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Personalized Scrapbook for Photos, notes, drawings...

I created this scrapbook for a long-time friend who is living in Kansas for a bit. She wants to make her son a scrapbook with photos, notes from school, drawings, etc. They will all fit nicely in here. His name is on the front within the state of Kansas...and just for fun, the dot of the "i" is about where they live. I'm excited to see it once she has it all put together!


Vintage Book Wedding Guestbook

 "Lovers don't finally meet somewhere, they're in each other all along." -Rumi

Every wedding is as unique as the individuals that are being celebrated.  These wedding guestbooks are just as unique.  These in particular are currently for sale here and are also examples of the kinds of wedding guestbooks I can create.  I also make these types of books for engagement parties, baby showers, family renuions, etc.  The name plates on the front can be customized and can be on the front of the book or on the first inside page.  Please let me know if you are interested in a custom-made guestbook at  


Elongated Photo Albums with Handmade Paper

Photo albums are priceless family heirlooms, and, while many photos are kept digitally now, it is nice to keep that hand-picked selection collected in a way that can be easily enjoyed. You can add your photographs to these with photo corners or acid-free adhesives. The leather is carefully bound so that the pages expand with the addition of your photos. This ensures that the photo album's shape stays in tact and does not get bulky. It closes securely with a leather strap and handcrafted wooden piece or bead. These photo albums are truly one-of-a-kind and would make a beautiful family heirloom. 



Call It Courage: A Wedding Guestbook


This is a Custom Wedding Guestbook for an upcoming wedding. The bride's mother went on a treasure hunt and found the perfect book. She asked for several of the additions, including cutting out some of the book's pictures and including them throughout the book. The wedding is going to be earthy with a flair of vintage. Also, the couple met on a trip in South America; hence, the tribal and tropical aspects.


Custom Refillable Journal with Jacob Sheep Horn Closure 

This is a Custom Large Refillable Journal created from reclaimed leather and a very special closure. It closes with a button made from one of the customer's Jacob sheep horns. She is a shepherdess to that breed and wanted to include a piece of her in the book. It turned out so lovely, and she even sent me a couple extra to use, which was very cool of her. 

Here is what she had to say about it: "A great job on this custom made journal! Melissa used one of my sheep horn buttons for part of the closure. Such a nice touch to what will be a daily used item. Highly recommend this shop! THANK YOU!!!"


On the Changes of Writing

"The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurements anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected me to fit them."
-George Bernard Shaw

It’s interesting how the way I write or what I write continues to change.  In grade school, it was very much a diary, pretty factual—this is what the day held and this is how it made me feel.  In high school, there was much more poetry, and, yes, even song lyrics.  The poems were generally raw and vacillated between being incredibly overt to vague and symbolic.  It was all deeply personal.  I moved on in college to writing quite frequently in third person.  If you happened upon one of my journals, you may have thought I was writing a series of short stories.  These actually happened.   They were my life and those of you who were a part of it had nicknames.  I distinctly remember the pretty boy, the best friend, and the activist.   And then I just began to write. it. all.  I wrote what happened, how I felt, how I thought others perceived it, how I hurt, what made me happy, what I wanted to do, what I wanted to quit doing, what my waking and sleeping dreams were, who I wanted to be and how I thought I could get there and on and on.  I included gratefulness and grief, hopes and rude awakenings.  The writing still continues to change.  The journals as of late have become deeply contemplative.  They are frequently filled with words that others have written—numerous quotes, advice from sages of many cultures and times, thoughts from a variety of topics that pique my interest.  I write bits of gratitude, persistent questions, vivid dreams, curious prayers mostly consisting of "You know better...Thy will be done", and subtle whispers that I’m learning to listen to.  I record the details of life that I feel like the Divine continues to use to get my attention, to wake me up.  I want to take note and not forget these small steps that I am trusting are leading me to Source.  I am breathing all the lessons in deeply and breathing out the heaviness and history that I once thought I had to carry.  Everything is new.  Each moment is new.  The writing remains a reflection of change, a reminder of growth, and motivation for deeper discoveries.  How have you seen your writing change?  How has the way you reflect and record changed?


Leather Bound "Kentucky 120" Art Book

Ed Lawrence put together a collection of 120 photographs, each one taken from one of the 120 counties in KY.  He began a kickstarter campaign to gather the funds to publish it and wanted to offer hand-bound editions for those who pledged over a certain amount.  We ended up creating five limited editions of his photographs that were printed on archival, handmade paper and then hand-bound to reclaimed leather.  The closures were created by another artist and have the recipient's names on them.   While I was only involved with the hand-bound book aspect of this project, it was still quite an undertaking.  I have to say that these are the thickest books I have bound so far.  I'm incredibly pleased with how they turned out.   While these handbound books were a limited edition, the published copies of Kentucky 120 should be available in March.  They will be available at Morris Book Shop in Lexington, KY among other places.  You can contact Ed Lawrence for more details at 


Lightning: Custom Extra Large Sketchbook


Bolts of lightning from the sky
And plant them in fields of life.

They will grow like tender sprouts of fire.
Charge somber thoughts
With unexpected flash,
You, my lightning in the soil!” 
― Visar Zhiti

This design was a custom sketchbook that a couple wanted to gift their friend with.  The recipient loves purple, and Lady Gaga (hence, the lightning), and has peace, love, and equality tattooed on herself.  While it was a delight to create, I couldn't shake how large these lightning bolts were.  They definitely felt electric!  It began these ongoing thoughts regarding electricity and charge and shock.  All of these can be quite helpful in waking someone REALLY waking someone up...on a deep, deep level.  I am grateful for these moments, the ones where I'm forced to see truth and deal with reality.  When I allow it, it urges me back to my center where I am ultimately wanting to live from anyway.


Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New, Super Moon and New Year! May it be bright and real as we transform into yet truer, better versions of ourselves. Many Blessings!


Memory Book Ornament Stories

One of the really beautiful things as of late is all the stories I am hearing in regards to these little book ornaments.  This season in particular, people are sharing why they are purchasing a memory book ornament.  Some are literally in memory of people's passing, some are to commemorate a child's newfound love for reading, and one person's son is a brain cancer survivor and finds writing to be therapeutic.  Many are going to grandkids from their grandparents.  All of them are being purchased with great intention and good will...and I'm sending love out with each one of them and to each of you this holiday season.  May we all be conscious of each other as we prepare for, navigate, and enjoy the holidays.