More Journals

I have finally gotten good at doing the Coptic stitch! Granted, I do it a bit differently, because I don’t like to sew my covers on to the journals, preferring instead to glue them on after the signatures have been sewn together, but it works well enough for me.

Aren’t they pretty? The stitches are actually straight!

If you’re interested in seeing more or learning this yourself, be sure to check out the examples at, they’re all amazing (but alas, their search function is crap, so be sure to search the forums using google, as I did above 🙂


These past two weeks I’ve been busy with moving into a new house and parenting, and between those two things and worrying over money and schedules and all those other little things I’ll be forgetting a year or two from now, I’ve frequently felt like I have nothing to share here. Which is frustrating, because in the past I’ve kept blogs and was quite prolific in them. Fortunately this feeling always eventually goes away, because writing is really just an exercise, which means not only that you have to practice at it, but that the more you do it, the more things you’ll find you have to say.

All the journals I've written in over the years

To date I’ve kept over ten journals, and have been journaling (on paper) for over ten years. I started when I was about nine, and had read several different books about girls who kept diaries (one of them was Amelia’s Notebook, which my younger sister now loves. Yay for passing things on!). The first was the dark blue notebook to the left in the picture up there, and the second was the large green one. Notebooks served me well for a while, and then I switched to some more pre-teen-type diaries over the next few years. Right now I have a nice and sophisticated gilded-edged journal with a hard wood cover (up front and center), but I’m still trying to get through all the empty journals I’ve collected over the years–any journaler will tell you that buying empty books is a weakness.

Of course now I have a good collection of art journals that I do a lot of collage work in (if you want to see some of those, you can check out my flickr account), and I keep making more–it’s hard to stop! (as you can see), so it doesn’t look like I’ll run out of books any time soon. That’s ok, though. I’d always rather have too many books (empty or not) than not enough!

On a related note, my mother informed me the other day that our local schools are going to stop teaching cursive, due to the prevalence of type these days. Yikes! That means in a few decades most people are going to have a very hard time reading my journals (maybe that’s good?), as it’s all I write with! What happened to writing as an art form?! At any rate, if my son doesn’t end up learning cursive by the time he starts school, I’ve decided I’ll teach him at home. I’d like to keep artful writing alive in my household, at least.

Paint Crackle Brushes

While making my new Ice Cream Social designs, I knew I wanted to use a paint crackle texture, but couldn’t find any other brushes on the web that suited me–I need my brushes to be large and fairly high quality to be used in my art, and there aren’t many paint crackle brushes for Photoshop anyway. So, of course, I made my own, and now you can use them!

They’re of varying sizes, with the largest being over 1,000px and the smallest about 300px. That way you can use them for both large and small projects, and although they’re all static (no brush effects applied), I would highly encourage you to mess around with Photoshop’s (or your program of choice) settings so that you can use them to create smooth textured backgrounds (I’ve been thinking about doing a tutorial on just that–what do you think?).

.ABR format Download (1.8 Mb)
.JPG format Download image pack (1.3 Mb)

Today is Mommy Day!

It's a beautiful day!
And Mommy Days are wonderful, because they are some of the few days I get almost all to myself! The little munchkin is spending time with Daddy and the grandparents today (good for him!), which means I get a break (good for me!). I just got back from running a looong way on the track at the gym, and then spent some time at the park nearby watching dragonflies wandering aimlessly. It was the perfect way to help relieve the stress from this week!

I did a Vortex Bun!
Also, I managed a really nifty Vortex Bun, which I learned from Torrin’s video tutorials today. It looks pretty and held my hair in place perfectly, which is a necessity when I’m running. I have a lot of hair, and keeping it under control is sometimes a lot of work!

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