Starting a Nature Journal & Setting Up a Nature Table

The first item in my nature study goals for this year is to "get a nature journal that I can paint or use watercolour pencils in". 

I picked up a simple inexpensive sketchbook with a hard cover at Michael's. I chose a large size, 8.5  x 11 inches. It has acid-free paper that is a little thicker than normal, but it's not watercolour paper. I think it will be fine, as long as I don't soak the page! 

I decided to make a cover for it, to personalize it a little. I did a simple patchwork cover with some of my favourite fabrics from the Spellbound by Cotton and Steel. 

I already started using my nature journal and I love it! I added a Nature Journal Pages Ideas list as one of the first pages. 

I then left a few pages blank for some of those ideas, especially for the lists like the books to read list and the places I would like to visit. 

A January birdwatching list comes next. 

I noticed Black-Capped Chickadees flying around and in the trees a lot lately. My husband and I watched a couple of them through our bedroom window one early morning and he wondered what they ate. I was curious too, so I looked it up and added that information in my journal. 

January nature journaling in progress ~ shared on my instagram

I also added a few little boxes. The weather information, as well as moon, sunrise and sunset for January 1st. I am thinking of adding this type of information every two weeks or once a month. A favourite quote follows, then a list of January nature study topics along with nature photo ideas. 

This month, I am also studying squirrels and so I did a little drawing of a red squirrel on this first January page too. It was fun, I followed a tutorial by Art for Kids Hub. The video was great! 

This month's  Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter mentioned a nature table, specifically to add some fragrant items to it. We really enjoyed having one, that changed with the topics studied, during our Mud Puddles Summer Camp. This time, I set it up in my studio! 

I used an old small table we have had since my teens were little. It has been well loved! 

I will keep changing the table's focus each month. I really enjoyed making the little mandarin pomanders. I also added a couple of cinnamon sticks. They have added a nice subtle scent to my studio. I love rocks, so I added some from our collection to the nature table. 

I gathered a few nature related books from our bookshelves. These books will change over the months and seasons too. 

If you missed my Nature Study Goals for 2016 blog post, you can visit by clicking here or on the photo below.