Buttonhole Stitch Journal – A New Online Class OPEN for Registration!


Bookbinding: Buttonhole Stitch
Instructor: Bari Zaki
Two-Week Class ‚ÄĘ 4 Lessons ‚ÄĘ $65
Class Dates: October 24 – November 2, 2017

In this class we will be making a beautiful handmade journal using the buttonhole-stitch¬†technique ‚Äď a non-adhesive style binding.

It‚Äôs a delightful binding style (no glue!) and the book we’ll make is¬†wonderful for journaling, sketching, doodling, drawing, or to use as a photo album or keepsake book. With the little window on the spine, it might be fun to alternate the colors of your pages. It also makes for a great gift anytime of the year!

I look forward to sharing my love of paper and making books with you in this two week course!


For details and to sign up, click HERE!


Class Itinerary:

Lesson 1 – Folding Signatures

Lesson 2 – Creating the Book Cover

Lesson 3 –¬†Sewing Your Book

Lesson 4 –¬†The Finish


Bari Zaki has been a professional bookbinder for 28 years, and a paper person her entire life. Her dad, a printer, regularly brought home paper in various forms: stacks of paper, scraps of paper, pads of paper…and assorted printed samples. This was her FAVORITE part of the day.

In Bari‚Äôs bedroom she had a little walk-in-closet, where she often hung out for hours, amusing herself arranging all her paper samples. She still thinks of her bookbinding studio as a larger version of that closet. Bari attended the University of Iowa for a couple of years, but continued to feel restless and decided to come back home to Chicago. It was there she met a friend for coffee who had brought her a blank journal. The friend had made the first entry; a doodle with an endearing sentiment, and it was that afternoon she refers to as her “Dorothy Moment.”

She instantly sought somewhere to learn about bookbinding and discovered Artist Bookworks (which has since become Columbia College’s Book & Paper Arts Graduate Programme). After completing various classes and workshops in a wonderfully Bohemian milieu, Bari opened Ardour Bookbinding, now Bari Zaki Studio; Bookbinding Studio & Shop, where she now offers a range of classes in Hand-bookbinding, Calligraphy, Paper-marbling, and¬†Drawing.¬†Today, her long-term clients include photographers, galleries, writers, celebrants and paper people ‚Äď appreciators of hand-crafted objects and beautiful presentation.


These handmade journals would make wonderful holiday gifts. Class begins October 24th…¬†Sign up today!


“Intro to Realism” with Karine Swenson; Online Class OPEN for Registration!


Intro to Realism
Instructor: Karine Swenson
Two-Week Class ‚ÄĘ 6¬†Lessons
Class Dates: October 10-20, 2017

In this class you will learn techniques to help you strengthen your drawing and painting skills.

The emphasis will be placed on finding ways to develop your own unique style while getting closer to visual truth. Just as each person has unique handwriting, your own way of drawing and painting will become your strength.

Each of you will pick your own 3D object ‚ÄĒ a toy, a tool, or something that interests you ‚ÄĒ and render it multiple times, building from quick sketches all the way¬†to a color painting.¬†We will work with color and value and pay close¬†attention to¬†light and shadow to create dimensionality.

I look forward to working with you!

Karine Swenson


Class Itinerary:

Week 1

Lesson 1
We will spend some time choosing our subject matter that you will draw and paint throughout this class. Then you will light it, photograph it, and do a couple of quick drawings of it! You will also draw your hand in this lesson, an ever-available subject and a great way to sneak a little drawing practice in wherever you find yourself.

Lesson 2
This lesson will be devoted to drawing ‚ÄĒ¬†both quick study, and slower, more careful study. The drawings are part of the process of learning to see more and to develop better hand/eye coordination. You will do several drawings of your hand and your chosen subject.

Lesson 3
In this lesson we will do more quick studies and then work on and finish a value study in charcoal of our subject to prepare us for our painting.

Lesson 4
Paint!!! Today we will work with a very limited palette, and use our value study from Lesson 3 to help us navigate our first painting of our subjects.

Lesson 5
We will begin the final painting of our subjects. You will be able to expand your color palette (a little!).

Lesson 6
The focus of our final lesson will be to explore the finishing touches, how to know when you are finished, and what you can do to make a painting you like.


Class begins October 10th. For details, click HERE!


“Joy Stuff: The Art of Noticing” with Lynn Whipple is OPEN for Registration!


Joy Stuff: The Art of Noticing
Draw, Paint, Write, Print, Appreciate

Instructor: Lynn Whipple
Five-Week Class ‚ÄĘ 10 Lessons ‚ÄĘ $165

Class Dates: October 3 – November 2, 2017


Joy Stuff is about noticing everyday wonders and celebrating them through our art.

Joy Stuff is a delight-filled sketchbook practice and a nourishing and beautiful place to putter and to draw.

A Joy Stuff sketchbook is a creative place to write, print, paint and appreciate!

We will start by making yummy¬†handmade¬†papers with a Gelli¬ģ¬†Plate¬†‚ÄĒ¬†which are so much fun¬†because they yield¬†unexpected and exciting results ‚ÄĒ and then use those papers to design spreads and pages in¬†our sketchbooks! We will draw out in¬†nature,¬†play with color, use cut paper in collage and soak in our favorite surroundings. We will be inspired by our everyday¬†heroes and share tiny gifts. We will smile, breathe deep, and notice the¬†lovely¬†little things!

Life becomes richer and more fun when filled with Joy Stuff! 

Big LOVE!!


For details about the lessons and to sign up, click HERE!


Some of Lynn’s wonderful Joy Stuff artwork:


“Meaning Making: Inspired by Poetry” New Online Class Open for Registration


Meaning Making: Inspired by Poetry
Instructor: Lendon Noe
2-Week Class ‚Äʬ†6¬†Lessons ‚ÄĘ $85
Class Dates: September 19-29, 2017

Sign up today!

Do you ever feel as if you don’t know where you are going with your artwork?

This class is about finding inspiration and adding meaning to your artwork through literature and poetry!

All of my life, I have leaned on my favorites (Emily Dickinson, Rilke, William Carlos Williams, Pablo Neruda) to add extra depth to my artwork. I don‚Äôt try to illustrate these great writers; instead, I try to create visual metaphors ‚ÄĒ and would love to share my working methods with you!

This class begins by looking at some of our favorite poems, poem fragments, and even single words that affect us. We’ll ask questions of the poem and the poet.¬†What colors do you feel? What is the shape of your longing?

We will create beautiful painted papers using my favorite surface treatment techniques and will literally (as well as figuratively) tear into our papers, making fragments that will become the foundation for our larger pieces.

We will play a game of forced connections between image and idea to enhance your creative thinking.¬†We will work with ink, pencil, pens, stamps, white gesso on Rives BFK paper. We’ll also incorporate collage, image transfers, text and drawings into our pieces.

I hope you can join me!

Lendon Noe



Class Itinerary:

Week 1

Lesson 1 –¬†Poetry-Inspired Artwork
In this lesson we will¬†create two sonnet-structure papers and six paper pieces using the words dense, dark, and thick ‚ÄĒ¬†inspired by¬†Sonnets to Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Lesson 2 –¬†The Image Found
Today we are going to turn to our poets for imagery. We will make a list to increase our fluidity and flexibility, and then I’ll show you one of my favorite techniques for gathering images from real objects (like fruit and flowers) using a photocopier. Warning, this is highly addictive! When we get some images we like, we‚Äôll collage them to our background papers, beginning to layer.

Lesson 3 –¬†Image Transfers
We will spend a moment reviewing image transfer vs. collage and then I’ll show you my favorite image transfer method.

Week 2

Lesson 4 –¬†By Your Own Hand
Today I will encourage you to draw. I know some of you might be reluctant but there is nothing like adding something from your own hand to make a piece uniquely yours. We will practice using a tracing paper pad and try lots of drawing tools and techniques to loosen your hand and hopefully give you a little more confidence. Then I will show you how you might collage a tracing pad drawing to one of your background pieces and/or draw right on your developing pieces.

Lesson 5 – Text!
We have looked to our poets for structure and for images now how about the words themselves? Can we, should we put the poetry directly into our art? We will consider two ways of working with text ‚Äď including scribbling and using text as form in a¬†piece.

Lesson 6 –¬†Making Connections
Today we will consider ways to finish our pieces. We will edit our papers (which may include tearing away parts or using gesso to vail over some of your work). And we will consider ways to connect pieces of paper other than just using glue.


Lendon Hamilton Noe
¬†is a native of Jackson, Tennessee, where she has been a Professor of Art at Lambuth University, Head of the School of Arts and Communications, and Chair of the Visual Art Department. She taught primarily, drawing, painting and design. She graduated from Rollins College in Florida, earning the BA in Art and English Literature. She studied in Denver at the Rocky Mountain School of Art and then returned to Tennessee and completed an MS in Art Education at UT Knoxville. She completed her MFA in Painting and Mixed Media at Vermont College. Her work includes oil painting, original prints, mixed media, and installation. See more of Lendon’s work at her website:¬†www.lendonnoe.com.

Lynda Barry & Dan Chaon Workshop


Last week I attended a writing workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, with Lynda Barry and Dan Chaon: Writing from Workbook 52. It was terrific!

We worked hard. We wrote a lot, and we also DREW a lot!

Here are some of the index-card “attendance cards” Lynda had us do each day (a self portrait in some situation or other). My class name was “Ms. Scribbles”:

In Space…


Turning into an animal…


Dancing with a bear…


And something we had done the day before, as Batman…



Lynda Barry is super funny and we laughed almost non-stop! On the last night of camp, she showed Dirty Dancing, and the next day we had to draw ourselves dancing with Patrick Swayze:


Thank you to Professors Peanut and Frightwig for a great week!




Summer Blog Posts #15

The last post for this batch: Something FOUND, Something WRITTEN, and Something MADE.


Something FOUND

elefante by Patricia Tewel


Something WRITTEN

I tried to incorporate all 30 of your two-word suggestions from the last post into a cohesive story. ūüėÄ

Thank you, everyone!


“It’s not a big deal,” he said.

“Yes, it is.”

At 54 she had had her share of baking disasters, but she couldn’t remember ever having made such an icky sticky mess before. Her thoughts had been elsewhere… on tomorrow’s long flight.

The full moon hadn’t helped either.

He came over and stuck his finger in the sugary¬†ant trap (with a lemon twist, no less!), tasted her disaster, then gave her a sticky kiss. “I’m turning on the¬†talking fish*,” he said and left the kitchen.¬†She tried to smile.

He shuffled into the den and settled into the couch next to their softly snoring dog. He loved their dog, but he missed kitty purrs¬†too ‚ÄĒ they had had to euthanize their 12-year-old cat last Spring, and she had been so sweet, so funny…! Bone, the dog, sighed loudly, the betrayal¬†not lost on this sensitive soul. “Don’t worry, I like you too,” he said, scratching Bone’s ear and turning his attention to the home fire on the screen.

She was scraping the dessert into the trash when suddenly she was furious. At what? Or who? Her lost friends? Her husband? The fact that it was almost fall and it was nearly time to make the house blanket ready (one of her least-favorite tasks)?

She made her decision.

“When are we going to replace these ugly tiles?” she nearly yelled. “And what’s with these stains on the counter?”

He stood calmly at the doorway. “It’s time to get packed so we will be on time in the morning,” he said, hoping this minor¬†smoke screen would do its job. (Why his water spills keep turning¬†brown, he didn’t know, but he was pretty sure that an effort to defend himself right now would be futile.)

It had been so long since she had gotten so upset; still, if he were given three wishes he would use them all to eradicate these unhappy time wasters.

As fast as the irritation arose, it disappeared. She was grateful for her husband and his tolerance of these irrational flareups… menopause really did suck … and she decided to accept his invitation and¬†fall forward into his outstretched arms.

The next morning he waved goodbye as he pulled away from the curb. “Travel safe!” he called out, and she was gone. “Airplane runs are always too early,” he grumbled as he turned onto the freeway and headed for home.

But then he felt a stab of excitement… he would get an early start to his day… get some breakfast, read the paper, work….

All was well, wonderful things were happening.

*”Talking fish” is their private joke ‚ÄĒ a nickname for television newscasters.



Something MADE



Have a wonderful rest of summer! Thank you again for reading these posts and I’ll be back with another batch soon enough. ūüėÄ

Summer Blog Posts #14

So I checked my calendar and the next time I get on an airplane is August 12th. So I plan to do three weeks of M-F posts until then: Something FOUND, Something WRITTEN, and Something MADE.


Something FOUND

Miranda Skoczek (via The Art Room Plant)



Something WRITTEN

clear head suggested by lynnholland


The last time I felt clearheaded I was in my 20s.

In recent decades I have felt more cottonheaded.

I am a Cottonhead.

Many people can’t remember their dreams, and I can’t either, mostly. But it occurred to me the other day that I can’t remember what I was thinking 15 seconds ago, so not remembering my dreams really makes perfect sense.

Writing things down helps me remember what I was thinking during that last paragraph, so there are tools Cottonheads can use to cope.

It’s not so bad, really!

I’m sure I’ve thought of some benefits before, but I certainly can’t remember them and, if I wrote them down, I don’t remember where.


Something MADE

Color Wheel



Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Please help me decide what to write about for the last post, #15! Comment with two words ‚ÄĒ they can be anything, nouns, verbs, names ‚ÄĒ and I will pick a set for tomorrow‚Äôs post. Examples: ‚Äúrose bud,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúlikable fleas,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúpow wow,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúSmith Tower‚ÄĚ etc.

Summer Blog Posts #13

So I checked my calendar and the next time I get on an airplane is August 12th. So I plan to do three weeks of M-F posts until then: Something FOUND, Something WRITTEN, and Something MADE.


Something FOUND




Something WRITTEN

time flies suggested by kat


When I was in my early 20s I named my publishing company “Time Flies Publishing.”

My catalog consisted of a mini “Fun Book” meant for children, photocopied and folded into a “book” from a single sheet of paper.

I’m embarrassed for my younger self… if I were 12 and had named a publishing company like that, it would have been cute. But 24?

Every time I hear or read that phrase, I remember this association from 30 years ago.

Time flies!



Something MADE




Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Please help me decide what to write about tomorrow! Comment with two words ‚ÄĒ they can be anything, nouns, verbs, names ‚ÄĒ and I will pick a set for tomorrow‚Äôs post. Examples: ‚Äúgood karma,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúdown town,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúum, no,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúwell fare‚ÄĚ etc.

Summer Blog Posts #12

So I checked my calendar and the next time I get on an airplane is August 12th. So I plan to do three weeks of M-F posts until then: Something FOUND, Something WRITTEN, and Something MADE.


Something FOUND

Marian Bijlenga



Something WRITTEN

watching seagulls suggested by paulette


We live near Elliott Bay in Seattle and so seagulls are a big part our our daily soundtrack.

Sometimes I wake up early enough to hear them squawking in unison… or, more likely, they wake me up.

Most of the time during the day, though, there is the consistent, pleasant sound of a seagull talking to us.

Sometimes the sky is quiet for a time, but it’s never long before one of them needs to squawk.

I can hear one right now… and I see two, no three flying across the sky… from where I sit.

If I need cheering up I can walk down to Ivar’s Fish Bar and watch scores of seagulls doing cartwheels in the air for french fries… and I know not to worry, because “seagulls are dainty eaters” (as the sign at the restaurant says).

Recently we needed the sound of seagulls calling for one of our 365 class videos. Steve put the recorder out on our windowsill for nearly an hour, but not a single seagull!

Instead we had to pay $20 for a digital recording to get the video out on time.

I’m not sure how they knew.


Something MADE

Seattle skyline.





Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Please help me decide what to write about tomorrow! Comment with two words ‚ÄĒ they can be anything, nouns, verbs, names ‚ÄĒ and I will pick a set for tomorrow‚Äôs post. Examples: ‚Äúit’s okay‚ÄĚ ‚Äúfun stuff,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúwow factor,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúJake boyfriend‚ÄĚ etc.