I'm not sure exactly how this happened, but apparently I won an award in the Flower City Fukushima Etegami Contest! This link is the only English site that I can find describing the contest; Debbie runs the Facebook group where I learned about the contest. She lives in Japan and made it possible for the members of the Etegami Fun Club to enter, by completing the necessary entry forms (in Japanese, of course), and sending our entries in for us.
Debbie posted a photo of my entries on her mail art blog here. I'm not sure how many entries there were in total, but in 2014 there were 904. Perhaps when I receive the award from Debbie I'll know more about the award and which entry won.
The warmer weather and Jan Blencowe have kickstarted my nature journal again. Jan has recently been writing about the basics of nature journaling - the reasons to keep a nature journal and how to start.
I love her idea that your back yard, balcony, or local park is the best place to begin. Having somewhere close that you will keep coming to is the most important part. Not fancy supplies, but a place to return where you can sit and enjoy nature.
Developing a curiosity about nature is a big part of my nature journaling. Here you can see that I am determined to figure out what kind of nut tree we have in our yard. The squirrels love it! I have discovered that it is a hazelnut, and once the nuts are developed I can determine exactly what kind.
A few weeks ago I was reminiscing with my sister, Dianne, about Penscore, which has now been renamed Magic Stamp. Does anyone remember this stuff? You heat it up (with a heat gun or light bulb) and then press it against textures to create your own stamps. Reheat it and the impression disappears and you can start over. I made the impression above with a hemlock cutting.
Not content to stop there, I wanted to make a longer, rectangular stamp, but didn't have a piece of Magic Stamp the right size or shape. Hmmm, this stuff feels like what? Floatie board! You know, those kick boards you buy at the dollar store. Well, I just happen to have one that I had been cutting up to use as ink daubers, so I tried that:
This impression was made by heating the floatie board and pressing it into a "molding mat".
There are many reasons why I'm motivated to keep up The Bookmark Project. One of them is that it is a great way to use up scrapbook paper and card stock. I don't scrapbook, and I bought more than I can ever use on greeting cards for friends and family. I've thought about taking it all to the local Artist Trading Card group and giving it away, but I still like using it occasionally, and I do have a passion for paper, right?