100 Books Journey – Book 34


Hooray!! My lying press came this week and the first thing I did was finish book #34! This book has been laying on my worktable for a couple of weeks now with paper hanging out the side because I wanted to trim it flat.


The trimming process was a little tricky – I ended up having to hand-trim a few pages afterwards, but am hopeful that practice will help. I’m also not 100% sure my makeshift plough is going to be adequate, but I haven’t given up on it just yet. In any event, book #34/100 is finished and I think it’s one of my favorites. 😉


This is a two-signature Linked-X book from Keith Smith’s 1-2 & 3 Section Sewings. I had actually planned to stitch this as a Soft-K, but I realized right away that my tension was too tight and I just decided to go with it. Soft-K and Linked-X are basically the same stitch, the Soft-K is just looser and looks more like a letter K.


The cover is pieced-together scraps of marbling, backed with a beautiful plum-colored Canson Mi Tientes paper. I’ve layered on some stitching, stenciling, rubber stamping, a bit of security envelope collage and finished with a tiny bit of pen-work. It’s a little wild, but I’m really loving all the color and movement – I think it would make a great inspiration journal.


Inside the book cover, I’ve also created two long pockets. I know I love to stuff loose papers and found bits into my books and am not always prompt about gluing them in, so I love when I can include a pocket or two for temporary storage of those goodies. To make these pockets, I just made my cover extra wide, folded over about a two-inch flap (front and back), then finished by sewing the top and bottom on the sewing machine.


My next book, book #35, is well underway. It’s going to be more of an art book vs. a blank book, so it’s an evolving process, but I’m hoping to bind today and maybe finish by the end of the week!


Truthfully, I’ve been a little side-tracked the last week or so as Hubby and I are working on a home-improvement project. We’re screening in our back patio, which I’m over-the-moon excited about because we don’t have a lot of shade in our back yard and, as a TOTAL back-yard-shady-chair-sitting kinda gal, this will be a huge and much welcomed change. I’ll share more as the project develops!

Categories: book arts | 5 Comments

Clean and Clear

There’s no getting around the fact that I am a better person when my body is clean and clear. When I’m drinking lots of water, eating healthy foods and breaking a sweat every single day, I’m just a better version of myself.  I’m also a happier, saner person when the space around me is clean and clear too.


Working in a small studio, the thing I struggle with THE MOST is finding a clean/clear space to work on.  Any time I start a project, I end up with every possible inch of space FULL and overflowing.  It didn’t used to be like that – I used to have a place for everything and always returned every little thing to its place when I was finished with it.  Over my years of creating, my places for every little thing have become a little convoluted.  I’ve been working hard to remedy that!

First up was a drawer that I completely loved for its content, but NOT for the way it looked – the washi tape drawer!  I wish I had a before photo – this drawer was just a jumble of tapes, all thrown in, with no rhyme or reason and inclusive of EVERY tape I’ve ever bought.  So the drawer was overflowing and I rarely even opened it because I knew I wouldn’t find what I wanted and would just make a mess trying (heck, the ones I wanted where probably out someplace anyhow)! I started by taking everything out of the drawer.  Then I grabbed some little office supply organizing containers and began adding back only the tapes I truly loved.  I held each and every tape in my hand and pictured using it – if I couldn’t imagine using it or didn’t feel a strong sense of affection for it, out it went!  And now I have this…


Organized by color and pared down to a manageable number of tapes I will actually use! :)

Next up was stencils!  I’ve been collecting for years – REALLY ramped up when the Gelli® plates came out and could probably have said I owned well over 200 stencils when I started this cleanup.  On good days, they would be organized neatly in their original cellophane packaging (so I could remember the name & manufacturer) – on most days, however, they were just thrown in.  I went through the same process with the stencils that I did on the tapes – held each one, considered whether I (or my students) would miss it terribly and acted accordingly!

As far as how to store, I’ve been looking at a lot of different ideas over the last year or so.  I had some basic criteria in mind…

  1. had to be easy to get stencils in and out and easy to flip through and see them all
  2. had to have a way to note the stencil name and product info, so that I can share that with my students in classes
  3. needed some level of portability – so I could a) take them with me to classes and b) move them out of sight & mind when I’m working on other things.

As I was wandering the aisles of my local office supply store, I ran across a stack of legal-sized milk crates and my lightbulb went off.  I bought two, one to store tissue paper in (formerly stored in a box under my desk) and a second for stencils.  I can stack the stencil box on top of the tissue paper box, keeping the paper close but not in the way, lifting the stencil box to a better height for me to reach when I’m printing, and still having the whole thing low enough to fit under my table when not in use…


Then I got a box of legal-sized file folders, which were too short, BUT I refolded them so that the back was taller than the front, reinforcing the original fold with duct tape and making them plenty tall enough for 12×12 stencils.  I can write the stencil info on the folder tabs, flip thru everything easily, and (a bonus) even drop in wet stencils because the folder will lay open and allow them to dry…


Unfortunately, I have now pooped out on this project and still have a gazillion little stencils to deal with.  I’m thinking of getting the j-hooks mentioned in Stencil Girl’s recent storage video and hanging those little ones in some fashion – maybe a line or rod stretched across my big window or under the table.  Not sure, but will share if/when I work that out!

Lots of other clearing has occurred…

  1. I had two big drawers full of glues and other artist mediums – went through and pitched what I didn’t need or had multiples of and condensed that down to ONE drawer!  New rule is – if a new item doesn’t fit in the designated drawer, something has to go to make room!!
  2. I moved things I wasn’t using regularly out of the studio to other storage in the house.  I have a number of such areas, which I call “art annexes” and will share a little more about those in another post.
  3. Went through lots of drawers full of things I’d collected over the years and narrowed everything down to only what I truly love – a whole box of scrap paper that I haven’t opened in over a year – gone; a whole jar of beads that hadn’t been touched in years – gone; rubber stamps I haven’t touched or used for one project then forgot – outta here!; drawers that had collected junk and become unmanageable – now clean and uncluttered; duplicate supplies – donated.
  4. CEASING my habit of keeping something “just-in-case.”  Let me tell you, just-in-case is never a good reason to keep something – it is a disaster in the making.  It’s true that as soon as you throw away a just-in-case item, you will need/want it; however, the cumulative affect of keeping ALL those just-in-cases will bury you.  Just don’t do that to yourself! :)

The biggest thing now is to not return to that state of crazed clutter.  That’s the tricky part and the part that will take me some willpower and determination.  One of my BIG revelations is that I am an impulse buyer when it comes to art supplies – I see something new, interesting or sparkly and I get it without thought for how I’ll use it, just thinking I surely WILL use it (since it’s so new, interesting or sparkly)!  Or I go out and buy EVERY ITEM suggested for a new online class, even though I may have a perfectly viable substitute in my stash already.  Much of the time I think those substitutes will be just fine and I am determined to use what I have going forward – both for classes I take and for classes I teach.

“As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.”
~Dr. Wayne Dyer


Categories: flow, home, learning | 4 Comments

100 Books Journey – Book 33

As I mentioned last post, I’ve been on an organizing kick.  I’ve been making some fantastic progress and am dying to share some of my tips/aha! moments… the trouble is, I’ve been focusing pretty heavily that last week or so on organizing my stencils and I’m losing steam. I’ve started on the little ones (like Balzer Bits, 6×6 stencils and the Dina Wakely ones that are about 6×8) and they are slowing me down. A lot. Suffice to say, I am procrastinating. Which, in my world, usually means a new book or three!


I recently got a copy of Keith Smith’s Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 2: 1- 2- & 3-Section Sewings and have been having some fun experimenting with 1 and 2 section paperback books, featuring some of my marbled papers. Book 33/100 is one of the first book form’s in Mr. Smith’s book, Dot-Dash Sewing (aka “the machine stitch”).


This stitch acts just like the stitch on a sewing machine, with a top thread that is basically just a long straight piece of thread and a bottom thread, inside the book, that slips out of each sewing station, over the top thread and back inside. I had a little fun with thread colors, using a bright yellow for the top thread and a denim blue for the bottom – both of which compliment the marbled cover quite nicely, if I do say so myself! :)


There are some hints of turquoise in the marbling too, so I covered the inside with a turquoise Canson Mi Tientes paper (love that stuff!!). The book is filled with 90lb mixed media paper.


I have to admit that this marbled piece was one I’d relegated to a discard/do-over pile, but now that I see it all bound up in a pretty little book, I have a whole new perspective. There was no special pattern involved, just some freestyle swirling through the paint and I’m realizing I need to do a little more of that because it’s FUN and unpredictable and beautiful to boot!

I’ve also been experimenting with trying to create a trimming plough. When papers are stacked together into a signature, they form a little mountain – notice the mountains in the 4-signature book, below-left. Many bookbinders, especially with paperback books, will use a tool called a plough (essentially a horizontal blade with a handle) to trim the edges and make them nice and flat, as you see in the photo on the right…


I found a great video where a binder shows a diy plough he made out of kneadable putty and a blade for a fraction of the cost (traditional ploughs run $200 and up)! It worked pretty well, but I struggled quite a bit with holding everything in place while I cut (picture blocks of wood and clamps – yeah, not so much). Sooooo, I’ve taken another bookbinding plunge and ordered a lying press, which means my 1-2-3 section sewing adventures are sort of on hold til it gets here. :(

Luckily, I get to be shopkeeper for the day tomorrow at My Heart’s Fancy here in Oklahoma City! So I don’t have to go back to stencil organizing just yet. If you’re local and around tomorrow, come see me!! :)

Categories: book arts | 2 Comments

100 Books Journey – Book 32

I took a few days off from book making to do some clearing and organizing in the studio. I am a pretty devoted packrat and find that a good purge every 6 months or so does me a whole lot of good. It not only clears the clutter but it somehow clears my head too! This time around, I’m being somewhat guided by the book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Condo. I won’t profess to have read the whole book, but I did grab one major tenet, which is “keep only what you truly love” – along with its partner, bring in only what you truly love. I think this might really BE life-changing if I can keep it up!

In any event, you probably want to see Book 32!


This might not necessarily be what you’d think of as a “book,” but I’ve been thinking a lot about non-traditional book forms as a way of highlighting a body of words – like a poem.


I considered an accordion book, but the folds seemed like interruptions to me, which can problematic with a poem, so I thought, “what if I just left it long and scrolled it around something?!”


I found a thread spool book on Pinterest (a simply gorgeous piece by French paper artist, Diane de Bournazel) and the idea started to take form.


In my cleaning/clearing, I had unearthed many bits and pieces of Gelli® print scraps – thin strips, tiny squares, pieces I’d cut out and not used.


Separately, none of it seemed worth keeping, but then I started thinking about piecing them together. Some cutting, piecing, glueing, taping, sewing and poetry-inscribing later and she was finished! Here’s the little poem, which says a bit about who I am in the world.

“when she grew up,
she wanted to be a melody;
a catchy little ditty constructed
of cedar and strings,
with a touch of birdsong and whispering trees.

the words would be less important
than the rhythm
and meaning
and the potential for dancing.

it would be short and sweet and easy to remember
and when people loved her,
they would be compelled to hum along,
maybe even add harmonies that would carry on the wind.

she would never be an anthem;
it’s just not her way.
she’d be more of a gentle ballad;
one that reminds you just a little
of where you came from,
who you first loved,
what you dream of,
why you are the way you are.”

My organizing continues – tho sort of half-heartedly, as I am now sorely TIRED of cleaning & organizing! :) But I do have a couple of organizing ideas to share in a future post, so hope you’ll stay tuned for that!

Categories: book arts, home, poetic stuff | 6 Comments

Marbling Madness

Over the years, I’ve explored a number of different printmaking practices – paste paper, monoprinting, relief printing (aka stamp carving).  This spring, I added a new one to my toolkit – the ancient Turkish art form of paper marbling.  I took a truly fantastic and soul-full online class with artist, Barb Skoog, called Clouds on Water.  Barb is a passionate marbler who is equally passionate about teaching others to marble – very generous, very knowledgeable, very encouraging and supportive of every student.  The class was well and truly worth every penny and every moment spent.  I learned a ton and thought I’d take a moment to share some of my favorite pieces.


My first round of printing focused on simple patterns – stones, boulders and gelgit.


One of the first things I discovered and fell in love with about marbling is that the colors never mix in the tank – as you add new colors, the ones you’ve already thrown move or compress and everything shows, which means no mud – no worries about mixing the “wrong” colors – it’s all play and experimentation and that’s just cathartic for me!


I also loved moving the paint around with combs and rakes to create patterns.  I’m certainly no master at it, but I love every little nuance – grainy paints, wonky patterns, air bubbles – I don’t care!  Every one is beautiful in some way.  Barb shares a TON of patterns in the class and I worked through every single one, time after time, until I got it right.  I still have a lot of practicing to do – maybe that’ll be my next 100 journey! 😉


The BIG revelation for me was over-marbling!  The idea was to take marbled prints you didn’t like and marble on top.  I did some of that and loved it, but what really stole my heart was over-marbling on Gelli® prints!  Several of those shown above were on top of leaf prints – beautiful in their own right, but even more lovely with the marbling on top!  LOTS of books are getting made out of these babies (and lots more Gelli® print over-marbling is in my future)!!


I love marbling so much, I’m even rearranging the studio (yet again) to make room for it to be a permanent part of my art life!  Cleaning, clearing, making space for something new – I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be finished with that, ever settle on a firm set of art practices?  Perhaps not – and I’m okay with that!

Categories: projects | 2 Comments

100 Books Journey – Book 31


Spent a rainy day this week making book #31!! I have to just repeat part of that sentence – a rainy day – in July – in Oklahoma! I’m not sure I remember any of those in my many years, but it sure was awesome! I went for a long walk (yes, in the rain), sipped some tea, and completed another fun little book, inspired by Alisa Golden.

The book is covered with another marbled piece – this one in Bouquet. It probably isn’t the best representation of the pattern, but I loved the combination of colors (teal, cerulean, raspberry and copper) and decided to go for it!


The book is small, just 4.5″ tall by 2.75″ wide and I’ve made a simple little book strap out of scraps from the marbled paper and my end paper (which was a Raspberry colored Canson Mi-Tientes). The book is bound with an accordion, to which I’ve attached saved fortunes (like in Alisa’s book).


I’d seen this book some time back, but didn’t really get excited about it until I started digging through the drawer where I throw all my saved fortunes – mostly from fortune cookies, but also quite a few from Yogi Tea.


Those Yogi Tea ones really got me thinking about alterations to Alisa’s design because I wanted to include them somehow. I decided to create covers that opened vertically…


…and I stitched the Yogi Tea fortunes to my end papers before glueing them down, which gives them sort of a flag feel too!

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The cookie fortunes are attached to the accordion in such a way that they fan out when the book is fully open and you can see them all at once. I love that!!


My only regret with this little guy is that I spent some time painstakingly arranging the fortunes into what felt like poetic groups – the problem was I grouped them vertically. Since we read horizontally, left to right, the finished result doesn’t quite capture that poetic feel I’d hoped for – here’s one of my groupings…

You are talented in
many ways.

You were born with a “sixth
sense” and superb insight.

You have a heart of gold.

Love is a present that can be
given every single day you live.

If you continually give you
will continually have.

 Still, it’s a fun little book and, if you’re like me, and have a drawer full of fortunes, it’s a great way to collect and showcase them.


Going back through all of these fortunes I’ve collected over the years was really kind of a review of my journey through life. The ones I’ve kept really seem to tell a consistent story about where I’ve come from and where I’m headed – things like being healthy, happy, and honoring my own worth. I’ve been following Liz Lamaroux’s Inner Excavate-Along and I sort of feel like this was a once stop excavation! I feel really fortunate (pardon the pun) that I had collected so many. This will be a great little book to keep as a reminder of all the blessings in my life!

Categories: book arts | 2 Comments

100 Books Journey – Books 26 thru 30

Back in April, I ran across an opportunity to take a short little class on paper marbling with artist, Kerri Shadid, this year’s artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Skirvin-Hilton.  It was a truly awe-inspiring experience and I came straight home and tried to duplicate what I’d learned with very mediocre results.  Just as I was beginning to despair, along came Barb Skoog’s online class, Clouds on Water!  Barb brought it all together in the most lovely way and I just soaked up every second of that learning, marbling every possible minute I could and cranking out page after page of beautiful marbled papers.  THAT is when the real fun started!  This next set of five books were all created using papers I made in Barb’s class.

26/100: This was the first of my marbled books.  I used a Bouquet-patterned paper and stitched the book up long-stitch style.  Nothing new or fancy on this one – well, except for that cover! :)  The book is 4.5″ x 7″ and is filled with 140lb watercolor paper.


27/100:  This was the next one and, of the two, it is most definitely my favorite!  The marbling on this one started with a Gelli® print I made using leaves from outside (if you look closely, you can see the veining of the leaves), then I over-marbled in stone using darker greens, teal and a copper color that just about put me over the moon!!  I varied my long-stitch lengths on this one and finished the header and footer with chain stitch (book is same size and content as 26/100).


28/100:  This one started with a vibrant red Flame-patterned print – oh my, those bits of teal and green peaking through really (REALLY) make me happy!  I did a paired needle coptic on this, but then added a fifth row of stitching across the center and embellished it with teal beads.  Once again, filled this one with watercolor paper (five signatures of three sheets each).


29/100:  The cover on this next book is American pattern in shades of gray, blue and teal.  I lined the inside with gray Canson Mi Tientes (just yummy) and filled it with 14 sheets of  90lb multi-media paper.  The whole thing is stitched with gray thread in a basic five-hole pamphlet.


30/100:  This last book has been a true labor of love over the last several days.  I was originally inspired by Alisa Golden’s Miniature Tied Binding in Making Handmade Books (shown here); BUT, my kitties have an irrational appetite for string and I knew that if I left this book with many dangly strings, as Alisa created it, I’d be in trouble!  So, I added beads to the strings at the header and footer and snipped them short.  I also stitched pairs of signatures together at the center, to add stability, and I added beads to those hanging strings as well.  Inside the book, each of the signatures has been sewn across the bottom, with varying stitches and shades of blue thread, then I’ve tacked each signature on the upper right side to create pockets, perfectly sized for cards or mixed media art tags, as shown. I think my favorite kind of book is the kind that tells me how it wants to be made – ideas that follow perceived “mistakes” and result in something unique and fun!   :)

IMG_6535.jpg SoBlue IMG_6536

And that, my friends, finally catches me up!  I have no more books to show at this time – but I do have several book ideas in mind, so stay tuned.  I will be posting new books as they are completed – only 70 more to go!!!  Thank you for following along on this little series – I’d love to hear from you, if you have a jiffy to say hello!

Categories: book arts | 7 Comments

100 Books Journey – Books 21 thru 25

This round of books are all Gelli® print books.  I fell in love with monoprinting several years ago when I took a printing class at a retreat.  In that class we used ceramic tiles as our printing plate and I still love that occasionally for more abstract types of prints.  The Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate won my heart when it came out a few years ago because it allows you to use a variety of tools (like stencils – one of my favorite things) to create wonderfully detailed prints.  There may be as many ways to use these plates as there are fish in the sea!  The books in this post highlight a few of my favorite ways to use Gelli® prints.

21/100: This first book was created with prints I made using the 4″ and 6″ round Gelli® plates.  I love those little plates because, not only do you get the pattern and color that you create with stencils and layering, you also get the round shape of the plate itself. This book is 4.5″ x 7″, filled with 90lb multi-media paper, long-stitched and finished with a button.  The cover is embellished with book paper circles and a layered flower (punched from scraps).


22/100:  Next is the book from my online class, Mixed Media Folio Fun.  This is a 7″ x 9″ folio-style book that has an extra spine on the right to support a flap that wraps over the front cover and snaps shut with a magnet.  Instead of sewn-paper signatures, this book has a hinge system to which I’ve attached all sorts of pockets, cards, pages and more with permanent glue.  The cover was created with scraps of Gelli® prints and security envelope, patch-worked together and embellished with other rubber-stamped or doodled scraps on top.  I love teaching this book because it becomes such a personal expression – every single one is different and beautiful and I adore seeing them develop.

On a side note, this is also a class I will be teaching in person this fall at Lucky Star Art Camp and I just have to share that there is a tuition giveaway going on right now (ends July 24th)!  The winner gets free tuition AND can choose a friend to win too! If you live in this part of the world (or can get here), be sure to go enter – this camp is truly one of the diamonds among all the retreat options available out there.  You can read more about my experiences at this camp here and here.

23/100: Next up is the bonus book from Mixed Media Folio Fun.  This book is also 7″ x 9″ with the magnetic flap and is covered with scraps and a bit of washi tape.  It’s filled with 90lb multi-media paper (4 signatures of 5 sheets each) and stitched long-stitch style; but I added an extra short stitch in the center for beads (inspired by a similar book in Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden). I also added beads to my header and footer stitches.


24/100:  This is the book I started as a teaching sample in last Saturday’s “Round in Circles” printing/bookbinding class.  It is 3.25″ x 7″ and is filled with 90lb multi-media paper.  It also has a magnetic closure, which is sewn to the right-side spine.  For the stitching, I had seen several books that had similar criss-cross patterns, but couldn’t find instructions, so just played until I got it to work – basically by working with two signatures at once.  It was not for the faint of heart!  I had some trouble getting the stitches tight but really love how the spine looks, so will likely try it again on a future book!


25/100:  Last, but not least for today, is a book that started with a Gelli® print and then got some mixed media love – additional stenciling (the old-fashioned way), some doodling, a little sewing and I was completely in love!  Added the magnetic closure that I love so very much and finished with a paired needle coptic stitch (again from Alisa Golden’s great book).  This is another mini-book, measuring just 2.5″ x 6.5″, that I filled with the cut-offs from book 20/100 from last post – so 140lb watercolor paper, grouped into six signatures of three sheets each.

One thing I’ve learned about coptic – correct tension is key!  Too much tension (especially at the covers) and it will not close.  Too little tension and the whole thing is wonky.  My friend Tricia tells me that the heavier the paper, the harder it is to get the tension right – but I’ll keep practicing.  I love how this book came out – it does appear that I’m getting better because I only had to rip it out and restitch it once! :)


The last grouping I’ll have for you (for now, anyway) will be marbled books – stay tuned!

Categories: book arts | 4 Comments

100 Books Journey – Books 16 thru 20

Books 16 through 20 are what I call “unconventional” books – made out of unexpected and very non-traditional materials!  The truth of the matter is I use very few traditional materials.  You won’t find much davey board in my studio, very little bookcloth, no fancy paper piercing tools – I just love to improvise with what I have on hand.

16/100:  First up is one of my Business Card boxes.  I had been on a retreat in New Hampshire and collected dozens of darling little Moo cards.  If you’re not familiar with Moo, they are a printing company out of Rhode Island, who makes mini-sized business cards (among other things). I realized my traditional business card book didn’t really accommodate these very well, so I set out to make one that was a better fit.  I started with an International Coffee House tin, the pages have a strip of paper sewn to the bottom to make sort of a pocket for the cards to fit into and the three signatures are sewn pamphlet style to the plastic lid of the box.  As you can see from the photos, the book fits any size card (up to about the traditional size) – and the whole thing fits nicely down into the box for a darling little conversation piece to sit on your desk!  I don’t have any of these in the shop right now, but they are still on my radar, so let me know if you can’t live without one! 😉

BizCard Holders2

17/100:  This is another box-type book.  I started with an Altoids tin, inserted an accordion book (made from heavy watercolor paper) and filled the pages with some of my favorite photos, paper, washi tape and inspirational bits. Very fun and quick!


18/100:  This one is made from – can you guess?  Junk mail!!  I took a class on this years ago with Suze Perrott (so fun – sweet Suze moved to Delaware and we still miss her in the Sooner state!!!) and I love keeping one going now.  It’s really just a matter of collecting the junk that comes in the mail and adding your pretty stuff on top!  The whole thing is bound simply with rings, which I’ve embellished with LOTS of ribbons and charms and what-have-you.  Very versatile, very portable, very eco-friendly (sort of – at least USES the junk vs. adding it to land fills, right?) – and mostly very FUN!


19/100:  I call this book a shoji screen book.  The main event of this book is, of course, the Gelli® printed leaf images.  Those are mounted on scrapbook paper and the completed pages are tied with jute to wooden dowels. A ribbon also runs through the whole thing (between the print and the paper it’s mounted to) to help stabilize and also provide a way to tie the book closed.


20/100:  This last book is WAAAAAAY off the charts.  My sister and I went last week to a fun little place in Oklahoma City called Painting with a Twist (check them out – they may have a location near you), where we painted a lovely image of spring trees blooming on a moonlit night.  I decided to cut my painting off the frame and make a book out of it!


I started by cutting the painting down to about 9″ x 20″ and then cutting down some of the leftover parts into smaller blocks that I sewed on top of the main part to hide areas I didn’t like as much.  I then sewed a backing of white matelasse (from my stash) and finished with a rosy ribbon to wrap the whole thing up with.  Inside, I sewed three signatures of 140lb watercolor paper, pamphlet style, finishing the strings with beads and a charm that reads “dream” – perfect thing for a moonlit night!  You will probably come to realize I say this about nearly every book I make, but I think this is my favorite one! :)


I still have another small stack of books I’ve made this summer and will be back soon to share those – hopefully, catching me up so that I can do individual book posts from there!

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100 Books Journey – Books 11 thru 15

Books 11-15 are what I’m calling “gift books” – all have been gifted in one way or another.

11/100:  This is an older book, but another favorite because I made it for my eldest niece’s wedding in 2012.  She asked for a book that would allow her guests to sign with their birth dates and this is the book I came up with.  Most of the papers are scrapbook papers, the spine is a deep purple corduroy fabric and the month pages were created on the computer and printed on 24lb ivory cotton paper.  The video below is a complete flip-through of this lovely little book.

12/100: This next one was made for my youngest niece last summer.  She fell in love with a real life Black Beauty so when I saw this vintage copy of the book I had to grab it and make it into a journal for her.  It’s a five signature book and is filled with 90lb multi-media paper, stitched long-stitch style with beaded strings and a button on the spine.  I also added a velcro closure and corner protecters, which I think really finished off this little beauty (pun intended) quite wonderfully.  This one is another of my favorites!


13/100:  This little book was part of a challenge.  I was given two tiny 3×3 canvases and challenged to make “something” with them – what else would I make but a book?  I had recently read Anne Morrow Lindberg’s “Gifts from the Sea” and was inspired to make a book based on that – only with an artsy twist.  I turned the canvases around backwards and used the front opening to make a dimensional cover, tucking in a bottle of sand, collected shells and a message in a bottle.  The inside of the book is an accordion with pockets, which I filled with tags highlighting ideas from the book that I felt applied equally to life and art. It was a fun little project that went to a lovely friend.


14/100:  These next two books were part of a wonderful weekend with my daughter, Megan.  She actually made the pink book and the blue one is mine, but I consider that time spent together (and ANY time we get to spend together) such a gift that I thought the books fit well in this post (I’m only counting the one I made). We started by making paste paper, which happens to be the very thing that first hooked me on printmaking, then did some fun paper cutting and weaving to mix pieces of each other’s paper into both books.  They were filled with 90lb multi-media paper and long-stitched with beaded strings on mine and button on Meg’s.


15/100:  The last book for today’s post is one I made for my Dad for father’s day this year.  He has developed a fondness for watercolor and I thought he might enjoy a book to work in.  This is a tape bound book, which I love because they lay nice and flat.  It has six signatures of 140lb watercolor paper and each signature is wrapped in a music-themed scrapbook paper.  The covers are done with Gelli® printed scraps, stitched together with black security envelope patterns.  It’s sewn with black leather tapes for a more masculine look and, as a finishing touch, I tied my spine stitches into little bundles and added corner protectors (not shown in this photo).  He was delighted and I can’t wait to see him fill it up!


Next up, I’m going to share what I call “unconventional” books.  I’ll be back soon!

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