Nature Journaling from the Kayak & Top 10 Kayaking Spots in the PNW!

Deception Island at Deception Pass State Park – a hidden cove!

Slightly warmer and sunnier weather has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest! After a cool, rainy, overcast May, we are dusting off the kayaks and checking the camping gear for our summer adventures! Getting outdoors and immersing ourselves in nature is our favorite way to enjoy the summer.

I put together a small nature journaling kit for my kayak so I can sketch while my husband flies the drone and does videography. We both love nature, but he does the tech and I do the sketch! My kit is very minimal — a 4″ square sketchbook, a pencil & a micron pen in a waterproof dry bag.

I have learned so much about sea life when I am just floating in place and sketching what’s around me — lion’s mane jellyfish (deep orange/red & 12-18″ diameter), barnacles (dentists study barnacle cement to replicate its adhesive property for use in dental glue), fried egg jellyfish (really looks like a fried egg!) and bull kelp (the stipe & bulb is hard & hollow),.

I like to add watercolor later at the campsite or after the trip!

We have posted many of our PNW kayak trips on our Presence Videography YouTube Channel!

Check out the countdown of our Top 10 kayaking spots in Washington State for 2021 with video in 4K UHD with spectacular drone aerials. Kayaking spots are ranked based on their spectacular scenery, interesting things to explore, wildlife including birdlife and sea-life, camping opportunities, overall ease of access including parking and launch and pull-out, and overall how fun the paddling trip was. There is something here for all levels of paddlers, beginner to advanced! Many of these trips are suitable for paddle boarding and canoeing as well.

There are also videos of mountain biking routes and peaceful & relaxing paddles. We are continually inspired by our viewer’s comments, thanking us for the scenic and peaceful videos — taking them to places that they aren’t able to get to or as a mood shifter. Let us know if you have a favorite video!

Life is Precious. Max Every Day! Go For A Paddle!

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournaling
#presencevideography
#kayak
#paddle
#peacefulrelaxing

Wild Teasel: carnivorous or murderous plant? A botanical scandal!

Water reservoir at each level of paired stems

These Wild Teasel plants growing near our retention ponds have awesome water reservoirs where pairs of fused leaves extend from its thick stem!

Insects get trapped in the water, but does the plant digest them? No, they are not carnivorous…the reservoirs trap insects & aphids (murderous!), preventing them from devouring the leaves — a form of defense! (Carnivory in teasels was studied extensively by Francis Darwin (son of Charles Darwin).

Looking forward to seeing the beautiful purple thistle-like flowers blossoming soon. The bees love them!

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

Botanical Paper Making 3 Ways — leaf prints & rubber stamping on tracing paper and tissue textured paper!

I’ve been having fun experimenting with making plant themed paper with 3 different methods!

Leaf prints on tracing paper. I think this one turned out to be my favorite! Gather fresh leaves, paint the backs of them with acrylic paint using a foam paintbrush, press onto tracing paper by placing a plain sheet overtop and smoothing out with your fingers. Even the plain sheet that I used to press the plants down had interesting patterns!

Rubber stamping on tracing paper. Stamp designs onto a piece of tracing paper with different colors, some darker, some faded, fill in some small areas with watercolor.

Tissue textured paper. Brush a piece of tissue paper with watered down mod podge glue (place a piece of plastic underneath), arrange dried leaves/flowers/plants on top of the glue, brush the tops of the plants with a thin layer of glue, place another piece of tissue paper overtop of all, then brush with watered down ink or watercolor for an antique effect and hang to dry.

Leaf print tracing paper glued into journal.

All 3 of these sheets have a wonderful flexibility to them and are ready for cutting or ripping into smaller pieces to embellish cards, tags or journals. I had a few blank pages in my new Wildflower Journal (see my recent blog post on how to make a wildflower journal!) so I glued a ripped piece of the leaf print page into the journal, so that if I place a storage pocket on that page, you’ll still be able to see the print behind it!

Inspired by TheCreativeCove on YouTube (tissue textured paper & rubber stamping on tracing paper) and A Pacific Northwest Nature Sketchbook by Jude Siegel (leaf print).

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal
#wildflowerjournal
#leafprints
#botanicalpaper
#plantpaper
#pressedplants

How to make a wildflower journal with pressed flowers, leaves & plants!

I enjoy collecting and pressing wildflowers and leaves from my neighborhood or on my travels. My wood plant press is 11 1/4″ x 7″ and filled with printer paper that fits nicely when cut in half! The pages can be stacked with many layers of flowers & leaves, then secured with the wood cover and tightened with the wing nuts. I made a small travel plant press (5″ x 8″) out of foam core sheets for the covers, decorated with scrapbook paper (applied mod podge for adhesive), and printer paper cut to size stacked inside. A simple elastic and binder clip enclosure makes this a secure, lightweight press to carry in my journal bag for travel!

It takes around 2 weeks for the plants to completely dry and press, ready for use in various projects — candle holders, bookmarks, tags, cards and more! My pressed flower supply has been growing and it’s getting hard to find what I want or even know what I have!

I found an awesome way of organizing my pressed plants that categorizes them, is easy to access, is portable, handmade and pretty! My new wildflower storage system was inspired by TheCreativeCove where she demonstrates how to make a pressed flower journal.

Supplies:

  • Pressed flowers, leaves and plants
  • Clear contact paper
  • Bristol board for cover 9″ x 12″ (1 sheet)
  • Drawing paper (or other) 9″ x 12″ for the signatures (5-10 sheets)
  • Card stock 8 1/2″ x 11″ (5-10 sheets)
  • Elastic cord
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Handmade embellishments & stickers
  • Mod podge / glue / tape runner
  • Rubber stamps
  • Small ziplock bags
  • Distress ink
  • Brad fasteners

How to assemble a wildflower journal:

  1. Cover: Cut out a piece of contact paper that is 9″ x 12″.
  2. Lay it on a flat surface with the clear side down, then peel off the backing.
  3. Position your dried flowers, leaves and embellishments facing down onto the sticky surface (leaving space around each element so that there is exposed sticky areas.
  4. When you are happy with your design, lay a piece of cardstock over all and rub the surface thoroughly and evenly so that the card stock sticks well to the contact paper. Trim any edges if necessary.
  5. Fold the laminated cover in half so that you have a 6″ x 9″ cover.
  1. Signature booklets: Fold the drawing paper in half (I used 5 sheets in a stack) so that you have a 6″ x 9″ signature booklet for the inside of your journal.
  2. Binding: Position the signature booklet inside the laminated cover, lightly stretch the elastic cord around the fold, tie a tight knot on the inside of the booklet & trim extra length. With this style of elastic binding, it is easy to add more signature booklets to expand your storage space!
  3. Enclosure: Punch a hole in the middle of the opened booklet with an awl. Insert a doubled over 13″ (approximately) piece of elastic cord through the hole most of the way and tie a knot that sits on the inside of the opened booklet. This will make a loop on the outside of the binding that can be looped around the journal to keep it securely closed.
  4. Decorate your inside cover page. I made up a “magic of nature” recipe of many things that I love about nature! Quotes or a table of contents would be fun on this page, too!
  1. Storage pockets: Cut the 11″ side of a card stock sheet in 1/2 to make 2 sheets that are now 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″. Fold up the bottom of one sheet part way to make a pocket. Cut a 1/2 circle out of the bottom edge (which helps for viewing the dried flower packets inside the pocket later). Punch holes on the 4 corners of the lower folded pocket section and insert brads to fasten the paper together. Distress the edges with ink, sketch a plant or decorate the pocket with stickers, etc. Glue the pocket onto a page of the signature booklet. Repeat!
  2. Dried plant storage bags: Insert pieces of card stock (cut to size) into the small ziplock bags and fill with your dried flowers, leaves and plants. Insert these into the pockets of your new wildflower journal.

Enjoy your organized, personalized, portable and handmade wildflower journal!

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournal
#wildflowerjournal
#plantpress
#pressingflowers
#wildflowers

Celebration! Day 7 of International Nature Journaling Week “Back to Basics”

June 1st – 7th marks the annual International Nature Journaling Week (INJW) hosted by the amazing podcast @journalingwithnature! This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” — slowing down, noticing your nearby nature, and getting your thoughts, words, sketches and numbers onto the pages of your sketchbook. Each day has a theme that focuses on an important value of nature journaling. The schedule, themes along with inspiring videos and nature resources can all be found at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/


INJW Day 7: Celebration!

🌲 Each day I appreciate and celebrate the beautiful greenspace that borders our property and the abundant rain that keeps it green! Birdsong greets us each morning while throughout the day we hear the sharp chirp of hummingbirds and drumming of woodpeckers. Many nights, we hear the repeated call of a western screech owl, the frog chorus and the barks and yips of coyotes. We are visited by deer, coyote, bobcat and owls and are so grateful for our nearby nature!

🌎 I am so grateful for this week’s daily videos of nature journalers around the world, sharing their nearby nature! We have so much to learn from each other. Each day this week I felt so energized and inspired! Connecting with others in the nature journaling community and sharing our discoveries is a huge blessing!

🌥 How wonderful that on this Day 7 Celebration theme that I received a beautiful hand painted postcard in the mail of the sky — all the way from Australia, symbolizing that we celebrate friendships and connections across the globe through our shared love of nature!

❤ Thank you to the amazing INJW team for this wonderful week of sharing!

There is a lot to discover right in our own back yard! Hope you find some treasures in your nearby nature!

Warmly,
Karen

Nature discoveries on Instagram: @iamchasingbutterflies

#nature
#naturejournalingweek2022
#naturejournalingweek
#journalingwithnature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

Care! Day 6 of International Nature Journaling Week “Back to Basics”

June 1st – 7th marks the annual International Nature Journaling Week (INJW) hosted by the amazing podcast @journalingwithnature! This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” — slowing down, noticing your nearby nature, and getting your thoughts, words, sketches and numbers onto the pages of your sketchbook. Each day has a theme that focuses on an important value of nature journaling. The schedule, themes along with inspiring videos and nature resources can all be found at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/


INJW Day 6: Care

🌲 One thing I make sure to do every morning for self-care is take a nature walk, rain or shine. We have beautiful forest trails and retention ponds in our neighborhood that are full of life — birds chirping, bullfrogs croaking deeply, blue & red dragonflies and butterflies fluttering through grasses and wildflowers. It helps to set my mind in relaxation mode to start the day.

🌾 I went back to one of the ponds in the evening to sketch the wildflowers and grasses. As I sketched, I noticed a deer lying in the grasses to the side of the pond — it had been watching me the whole time!

🌙 I looked up in the sky to add the weather data to my page, and noticed the waxing crescent moon!

🌟 Magical moments!

There is a lot to discover right in our own back yard! Hope you find some treasures in your nearby nature!

Warmly,
Karen

Nature discoveries on Instagram: @iamchasingbutterflies

#nature
#naturejournalingweek2022
#naturejournalingweek
#journalingwithnature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

Confidence! Day 5 of International Nature Journaling Week “Back to Basics”

June 1st – 7th marks the annual International Nature Journaling Week (INJW) hosted by the amazing podcast @journalingwithnature! This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” — slowing down, noticing your nearby nature, and getting your thoughts, words, sketches and numbers onto the pages of your sketchbook. Each day has a theme that focuses on an important value of nature journaling. The schedule, themes along with inspiring videos and nature resources can all be found at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/


INJW Day 5: Confidence!

💧 I got out into the backyard in between raindrops and spent some time blind contour drawing! (blind contour drawing is looking at an object while moving your pen on the paper to draw it — without looking at the paper)

🖋 I didn’t always think blind contour drawing was necessary. I was impatient and wanted to get straight to the sketching! But, since I have been practicing it, I have realized that it helps my brain to really notice details and to forget about making the sketch a piece of art! It has helped me to get the object down on the page easily and spend more time observing, wondering and learning about it.

🌼 It’s a great warm-up for starting a blank page and not feel intimidated. The drawings may or may not look like the object at all, but it is really training you to see!

📑 It has also given me more confidence about sketching a page for the experience of observing and writing down details about things I have noticed.

🌱 In today’s workshop by John Muir Laws, he shared great tips for gaining confidence to start sketching on a blank page:
> painting a random background design first,
> record the meta data (date, place, weather, etc.),
> use writing, labelling, checklists
> and the most fun idea — squeeze berry juice on the page❗

There is a lot to discover right in our own back yard! Hope you find some treasures in your nearby nature!

Warmly,
Karen

Nature discoveries on Instagram: @iamchasingbutterflies

#nature
#naturejournalingweek2022
#naturejournalingweek
#journalingwithnature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

Inspiration! Day 4 of International Nature Journaling Week “Back to Basics”

June 1st – 7th marks the annual International Nature Journaling Week (INJW) hosted by the amazing podcast @journalingwithnature! This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” — slowing down, noticing your nearby nature, and getting your thoughts, words, sketches and numbers onto the pages of your sketchbook. Each day has a theme that focuses on an important value of nature journaling. The schedule, themes along with inspiring videos and nature resources can all be found at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/


INJW Day 4 Inspiration! PART I

🌿 The seed of inspiration for me to learn nature journaling was planted by the @journalingwithnature podcast 2 years ago and sprouted through all of the amazing guests!

📒 To learn and practice more, today I started working on my Master of Field Arts guide book by @roseannhanson!

✏ Session 1 was all about embracing the versatility of the pencil — value shading, dot mapping & gesture sketching!

✍ I also discovered The Parable of the Pencil which is super inspiring and applicable to life in so many ways!

INJW Day 4 Inspiration! PART II

☕ On Creativity day (Day 3), I experimented with creating simple botanical watercolor using items from the kitchen — turmeric & coffee! I was really pleased with how they worked on my journal page.

🌱 On my morning nature walk today, I grabbed a handful of ripe salmon berries and was inspired to make a beautiful salmon colored watercolor!

The two green bottles are antiques that my grandfather had collected, so it was really special to use them!

There is a lot to discover right in our own back yard! Hope you find some treasures in your nearby nature!

Warmly,
Karen

Nature discoveries on Instagram: @iamchasingbutterflies

#nature
#naturejournalingweek2022
#naturejournalingweek
#journalingwithnature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

Creativity! Day 3 of International Nature Journaling Week “Back to Basics”

June 1st – 7th marks the annual International Nature Journaling Week (INJW) hosted by the amazing podcast @journalingwithnature! This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” — slowing down, noticing your nearby nature, and getting your thoughts, words, sketches and numbers onto the pages of your sketchbook. Each day has a theme that focuses on an important value of nature journaling. The schedule, themes along with inspiring videos and nature resources can all be found at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/


INJW Day 3 Creativity! It’s slug and snail season in the PNW … all year round!

🐌 Coming in from our evening walk, I noticed a snail making its way slowly across the front sidewalk, so I grabbed my sketchbook and started sketching. Looking left, there was another snail — with a beautiful yellowish shell, and in front, a slug!

✍ I learned a few facts about each of them and recorded it which helps me to remember the details like how long they live and how to tell the age of a snail by checking the rings on the shell!

🎨 I started sketching with my usual Micron 05, but then, through the encouragement of today’s theme of Creativity — I brainstormed other tools that I could use to draw with and color the page. I used my whittled stick and ink to letter the title and some of the text. Then, from the kitchen, I poured a little hot water into 2 dishes — one with instant coffee granules and one with powdered turmeric. These were so much fun to paint with and were the perfect colors I needed for the slug & snails!

There is a lot to discover right in our own back yards! Hope you find some nature treasures in your nearby nature!

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournalingweek2022
#naturejournalingweek
#journalingwithnature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

Sharing! Day 2 of International Nature Journaling Week “Back to Basics”

June 1st – 7th marks the annual International Nature Journaling Week (INJW) hosted by the amazing podcast @journalingwithnature! This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” — slowing down, noticing your nearby nature, and getting your thoughts, words, sketches and numbers onto the pages of your sketchbook. Each day has a theme that focuses on an important value of nature journaling. The schedule, themes along with inspiring videos and nature resources can all be found at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/


🦋 INJW Day 2 Sharing! I shared a wonderful few moments with this Cinnabar Moth as it fluttered by in front of me while I was throwing the ball for the dog in the backyard! I chased it for a bit then it briefly landed on a tree so I could observe it, then it breezed off over the fence out of sight…just like that!

I was able to start the sketch page during my lunch break at a local park where I sat on a huge Douglas Fir log, surrounded by trees with a view of the lake!

🌲 We share our backyard with so many creatures as our property is on a greenbelt. We’ve seen coyote, bear, bobcat, deer, raccoon, owl, hawk, butterflies, dragonflies and right now the trees & flowers are literally buzzing loudly with bees!

Check out our compilation video of wildlife that passed by our property during the first year in our home! Watch “Wildlife of Sammamish”.

There is a lot to discover right in our own back yards! Hope you find some nature treasures in your nearby nature!

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournalingweek2022
#naturejournalingweek
#journalingwithnature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal