In the past few weeks I have been spending more and more time on my nature journal, which I have been keeping for nearly 20 years. I made the leather cover and a simple page-attachment system (tied with a leather strip) so I can use any paper I like, cut and drilled to fit. There are loops inside for pens. It's been with me all over the world, recording what I see and experience.
I started adding sketches in the mid-1990s, working from the Clare Walker Leslie's books on nature journals and the excellent Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain. The latter is excellent for those of us who have both a strong science leaning as well as an artistic side, but the science side gets in the way of free-flowing art and sketching especially.
Now I've been adding watercolor and a few more collages to my journal, switching to archival watercolor paper and handmade art papers.
In the Decorated Page, Gwen Diehn describes making pigments from local minerals and organic matter - and I had to try it. First, I made ink with charcoal from local mesquite, and then a beautiful ochre pigment from clay collected on a nearby road. I will post tutorials soon. And I can't wait to try other minerals and materials - oak gall ink, turquoise, fluorite, and chrysocolla pigment . . .