Personal Project—2022 Planners

Inktober and other fun projects took a back seat this week because a personal project arrived!

Opening this box was like Christmas morning in October. I was so excited for these to arrive!

2022 calendars have been on my mind recently because I receive several wall calendars in the fall, and they are usually accompanied by donation requests.

Still, It occurred to me that a calendar would be a great piece of swag to send my clients as an end-of-the-year thanks. Instead of another wall calendar, though, I thought a planner might be more fun. My business is publishing, after all, and 2020-2021 have been far more digital than print. I’ve been itching for a box of fresh printing to arrive on my doorstep.

I wanted the planner to showcase my design tastes, and the artwork needed to be mine too. I crawled through datebooks and sketchbooks going back to 2006, and pulled some of my favorite pieces. There are a few below. Every month has one or two pieces of art, and there is room for making notes/doodles/to-do lists.

The planner contains my personal and professional brands because it is where my art and my design world meet. Twenty have already shipped with hand-written notes and, yes, a couple of business cards, to my clients from 2021. And some of these will be thank-you gifts to the people who have been so supportive to me as I’ve built Nan Mellem Publishing.

Garden Time

This drawing was posted in 2019. The post has been updated for the 2022 Annual Four Season’s Garden Club Plant Sale. You’ve reached the page with more information about your Epimedium!

Part Sun/Shade
Well-Drained Soil
Low Maintenance
Pink Flowers – Early Spring
Bees Love Them for Early Pollin

Original 2019 post: Spent a couple of days separating and transplanting garden plants. After a bike ride this morning, I spent downtime in the garden…

Bishops Cap (Epimedium) 2019 drawing of an early spring single stem. Pencil and watercolor.

I believe mine is the “Sweetheart” Epimedium varietal. There are many varieties with different colored flowers. Other common names include Barrenwort or Fairy Wings.

These are part sun/shade lovers, and they do well in a well-drained yet moist and fertile soil. They do well in my garden with leaf litter winter mulching.

Bishops Cap in bloom (early spring – late April – early May).

The foliage of this Epimedium is green with red edges, and in the fall the leaves turn slightly rusty red but still green for a beautiful late season display.

In a sea of Hosta plants, Epimedium makes a nice break for the eye in a shade garden. They also green up before the Hosta do making the empty spring garden bed a little less empty if you don’t prune them back.

They are low maintenance plants that keep their shape into the winter, and the leaves lay down in the spring as the new leaf and flower stems uncurl from their center and open in a canopy above the old growth.

Some gardeners like to prune back their plants, but I favor leaving them all alone. They only get a little shaggy in the very early spring, but there is new growth shortly thereafter, and then all traces of the old growth vanish.

The slow-spreading clump can be propagated most easily in the spring by simple root division using a spade. Give the plant a chance to send up its new growth so you can see how it has spread (which it does via rhizome), but divide the plant before the canopy is solid so you can get your spade into the mass more easily.

Here’s a longer article by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden extolling the virtues of the Epimedium:

Thanks for stopping by!

Italy Sketching Tools

A look at the tools I used for the Italy Travel Journal. I pilfered the sock-wrist-towel from Pinterest—worked like a dream and I continue to use it. Derwent watercolor pencils, Pentel Water Brush, and a ballpoint pen (substitute pen pictured—original is now charging an appearance fee, and requires a signed contract up front).

Thanks for the journal, Aunt Peg! It finally got to travel!
No, Smithers, they are not cat treats nor do they require sharpening, but thanks for stopping by!