Altered Book

I participated in an altered book round robin which began in September 2007 and ended in March 2008. This weekend, my awesome book of "Time" returned back to me. I say awesome because of all the terrific artists that left their special blueprint in my book. (I had my drawing class on Friday but because the package was waiting for me when I was leaving the house, I could not I had to open the package. Well, needless to say - I did not make it to my drawing class)!

There are so many details! It is a treat to sit down and view the pages and then to discover something you missed before. There is so much eye candy!

This book bounced backed between the United States, Japan, and England. I apologized to those that had to pay the international shipping costs! This book weighed too much! But I vowed that my next altered book round robin would be a miniature book! I promised them!
Click on the link to see the pages in this book: and select "Fifth Child Studio". You can view my other artwork there as well.

Miniature Pop-up Theatres!

I first learned of these theatres from Catherine Moore when she wrote in her blog about a friend that had sent her a popup miniature theatre. From Catherine's site, I visited Iisha Helfman's site: where you can order these very delightful theatres. It's hard to decide which one you want to have - they all are so adorable. I ordered the Christmas theatre for my daughter Kimberly, for that is her favorite holiday. The garden theatre is perfect for my friend Karen, as she has a special connection to all things bunnies and gardens. I thought it would be such a wonderful treat for those children she works with at the hospital. I am saving one of the theatres for my own collection....which I photographed here - but to see the best photo, visit their web site!

Iisha Helfman processes your orders quickly and responds to any questions you might have. I could not be more thrilled when I received my theatres all neatly packaged in a wonderful corresponding folder inserted into the just right size envelope.

What an artful treasure to share with little ones where they can make their own stories for the scene....Oh, who am I kidding....what an artful treasure to share with any age!

After posting, I guess it will no longer be a surprise for Karen or Kimberly when they receive their theatres. Thanks Iisha!

No Expectations Journaling

When I first saw individual journal pages being published in magazines such as Somerset Studio, I fell in love with the journals and I knew that I wanted to do some journals of my own. However, the beginning process was not as easy as I thought it would be. At first, I intimidated myself with high expectations of how my journals should look and feel. When I discovered that I have my own style and set of rules (no rules), I freed myself to just being able to write what I wanted to, whether it was meaningful or not. The point for me was, being artful.

I have made journals now of all sizes and paper types. When I am in the mood for rubber stamping and adding text with all the different markers and pens, then I choose the journals that I have made with card stock. I also have journals made with watercolor paper that I use when I want to add my own color background and adding text with a dip pen. I make these journals different sizes as I found if I want to add a lot - then the "too small size" was too difficult for me. Then of course, the flip side - when I have only a few words of text, the "huge" size would be too intimidating to even begin.

So I would encourage everyone to begin a journal and know it is for you. You can either choose to share your pages or not. There is no right or wrong way to do your journal. Give yourself permission to enjoy the process and learn from your own entries.

I have found that I enjoy my own journals but later in time. This particular journal I begin over a year ago.

I used a cover from an old book and inserted my own papers.

Making Artful Surroundings

I know I am probably like a lot of women out there who are "saving" that wonderful gift or purchase to use for the perfect "someday." After arriving home from a recent trip where I bought additional pieces of Portmeirion and placing them in the cupboard along with my everyday 'ugly' dishes. I had an Aha! Moment. I made a decision to unload all of my everyday dishes (functional - but not beautiful). I have so many beautiful dishes so why not use them - ALL of them - EVERYDAY?!

So I packed up a few boxes of dishes for donation and now my kitchen only has the "good" dishes to use! And I use them each day because....."SOMEDAY IS TODAY" and that is really all we have....TODAY!

Off to my studio to replace "function" with "beauty and function". This is either a sugar container or spoon holder from the past that makes a really neat pen/pencil/brush holder. There....that already looks better!


ATC's have been popular for some time now. I imagined by the time I completely filled an old sewing drawer full of ATC's, then I would be "done" making them. But that's not the case.

They are little miniature works of art that allow an artist to try new techniques and ideas without a lot of time or materials invested. I enjoy making them best when there is no theme attached. It allows me to use those bits of scraps and odd embellishments that I have just about everywhere in my studio space. I just can't quit making these cards!

I have started giving an ATC away along with a birthday greeting or tucked inside a book with a message for the recipient. I am enjoying even more when I add a calligraphic letter or word and coloring my own background paper.

When I have an ATC arriving in the mail for me....I love sitting down for a cup of tea and taking the time to enjoy the miniature artwork.

Again, I am hoping the popularity of these little jewels stay around for awhile....I am just not tired of making them yet.

These ATC's were done by Madison and Judi in a recent trade.