Posted in Art, creativity, journaling

Bare all? Thoughts on Journaling

At my fibre arts group meeting the other evening we were discussing journaling.

Some of us do morning pages, myself included.  Others find it not to their liking.  Mine are illegible scrawls half in shorthand and sometimes I can’t read my own writing even that same day.  Periodically I recycle old pages as I feel the need to do that.

I do review them right after writing and  mark anything with creative potential with orange pen. Why orange, you ask?  just because.

If it’s quick to do, “sketch coffee mug in pen and ink,”I put it on my to do list for the day.  Longer projects are noted in a sketchbook, e.g. “make pillowslip with new green fabric.”  If my morning pages have gone into more detail I will photocopy the page and stick it in the sketchbook, “what if I made rectangular blue and green blocks and sashed with peach batik?” especially if I drew a diagram to jog my memory.

One fellow artist shared that she’s afraid of keeping a journal because people might not like to read her opinion of them.  I can empathize with this, and actually recycled all my teenage diaries realizing they could cause embarrassment.  My morning pages are illegible and disjointed with very little narrative content so I don’t think they contain any surprises.

Then I remembered the book Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods and Karen Denino.  One of their central ideas is to develop a personal visual code for people and emotions in your life.   So your unreliable cousin Bert could be a yellow spiral criss-crossed with purple zig-zags for example.  Then when he shows up three hours late for Thanksgiving dinner, you draw a table with a turkey on it, with yellow spirals and purple zig-zags on the tablecloth.  This is just an example, I don’t have a cousin Bert unreliable or otherwise!  I blogged about this back in 2007 here, and here’s one of my visual pages.

However when I clicked on the blog link, the most recent post (January 26, 2011)  by Linda is painfully honest.  I admire her courage in posting her deepest feelings about her mother.  Tried to link directly to it, but the address doesn’t change on their website, so you’ll just have to click on the blog link from their site.

There will be more about journaling in an upcoming post, and some exciting news, so stay tuned.

Posted in creativity, quilting, surface design


My local fibre arts group FAD (Fibre Art and Design) has decided that our next meeting is to share our favourite websites and other sources of inspiration.  This post is so everyone will have a permanent record of mine, and perhaps we can all somehow link or find a way to share each others’ sources (not everyone blogs).


Transitions: Unlocking the Creative Quilter Within, by Andrea Balosky, That Patchwork Place, 1996

Contains a lot of info about creativity and has a good approach (working in series and using easy blocks).  Another thing I like about this book is that her examples are made with mostly commercial fabrics, to show that you can make an art quilt without throwing out your existing stash

Silk Unraveled: experiments in tearing, fusing, layering & stitching, by Lorna Moffat, Dragon Threads, 2008

Inspiring projects using silk in a variety of ways.  The author has lived overseas in Turkey and Malaysia.   The techniques in the book are simple and have many possibilities.


I have sketchbooks in various sizes going back years with quilt designs, websites, paint chips, postcards, quotes, notes from presentations at guild meetings and workshops, etc.  It’s interesting to look back and see how long some concepts have been percolating and how they’ve developed.

Also interesting is how the page size keeps increasing, although after the Gail Harker workshop I dialed it down a notch with one purse size one and one 9″ square sketchbook with heavy paper that will take acrylic paint.


Vivika Denegre, a Connecticut art quilter:

Professional quilter, very cool hip designs and big on challenging the rest of us:

Plus the rest of the blogroll too!

Posted in Uncategorized

I win a doorcrasher prize!

Well, not exactly, I didn’t camp out in front of a store all night or anything, but Quinn McDonald was offering five free creativity coaching sessions and I was one of the lucky first five to respond.

Her page is at

and her newsletters are always a good read.

Will post more about baraka a.k.a. fairy godmother later