Mistaeks are Mandatory....Flub it Up!

Flub it up I did! 

I recently read about altering notebook covers in Somerset Magazine. It isn't a new concept for me, but it reminded me of something and sparked my creativity.

Andrea Ockey Parr has a spread in the most recent issue describing her technique for making a collage and sewing it onto a notebook cover. I have taken small notebooks and painted/collaged the covers. I had not tried sewing a collaged or painted piece created separately onto a cover.

It reminded me that I have a stash of dollar spot notebooks I purchased years ago. I had a plan at the time that I never realized. They are 8" x 8" square and have 16 thin pages each. They were geared for children to create their own story books.

So I got to work.

I cut the square notebooks down to about 5 1/2" wide and made a couple pieces of messy mixed media I would cut to size. My goal was to create a couple of mailable journals or letter books one could share or exchange with a friend. I wanted to make sure they would fit into a 6" x 9" envelope.

Everything was going great. I made tabs from the cut-offs of the art pieces. I adhered the artwork to the cover with some adhesive to keep it in place when I sewed them together. I stapled the tabs onto two sheets of paper making the end product 8 pages long. I didn't adhere the inner pages together. That decision worked out perfectly as they can serve has pockets to hold hidden surprises up to 5" x 7".

The Finished Books



I'm not a seamstress. 

Sewing the new covers on was a challenge. I've had great success sewing paper, but have no idea what to do when it isn't. I had so much bunching on the inside of the second notebook that I ripped the thread out in frustration and decided to let it be. I have more notebooks and will have many more opportunities to sew covers. 

In the meantime, I Googled for solutions and I have decided to try again after rethreading my sewing machine and doing some practice with different settings. 

Mistaeks are Mandatory!

If you follow me on Instagram or keep up with my Facebook Page you know I've been working on other things lately too. I'm evolving and growing and healing.

Life is Messy & Hard

It's been a difficult ride here as of late. Life has a way of knocking you off balance, if you were balanced at all to begin with. Sometimes you think you've about got it handled when BAM! It kicks you in the shins.

One thing I know for sure is that we are resilient. I am resilient. And I've got about a third of that thing called Irish stubbornness in me too. :)

I've been stuck in a vat of darkness. I've been swimming around in the mess and clutter and having grand pity parties in my head. I was fighting against it. I don't know why I do that because I believe that when we fight against something, we get more of it. It steals our thoughts and energy and just keeps piling it on so we get more and more of it. So I stopped. I let it ride.

and then I started to purge.

I've been purging a lot of our home space lately. We moved into this small house from a much larger house more than a year ago and I never did get to a point where I felt like we were home. It's been very difficult to breathe or relax. My art space is about a third of what it was. A lot of it has been purged too.

And now, now I have decided that I need to release some of the art and other projects I have made over the past few years. I have gathered together some things I have made that weren't originally intended to be sold. During my current purging session I decided that I simply had to dig deeper and let things go. It was time to be ruthless in letting go and that included art that has been stacked and waiting for me to find a space for them. This collection of Motley Extras is not going into my Etsy Shop, they are listed right here on my website. Currently I am shipping these items in the USA only, and the prices include shipping fees. Some of these items received a great deal of praise and love on social media so I'm hoping they find good homes. 

Here's a little preview of what is available today. 


From Where I Create

How 'bout a little peek of my art space?

A year ago we moved into a smaller house, about 600 square feet smaller. I went from a loft studio with approximately 120 square feet to what is supposed to be a dining area with about 49 square feet. On the downside, there are no walls or doors or privacy. I get all the foot traffic and it's far easier for my people to interrupt my process. On the upside I can view workshop videos on the 42" television via Apple TV in the living area and the coffee pot is just steps away.

My husband and I have talked about having an art studio built...think Tuff Shed. But that'll be down the road a bit.

For now, here's what I've got. My view from my favorite spot on the sofa:

Motley Planning & Art Area

Motley Planning & Art Area

Needless to say, my creative space has taken many shapes and forms over the past year. I have arranged, and rearranged, and purged and reorganized, and purged and reorganized some more. I started with the cubby system I had in my art loft, but it didn't work. I tried downsizing that system with a new top, but that didn't work either. Finally, I talked my husband into going to Ikea. I started with just two storage units. I have five now. 

I keep the most essential things in this area. You know, the things I actually need to make art. Three large bookcases I had in my art loft are now split. Two reside in the living area and one in the kitchen nook. The two we keep in the living area still house most of the same items: art journals, old planners, books and treasures. Non-essential items, things I don't need every day to make art: cello bags, shipping supplies, binding supplies, my Silhouette Cameo, etc. are stored in the closet of my husband's home office. 

The narrower Ikea storage units holding my custom painted desktop (a piece of plywood I painted) hold everything I need for planning and managing the household. I call it my planning desk. Rarely can you see the top of it. :) 

Against the wall is my art desk. It is a custom painted 6.5 foot Ikea desktop. I like to work standing up so I purchased some PVC pipe and connectors to add short legs that allow it to rest atop three larger IKEA storage units. The space between holds smaller storage solutions.

The lighting in this space isn't the best, but I hope you still enjoy this slideshow. 

There's a Motley Fork in the Road

When I started blogging I barely knew what the word meant. I hadn't a clue what I was doing, or even if I could do it. I almost find myself laughing at "When I started blogging" because I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. 

One thing I have learned during this incredibly sporadic blogging journey is I have no idea who the hell I am. Most days I'm not even sure what I'm doing here. My mind is all over the place. I can be working on a project and then see something that grabs my interest....bam! I'm off. 

There's nothing wrong with doing so, but it does have a downside. I never really master anything or become confident in anything because I'm always fluttering around from this thing to that thing over there. Getting back to the first thing is hard without a time machine.

This truly is a fork in the road for me; a new beginning. My initial vision was entirely too broad and too vague. I didn't think about what it meant to me or what it might look like. I'm realizing now that this vagueness was part of my struggle. I was throwing stuff out into cyberspace, but I wasn't sharing the process, the feels or thoughts behind them. Another obstacle I make for myself, I share virtually every creative thing I do on Instagram. Again, nothing wrong with that, other than blogging about something I've already shared publicly makes it feel like I am regurgitating old news.

With all this in mind, I am now working on getting clearer in my mind about what my vision means to me and how I would like it to look. As well as getting clearer about what constitutes a blog post, what I want it to look like and how I want it to feel.

Are there any questions you think I should be asking myself?

I Am Back!

....and so glad to see you here browsing my new website. Yep! I did it again! Change is good, right?

I have been in that dark place again and wanting to come out into the light, but if you live with anxiety and depression, you know how hard that can be sometimes.

Developing a new website has been on my list since the beginning of the year, but I keep putting it off. I keep telling myself it will reflect badly on me; it will make me appear fickle, unorganized and flighty. How is anyone going to take me seriously if I keep bouncing around and fading out? When asked what I do or why my clothes are full of paint how can I raise my head and respond with "I am a mixed media artist" and "Yes, I do sell my work" when I.am.so.not.prepared?

But this has been on my list. I've always used "free" blogging services. Some served me better than others. I'm now embarking on a "not-so-free" blogging service and struggling with my worthiness to do so. Am I worth the money it will cost to use this blogging service? Will paying for it encourage me to connect more regularly? Until recently I have spent far more on Starbuck's drinks every month.

So....Here I am. I've decided to take the plunge. I am choosing to dive right in and decide that Yes! I am worth it!