned to thoughts of fall. And in the fall an old woman's fancy turns toward . . . creativity!

I've run across a couple of fantastic art projects that I plan to take part in this fall, now that my round robin altered book is finished. I adore autumn and I love, love, love Halloween so I will be creating away like a mad woman - or witchy woman, as the case may be.

First, I learned that my blogging friend Lena (Mrs. Staggs) of A Happy Miscellany will be giving instructions for a Wednesday Sketchbook every week. The idea germinated when she found an old Washington Irving Sketchbook at an antique shop.

After she brought her treasure home, she writes, "I was thinking it would be fun for us all to make our own books, something along the lines of the Beatrix Potter Journal and those wonderful Fairyopolis books, that look a little bit like journals and sketchbooks and include all sorts of neat elements like envelopes that open and other fun things.

I was thinking something along the lines of sharing an element each week that you would then use to create a page for your book, maybe with the theme of Autumn, and then we could share links to each other's pages in my comment section the following week. Maybe we could each create our own character, and experience autumn through their eyes."

Not wanting to ruin the old Sketchbook, Lena opted to copy the cover and create her own book. But we are allowed to alter a book, and that's what I plan to do. I'm trying to decide if my own character will be a school girl in the 1910s or a young lady in the 1920s. Whichever incarnation she is, she is a nature lover. (Maybe her sketchbook can cover a 10-year period!)

Lena will give complete instructions for a phase of the sketchbook project in her blog every Wednesday. She started this week with instructions on how to create the cover, secure the pages and create an acorn bookmark. Click on the link below for complete details.

Now, on to the other project. While Lena's project is a work-at-your-own-pace, no-pressure kind of thing, this one is a contest with rules, a deadline and a prize!

See the spooky lady below? What can be done using her image and the word "Boo!" (or the idea behind the word)?

Quite a lot, as it turns out! My blogging friend Mary in Idaho (Back of the Moon) accepted an art challenge from another blogger and created this delightfully eerie scene:

I guess because I copied the image from Mary's blog, you can't click on it to enlarge it, but you can enlarge it and read the text of "Sarah's Dance" by going to Mary's blog and clicking on the image there. You'll also learn about the rules of the challege:
By the way, I said this one is a contest, and I am definitely going to vote for Mary's art!
Entries will be posted September 8 here:


Janet said...

I'm so jealous! No cooler temperatures here yet and everything still looks like summer. Fall is my favorite season but this year it seems to be so far off in the distance!

I'll pop over and check out the challenge although I'm not sure I'll do it. Sometimes my creativity comes and goes!! And lately it seems to be gone a lot more often!

gma said...

Just love these!!! I so want to do them. Going to have juggle a bit
since I still have some projects going. But both look really fun and challenging. Thank you Julie for sharing this.
Have a beautiful weekend.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Hello there! We have a little colling-off trend here as well -I think if it stayed this way all year round, I'd Love it! (I say that now, but I'd miss the snow falling, the summer bbq's, the spring rains)
Love the inks you gave - and I think I'll make one of the books as well. I love "interactive" books with pockets, envelopes. and all sorts of fun. Thanks for sharing the links - I always find by going then linking to another and another, I have so much inspiration! You're the best!

Shopgirl said...

Oh my Gosh Julie, you have left me with few words, and I have always been a chatty cathy...I am sitting here with tears, it is wonderful to have your support. It isn't about the contest, it is you....I already won with your act of kindness.
I am working on a chapter book right now with my sister in Kansas. I am almost ready to start shareing what we have done. It is a story set in the 1890 to 1909. I can hardly wait to share it.

I would love to join in on this new adventure you have shared. I will go take a peek at what it is all about. Yes, it is a time for the old creative nature to come bubbling up. I am making charms right now, and I want to start a quilt, so little time.

Thank you Julie, don't you just love is a place for my heart. Your, Mary

Kelli said...

Such a wonderful idea! I can't wait to see your book!

Lila Rostenberg said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful feelings of fall and creativity coming alive with the season!
I'm off to follow your links now!

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Julie ... I'll have to go visiting, I wouldn't mind having a go at doing something with a book of some kind only mine would be with a Spring flavour *!*

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about fall and inspired creativity! I've been wanting to get back into painting and drawing as I used to. My focus is going to be flowers and birds at first, just because I love taking so many pictures of them!

Our leaves are starting to turn colour and the mornings have an edge of coolness to them. The Mums have started blooming and the grass isn't growing as fast. Yessir - it's autumn!

Yipee - the kids are back in school! Son is now back fulltime so I'm finally getting a bit of breathing room and is it ever nice!

Uh...I've changed blogs again...should be my last. I found wordpress quite user-friendly and it gives you the option of 3 column and easy pages which I like. So I'm "Lady P", or rather was.... now I'm at plain old http:\\

Come visit me!

Sheila said...

I look forward to seeing your completed book Julie. I learned long since that I am not up to these challenges, I content myself with enjoying the fruits of other's
Hope you are well...?

Lena said...

Hi Julie,

I'm so sorry to be late getting here to comment. I appreciate your nice thoughts on my book. It's been a bit hectic in my daily life right now, and I haven't been at the computer very much at all.

Mary's project is wonderful!