Tag Archives: handmade

A Mixed Bouquet

Perhaps you are looking for a gift for yourself or someone who loves flowers…

I recently purchased this book of creative floral inspiration, Botanica from Uppercase Magazine:


It includes a mixed bouquet of art mediums and artists who are fascinated with all things floral.  The colorful art and articles are truly inspirational! 🙂

When I give a book as a gift, I like to include a handmade bookmarker with it.

They are easy to make, like this one below:


I decorated white cardstock with a simple pattern, glued a paintchip sample from Home Depot, stamped a face from a rubber stamp onto white tissue paper and glued the tissue paper to the paint sample with a glue stick.  I finished it by punching a hole in the top, adding some colorful yarn and a wooden bead.

Bookmarkers make great gifts – with or without a book – and can be personalized with a special handwritten note on the back.


With a bookmarker, you don’t need to purchase a greeting card… It is a treasure like a good book!

Do you have a favorite book that you like to give as a gift?  Please share!

Cheers! 🙂

Hot And Cold

My sister-in-law made us these beautiful potholders that arrived in the mail yesterday… just because! ❤️  A wonderful surprise. 🙂


I just love the colors and patterns and stitching… I’m not sure I can use them for hot foods as they are too pretty!

And speaking of cold… we woke-up to 8 inches of new snow yesterday morning! 😮


I guess winter isn’t done with us in the Pacific Northwest.  Time to make a homemade pot of hot soup on a cold day!

Cheers! 🙂

Seeing Red

As many of you know, I LOVE color!  And red is one of my favorite colors…

So when Carla Sonheim gave the assignment to take 7 photos of the color red yesterday, I was thrilled! ❤

Here is a collage of the color red I did with my own photos using the (free) App called Layout:


Description, Left to right –

Top row: seed beads, earrings I made, red raspberries for breakfast! Yum!

Middle row: cat ornament, quilt wall hanging my mom made, red wine collage I did

Bottom row: cross-stitch w/ beads I made for my grandma (she loved to sew), flower painting  I did last year, hat I wore as a child

Do you have a favorite color?  I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers Friends!  🙂

A Handmade Journal – Done!

I’m very excited to announce that my handmade art journal I started on September 1st is complete!  You can see the first post – here, the second one – here and the third one – here.

I learned a ton creating this journal and I hope you have enjoyed my instructions.  🙂

One of the things I learned when putting my book together during this last part was I learn much better with a video than a book.  It really helped me to SEE it being done!  I know there are free YouTube videos on the subject such as from Sea Lemon but I discovered one through InterweaveStore.com from Paige Martin that was excellent!  The downloadable  video was about the price of a book – $20 but worth it!!! (IMHO)  I highly recommend her video called “Stitch This Book:  Long, link and Coptic binding for beginners and beyond.” If you are serious about creating your own art journals and sketchbooks, I found her instructions to be the most complete from start to finish.

Here are the supplies I used for this last “chapter” of my art journal:


I found the small curved needle was helpful when stitching the Coptic stitch with the waxed linen thread.  I have included two different awl sizes.

The larger handled awl was great for punching (screwing) holes into the journal cover and the smaller awl was better for punching holes into the paper “signatures.”  An old telephone book was great for protecting your table during the hole making.

I also found that using a scrap piece of paper – I used an old file folder – was excellent for marking my holes in my signatures so that they were accurate and would match up with my holes in my journal cover:


I put the creased watercolor paper (signature) in the middle of the phone book as you can see above.  I darkened my holes with a Sharpie pen so you can see them but I don’t recommend you do it because it can bleed to your nice paper.

I’m not going to show you how to do the Coptic stitch because I believe there are some excellent videos on the subject.  I recommend you go slow, keep your tension tight on the waxed thread and remember this is your first book!  It will become easier with practice!

I put my completed art journal under some heavy books so it will relax a little before I use it.

I hope to show you my first entry in my new art journal soon!

Cheers Friends!  🙂

P.S.  Would you like to see more art journal making instructions?  I’d love to hear from you!

A Handmade Journal – Part 2

Today I will show you how to make a book cover for your handmade journal.  This post is a continuation of Part 1.

Below is a photo of my completed journal covers using Gelli-printed papers:


I discovered from my research online and several books on book making that journal covers can be anything you can punch or drill a hole into – as long as it won’t cut your thread!  Glass wouldn’t be a good cover in my opinion.  😉  Another thing to consider is strength and durability of your cover if you will be hauling it around.

You can add a decoration to the front such as a found object or some other ornamentation but you may want to keep it flat if you will be painting in it.

I found that Dick Blick and Amazon both sell bookmaking supplies.  I know there are other companies that specialize in bookmaking materials also.

Recycling old book covers like this one are also an option:


One of my books suggested cutting up old paintings done on canvas or illustration board which I think would be a great repurposing idea!

Davey board, also known as Book board is popular with bookmakers because it is archival and inexpensive.  Mine did not arrive in time for this post so I improvised by using the cardboard backing on a pad of Fabriano watercolor paper:


Be sure to use a box cutter when cutting your book board on a protected surface.  An Exacto knife is not strong enough.

You can cut your cover board the same size as your signatures or allow 1/8 to 1/4 extra around your paper.  I chose to have a little extra space:


My Gelli-printed papers were 9 x 12 inches in size so they covered the outside of my boards.  I used other paper to cover the board on the inside of my book.


I drew a pencil line around my board on the back of my papers so I knew where to cut my corners of my paper.  It also helped with gluing to keep my board centered:

I discovered after I cut my corners that I didn’t leave enough allowance for the thickness of my board in my corners so they didn’t fit as snuggly as I would have liked.  Next time I think I will fold my edges first before I clip the corners.

Folding ALL my paper edges with a bone folder BEFORE I added glue was extremely helpful because the glue dries very quickly.

PVA glue was recommended by bookmakers.  I purchased this recommended brand from Amazon along with this glue brush:


I started by gluing the back of the board to the paper and found the glue brush helpful in spreading the glue evenly.  (I kept the brush soaking in water in between uses so that it didn’t dry on the brush.  I removed most of the water on a paper towel before I used it again.)

After I glued the back, I applied the glue to each fold directly – one fold at time – and used the bone folder to press the fold evenly to the board.  It helped to have some paper towels to mop up the excess glue.

Once the edges were glued, I finished my cover by gluing a solid piece of paper to the inside board:


In my next post, I will show you how to attach the book covers to the signature pages using Coptic binding.  This binding is wonderful because it allows your book to stay open and flat when drawing or painting in it.

Please check out Annie Glacken’s blog – she was Charlie’s Guest Doodlewasher on September 16:    https://doodlewash.com/2016/09/16/guest-doodlewash-unwrapping-gifts-with-sketchbook-journaling/

Annie has some lovely sketchbook journals and also shares her tips on making a handmade journal along with 2 excellent YouTube videos from Sea Lemon.

I hope you enjoyed my instructions and I look forward to hearing about your handmade book covers!

I plan to post Part 3 of my bookmaking series next Thursday, September 29th.

Cheers Friends!  🙂


It’s Fry Day!

I thought today would be an eggs-cellent time to share a card I created for a friend:

Chicken card for Tom Low

He was celebrating his 80th birthday!

I wanted to give him a chuckle in case he was in a “fowl” mood…

So this was my answer to the riddle:

Tom Low's bday card - riddle

You see, Tom likes to sit on his porch at the lake and talk to everyone who happens to stop by.  He is one of the nicest people I know!  🙂

We all flocked together to help him celebrate this birthday milestone and sign his card!  And eat cake…

As my friend Laura says at Create Art Everyday, it’s time for YOU to shake your tail feathers!

Have a happy day!  🙂

Sweet Pea

I started a new doodle in my sketch book recently:

Pea doodle - 1

My doodle reminded me of a cat I had several years ago.  I named her “Sweet Pea,” because she loved to eat the sweet snap peas from my garden!   🙂

I added a few more lines and a little watercolor paint to my doodle in process:

pea doodle - 3

When I was a young girl, my dad and I planted the flower, “Sweet Pea” from seeds.  I will always remember the flower’s  sweet scent and their beautiful colors!

This memory inspired me to create this handmade card for a sweet friend today:

Sweet pea greeting card

And speaking of cards and sweet friends – Jodi, who has an AMAZING blog at Life in Between  is starting to sell her beautiful, handmade watercolor cards at her Etsy store!  You can find her store, here.    I hope you will stop by her blog and Etsy shop for a visit!

Happy Creating!  🙂


Owls keep showing up in my art.

This one appeared in my art journal recently.

sketchbook owl

The one below I created in a gelli-printing class last year.  I added some collage elements to it:

Lesson 3 - Owl 1

I made this one in an online class with Carla Sonheim in 2013 – he is a bit wild, don’t you think?

My Owl - smaller format

Then there was the online challenge I did with 2 friends, Corinne and Kathrin.  We created a bird a day for 101 days.  And these guys showed up:

The Hoot Owl Brothers 9-8-14

I took an online class with Diane Culhane called, “Paint Your Garden,” and look who wanted to be included:

The Wise Old Owl

For some reason, I just like making them!

Hank Hoot Owl

Happy Creating!

Goldfinch, Tobacco and Raggedy Andy

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go…  Well, maybe not through the woods – more like through the wheat fields.  My grandma lived about 45 minutes away from my childhood home.  I remember my older sister and I riding in the backseat of my parents green Chrysler, the size of a boat, as we anticipated a trip to see grandma.

I had a grandpa too.  Grandpa with his tobacco stained fingers, smoking his pipe.  He would sit in his big, brown, easy chair that swiveled around.  (I know about the swiveling part because my sister and I would swirl around like a top when he was not in it).  Grandpa would sit quietly in his chair, looking out his big picture window at the birdfeeder watching the birds.  Robins and perhaps a Goldfinch or two?

Goldfinch and Tobacco

I wonder what he was thinking as he puffed away on his pipe.  While grandma sat across from him in her turquoise blue rocking chair.  Her sewing basket open with spools of thread, scissors, pins and needles.  My grandma loved to sew.  She made my sister a Raggedy Ann and me a Raggedy Andy when we were of a young age.

Raggedy Andy on red blanket

I have fond memories of my sister and I twirling them around by their golden yarn hair (we apparently had a thing about twirling), tossing them into the air, changing their outfits, hugging them tight and kissing them good night.  As you can see by the above photo, Andy was well-loved.

I think the love she stitched into creating him will forever be on my heart.

Love heart on doll

Do you have special memories of your grandparents?  I’d love to hear about them!