Monday, November 5, 2012

Long stitch journal

I spent the weekend taking Diana Trout's new on-line workshop "Longstitch, 2 Ways"

Here's the first book I made:

I've wanted to learn this bookbinding method for a long time. 
It's been on my to-do list.
And since I'm pretty good at teaching myself techniques, I probably could have learned it from a library book, or a free tutorial.

But here's the thing:  I haven't done it.
When I first saw the class description, I was intrigued, but thought "I don't need a class".
But I kept going back, and reading the class description, and I decided to take the plunge.
 I'm so glad I did.
I already knew I liked Diana's teaching style.  I own her DVD and she has many wonderful free tutorials on You Tube. 

So sure, I could have found my motivation, spent a week sifting through lousy tutorials trying to find a really good one, tried, failed, looked for another tutorial and tried again.
OR, I could spend a relatively small amount of money to get instant access to well made videos, clear written instructions, a place to share my work, and support from a talented teacher and artist.

Suddenly it was a no-brainer.
I spent the weekend watching all the videos and I made two books that I really really like, with no failure or frustration.
And in the process, I supported an artists who, through her generous content on her blog and You Tube, has given me loads of inspiration for free.
Time to give a little something back, no?
My second book is done and just waiting for enough daylight to properly photograph it, and I've already got a stack of fabric paper prepared for more covers.
I've only just begun to explore these techniques, but I'm so pleased with my first efforts.
Stay tuned for more.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous book! Can't wait to see the second one.

  2. You have been so amazingly prolific lately, and I'm counting all that video-ing and posting you're doing for the Mail Me Some Art swaps. I keep meaning to suggest you should set up some way for donations for that. You are doing an enormous amount of work over there!!

    I love bookbinding, yet another thing I don't do enough of (because, ahem, I like SO many things!). Looking forward to seeing the second book!

  3. gorgeous!! can't wait to see what you fill it with!

  4. Beautiful book so neat and it looks as though every page is saying 'fill me, fill me'. A bit like Alice in wonderland 'eat me'.

  5. This came put reallllllly good. I like how you incorporated coptic stitch and the long stitch, nice! I thought about this class too, as a cisual learner I need clear cut visuals to work my way through it, hmmm might sign up, I love her books. xox

  6. I love this, well done, what a beautiful colour as well!

  7. Wow. You should be pleased--it's beautiful! I love the cover and the stitching...and I'll be adding this workshop to (the top of) my list of "wanna takes" :)

  8. How beautiful. Everything about this post.

  9. Love love love the cover on your journal!!! Sometimes a class just helps me focus even if I can find the info somewhere else.

  10. Yep - I agree....what a FAB book! One of my goals for myself this year was to make a book and try some bookbinding techniques. I bought a couple books, have watched a couple videos and ..... still no book. Your way seems MUCH better and in Jan I may just have to bite the bullet and take a class. I enjoy Diana's style as well, so I'm sure the videos are great. Your cover is so 'you' and looks amazing.

  11. Gorgeous book Karen! I look forward to seeing the other one too

  12. Are the circles attached? I need to know how you made the cover papers - they are WONDERFUL!! I've signed up for Diana's class because she gives such good instruction and I am itching to bind. But it's the details that are so impressive and I just LOVE your cover - need to know more!

    1. so the cover is made from tissue paper that I painted and adhered to fabric (see Diana's fabric paper tutorial on you tube) (plus I showed how I painted the tissue paper in part two of my post about my inspiration deck: I used the paper cloth to form the cover per the class instructions.
      I then used punches to cut circles from some of my own marbled papers and paste papers and glued them on the cover and rubbed some oil pastel around them to make them stand out better.

  13. Beautiful book, Karen! What amazing results from the class. I'm glad you "took the plunge."

  14. You are so so so so so SO


    right about this! We must learn to support our fellow artists!! There is SO much free information on the web, but it's just not the same as working one on one and having direct contact.