Friday, November 30, 2012

30 September 2012 Journal Page

FYI, the new Lula and Issue #3 of The Simple Things are both out. I know that I'm not the only one who loves those magazines.

I have some other new books that I'll be recommending soon. It's been somewhat of a book feast lately!

I'm spending the weekend working on my art journals which I will be selling very soon. I am hoping to post them on my blog some time next week. I'll give you an advance heads up before I do.

I'm off to teach my class. I hope that you have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Danny Gregory's A Kiss Before You Go

I picked up the latest Danny Gregory book, A Kiss Before You Go, on Tuesday night. I read all of it that night. I hate to say that a book written about such a heart breaking subject was good but it was, it's pure Danny. It's full of heart, it hits home and it speaks his truth. It breaks your heart yet makes you smile as it's so full of love and endearment. It doesn't weigh you down. It leaves you pondering and thinking about it days later (in a good way.) It's full of life and love.

I've been recommending his books since I read Everyday Matters in 2003 or so. Danny's latest book hit home after my Dad's sudden and unexpected death in June and I have been waiting for his book to be released.. I am so grateful that he opened his journals and shared so much with us. With so many books available on death and so few that I've been able to identify with, I am thankful that he wrote this. I don't feel as alone in my thinking any more. 

Danny has been sharing unpublished pages on his blog, as well.

Make sure you look inside the dust jacket, too...but wait until after you've read the book. It will put a big smile on your face.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mixed Media Classes December

Here's my list of classes for November-December 2012. I may add to this list. I'm ALWAYS looking for new teaching venues so if you know of any that may be interested, I'd love to hear. 

As of right now, I do not have anything locally scheduled for 2013, so I'm encouraging folks to take the local classes while you can!


Combine layers of paper, transparencies, tape, rubberstamps, journaling and your own vision into this one of a kind book. We will start by assembling a book from scratch using a fun stitch which you will love. Unfold upon the pages as you create layered and complex (yet fun) pages. This was one of my favorite books to work in. I guarantee that you will love it, too!

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 3 1" brushes to glue and paint (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks, bottle of tacky glue

Create your own uniquely hand bound, paper and tape covered journal completely from scratch! Once we’ve created the book, we will start to work on the inside creating richly layered pages. Combine layers of paper, tape, pens and much more to create your own visually expressive pages that tell your own unique story!
Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 1" brushes to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks

In this four hour workshop, we’ll create a little pocket planner that fits in your purse! It’s the perfect size book for every day journaling, collage, list making or to take note of anything memorable or important. We’ll start by creating a book from scratch (with your own hands, learning a super cool and easy binding!) Then, we’ll start to embellish some of the pages so that you won’t be able to resist working on the pages. I loved working in my journal and so will you!

Supply list: small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 1" brush to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes) or a few of your favorite glue sticks

This is NOT a calligraphy class! It is unlike any other journaling or pen class that I’ve ever taught! You will learn simple, fun and exciting ways to write and journal on your pages. You will explore a myriad of pens as you work and learn how to add your own hand to your journal pages. You’ll also be exploring collage in this class so it’s actually two classes in one! This is a class with both structure (guided exercises) as well as some play time. You’ll never be bored and you’ll be looking at your journal pages in whole new ways after this class.

Supply list: journal (or the instructor will have paper for you to work on), scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 1" brush to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes) or a few of your favorite glue sticks


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

29 September 2012 Journal Page

Spending today:
-Packaging up and mailing collage grab bags.
-Hitting the bookstore for Danny Gregory's latest book.
-Working on my batch of journals to sell on my blog (soon and I will give a heads up before they're ready.)
-Prepping for my class this Friday at Stampin' From the Heart.
-Working on my latest online class (I'm very excited about this one. I love it when a class inspires me and kicks me into a different mindset. More on this soon.)


Did you know that Glaze and Souffle pens resist water soluble crayons?

Let the pens dry on your page. Scrub hard with the water soluble crayons onto your page. Rub them in with a rag or paper towel and you get the look that you see above. You will get a different look depending upon the color of pens and water soluble crayons that you use on your page (as well as what kind of paper you are using them on, what order you layer the colors-light to dark, dark to light, etc...)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Collage Grab Bags For Sale

SOLD OUT!!! Thank you for looking and BIG thanks to all of you who bought one!

28 September 2012 Journal Page

A quick reminder that TONIGHT (Monday), I'm selling my grab bags on my blog. I'll create a separate new post that will go live at 6 pm PST on the dot. They are $50 each plus $5 shipping (for U.S. residents. Outside of the U.S., it's $50 each plus $15 shipping.) Each bag is specially curated by me from my personal, favorite stash of supplies, only the best of the best! You'll get three (new) pens, three rolls of washi paper tape, a stencil, two (gently used and/or new) rubber stamps, a sheet of unmounted (new) rubber stamps, two rub-ons, several transparencies, a variety of handmade, decorative and scrapbook papers, glassine papers, lots of stickers, tape snippets and more! Tons of GOOD stuff from my personal stash. The bags are also covered in strips of washi tape that you can peel off and reuse on your pages! 

I only have a limited selection of them and once they are gone, I won't be making these for a long time as they take days to assemble. If you have any problems trying to order at 6 p.m., please email me at and I'll try to help!

One more quick heads up, I'm teaching my Unfold class this Friday at Stampin from the Heart in L.A. This may be the last time locally that I teach this class so catch it while you can! It was one of my favorite books and I LOVE the bookbinding stitch. The class is a GO and I hope to see YOU there. 

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

28 September 2012 Journal Page

A quick reminder that tomorrow (Monday) night at 6 p.m. PST, I'll be selling a limited amount of grab bags here on my blog. I'll create a separate post that will go live at 6 p.m. PST. There will be a buy it now button. I only have a limited amount of these and once they go, they're gone. If you have any problems, you can email me. I'll be hanging out online at that time to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

The bags will contain: rolls of washi tape, paper tape strips, rubber stamps (gently used), pens (all new though I did test them on scrap paper to make sure that they work okay), rub-ons, stickers, transparencies, a canvas printed swatch, a stencil, collage ephemera-pretty much everything that I use to create journal pages. All of the goodies are a part of my personal stash. These bags take me days to make up and I will not be selling them again for a long time so if you want one, grab it while you can! You can see a sneak peek here.

Blog Love:
Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook 
Michelle Moode's Kickstarter Project (I contributed. I adore Michelle's work. I also love the idea of helping out a fellow artist as well as getting postcards!
Crimsoncat's blog post on her weekend at Frenzy Stamper
Blogging Mood Boards
Brecht Evens makes a mural

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More from LACMA...D

Dédé Sunbeam

A favorite piece from the Drawing Surrealism exhibit at LACMA. There's a book about the exhibit that looks luscious. Unfortunately, there isn't anything about Sunbeam online or else I'd link. I'd love to see more of their work.
Max Ernst Quote

"It is not the glue that makes the collage." Max Ernst

This just about made my heart leap out of my chest when I saw it. I had to take a picture and share it.

A short video about the exhibit:

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Day at LACMA with Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick on 2001
Saul Bass
Loved this quote
Kubrick's Chessboard
Kubrick on the Set of Barry Lyndon photo by Christiane Kubrick
2001 Clapboard
Props from Barry Lyndon
Extensive File Cabinet on Napoleon
2001 Baby
Special Camera Developed by NASA for Barry Lyndon and shooting in low light
A portion of Kubrick's library on Napoleon
Jack's Typewriter from The Shining
A Portion of the Poster Wall
More of the Napoleon File Cabinet
David Holding His Tickets
Between Kubrick, Caravaggio, the German Expressionists and the Surrealists, my head is going to explode (in a good way.) Do. Not. Miss. The. Kubrick. Exhibit. It exceeded the Tim Burton exhibit by far. You really get a feel for Kubrick and how he processed and developed his work.We're already talking about going back.

We were in the Kubrick exhibit for almost three and a half hours. The Surrealist exhibit is another one you could get lost in for hours. The Drawing Surrealism book is now on my wish list. We picked up the Kubrick catalog tonight. Another book for the bursting book shelves.

If you're a Kubrick or film nut, also check out The Academy's exhibit on Kubrick. It's free and is open every day except Monday.

I'll leave you with some of my favorite photos from the exhibit. I'm off to process everything and put my feet up!

 David has two posts of interest on Kubrick: 
Visual Motifs 
2001: A Space Odyssey and A.I.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


27 September 2012 Journal Page
I try to acknowledge the many things that I am thankful for year round, not just on one day of the year.

I'm grateful for my husband. David is always there for me when I need him. His hand in mine means the world to me. It's also nice having a fellow biblio and cinephile around the house. I couldn't ask for a better partner and friend.

I'm grateful for our son. Tristan has a heart of gold and is always ready to help whenever I need it. His big hugs and kind words always fill my heart. I love my boy even when he's playing video games (Lego Batman 2 DC Superheroes) in my ear as I try to write this post.

I'm grateful for my family and friends. Even though my heart is broken and I'm having a hard day today, I'm thankful that I had one of the best Daddies in the world. I miss him every day and there's not a day that goes by without me wanting to pick up the phone and call him (or that I think the phone is going to ring and he'll be on the other end.) I'm thankful that my Mom is here and that we all have each other to lean on (even when we're miles apart.) I love you, Mom! I'm grateful for my little sister, Erin and her precious son, Jack. "I love you guys!"

I'm grateful for all of my students (each and every one of you both in person as well as online), many of whom I am happy to call my friends. I really don't know where I'd be without you guys. I am extremely thankful to be able to have a job that I love and adore. My students are the ones to thank for that (as well as the venues where I teach!) Words can't express the amount of gratitude that I have for you. Thank you. I sincerely mean it.

I am grateful to have found an art form in which I can pour my heart out into as much as I need to. I'm thankful that I have two hands, the gift of sight and the capability to cut, paste and write into my little books that nourish my heart, fill my soul and keep me sane.

I'm grateful to YOU for taking the time to read this long post. Whoever you are, wherever you are, I hope that you have a wonderful day full of things that nourish and fill your heart, mind and soul. 

"Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone." Gertrude Stein

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

25 September 2012 Journal Page

I was going to post something different today but then I found this quote and it speaks volumes for everything that I've been feeling lately:

“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.” Marcel Proust

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Heads Up: Selling Grab Bags on November 26, 2012

A quick note to let you know that on Monday, November 26th, 2012 at 6 p.m. PST, I'll be selling a limited amount of grab bags here on the blog. The grab bags will be a mix of some of my favorite things from my own personal stash: pens, tape, rub-ons, transparencies, stickers, stamps and papers. I'm making them up this week. This is the only time that I will be selling these for awhile now so catch them while you can as they tend to go very fast.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Some Goodies From Etsy Shops

I recently placed two etsy orders for some alphabet and number stamp sets that I had seen recently at Anthropologie ($35 there.) I knew that I had seen them much cheaper on etsy so when I got home I did some research and looked at a variety of shops that were selling them.

The two shops that I ordered from were Chickydoddle and DIYAssistante. 

Chickydoddle is in MA and shipping was super fast.

DIYAssistante is in China and it was over a month before the order arrived.  

Both sellers were excellent and I would order from both again.

My only complaint about the stamp sets is that they're not glued very well. The plastic stamp part (they're not rubber) is a bit larger than the mount and they tend to stick out past the wood area. Sometimes they stick together in the box. For the price, I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing it out as an FYI, in case anyone orders. I'm just happy to have new alphabet and number stamps to play with!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Where Some Women Really Create

It still looks like that at this moment! I have to pack it up before I leave for class. 

Banana bread is in the oven for class this afternoon. Looking forward to a good day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

22 September 2012 Journal Page

This is one of my most favorite recent pages. I love how the look in her eyes matches what I journaled about perfectly. 

I hope that wherever you are and whatever you may be doing that you have a nice weekend full of things that fill your heart and nourish your soul. I'll be spending mine teaching (Sunday), working in my art journal, reading, taking a walk or two, watching old films and hanging out with my family. These are the things that fill me.

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Sylvia Plath

Friday, November 16, 2012

18 September 2012 Journal Page

So happy that it's Friday especially since Tristan has all of next week off! I've been looking forward to it for awhile now. I love it when my boy is home! No definite plans for Thanksgiving yet (probably just a quiet day at home. I really want to try to keep myself busy that day.) 

I'm really looking forward to my class on Sunday especially since it's one of my most favorite new classes to teach (it's a go and there's still space available.) 

Hoping to catch the Kubrick exhibit at LACMA very soon. I'm also making plans to try to catch the Quay Brothers exhibit in New York City before it closes. Has anyone been to either one yet?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

17 September 2012 Journal Page

Recently I was talking to someone about film. He insisted that he did not like westerns. I countered with, "Perhaps you haven't seen the right ones." He was stubborn, shook his head and completely dismissed my comments when I said that I used to think the same thing until David showed me "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Ride the High Country", both of which are now on my list of favorite films.

How do we get like this? How do we become so willing to shut ourselves off to new ideas and new possibilities? Why are we so stubborn and stuck on remaining so narrow minded? When did we lose our sense of wonder that we had as children? 

Some food for thought this afternoon. Perhaps something to ponder in your art journal.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

16 September 2012 Journal Page

I'm already working on my third journal since I finished this one. Crazy, huh? I've been pouring myself out onto the pages much more so than usual lately. Grief is such a hard thing to deal with. I'm not "alright", I never will be the way I was before. I have good moments and crappy moments (just like we all do.)

I'll be honest in saying that it was hard being in Arizona this weekend. There were a few things going on that brought up some heavy emotions. My Aunt Anne Smith died on Thursday, November 8th (her husband, Jim, was my Dad's half brother.) We weren't close but she was a nice lady and I always enjoyed seeing her. I have lots of good memories of going to visit on Christmas Eve. I always love seeing that side of the family and wish that we could have seen them more often. Dad always said the nicest things about Anne and Jim and their kids.

I had a few nice hard cries when I was by myself. There are lots of memories of my Dad when I visit Arizona and it makes it all the more difficult. It was also the five month anniversary (on the 9th) as well as my Mom sent me photos of my Dad's tombstone. It wasn't up when I visited Bourne in August. Here's my cutie nephew (Jack) with Aunt Sis (my Dad's sister.) It is a hard thing to see that for the first time. Mom was happy with the stone and took a gazillion pictures.

Dad was in the Army during the Vietnam era but he was stationed in Okinawa working in a printing shop. Yes, Dad was also a U.S. Marshal. He retired in 2000 (the Marshal service forces you to retire when you're 55. He worked for them for twenty years.) He worked a lot of high profile cases and his name was tossed around as being the one and only person who if given the time and the money could have found one of the top of the list FBI's Most Wanted (we didn't know this until after he died.) He refused though as he had just had open heart surgery. After that he worked for the City of Boston as a bridge operator for a few years. His last job was as a shuttle bus driver. He was always well loved wherever he went. In June, the funeral home was packed with the mall employees who came to say goodbye. They told us he would always wait to make sure that their car started and that they were okay getting into their cars in the parking lot alone at night. That's just the way he was.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Home again. Exhausted but I had a very nice weekend.

I'm a bit behind on a few emails so if I don't respond to you by Wednesday afternoon, please give me a holler again. Thanks!

My boy must have seriously missed me as I came home to a mini baker! Tristan baked cupcakes and two kinds of cookies. He said he was inspired by his "Sims" (video game) character who is a chef by day and level 7 burglar by night. I'm a little worried. ;)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Frenzy Stamper Class Sample Page

I was too busy having a blast teaching to remember to take a finished picture of this page today but here's a shot of some of the layers.

It was a very good weekend, indeed. Thanks again, ladies! Have fun with your new books!!! Hope to see you again in February!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do You Think I Have Enough to Read?

No e-book reader for me! Nothing beats holding eye (and brain) candy in your hands and being able to physically turn the pages and relish that paper smell. At least not to me...

Last day of classes at Frenzy is in the morning! It's been a great weekend. I'll be back the first weekend in February (1st-3rd.) I'm already looking forward to it.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Journaling On the Go

Yup, that's what my desk in the hotel room looks right now. Adding more to a page I started in class today.

Had a great day teaching. Good group. Good people. Can't wait for tomorrow!

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Road Trips

I clearly inherited my love of road trips from my parents.

On the ride to Scottsdale today, I was thinking about all of the trips that we took as a family (my parents, sister and I) over the years. Only two of them were on a plane (first to California where we flew to San Francisco and then drove down the coast to Los Angeles) and the last one was Ireland in 1995.

We weren't shy about jumping in the car and taking a drive to New Hampshire for seafood or along the coast just for the hell of it or to visit a family member in New Jersey or a surprise concert in NYC. There was always a reason (or excuse) for a road trip!

I'm like my Dad in the sense that all I need is a drink (black, unsweetened iced tea is my beverage of choice) and some good tunes and I'm set! I always ask for satellite radio when I rent a car and I do the happy dance when it's available! I instantly set the stations to 40's, hair nation, old time radio and public radio. I'll switch around to nearby stations but those are my favorites. I still bring my cds. I brought several of my Dad's Dean Martin and Johnny Maestro discs along with Hardline IV and my new radio obsession, Richard Diamond Private Detective (I'm looking for copies of the tv show with David Janssen, if anyone has them!!!! I love listening to Dick Powell on the radio version of the show. I'm obsessed!) My listening tastes are all over the place but I know what I like, especially when I'm on the road.

So, while many folks I know think that twenty minutes is too far to go for a good dinner or a beautiful spot, my parents taught us that there's a beautiful world out there all ready for us to explore! I'll never forget the many, many road trips with my Dad (and Tristan) where Dad would often comment how breathtaking it was (in California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, insert name of wherever we were driving through here.)

There's always so much to see if folks would open their eyes and trek out (by foot, car, etc...) and explore.

I'm in Scottsdale now all settled in at the store (as you can see in the picture, this is the calm before the storm) as well as at the hotel. My body still feels like it's driving but give me some time and I'll settle in and down. Looking forward to the morning!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Lenore Tawney

I'll never forget the day that I discovered Lenore Tawney's work. I opened up a copy of her book, Signs on the Wind and it drew me right in and held on tight. Her work has enthralled and enraptured me ever since.
Her website is sparse but a google image search brings up a wealth of her work.

She is well known as a fiber artist yet it's her paper arts that I find to be the most compelling for me. She created collages, mail art, books and much, much more. The amount of work that she left behind in her 100 years of life is staggering.

I did a quiet, happy dance when this book arrived in the mail last night:

Lenore Tawney: A Retrospective (American Craft Museum) focuses on a broad array of her work (as opposed to Signs on the Wind which focuses on her collage work.) It's a bit pricey and hard to find but if you search around and are patient, a reasonable priced copy will pop up (Abebooks has several copies in paperback as well as hardcover that are affordable.)

Someone described her work as visual poetry. I can't think of a better description. Once she pulls you in, she won't let go. She'll have you reaching for a pair of scissors and collage ephemera yearning to create your own unique, work of art.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

14 September 2012 Journal Page

I'm all prepped and ready to head to Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale on Thursday! Handouts and all of my supplies are all ready to go. Last I heard there were still a few seats left in the classes. Catch my one and only painting/collage class this year while you can (and it's not painting like I used to! You'll LOVE this class! I promise!) More info here. I hope to see YOU there!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Al-Mutanabbi Street Book Arts Project

Well over a year ago I was invited to partake in a book arts project by the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition.  

Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad was a community of book sellers, cafes, stationery and tea shops. On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded killing thirty people and injuring more than one hundred. 

The Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition project was a call to create three books that "reflected both the strength and fragility of books, as well as the endurance of the ideas within them." It was a project that would both honor and reflect upon Al-Mutanabbi Street, the attack on the printed word and the worldwide literary community.

I was eager and excited to participate in such a project. However, the more I thought about it, the more anxious I grew. What would I say? What kind of book would I make? A multitude of ideas swarmed through my head. None of them were ever "good enough" for a project like this. Self doubt. Worry. All of those ugly emotions reared their head.

The due date drew closer and I still wasn't sure what I would make.

Then my Dad died unexpectedly and my world collapsed. 

I forgot about the project, focusing on my family and my Dad and trying to make sense of all of it.

Beau Beausoleil, the founder of the project (as well as a poet and bookseller himself) wrote asking what was going on. I was embarrassed and explained the situation. He kindly extended my deadline.

More worry. More doubt. Then one night, I threw my other ideas aside and thought about creating a book without pages, something along the lines of a triptych book. I spent the weekend collaging three panels whose pieces were made up of torn book pages, handwritten notes, and hand imagery. I worked outside of my comfort zone and pushed myself to try to reflect what books and reading really meant to me. The project that you see above is what I came up with. I even included some of my Dad's handwriting to honor him (he also loved to read.)

You can read more about Al-Mutanabbi Street and the Project here

There are various sized exhibitions of the books touring the world. More on that here.

There is an indiegogo project called Building a Literary Bridge that will help raise money to:

- Ship these artists’ books to destinations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East to hold simultaneous exhibitions from 2013 through 2014.
- Send 260 Artists’ Books and 130 Letterpress Broadsides to the National Library of Baghdad to be part of their permanent collection.

More on the Indiegogo project and how you can contribute here

Beau has recently edited a book called Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5th, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad's "Street of the Booksellers".

Thank you to Beau and to all of the project contributors for including me as a part of this project. It's meant a lot to me.

Al-Mutanabbi Street starts here.