Monday, January 31, 2011
I'd love to read a little more about your philosophy. When and why you started journaling, and how your journaling or the reasons for it have changed over the years. Do you not feel that you now journal for your blog? I feel that I work for my readers!
I've kept a journal in some form since I was in 4th grade. I still have my little lock and key first journal. When I was little, I thought that I wanted to be a writer and that I would write great things, hence the need for a journal. There isn't much in that little book but what I did write brings me back to that memory and what was going on in my life then. I loved the idea of documenting my life and my thoughts, even if they were just ramblings.
I kept a journal off and on as I got older, as well. I wrote a lot of poetry, lists, feelings, ramblings, doodles, drawings and the like. I still have those pages, as well. I always had a pen in my hand. I was very quiet 'in person' but I could speak volumes in my books. It's nice to be able to look back and reflect on these pages as they capture moments and memories in my life.
When I moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and got married, I was very lonely. We were alone out here as all of my family and friends were on the East Coast. I picked up my journal even more so when I got pregnant in 1996. When my son was born, I created two beautiful scrapbooks for him. While I enjoyed making the albums, I wasn't totally fulfilled with them.
I taught myself how to bind and create my own books. It's one thing to make beautiful books that remain empty and another thing to have a strong desire to FILL THEM UP. I had been teaching basic card and stamp making classes before this. I started teaching how to make journals and my ideas for working in the journals. It was a hard sell at the time. This whole art movement was still in the infant stages and people didn't get it. It took awhile before it exploded and the light bulbs started going off. I was (and still am) excited and inspired by not only what I made with my own hands, but seeing how my teachings translate to my students' work. The journey has been an exhilarating roller coaster ride.
I quickly learned that my focus in art and in my teaching should be on what *I* want to create and teach. I taught many, many classes in the early days because someone (usually a store owner) would ask me to do a class on such and such. If my heart wasn't into it and it wasn't something that I was passionate about, that attitude would be reflected in the class and the class sample. While I am always open to suggestions on classes, I now only teach what moves and motivates me. I strongly encourage my students to learn and apply these same ideologies to their artwork. If it's exciting, learn it, love it, live it and see how far you can push it. Make it yours.
I work in my journal for one person and one person only, ME. I have NEVER created a page in my journal for someone else. I don't worry about what someone else sees, reads or thinks in my journal. It's MY journal. All of the pages that you see on my blog are not -NEVER-pages that are pre-planned or created solely to be on my blog. I work in my journal daily. I post all of my journal pages on my blog not to show off or anything of the sort but for two important reasons:
1. To document the pages and the moment. In case anything were to ever happen to my books, I'll have a permanent record of them on my blog.
2. To reinforce my "If I can do it, you can do it" attitude. If I can make a journal page, so can you!
I bare it all in my journal. It's my safe place. It's my place not only to document and explore my life but also to try new things and ideas. It's my safe place. When I create the pages, I don't worry about what someone else thinks, after all it's my journal. I put all of my pages on my blog to encourage people that life isn't always roses, but there are also thorns every now and then. We have good days and bad days and they should both be documented and explored. I explore topics and thoughts in my journal that many don't agree with. This doesn't stop me from posting the pages. I've pissed off a lot of folk as well over the years with my pages. I would never get on someone's blog and say the things that people have said to me over the years. It's my frickin' JOURNAL, people. I've been hurt over the years but I quickly decided that if I don't stay true to myself and my own thoughts, ideas and actions, then I wouldn't be me. I wouldn't be honest or real and my pages would reflect that. My pages are me. They are my life. They are my thoughts. They are my actions. They are a reflection of not only my life but also my view of the world around me. That's what a journal should be!
We'll be having our windows replaced in the entire apartment on Wednesday. Thursday I leave for AZ. Talk about timing, eh? I'll be blogging from the road. I'll be responding (via blog posts) to some of the things that you told me you were interested in seeing featured on my blog. I'm always open to new ideas and suggestions! Things have been crazy with the apartment lately so I haven't been able to do everything that I want to do, but soon! I can't wait for it to be over and done with!
Heads up, Tapeswell has new tape. They are also looking for your feedback here with a contest!
Ginko Papers also has new HEART tape that I can't wait to order!!!
Hambly debuted new washi paper tape at CHA this weekend. Swoon.
Tomorrow I'll post about my current favorite magazines, I promise!
Watch this and smile.
How about some blog love?
Pretty Pretty Paper
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Over the years, I've collected countless type sets. I've sold some off and I've given some away. I've added to the collection here and there. The sets you see here now are all that I have left, probably a quarter of what I used to own (most were sold off quickly and cheaply at one particular rough patch in my life).
The stamps that you see here are my most favorite of the sets. I'm surely not lacking in the numbers and letters deparment...except for one elusive set.
I have been searching for at least ten years now for a teeny tiny alphabet set that I saw once in a magazine. I'm not sure what the size actually is, I will know it when I see it. Restoration Hardware started it all. They sold a set (no. 4) of alphabets and numbers, rubber stamps on long pegs in a tiny plastic box. I scooped up those puppies. I nearly jumped on the table of a vendor years later when the same font -yet in different sizes-was laid out in front of me, sprawled across the table. I couldn't believe my eyes. I hunted those puppies down and learned that they were made in Malaysia. I wrote to the company and they required a $5,000 minimum order. That quickly smothered my dreams of possessing even more of these beauties. I saved every penny I could spare and bought the sets retail from a vendor here and there sporadically. I amassed the collection that you see in this picture (of the sets along the right hand side of the picture in plastic and cardboard boxes).
Then, I saw them.
The tiniest of alphabet sets. Smaller than a 1/4. Smaller than an 1/8. My guess is that it's a 1/16th of an inch and oh, how much I have searched for them. I've found a substitute, those fake rubber stamps that click together on plastic pegs. Oh, but to own the real thing, rubber and wood.
I'm still looking...
I don't buy every alphabet and number set that I see nowadays. I've learned what I like and what I will use. I'm also going to try a new system where my collection will have their own space on a shelf, allowing me easier access to them.
Is there any art supply that has been elusive to you? What's one art supply that you would never part with? Inquiring minds (me) want to know!
I had a great time teaching my Fragments book class today. Not only is the space inspiring but what a group today! A good time was had by all! Thanks, ladies! Thanks, Tamara, Suki and Alley!
See you next month!
Zinnia South Pasadena
Friday, January 28, 2011
Friday was a productive, but busy day! We started the day by trekking to two local used bookstores with a box and two bags of books to sell.
We left the first used bookstore with two 'new' books that we purchased with our $60 credit. With one bag of books left, we headed to the next store. They took several books, traded those for a $20 credit/book and left that store with a mere 9 books.
9 books!!! I started with about 75 books and three days later, they had almost all found new homes. I signed up for paper back swap. I have a few books listed and will add more as new books come in.
In the picture above, the top three books are posted on paperbackswap.com
I'll be posting a follow up post to yesterday's magazine post but it will focus on the small handful of magazines that I adore and why I pour over them.
Trekking to Zinnia www.Zinnia.biz to teach Saturday. Looking forward to it! I'll try to post a picture or two from the store as it's all decked out for Valentine's Day.
Whatever you do, wherever you are, have a great weekend! Make some art and be good to yourself!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
My take on what's missing from the magazines or why Stampington will probably never have me in their magazines again
I thought I'd elaborate on my previous comment about why I am disenchanted with the $15 magazines that are out there. You know, the ones that I keep buying in the hope that they morph into something different.
It's not the quality (and it definitely ain't the quantity) of the magazines that is lacking. The photos are gorgeous. The artists are talented. The magazines are packed full of stuff. What's missing for me, is the substance. Wait. Don't get mad at me. Hang in there for a minute and let me finish.
The magazines are too formulaic.
Take, for example, Artful Blogging, each article is written by a different blogger. When you go to that blogger's blog, their voice sings loud and clear, right? Their style shines and jumps out from your reader at you. Well, why, when you read it in the magazine does every single blogger sound the same? I could look at the pictures for hours that accompany the text, but it's the text that is severely lacking.
Let's look at Art Journaling. I have mixed emotions on how each issue only spotlights a small handful of artists. Yes, it's good to focus on a small group and let their voices and styles shine through. On the other hand, it's an issue of static. The artists are all discussing technique, because that is what the magazine focuses on. Personally, technique doesn't matter to me when I want to learn from another artist. What matters most to me, is the why. Why do you want to work in a journal vs on canvas? What are you trying to say and why? What's going through your head as you approach a page? It's not a problem of a lack of fabulously interesting artists being published (though I do tend to roll my eyes when they focus on the same artists over and over as if no one else is creating journal pages), there are tons of people, worldwide pouring their hearts and souls into their books. It's not about making pretty pages to them. It's about something more and that's what's seriously lacking.
Last, but not least is Where Women Create. My question to you is, does your studio look like any of the ones in the magazine? Can we all yell a collective and proud, "Hell, no!" Why? Because we're artists and when we call ourselves working artists, our studios should reflect that expression. They should look loved, cherished, lived in and most importantly, worked in. Show us some messy studios, please!
I haven't given up hope yet. I keep faithfully buying the magazines usually because there's a small handful of artists in there whose work I love and new artists to discover. Yet, this faith won't last forever. Something has to change and it should change soon.
After spending four solid days, cleaning, dusting, moving, sorting, tossing, giving, and dealing with STUFF in her living room, she has decided enough is enough.
It was reinforced last night after two trips to our favorite bookstores to attempt to sell five heavy bags and boxes of books. The first store bought about 15 books and gave the book hoarder a check for $60 (they offered $75 in credit or the check, she took the latter). The second store didn't even offer a choice, took more books and gave a $50 credit. Book hoarder now has one huge and heavy box of books that she will attempt to sell (none of the books are crap either. She finds it interesting what each store took) and if she can't sell, the books will be donated or given to people who will appreciate them. Book collector don't have the space, time or patience to attempt to sell them herself.
Now the new rule with books and magazines (and this only applies to magazines that will be kept and not cut up and the rest recycled), but with every new book/magazine that comes into the house, another must leave. Husband won't be playing by this rule, but paper purveyor will.
So, the bottom three books are leaving. The first book is going to a friend. The second book (bought for the Maira Kalman intro and for a mere dollar) has been ripped up and pages will be put into the class collage bag. The last book will be sold.
Book hoarder trekked over to Zinnia www.Zinnia.biz yesterday and ran into Emily of Stamping Bella www.stampingbella.com What a coincidence and how totally cool!!! At Zinnia, said book nut bought the latest Artful Blogging and Where Women Create. $15 magazines are one of book afficiando's guilty secrets that she needs to go into counseling to stop her addiction to a very small handful of these magazines that she continues to purchase but doesn't feel utterly satisfied with each issue like she does other magazines. Odd, I know, but so is the book collector.
A quick trip to Vroman's netted one sole (soul?) purchase: Alisa Golden's new book, Making Handmade Books.
Alisa's books are very much admired in this home not only for the concise instructions contained in each volume, but also for the finished samples and pieces of artwork that she uses to illustrate her instructions. It is for this reason that her books are quickly scooped up by a fellow book maker and poured over.
Now you know the rules... stay tuned for more purging!
I almost always (99.9% of the time) do at least one journal page a day. Life has been so crazy here lately with the apartment stuff and cleaning out that I couldn't really do any art for about 4 days and I swear I was twitching.
Journaling to me is not only meditative and fulfilling, but it's also a necessity. I don't journal to make 'pretty pages'. I work in my art journal to document, reflect, experiment and to pause. It's my quiet, personal time when I can sit and work with the tools that make me happiest and just 'be'. I make journal pages, simply, for me.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Just a small selection of my Howard Zinn books. A People's History is a must read.
Remembering Professor and Historian Howard Zinn, who died one year ago (Jan 27).
"We all know individuals-most of them unsung, unrecognized-who have, often in the most modest ways, spoken out or acted on their own beliefs for a more egalitarian, more just, peace-loving society.
To ward off alienation and gloom, it is only necessary to remember the unremembered heroes of the past and to look around us for the unnoticed heroes of the present."
You are very much missed, but your words, teachings and actions live on. Thank you.
I put some little goodies aside that I've been saving to make a journal page or 10 from. Now that my living room is coming into place, I can start to feel human again and return to my routine. (I can't wait for them to be done with the windows and painting our bathroom. We may have a party!)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Shortly after that, I decided that I needed to do one thing that would make me happy, so I lovingly stacked my little Japanese books next to my bed. I can't read a word of these books but how much I love them so...
Today, I will be tackling the pile that you can't see (my table) and the pile that you can see! With the area against the window done, I am beginning to see the light!
I'm prepping like a madwoman for my classes at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale next weekend. Samples are in the store and online. I hope to see YOU there!
Still cleaning my living room/art area. I threw away tons of crap, recycled several bags of papers and gave away at least 8 bags of art supplies. I have two bags for a local store and several piles of books for the local used bookstore. I can't wait to be done!!! The apartment people are saying that they're coming in to do windows this week but at the rate they're working, it probably won't be until next week. They also are going to paint our bathroom. I just wish all of this stuff was done. It's been ongoing for months now. I can't wait for my AZ trip next week. It will be so good to get away and see my friends and meet new faces!!!
Slipcover Your Life
For Me, For You
Loving. Living. Small.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
SOLD! Thank you!!
I have blog posts set up through Wednesday with lots of blog love. I may take a mini break from my 4 a.m. posting and regular blog love to post several short blog posts throughout the day. These posts would be of photographs of things around my home (like what you see here) that I find interesting and that I think (hope) you may enjoy. These are images that you can save, keep and print out for personal use as much as you want.
What do you think?
Is there anything special that you would like to see? Shots of pens, books, etc...? Anything that you, the blog reader, would like me to focus on?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Sakura Pens has videos (also check out the links to their favorite videos) here.
You Sentimental Idiot
I can't wait til this comes out!
Lynne Hoppe's Brilliantness
Friday, January 21, 2011
Journal by Jane Malone
Journal by D.J. Pettitt
Martha Rich Freedom Wigs
Old School by Uppercase
Milk Teeth Julie Morstad
Sara Lechner's Geischter Faces
Magenta's a gorgeous sense of hope and the peril of magnificent love
Zines by Traci Bunkers and various other folk
Lines and Shapes publications
Every Lynda Barry book ever published
Thomas Campbell Sing ding a ling
Blaine Fontana's Sedimental Promises
Mark Ryden's Blood ( a book, not his blood)
Prodigal Crab in Venice by Sailia Rieke
This is Home Monica Canilao
I Love... Minne/Natali Dirtier
Trust White's Table of Everything and Could you? Would you?
Scrapbook to Somewhere
More misc Zines
Sonja Ahlers' temper, temper; Fatal Distraction and The Selves
The Bird Feeder by Abbey Hendrickson
Love and Fafiness by Fafi
More Lynda Barry!
I want to add Barron Storey and uppercase magazine's suitcase series Camilla Engman's book to the shelf.
Not that I need these with the weather we've been having, but here's a DIY on fingerless gloves
Goal Tracking Worksheet
Thursday, January 20, 2011
psst, Ginko Papers has new tape...
I added a class to my schedule! I'm teaching my Fragments journal at Zinnia, Saturday, Jan 29th from 11 to 3 p.m. The sample is in the store and also online here. Questions? Please email me. To sign up, please contact the store. My schedule is available here.
Abbey's doing 20 for 20 again! This time it's Valentine's Day!
Love love love.
Making tiny valentines or business cards
Yumminess to make
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I hope that you've enjoyed seeing this book! Tomorrow I will show you my late December journal!
I've added a little button on the right hand side of this blog (below my class info) that says "Ask me anything". If you have a question that you want to ask, you can enter it in the button and I'll post my response on formspring. You don't have to leave your name or any personal info. I thought it would be a great way for people to ask me art questions, etc...
Part 4 of Apartment Dwelling in the 21st Century
Aged and Gilded
Slow Love Life
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I'm teaching my Unfold journal this Friday at Stampin' From The Heart. The sample is in the store and online here. Hope to see you there!
Also, many of you have emailed me about my online classes. I've said it here before and I'll say it again :) ALL of my classes will remain up and accessible for students to access the class information or handouts at any time: A Life Made By Hand, Memories & Reflections, An Artist's Journal: 365 (the exception being A Prompt A Day which is now only available as pick a month and receive that month as a pdf file). So, yes, you can still sign up for ANY of the online classes and have full access to the classes and boards. Also, I've decided to keep my price for An Artist's Journal: 365 at $20 for now because so many of us have been hit hard by the recession. I always want to keep my class prices affordable and offer you the best content available!
Jazz sent me the link to this blog and I LOVE it. I've been dreaming of Ottawa lately, so the timing was perfect!
Tending to it
Six Orange Carrots
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Charlie's Design Diary
Birdy and Me
Chocolate chip cookies to make
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Kelly Snelling asks why do you keep an art journal?
Alisa Golden's blog
This Wisconsin Life
Under Lock and Key
Cream Coloured Ponies
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Why E-Books Suck (don't just read the title...you have to read the whole post to understand).
Absolutely Beautiful Things
So About What I Said
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 09, 2011
They have stores across the U.S., too!
Mary Swenson blog and tumblr
The Flower Child Dwelling
Saturday, January 08, 2011
I love this time of year and the abundance of (PINK) Valentine's Day stuff that is out there. Paper Source did some good business with me the other day! They had a ton of new stuff out for Valentine's Day. Check out the (tiny!) Martha Stewart Valentine's Day stuff. LOVE!
I finished my journal that I made for the holidays. I'll be sharing that with you here very soon! I can't wait to bring my new journal idea to life (insert mad scientist laugh).
Tea for Joy
Talking to Unicorns
Friday, January 07, 2011
Thursday, January 06, 2011
My husband beat me to the punch on posting about our apartment woes. You can read all about it here.
Don't forget, I'm teaching a NEW class, Unfold (bookbinding with a NEW stitch plus LOTS of collage-and more!) this Sunday at Stampin From The Heart! I can't wait! :) Hope to see you there!
Trail of Inspiration (SUPER excited to discover that Lulu deKwiatkowski has a blog. Yes, she's THAT Lulu).
Pretty Pretty Paper
Little Glowing Lights
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Here's the list (in no particular order) that I've been promising of my favorite book purchases of 2010.
-comes in a clamshell box with 32 prints and 2 folded posters
I've been looking for this book with the box and prints for YEARS. I scored recently at a local used bookstore and found it for $30. The box was beat up but the inside condition was perfect. Happy? Very much so.
(I'm still looking for her Damn Everything But The Circus in the box with the prints.)
Print & Pattern
I've kept this book next to my bed since I bought it. I love looking at it. I can't get enough of it! Her blog is AMAZING, too! Very inspiring!
What I really love about this book is that it's not a how to in any form. I would love to see more paper arts books published as art books and not only as how to's/craft books. This book gives our art the respect that it deserves. Whether you put it on your coffee table or bookshelf, just make sure that you get it!
Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab
Carla doesn't just teach you how to draw, she teaches you how to LOOK and SEE things. I'm a firm believer in doing the work to become (insert label). Want to learn how to pick up a pen and love what comes from it? Pick up this book. Want to become a better artist? Run, don't walk for this book.
Katherine Dunn's Creative Illustration Workshop
I have to be honest, I love Katherine Dunn. Love. LOVE her work. Love what she does. I adore her! I haven't read the book yet. Really? Really. Sure, I've flipped through the pages and seen the words but it's the art. Oh, man, it's the ART that makes my heart go pitter patter. I know that one of these days I will get beyond just staring open mouthed and drooly at the artwork on the pages and pick up the book to read it, but for now, it's in my Beloved Books Basket next to my bed ready for me to flip through and savor.
Cat Bennett's The Confident Creative
Get this book and put it under your pillow. Crack it open and pour over it, absorbing everything that's in it (and then some) and RUN, run right to your journal and see what pours out.
The New Age of Feminine Drawing
I love this book. I don't love it as much as it's predecessor, The Age of Feminine Drawing, and it may have to do with the fact that unlike TAOFD, it's a paperback and not a hardcover. However, I love the artwork. I love looking at artists studios. I love reading about what's going through an artist's mind as they create. If they published one of these every year for the rest of my life, I'd be in pure heaven.
A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life
The title of this book is my own personal motto. I found this book at one of my local used bookstore haunts before it was even supposed to be on the shelves of the local bookstores. I practically jumped up and down when I saw it. It's lived up to my expectations and beyond. It's a gorgeous and most inspiring book.
Tristan Manco's Sketch Book Journeys
I pretty much own every book that Tristan has penned. If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm a sketch book nut. This large, heavy volume designed to look like a moleskine doesn't disappoint. Not only do you get a peek into several artist's sketchbooks and journals, but you also get to read their thought process and what's going through their heads. Makes this a must have.
Steven Heller's Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World's Great Graphic Designers
If I told you that I love this book but that I would recommend it just because it has Barron Storey in it, would you believe me? Okay, okay, it's worth getting for the other artists, too, but c'mon, Barron Storey should be enough to make you say, "I need this. Now."
Lynda Barry's Picture This.
Lynda Barry. A Drawing Book. A book on HOW TO SEE things. Did I mention that it's Lynda Barry? Go get it. Now. Seriously. Pick up What It Is while you're at it, if you don't have that already. Yeah, you need 'em. Both. Now.
Maira Kalman's And the Pursuit of Happiness
Maira Kalman makes me happy. She makes me sigh. She makes me laugh (out loud). I have every book that she's ever drawn or penned. As long as she keeps drawing books, I'll keep buying them.
Amelia's Anthology of Illustration
This big colorful book is full of gorgeous art, imagery and imagination. It's inspiring and clever!
is beautiful! (You can see a sneak peek at the whole book in the review section of amazon). I was a bit irked at the price of the book with a soft cover (previous hefty priced publications by Die Gestalten Verlag were all hardcover) but I'll get over it. Yeah, goofy me did go out and buy a plastic book cover for it. Luscious and lovely!
Anna Johnson's Savvy Chic
I bought this one for the collaged illustrations by Emily Taff. The author has some great ideas in the book as well. I'm enjoying reading it. I'm on the lookout for more of Emily's work!
Hiroki Hayashi Collection published by Pie books
-a gem of a book that I found at Kinokuniya in San Francisco. It had to come home with me and I haven't been able to stop flipping through its pages.