Craft it Forward: Secret Garden in the Round

This month’s  Craft it Forward creation will soon be flying over the pond to The Pyjama Gardener.  PJ’s always witty and entertaining blog features ‘simple organic gardening and seasonal living.’  No need to take my word for it.  You can go have a look here.  According to PJ:

A Pyjama Gardener is anyone who is too impatient to get dressed before venturing outside to check the plants… it was only meant to be a quick look (honestly)… but before you know it an hour or more has passed and you’re still wearing your pyjamas!

What a thrill it was to find this beautiful paper on the shelf of Scrapbook Island!  Graphic 45 has an entire line of Secret Garden paper, featuring a PJ-clad girl on the cover!  Kismet.

This tiny ‘album’ pops open to reveal several panels. I’ve added photo mats and stickers inside, with bits of ribbon here and there.  The circular book is now ready for small photos and memorabilia.

mini scrapbook

Cover (and view of closed album)

Clam Shell Folds

Clam Shell Folds

top view

Album, top view

Inside Pages

Inside pages featuring Secret Garden

Panel View 1 of 4

Panel View 1 of 4

Panel View 2 of 4

Panel View 2 of 4

I made a similar version of this album in early March. It has a Valentine’s Day theme, so I plan to feature it in a give-away closer to the time.

I hope PJ loves this little pop-up book as much as I loved making it.

Circle Explosion Album

Craft it Forward:

Here’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch. In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

craft it forward button

Grab the button for your own Craft it Forward

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail? If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get one going.

My Secret Garden

secret garden girlThe Secret Garden, published in 1910 by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is noted as ‘one of the best children’s books of the twentieth century.’  I don’t know if I actually read it as a child, but the idea of a secret garden has stayed with me always. Who doesn’t like a good mystery?  Throw in a secret key and a beautiful garden and you’ve got the makings of a rich childhood fantasy.

Earlier this year I discovered a beautiful line of crafting paper by graphic 45 based on Burnett’s book.  While I was purchasing my own sheaf of paper in California, Boomdee was doing the same in Edmonton, Canada.  I just know they were thinking of us when they designed this nostalgic product line.

Secret Garden Quote

Secret Garden

Paper intended for scrapbooks doesn’t usually end up in the garden.  For a variety of reasons (well one really) paper and water don’t mix.  I decided to buck the trend, however, and figure out a way to combine my love of tiny gardens, secret gardens, crafting paper and children’s lit.

Using a plastic tray and a generous amount of cello-tape, I waterproofed the paper for the background as well as the sign.  I purchased a small wooden frame for a dollar at our local craft store and painted it a soothing garden green.  Touches of moss and dirt gave it a woodsy touch, as well as the Sedum and petrified wood nearby.  A small gravel path leads to the heart-shaped entrance.  Stairs (made from leftover tile pieces) sit on small wooden blocks.  Just follow the colorful path.

Secret Garden Entrance

Secret Garden Entrance

Please follow the path

Please follow the path

Garden Steps

Garden Steps

tiny dear secret garden

Please come this way…

Paper design by graphic 45

Paper design by graphic 45

You’ll be seeing more of this lovely paper in a craft-it-forward project later this year.

For additional inspiration, check out the links below:

Mr. Mischievous: Mighty Mouse Mayhem

cat in the garden

Secret Garden: Under Construction

Though gardening can be a solitary activity it’s rare that I’m alone in the dirt. Mr. Mischievous, aka the neighbor’s cat is always along on the journey.

Mouse finds it irresistible when I’m down on all fours in the garden. Apparently it’s equally irresistible causing trouble.

Kitty rolls at my feet, nibbles on the swaying grass and chases clods of dirt at the end of a weed. Unfortunately, he’s also a bit of a ‘bull in a china shop.’  Last week, while I had my back turned, he made himself comfortable on top of the City Picker.  I’ve done plenty of reading on mulching tomatoes and cat mulch wasn’t on the list.

keeping the seedlings warm

Mouse keeping the tomato seedlings warm

My fairy garden is under (re) construction after he sent the entire pot, heal over castors on to the deck.  It gave us both quite the start, and sadly snapped off the tiny leg of my treasured Boomdeeadda deer.  My husband worked his magic with a few drops of super glue, but that deer now looks askance when he sees Mouse headed his way.

Fairy Garden Kerfuffle

Fairy Garden Kerfuffle

This week I started a second miniature garden, tucked between a few plants at the base of our Magnolia tree.  The garden is at ground level so nothing can fall and break.  That’s not to say that a curious cat can’t wedge himself into the same tiny space, confident that the new little clearing is just for him.

Mighty Mouse in the Secret Garden

Mighty Mouse in the Secret Garden

cat and deer

Help me!!!

Once he tires of making mischief, he’ll demand I pick him up. On several occasions, he simply climbs on my stooped back and curls himself in to a ball.  It’s hard not to admire that level of confidence.

cat named mouse

It’s all about me!

If you’re in the neighborhood and you see me down on all fours with a white kitty napping on my back, be sure to wave hello.  More likely than not, Mr. Mischievous will trot out to the curb to say hello.

mouse in the garden

I’m trying to get some shut-eye here.

Be sure to check back for the Secret Garden debut later this week.