my sweet little journal

yesterday I completed my latest journal.  it was such a sweet simple little book to make, from cover to pages to binding


I wanted a journal for writing vs. art journaling. I’m sure there will be gluing, possibly painting, maybe gesso later on.  but first and foremost I wanted a little journal to write my thoughts in.


the whole project seemed effortless, very personal, and just “right.” maybe because it was a journal for me, nothing more.  I did my best to complete, despite a crappy cold.


a different kind of cover and binding this time.  the cover is very lightweight, almost a thin cardboard.  I wanted to retain all of the front cover artwork so I punched holes on the sides and sewed the covers to a strip of recycled purse leather.  really pleased with the process, makes the journal feel more integrated and natural


I tore out the original foldout tourist map and covered it with painted sewn scraps, leaving the original maps on the inside and back cover.

the book ended up a little floppy, but that’s fine with me

I’m baaaaaack……and so is the library book sale!!!

I’ve neglected to blog while daily life events seemingly overwhelm me.  I’ve been dabbling in mail art, not doing much in the summer journal, some iphotos.  As the fall season approaches my creativity seems to be waning.  Which is why I was/am SUPER excited that our local library book sale is back!


I love the book sale!  I mean love, as in want to marry it. I started going to library book sales when I lived in San Francisco.  Imagine my joy when I moved to Seattle and discovered they have book sales TWICE a year!  But, alas, due to some construction project the book sale was not held last year.  I’ve been living through a book sale drought.  But that is all to set to change when I line up at 9am tomorrow morning.  I only have $12.87 left for my monthly play money.  I’ve been holding onto those pennies for the Big Day tomorrow.  My personal quandary: do I go when the pickins’ are good and pay full price ($1-$2) or do I go for quantity and wait until half-price Sunday?  We will know the answer, dear reader, tomorrow.

Joyful Stories


My latest guerilla bookmaking adventure started shortly before we left for vacation (as in the hour before we left…).  I used signatures already cut for some journal that never got created.  (note to self: yes, there is a reason to keep unused signatures)  Brought along the portable paper cutter, sewing cradle, assorted bookmaking and journaling supplies.  Struggled more than I wanted to with the double x binding.  Mistakes were made.  But that’s part of bookmaking, and life.


Inside cover page on left, title page and dedication on the right.  Yep, I’m celebrating the big Five Five this year.


inside pages are a wonderful collection of assorted lined papers

we have arrived

IMG_2286We checked into Chevy Chase Beach Cabins last night for our annual trip to Discovery Bay and Port Townsend.  Last time we stayed in Cabin 6 was during the last Journalfest.  How I miss Artfest and Journalfest…which is maybe why I decided at the very last minute to make a journal for the trip.

IMG_2241   What’s that?  You don’t take your sewing cradle on vacation?

If it’s the morning you leave for vacation, do you: (a) finish packing; (b) start loading the car; (c) help the family get ready; or (d) start making a new journal.  Why of course the correct answer is (d), and eventually (e) all of the above.


Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about the schedule as my daughter wrote it upon our arrival.  Except I added No. 5: journaling.



mail art

first time with mail art, and perhaps last project with SEWN class. handmade envelopes with scrapbook paper, some faux stamps, fun tape.



I sewed the scraps from the painted paper fabric we made.  definitely making (and using) the paper fabric was the best part of the class for me



I sewed the scraps onto the backs of vintage paperback book covers.  Now what was I doing with so many paperback book covers lying around my studio, you ask?  Unrealized Project No. 639:  The plan was to make them into coasters.  A cool idea, but it just didn’t take off.  So they are now incorporated into my inaugural mail art.


tension tension everywhere

there was tension everywhere the other night…thunder, death watch Day 2 for the guinea pig, family sleep-deprived….I decided to sew but the tension was off on the machine.  Apparently tension was the buzzword for the day.  Okay fiiine.  I sewed without thread.  And then I did something really simple: a school craft project.


Paper lanterns, made with wonderful pattern paper from Mary Ann Moss’s SEWN class. I’ve always enjoyed working in layers with acrylics, portfolios, pencils, gesso, collage, whatever I can put down layer after layer.  I’m getting the same wonderful feeling using these pattern papers.  The hand-made mark embodies such richness.


And then the hand-painted paper is sewn together to make “fabric” which is then cut and pasted to make yet something else…something more.

Scribbles and Scraps: Evelyn’s dictionary

This book called to me, asking to be reborn as a journal cover.  Once opened, I discovered this was the dictionary of one Miss Evelyn Kozara of 8752 Witt Street, Detroit, 1938.


A peek at the 1940 census reveals that Miss Kozara’s parents were naturalized citizens from Poland….and Evelyn was 12 years old when she got the dictionary.


Evelyn enjoyed doodling in her dictionary and seemed especially fond of practicing her name in cursive writing.



Many of the illustrations are colored with a red pencil: Dipper, Checker Board, Wash-board, Trowel, Link, Daffodill.

Evelyn would be 87 years old now, if she is still alive.  I imagine this was her first dictionary, a tool for learning….but also for doodling and imagination.