Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New Skillshare Class

I have a new class about bookmaking on Use the discount code below to enroll and you will also receive full access to the site and all the classes for only $.99 for 3 months. My class includes 12 short videos that walk you through the steps to make and decorate a small book. You can include your own message and artwork. Great for a small gift or special greeting.

I've been thinking for awhile about offering an online video class about bookmaking. has a program for new teachers so I enrolled and designed my own class. Of course along the way, I had to learn new things about my iPhone, about editing on Quicktime, about creating slideshows with voiceover, and now about marketing. A steep learning curve for a month's time. But I had fun.

I now have my first video class up on, and hopefully more classes to come.  Skillshare is a site with hundreds of video classes including ones about computer skills, cooking, arts and crafts, DIY, photography and running a small business.

Here is the discount code:

Here are a few samples of some books that I made.

 My new class

  Valentines greeting

 Birthday wishes

There's also a Bonus lesson about how to make a little pouch to match your book.

 Book pouch

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pop-up Workshop

I recently gave a pop-up book workshop at the Arlington MA library. There were only 4 children (ages 8-10ish) but we had a great time together leaning how to make "on-the-fold" pop-ups, and then combining them to make a small 4x4" book. Here are a few photos of their pages:

And here is how we created the books. Look under the DIY tab to find instruction sheet that you can download.

Using 4x8" drawing paper (grain short) we folded each paper in half and added a pop-up cut along the fold and illustrated the pages. Each child made 4 pages. We then folded two sheets of 4x16" copy paper into 4-fold accordions. Each pop-up page was glued into a valley of the accordion with glue-stick (being careful not to get glue on the pop-up in the center). The 2 accordion were glued together. 
I had prepared covers with a 1/4" double-fold spine, and strips of double-stick tape alongside the spine and each edge. These were decorated with a title and images. The cover was wrapped around the double-accordion pages and edges squared. Center tapes were removed first, then tapes at the edges. Hope these photos will help. It's hard to describe with words.

Here below, you can see two pages tucked into a four-fold accordion.

And here is the other 4-fold accordion. Glue was applied
along the edges of each page, but not in the middle.

Here is the cover, prepared with spine folds and double-stick tape. 
Four folds are scored into the center to create a spine, similar to the spine of a board book.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

5 variations on a daylily

Preparing to teach a workshop about sketching from nature and creating designs. Here is the original sketch in my journal and 5 design variations. The numbers indicate what order I drew the images. Drawing from nature helps me understand the object, and notice geometric shapes. Then when I simplify the image, I can rearrange the shapes into a pleasing design. As you can see, the designs get further away from the original as I progressed. By number 6, you could barely tell it was a daylily unless you saw it in context with the other drawings.

Over the weekend, I attended two concerts at Tanglewood Music Center that included pieces of music with variations on a theme, so that was on my mind as I drew last night.







Sunday, March 1, 2015


I've been doing some stitching lately. It slows me down. Mostly I've been stitching on handmade abaca papers (yes, made by me, years ago), teabags, and Asian papers layered in to add strength. Then I add postage stamps, buttons and small cut-offs from my watercolor work. I'll be posting some of my stitching over the next few days.

Bird House Series:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jeannie's 2014 art video

A little fun to wrap up the year and start a new one. Best wishes.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

week one

Week one in Jane's class was "designs from the garden". Not much left alive in my garden in December, but I found a rhododendron that was still green. I worked with an 8x magnifying loupe and had great fun looking and drawing.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sketchbook designs

Here are 3 more pages from this weeks lesson. Combine realistic and stylized drawings on page. This week's theme is "from the mountains" but I found most of my objects in my yard and walking around my neighborhood. I have also experimented a bit with stamps and simple prints from pine trees.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Online Course

I've been too busy drawing to post. Working in my sketchbook, with online course by Jane Lafazio called "Designs from Life". We draw a variety of objects from life and then experiment with simplifying into design motifs. True enjoyment... focus, slow, details, bold, imagine, draw. I'll post some pages over the next few days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

more from sketchbook skool

I just finished my sketchbook skull "beginnings" class. It was a great 6 weeks. It really pushed me to keep drawing, and to try new things. One week between new lessons barely felt like enough time to explore the learnings and then I was off to something new. Even though I was eager to see the next lesson, I think I would have enjoyed having two weeks to explore and draw between the lessons. Here are a few more views from my lessons.

this is the clutter corner in my kitchen!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Palm Leaf Poetry Books--a classroom project

I've already written about the squash-fold hanging poetry books here and here and here. Those were done in a joint project with 2nd and 6th grade classrooms (working in mixed-age pairs). Here's another classroom project I did with the same pair of teachers, two years earlier. Again, it was part of their poetry writing unit. I wrote about it briefly once before, but am updating it to include instructions.

Based on the palm-leaf books of SE Asia, our hanging books had 4 "pages" with mat-board covers top and bottom. We first discussed possible layouts of text and illustrations, and then made draft pages on copy paper sheets in pencil. Second grade students used pages with lines for their text; sixth graders used blank pages. Books were woven together with waxed linen thread leaving a long tail with a button at the top, both for hanging and to wrap around the folded pages when closed. Pages were made from white tag board; covers were cut from colored mat-board. All covers and pages were cut and pre-punched at my local printers. Labels were designed by the students, usually a title on one cover, their name on the other.

Want to try this project in your own classroom? Download instructions, draft sheets and printing sheets here.

Here are some examples of students' books:

Here is a hand-out I made that shows possible layouts of text and illustration.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

I've been taking the "beginnings" course from Sketchbook Skool. The first of 3 current offerings. I'm in week 4, and am really enjoying it. It's a six-week online course, and each week features a different teacher that uses a sketchbook in their own creative practice. I love the diversity of approaches, and am learning lots of helpful tips about sketching on the go. It's a nice change to be drawing from life (outside, buildings, natural objects, household items etc) instead of creating from my imagination. Check out their website:

Here are a few of my sketches from the homework assignments:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Etsy Shop Update

New notecards and archival prints now available in my Etsy shop. All images from my Pilgrimage series of watercolor paintings of the Baha'i gardens in Haifa Israel.