Day 64 when u start talking

To an onion you know you have been alone too long. Told it I had drawn a really great picture of it before I copped it up for ratatouille. I even cried. Onions always make me cry when I cut them up. 🤣

Told you it needed paint.

Margaret watching As Time Goes By for the jillionth Time waiting for the bread to finish rising.

Day 36 entertainment never

Stops around here. Took another class with Vlad. Maybe I will like this better tomorrow.

Vlads. Better pic on Fb tomorrow.

For some reason I seem determined to cross every t and dot every eye though I have known from freshman art that’s a no no.

My value study.

Loved his explanations that surround it.

    Use the biggest brush you can.
    Heads are on the horizon line.
    Start drawing and painting in the middle.
    We are not cameras. We don’t see everything. We focus on what we think is important.
    Give an accident a chance.
    Use your eraser too much you are an illustrator.
  • First sketch. I had to eliminate quite a few things.
  • First wash now that it’s been thinned out.
  • Coming along. is Vlads.
  • Margaret who need a nap now or to go to bed.
  • Day 1028 More Flowers 

    My best of the three attempts I made painting this bouquet. I thought painting white flowers was hard till I did this one. Those yellow flowers were a pain. 

    Funny story. When I showed it to Joe Miller aka Cheap Joe he quipped if I asked Charles Reid to sign it I would have TWO charles Reid flower paintings.

     So I did. Darn he didn’t do it. 🤗He did laff when I told him Joe told me to do it. 

    I do have this very tiny Charles Reid sketch in my class notes where he explained to me how he would paint the yellow flowers. 

    Unpacking almost done. Now I have to go to the grocery store for something healthy to eat. All I have in the house is a couple of apples and I want to paint them BEFORE i eat them. 

    And I want to paint this great Mother’s Day bouquet before it does so off I go. 

    I did collage the cover of my notebooks from Charles and Peggi Habets class. It’s a Strathmore Mixed Media 500 sketchbook which has such a dull brown cover. 

    Ttyl xoxox Margaret glad she’s more unpacked than packed.  

    Day 1011 Some Grafitti aka Extreme Journaling

    Well let’s hope I don’t accidentally delete this post this time. ROUND TWO!! 

    This is the assignment for week five of the Juliana Coles The Book of the Night class.  Based on the Persephone Demeter Greek Myth.  As usual first we journaled. Then I painted it out.  

    And I painted collaged and stamped it.  

    I added some red paint wiping it off and some purple on the spring side. 

    Added the white lettering with caran dache neocolor ii and scribbled on it some of the neocolors. 

    I also used my new favorite toy a 6B lead that I bought at Cityart last Thursday for $1.29. They have a storefront and gallery in the Vista. 

    The lettering on the leaves was done with the lead.  I also enhanced the skulls in Hades on the bottom right with the caran dache neocolor iis. They didn’t show enough 

    Then I added some more red to the wrap on the girl on the left. I was hoping it would add to the flames of hades.  Not sure it did But it’s done for now.  

    Ttyl. packing one more day til I leave for Charles Reid class. Margaret xoxoxox 

    Day 1102 In the Bag 

    This is what yesterday’s page should have looked like.  

    Part one of The assignment was A creepy forest above the horizon. A graveyard and Frankensteins bride. 
    First up was to take only five minutes to cut out ten animals and people to assemble into Frankensteins bride. The hands are Jacques Pepin. The gravestones and wings are more of the altered citrasolv National Geographic. 

    Then the forest then a letter then a graveyard and then reconcile it. 

    Lilly as I call her  was a lot of fun. Her head used to be a really cute little toddler I cut from an ad. Not anymore. 

    I dressed her for her wedding day with Frankie. She’s excited of course. I added some gold gewgaws to her.  She still might need a purple plastic purse. 

     The tombstones are not quite as journalie as they should have been. Milestones in my life. Instead I wrote ancestors names.  Seemed a little creepy to do my life’s milestones.  

    Bottom layer is a letter to a dead person. I chose Abraham Lincoln. We could use his wisdom right now. 

    Thinking of adding some large letters. Frankie and Lilly were sweethearts!! 

    Masking tape, black acrylic paint, white gel pen, Prismacolor art sticks, caran dache neocolor ii and Lamy EF. 

    Ttyl Margaret xoxox off to start her haunted doll house.  Lilly needs a home. 

    This is the list I have brainstormed for my house so far. 

    Door flaps 

    Birds behind it. 

    Victoria or Queen Anne spiral staircase 

    Tower Jacobean?! 

    Bridal room for Lilly 

    Doll house. Whole cover comes off. 

    Widows walk w telescope 

    Flag skeleton 

    Open in middle of page 

    Gothic throne chair w wigs and a hood

    Attic room w bed. 

    Arched gate 

    Window wall 

    Hotel de ville. 

    Day 988 Wow 13 more days

    Til the big 1000!! 

    Since 13 is a mystics number surrounded by bad luck impending done a journal page on palm reading seems like an appropriate post.   The assignement this week was to completely cover a two page spread with masking tape. Then study a palm reading chart and react to that. I am not exactly a girl who believes in palm Reading so this was a little difficult for me. 

    I pondered the assignment of reading your palms for 4-5 days. Then I did all these pages in less than an hour.  I was flipping thru the old Bazaar magazine looking for images to collage on another page and found the red headlines. I thought perfect. I glued them on. The grey was a scrap from ripping out collage items for the other page. Perfect color. 

    I literally pulled a couple of pieces of somerset collage paper out of this heap and traced my hands and glued them down quickly.  Then I started scribbling with Prismacolor artstiks and gel pens. 

    Next I stamped some old Teesha Moore stamps that I had for years and never used. I still had the third page blank. I lettered with the paint pen and drew some arrows. Then it popped into my head to do an X-ray hand for the scar page-write down all your scars-because some scars are visible but some you can only see in an X-ray. Still have to journal those. 

    This is a WIP. It will change. I got some transparent purple ink to paint on it just not had time. And I have a list of things to still try out. Here are what I brain stormed. 

    Yellow gold aura. Lightening bolts

    Light green on x ray hand thalo blue thinned on background

    Outline letters in yellow? 

    Green glow 

    Heart Malagra

    Anyway time to get going. Busy day. 

    Margaret xoxoxo

    Day 979 -21 Days left

    Till 1000. The goal is nigh! 

    Taking an online class in extreme journaling with Julianna Coles. All my questing for a book at goodwill, salvation army, thrift stores and in the garage where I found a forgotten stack of books I found the perfect book in my son’s recycle bin in Atlanta. It’s a heavy thick very slick Saks sales ad. Since it was trash I didn’t feel bad about altering it. It also had some nice photos of women in it. 

    Despite babysitting the grandchildren single handedly, lecturing to middle schoolers about art quilts aka show n tell and driving about four hundred miles I bounced out of bed to start the monster mash process this morning. 

    I worked on the cover since I did not like the big script Saks on the cover. 

    Oddest thing happened when I opened a huge old Bartletts to cut out poetry. I don’t think I even turned a page. It opened to a page that held a poem about “locking all your heart aches inside” and “hide it in your trunk” “will hide all your failures””will rise to meet you yet” and of course I cut them out and glued them on.  

    I don’t think it’s quite done the more I look at them. Bout maybe they are never done? They will tell me. Lots of fun.  Go sign up.  


    The first double page spread. Thinking it’s still too busy. 

    I painted stamped collages scribbled and painted and lettered and I could go on but it’s time for French. Acrylic paint caran dache neocolonial ii prismacolor paintstiks paint marker. 

    The books about the size of a piece of printer paper. Can’t wait for the next chapter. 

    Margaret xoxoxo #julianacoles 

    Day 739!! Sunday

    Mike High Overlook – Balsam point Great Smoky National Park.

     And it’s my grandsons fourth birthday so still busy busy busy. Off to Walmart to buy a pool to hide dinosaur bones in. We are digging for bones this afternoon. And a bouncy house. Who needs presents??! 

    Oconaluftee Farm – Great Smoky National Park. If you haven’t been to the park you should. It’s truly a national treasure. So much to do and see and it’s all free. 

    All of these sketches were done on Strathmore 500 watercolor paper or in a Strathmore mixed media 500 sketchbook. 

    Most were done with a fine nib Carbon Platinum Pen with permanent Carbon Platinum ink. When I get home I will paint them and hopefully bind them into a book. 

    Barred Rock chickens at Oconaluftee Farmstead. 

    More Barred Rocks. Adding some elk prints to this one. They are everywhere at the farm eating the crops just like the deer. 

    Oconaluftee River with a gain sycamore. A few lines was enough. I can always add more when I am done. 

    Hopefully it will look like this when I get done. 

    Huge hemlocks at Oconaluftee. 

    Day  280 -Making Accordion Books


    Why make them?? Because they are the easiest book to make because no sewing is involved. 

    And because you can do this with them.  

    My Sennelier USKsketchbook.

     Nice heavy paper but only one length of paper.   Too short. Another reason to make one.  Dull black cover. 


     210″ small Moleskine accordion 

    Or the famous moleskines. Again a dull black cover. Great length but the paper is terrible now that they are outsourced to China. Watercolor and pens will bleed they to the back so you can’t use it.   

    So now that we know why we need to make one lets get started and gather our supplies. 


    Book board or heavy cardboard

    2-3 sheets of All purpose paper such as Stonehenge. 

    PVA glue

    Fabric for the covers – cotton muslin or sateen

    Bone folder



    Exacto knife or carton cutter


    Self healing  mat

    Parchment paper. Glue won’t stick to it. 

    Let’s get started!

    Sorry not to have better photos. I am out of town. No wifi no fabric or glue. I will update this when I return home hopefully next weekend showing how to cover the book board. 

    Measure the width of the paper. 

    Divide the width of the paper by 3 or 4. I made books ranging from 5″ – 7 1/2″ tall. I got three to four strips out of each piece of paper. 

    Most books are 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ tall or 5″ x 7 1/2″ size. 


    Folding the paper 

     Measure and mark your strips. It’s easiest to cut them with the Exacto  knife or a rotary cutter but I like the look of ripped paper edges.


    Ripping the paper.  

     An easy way to get the torn edges is to fold your paper across the width and crease it with the bone folder. Then SLOWLY slide the bone folder along the crease ripping the paper. Roz Stendahl ( has a you tube video on how to do this. Amazingly easy. 


      The paper accordion folded. 

     Next fold your strips in half. Crease with the bone folder. Mark your fold lines either every 3 1/2″ or every 5″. Fold like a fan or accordion.

     Joining the pieces. There will be a tab of extra paper left on each end of your strips. Remove the tab from one end.  Cut the other tab down to a 1/2″. You will use this to glue the strips together. 




     If this frustrates you you can also use Washi tape to join your paper. 


     You can glue as many strips as you want together. The small  moleskines have 210″ of thin Chinese paper in them!! The larger moleskines have 124″ of thin Chinese paper. 

    Just remember that heavier the paper is the fatter the book. 

    Cut the cardboard covers 1/4″ bigger than your paper strips. Cut your fabric about 2″ bigger than your cardboard pieces. 

    Spread glue on the board evenly.  Be sure to cover the whole board. and apply the fabric. Smooth the fabric with your bone folder removing any wrinkles and bubbles in the fabric. 


    Mitering corners /Gluing sides. OPPS a wrinkle. 

     (This photo is from a tutorial I did on how to make a pamphlet stitch sketch book.

     Miter and glue the corners. Trim the fabric diagonally down before you fold and glue the corners. 

    Neatly glue the sides down. 



     Glue the paper to the covers.  (I am not happy with the wrinkly paper. In later books I glued paper over the fabric covered board to make the end papers smoother. 

    You are done. 👍 See not so hard. 

    This webpage has great instructions with pictures.

    Thanks for looking!!