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Old Book Paper Garland

My love for old books most days tends towards re-purposing the ones that are being discarded into journals and sketchbooks.  However, I try to take time to play with them in a different way around the holidays.  I love old text blocks.  The pages themselves are enchanting and the uses for them are endless.  This year, I experimented with creating a paper garland for the Christmas tree.  It gives the tree a vintage feel, which I personally enjoy.  I just took the inside out of an old discarded book and cut the pages up in strips.  I lucked out with some of the pages having this nice red line on it, which was a nice touch.  I did discover that I liked the links a little bigger.  Initially, I made them small, but it quickly became more time-consuming than I wanted.  Once it was on the tree, I found that I actually prefer the aesthetic of the longer links.  You'll figure out what you like, too.  Happy holiday creating!


Blank Slate

She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self
which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.

—Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”



Thanks to the KY Arts Council for their all their amazing support...and especially to Chris for this write-up...

Here's today's #giveagiftky staff pick by KAC's Chris Cathers, our program branch manager: He chose items from ReImagined by Luna.

Price range: $10-$90

"Once you take a look at these journals, it becomes a fun challenge to find the perfect gift among the assortment of designs and colors. These hand made, hand stitched books are a wonderful gift for anyone that you want to inspire to put pen to paper. I have given these as gifts already, and I get just as much enjoyment out of the expression on a person’s face when they examine it as they do writing in it. The artist is enthusiastic about her designs and will work with you to personalize your gift. I’ve had names and dates stitched on mine. This is a lasting gift that is guaranteed to delight!"

Thinking of you...

As I was working on finishing up a stack of journals this morning, I was thinking of all the wonderful people that I know they will be going to. And I am so be able to put good into these books for you, for all the journeys and inspirations that I hope they will help you with, for all the paths I get to cross while doing this...and so much more. Sending you all love as we go into this holiday season!


What will you create...

Be empty of worrying 
Think of who created thought
Why do you stay in prison
When the door is so wide open
Move outside the tangle of fear thinking
Live in silence
Flow down and down
Into always widening
Rings of being



Upcoming Bookbinding Workshops

 Book Arts:  Japanese Stab-binding using Non-traditional Materials

When: Saturday,  July 19th, 10-1pm

Where: Centered in Lexington, KY

Cost:  $45 includes all materials

Register:  Here

This book making class will teach a basic variation of Japanese Stab Binding. We will create paper bag books that can hold memorabilia and be decorated using a range of mediums. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Bring buttons, scraps or other materials if you like for decorating at the end.  Limit 12 participants.


Book Arts: Coptic Stitch using Recycled Materials

When: Saturday,  November 15th, 10-1pm

Where: Carnegie Center in Lexington, KY

Cost:  $55 includes all materials

Register: Coming soon at the Carnegie Center

This book making class will teach a variation of Coptic Binding, which dates back to the early 2nd century. We will use repurosed book covers and recycled paper for materials.  Materials will be included. This book binding technique is suitable for ages 13 and up. Limit 10


Recycled Book Demonstration

I was invited once again to demonstrate at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea.  I used the Coptic Stitch on upcycled books, working with recycled paper and mostly old Reader's Digest covers.  It was a really fun day with a variety of people streaming through-mostly people traveling on their way somewhere else.  Such rich conversations emerged.  One guy walked up to me and said, "You are costing me alot of money".  My eyes grew wide as I waited for an explanation.  "My granddaughter fell in love with one of your books here yesterday, and we ended up staying an extra night in the area so that she could come back in get it."  The granddaughter was very cool-shy with intelligent eyes.  She is interested in horses and writing.  Her grandparents took her picture with me.  It was all too fun!  I appreciate the Artisan Center for these kinds of opportunities, for carrying my work, and for being so supportive of artists.  Do stop by if you are every traveling down I-75.



Personalized Messages for Book Necklaces

Now adding personalized messages to a slightly larger size book necklace...just let me know what you would like in your's. They can be fun reminders to have close: quotes, sweet nothings, prayers, mantras, etc.  


Begin Again

My tent in the morning before other artists had shown upThis past weekend started off early Friday morning with 30% chance of rain all day.  The plan was to drive to Midway, KY to set-up for Francisco’s Farm Art Festival.  The show was moved back to Midway College’s campus this year, which is where it was held originally.  This was going to be my first year participating, and while I was excited, there are also so many unknowns when setting up at a show for the first time.  I was one of the first artists to arrive and was warmly welcomed.  I set-up quite quickly, and the rain held off.  By noon, I was enjoying a nice lunch at one of the local places on Main Street.  That was when the day shifted.  I got a call from a friend who is also an artist and was informed that a “freakish gust of wind” came and blew my tent and weights and everything with it.  I quickly paid and made my way back to campus, which was thankfully only a half mile away.  By the time I showed up, volunteers and other artists had collected all my display and things and piled it all under my tent roof, which was no longer part of my tent, to keep it all dry from the now lightly falling rain.  I calmly checked everything underneath the canvas-my product was safe and only one piece of display was destroyed.  My tent poles were another story.  Two corner poles were completely bent so that the tent would not work.  One of the volunteers called in a campus maintenance man.  This guy was incredible!  He took my poles down to the college tool shop.  He and a bunch of other guys tried bending the pole back using a vice.  When it broke, he still refused to give up.  “Oh, we can probably just rebuild it…we are use to finding ways to fixing all these old buildings here.  For example, the boiler downstairs is older than me, and I’m 68,” he said with a big smile.  He was right-they were able to rebuild my poles and make it so that my tent could stand again.  I was so appreciative and told him that they were magicians who had magically made my tent work.  He laughed and said they were engineers.  They are magicians to me.  Of all the places for wind to mess up my poles, it happened on a college campus where there were willing guys and tools to fix it.  I kept thinking how lucky it all was considering what had happened.  Throughout all of it, the volunteers were attentive and helpful, making sure I was ok on all levels.  I was incredibly taken care of.  Once the tent was standing upright with walls and a roof once again, I began re-doing my display.  I hung the curtains with a whisper in the back of my mind “begin again.”  This is a phrase that I’ve heard from a local yoga teacher.  As I slowly and carefully re-did everything that I had just done that morning, it was like a mantra in my mind—“begin again”.  I recalled how when I first showed up one of the volunteers commented, “Props to you for not being stressed out by this…”  I have learned that stressing out and being upset is not particularly helpful.  To be honest, I was too focused on trying to think of a solution to get stressed out.  It was more in the aftermath of it as I reflected on how my day had shifted completely out of my control that I thought “just begin again”.  There was no need for upset or frustration…just be gentle with yourself in the midst of the shifting and the re-doing…just begin again.  


A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who were so awesome all weekend long-- and a really, really big THANK YOU to the magician maintance men of Midway College who helped my tent to stand again :)

Because of the excitement on Friday, I was interviewed and made a brief appearance in this article about the show.


Governor's Derby Day Celebration

Last weekend, I participated in the Governor's Derby Day Celebration.  I made extra horse and KY journals to contribute to the festivities.  The weather turned out beautifully, and we had the whole spectrum of people come through, including Governor Beshear and his wife.  There were races of all sorts, fancy hats, and lots of families out enjoying the day.  The photos below capture a small bit of it (thanks to Ed Lawrence) and includes a few young boys who stopped by.  They each write and keep notebooks with different things, though it seemed to be a bit of a trend to keep a "fact book".  One of them even showed me their fact book, which was filled with information and mathematical equations and diagrams.  What a fun and interesting day it was!