One of the many treasures we inherited at Spring Bird is this old school bell from 1886.
The Bartholomews installed it to use for retreats and gatherings. A leader will ring it to signal to all of the wandering retreat goers to come back, to regroup.
I will use it to call to Pat to come from the upper meadow nuttery, or to call the kids from the tree house. .
And occasionally wasps like to make their home inside of it.
The Bartholomews left a lot of other bells for us. Some ceramic hanging outside the house, and some small and meant for Swiss cows.
Martha Bartholomew would place a basket of bells outside the front door of the house, which does not have a doorbell. .
She would wait and see which visitor chose which bell to ring.
The night before we signed for the house, I dreamt that I gave Martha a bell - the kind a teacher would have on her desk. And this bell had no clacker. It was a silent bell.
I felt like buying Spring Bird was in a way taking away Martha's voice. I told her of my dream, and she, in all her wisdom, said you are my voice now.
I think we are part of this special club that gets to inhabit this patch of land, care for it, tend to it, love it, receive its love for us and share it with our communities.
I am so grateful and honored to be part of its story.
And you know, sometimes I ring the bells just to hear them.
This frog illustration is from the #summerissue of Woolgathering. I wrote an essay about my joy of catching frogs and releasing them at farm pond.
The experience always began in fear but ended in fun.
Swipe to see a toad that has been hanging out by the backdoor. .
I love hearing them croak and sing. And there are quite a few frogs swimming in the old pool. But that's a post for another day!
Did you ever catch frogs or toads?
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After you’ve determine what your magazine is about, who it is for, and what you hope it will accomplish, it’s time to start writing your content. I like to write first drafts in an actual notebook. Content creation may also mean collecting from other contributors. I sometimes include essays by outside contributors in my magazine, but most of the content comes from me. Don’t overlook kids, too. They are creation machines and can offer wonderful comics, pictures, and poems!
I like to illustrate my images - usually by working in ink and watercolors; but you could make your images in anyway you would like. Taking your own photos is probably the easiest but just make sure the quality is high enough for print, or you might want to invest in stock images. Or perhaps no images!
Digitizing Your Content:
If you haven’t already typed your written content, now is the time to do that. For your images, you can scan or photograph original artworks to turn them into ones and zeros. Just make sure you are scanning and photographing your art at a high enough quality for print. I usually scan my pieces at a 600 dpi. Save your images as a .jpg or a .png .
Editing Your Content:
This is where your best efforts should be made. Read and reread any written content to polish and eliminate errors. I find it helpful to do this tedious and sometimes painful task over days. I also have help to catch grammar and spelling mistakes. Also, you can use editing software to touch up photos and/or scanned images.
Draft Your Layout:
I like to draft with real paper. It helps me to visualize all of the parts. For this process sticky notes are very helpful. I begin by folding paper to my desired amount of pages. I even number them. Then I write on sticky notes the titles of the pieces and the amount of pages they will require. The sticky notes allow me to easily maneuver and swap content around my pages until I have achieved a balanced layout with good flow.
Formalize Your Layout:
Draft your finalized layout using editing software, or you can finalize your layout using the design tool on your printing service. I use Printing Center USA (www.printingcenterusa.com), and while they provide design templates, borders, backgrounds, and clipart, I choose the “design your own” option, which allows me to freestyle my magazine.
Mailing Your Magazine:
Once your printed magazines arrive at your door, It’s time to slip them into addressed envelopes (I use catalog envelopes) and hit the post office. Shipping usually costs about $1.30 - $1.40 to ship within the United States. If you have 200 or more subscribers, you can qualify for bulk shipping, at which the price per unit goes down.
If you are looking to build your subscribers, I suggest mailing out a free issues to give potential subscribers a free sample of your publication.
What else can you send with your publication? I like to send extras along with my magazine like free postcards, coloring sheets, stickers, greeting cards, original art, etc. Think of extra bonuses that may delight your reader, build trust, and provide extra value. This is also an opportunity for cross-marketing with another business or product that your readers might be interested in knowing about.
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Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.
Adventures In Natural Dyeing
A Season To Make
Creativity Tools And Books
Make And Do Art
Philosophy Of Creativity