Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Hey ya'll!!! I have relocated the blog to my website. Please join me there. 

I will not longer update this space as of August 26, 2013. For 

information about the Book-in-a-Day series and about my online 

courses, give-a-ways, and other creative happenings, please join me at 

See you there!!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Common Sense: Book-in-a-Day 16

Title: Common Sense
Structure: One page book / Snake Structure
Dimensions: 5 x 5 closed
Video of my process 

It really feels like I'm so behind in everything this month. It's a month filled with great things happening, but it keeps me from being able to keep up with it all. So this book almost didn't happen. It got me thinking about what I might do if I missed a week. I think I'd be tremendously bummed and it might impact how I went forward. Luckily, that did not happen and so here I am with book 16. 

Each week, I have to reorder my list of top five BIAD books. It seems like I like the books more and more as I create them. So, to date, my top five are: 

  • Book 4: Urbanite (accordion with pockets)
  • Book 15: 15 (the blank art journal)
  • Book 10: 20 Ways of Talking to Your Poem (Fan Book)
  • Book 12: Game On (Domino Book) 
  • Book 16: Common Sense (Snake Book)
This week's book, Common Sense uses a great structure with unexpected twists and turns. I love this structure, but had never made it using a painted page. The Fabriano watercolor paper I used really adds a layer of quality that I love. It gives it a thickness that alleviates the need for hard covers on the book. I think all the layers of gesso and acrylic paint help with that as well. 

The text for the book comes from a collaborative poem written by me, my husband, Damon, and my two nephews, Cameron and Treavor. We were eating a meal at some restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida during the summer of 2009 (actually I think it was in 2007 or 2008), and we decided to do an exquisite corpse poem (each person writes a stanza using the last line of the previous person's stanza). I was happy to come across the poem because it really does fit the background and color palette I used. I love it when that happens organically. 

I needed this book to be easy and it was. It's one of the easiest structures I know how to make. The one page painted paper had some amazing textures and colors that really add to the narrative of the poem. I'm happy about that. 

Two things I wish I had done differently with this book:
  1. The title -- Common Sense is okay, but I think if I had thought about it a little more, I might have called it Freedom Thinkers. That's a repeated phrase in the poem and I really like it.
  2. The text strips -- I used printed text strips for the poem and I'm okay with that, but I didn't really try to get them on straight or even and so some of them are a little wonky. Of course, this adds to the handmade quality of the book, but I can see it so clearly and it bugs me a little to know that I could have done a lot better with that part of it. But I'm also trying to embrace the imperfection in my art (that's the quote from book 12). 

I realized today that this week, I'll be on the road again Thursday and Friday. That means I'm either doing the book on Wednesday or Saturday or maybe even Sunday again. I know that there are at least two weeks in the summer where I will be away for an entire week, which means the book will have to be made away from home -- that should be fun :-). So if I can avoid making the book away from home, I will, until I can't avoid it.

I'm looking forward to what this week brings. Stay tuned! If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please share here or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

15: A Canvas Covered Art Journal: Book-in-a-Day 15

Title: 15
Structure: Canvas Covered Art Journal
Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 9
21 blank pages
Video of my process

Immediately after this book was done, I was on to making another just like it. That's how much I loved the final product. The feel of the canvas around the watercolor papers had me eager to start journaling with paints and inks and gesso. 

If you watch the video, you'll hear me talk about the book that inspired this week's book. One of the members of the Giving Hands Creative Community, Lorrie, made a beautiful hand bound art journal for the current art journal swap. I was so enamored by it that I wanted to make my own. She used a pair of old khaki pants to make her cover. I used raw canvas. The results were amazingly similar. 

My plan for this blank book is to take a class with one of my favorite art journal teachers and fill the book with goodness. OR to simply make a new page each week. Maybe I'll even video that process too. :-) 

I'll be making a lot more of these. I really enjoyed it. I think I'll even teach a live workshop where I teach this process to others and we make art journal pages in one day. Sound fun???

I'm looking forward to next week, as always. Stay tuned! If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please share here or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 10

Erotic Bake Sale One Liners

once it is lined
with parchment


let cool
occasionally press
wrap directly

dark-brown sugar
one at a time

alternating with the date
transfer to prepare
smooth top

inserted into center
comes out clean
let cool

run around edge of rack
turn right side up
let cool

light brown sugar
let cool

assemble trim
place on stand
spread date over top

drip down sides
remove the pit
make a short slit
use the tip
coax the pit


Prompt: use a recipe to create a found poem

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 9


without a receipt
product availability within
the last 90 days

identification will be required
discontinued or redeemable for cash

return tender
limit or decline
corporate issued check

not satisfied with your purchase?
merchandise exchange
full refund

we reserve the right to...

Prompt: look on the back of a receipt and read the return policy. Use the language from there to write a poem.

Monday, April 8, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 8

bento box

choose any two

rock & roll
curry avocado
alaskan yam
mixed ribs

choose any two

soy beans
seaweed pot sticker
diced egg rolls
poke sauce

choose two

deep fried salad
soda juice
hot & spicy beer

choose two

imported cheese ice cream
chocolate cheese
green cheese with tea

Prompt: create a poem using a menu of your choice

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 7

21 degrees

you are starting to see
the plan of the universe,
cardinal signs define direction,
points on the compass
sweep cobwebs from your life,
delete the people who are not supportive,
shape a new life

full moon lit
new revelations and shifts
an area of influence

turn your attention to your living
your physical space;
planets are heading to your fourth house
heavenly bodies will be in place,

entertain others
the new moon
rapid moving fire
followed by the Sun

keep your guard up
like pearls on a necklace.
a shimmering beam is positive.

an earth sign for your life.

Prompt: find your horoscope for today and write a poem using the language/text from it. I'm using the one for Capricorn over at http://www.astrologyzone.com/forecasts/monthly/capricorn.php

Full Circle: Book-in-a-Day Wk14

Title: Full Circle
Structure: Circle Flexagon
Dimensions: 5 inch circle
Video of my process

The flexagon is a magical structure. Even though I know how it is made and I see how and why it works the way it does, I still find it magical every time I experience it. 

The topic for this week's book was full circle because I made the book the same day I read as a faculty member at Mills College. Five years ago, almost to the day, my hubby and I sat at Mills College for a faculty reading and I was in awe at the amazing readers and faculty members and the staff of the English department. 

Now, I'm a part of this fabulous department and that feels full circle if nothing else. So I started the book early in the day, then went to the reading and talked to some of our incoming students (who are amazing). Talking with them helped me gain some clarity on how to move the book forward. 

I don't have much to say about this one, except that seeing it in a photo does not do it justice. You must watch the video. 

I'm looking forward to what this week brings. Stay tuned! If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please share here or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 6

masculinity & hero making

a whirling force
has been feeding him
the unusual tests

manhood locked in
the antiquated epic

a mad scientist

laughter is the first sign
of infection

maniacal rantings
are a cautionary tale
passed down
for generations

the legacy of his family
blends saga & lore

a radioactive relic
he learns to accept his fate

Prompt: Pick up one of the books you are currently reading. Flip it over to the back of the book and write a poem using the blurbs and info on the back cover. I'm using the back of League of Somebodies by Samuel Sattin.

Friday, April 5, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 5

artistic license

the wronged women
bond in the forest
with the modern world

creating stories
taking characters
spinning tales around them

a feminist commentary
she tried to seduce
delightful blasphemy

specifically thinking
of the younger generations

empowering our characters
in offshoot tales

doubt intends to put us
in touch with the muses

Prompt: grab your favorite magazine. Make a poem using words and phrases from the editor's letter. I'm using the most recent letter from Supriya Bhatnagar -- editor of The Writer's Chronicle!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 4


in Italy
there are ways to know
what to eat, what to drink, what to leave for poison
and all these roads be luminous
waiting for you to consume them like
rice & wisteria

#dear twitter
somebody blew up america...
you don't miss your water
standing in the republic of poetry
your brutal imagination
singing grace notes
from the cables of genocide
black feeling black talk black judgement

the undertaker's daughter
wants to know about your
prayers like shoes
she's Leaving Yuba City
and unfortunately, it was paradise
but, then's elsewhere

not like american smooth talkers
they are missing you, metropolis
wanting to know about your lighthead
head off & split
burning the skin, inc

Prompt: Go to your bookshelf. Record the information on the spines of each book in one section of your shelf. Use those words to write a poem. Here's a photo of the section I'm using (of course they are poetry books!!) Here's the list I used -- in the order they appear in the poem:
1. Italy by Johanna Drucker
2. What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison by Camille T. Dungy
3. And All These Roads Be Luminous by Angela Jackson
4. Tender by Toi Derricotte
5. Rice by Nikky Finney
6. Wisteria by Kwame Dawes
7. #dear twitter by Mahogany L. Browne
8. Somebody Blew Up America by Amiri Baraka
9. You Don't Miss Your Water by Cornelius Eady
10. The Republic of Poetry by Martín Espada
11. Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady
12. Grace Notes by Rita Dove
13. From the Cables of Genocide by Lorna Dee Cervantes
14. Captivity by Toi Derricotte
15. Black Feeling Black Talk Black Judgement by Nikki Giovanni
16. The Undertaker's Daughter by Toi Derricotte
17. Prayers Like Shoes by Ruth Forman
18. Leaving Yuba City by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
19. Unfortunately, it was Paradise by Mahmoud Darwish
20. then's elsewhere by Rebekah Lael Edwards
21. American Smooth by Rita Dove
22. Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson
23. Lighthead by Terrance Hayes
24. Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney
25. Skin, Inc, by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 3

useless us

information about you
is the information that's required

you sign up
you choose to share

you sign up
you are required to provide information

you choose to share
you choose to share

post a status update
upload a photo

comment on a friend
what's on your mind?

you choose to share
you take action
you add a friend like a page

you are in a relationship
allows us to do things
show your age whenever you interact

look at another person

search for a friend

you took the photo
we receive data from the device you use
your friends are nearby
we receive data

you're on
you are logged in
tell us information about you
information we already have about you

data about you
we show you
suggest you
tell you

until it is no longer useful

PROMPT: Visit the Facebook privacy policy page and write a poem using the language presented there. For an added challenge, give yourself a set of parameters. For example, black out every 5th word or only use every 7th word. 

<----the policy with highlighted lines that I used

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 2

creative combinations

skin reflects
natural goodness
     make a fist

found in nature
internal impurities
entice the senses
     knee over toes

we think before we blend
inspire yourself
     parallel to the ground

work with whole, not parts
mirror health
work with body and mind
     eyes fixed to the horizon

experience the radiance
     rose petal hibiscus
     red clover burdock
     dandelion root

switch sides
pause up
     love as much as we do

My prompt: find one of your favorite food items that comes in a box, package, or wrapper -- use the text from it to create a poem. Here's a photo of what I'm using for my poem today.

Monday, April 1, 2013

NaPoWriMo Poem 1

no postage necessary

first remove tape
insert anything

remove tape
report a problem

remove tape
permit addressee
if necessary

remove envelope
visit mailer facility
do not seal envelope

please tape

no united shipping
has been prepaid

seal nearest mail

remove tape

My prompt: grab a piece of junk mail and write a found poem using all (or as many as you can) of the words in it/on it!!!! I used the return envelope from Netflix. Since I wanted to mark out the words as I used them, I made a copy of the envelope. That was helpful. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Recursive: Book-in-a-Day Wk13

Title: Recursive
Structure: Flip Pamphlet
Dimensions: 6 1/4 x 5

Another book done and done! It feels great to have the 13th book completed and to have finished before midnight.  I think that is going to be my new goal each week -- complete the book by midnight!! Sounds realistic, but my track record says otherwise :-). 

Recursive was my first (and definitely NOT last) attempt at creating a structure. That part was the most fun. Everything else I did with this book was familiar. I found it quite exhilarating to engineer a structure. Now, of course it's possible that the structure already exists in the world somewhere, but it's not one I've seen anywhere or been taught by anyone so it feels like I'm creating it from scratch. My process for creating the book is documented, but there's more than 2 hours of footage that I didn't include because for most of it, I'm rambling on as I think through the process and structural concerns inherent in this kind of task. 

For the most part, this might be my new love -- creating simple structures and using them to make art journals. Let's see where it takes me next. 

So the poem for this book was something I drafted a few years back. It seemed to be waiting for just this moment. Don't you love when that happens? The poem never had a title, so the calling the book Recursive is really a homage to what I've been telling my students for almost 20 years. Writing is recursive. It's a process that folds in on itself and can start (or restart) at any point in the cycle. I love that about writing. It makes the idea of writer's block such a myth. 

In retrospect, the process for this book was a bit overwhelming. I did a lot of things:
  • created a structure for the book from scratch
  • watercolored the entire book 
  • cut out shaped images from upcycled monoprints I made months ago with my Gelli® Plate

So it took me a lot longer to make this book than I had anticipated. It's a good thing I started earlier in the day than usual. I think I wasn't really considering how long each piece might take me, so in the end, I wasn't very happy with the way the text and the images speak to one another on the page. I could have done a lot more with color composition and positioning if I had more time. This is one of the caveats of making a book in a day -- I want to do more than I can really do in a day once I get started. I mean, my idea starts small, but it morphs and grows as the day goes. {This is where I remind myself that it's a book made in ONE DAY and that I can easily make more of them the way I want after the fact!!}

See you next week!!This month of books should be tons of fun since it's also National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)!! I'll be writing one poem a day. I'm posting prompts over at my facebook page and teaching an online poetry class at givinghands.ning.com. You should join in the fun and write a poem a day with me. 

I'm looking forward to what next week brings. I have a reading on Thursday night and a speaking engagement on Friday, so I'm debating whether or not I should make the book on Wednesday. Stay tuned! If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please share here or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Game On: Book-in-a-Day Wk12

Title: Game On
Structure: Accordion with Domino Covers
Dimensions: 1 1516 x 2 1516  Opened: 716 long

Watch the video of me sharing the book.

Here we are at week 12 of Book-in-a-Day (BIAD) 2013 and I'm still enjoying (actually LOVING) this process. I haven't had one regret about challenging myself in this way. In fact, each week I'm reminded of how much I love making books and allowing my creative soul to be expressed in this way. 

This week's book -- Game On -- is right at the top of my list of favorites out of the 12 books I've completed. Urbanite is still in the number one spot, with Game On trailing right behind it in the number two spot. 

It's takes the number two spot because it was ridiculously easy to make and so much fun. I used recycled papers from other projects for the 1 inch sheets that were glued to the card stock (a left over from book 9 - G.R.I.T.S.) and my new favorite mini-book cover -- dominoes. 

I took a class from Terri Heinz at Creative Workshops Online back in December of 2012 (in the video I say a year ago -- but I was wrong, I was thinking of a class I took with Pam Carriker on the same site) and after a conversation with my mother about learning to play dominoes as a kid, I knew I wanted to make an altered domino book this week. 

My favorite part was creating the covers. I really liked playing with the Ranger Alcohol Inks. I wasn't sure the stamping would work, but it did and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I did notice after a day of handling the book that some of the ink seemed to be fading or rubbing off, so I sealed it with an acrylic coating. I wasn't very careful with the front of the book and some of the ink started to run (basically, I held the spray can too close). The back cover was fine because I figured out that I needed to pull the can away a bit. 

One of the things that I really love about this book is that there is amazing beauty in the simplicity of the 8 panels while also having so much potential for content. After making this one book, I feel like I could make 14 books (that's one set of dominoes). 

I'm looking forward to what next week brings, I'm thinking I'll get an earlier start this week and make a book that is drastically different from anything we traditionally think of as a book!!! Stay tuned. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.

See you next week!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The ABCs of Creativity: Book-in-a-Day Wk11

Title: The ABCs of Creativity
Structure: Star Book
Dimensions: 2 916 x 2 916

Book 11 is done and done! Again, I started this book late in the day, but I had been thinking and freewriting about the topic all morning. I'm working on a webinar series that I'll be calling, The ABCs of Creativity and so this book was kind of a brainstorming session for the larger idea. 

I went with the star structure because I wanted the themes of creativity (as I see them) to be exposed a few at a time and with a little bit of a surprise element. 

Here's the video of my process: 

The one thing I'm not quite happy about (after the fact) was that I used the origami side of the papers. I should have flipped the pages and used the pochoir sides for the words and the origami for the back. Alas, these are the things that come up after the book is made and you have a chance to look at them.

I did like the weight of the origami papers. They folded nicely and accepted the stamps easily. I'd love to use some of those with my gelli plate just to see how they take the ink/paint. 

For some reason I don't have a lot to say about this book. It's not my favorite and I can't quite figure out why, but I like the topic/content and can't wait to share more with you about the ABCs of Creativity!!

As always, I'm looking forward to what next week brings. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.

Friday, March 8, 2013

20 Ways of Talking to Your Poem: Book-in-A-Day Wk 10

Title: 20 Ways of Talking to Your Poem
Structure: Fan Book
Dimensions: 14 x 1 18  Thickness: 316 

BOOK 10 is done! It feels great to have 10 books completed. I'm enjoying this process and learning so much about myself as an artist and poet. 

This week, I took my inspiration from the workbook I've been compiling since last year. It includes daily writing exercises for poets who want to have a daily/weekly/monthly writing practice. It also includes strategies for revising poems. Originally, I had planned to release the book in February of this year. The cards would be the supplement to the book. They would be something the poet can carry around with them as they think about and ruminate on their poems. 

It was interesting to make these cards and see them come to life. The most revealing part of the process was when I condensed the information to make it fit the cards. I realized that the workbook is really close to being done and that I'm just procrastinating with moving it forward. Oh!! Procrastination!

Ten is a milestone worth celebrating and this was just the book to do it. It will be the prototype for the actual card deck that I hope to have ready before summer. 

The book (cards) act as a tool for revision. Each strategy is in a set of three (name of the strategy, quick reference for the strategy, and a revision refresher -- a detailed description of the strategy). There are 20 of them (as the title suggests). It's geared towards poets, but could easily be used by prose writers, too. 

I'm proud of this week's book because, not only is it the 10th book in the series, it's the tangible manifestation of an idea I've been carrying around for a while. And, YES, I will be making an edition of this. I'll also likely give some to folks who take my first online poetry course -- Conquering the Blank Page Using Poetry, which starts April 1st

This was a fairly simply book to make. I upcyled the backs from scraps of old projects so that I could create visual prompts for writing. That way, the book becomes both a tool for revision and a way to generate ideas. 

I mention this on the video, but it's worth saying again -- the screw post is much bigger than it needs to be. Either I'm being led to make it more than 20 (which I could totally do), or I just need a smaller screw post :-). Either way, it's the one thing I would change about the book

Finally, I wasn't up until 2 or 3 in the morning making this book. I finished before 11PM and that felt great. Maybe I'm getting it down to a science???

To see a list of materials and more photos, visit givinghands.ning.com.

I'm looking forward to what next week brings. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the Giving Hands Creative Community site.

See you next week for book 11!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Girls Raised in the South: Book-In-A-Day Wk 9

Girls Raised in the South
Title: Girls Raised in the South (G.R.I.T.S.)
Structure: Whirlwind
Dimensions: 7 12 x 6 14 closed
Video of my process. 


I'm so excited to bring you this ninth book-in-a-day because I've been searching for a way to pay homage to the women in my family. And while one book will never be enough, this feels like a great start. 

The book is really about the sayings that I grew up hearing in my house and in the houses of other southern women raised in places like my hometown. These sayings, at the time, held the only truth I knew and I couldn't wait to repeat them when I was little. Of course, like many things, I outgrew that desire, but I sometimes find myself spewing all sorts of southern phrases that many of my west coast friends find baffling. 

When I sat out to make this ninth book in the series, I knew that it would be difficult for me to pick just a few phrases, but I was determined to pick the ones that were around when I was little. There are a lot of newer sayings, but I was looking for the tried and true. The ones that seem to have staying power. So of course I consulted the best source I have access to; my mother. 

Just sitting and talking was powerful. Because I come from an oral tradition where stories are typically passed down through the women in my family, I was able to learn a great deal, not just about the phrases and the sayings, but about my great-great grandmother: Mabel King. As I listened, I felt more and more proud to come from such a strong and determined woman. Thus, the book was born and dedicated to her. 

ABOUT THE STRUCTURE & CONTENT: I think I woke up with that structure in mind, so I tailored my content, in a way, to fit the way the structure works. I didn't want to write poems this week, and after listening to my mom, I felt like I needed to tell a story. That story turned into a manifesto of sorts, or maybe an instruction manual. The phrases show up in italics. 

I wanted the pages to be lightly colored with pink, so I used a homemade ink spray with watered down metallic pink acrylic ink and a homemade purple alcohol ink spray to add a bit of contrast to the dark pink text, which I simply printed on my color ink jet printer. (For a list of materials, visit the ning site).

The other element I was determined to use were the silhouettes. For some reason, I had that on my mind for several days and was determined to get them in there. I'll likely use silhouettes again because I actually found them to be really powerful images. The stark black color on the light pink was exactly what I was hoping for. I did, however, make a few mistakes with the silhouettes. 

Mistake 1: I made the silhouettes before I did anything else, so I already had them glued to a heavy card stock, which turned out to be heavier than I wanted in the book, but I kept it. 

Mistake 2: Some of the silhouettes buckled when I added the glue. I think it was mostly the ones that had come from magazine images originally. I could have remedied this by copying them onto regular printer paper before painting and gluing them. 

Mistake 3: One of the ones I really wanted to use was much too big. It will likely appear in an art journal page later along with the others that didn't make it in the book. 

All in all, this was a great book making experience. Each week I'm finding so many things that inspire me that it's difficult to pick the one that will get my attention. But no worries, I'm keeping a list for the days when the ideas are not as abundant. 

EDITIONING: It's likely that this book will become an open edition. Now that I've made the prototype, I can see exactly what I'd need to do to edition it. Plus, I'd really like to give my mom (and her sisters) a copy. 

I'm looking forward to what next week brings, I'm thinking about something a little different than the first 9 -- stay tuned. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.
See you next week!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gratitude 365: Book-In-A-Day Wk8

Title: Gratitude 365
Structure: File Folder Book

Video of the process. 

This week was a shift for me because I created the book on a Wednesday instead of my usual Thursday and for some reason, it felt great to do it early.

On the other hand, I woke on Thursday wanting to make another book!! But I was traveling so I didn't give in to the urge. I'm finding that all I want to do these days is make books. Blank books. Poetry books. Books about Oakland. Books about my family. Books about California. Books about any and everything. Books. Books Books.

So it's a good thing that I've decided to make at least one book each week, right?

Gratitude 365 was inspired by the books of Karin Winter and Heidi Sekovski in the January/February issue of Cloth•Paper•Scissors Magazine

Alright, so I realized several things in making this blank file folder book:
    1. I LOVE THIS STRUCTURE. It's simple to make and it gave me something to do with some of the scrapbooking papers I've collected over the years.
      2. UPCYCLING makes me feel like my carbon footprint is a little bit smaller. The file folder I used for this book was an unused folder, but I'll be making others like it with folders that I had planned to trash. 
        3. I LOVE SEWING ON PAPER. This was my first time sewing anything. I mean, literally, my first time operating a sewing machine. It was fun to get a tutorial from my mother and to watch her in her element. She's a natural teacher!! You'll see lots more sewing on paper from me as this series unfolds. 

          4. TIME FOR A NEW CAMERA: I had to film this segment while in between cameras, so I used my iPad and that turned out to be an interesting end result. So I'm on the hunt for a new camcorder. It's also the reason there isn't a lot of filming of me actually making the book. 
            Things to keep in mind when making this structure:
            • MEASURING
              • file folders come in different sizes, so be mindful and measure multiple times before you fold or cut
              • scoring is helpful but makes a really strong (and permanent) crease in the folder, so again, measure multiple times before you score
              • the patterned papers next to the color of the folder really makes it obvious if your paper is wonky, so be mindful of how you cut them. 
            • COLOR SCHEME
              • Start with what moves you. Gather lots of options. Pick the ones that speak to you most and go with it. Allow this part to be organic and intuitive. Even the choices that seem unlikely can make the best side-by-side patterns. 
              • I used a sewing machine for this book, but you don't have to. The sewing served two functions: it acted as a reinforcement and as a decorative element. You can use what you have to make the book feel like your own. 
            I talk about this a little in the video, but it's worth repeating. As I prepared to make this book, I kept coming across papers with fall colors and I felt like it was Thanksgiving/fall/harvest time. That made me think about being thankful, which made me think about abundance, and I'm always grateful for abundance. And so I created a gratitude journal.

            This process reminded me that I can (and should) be grateful everyday of the year. Hence the title, Gratitude 365. I'm looking forward to journaling in this book throughout the year.

            And of course this process inspired me to create a free class over at the ning site. It will be available in the middle of March. Gratitude 3-6-5 will be a combination of bookbinding, art journaling, and mixed media, and it will be completely FREE.

            I hope you'll join me and make your own gratitude journal for recording all the moments, big and small, that remind you how precious life is.

            To see a list of materials I used for this project and more photos, please join the free community at givinghands.ning.com
            I'm looking forward to what next week brings. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.
            See you next week!!

            Friday, February 15, 2013

            The Things Behind: Book-In-A-Day Wk7

            Title: The Things Behind
            Structure: Double Signature Pamphlet
            Dimensions: 4 x 6

            Video of the process.

            This was another great bookmaking experience. I enjoyed the time I got to spend on content for this book. I knew I wanted to do something with black and white photos, but I didn't know which photos or what I wanted to do with them. After attending CODEX earlier in the week, I was inspired by many book artists and their work. I found myself really digging the miniature books, but I didn't want to make a mini this week. I knew I wanted to try the double signature pamphlet. I'm planning on making a few blank art journals using this structure (do you smell a give-a-way?) so I thought I should create an actual book using it first.

            At CODEX, I got the chance to experience a book created by my dear friend, Lyall Harris. Her book, The Indistinguishable Bones, inspired me to look at black and white photos as my springboard. I had a ton of fun journeying down memory lane with my old photos.

            Eventually, I felt drawn to a pattern (I talk about this in the video), so I let that guide me. A good deal of my time was spent selecting old photos, scanning them into a digital format, and manipulating them using Preview and MS Word. Then, I had to figure out how to get them on the page the way I envisioned.

            Once I printed out the first set of photos on plain printer paper, I sat with them, examining and brainstorming. I spent time writing the text and twice as much time revising. And in the end, I did a happy dance because I love the way the photos inform the text and vice versa.

            But getting to that point was not easy. I toiled over the words and it took them a while to come. In the video, I talk about using strategies to help me arrive at the content for this book. One of the things I did was make lists.

            I started with the color versions of the photos and listed all the colors that stood out. That list became my descriptors. Then I wrote freely while trying to use those descriptors when it felt right. It was an organic process, a lot like my art journaling. In the end, the writing gave me direction for how to order the photos in the signatures and how to pair them with the text.

            One of the great elements of this book was how easy it was to assemble once all the pieces were in place. I mean, once I fumbled around with the formatting and printing :-). All the work is done up front and I can easily reproduce this book if I want to edition it.

            Since I started learning book art, I thought I'd be someone who editions books. I wasn't really a fan of the one-of-a-kind book, but recently, I've found a lot of appreciation for them, so I'll continue to explore both book types throughout the year.

            What I learned during the making of this book: 

            • Paper selection is key. The wrong paper can make or break the book. 
            • My printer is a little bit evil (or I just need to spend more time with it).
            • The way we view a photograph changes as we grow and live and experience life in motion. 
            • I love sewing paper. It's calming. 
            • My printer cannot do a full bleed print, no matter how much I beg.
            • I need a better paper cutter. I'm planning to buy this one: x-acto laser trimmer 
            • When the content doesn't come easily, change your perspective. 
            To see a list of materials I used for this project, please join the free community at givinghands.ning.com

            I'm looking forward to what next week brings. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site (where you can view the list of materials I use and see more photos). 

            See you next week!!