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Sylvan Points at Stuff, 7/31

Like most people who get into paper crafting I have become a hopeless washi tape addict.  What on Earth do you do with all that tape, you ask?  Glad you asked.  (Actually if you’re not already into it, your first question was probably “what the hell is washi tape.”  It’s Japanese masking tape, basically, made of paper, fairly low-tack, and comes in a million gorgeous colors and patterns.)  Aside from using it as an artistic accent, there are lots of small practical (and somewhat practical) things you can do with it:

Fun Ways to Organize With Washi Tape

Speaking of crafty business, I have made yet another altered composition book – version 2 of a writing notebook I tried to make a couple of weeks ago that flopped spectacularly.  I stripped it naked and started over, and this time I’m much happier with it.  I do a lot of outlining and scene organizing on paper, and I wanted a single place to kick it analog-style for my current writing projects.  It has dividers for the Shadow World, the Agency, and whatever else I might come up with.  I’m hoping that, now that my sabbatical is ending, having a pretty notebook to work with will help inspire me.

Terrible picture, sorry.  But you get the gist.

Terrible picture, sorry. But you get the gist.

writing notebook 2

I made a pocket for each of my two main universes – this one’s for the Shadow World, obviously. I used pages from a copy of Shadow’s Fall that was misprinted (I’m not entirely comfortable ripping up books for crafts, but if the book would otherwise have been thrown away, I think it’s cool to give it a second life.) I printed out the raven and cut him out. The “blood” drops are awesome little stickers I’ve had forever and have been hoarding because they’re so cool and I will probably never find more.

The Agency pocket is much simpler, but I like it - I may add more to it later if something comes to me.  Again, I just printed out the violin and cut it out.  Everything is inked up with Black Soot Distress Ink.

The Agency pocket is much simpler, but I like it – I may add more to it later if something comes to me. Again, I just printed out the violin and cut it out. Everything is inked up with Black Soot Distress Ink.

Last night my BFF and I saw Tori Amos in concert (our second time), and being there with Tori at her Bosendorfer, watching her play in that hypnotic, dark, lush style threw me immediately into Miranda’s head for the first time in forever.  I’ve been having trouble with my Queen lately – with all the other plotlines going on it’s hard to keep her from getting lost since she’s essentially a well-adjusted pillar of strength (especially compared to everyone else).  I think we’ve reached a better understanding of this part of her story, though.  And as usual I have Tori to thank for it.

If you’d like to see the performance that first inspired Miranda’s character, here it is, Tori Amos on VH1 Storytellers.  (You’ll have to turn the volume up pretty loud.)

Meanwhile, here are 5 Practical, Slightly Snarky-Sounding, Non-Sparkly Ways to Practice Self-Love.

And in case you missed all the Comic-Con hoopla, here are the trailers for the shows I’m most anxious to see this fall – Arrow, The Originals, Sleepy Hollow, Doctor Who, and a fun video from The Vampire Diaries that isn’t a preview but is rather adorable nonetheless.


Makin’ Stuff Monday

Morning lovelies,

There’s nothing like starting off the day to a fabulous comment on your naughty fan fiction. Being called “brilliant” is better than coffee.

There’s a new shrine up over at Tiny Relics – a new version of the Star Goddess, a Lady who’s always been close to my heart. While you’re there, check out the other pieces still available – a really cool flat-tinned Sarasvati, a wee wee Buddha, a third version of the Shrine to Gaia, and a House Blessing box I particularly like.

I’m currently working on another new piece, Isis; she’s almost finished, and I hope to have her ready for sale by the end of the week. Also, I was given a metric buttload of Sucrets tins, which are smaller and deeper than Altoids tins and therefore suggest all sorts of different treatment. The first two pieces I’m working on are a travel protection shrine and an absolutely lovely affirmation box for courage based on my 2014 theme song, “Brave.” Here’s a tiny sneak peek:

butterfly tin ext 1

butterfly tin int 3






I don’t know when that one will be up – technically it’s finished now (it even has tiny feet!) but I feel like it needs more. We’ll see.

While we’re on the subject of cool stuff I made, after a dozen misguided attempts over the years to build a recipe binder for my kitchen that is both functional and pretty, I finally hit paydirt! I realized the size was part of the problem and went from a full sized 3-ring to a mini 3-ring from Target. I guess it’s basically a mini album, if you’re into scrapbooking parlance, since I made all the pages and covered the book and such. The recipes themselves are fairly unadorned, in page protectors so they can be moved and removed, but the dividers for the sections are fabulous, and there are a couple of fun interactive bits like a fold-out card of tofu marinades or pull tags with cake-in-a-mug recipes.

You can see the whole album, along with notes and materials, on my Flickr; here’s a couple of shots just to pique your interest. This damn thing was SO MUCH WORK, but I’m really pleased with it.



Since my writing sabbatical is almost over, I’m hoping to have some good toothy content for you soon.  In the meantime enjoy my skills with scissors and glue!


An Art Journal Quickie

One of the unexpected side effects of all the browsing I’ve been doing on bookbinding and art journaling boards is that I keep running into Books of Shadows and other Pagan-related stuff.  Some of it is Pinworthy, some more cringeworthy (honestly, rhyming couplets? Why is anyone still using those? For a while in my 20s the entire Pagan community sounded like Mother Goose.), but one thing it all had was nostalgia.

One chant in particular (which, oddly, doesn’t rhyme at all) was one of my very favorites because of the way our coven used to sing it – in parts, usually, with one person taking one or more elements, sometimes switching it about midway, sometimes staying steady.  As I was working on my recipe binder last night (pics coming soon!) I found myself singing it quietly, and smiling,

To commemorate those days I grabbed my art journal, Daisy Jane, and created the following on the page facing the Bill & Ted quote.  It’s the first regular old art journal page I’ve done in a while and I’m quite pleased with it, for the colors if nothing else.

Element Chant

And there, the two neighboring pages together, held up by a happy little Ganesh:

excellent elements


Stuff and Things

Taking a moment from the ongoing circus that is my psyche to show off some new things I made.  Technically my writing hiatus ends on the 31, but as much as I love the idea of a drumroll followed immediately by my leaping to the keyboard where I stay, engaged in joyful detente with my muse…well, it ain’t happening.  I didn’t really expect taking a break to jump start my creativity, and lo and behold, something turned out exactly like I expected it to.

In the meantime, I’ve been altering more composition books and also remaking my recipe binder (again, but this time I mean it) which I’ll show you once it’s closer to finished and I can get some pics.  Today, I’d like to share two projects for myself, one practical and one profound.

First is this mini art kit made from, you guessed it, an Altoids tin.  It’s sparsely decorated because I expect it to take a beating in my bag.  I needed something to hold tiny items that would otherwise get lost in my pencil pouch.

The artwork on top was a card that came free in a washi tape order from the lovely Aimee at  Go see her bright, happy drawings and tapes – a definite mood lifter.

Mini Art TinInside the tin are a few wee essentials:  a broken Prismacolor wrapped in washi tape, some Post-it page flags, a few stickers held inside the lid with a sort of belly-band, and a mini ink cube from Hero Arts in Cornflower blue. There’s also some red double-sided tape, and several tiny stamps (I use them in my planner) that I wood mounted by gluing them to Scrabble tiles.

edart tin int 1

I’m sure there will be more items in it once I reorganize my art bag.

Next up is a journal I made for the month of August, when I intend to do a bit of slightly structured everything-searching.  I’m not 100% sure what all that will encompass, but for now, I’ve got a journal ready to go – each day will have a checklist for things like meditation, glasses of water, fruit and veg, gratitude practice, and then room for me to just write or draw or whatever this turns into.

edsj front cover

The journal, who I am calling Sana (long story), started life as a composition book, and like with the Nefarious Plans book I made I used the Beautiful You paper collection from Creative Imaginations.  The metallic charms and such were all in my stash so I’m not sure where most of them came from, but the sparkly things are Recollections from Michael’s.  It’s overenthusiastically distressed with Black Soot and Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

Inside, there’s an acetate window over a pocket to house affirmation cards I’m making, and a pocket down below to store the extras not on display.

edsj int window open

The back cover has a three-pocket situation for god knows what.  I just had fun making it and thought it looked pretty.

edsj back int full

And last is the back cover, not terribly interesting.

Not pictured, the divider/bookmark I made out of a purloined file folder from my office (it was about 20 years old, and that’s not an exaggeration, so I felt justified offering it new life) sprayed down liberally with Dylusions and Glimmer Mists ink sprays and stencils.  I’ll try to get a pic and post it next time.

As always, if you want to see more about these projects, you can have a look at my Flickr photostream.


Nefarious Porpoises – Altered Composition Book #2


I made another thing. I’m afraid I’ve got the making-notebooks-pretty addiction.  When I realized that a long-term plan of mine that I wanted to keep separate from my everyday lists and notes would need its own notebook, I sank my little fangs into another composition book.

Thus, I give you Sylvan’s Book of Nefarious Plans.



pocket int

The book is covered (outside) with a sheet of Creative Imaginations’ Beautiful You line by Christine Adolph, this design called “Dream.”  The interior paper and spine are from the Tattered and Worn stack by The Paper Studio.

Underneath is just your typical composition book (college ruled).  The notebook has two identical pockets, one in front and one in back, built out of black cardstock.

The back includes a flower and dragonfly embellishment from a K&Co ephemera pack; I added glitter to all the dragonflies with my Sakura Stardust pen.  Not sure where the name tag came from; the title on the front is just two pieces of the Tattered paper.  Letters were stamped with Hero Arts’ Designer Alphabet using my very favorite Versafine ink.  Then I distressed the whole shebang with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

This one’s going to function mostly just as a notebook, so it didn’t need all the fancy dividers like in my planner – I might put a divider in there somewhere, but I’m going to be working with this one for a while so there’s no furry hurry.

Hope you like it!  I was bouncing up and down with glee over how adorably it turned out.