Saturday, March 06, 2010


Something this much fun should be celebrated.

Crafts have a bad rap. I had forgotten how much fun I have using my technical skills in the studio. I’ve been busy as can be making another Remains of the Day art journal, this one about FOOD. As a former home economics teacher and a lifelong rather good cook (so my husband proclaims and he’s sticking to his story as long as it produces a few good meals every week) I have a love affair with good food, whether it comes from my kitchen, one of my friends’, or a favorite restaurant. It’s natural that I spend some time writing about the food in my life.

Once I decided to make a book about food I started collecting all sorts of related ephemera: labels from cans and bottles, recipes, photos, fabric, grocery bags and receipts, advertisements, and restaurant menus. I built my basic pages from menus and grocery bags and added all sorts of ephemera with my sewing machine. I typed a page of cooking terms and printed it on vellum which I then cut into strips and folded them in half to use to finish the edges of some of the pages.

Believe me, it’s addictive to make pages for these books but there’s a limit to the size of such a book since I’ll be adding writing and recipe cards and photos and it’s already quite fat at 22 pages divided between three signatures.

The cover is made from a Trader Joe’s paper bag. Both the cover and the inside of the cover were cut from one bag and a sturdy piece of light card stabilizes the inside. I did lots of machine sewing all over the cover and added handles from the same bag. That’s recycling, for sure. So far this book doesn’t have a tie but when it’s finished I may have to add something to keep it closed.

I work on my books at a rather small table which quickly becomes way too messy so I went hunting in the store room for something to corral the mess. I found a large tray that was once used in the darkroom, 2 small plastic boxes, a plastic shoe box, and a long drawer divider. The 2 small boxes (for small bits and labels) fit perfectly in the shoe box, leaving room at the back for larger paper to stand. And the space in front is large enough for magazines and full sheets of paper. Alongside the big tray is the long tray for strips of paper. And at my feet is my big cookie jar of ribbons and a tote full of fabric scraps.

Stay tuned. I intend to make a video of this book before long.


  1. I LOVE your journal, and what an excellent theme you chose!

  2. Jo this is soooo cool!!!

  3. this is great. I was thinking of doing one for my weight watchers journal and now you have me inspired. Can't wait for the video!


  4. Jo, what a fun book and the food theme is a great idea. I really like how you organized your recycled papers.

  5. Love your journals and organizing skills and creativity! Looking forward to the video!

  6. This is fantastic Jo. I see so many possibilities with the food theme. I can't wait to see all of your pages. The cover is great, and I love the way you corralled everything. Bravo!

  7. jo that book is positively DELICIOUS.

    you creative whirlwind you!

  8. Anonymous5:44 PM PST

    Oh My Jo this is a fabulous book. I am a foodie as well. I would love to see it in person. Hope we can get together soon for an art day. Hugs.

  9. What an awesome journal! I love it!

  10. What a great have definitely inspired me...

  11. I absolutely love your book - its fabulous. I would be thrilled to see a video of how you did it - so generous of you

  12. A celebration indeed! Look at that beautiful pile of papers neatly tamed - you inspire me to just get on with my book :) I was 'talking' to

    Kelly at the above link (why can't I do it properly!) who had just done a book class with DJ Pettit - she (K) painted gorgeous papers - about what people use books for & yours is a great theme. I know why I'd buy someone elses book, but what is the market for other people, I wonder?


I appreciate comments and questions.

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