• Gordon MacLellan

a pencil and a gift....

a pencil and a notebook

Give a gift that endures

How are you planning these next few weeks?

If you are one of our essential workers, thank you. I hope you find time to rest and recover between shifts and I hope the rest of us are supporting you in any way we can

If, like the rest of us, you are in a splendid isolation, then I hope we might be able to offer some ideas to keep you going

Here at CelebrationEarth!, we have been thinking and planning and finding creative ways of moving forward. We hope to be able to issue a statement about our plans for September in the next few days. Meanwhile, however, we want to encourage people to use this time creatively, reflectively and spiritually. We will post activities here that touch on some of those threads and will bring in links to other sites that offer complementary activities. We will present activities mostly as if for families but hope that people all ages will be able to use them. If you create something inspired by the next posts, please send us a copy – words, a photo, a scanned picture, even a short recording of you reciting your wonderful new poem to the bird-table. We cannot promise to publish everything but we will share what we can!

a concertina book about gardens

A starting point: but now, why not start by giving something to someone else? I like journals. A mix of diary, sketchbook, scrapbook and scribbling pad, my journals generally make very little sense to anyone else but are important to me. Why not start your own? Or better still, take a moment to order a notebook and a lovely pen or some coloured pencils to send to someone else. Smart notebooks are good, something classy, or just different (black paper always feels like a treat until you lose your silver pen!). If you haven’t got a notebook here and now, start with scrap paper and you can always build a scrap book when you get the chance…

Then use your journal as a personal routine: first thing, last thing, somewhen. Stop. 10 minutes will do (it will almost certainly grow)….Me being me, my journals are about the world around me: looking, listening, feeling the weather, the plants, the animals, history, dreams and wonders. We'll come back to nature journals over the next few weeks. I make no apology for this: your journal should go in a direction that works for you. Nothing big or profound needed: just stop and make marks on a page: words, sentences, emojis, drawings or a carefully dated blank page

book building box...

When I look at useful journal sites or books (a couple of links below) they talk casually about sketching and seem to produce wonderful art just like that. I don’t.

This is yours. Your book. Share if you want to. And do not be ashamed of the mess you make. Writing, or drawing, practice helps. If something doesn’t work. Try it again. Try something else…..

When I am making books in workshops (building little books is a different activity and also lots of fun: concertina, 1-page folds, al good fun, for another day maybe) we have a working list of “things I could do”

printing, Owls

  • Write

  • Draw

  • Scribble (very useful)

  • Sketch

  • Stick (magazines!)

  • Make pockets

  • Patch (coloured, patterned paper to write on)

  • Cut windows

  • Make pop-ups

  • Add maps

  • Add fold out pages

  • Do rubbings

  • Print (remember potato printing? Or leaves,,, more printing will follow, hang onto your Styrofoam pizza bases)

  • Paint

  • Stick

  • Enjoy

Enough to get started?

Go for it….

....and persist. It takes time for this to get going. Journals can become a place for you to have a conversation with yourself or with the world or just to pause and reflect but sometimes that takes time.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll offer activities that might get you writing, reciting, printing drawing, or simply stopping. How about opening that notebook and making a start now?

Ideas for journal processes….

Try these sites for ideas - there are lots out there but don't spend so long looking at other sites that you don't have time for your own notebook!

Lily and Thistle

Nature Mentor


In this post: photos are by Gordon MacLellan

owls: by Maria Strutz, www.mariastrutz.co.uk

bumblebee drawings from a garden event

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