Friday, November 28, 2008

etsy treasury pick!

i was absolutely thrilled when laurel notified me that she had included my leaf batik journal in her etsy treasury!  she has created a beautiful collection of items that range from jewelry to a mosaic guitar...i'm so honored to have been included in this!  you can check it out here!  thanks again, laurel!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


wishing everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving!  :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

do not worry

one of my favorite scripture passages in the Bible is in the book of Matthew, where Jesus talks about worry (or specifically, not to worry!) .  normally i bind blank journals, but i really wanted to make a "text book" using this scripture, so i set up my pages using a program called indesign.   i'm not very computer literate, so i was a little skeptical when i was actually quite user-friendly once i got the hang of it.   the orange book was bound using a japanese-style binding (although it's hard to tell because i used a ribbon for the binding).  i bound the other two books using my bind-it-all, which is one of my favorite studio tools!

Monday, November 24, 2008

inspiration monday

sometimes i go to the bookstore with a purpose, but mostly i love to go and just wander around and wait for inspiration to strike.  during my last trip, it didn't take long for the vibrant red cover of stampington and co.'s quarterly publication,  artful blogging,  to grab my attention.  i really couldn't resist opening the front cover to see what was inside!

once inside the covers, i was introduced to over twenty blogs created  by artists just like you and me.   they're all creative in their own way, and each one has stories of success, struggle and self-discovery...and are willing to share them with us.  and that's where the connection is made.  i continue to be inspired through the art journeys of others.  
filled with gorgeous photography and beautifully written "partial posts" contributed by each blog creator, artful blogging remains a constant source of inspiration to me.  each time i open it, i find something new...whether it's sewing, mixed-media collage, or hunting for the perfect flea market all appeals to me.   if you already own a copy, i'd love to hear how it's inspired you.  i'm also curious to know...have you plastered post-it flags all over your copy too?!
to learn more about artful blogging, click here

Friday, November 21, 2008

online journal class - week three

remember my pollyanna's garden series?  it's been a while since i drew and watercolored those quirky little flowers...and it's been a while since i put "make a book using pollyanna's garden illustrations" on my to-do list.  so, this week i decided to combine two projects into one.  
my sue bleiweiss online fabric journal class is in its third week now, and my project was this simple hinge book.  the covers are made from some of my favorite polka dot fabric and the illustration was printed onto a piece of canvas and then sewn to the front.  inside, each one of my illustrations is printed onto italian velata paper and separated by a piece of moss green canson paper.  

here are some extra photos...i hope you like it!  for a larger slideshow, click above on "view all images" 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

holly jolly

here are some little holly jollies all lined up ready to be put in the mail.  i haven't been very good about sending cards the past few years.   as they say, "life happens when you're making other plans" and sometimes it's just not possible to take the time to make a handmade card.  but this year, life is allowing me the time, so this is what i came up with...hand lettering and a little watercolor.   and the "holly jolly"?  well, i must confess that when it comes to the holidays, i always think of the burl ives snowman in the rudolph movie, singing "holly jolly Christmas"....     

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i love surprises!

don't you just love surprises?  boy, i sure do...and they always seem to come at just the right time, don't they?!  i received a nice note from sweet ana, who lives in argentina, letting me know that she had featured one of my journals on her blog!  wow, she has chosen some fabulous etsy items and i'm so thrilled to be included!  click here to see her wonderful blog...and you can  link to her very cute etsy shop, too!  thanks again ana!!  :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

blue Christmas

 this is a card that i hand lettered a few years ago, and reworked it so i could put it in my etsy shop.  i've named this card "blue Christmas", but not the elvis kind of "i'll have a blue Christmas without you".  this is a happy blue Christmas...actually more of a julie andrews "these are a few of my favorite things" type of Christmas.  but, in blue.    :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

inspiration monday

you're smiling, aren't you.  if you're looking at the artwork above, i know you're smiling...mainly because that's the effect that diane duda's artwork has on people.  diane is a self-taught folk art painter who specializes in making people smile.  she has a unique talent for taking a simple truth and portraying it in a manner that we can all relate to.  i'm a huge fan of all of di's work, but i must admit that this piece from her "she believed" series is my favorite.  so much so, that i actually own this print and it hangs front and center in my studio where i can see it every day!  i mean, who could possibly resist those black tights with white polka-dots, or that sweet face filled with childish innocence?!  and speaking of childish innocence...her painted bunnies have a very high cuteness factor all of their own, and her frogs are pure whimsy at its best!
i recently commented to di that i love to visit her blog because i always leave happy.   see if you agree with me by visiting her blog here.  and, you can find her frogs, bunnies and many other inspirations here.  thanks, truly inspire me!

Friday, November 14, 2008

austrian treasure

look what the mailman delivered yesterday...a sweet little treasure all the way from austria!  many things have fallen into my "must have" category, and this mini journal, created by book artist renate ikinger over at kreativlink, is one of them.  measuring only 2.5" x 3.5" (the size of an ACEO!), this blank journal has a sage green soft leather cover, and is filled with tea-stained, hand-torn papers.   and renate sent goodies, too...a certificate of authenticity, and a pencil to write life notes in my new journal!   don't you just love "must haves"?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

leather book: after

here is the "after" shot of my finished leather book!  i've always wanted to make one, and i'm so glad that i finally did...i really love it!  
this book began as a kit that i ordered from volcano arts (see yesterday's post).  it came with the leather, paper for the inside, waxed linen thread, a small button, and instructions.  as you can see, i made a few changes.  first, i cut a curve on the outside flap to add more interest...i liked the idea of it "hugging" the fabulous vintage coat button that i wanted to use for the closure (replacing the button from the kit was the second change).  i also used a small silver spiral charm to finish off the closure cord.

the last change:  i wrapped some beautiful handmade paper around each signature before i bound the book.  it was the perfect finishing touch to the inside!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

leather book: before

i have always wanted to make a book with a leather cover.  thanks to this kit from volcano arts, today is the day!  i'll share the results with you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

online journal class - week two

i've just finished my second project for sue bleiweiss' online journal class.  this is a fabric book with pockets on the inside, making it a perfect "take along" journal.  i've decided to use this journal as a watercolor sketchbook, so it's filled with watercolor paper, and i've added several divider pages to give it some interest.   my watercolor pencils and waterbrush fit perfectly in the pockets inside.'s all held together with binder rings, so i can always add more paper or remove finished projects!  fun, fun project...i can't wait for next week's assignment!
here's a peek inside my journal...i'm so excited that i was able to figure out how to use this slide feature!!  :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

inspiration monday

close your eyes and you will see a place, a 75-year-old bungalow with gingerbread molding and a white porch swing.  as you enter, you notice two red leather chairs that you could spend the rest of your life in situated next to the fireplace, beautiful hardwood floors that squeak in just the right places, antique furniture, and walls and shelves lined with gorgeous artwork created by its owner.  as you open your eyes, you realize that this is a real place...the red door studio...lovingly owned and operated by artist, martha lever.  i've been blessed to have known martha for over fifteen years, and she inspires me every day.  she spends many hours at the red door studio daily, creating beautiful poppies and her "girls" using watercolor, acrylic or oil...and uses each medium with much skill and success! i truly do not know anyone who can accomplish more in one day than martha can...follow her blog, and you know what i mean!  i'm in constant awe of her energy and passion.  and, that element of sweetness that you notice in her artwork is not by accident...martha's love for the Lord is seen in each piece that she does, and many times, a favorite scripture is the focal point.  

a few days ago, we celebrated martha's birthday (woo hoo!), and i can't think of a better occasion to also celebrate her artwork!  martha, your friendship is such a blessing and your artwork is fabulous!  you truly inspire me! :)
to see other wonderful artwork and inspirations, please visit martha at her blog here...and her etsy shop here!

Friday, November 7, 2008

dreams...creativity...more patience...togetherness...sharing... prayer...moving... 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

time - inchie style

i've named this piece "time square".  here's how you can create this....grab a stack of catalogs and your one inch punch.  start punching out objects that interest you.  before you know it, you'll have a theme started.  if you're like me, you'll end up with a big pile of one inch squares in no time!  to make them sturdy, i use a glue stick to adhere them to card stock (some catalog papers can be quite thin).  then, just start "organizing" them,  and embellish as much or little as you want.  voila...inchies!  i'm sorry about the poor photograph...i had "glare issues" because of the paper! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

online journal class

i've been taking an online journal class with sue bleiweiss, and i've just finished my first project.  this week's lesson was a fabric journal with a wrap-around cover.  there are three signatures inside that i decorated using various papers and stamped images.   there's also a fabric pocket on the inside cover to hold important papers.  i really enjoyed this project...i've been making so many hardcover blank journals lately, it was great to do something fun and different!  i think that my favorite part was "decorating" the inside pages and i'm going to try to do more of that in future journals.  for a peek inside this journal, check out my flickr account here.  let me know what you think!  

Monday, November 3, 2008

inspiration monday

a while back, i discovered  "jellybeans", a fabulous, colorful etsy shop, created by artist angie vandenbogaard.  when i first came upon angie's artwork, i found myself staring at it...for a long time.  i really admire anyone who can take a simple subject, such as an apple tree, and put a completely different spin on it.  and, she does it so wonderfully.  i'm so inspired by angie's intuitive nature and brilliant use of color.  and what makes it so successful is her incredible talent for balancing it all!  
they say that our attitude is revealed in our artwork.  in her own words, angie proves this to be true:  "I like to think that I live a very positive life and i feel that it reflects in my work.  I believe that not everything necessarily has to be so complicated and overworked all the time - that simplicity with a dash of color can be beautiful and refreshing."  
angie, i couldn't agree with you more...and you truly inspire me! thanks so much for sharing your beautiful artwork with us!
you can find many other items of inspiration here at angie's etsy shop, jellybeans.  and please visit her artsy blog here

Saturday, November 1, 2008 two more

i've been working for the past few days on completing a set of books that will be given to four very hard-working ladies.  these women are members of a development whose clubhouse has been undergoing a major renovation during the past eleven months.  they have played an integral part in the decorating end of this enormous project, and as a token of the membership's appreciation, these books will be offered to them as a thank you for all of their many hours of volunteer work.

the emblem on the front is an actual piece of the upholstery fabric that was used in the clubhouse.  because the fabric has such a strong pattern, i kept the rest of the book simple, while using high quality bookcloth for the covers and italian velata paper for the pages.  actually, creating the frame for the fabric was the most time-consuming part of this whole process...the fabric is very thick and frayed around the edges like crazy, so i had my work cut out for me!  but, i'm really happy with the results...and i hope that the recipients are too!
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