Category Archives: Books

From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #9

Erroneous Belief #9 states that:

YOU MUST ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

How many times have we all heard that, from our parents, grandparents and teachers? And how many times have we been disappointed when we “did our best” but didn’t win the race, didn’t get good grades, failed at something?

Isn’t it better to just turn up and enjoy the experience, no matter what the context is? Or the outcome, for that matter? If we keep placing impossibly high goals in front of ourselves, we’re only going to experience disappointment when we don’t reach those goals. Don’t let yourself be controlled by externally imposed achievement levels.

The Kid isn’t sports-mad, unlike most of his schoolmates. He’d rather play Minecraft on his computer. So, when he tells me he hates Physical Education (P.E), I tell him not to look at it as a competitive event, where he feels he has to “give his best” to win the race or beat the other team, but instead to just participate in whatever activities there are, and enjoy his time doing them. He doesn’t have to be the best ball player, or the fastest runner, the best catcher or thrower, he just has to show up and take part.

Last term The Kid’s school had a cross-country run, which was conducted over several days, with one day designated to every Year. The Kid is currently in Year 7, the first year of High School. He knew he didn’t stand a chance of winning the race, so instead he made a pact with his friend Eddie, to tie for the position of last place. Now, that may seem defeatist, and no doubt the teachers might have told them both off for not doing their best, but I didn’t berate The Kid when he told me what he’d done. Instead, I said he and Eddie had practised creativity and turned what must have been a boring sports event that neither had any interest in, into something fun that they could do. They both still got badges for participating and finishing the race, anyway.

Adopting a “You must always do your best” attitude to everything you do is really tiring. It isn’t what humans are meant to be doing, anyway. Rather, it’s something that Society tries to make us believe that we must do. Maybe it’s well-meaning, but ill-phrased, maybe that’s what’s essentially wrong with that saying. Perhaps, instead of saying “You must always do your best”, we could try saying “Turn up and enjoy the experience”, and then if you win the race or contest, that’s just the icing on the cake. If you didn’t win, well, you still had cake, didn’t you?

We shouldn’t live thinking that everything we do or say is being assessed or tested by Society, our elders, our employers, our social circles. There is nothing more inauthentic than a life lived according to the rules of others, of having to do what traditions or religion dictate, even when your Soul feels differently. If you are different, in any way, that difference should be celebrated as your uniqueness, not shoehorned into some readymade box where everyone else is. “You must always do your best” does not create uniqueness, instead it creates the sense that everyone must aspire to exactly the same thing, reach the same heights of achievement, and therefore everyone must accept disappointment as a way of life. “You must always do your best” stifles creativity and misdirects our personal goals, it makes the result or outcome take precedence over the actual act of doing something.

In other words, it takes the fun out of everything we do.

The Kid told me about “High Expectation Asian Father” memes on the Internet, so I had a look for myself today. As an Asian, I can totally relate to the memes, which, while terribly funny, are also very true of a typical Asian father’s expectations of his offspring. I know, I’ve been at the receiving end many times!

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #7

Today I’m writing about Erroneous Belief #7, from the book “Your Sacred Self” by Dr Wayne W Dyer. I’ve taken 10 of the Beliefs Wayne has written about, and applied it to my own life.

Erroneous Belief #7 is:

PETTY TYRANTS SHOULD BE IGNORED

Some people in this world have so much pain in their souls that they feel the need to take it out on innocent bystanders. It’s the only way they can make themselves feel better, or to preserve their own well-being, or justify their existence. Bully is one word to describe these people. They could also be dictators, tyrants, or just downright nasty so-and-sos.

The question is: what should I do if I’m being bullied at work/home/in my social circle? Do I ignore them and try to deflect their attention elsewhere? Do I face up to them and show my mettle? Do I run away and hide from them? Do I tell on them and get them into trouble so they’ll leave me alone?

There are many schools of thought on how to cope with these petty tyrants. Any or all of the above could or should work, but sadly, sometimes, even with the best intentions, nothing works.

I was being bullied at work by my direct line manager. It wasn’t that I was doing anything wrong, or that I was a poor worker. It was just that she had targets to meet in her own job, and one of them was that she had to be seen to be correcting a team member. However, it became a personal vendetta for this manager, and she took it upon herself to persecute me at every turn, as I was easy game. I was aware, from observing my fellow team members, that none of us was perfect, but some of us could get away with murder while others just had to say a wrong word and that would be it. Sure we were all equal, but apparently some were more equal than others. And so I “copped it in the neck” more often than anyone else.

I did everything according to the book, but this manager really had it in for me, and even after I pointed out to her that her favourites were getting away with errors and negligence, she ignored that and instead placed my work under even deeper scrutiny. I lodged a formal complaint against her, but her direct manager just happened to be a crony of hers, who went on holidays to Bali together with her…so you can guess what the outcome of That was. In the end, I decided that my workplace was simply too toxic to work in, I was getting stressed just thinking about going in to work in the mornings. So, I handed in my resignation after an excruciating year putting up with my petty tyrant’s behaviour.

Best decision I ever made.

Once the excitement had worn off, I sat down to think about what lessons I’d learnt from this experience. One thing I learnt was that you cannot hope to change a person’s thoughts, opinions or heart. They have to do that by themselves. Another was that I needed to learn not to take things personally… which is a difficult lesson to learn, when one’s job and livelihood are at risk. Another lesson was that, no matter what you do, if your face doesn’t fit, you’ll never satisfy some people, as simple as that.

But, you know what, that’s not my problem, it’s theirs.

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I believe our Life experiences shape our character. What doesn’t kill you, really does make you stronger. My own father was and still is, to some extent, a petty tyrant. I learnt at a young age what conditional love meant, when he more or less mentally disowned me when my school grades did not meet his expectations. I learnt to shut off my emotions when around my own father, to never cry a tear in his presence, to keep my innermost thoughts and  ideas to myself. Another valuable lesson he taught me was that you should never surround yourself with toxic people, those who zap your spirit with their negativity and patronising behaviour. After all, who wants to be reminded that they are a “constant disappointment”? So, even though we have a rocky history between us, I’ve learnt to thank my father for giving me the steel backbone of my persona, and I’ve also learnt how to accept and interact with people like him… in small doses.

The Kid keeps getting bullied at school. First, in primary school, and now, in high school. My guess is that he’s too soft and gentle, and bullies like to take advantage of that. We’ve discussed various ways of getting the bullies off his back, and he’s tried them, to varying degrees of success. However, there is still one bully, who we believe has behavioural problems that needs addressing not by his parents or by the school, but by a child psychologist. This particular kid keeps getting into trouble with the teachers and has absolutely no respect for authority whatsoever.

The Kid will have to figure out, by trial and error, how to deal with his own life’s petty tyrants. My job is to make sure that his sense of self-esteem isn’t eroded by bullies, and to help him take the moral higher ground. Karma’s a bitch, and those bullies will get what they deserve, sooner or later. Already, we’ve seen how The Kid being bullied has turned into a positive experience, not just once, but twice. He was elected by his peers to be Head Boy of his primary school, and now he’s a Student Councillor at his new high school. So, in reality, much good has come of the experience.

If we keep ignoring the lessons that our petty tyrants are trying to teach us, they won’t go away, they’ll just keep reappearing in different guises, until we’ve learnt the lesson. I’m a prime example of a Failure, in that sense…my greatest downfall and disappointments have always been men. My first husband had affairs behind my back, my second and current husband had an online affair. Neither men appreciated me, instead, they simply neglected me once they’d gotten me over the threshold. I should have sensed what was coming – I never had a honeymoon with my first marriage; didn’t have one either with my second. The Kid’s father was an abusive alcoholic and chain smoker; I traded him in years later for another alcoholic. I’ve had a few gentlemen admirers in my time…who turned out to be not quite as gentlemanly as I believed, when they made their true intentions known. What is it with men and sex??!

So, my Life’s lesson now, I guess is that I need to learn to love myself, first and foremost. And everything else is just a bonus. And you know what? Since I turned on that switch in my head, Life is pretty awesome. I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need, and that is pretty darn near perfect.

From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #4

Here is Erroneous Belief #4 from Wayne W Dyer‘s book “Your Sacred Self“:

THERE IS ONLY ONE EXISTENCE AND IT IS PHYSICAL

This  belief is common amongst many people, who think the only reason they’re here on Earth is to consume, fit in, work and then die. The ones who never question Why they are here, and what their Purpose is in life. Their existence rarely goes beyond what they can see around them, what their 5 senses can show them.

Then, there are the people who believe in Spirit, the religious persons who by their faith, are able to see beyond just the physical and can hint at a higher level of being. No, you do not have to be necessarily religious in the traditional sense of the word, to enjoy the realm of the unseen. You don’t even have to be Spiritual, or a Witch, or a Psychic or Intuitive. You can be like me, a student of Life, curious about everything and open to alternative ideas of reality. If your eyes have been opened, you’ll realise that even what we perceive as physical solids, is actually composed of nothing more than millions of atoms in a certain configuration, vibrating at fluctuating frequencies. Even children learn the difference between solids, liquids and gases early on in their educational life. I’m no scientist, and I cannot explain this beyond the simplest language. But don’t you think it’s strange that, even after scientists have discovered all sorts of breakthroughs in the field of physics, chemistry and  biology, we still have no concrete evidence that the material world really exists and isn’t just in our imagination?

I read that when we are in our mother’s womb, our world is all encompassing, we have everything we need and require to thrive. We as embryos may be physical beings, but our internal world was anything but. We did not even breathe air! We did not see the world the same way as our mothers do, but all the same we felt her love, we heard her beating heart, we heard her soothing words, we experienced all her emotions just as she experienced them, by way of chemical differences in the liquids surrounding our growing body. If we had a twin or triplet growing inside with us, they were our friends and shared our experiences and thoughts, not by the clunky way of adult language, but by all our senses. So, in that sense, enclosed as we were in the womb, it was not a physical realm, it was something else – a magical sensory world. And then, suddenly there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and we were propelled forwards toward it. And suddenly, we were pushed out of our mother’s vagina into the “real” world. If anyone was left behind in our embryonic world to witness that, they would no doubt have said that we’d died and gone to heaven. But instead, we emerged into a different reality, one bound by physical constraints and the law of gravity. We had to learn to breathe air, to crawl, then walk and learn to communicate verbally.

So, if we’re capable of experiencing two very different worlds like that, what’s to say that when we die in this physical world, we just disappear? What if we don’t really die, what if the Earth and its solar system, galaxies and beyond, are all just another vagina, and when we “die” and go towards the light, we are actually being born again into a third world? A good metaphor would be to call our current reality “The Waiting Room”.

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Just because you can’t see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, smell it, doesn’t mean something does not exist. There is a famous traditional saying which goes like this: “I’ll believe it when I see it”. You need to turn it round and say instead, “I’ll see it when I believe it”.

You are NOT your body. You are NOT your mind, either. As the great spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says, in his book “A New Earth“, ” The atoms that make up your body were once forged inside stars, and the causes of even the smallest event are virtually infinite and connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways”. We are all just beings of vibrational energy co-existing in the same plane with each other. Every single action you take causes a ripple effect that affects every single thing close to you. Imagine a vast ocean, with ripples of current causing more and more ripples, each bouncing off the other, some creating bigger ripples, others overcoming smaller ones, some moving towards the shore, others so far out on the horizon that they can’t even be seen. That is what our world is like, and that is why we all need to work together as a harmonious whole, instead of constantly trying to outdo each other, kill each other, being better than the other, having more than others, etc. We are all in this together.

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…which brings me to Erroneous Belief #5, in my next post.

The Giving Heart

…or, a tale of serendipity and synchronicity.

I received an email from my local library that one of the items I had reserved was now ready for collection. And so, although it was a rather rainy day, I made the trek by bicycle to the library today.

The library has some shelves in the foyer where they sell discarded library books. Old books, not so popular books, books superceded by new imprints – you could get them cheap for 50 cents or a dollar each.

After picking up my books, I decided to have a look at the books for sale. Sometimes the pickings are slim, other times there’d be a golden nugget or two. Today one book in particular seemed to jump out at me.

It was “The Giving Heart” by M.J Ryan. The strapline read “Unlocking the Transformative Power of Generosity in Your Life”.

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The strange thing was, all the other books bore “discarded” stamps inside their covers. And all had the standard library stickers and catalogue numbers on their spines.

Except this one. There was absolutely nothing on or in this book to indicate that it had ever been a library book. Could it perhaps have been left there on purpose for someone like me to find? Abandoned with good intention by someone who had learned from its contents and now wished to share it with others?

I took the book to the librarian at the counter. She couldn’t explain how it had ended up on the book sale shelves either. She didn’t hesitate to charge me a dollar for it, though.

I believe there are No accidents in life, and that I was meant to find and take this book home with me. It might explain why I like giving things away, like my Art, the oranges from my tree, my hens’ eggs, bread and cakes that I’ve baked, clothes I don’t wear anymore. Another clue or insight into what or who I am, and why.

The Giving Heart: Unlocking the Transformative Power of Generosity in Your Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/1573245216/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_Hg9LvbZ9Q9WPN

So, it seems the Universe has decreed today that I start reading this book first, instead of the one I went to the library to collect. OK, Universe!

The Company Of One

So, I’m sitting in a local eatery waiting for my cappuccino and a “Crispizza” (see photo below). I’d read a book, but the one I’m on (“Men, Money and Chocolate” by Menna Van Praag, I’ve just finished). I decide to people watch instead.

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There’s a couple at the table next to me, who don’t seem to be agreeing on much. He’s decided to eat his lemon garnish. She’s scrunching up her face thinking about the taste of it.

Another couple are sitting in the corner. They’re not saying much to each other. In fact, they’re not speaking to each other at all. She looks fed up. He looks bored. A couple of times he stifles a yawn. I wonder what their story is. She seems a tad angry to me. Maybe they’ve had an argument.

An elderly couple are just finishing their lunch. There’s a trolley full of purchases parked next to them. As the couple get up to leave, I wonder who will push the trolley. He simply wanders off, leaving her to do it.

A lady on her own walks into the eatery and sits at a table near me. I wonder if she’ll nod or acknowledge a fellow solitary customer. She doesn’t even see me. She whips out her mobile phone and starts texting on it. It’s glued to her hand the whole time she’s there, even when her food arrives and she’s eating.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

There’s another lady at the table opposite me. She’s finished her meal, but seems to be lingering and pondering deep thoughts. Finally, she gets up and leaves. And I notice that there are 2 pots of tea on her table, 2 cups and saucers, but only 1 plate with a half-eaten sandwich still on it. I wonder what this lady’s story is, she of the Pink hoody and the Twilight shopping tote. Was she there with someone earlier? Or did she really have 2 pots of tea all to herself?

The book I just read, “Men, Money And Chocolate” tells the tale of Maya, who fantasises about finding the right man and having enough money to live a fulfilled life, but who instead drowns her sorrows and disappointments by eating cake. Lots of it. It’s not light, frothy chick lit like a lot you see these days. This book is published by Hay House Publishing (the UK’s leading mind, body and spirit New Age publisher, with branches across the globe, including Australia). There isn’t much action in it, but rather a lot of deep conversations between Maya and the people she meets, about Life, Love and Destiny. It reminds me of the fabled Ouroboros, the snake that devours itself, as in the story Maya decides to be Bold and Go For It, sells everything she has, leaves the United Kingdom and takes her self-published book to America, where, when she least expects it, the last piece of the puzzle falls into place and she finds love. The title of Maya’s book in the story? Men, Money And Chocolate. The theme of Maya’s book? About a woman finding herself after much trial and tribulation. Very clever indeed!

And so, back to where I am. No, I haven’t written a book. But I would like to, and I might. My point is, I love my own Company Of One. You never have to put up with someone’s traits and behaviour that you can’t stand. You don’t have arguments and silent sulks with yourself. You don’t need to wonder who’s going to carry the shopping, because you already know the answer. You don’t have to pretend to be having a conversation with someone else by texting or playing on your mobile phone, when you could be enjoying the food placed before you. And, if you came into the eatery by yourself, you don’t have to pretend to be waiting for someone else, or order 2 pots of tea, 1 for your imaginary friend.

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The Company Of One is the Best Company you’ll ever have. Learn to enjoy and appreciate it!

Child’s Play

Gather your Ingredients:

1 crazy Gelli Plate addict (moi!)
1 Gelli Plate
3 double-sided children’s texture plates
Your choice of acrylic paint colours (I use them All!)
Some glitter paint (if you have them)
Brayer
8 sheets of A4 art paper (I use 190 gsm, but anything from 120gsm upwards is ok)
Sheets of Deli Paper (or Greaseproof paper for those who can’t get hold of Deli Paper)

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One side of the 3 children’s texture plates I used.
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The reverse side of the same texture plates.

Method:
1. Load up your Gelli Plate with several dots of different coloured acrylic paints at the same time.

2. Use brayer to spread paint over the Gelli Plate. Do this quickly and try not to smear the colours too much, or go over the same areas more than once or twice. Otherwise you will get mud.

3. Use the kiddy texture plates to stamp patterns onto the painted Gelli Plate. Take the painted texture plate and stamp it at random places on some of the A3 sheets of paper.

4. Place a sheet of Deli Paper/Greaseproof Paper over the Gelli Plate to absorb excess paint. Pull a print. Remove and put the printed Deli Paper aside for other projects.

5. Place a sheet of the A3 art paper over the Gelli Plate and pull a print. If there’s any paint still left on the Gelli Plate, pull another print.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 above with different colour combinations, until both sides of all 8 A3 sheets are filled. Leave some white spaces, for contrast.

7. Frame your favourite prints. Or, I would tear the A3 sheets into smaller pieces to bind later into my Juicy Journals.

Some of the results:

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And some close-ups:

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You can’t really make it out in the photos, but there is a glittery shimmer to the papers, as I’d mixed some glitter paint into some of the Gelli prints. I love the effect! It’s quite sophisticated, instead of being childish.

Now, go play! :-)

T for Taylor, T for Thoughts

I recently had an Art Exchange of sorts, with a photographer friend, Taylor Jorjorian. I follow Taylor’s blog, and when he posted up a photo of one of his newest works, “Forma 50″, I felt I just had to have a print of it. So, I contacted Taylor and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Taylor sent me “Forma 50″ and a gorgeous matte black & white photo of another work “The Middle Of A Rhyme”. Money aside, I also sent Taylor one of my Juicy Journals.

When Taylor’s prints arrived, the package was so professionally put together, including certificates of authenticity and edition number, and not to mention the gorgeous lusciousness of the actual prints themselves…so much so that I felt our exchange was somewhat uneven. So I’m sending him another one of my Juicy Journals.

I haven’t found the perfect frames for my prints yet, they’ll have to be good ones to do justice to the superb quality of Taylor’s photography. But here are a couple of photos of “Forma 50″ and “The Middle Of A Rhyme”, taken from Taylor’s website, just to tempt you, and so you know what all the fuss is about.

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image “The Middle Of A Rhyme” by Taylpr Jorjorian

And here is the Juicy Journal I’ll be posting to Taylor. I used a simple pamphlet stitch, and when I cast about looking for a bead to add to the journal, I remembered that I had some Tim Holtz Idea-Ology thingamajigs that I could use. In the Muse Tokens packet I found a “T” that was just perfect for my purposes. It says “Thoughts” on the token.

And so here is my Juicy Journal “T for Taylor, T for Thoughts”.

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Inside one of the pages.

(Yes, that IS a black shoelace I’ve used to bind the journal. I came across a whole bunch of new waxed shoelaces for only 50 cents each at a sale. They looked perfect for binding my journals, so I bought several).

4 more Juicy Journals – Pamphlet Stitch

I got such a great response from my latest Art Abandonment exercise, that I was prompted to go make some more of my Juicy Journals Journals. Some members of the Art Abandonment Group on Facebook wanted to buy my Juicy Journals. I haven’t made enough to warrant selling them just yet, but I offered to send one to the first 3 people to Private Message me their address. I got 5 within just a few minutes, so I decided to honour all 5.

So, after doing my Art Abandonment exercise on May 1st, I popped 5 more of my Juicy Journals into envelopes and posted them off to the lucky 5. 2 to USA, 1 to Canada and 2 within Australia.

And now, finding myself low on Juicy Journals, I’ve just made 4 more. This time with a simple pamphlet stitch. Simply put, this stitch works over 3 holes in the spine of the journal. (These have 4 pages, folded in half, so you get 8 pages in all). To make the stitch, I simply passed a length of coloured hemp (great stuff, that), into the spine at the holes on both ends of the journal. Then I poked each end through the hole in the middle. Then I simply made sure each end was on either side of the stitch in the middle of the spine, and tied them together in a shoelace knot.

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And here are some details of the pages within these Juicy Journals:
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For my next experiments, I’m going to try using a limited colour palette, for the Gelli Printing. On top of which I will use inks of contrasting colours. This advertisement that I saw recently on T2 (below) will be my guide. Stay tuned!

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Handbound Juicy Journal Tutorial

A la AlyZen Moonshadow. This is a handbinding technique that I invented by accident, while experimenting with different bookbinding techniques. I’m not an expert on making books, but here are some books I can recommend:

Making Handmade Books

The Little Book of Bookmaking

At Home With Handmade Books

Making Mini Books

These are some of the books on the subject that I have personally read. Of these, Alisa Golden’s “Making Handmade Books” is the closest to a bookmaking bible I’ve come across, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book to get you started on creating your own books.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I’d used 6 A3 sheets of paper, Gelli printed on both sides, to create 3 separate booklets with 4 pages each, as seen below (aren’t the colours just gorgeous?):

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Now, each of these booklets will be stitched together to form what’s called in bookmaking circles a “signature”. And I will then be binding each individual signature to each other using my newly invented technique. The 3 booklets will then effectively become 1 book.

Here are my tools laid out for ease of reference. Notice my very high-tech tools for creating the holes for sewing my books…yes, I do mean the drawing pin and knitting needles. The knitting needles have more than one function, as you will soon see. image

So, to begin, I measure and mark off 4 evenly spaced points on the spines of each signature. These will be where my black twine ($3 for 32m from the discount store) will go through.
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And now to make those holes…I use the drawing pin like an awl to make the initial pilot hole, then drive a knitting needle in to enlarge the hole. Here in the picture you can see the drawing pin in the bottom hole, and the knitting needles in the two top holes.
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Ok, one signature down, two more to go. Lather, rinse and repeat the hole (sorry, couldn’t help it, I love puns) exercise. Until you’ve got 4 holes made in each of the 3 signatures, like so:
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Now comes the fun part. For this technique to work, the thing to remember is to always have an even number of holes per signature, and always have an odd number of signatures.

I’m sure there’s a technical term for the sewing method I’ll talk about next, such as sewing in the “valleys” or “mountains” (similar to Origami or the art of paper folding)…but my mind wants me to remember the order of sewing thus: In Out In Out (Shake It All About) :-) As in the needle goes In the first hole, Out the second, In again at the third, and Out the last. This way, your needle and thread will be coming Out of the signature, so you can then bind it to the next signature. Think about it: if you started with Out instead of In, by the time you reach the 4th hole, your needle and thread would be on the inside of the signature, with nowhere to go next.

Ok, so here we go. Here I’ve stood up the 3 signatures in the order they will be bound together. Starting from the right of the one closest to me, push the end of the black twine into the first hole, then out, in and out again at the other end. This is the IN OUT IN OUT movement, which will be replicated on the other 2 signatures.
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To continue, simply thread the twine that’s come out of the last hole on the left of the 1st signature, into the 1st hole on the left of the 2nd signature. When you get to the other end, do the same with the 3rd signature. Try to pull the twine tight very gently, so as not to buckle the paper or worse, tear it.

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Now all 3 signatures are linked. Notice that the start of the 1st signature and the end of the last signature are not linked to the others. There should be around 1 foot of twine on either end of the bound signatures.

To tie in the loose ends, literally, slip the end of the twine through the loop on the signature that’s already bound to its neighbour, and then slip it out through the loop that’s just created. It’s hard to explain, so here’s a photo showing the move.

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Do the same for the other loose end. The ends of the twine will now be on the spine of the middle signature.
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Next, hook the end of the twine through the top of the middle long stitch. And start weaving! There are 3 signatures, so there are 3 long stitches. Weave across these in an Over-Under-Over motion, alternating from one side to another.

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Here’s where the knitting needle comes in handy. I just slide it under the stitch I want to weave my twine through.

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Continue weaving the twine ends through the 3 stitches, until they meet in the middle. Then, all you need do is tie the ends into a knot, pull tight, and et voila! All done!

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I hope you like it! :-) I think, with my next Juicy Journal, I might make the long stitches even longer, so as to show off the weaving even more. I like the rustic woven effect a lot.

Juicy Journals

I’ve heard the term “Juicy Backgrounds” used by several mixed media artists. What they mean are journal pages that are ready prepped, either by printing or painting or the addition of ephemera, as opposed to a pristine blank journal page. This helps jumpstart the creative juices, and goes a long way towards overcoming fear of the blank page, or Artist Block, if you will.

Which makes a lot of sense to me, as I would love to start an art journal, however I’ve never been able to find something worthy to throw onto a page and go on from there. Until now, that is. When my stash of Gelli Plate monoprints started overflowing, I decided it was time to do something with them. And I hit upon the idea of creating mini art journals with those pages. I love books, both to read and as an art form, and making my own art journals using papers that I’d printed seemed an ideal way of marrying the 2 art forms – Monoprinting and Handmade Books.

I’m calling my Art Journals “Juicy Journals” because they are already filled with colour splashes, abstract shapes, glitter and shimmer, stamped alphabets and numbers, so in a sense they are very “juicy” indeed. They’re meant to be enjoyed on their own, or, if you like, you can draw/stamp/paint/etc over them to your heart’s content. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy them.

Here are some photos of the books I’ve made thus far. I started out with simply tying the pages together so more pages can be added if needed. Then I ventured into pamphlet stitching, hard and soft covers, and even created a few bookbinding stitches of my own. Two of these “Juicy Journals” are winging their way to friends in the UK and USA as I write this, and I hope to sell/give away/Abandon the others.

Enjoy!

20150419_113532Two horizontal Juicy Journals.

20150419_113825Top: 2 vertical, 3 Alphabetica pocket pages, 2 horizontal, 1 soft cover hand bound, 1 square ring bound.

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My 8 original minis, rebound with coloured hemp cord.

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Inside one of my “Alphabetica” pocket pages. The 3 little insert cards go into the button-n-string envelope.

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My 3 “Alphabetica” pocket pages. I love those little button-n-string envelopes.

 20150419_113100Detail of one of the pages of my ring-bound Juicy Journal.

20150419_113425Detail of the inside of 2 of my horizontal Juicy Journals.