Online Class

I love art classes. Because I don’t have any formal education in art beyond a couple classes in junior high and high school, I eagerly learn from other artists. This evening I took a class online from Tiare Smith ( through the Art is Magic Retreat. I had to improvise on a couple supplies, but ended up with this 7.5 x 11 inch watercolor (mostly) painting.

Book Phase

I seem to be going through a book phase. Part of it stems from my love for the store in Albuquerque called Creative Culture. They carry a gorgeous selection of Nepalese paper, among other cards and gift items. *Edit – Creative Culture is now closed and sorely missed.*

These books were created from a kit. They are Tibetan style books put together with a pamphlet stitch.

A Book That’s as Pretty as a Postcard


I made this little book in a class taught by Mita Saldana (you can see her work at It’s a concertina-type book with pages inside folded to hold postcards. The paper with the bird on the front and the feather design paper inside are some of my favorites, in spite of the fact that I rarely use the pink and brown color combo in other works. Maybe that’s why I like the book. It’s different from anything else I’ve done.

Book of Textures


Quite often when I see another artist’s work I want to touch it. Photos just don’t capture the texture and depth of the art. I feel the same about these pages. Each one used a different technique, several that were new to me. The cover was done with an alphabet stencil, embossing paste, and iridescent powders. I love that technique and will probably be using it more and more often, especially in collage pieces, as I expand my collection of stencils.

Gift for a Quilter or The Longest Project

My mother quilts. She recently completed something called a “Dear Jane” quilt using Civil War replica fabrics. I had someone cut a chipboard book of the word “Quilts.” Then I used some of her scrap fabrics from the Dear Jane project and incorporated them into this board book. I also incorporated snippets of several designs from the quilt blocks into the book design. Because I made this with my mother in mind I used her first initial, “K”, within the design of each page.

I started the Quilts board book in early fall 2013. My daughter was in 7th grade. She is now a freshman in college. In the middle, a lot of life happened. This week I finally sent Quilts to its intended recipient and she loves it.

Inside the book – I decorated the fronts and backs of each letter.

An Uncommon Project

It’s rare that I paint without gluing junk and stuff to it and collaging the entire piece. But, under the guidance of Annie Lockhart ( I did just that. The pieces took a full weekend to complete. The top photo is a 30″ x 40″ stretched canvas. The bottom piece measures 36″ x 36″. Both abstracts were done with acrylic paint.

A Card That’s Also a Box – an Exploding Box

Side of the box

This box is another piece that I made as a gift. It was meant as a thank you card of sorts. The closed box with the lid on measures just over 4 inches square. When you remove the lid, the inside, graduated flaps fall open, creating the “explosion.” I decorated each of the flaps individually with a small trinket or design. On the inside of the lid I crafted a pocket to hold a short note of thanks to the recipient. 

This box is surprisingly sturdy. The sides and lid are made from chipboard so they don’t bend. I love basic designs like this because they offer endless options for decoration. I have done variations in color for the box base as well. 

Inside the exploding box
Detail inside the box

The Blank Journal and the Creative Genius

The inscription reads: Blank journal in search of creative genius for long-term relationship. Apply within.

Specially designed pages
Spine sewn together
Many of my art pieces become gifts to friends and family. This book is one of those pieces. A dear friend of ours from grad school has a lovely fiancé whom I wanted to give a hand-made gift. After quizzing him on her favorite colors, and meeting her, I decided to make a blank book. I designed the pages using standard watercolor paper. The cover is made of covers from recycled/thrift store books and packing materials. I attached the pages by sewing them against the fabric binding, through a variety of buttons. This was the first time I used that binding technique and the end result was solid. All of that, and a healthy dose of bookbinding adhesive, became this blank journal.

Jewelry Box

This box marks the first I time I took a class from Mita Saldana of Against the Grain – Center for Bookbinding Arts. This project started as a pile of paper and book board. Book board is essentially really thick, rigid cardboard. I very much appreciated learning all the steps in the process of making a box. For example, I didn’t know that the book board needed to be filed smooth to ensure that the pieces fit together cleanly and securely. Good thing I didn’t try this project on my own! The finished box includes 3 interior boxes and stands 5 inches tall. The interior shelves are 3 x 3 inches square and are fully covered. The top of the box is lightly padded.

Mita is a friendly and engaging artist. She can be reached through her web site at