twas the night before christmas...

and all through the house we were comparing notes on what actually happened at mass...

perhaps I should begin with the day. dan is 21 now and being a child of divorce has spent most of his life going back and forth between mom's house and dad's house. we rotate christmas's and this year because of mom's new living arrangement wanted to carve out some christmas time together.

we decided that we would have christmas lunch today and share some time together and try to make the best of our "new" christmas tradition.

it all started out fine or so it seemed. dan arrived and we gave him the coles notes version of our holiday. we discussed his move to san francisco and then mom and dad arrived for lunch.

we thought it would be a nice surprise if we called her sister in italy. she hasn't spoken to her since september because of being in the hospital and then the home so wouldn't that be lovely? well, it was and of course there were a few tears. I can only imagine what it would be like to speak to your sister half way around the world and know that you would never see her again. the next call was to dad's brother and again more tears, but it was wonderful to speak him and then it was time for lunch.

all went well and then dan had to leave to join his dad for their family festivities. we talked about our trip and laughed about our spanish classes. had coffee and dessert. I could feel that elephant in the room. I knew it was coming and I wanted to scream just talk about it already! and then it came. why can't I go home for three days? she started to cry. shots were fired at my dad about not wanting her anymore and the doctors didn't say that she couldn't go home. we are all liars. oh my, dad got upset and headed for the porch for a smoke. I tried to tell her - again, dad cannot take care of you by himself mom. we have today and tomorrow we are having lunch again. please be happy with what we have. and then she just wanted to go to bed. so bed she did while the three of us vented about our worries and woes. it was all just so upsetting. I should add that I started the day off with a migraine and a stomach ache and it wasn't looking good, but I knew I had to make to mass.

so off the family went for mass and when we arrived the only seats left were in the back of the church. my parents have always sat five pews back since I can remember. change is bad for them, but we made the best of it. the mass began and half was in english and half was in italian. I had trouble distinguishing which was which because father had such a strong accent. I tried to keep up, but then I caught sight of a pamphlet talking about revisions. WTF? revisions? they went and changed things up on us since last christmas. I began cramming. then the choir started up and man we were certain that the leader was a last minute fill in cause he was so off key that everyone was rolling their eyes. being the good catholics that we are we felt that we needed to pick up the slack and so we started singing at the top of our lungs. some in english and some in italian of course. now I am no celine dion but I took one for the team. when it was english michael was the soloist and italian I was it. one lady almost snapped her neck to look back and see what the hell was going on. hey lady have you not noticed that the guy sucks? it is god's will that we make this singing as pretty as possible. your welcome.

during the homily there was something about "don't be a fired" which we interpreted as "don't be afraid", but don't be fired was funnier. then something about the sin of abortion at which point I look at michael and say "huh?" and this child was saved. saved? wasn't he a miracle or something? it was a good thing, right? why are you tainting poor mary who had nothing to do with it apparently? she was just the chosen one. then something about her and joseph never having marital relations. uh, ya, it was immaculate conception, right? where did they find this guy? I was beginning to think he was a last minute fill in as well. then there was the part about the diapers being given the children. what? then all of the sudden in the most inappropriate part we were on our knees. this caused such a commotion that the kneeling bench came crashing down on michael's injured toe and then all of the sudden we were standing again. I grabbed the revision booklet to check if that was in there. boy were we busy! stand up, sit down, sing, pray, hold mom up, calm dad down, share a giggle and then mom decided to tell me a story right in the middle of it all. ya, so yesterday at the home they had a mass, but it was a different...hey ma? kind of in the middle of mass right now could we file that thought for later? then it came time to leave and mom says don't forget the bulletin. well, father was parked right in front of the bulletin table so what the heck I shook his hand and wished him a merry christmas. had time allowed I would have probably said something along the lines of "father I really didn't understand mass at all tonight" but I was hoping that there would be a summary in the bulletin or something.

so that's our crazy night before christmas. stockings are hung by the chimney with care waiting for santa to fill them. milk and cookies (shit) toast will be out for him. we wish you all a merry christmas and a good night.

foggy to-do's lead to great ideas

I could do this tree!

love this idea for hanging art:

there may not be a lot of decorating at our home this year, but I am still inspired by some wonderful ideas out there. might do the wreath as a christmas card display.
photo by victor schrager

this looks like fun!

great idea for hanging pictures, artwork or how about recipes in a kitchen? oh the possibilities! just wasting time. avoiding my to-do's today! how about you? what is inspiring you lately?

a little bit of this and that

yes please, yum!

love this idea!

want to do this?

must share this!

listening to this...

and working on this:

how you doin'?

There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you 
in time - It's easy.

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy & keep choosing it every day. - Henri Nouwen

live while you live

long, long ago in a house far away from here I began this canvas. It is huge! 30" x 40". I started out one day by collaging papers onto the surface and then it sat. there were other things to be done.

before we moved I hit it with some gesso and there it sat. a few weeks later and I applied the yellow and there it sat. it is a piece that has pulled me in and the patience that I had with this piece is unlike any I've had before. I don't know why. then I found the words and scribbled them on some scrap paper. over and over they repeated themselves to me.

my son turned 21 a few months ago and we had a conversation about life and dreams. I love these talks. we can go for hours discussing dreams, plans and out of this world desires. as he revealed some of his goals to me I found myself listening to him and hearing myself. it was surreal. he is so excited about life and exploring the world and sharing his music. I adore that drive, but what it lacked was the next step. take the next step. jump in! go for it! do it! OMG! I was talking to myself! I was gobsmacked as they say.

this conversation stuck with me and I even talked to others about how it seemed like I was giving him the nudge to move forward with no fear and yet here I was feet firmly planted in the ground. I talked the talk well enough, but I needed to start walking the walk.

he inspired me to try something that I have put on the back burner for quite awhile. a couple of days after our conversation I walked the walk right into moksha yoga. I signed up for the 30 day challenge.

what have I done?
you signed up for the 30 day challenge...
yes, but what if I can't do it?
you can and you will...
but what if I miss a day?
you will try to not do that...

and so it began. of course, as they, say when you are busy making plans god laughs. mom ended up in the hospital and so the challenge was really on.

and that was over 30 days ago. I missed one day. the day that we readmitted mom to the hospital was the only day I missed. to make up for the missed day I did two yoga classes in one day. thus completing 30 classes in 30 days and I am still going strong.

throughout the 30 days things kept getting thrown at me. oh here, take this! lie down on the mat and breathe. wham, dog gets sick. breathe. a friend's sister dies suddenly. return to the breath. and so on and so on. I took each unexpected thing thrown at me and decided that my self care was SO important right now and my example of completing a goal till the end was something that I needed to prove to myself and show my son. there were many times in class when the instructor would say focus on something that will guide you today. I focused on my son. he guided me. he believed in me like I believed in him and now I needed to start believing in myself.

with all that has been thrown at me lately I have come to love these words "live while you live". to me it means that you should just do it. why wait? so as I plow forward trying to find balance in the chaos I know that I have done what I thought was impossible. I proved it to myself that I could step forward and keep on going. sure, sure there will be times when I step back. I am still cautious and there are still those voices telling me that I can't, but the drive to try is bigger now. I've learned patience and I've felt calm and I am determined to find out what else is out there waiting for me.

my oh my mama

this pic of mom from last night after we laughed, smiled and talked about what is to come. she is aware now that she is not going home. she is not happy about that and I believe that she still thinks that if she can walk better and eat regular food that she could still go home.

we delayed our trip yesterday until the errands were done. sometimes I feel like I am rushing out of there to get to where I need to go next so it was a great change of pace. she was in bed when we got there and ready to get up and go for a walk.

she started to tell us how the next door neighbour brought dad a cherry pie and how she loves pie. what is your favourite pie mom? oh, any pie! she used to make pies and would give us each a piece and pretty much polish off the rest herself. she has a sweet tooth and I am not sure that the "thick diet" includes much sweets.

so we are working at getting her out of the bed, house coat on, shoes on when I said would you like me to bring you some pie? would you like that mom? her response? fucking right! oh yeah! well we howled and finally got her out of bed. and it didn't end there. she kept on talking about how she wanted to see the doctor and ask for a day pass. your father, she said, is not attending mass without me and I need to make sure he goes to church. maybe I could call the home care office and see if there was someone that could take care of her at home? oh but don't call that home care worker cause she is a liar! oh my!

we made our way back to the unit and her supper had arrived so we fed her in the common area. a bit brighter and more room for all. she had a lovely dish of mushed turkey, mashed potatoes and minced peas and carrots with gravy. every spoon I filled for her I swallowed hard. oh I just barely kept it together. trying to make it SO appetizing for her. there is cranberry sauce mom! wanna try some of that on your turkey? bluck! tastes like jam she says. why would you put jam on your turkey. oh I said just a little bit of sweetness. no, no, no she said waving her arms around. how about some of this yummy rice pudding? a couple of spoons of that and then some thickened water to wash it down. oh my she looked just as disgusted as I felt. she barely ate a thing, but then when she was done I started to entertain her with my walker skills.

I used the walker as a seat to feed her and boy that thing has some power! I shuffled to one side of the hall and then back over to her where I twirled and smiled as I passed her. she laughed. what the hell are you doing she said? you are going to hurt yourself! well, if I do I am in the right place, right mom? and so I continued on back and forth zooming and twirling and making her laugh.

pretty soon she was tired and ready to get back to bed. she's hanging in there and I think that she is having more good days than bad. it's not the best of times right now, but we need to get through it. one day at a time and if laughing, smiling and swearing are gonna get us there then so be it!

an art filled challenge

there is no secret about the challenges that I have had in my life over the last little while, so when I attended our edmonton calligraphic society meeting in september and an art challenge was offered I went for it. I love challenges! we were offered a black garbage bag full of unknown items for two bucks. the deal was that in october we return with something made using the items in the bag. if you completed the challenge your name was put in a draw for fifty bucks!

my bag contained some very unique items and after a bit of swearing and regret I dove in. I started decorating some of the papers and just played. no thought or plan at the moment. as I went on I had several ideas. make a book? a torso? a purse? what the hell is a daruma? and then it hit me! pizza! I used the pizza box as my base and covered it in all the papers that I had decorated. tear, rip, glue, smear - again just playing. I ended up cutting a niche the size of the small box I had in the bag and inserted it so that the dolls would have a resting place. splattered some paint and smeared some gold lumiere paint and painted the sides and inside of the niche black. calligraphed the word "daruma" and layered some red, gold and black papers and ta da! done!
or so I thought cause I still had all of this left over:
and I couldn't throw it out! and I needed to release some frustration. and so the art therapy session began. there was a big sheet of paper in the bag and so I used it as my base. collage both sides. again rip, tear and glue - just play!
then I smeared some gesso on and cut the paper into strips. added paint, glitter and whatever else I pulled out of the drawer.
then I cut them into postcard size and rounded the corners. I still had the darn lid from the box so I turned that into a vessel to hold the cards.
and here is an example of what I did with one of the postcards.
great for an unexpected treat in the mail or birthday wishes.
so although I had NO time to play in the studio lately this was a wonderful opportunity to create and it was very therapeutic as well. confirming once again that art saves! it saved me tons in therapy and drugs! it was also wonderful to see all the different things that the other participants came up with.

this would be a great challenge for a group or even a mail swap. and a good way to get rid of all that unused stuff that is just sitting in your studio!

change of seasons

the seasons of change are in full swing at the beach home. the air is crisp and during my morning walk with the pups my feet were cold. it is time to start thinking about socks - yuck! I am trying to soak up the last few days of warmth. the summer went by in a flash and was filled with so much change. I guess I foolishly believed that once we were "settled" that things would start to slow down and we would fall into a new routine. ah, but life has a way of keeping you on your toes and challenging you at every turn, turn, turn.

I started the day off slow. I've been rushing around far too much. some days I feel like a robot. I go through the motions and when I finally get that tiny bit of time I quickly fill it up. what was it like to have those moments of calm, quiet and thought? so this morning I chose to give it to myself. ease slowly into the day. no rush. everything will still be there when I get there, when I get to it, when I fix it. a hot bowl of oatmeal, fresh air and the beautiful colour filled sky are mine to savour before I need to put myself together and face the day.

I shared last night with a group of creatives. it was wonderful to sit and brain storm. to hug and laugh. to eat good food at a snails pace if you wish. I felt the little flutter in my belly. that fire that has been burning low. the warmth starting to get me going. was this just what I needed to get into the studio and start playing again? I am holding it close to my heart and although there is a part of me that wants to plan for time and gather supplies and start sketching ideas there is the other part of me that says "let it go". it will come. it will happen.

how do we release into it? how do we let go of the control we SO seem to WANT? how do we accept that it will happen? - IT WILL!

I am having the same thoughts and feelings for my mom. after an exhausting weekend of trying to get her to eat and drink and her not sleeping and watching my dad fall apart in front of my eyes it was decided to take her back to the hospital. she is now awaiting placement in long term care.

as I write that last sentence tears come to my eyes. what will become of our family? will the changes be good. I have to believe that we have made the right decision although it all seems so final.

I have no idea what is to come. I am asking as many questions as possible. I am being patient with mom's repeated requests of water and ice. I scoop up the thick juice and ask her to please take it. I don't know how much of it she understands. a maze of doctors, nurses and therapists with questions, concerns and care plans. I feel this responsibility to take care of her, protect her, fight for her. were these same feelings present in her when I was a child? I struggle to let go and let it happen.

I look into the mirror and remind myself that I need to take care of me too. I need to protect myself and fight for myself. it is like stepping into a new role. so many changes and while in the centre of this whirlwind I am grateful for these quiet moments where the only thing that is changing is my foot position on the stool.

might as well be mayonnaise in a tube...

after all these years of trying diet after diet to reduce my junk in the trunk I think I finally found THE DIET to end all diets. I'm pretty sure I nailed it and I look forward to seeing you all at the book signing.

ok, let's get serious here shall we? get your pencils out and take some notes! first you have your mother sent home from the hospital against your will. she is put on a "thick" diet which means everything she eats needs to have a pudding like consistency to it. second you team that up with a fragile father (got one of those?). third you tie it all up in a bow and voila you have three very unhappy italians.

the first italian being the mama who could eat an elephant under the table. this woman has always had a roaring appetite, lick the plate clean syndrome and no leftovers policy. she adds mayonnaise to everything! green beans, eggs, potatoes, and has a funny story of craving it when she was pregnant with me. of course she has nothing to show for it! she has never had a weight problem and was quick to point that out to me on several occasions (refer back to the first sentence). now she can only have minced mountains of food and thick liquids. yup! water, coffee and tea all need to be thickened.

second italian being my father who was convinced that he could take her home and do it all! he loves this woman to pieces and the mere thought of dropping her off at a nursing home shames him. he is not that savvy in the kitchen. he likes kinchucky (his words not mine) fried chicken and caesars pizza as a quick meal. for breakfast he stands at the kitchen sink with knife in hand cutting bread, salami and cheese and having a few quick bites before she beckons for him. late last night he admitted that he could not do this anymore. hallelujah!

third italian being me. I agreed with the doctors and wanted her relocated, but my parents declined. it is what it is and we need to get through this. I am a vegetarian and the sight, smell, touch and taste of meat makes my stomach twirl. come to think of it many things make my stomach twirl. heavy perfume, dog puke and changing a babies diapers to name a few.

and so I depart this morning with starbucks and vita mix in hand determined to make my parents life easier. what in the hell was I thinking? we started off with rice a roni - the san francisco treat! it was in the cupboard and seemed like something that would have some taste to it. pair that with some lovely pureed green beans and I was still holding down the chai. then the canned salmon was opened and ooohh little throw up in my mouth. then the ragu with pasta. still okay, but then the chicken was cooking in the pan and the salmon was sitting on the counter and the green beans looked like something that came out of my dogs butt the other day and the rice a roni was cooling. too many smells! dad dug into the pasta. good thing cause he probably skipped his kitchen sink breakfast this morning. mom was up and starving for food and attention so I served her up some salmon, rice a roni and green beans. looked good enough? then she yelled for water. I mixed her up some thick water. she said we were trying to kill her. she told us the doctors were crazy. I started spoon feeding her to get some of it into her and because it also had her meds crushed up in in it. she yelled "vaffanculo". do I need to translate? my mother sat there and had the balls to tell me to fuck off.

I was done. I went outside and took a few breaths and then I started laughing. I had to keep it together cause I know that inside my father was trying his best to calm her down and explain to her that we are not trying to kill her. yay for me that I can add that to the memories of my mother. I knew that someday soon it was coming, but I never thought she would actually say it to my face. so I go back inside and tell her that this is what the doctors ordered. she can have thick water or she can have nothing. she started with the hand wave and you guys are all crazy and I just want a sip of water for christ's sake! broke my heart. we gave her about a tablespoon in a glass and told her to savour it cause that's all she was getting. and so the stomach turns...

I should have offered her some mayonnaise. it does have a pudding like consistency to it!

letters to my loved ones...

dear sparky,

I remember the day you came into our lives. you came from someone who no longer wanted you and we welcomed that cute face into our family. since then you have been quite the character. you have never failed to amuse us with your unique personality. you are now 14 years old and I understand that your kidneys are failing and you have cushings disease. I feel awful that I have to drag you outside to do your thing when all you want to do is eat and sleep. I hate to ask but am wondering if you could perhaps be patient with me and give me a nudge when you need to go outside. sometimes I miss the signs and then I end up yelling at you. I'm sorry for that and I will try to be a bit more on the ball.

dear joey,

the day I found the ad on the internet and wondered about this faceless puppy who somebody abandoned. I had to meet you and as you ran into my arms I knew it was meant to be. you are loved for being so cute it's disgusting and your puppy kisses always make me feel loved. thank you for being a snuggler and for sticking close to my side. thank you for waiting patiently for sparky as we take one more walk around the block for him to find the perfect spot. you love everybody and you are always happy. please never change.

dear mom,

who would have thought that you would end up with a rare disease. one that there is little information about and no treatment. you always took care of everyone. you always helped out whenever someone needed something. please forgive me for not being able to take care of you as I should. I feel awful for not moving in and running the house as you once did. I can't. I won't and I need that to be okay. please see that dad is doing the best he can. he is doing things I never thought I would see him do. he is an amazing man and he deserves to be taken care of too. please love us no matter what.

dear dad,

how do you do it? why do you do it? you have nothing to prove. you are amazing just as you are and always were and will be. there is no need to break yourself down in order to prove your love. you can let go and it will be okay. no one will love you less or think that you are weak. please I'm begging you, you need to take care of yourself. you deserve to live while you live. I love you and will never meet a man who loves as deeply as you do.

dear family,

I'm sorry for not being the happy go lucky spirit that you wish for me. I have no idea how to juggle all these balls. I appreciate all your love and support. I only wish that I too give you the same. I know that sometimes all I want is for you to listen and all you want is to fix things. some things cannot be fixed. some things can not go away. the reality is that I have things that I need to take care of and I am unable to do so without the occasional breakdown. thank you for being there to love me despite all of this. thank you for holding me and being silent. sometimes all I need is a hug. you may never know how much I love you - forever, no matter what and MORE.

dear friends,

I so wish I could find the words to express how much it means to me to pick up the phone and have you take care of it for me. no questions, no judgement - done. thank you for the texts that happen at just the right moment when I needed a reminder that I am worthy and I can do anything! thank you for the e-mails that remind me to take care of myself first. thank you for the laughter and for listening to me time and time again as I have yet another pity party. thank you for the hugs, the love and the surprises in the mailbox. nothing is better than a getting a gift when it's not even your birthday! you are a treasure in my life!

dear universe,

"Stunning rebounds, life altering transformations, and miracles of every shape and size, all follow a fairly simple 2-step formula. First, there must be a connection made in the unseen. Second, there must be a leap in the physical."

what does this mean? this unseen connection? what's that? a leap in the physical? are you serious? will my body jump up and ram into something thus connecting? please dear universe the last thing I need right now is flying through the windshield and connecting with a tree. life altering transformations? wtf?


yours truly,


thank you tuesday...

Stand By Me | Playing For Change | Song Around The World from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

this song brought me to tears today. back from a visit with mom. she is back in the hospital. she fell again and hit her head and now they are trying to get the inflammation down and take care of the pain. tests and more tests. change of meds.

I go and visit her everyday. I think if I miss a day and something happens I would feel awful. she is so confused right now that she doesn't remember who visits her. then she will have a memory and it is like she is back. I am not sure if it is the fall that caused this recent confusion or if her dementia is setting in. I do know that I am scared. I just want to make it all better for her. I bring her flowers to brighten her room. she always said fresh flowers are a waste of money - they die. I brought her a piece of black forest cake - one of her favourites. she couldn't see it. she took her spoon down to the cake and missed it completely. I wanted to cry right then and there. I wanted to yell at her - MOM!!!! the cake is right in front of you. stop this! get it together! come back! I don't think I could bear going to visit her and her not know who I am. to have her reach out for me and not know me? so much of her is gone. studies say she may also lose her speech, her sight and her ability to swallow. I spoon fed her the cake. I swallowed hard as I choked back the tears. it kills me to see her slowly fade away...

I have no idea what the future holds for her, for us, for anyone, but today I am thankful. I am thankful that she is still here. I am thankful that my dad is getting a break. I am thankful for my amazing husband who is trying so hard to take some of my stress away. I am thankful for my wonderful son who with his hugs, his smile and his beautiful music makes me want to be here. I am thankful for all my family and friends who each in their own special way know just what to say and do. it is a hard day, but it will not be my last day. I am not alone with all of these people standing by me...

and we're back!

a summary of our adventures over the summer...

we packed up our lives and crammed it all into a box. it was hard to believe that all we owned fit in there. we let go of so much old, unused and unsuitable items. I remember thinking that at the end of the day it is just "stuff". we are not defined by what we own. let it go...
we moved in with my parents for two weeks which was both a blessing and a curse. a blessing because we have two dogs and we were able to make ourselves comfortable and help dad out with taking care of mom. a curse because after we left they were heartbroken and I felt pulled into all different directions.
on to our next adventure at what we like to call our "beach home". we have been dreaming about living in a condo for a long time. for over two years we searched, planned and waited and finally our dream came true. we are working on settling in, making it our own and still dealing with touch ups, fix ups and heat! goodness it gets hot in this place!
we headed out of town to celebrate the union of these three. every time I look at this picture I am reminded of our own wedding. walking hand in hand with dan in our arms.
we had adorable visitors stay with us.
we took a plane to reunite with family who I haven't seen in over 20 years. we shared stories, laughter and tears. similar to my italy trip last year I couldn't believe we were together again and loved spending time with them. we met new family, new friends and celebrated another wedding. my heart is full and grateful for each and every one of them.

so if you are in california and you have a friend whom you only know through the internet and she offers to come up and meet you what would you say? HELL YES! after many years of knowing her online I was finally able to give linda a hug in person. she caught my attention after the release of journal revolution. she is real, she is true and not to mention - adorable! she is a great friend and I had so much fun spending the day together doing starbucks, eating tacos and chatting about life and art. love that girl!

and NOW? back in the swing of things or swinging things around. just taking a moment to appreciate this wonderful and glorious life!

the final countdown begins...

in a week I will say good bye to this house. seems weird. seems like I am going on a vacation and then I'll be back except that I won't be. it feels like I am getting ready for a trip. typically I pack the clothes, the food stuff and the art stuff is always last. I rush to pack my art supplies cause then I have no choice, no time, just chuck it in the bag and go. yesterday was a big day. lots of boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and coffee. I was a non stop packing machine. I think I was packing so fast so as to justify sneaking in some art. well, part of the packing was happening in the studio and so that is where I am at now.

except that I get inspired and forgot about the packing and decided that I will paint! and so I started to transform these two suitcase type boxes. one had a coat of black on it which will not work for my plan in the new studio. the other one was teal and again not gonna work so how about some sunshine?

and then I had all this leftover paint. yikes! what to do? oh look there is a canvas that had a plan and lost the blueprints and so heck ya get that yellow on there and think about it tomorrow.

I have my to do list for today and all I want to do is slap some modge podge on it, stick it on the canvas and paint over it. I just wanna PLLLLLLAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! I will! pretty much part of my daily life. kind of like brushing your teeth.

d.i.y art journal

I'm at it again! just cannot stop creating! in the midst of packing up the studio I came across a painting, a vision board and some scraps of watercolour paper. what to do? pack it up? throw it out? I cannot bear to waste it. rule #1 - reduce, rule #2 - reuse and rule #3 recycle. in this case I went for reusing. I took the pile and ripped into strips of 8" x 16" pieces. yes, I said ripped. no need to use scissors or exacto knife! I needed to get this done - NOW! I ended up with 12 sheets. I took the sheets and folded them in half. mixed them up a bit and made a stack. I used some binder clips to keep everything from shifting while I sew. then I took my awl and poked three holes for the binding. one at 2", 4" and 6". I cut a piece of bookbinding thread twice the size so 16". then I began the super simple pamphlet stitch binding. from the outside middle hole go in, then go to the bottom hole out, from the outside bottom hole go up to the outside top hole back in and finally from the top hole inside go back out the middle hole. tie a knot and done.

I added an elastic to keep the book closed as I know that as I fill it up it will get bulky. I love how all the pages are mixed up. a bit of the vision board collage, some of the painting and the blank pages.

the plan is to take this journalwith me while we are homeless. yes, homeless. we need to be out of our house(this house) on the 15th and then our new home will not be ready till the 30th. in the meantime and in between time we will be living with my mom and dad. ha! I KNOW that I will need a place to jot down feelings, do some scribbling, drawing and painting.

I am really looking forward to playing in it. in the process of taking pics to share I found out that I had a scrap piece with some calligraphy from a friend. the cut off piece still reads "and blue far away" which I think is awesome! our new wall colour is a beautiful serene blue and it seems like it is so far away from here!

so did I stop? HELL NO! I kept finding more papers and scraps that I couldn't just toss away so I made up some journals to share with you!

each journal is 6 1/2" x 9 1/4" and has 40 pages. the pages are assorted papers and even a black sheet to see how colour works on dark paper! I am off to put them up in the shop! each one will include a collaged postcard personally addressed to you with a reminder to "play everyday!.