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Lace journal

For 6 projects I will be making vintage junk journals using different collections from the designer Ephemera’s Vintage Garden, who makes digital paper kits for download.

The first two journals are done, and being that I am behind in posting, I’m going to post about both journals here. I can also note that I used the same paper kit for both journals; I’ll be switching to a new collection for the next two projects.

For these first two journals I used a collection called “Mabel’s Diary”, which consists of colors in red, black, cream, brown, and white. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts you’ll know that red is my favorite color, so it’s not surprising that I was drawn to this set. It’s very dramatic and elegant.

Mabel's Diary order page

Since I have such a nice collection of vintage illustrations and photos I’ve been collecting over these last few years, I wanted to use up a lot more of it, as well as use vintage lace.

desk organizer

For my first project, I’ve called it “Dear diary”, and made a cover with a lock that hooks over  knob. The cover is a book page layered with a single piece of tissue paper that was then inked in some brown stains until I had the right look. There’s also a bit of lace at the left side.

cover Dear diary

setting aside pieces and once I had my book assembled with my printed journal pages along with many tea-dyed pages, I went to work collaging and filling up the journal.

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Here’s the flip through:

For the second journal, I’ve called it “Vintage lace” because it is meant to be a journal created entirely to hold samples of lace that I’ve collected from the Sunnyvale Lace Museum.

vintage lace

I had a Tim Holtz blank journal cover that I decoupaged  with papers and tissue paper. I have to admit, it’s not a very exciting cover, but the inside makes up for that.

Every 6 months or so, the Lace Museum holds a vintage lace sale where they sell lace they’ve received as donations, or some of it is from their collection. I’ve also begun to volunteer at the museum, and so am learning more about the different types of lace that exist. I brought in my book and had some of the experts identify my pieces. Where I could find out more information about the pieces, I wrote a short description on some of the journal pages facing the lace.

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I still have a few unidentified pieces, but I will get them recognized sooner or later. This one is still a bit of a work in progress, but it will be easy to complete.

Here’s the video on this one:


Most of you know I am not a fan of Mr. Trump. I do, however, accept the results of the election and I accept that he is president of the United States.

Still, I will be peaceably marching today, along with my husband. I am marching for me. I honestly don’t care what President Trump’s reactions might be. It’s all personal. Here are my reasons:


I’m marching for girls everywhere, including my daughter, who will be impacted by the normalization of aggression towards women. Misogyny is becoming common place and only likely to grow while having a self-professed sexual assailant as a world leader and role-model to many. 

I am marching in support of basic human rights because I think they are under threat more than ever — everyone regardless of their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

I’m marching to protest the use of fear and hatred to intimidate and control, ultimately used to persuade people to exclude and distrust others who don’t think the same. 

I’m marching because I can while others cannot and would like to. 

I’m marching because if I don’t speak my mind, I never will. 



Sunnyvale laceOnce a year the Sunnyvale Lace Museum has a huge clearance sale. I was ready for this year and wasn’t disappointed. Most everything I bought was 50 cents or a dollar. Sometimes I spent $4 for a dozen pieces of something.





The handkerchiefs and doilies are my favorite.


Sunnyvale lace handkerchiefs

I also got a grab bag for $2 of all kinds of ribbon, pieces of lace trim, embroidery thread and random pieces of lace samples. I love it all. I’m thinking I’ll be using at least some of this for a journal or two.

lace grab bag

My favorite was this piece of material from a French court dress. Who wouldn’t pay $1 to own a piece of something from the 1760s?

1760 silk court dress

In case you are ever in the area, go to the museum. It’s run — all by volunteers — by some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

The Lace Museum

552 S Murphy Avenue

Sunnyvale, CA 94086


I’ve been wanting to compare my Brilliance metallic inks to see if they work to my satisfaction. I think they’ll do.



I still favor the Color Box – copper, over the Brilliance colors.


The photos are more for me to have a record of what the difference in shades look like.

ROTU tripod

Since I’ve started making videos I’ve been looking for ways to improve the quality of the image on the video. The last time I tried to make a video of my latest journal, I realized that the camera wasn’t focusing correctly and decided I would try to use a different kind of camera. So I switched to a USB-type camera that plugs directly into the computer.

Usually these kinds of Logitech camera’s are the kind you hang on a laptop or monitor and use for video conferencing. Once I figured out how to record on my computer I needed to mount it on something so I wouldn’t have to hold it.

I’ve had my grandfather’s tripod sitting in my garage for a few years now. Before that it was in my dad’s garage. My dad, and my brother who likes to take pictures, and my husband who also likes to take pictures all have tripods of their own and didn’t need this old one.

I’m not sure this is the tripod my grandfather had when he was taking pictures of his home in Los Angeles in 1937 (he’s visible in the mirror), but it certainly could be.


The markings on the tripod say ROTÜ and then PHOTO KÖNIG and NÜRNBERG. Since Nurnberg is the city my grandfather is originally from, it’s likely he bought it there when he lived there and brought it when he moved to California. 

photo konig

Well anyway, I needed it now for taking videos, but I had a problem – how do I mount my USB camera on to the screw on the tripod? I could probably find something on Amazon to help me but I knew someone would have come up with a hack and and I was right. Basically, it comes down to using superglue to affix a nut onto the base of the camera (1/4 – 20 size). So that’s what I did.

USB camera with a nut

And it worked just fine.

camera desk setup

I wish my grandpa could see it.

vintage junk journal

I’m catching up posting the projects I’ve had complete for a little while already. This one is a pretty simple junk journal with not a lot of embellishments. I kept it simple because I want it to be actually used as some kind of notebook where you write things in it.

Last year when my family and I traveled to Slovakia to visit relatives, during our stay I was setting aside various papers I could use for decorating a junk journal. Things like sheets of a newspaper, TV programming schedule, maps, store flyers, crossword puzzles, receipts, etc. Then, I needed to find a perfect book for turning into a journal.

I visited with some former colleagues in Bratislava and ask them to recommend place where I could find old books. They directed me to the Antikvariat Grosslingova, an antique bookstore on Grosslingova Street.

grosslingova antikvariat

It looks like this inside.

grosslingova antikvariat

I did some hunting and managed to find a book that would work perfectly.

These are pictures of only the pages that I embellished. All the rest are essentially blank.

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I sewed the pages in with a cross stitch on the book spine and decorated the cover with a lace sticker. That’s all the dressing up it gets. I like it simple.

junk mail junk journal

Lately I’ve gotten into this hobby called junk journaling. A junk journal is a book that is made of scraps or other papers that would otherwise be trash but when assembled together makes art. A junk journal could also be a book where you collect the ‘junk’ one accumulates through life.

Now I’ve been working on a book made entirely of scrap book pages pages, left over scrap papers, junk mail, and food packaging boxes. I can’t say it was easy. It took me months to accumulate enough of the right kinds of material.

Here are some pictures; these aren’t all of them.

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Because I wanted the book to present a kind of organized chaos, I took extra time to make sure the layout was as I wanted.

For sure it’s a strange collection of things. I’m not sure if I will make another of these. I have a shoe box of papers I collected and so I still have plenty of paper to work with.

For now I’ll just flip through this one once in a while.

Here’s my youtube video of the flip through:


Recently we’ve gone through a partial remodel in our house of the master bedroom and both bathrooms. After 3 months we are done. It was a long process but it wasn’t terrible. It’s amazing how patient one can be when one knows how wonderful their home will look at the end of the project.

One of the closets in the master (there were originally two) was taken out to make room for a larger shower. There was just enough room, from what was the end of the removed closet, to add a small work space for a desk and light.

workspace nook

It’s a pleasant little nook with enough light that is in part provided by the solar tube in the ceiling above.

solar tube

I had some prints done to decorate the walls. Of course I picked images of Vienna. This one is from Heldenplatz looking towards the Rathaus. I didn’t take this, by the way, just looked for and found it on Flikr.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 6.31.33 PM

The other print above the mantle is of the Rathaus. We’re very happy with the changes. I’ll have to think about what I want to put on that mantle; probably nothing.


Vintage paper haulLast month my kids and I went to Salt Lake City to along with my husband who was attending a conference. The conference provided day care for children of attendees so I essentially had 3 days to entertain myself. Our hotel was in downtown, about 7 blocks away from an antique mall.

Over the course of 2 days I combed every stall, through the contents of every vendor. It took about 3 hours total. I was looking for vintage papers; things with interesting illustrations, color patterns, etchings, photos, hand-written letters with pretty writing, maps, paper currency, etc.

Here are some of the more interesting things I picked up:






And I loved this postcard from 1906. It cost me 50 cents.

cheap post card

In all I spent about $40 and enjoyed myself thoroughly. What am I going to do with all of it? I’ll explain in my next post.

Here are the latest finished pieces of collage art. I decided to make a few cards, sized approximately 5 x 8. I was looking to create something a little more elegant.

The first one has a window that frames a gate on the inside. On the top is a piece of a book page torn out of a 1950s mathematics book. For the black card I used a page from a Spanish book from the 1880s. It’s the original page. I didn’t make a copy of it. Also on the inside is a section of a page of an index of classical composers and that page was so old that the paper was falling apart as I was handling it. Now that it has been glued down it will be preserved for much longer.

I don’t see it as destroying originals. I like to have and see authentic pages, and also to use them in my work. Sure, I’ll use some printed images off of the internet, but I prefer having a stash of random old pieces that I can use in a variety of creative ways.


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