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.

Roll call!img_5454-e1495997625987.jpg



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.






Fall Dyeing-Shibori Style!


Last Sunday as the temperature took a nose dive into the upper twenties/low thirties I braved the elements and taught another  Shibori Workshop out-of-doors at my dear friend, N’s home. Pictured above is the Shibori Journal I made for each student for note taking during our workshop.

As usual, my students brought their dyeing “A Game” and we continued our dyeing practice with a couple new resist techniques: using clamps, wooden blocks, wooden sticks alone and in combination with pleating, binding and stitching.

We set 7 dye pots, an all time high! For colors: indigo (always a fave), dark green and we added a cranberry and inky blue green!

The results were incredible! We decorated the Shibori Tree with our colorful work. With rosy cheeks everyone went home with a bounty of unique and gorgeous dyed pieces.



And yes, we had two snow squalls! I think I had three layers of clothes on that day!


I personally experimented dyeing with white cotton jersey knit and cotton flannel and was thrilled with the results! My intent is to make scarves and pillowcases from my dyed fabrics as samples for my holiday sewing workshops starting after Thanksgiving.

Once home, I washed and dried my fabrics and set them up to show you some of the beautiful details! The design, below left, in  indigo, was created by folding the fabric and stitching semi circles then drawing up the threads. This binding stitching technique is called “OriNuri Karamatsu.









The above and below pieces were created by using wood blocks and folding or pleating with clamps “Itajime” or binding with twine.

This lovely to the right in cranberry features the “Kumo” technique. Below, top left, in dark green is a lattice design with triangular folding using square wooden blocks and twine to bind. On the bottom left, the cloth was pleated, sandwiched between wooden blocks and then bound with twine. The bottom right was pleated and bound between wooden sticks and finally tied with twine.

Dyeing days are always so gratifying!  I feel so fortunate to be able to share my knowledge with like-minded creatives and to watch my students’ excitement and delight in both the learning process and the always surprising and breath taking final product!