Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Keeping Company :: July

I know it's mid-summer and everyone is out enjoying the sunshine and the campfire, so I'll keep this brief!

Did you mark the summer solstice in your nature journal?  Keep a travel log of a recent vacation?  Spend some time reading with diary alongside?  Are you thinking big thoughts and trying new things -- and keeping track of it all somewhere or somehow?  Feel free to jump in and share!

Starting the Discussion

This month I've done quite a bit of reading and spent a few very enjoyable evenings with my current favorite drink (fizzy water with a splash of passiofruit-mango juice over ice!) and my commonplace book, catching up on keeping quotes.  I'll be sharing a few of those over the next couple weeks.

I've also been trying to do a bit more painting (as opposed to just writing and drawing), so the kids and I have pulled out the watercolors every Friday afternoon to work in our nature journals.  I'm experimenting with shadows, so the kids end up experimenting too! Whatever I try always seems to find its way into my kids' work.

my leaf
Gianna's leaf

my wild grasses

my baby buckeyes

xavier's grasses and buckeyes

My shadows still look artificial despite my attempt to mimic what I see as carefully as possible.  But I'm trying!  Gianna's turned out great -- I was so impressed.  And Xavier is so earnest in his journaling that as he carefully draws alongside me, I'm inspired to do my best work.

This Month's Round-Up

Kristyn is finding nature journal inspiration in the same place I am: John Muir Laws' new book.  She shares her recent journal entries using his prompts.

from kristyn at beraca valley

Meanwhile, over on Instagram...

top (l to r) - happylhomemaker1 - athena_amidstthereeds - ambervanderpol
bottom (l to r) - mariasugiyopranoto - sarahjonna - sarahjokim

And a couple lovely entries from Sally, one from child and one from mama:


And now it's your turn!

The Link-Up

:: For bloggers: Click on the "Add my link" button below, and it will prompt you to include the information for your post.  Once you submit it, your link will be added to the list, and others will be able to click over and read what you have shared.
:: For Instagrammers: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM to join the link-up.

:: Remember to link to a specific post and not to your blog's homepage. 
:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome!  The prompt is optional.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book.
:: Feel free to add more than one post.  The link-up will be open for a month, so you can come back and add more if you are so inclined.
:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.

Thanks for "Keeping me company" here this month!  :)


  1. Hi Celeste, just linked. The Instagram photos are great, yet again. I haven't been anywhere near my account after taking the step to open one & post a couple of photos!

    1. You can jump in any time, Carol -- I always love to see pics from Down Under! :)

  2. Your shadows look great - and I love Gianna's painting! Wow! I really am going to get a post up in July for this link-up... I was doing so well earlier in the year.

    1. It's always good motivation for me to try to make sure I have something to "share" for the link-up each month -- sometimes that accountability is what makes the difference between my keeping and not! :)

  3. Hi Celeste, Your nature journals are so lovely. Can I ask which watercolor brand you use for your kids (and yourself) and does it seem to work well for them? Thank you! We are just starting to get serious about nature journaling around here;)

    1. Hi Danielle!

      My kids use Prang pan watercolors: http://amzn.to/29SYRXO
      or this Lyra set: http://amzn.to/29N0sAK

      And I usually use a Talens opaque set: http://amzn.to/29EWJ6M

      Prang is the cheapest of those options and is fine for any non-professional use! Just grab a few sets and give them a try! :)

      You'll also want to get some waterbrushes too. I like these Pentel ones: http://amzn.to/29N0lVQ

      Hope that helps!