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 12 of My 25 Days of Make & Give-Stitch Journals


Today’s M & G goes out to my creative friends who enjoy and inspire me with their embroidery and stitching. Pictured above are just a few of the goodie bags I sent to them.



Inside my Shibori dyed canvas bags, I packed embroidery floss, I dyed in indigo and marigold and a handmade canvas journal for each to embellish.  I bundled up these treats with: pieces of dyed hemp used for binding in my Shibori dye baths, silver and gold spray painted wooden beads and thread spools and marigold dyed canvas tags I lettered with their initials. I can’t wait to see how they stitch up the journals! All these gals are so creative and inspiring!

Enjoy ladies and please send along pics of your stitched journals!!




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 8

“Goin South”

For those who have been following my blog,  I posted about the numerous Shibori fabric dyeing workshops I taught this past summer. In planning these workshops, I tried to think ahead about pieces I would like to create and gift during this holiday season. Actual and online shops offer many interesting items to try out in the dye bath. So when I came across these very gauzy lightweight cotton shawls, I was excited to experiment with them. However, the shawls must have been a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers. The Procion MX Reactive Dyes that I use are primarily for natural fibers and these shawls didn’t take to them as I had hoped.  Sometimes in the dyeing process this happens, in this case, it was a good thing!


I love this shade of soft, pale blue, so dreamy!

Two dear friends had moved from my hometown down to Florida and Nola respectively and I thought these beauties would be a perfect “make & give” for those coolish southern nights. The tags are hand stamped and lettered. The dyed twine was from binding up the shawls for the dye baths.

Enjoy your cozy “Make & Give”, my friends, miss you both!!

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!!

Day 20 Make & Give: Write It Down, Here!!

day 20 pic 1

Today is the twentieth day of my special holiday season of giving. From now until December 25th, I plan to make and or do something special for someone I may or may not know.I’m hoping that these little acts of kindness will inspire my readers and their friends to do the same!

day 20 pic 2










Although I have writers all around me, today’s Make & Give goes to one in particular. For this person I have made and will gift one of my very special cloth journals. This version is sewn using the leg from a pair of denim jeans!                How I love to recycle!


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The denim serves as the cover , it is appliqued with a stamped label that says “Imagine” and has a colorful fringe made from fabric scraps.  Inside it is lined with a piece of my hand dyed cloth and has a pocket in both front and back. I have tucked stationary and a mini yellow legal pad inside as extra treats! I hope this journal will house the writer’s ideas and dreams for the New Year, 2015.


dsy 20 pic 4


Day 14 Make & Give: Making for the Sistahs

day 14 pic 1

Today is the fourteenth day of my special holiday season of giving. From now until December 25th, I plan to make and or do something special for someone I may   or may not know.

I’m hoping that these little acts of kindness will inspire my readers and their friends to do the same!

Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of getting together with a few of my nearby art sistahs. It’s a sweet little tradition that we have to meet up in NYC , walk around at the Holiday Pop Up shops and have lunch. We share our recent going ons regarding family, work, art projects and ventures. There’s always a lot of laughs and then there’s the gift exchange… Now my sistahs are tres tres talented so I have to definitely be on my creative game! Every year I gift a journal of some kind. One of my friends has commented on how she loves my “dress” themed books. I changed up the design and this time used sewing pattern tissue as my background, cut out and sewed little dresses made using my hand dyed fabrics, added new and vintage trims, tied ’em up with bias tape and tucked them into machine serged cloth tie bags with a few journaling supplies. Sweeeeeeeeeet!    And least I not forget, the ladies gifted me back with their gorgeous handmades. Lucky me!

day 14 pic 2









day 14 pic 3

25 Days of Making and Giving!

Hello there, my artful friends! Yes, it’s true I have been in absentia for a while! No worries, just swamped! But I am happy to be back and with what I hope will be an inspiring endeavor.  It’s December 1st, 2014 and the holiday season is upon us. Recently while watching TV commercial after commercial and reading email after email about buying/ spending, which we all should do at some level to support indie makers and to keep the economy going, I thought I needed to challenge myself and hopefully inspire you as well to do a little extra creative “Making and Giving”. After all  “B-Inspired” is not only about posting my “makes” but also encouraging others to do the same!

So here goes! Starting today and for the next 25 days, I will post something I’ve made or a service I have rendered and have gifted to another. I hope you will follow me and inspire others to do so. Let’s flex our creative muscles and share with others who really need a little lift during this Season.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my first “Make and Give”!

Book Launch Party: The Sketchbook Project 2014


On Friday, March 14, 2014. I attended the annual Book Launch of The Sketchbook Party at The Brooklyn Art Library. This is my 5th journal. I have been with The Project since the beginning!
I was blessed to be joined by my hubby n 2 children. It was a great evening. The BAL is a very hip arty space. Thoughtfully set up to showcase it’s impressive holding of over 30,000 sketchbooks, a gift shop and a few cozy areas to chill and enjoy a journal or two.




After chatting with TSP directors and organizers, I was shown how to obtain my first BAL card and find my journals!
They are so friendly and organized… This is one efficient and technologically, up to date system they have there! The tour this year includes 20 cities!

The BAL is located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. Lots of sweet trendy shops and restaurants and a few blocks from a spectacular view of the NYC skyline from the East River


So pleased was I that I picked up their fab 2014 poster and 2015 Sketchbook!


Looking forward to gathering ideas and beginning the book for next years tour! With working at the bridal and at home with my private sewing students, I always use my down time in January, just weeks before TSP deadline, to create my journal! Hopefully I get a chance to get started a little earlier this year ( I say that every year!)!


Winter Storm Nika, Take this!

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It may have looked like this outside today but inside it was a wonderfully productive day! Winter Storm Nika was raging it's ugly head here with snow, freezing rain, sleet and rain.

After loading up the crock pot with a stew, roasting some potatoes and making homemade applesauce, I scurried down to the studio along with Muse Millie to Make!!


We put some dance music on
(Gifted to me from very excellent Santa!) to get us movin and before you knew it we were def in the creative groove!!


So we got down to the business of making. I cut down some of my previously painted and collaged handmade papers into Valentine cards and tags.



Added some hand lettering and stamped some seasonal sentiments and images and was pretty pleased with the results!

To hold gift cards and sweets, I made these cute little burlap bags. Serged up the sides with red thread. On the flap I machine appliquéd a heart then added a charm and a little ribbon bow to finish it off. This was a fun little craft to teach my private sewing students. They went crazy making them for their Besties!


Hope everyone made it through this storm safe and sound!
Wishing you all a very sweet and Happy Valentines Day!!

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