A few weeks ago, I mentioned my notebooks and sketchbooks. I also keep a calendar-style scrapbook, using a 9” x 12” wirebound mixed media Strathmore Visual Journal as the substrate. Each two-page spread covers a single month. I glue in decorative paper, photographs, ticket stubs, and ephemera I’ve found along the way. By the end of 2013, my scrapbook documented two years of my life. It had grown fatter than its spiral binding could accommodate,…

Have you ever thought about what the phrase “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear” really means? It’s another way of saying that you can’t make a high-quality product from poor-quality materials. Don’t waste your time and money using cheaply made, sub-standard materials; it will only cause you frustration and end with work you simply aren’t satisfied with. If you want to produce quality product, use quality materials. (If you are patient…

It’s no secret that I have an addiction to pens (and pencils and paint). When I see pens on clearance, I’ll test one out to see if it’s one I’d like to add to my collection. Sometimes, the only testing surface available is the shelf tag itself. One day as I uncapped a pen to test, I reached for the shelf tag and realized, to my surprise, that I had Been Here Before.

I saw some cute little word stamps in a catalog, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually pay that much plus shipping to get them. So I made my own using inexpensive wooden alpha stamps from the craft store and a couple dabs of glue. My intention was to use them in my art journal, but I’ve also made some to use as a checklist in my daily notebook.

Last week, I decided it was long past time to get professionally printed business cards. You know what they say: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. I’ve printed my own cards for years, but I’ve never been happy with the quality of inkjet on perforated Avery 10-per-sheet card blanks. Instead of a traditional size business card, I ordered Moo mini-cards. They’re about half the size of a standard business card…