Me-Made-May 2017 Handmade Journals


In today’s Me-Made-May 2017 post, I’m switching things up a bit. Let’s talk about handmade journals. I think of journals as an essential accessory. I carry one wherever I go. It’s part of my ensemble, if you will. Nothing like knowing that it is at my beck and call.  It is tucked safely inside my tote,  along with an assortment of pens, pencils and other fun and necessary journalling tools, like washi tape, glue stick and double-sided tape.

This Spring into Summer has seen a great deal of journal making. I am gifting most of them as workshop treats for my students, end of the school year/welcome summer gifts of gratitude to my fellow educators and to new friends and cabin mates at an upcoming art retreat. For my paper-covered types, I painted with acrylic paint, sponges and bubble wrap onto 140 lb weight Canson watercolor paper. My color story was based on Spring in the City. I mixed colors to look like urban concrete neutrals with touches of warm sunny yellows and earthy browns. The assortment of papers inside come from my collection of new and vintage pages as well as from my handpainted paper stash. I machine stitch the signature using a Jeans needle 90/14, a heavier weight cotton thread and a long straight stitch.

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These cloth covered journals are a classic fave of mine. They are sewn like a book cover, so that the writer may replace the journal when necessary. I used both 7oz and 12oz unprimed canvas from Jerry’s Artarama. The serger is my friend for this style. I love the look of the overlocker’s exposed chain stitch of ivory beige thread against the canvas. Covers are hand stamped with Jacquard Textile Paint. I have a wonderful selection of bias tape and it is often a mainstay in my journals, whether tying around the machine stitched binding , as above in the paper journals or threaded through the spiral bound notebook inside these cloth journals.



I wish all my creative friends many days full of opportunities to sit, muse, write and create in these “me-made” journals.

For more on Me-Made-May 2017, click here.





Day 19 of My 25 Days of Make & Give… Red Bird Holiday Journals



Look at these ‘lil cuties:  raw edged canvas mini journals, with holiday-themed fabric scraps sewn together, chain style, and stitched to the spine. I used Jacquard Crimson fabric paint to stamp the birds. Inside there’s a variety of lovely papers. A wide zig zag machine stitch worked well to attach the signature.  Sew festive!  I’m meeting up with some of my sewing sisters and thought these handmades were just perfect for gifting!

Simple and sweet!

What creative makings are you up to?


Love Stitching and Sewing-Valentines Day 2016

On January 27th, my hubs had his first of two hip replacement surgeries. BTW he is doing very well recovering here at home! That day at the hospital, I brought a couple portable stitching projects to keep my mind and hands busy. I loved working these little stitched hearts. I found the project online and the directions, see the link, were very good. It would remind you of a lazy daisy stitch. .


I chose not to connect the hearts and used 4 strands of embroidery floss doubled.

Cute right?

Also I added some freehanded lettering using 2 strands of embroidery floss in a backstitch!


There’s nothing like hand stitching to pass the time!

In my studio, my students and I played around with a bin of Valentine inspired bits of festive printed fabrics and trims to create cute book marks to gift family and friends.



Since lessons are only one hour, we batch sewed! First we chose a backing fabric that we fused a

medium weight interfacing to give some stiffness. Next we added a layer of Quilters Dream Request Batting and then we horizontally layered torn raw edged strips of the fabrics. That was our lil quilt sandwich! We used free motion machine stitching with an open toe presser foot to quilt the piece

Next we rotary cut the mini quilt into 2″ wide bookmarks and added trims and embellishments.


Here’s a few of our adorable and quick Valentine handmades!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!



Good News! On this frigid cold, windy January afternoon, my copy of the 28th issue of Uppercase Magazine & Calendar arrived by snail mail. I have been waiting everyday for it. This past Fall, I responded to a call for submissions for Uppercase’s annual Calendar, which is included with your annual subscription. This year’s format is the ever popular and on-trend coloring book style. I received notice that one of my lil’ lettered bits was accepted but not told which one or on which date is would appear.

Thumbing through the calendar, month by month…look what I found on Saturday, July 23rd!


Absolutely delighted and humbled to be among those creatives selected!

For more info on Uppercase Magazine, check out their website:



25 Days of Make & Give- Day 21

“Paris, The City of Lights”

My parents have a friend, a native Parisian, who is also a dear friend of mine.  Ida will be turning 90 years old on 12/23. What incredibly strong and brave woman she is!  She attended a convent school in Paris and was taught there by French Nuns. Ida, also a cancer survivor, is an amazing needle artist, making lace and doilies. Her intricate handwork is beautiful and I am very fortunate that she has gifted many pieces to me over the years.

Ida met her husband, an American soldier, in Paris, they fell in love and have been married 69 years!


I saw these lovely Eiffel Tower die cuts on Etsy and thought they would remind Ida of her many sweet memories there. To add brilliance, I spray painted, added glitter and then tied a organza ribbon to make a Christmas ornament for her. She told me how upset she has been by the recent terrorist attacks on her beloved city. Hopefully, this ornie will slowly replace her sadness with a nostalgic smile!

25 Days of Make & Give- Day 4


Every Saturday morning I am so fortunate to participate in a mindfulness meditation group. We have practiced for over a year now and have become close knit. I find that this weekend session combined with my at home practice has brought me calm and comfort when I need it. What a blessing!

To honor and celebrate the group and our shared experiences I decided to make each person a little cloth talisman.


I used pages of vintage inspired, winter postage stamp designs from ArtChix  as my image on the front, which I copied onto fabric sheets. Next I layered the image page with a thin batting, “Quilters Dream, Request” and hand dyed raw silk, which I free motion quilted. I slipped a pewter charm onto a piece of baker’s twine in between the layers and then zig zag stitched all around the piece to create these sweet charms. Initialed and dated on the back.


Just a little hand made expression of my gratitude, during this holiday season, to the group, our generous hosts and our insightful, inspiring leader, N!

25 Days of Make & Give-Day 1

It’s that wonderful time of the year when we all try to do a little extra giving of ourselves to those who need and deserve some TLC! This is my second year of “25 Days of Make & Give”, a time that I look forward to all year long!


Today’s M & G is going out to a dear friend who is having surgery today. Although she won’t be home for several days it will be waiting for her. There’s a sweet Alex n Ani bracelet inside, I hope she will enjoy . It’s the paper I wrapped it in that I wanted to point out to my crafty followers! My clever and arty friend Betti Zucker taught a workshop last year on learning to use encaustics and this is one of the waxed papers I made in her class. BTW check out Betti’s Beehive (her blog) for more on this fascinating medium, click here

See you’ll tomorrow! Remember to do a little M & G of yourself this holiday season!

The Sketchbook Project 2015


Every year since its inception, I have submitted to a global program out of Brooklyn, NY called    The Sketchbook Project.  It is truly a challenge for me as I am not a fine artist, illustrator or painter. Fortunately the very good folks there support all forms and mediums and are open to the multi media, collage style of my books.

Not giving anything away here as the deadline date is March 31st.      But if you look closely, you can see the title on my handstamped paper book cover.  Having done a couple years of dress themed books (my fave!), I felt the need to try something new.  As in all of my previous submissions, all the pages are hand painted, collaged, hand lettered and often stitched. I also simply hand bind my books using colorful (bright yellow this year!) hemp binding thread. I don’t usually use the Moleskin type sketchbook that comes with when you sign up for the project. TSP also offers to digitally photograph your book for an extra fee, totally worth it, they do a great job.

Stay tuned for more pics and do check out their site! Off she goes!


Winter Journals 2015

WInter Journals

Happy Friday, Everyone! It has truly been one bitter cold day, week, season for that matter!  Perfect though for settling down with pen and paper.  Today’s post features my seasonal journals of choice!  Starting in the upper left hand corner of the photo is one of my handmades, created from the leg of pair of denim jeans! I made a fringe from some fave indigo colored fabrics (some commercial and also my dyed/painted) and stitched it onto the cover.  Inside (not pictured today) I have a mix of different types of papers to accommodate writing, painting, collaging or whatever form my journaling takes on at that particular moment! There’s also an inside front and back pocket to hold a mini yellow legal pad! I used a heavy stiffener, Trimtex, to give the cover some heft. Moving on down to the right is a lovely paper-backed journal given to me to use in my meditation sessions at Terrain, Westport. And in the center of the photo is a journal made and gifted to me from my friend Stephanie Suskin. I have deemed this sweet, portable book as my Prayer Journal for this Lenten season. It’s nice and small and spiral bound so that I can bring it with me to Mass or at home to note my reflections during this solemn time of the Catholic Church calendar.  I have been making journals for so many years and I am always excited to see how different they come out…some soft cover, some hard, with different designs and features (signatures, pockets, bindings,embellishments).  I cherish them all as they often reflect the different mediums and techniques I am playing with in my studio.  Keep warm and cozy and snuggle up with your blank book and writing instruments of choice and see where they takes you!!

February 2015….Getting back in the swing!


Yes it has been one cold, snowy and WINDY winter…here there and everywhere!  And add to that my recovering from a damaged tendon in my left thumb and it has seemed like an even longer winter! But the good news is that the thumb is turning the corner and I am able to start to use it, albeit with the brace.

And Yankees Pitchers and Catchers start on Friday…so…there’s that to look forward to as well.

I have used my hiatus to watch several sewing tutorials, journal and dream of projects to finish and to start!  Fortunately I was able to do a little background paper painting (which always makes me happy!).

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These sweeties were used as Valentines for my CARE packages to distant friends and former sewing students!

So what’s on my table now…I am working on a couple muslins adapted from international sewing patterns. I am so loving my “Coco” dress/tunic pattern from Tilly and The Buttons from the UK! Battling with fit issues on my muslins made from a Japanese pattern book…hopefully I will resolve the fit issues soon or abort the mission!  And then there’s my annual Sketchbook Project submission and my college graduate son’s quilt that needs finishing!  So boredom is not a word to describe my studio life!

I wish everyone a productive weekend and let me know what you are doing lately to beat cabin fever!

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