Elizabeth Lawrence and Gardening Bookmarks

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I told my son he had given me one of my favorite gifts of all time for gardening. Some of these books will be out of print soon and I’m so glad I have them. Take a look at what my sweet son did for me.

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I want to hold these close to my heart and cherish every word. I’m not kidding. I am so nuts about Elizabeth Lawrence. She inspires me in so many ways. Mostly, her writing and advice is forgiving. We share the same pioneer spirit on plant cultivars and we both don’t mind saying—goodbye if a plant will not perform. She is unassuming also. I had no clue who Gertrude Jekyll was until Elizabeth introduced me to her.When a writer wants to teach you something, they don’t assume you know–they teach and I’m appreciative of all I’ve learned while strolling through Elizabeth’s gardens through her books and Charlotte Observer articles.

Ms. Lawrence admitted to her readers that she didn’t always know every name for every plant. I fail there so badly. I am guilty of driving to the Nursery and being caught up in how attractive a plant is for my garden. I am first drawn to color and then texture. The name doesn’t stick so well. So I do a little private cheer when the all knowing Ms. Lawrence freely writes that such and such flower came from a neighbor or friend and grows nicely even without a name. I love that.

I’ve been gardening for 40 years and can make anything grow but mostly because my great aunt Nana was my mentor. I think my Nana knew Elizabeth. Nana hosted weekend parties at her Mountain House for several state gardening clubs. They loved going on mountain hikes with Nana cause she knew where all the wildflowers were hidden. Aunt Nana could find the rarest of Lady Slippers. There is a guest book at the Mountain House with entries from several of those groups. At some point, I’ll write down the names of the groups and see if Ms. Lawrence was affiliated. My Aunt Nana knew all the pioneer women of that day as she was one herself. I just love my Aunt Nana and wish she was alive today.

All these new books present a problem. These books are not only entertaining but they are fabulous reference sources. I will need a lot of bookmarks. Mr D uses a folded post it. What? I just can’t do that. I want a pretty bookmark for Ms. Lawrence. So when we picked up my books yesterday, I went looking for bookmarks. Oh my word! The ones I liked are about $6 a piece. I was thinking a dollar at the most. I need about 50 of them–so this is not the option. What could I do? I also needed to pick up an 09 calendar and they were 50% off.

Then the creative lightbulb went off and here is what happened. Naturally, I’m drawn to gardening calendars……

100_5454OH LOOK! You can cut this calendar apart and it will make several dozen bookmarks. It was only $6 and so far I’ve made about 50 from 1/2 the calendar. I also pulled out all my old calendars and made a few more. Looking for the thick paper calendars with borders is best. But you can use any part of the calendar. The best is the front and back covers—the folder they come in usually has a pic of all the months. Those can be cut apart and make beautiful bookmarks. Take a look at what I did.

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If I was using a calender page that was too thin, I doubled it or backed it with heavier paper. I connected them securely with cross-stitch floss or fabric strips. Most of the bookmarks from the rooster calendar are single layer because it was sturdy enough to work. It is also covered in something that makes it durable. I used a hole punch to add character…you’ll see.

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100_5473On the bookmark above, I folded it in half and wove the edges together.

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The paper above was very thin and I added some card stock to the back and secured it at the two corners. I’ll probably go back and add some paper glue to a few spots in the middle. Don’t use any glue except special paper glue or you will get puckers in your paper. Not pretty.

100_5477The possibilities are endless. I have my neighbors to save their calendars and I may include this in my gift baskets. I think it would be cute to make up a theme basket and inclue a book that color coordinates with your theme. I would love to make some gardening baskets–include a gardening book, plant, a few bookmarks, and maybe a pair of gloves. Ms. Lawrence says she saves all her mildly used left hand gloves and trades with a left handed friend. That way, they recycle a pair for another season. Isn’t that just too clever. Some how…I will find a clever way to make a basket for one of my left handed friends.

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Who doesn’t like gingham fabric?

100_5490If I laminate them, they would hold up and could be sold in a garden center. Garden centers don’t usually offer things that will absorb moisture as it gets destroyed in a matter of days. Some garden centers have a non plant area but most have plants all over the place. I might make up a batch of these with something else clever to go along and see if there is a market for them. I sure know I couldn’t find a good bookmark for cheap.

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100_5493Isn’t that much better? Problem solved! I made a lot more bookmarks and will continue to. I might even have a give-away on my blog. I want to get more buttons and embellishments for the streamers. The embelishments keep the bookmark from falling down inside the book and it’s pretty;) I think you all will be seeing a lot of these and of course…..they are stamped with the name Flowergardengirl on the back!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen says:

    Some of the best creations are born from necessity. Your bookmarks are a perfect example. They are beautiful Anna. I bet they sell like hotcakes! Good luck with them and Happy New Year!!

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  2. Cindy says:

    Beautiful bookmarks for wonderful books! I especially love your embellishments. What a perfect project for these winter days.
    I also think good pillows make a well made bed! Things just aren’t the same without the little touches added in for extra wow factor. I have to make a trip to the fabric store and hobby shop to find more little trinkets to dangle and delight. I am a theme person so I will be thinking of little ships for the sailing pictures and on and on I’ll go. I think it will be life changing for every person who owns one don’t you? 🙂 I know the books will look twice as expensive.

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  3. Phillip says:

    Well, let me know when you are going. I’d love to meet you there!
    I sure will and the Lawrence Gardens and Charlotte will never be the same after our visit;)

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  4. Philip says:

    You are so talented. So perfect that you were able to recycle what you had and rather than throw the calendars away you found a new use! Good practical advice about the card stock and the right glue.
    They look awesome. So delightful.
    This post like so many of yours made me smile.
    So fun.
    🙂
    Philip
    I’ll make one and name it after you! I’ll call it the Philip San Fantastic Marker of Books. It’ll make me a millionaire.

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  5. Wanita says:

    What a great idea, Anna! My five-year-old granddaughter is into doing “projects,” and this will be perfect to do with her.

    The garden books look so interesting. I know you’ll enjoy them.

    Blessings,
    Wanita
    It will be tons of fun for the two of you. I can think of a lot of stuff for little girls and calendars. She can make a house out of a shoebox and decorate the walls with the calendar pictures. Some of the prints make cute clothes for paper dolls. They pages can be torn and paper mached sp? to a pretty pot of flowers, or a bucket for her crayons, or attached to little boxes for storage. When you start thinking about them as decorative paper…..the ideas keep going. Do you know I have even wrapped a small gift in calendar paper? It was really pretty.

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  6. Kathi says:

    What a wonderful idea…I have old calendars that I hated to get rid of and soon they will be on sale and Michaels craft store has them for $1.00, goodness, one more thing I can add to my to do list :).

    Your books look wonderful! When it comes to gardening and flowers one can never have enough.
    I’m a trouble maker aren’t I? That is what we need….more junk.

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  7. Phillip (UK) says:

    I didn’t realise I had a name sake. New author to me Anna but thosde book marks are terrific. I love Gertrude Jekyll who along with the architect Edwin Lutyens created some of the best gardens in this country. She was an artist and had a wonderful eye for colour – rather like you in fact.When you say that phillip, it makes my heart sing. Thenk you.You just might get a good mark in the near futures.

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  8. Phillip says:

    She is one of my favorite writers and she’s been a big inspiration to me. Have you read the biography “No One Gardens Alone”? Have you visited her garden in Charlotte? I want to go see it!
    I haven’t read it but it’s on order. I look forward to reading the biography as I have many bits and pieces of it stored in snippets inside my brain. I want the whole story. Last I heard–from Dee @ http://reddirtramblings.com/ who had visited her gardens last summer—-The Lawrence gardens had just been purchased by the state and were waiting to be open to the public. I haven’t checked to see if that has happened. The location is a bit under two hours away from me. I hope to visit this summer if it is open. Would love to meet you there for supper!

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  9. mothernaturesgarden says:

    I love her and from your state also. You are so creative. Thank you! This was a creation out of necessity as I wasn’t going to pay so much for those store bought bookmarks. Yes, Ms. Lawrence is from NC. She is the first woman to graduate from horticulture school at NC State.

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  10. Amy says:

    What a fantastic way to make bookmarks. These are so beautiful Anna – I’m cheering the giveaway idea, lol!

    Enjoy your new books! I’ll have to keep this author in mind. Alas, I’ve spent my book budget already 😦 So many good books….
    You will really be able to expound on this idea with all your talent. I need to get more buttons and such. I could of done so much more. If I only had a stash of goodies to pick from. I will think very hard on a giveaway and that would be so much fun. I would like to do a bookmark of the months also. i think I have found a little niche that maybe perhaps the retail world hasn’t exhausted.

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