Saturday, April 30, 2011

What I'm Reading

I'm not kidding when I say that I have a pile of books next to my bed to read. I'm a bibliophile which gives me the excuse that I simply can't help it.

Last night I picked up The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde at Alias Books in West L.A. It was a big score and finding it made me quite happy!

Art book wise, I am reading Open Studios with Lotta Jansdotter. Okay, I confess. I haven't read it yet. At all. I am very content (at the moment) with randomly flipping through and looking at the pictures.

There are some books that I devour and digest very quickly. These are not those kind of books. These are books that should be relished and savored, consuming a bit here and there very, very slowly. I already have a place on my bookshelf reserved for each title. For now, they are planted by the head of my bed where I can reach over and lose myself in their pages for a short time.

What books are you savoring?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Where is the best place to quickly learn some beginner bookbinding techniques?

I always recommend taking classes for hands on learning. There are tons of classes both in person and online available. I always try to make my classes accessible for beginners to advanced.

I know that there are several tutorials on youtube. I haven't watched any, so I can't recommend them. Try doing a google search for:

Pamphlet stitch (both 3 and 5 hole)
Running stitch

I would start with a 3 hole pamphlet, then try a 5 hole and go from there. I am self taught. It may be difficult in the beginning but don't give up! It is a learning experience!! Do not expect your first book (or even your first several books to be perfect) at the same time, don't beat yourself up over it! :) The first book that I made, I threw it across the room and swore at it. I picked it up and tried it again and again and again. That was 14 years ago. I've made thousands of books since.

I have several books that I recommend to students. You can get these at your library:

Cover to Cover by Shereen LaPlantz is the bible of bookbinding, in my opinion. Search it out and keep it in your reference library.

Anything by Alisa Golden (her blog is excellent to follow as well. I am on my phone typing this or else I would insert a link. Get her books! They are awesome!)

Keith Smith's books are excellent and there are quite a few to choose from. I often have a hard time with his written instructions but his diagrams are easy to follow. He is the King of Bookbinding. If you want to buy any of his books (I have almost all of them), I would recommend buying through him as hevsells slightly imperfect copies below cover price.

Gwen Diehn has a few good books out there, as well.

Keep in mind while there are a lot of stitches out there that every instructor approaches bookbinding in a different way. Learn from them, but remember it's okay to step outside the box and approach the creating of your books your own way. I always emphasize learning the rules and then doing your damndest to try to break them and make your work your own!

Good luck!

Ask me anything

Some of my Many Journals

I really need to find a better storage system for my journals. Piling them up in a corner of my boy's room just doesn't cut it anymore.

Tristan is well again! Thanks for asking!!

How do you store your journals?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

23rd and 25th of February Journal Pages

Just a quickie post for now. Tristan isn't feeling well today so it's a quiet, stay at home type day. More soon.

Be well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

22 February 2011 Journal Page

I've managed to get several things done today (yay!) including

-sending jpegs to my East Coast stores for my summer workshops (MA and NYC, here I come!)

-I've also updated my class schedule for May-August here.

-HUGE thanks to all of you who bought a journal and stopped by to check them out!

I also accomplished some random other stuff. I don't like when my To Do list starts looming over my head like a dark cloud. It's nice to be able to check things off!

I'm working on my next online class. I am hoping to be able to announce it within the next week. I am super excited about it and can't wait to see how my students translate the ideas (always the best part of teaching)!

Ohhh, I can't wait for this book to come out. Super excited about it!

I also loved this Etsy Handmade Portraits: Yokoo. Lovely.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Journals For Sale

All journals have been sold! Thank you all so much for looking!!!

Be You Journal
SOLD! Thank you!
Affinity Journal
SOLD! Thank you!
Flourish Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Butterfly Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Insight Journal
SOLD! Thank you!
Find Yourself Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Be Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Journey Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Lotus Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Trust Your Heart Journal
SOLD! Thank you!

Teaser Post of Journals I Have for Sale

Here's the teaser post I promised of the journals that I have for sale. I'll have these listed here on my blog tonight at 7 p.m. PST in a new post.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Page of Current Journal

I finished this journal on Saturday. I'll have a slideshow up of it soon. It doesn't have a name yet. I'll miss working in this one but I am super excited to have already started work in my latest journal, which is actually going to be my next online class. I am a one journal at a time type girl so I HAD to finish this one before I could begin my next project. The pages are pouring out of me. I've had this idea simmering for quite some time now and I'm so happy that it is finally taking shape. I always enjoy seeing my ideas translated to the page.

I spent all day today photographing, uploading and composing my journals for sale blog post. It's scheduled for 7 p.m. PST tomorrow (Tuesday). I have 10 journals for sale. Once they're gone, that's it! I won't have any more listed for quite some time. They're a great gift for yourself or for Mother's Day! I'll try to post a sneak peek picture tomorrow before the post goes live so you can see what's up for sale.

I heard this story on npr today. I love, love, love knit and crochet graffiti artists. You have to watch the video and see what they did to the Griffith Park bear.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Farmers' Market Bounty

Just so you know, this blog isn't going to turn into a food blog at least not any time soon. I thought I would share one of our favorite activities.

Whenever I am not teaching, Tristan and I will trek to the local farmers' market in Larchmont Village. I love the variety there and the ease of finding a parking space! We usually go before they close for the best deals. It really helps when you're on a budget and money is really tight.

I bring my own produce and canvas bags to load up with fresh produce. Today, we walked away with two full canvas bags with:

-a dozen red roses ($5!!!!)
-4 onions ($2)
-3 tomatoes ($2)
-1 tray of strawberries ($6)
-6 loaves of bread ($5)
-8 or so oranges ($3)
-a bundle of grapes ($1)
-2 bushels of spinach ($2)

I ended up going $6 over my budget (with the bread. I was being lazy and decided I would shell out the $5 and not bake it myself since I am baking a cake today.)

The grand total? $26

I figured it out that it's a huge savings over the prices in a super market not to mention that I am buying fresh, local produce. This food will last us a week (or more)!

My favorite thing to do with our bounty is to make a spinach salad with tomatoes, onions, corn, cherries (no luck on those yet, but soon) and add sliced strawberries to the salad. Yum! Add some flax seeds and almonds and it's perfect!

I like simple food. Makes me happy. Keeps us healthy.

Do you have any favorite produce that you like to look for at the local market? I'm always looking for new suggestions on different things to try. I'm on the lookout for green almonds now after hearing about them on kcrw's Good Food show.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finished Pages from the Other Day

I'm taking a break from eating Cadbury Creme Eggs (my most favorite candy on the planet) and getting work done that needs to be done. I figured I would blog early (as in now) so I can have the rest of the day off and take a little internet phone break (I use my phone for email, blogging, etc...). I mailed a ton of packages today at the post office. I picked up some fresh strawberries, spinach and corn. I'm ready to spend the rest of the day in my pjs and relaxing. Maybe baking.

If you do anything this weekend, spend a quick couple of minutes watching this video of kinetic, independent sculptures. They are some of the most amazing things that I have ever seen:

Happy Eat a Cadbury Creme Egg Day!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Finished Pages from 16th and 18th of April

I had fun doing these pages. I don't love the first page (not happy with my journaling...I didn't say everything that I wanted to say) but I LOVE the second page. I've always been a huge fan of partial rub-ons. I have a huge box that I bought years ago in Canada at Ruby Dog (LOVE that store) in Vancouver. I hoard them and use every bit on the sheet. I like the contrast of the pink on brown. I also like how simple the page is.

I finished working on my handmade journals to sell. Now I have to take pictures and write descriptions. That takes the most amount of time, well, not really, but it's the thing I like doing the least. At this point, I'm hoping to have them uploaded on Tuesday night around 7 pm PST. I'll let you know if anything changes!!!

Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finished Pages

A big thank you to all of you who emailed or commented on my previous post. Comments are always appreciated here. Thank you!! I really mean it!!!!!

Busy as a bee but I wanted to share this link I found via Notebook Loves Pen.
A glimpse into Leslie Shewring's notebooks:

Happy Almost Weekend!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Questions for My Blog Readers

I've been busy this week juggling several different projects and ideas. I am hoping to list at least 11 new journals on my blog sometime next week. I will give a heads up as soon as I know when they're ready.

I'm working on my latest online class. My question to you is would you rather have a lower priced class with written/illustrated handouts that include photographs or would you rather pay more for a class that included videos? I like to keep my class prices reasonable for my students and yet still be able to offer a great value! Thank you for your time. You can leave a comment below or email me privately at

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Jack!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Books for Sale

Cleaning house again. I'm selling the books below at below amazon used listed prices. All books are in very good to excellent condition (I'm very picky about my books and how they are stored/handled). All books are excellent for exploring collage (whether you want instruction or just luscious artwork). I live in a tiny apartment and have to go through and clean out every now and then. I have recommended all of these books to give students different ideas for starting with mixed media collage (and Miss Mindy's paper doll book is just fun!)

Shipping is cheap. If you buy multiple books, I'll refund the shipping difference as books are shipped via USPS media mail. Please note, shipping prices are for U.S. residents only. If you're outside of the U.S. and you're interested, please drop me an email.

SOLD OUT! Thank you!!!!

Thanks for helping me to clean house!! I really appreciate it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Inspiration Files

Last year my friend, Darcy made me a luscious, layered folder from paper and tape. I knew right away what I would do with it!

I use my folder as an inspiration file. I gather and clip articles, photos, images and things that interest me. It's a quick and easy way for me not only to store favorite bits and articles, but also something light that I can bring with me on the go when I want reading material.

I don't have any wall space in my living room (a.k.a. art area), so, I'm limited with what I can hang up. However, my kitchen is my pinboard. I hang artwork from friends and artists I love. There's art everywhere including inside (and outside) of the kitchen cabinets. Everywhere you look in the kitchen there's something special to me that makes me smile.

Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. PST, I'm going to post some books that I have for sale. They're all collage books (so far). Books in, books out. Still sticking to it.

Do you have an inspiration file of some sort?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Art On a Budget

One of the most asked questions that I hear is where do I get my images? The majority of my images are from magazines or used books. I don't like to pay more than a couple of dollars for a book that I'm going to tear up.

I don't have a big budget or a large credit account. The majority of things that I buy are used in my classes by my students. I buy quality products that I know will stand up and out last cheaper crap. I only buy things to use in classes that I have bought myself, tested and loved. I will not recommend anything that I don't personally use and adore.

I'm very frugal with buying my books and magazines often frequenting my favorite used bookstore (my favorite shop, Iliad Books in North Hollywood has a $1-10 table that I LOVE) and local friends of the library sale. I also like to use images from free magazines and flyers. Sometimes I take my own photos. I also have swapped images with friends (they often know what I like and vice versa). It's all good and it works.

I'm a big fan of low budget art. You do not need a lot of money or a lot or stuff to do this. You need:

1. Passion-the desire and eagerness to express yourself.

2. Time- 5-15 minutes sprinkled throughout the day are just as good as huge blocks of time. Grab the time when you can. Use it.

3. Supplies-you do not need a ton of stuff to make art. Sure, the other stuff is fun, but no one NEEDS it. Look at Henry Darger who found old books and trash to paint on. Look at the plethora of avante garde artists. Hell, even Rauschenberg tore up magazines and newspapers.

You need-glue (glue sticks work), a journal (you can make one from cereal boxes, old books, cardboard, an old wallet, record covers, etc..., use scrap paper as pages, pens (find a pen you love and go for it) and paper to rip up and glue down. If you can cut, rip and paste, you're good to go.

Cut images out of magazines. Use half an image, part of an image. See how many different ways you can use the faces you find in magazines. Cut out magazine pages you like for their colors and textures and save them. Shred them, layer them and voila! Instant background! Draw, doodle, play with your pens.
You can make art on a budget without fancy gadgets or supplies.

Other ideas-

-Try freecyle or craigslist for art supplies cheap or free.

-Find a local teacher supply store (where you can get junk no one has taken the time to assess the true potential and value of it).

-Try scrap stores, thrift stores, stuff left on sidewalks, posters and flyers that are outdated and stuck on walls or telephone poles.

-Try looking at junk mail and flyers in a new way.

You can make art from anything. All you need is your imagination.

What's the most unusual thing you have used as an art supply?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday...

Almost 90° again today. Hanging out. Working in my journal. Reading ("Spaces" published by Frankie out of Australia). Trying to stay cool.

All prepped and ready for class tomorrow. Bags are packed and ready to go.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, eh?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another WIP Page

Sadly, my Pen Work class at Zinnia tomorrow was postponed. However, Sunday's Love Story class at Stampin From the Heart in L.A. is a big GO! Looking forward to it. I'll be all prepped for it once I print out my handouts.

Now I have a Saturday free. I'm going to work on some new ideas I have. I should also catch up on my reading as I have a huge pile of books and magazines. I also promised Tristan that we would make pizza. Saturday night is also family movie night and that usually means a horror film.

I'm really hoping it's not as warm tomorrow as it was today. I'm not a fan of the heat and it was almost 90 today. It was so warm, I had to take a nap. Crazy, huh?

I've been watching a lot of old films lately with David. We watched two Lumet films this week: The Group (which I didn't like) and The Fugitive Kind (which I did like. Hard not to like Tennesee Williams. Even harder not to like Marlon Brando.)

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope it's a good one!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finished Pages

I'm all about the layers with this journal. I've always been a huge fan of taking an idea and seeing how far you can push it. I didn't love the page on the left until I added that little blurb of blue transparency. I loved the image on the page on the right but wanted to do something different so not only did I journal on it, but I stenciled it using at least four different layers of pen work. I don't love it, but I am happy with it.

I don't fret or stress with my journal pages. They're my place to experiment and document. They're my stress free place to let go and play. They're my sanctuary place, my sanctuary pages.

I spent most of yesterday on the computer sending out class information for my summer workshops. I've updated my blog with a list of venues and dates where I will be teaching this summer. I'll have individual posts outlining each venue in the coming weeks. I'll try not to bombard you with them. It will be a busy summer: So CA, No CA, CO, AZ, MA and NY. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new faces!

I'm teaching this weekend in So CA! I spent today prepping for both classes. There's space in both classes and more information is here:

I also booked dates for the rest of 2011. Yay! One big thing checked off of the To Do List.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WIP Journal Page

I was thinking today how many of my students complain about their handwriting when it comes to art journaling. Instead of writing, they prefer to cut and paste words from magazines, books, print outs, etc... It's one thing that has always puzzled me (that and the need for perfect, beautiful pages). The perfection shown in various books and magazines doesn't help the situation either.

Your handwriting is completely unique to you. You can't get any more personal than writing with your own hand across a page that you created.

I attended eight years of Catholic school. I was told constantly that I had horrible penmanship. Did that stop me from anything? No. Did it discourage me from wanting to write in my journals? No. It did encourage me to play around with my handwriting. I constantly ask myself, "What if I hold the pen like this?" or "What if I try writing like that?" I play with my pens and push myself. I don't always love my handwriting, but that's okay. It's a part of me.

Some ideas for art journaling:

-Layer! Layer your handwriting. Who says you have to actually be able to read something?

-Write big, loopy, cursive letters.

-Try different pens. Try them on the same page.

-Don't like your handwriting on one page? Use a different color pen (or marker) and change the style of your text as you write on top of what's already there.

-Write small vs writing big.

-Look at graffiti artists and how they play with text.

-Most important, don't beat yourself up over it. Play, experiment and push yourself. Don't compare, but learn what works for you and how you like to do things. If I can do it, so can you.

Celebrate Yuri's Night tonight!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bringing Home the Goods

These are the goodies I brought home from Frenzy Stamper:

Prima Marketing Stencils
Paper, paper cards and paper packs
Hero Arts alphabet and number sets

I have two new classes lined up this coming weekend! I'm teaching my Pen Work class at Zinnia in So Pasadena on Sat, April 16th and my Love Story class at Stampin from the Heart in L.A. on Sunday, the 17th. Samples are in the store and online:

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

AZ Fun Texture Picture #2

AZ Fun Picture #1

Thank you, Frenzy Stamper!!

Sometimes my outgoing mail gets 'stuck' in my outbox on my phone. That's what happened last night where no matter how many times I tried to fix it, nothing worked. Grrr! So, here is my rather late post from yesterday.

Huge thank yous to Debbie and my wonderful students from Frenzy Stamper this weekend. As usual, I had the most fabulous time! I can't wait to come back later this year!! You rock!!

I'm going to post two pictures I took last night. I loved the textures and colors. You can save and print them, if you'd like! I'll post them after this blogpost.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Journal Page From Class Today

Having a great time at Frenzy Stamper this weekend! Looking forward to tomorrow's classes!! Still room in the classes, don't wait until last minute...

Off to bed! It was a great day but I'm always pooped after teaching! It's what happens when you're having FUN!!!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I'm in Arizona...

I'm all set up for my classes at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale. I'm super excited to teach in the morning! Five new classes in three days!! The question is, will I be able to sleep tonight or am I too psyched?!?!?!

I had the radio blaring on the way here. I worked out some new ideas for an online class I've been thinking about. That's the best thing about long car drives: the time to think (and listen to your favorite  hair bands of your youth. Had Hardline and Ratt cranked up.). Ideas are churning.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I was sorting through my sticker collection today. The whole time I sat and sorted, I was thinking that there really isn't much difference between my current self at age 36 and my self at age 10 (other than the obvious). I always like to have something with me that keeps me occupied.

It started when I was a kid. When I was younger, it was usually a stuffed animal or doll (stuffed animals were my favorite), small paper pads (usually Hello Kitty style) and crayons or pencils. As I got older it was a book, notebook and pens. The last 20 years it's progressed to a journal and all the crap, I mean stuff, that comes with an art journal: pens, glue, paper ephemera, etc... stickers. I'm never without something that puts a smile on my face and a jump in my heart.

Funny as I repack my journal bag for this weekend and glance over at my house keys with a small stuffed animal seal hanging from it how little things can change with some people.

I'm leaving in the morning for Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale. There is still room in all of the classes. Give Debbie a holler if you're interested. I'll be checking in here and blogging daily!

One last quick bit of housekeeping, huge, heartfelt thanks to all of you who leave comments. I try to respond individually if your email is there. I just want you to know that when you stop and take the time to comment here, they really are appreciated. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

One Page Finished, the Other is a WIP

With the exception of grocery shopping for the boys, a glue and paper store run, I'm all set to leave on my Big Frenzy Stamper Adventure on Thursday. I. Can't. Wait. I always get super excited teaching new classes (5!!! this time!!) and y'all know how much I love teaching at Frenzy.

No word on apartment stuff for this week. We are in limbo waiting again. Soon, soon it will be done. I hope.

I love Maira Kalman (who doesn't???). Check out this fab-o glimpse into her studio:

Monday, April 04, 2011

April 3, 2011 journal page

I was so caught up in the journal page that I totally forgot to take a before and after picture. I made the above page on the right in one sitting. It's composed of many layers: rub-ons, tissue paper, background paper, focal image, transparency, tape, journaling, etc... (Thank you, Tracy, for the quote!)

I am almost done with all of my Frenzy Stamper prep work. I need to get gel medium and print out handouts. I spent most of today cutting paper and board. Looking forward to teaching the classes, all five of them are brand new!! People are always shocked when I tell them that I have over 400 classes. I love it, though!! There's a thrill of discovery and an exhilarated feeling when you take your favorite materials and push them in new and different ways.

I can't remember whose blog I found this on (I apologize). I have long dreamed of a script typewriter. Prices are insane, though! Here's a link to a free script/cursive typewriter font. How fun is this?!?!?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Finished Journal Page

I finished the page that I posted the other day. I added more journaling. I always have too much on my mind, too much to spill out. Thankfully, I have my journal to let it all out.

I've spent the weekend prepping for my Frenzy Stamper classes. I'm half done with everything. Yay! I'll have it all finished by Tuesday so I can relax on Wednesday.

Speaking of things almost being done, *fingers crossed* that the apartment work will all be finished this week. This isn't to say that there is still a ton of stuff that needs to be fixed and done (possum still living in the attic for one thing). No, this is to say that the project that started last year and has been ongoing will be finished once they install our new blinds. Tristan and I spent an hour today putting things back in the bathroom (we had to empty it completely last week when they painted it). Other than their crappy, smelly paint job, the bathroom looks good (thanks to Tristan's help!!). I can't wait for the blinds to be installed so I can put up my new curtains and they will leave us the hell alone.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

On My Bookshelf

I have been a busy bee all day. I haven't had time for anything other than prep work for my Frenzy Stamper classes.

A little known fact about the life of an art teacher is that it involves tons of prep work in addition to the actual classes themselves. There are ideas to come up with, samples to be made, handouts to be written, supplies to be gathered, bought and prepped, things to be packed. It is an exciting, busy life and one that constantly keeps you asking, "What if?" The reward is seeing what your students do with the ideas you share in class.

A quick peek at what I'm reading this week:

Work/Life 2: The Uppercase Directory of Illustration published by the folks at Uppercase magazine

Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems Volume One

Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre

What's on your nightstand keeping you up into the wee hours?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Spring or Summer?

I'm not a hot weather fan. At. All. I am a Fall Girl. I can even be a Spring Girl but not on days like today when the thermometer is pushing 90 plus. Yuck.

All that said, I had an awesomely cool day teaching at Zinnia in So Pasadena (check out the mushrooms!!! You should see them in person!). Thanks to Tamara, Suki, my fabulous students and Ms. Alley! Most awesome day!!

I'm on overdrive prepping for my classes next weekend at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale, AZ. I'm excited. Can you tell?!??!

Please, please, please if you read one thing all month, let it be this. Please pass it on, too: