Feb 04

My Story in Stitches

DSC01319-002(Part 2 of “My Love Affair . . . . )

Sometimes the best way to tell a story is without words. That’s why music and art have such power to touch the heart and soul. Yesterday I mentioned to one of my “long distance” friends that I often wish I could speak in musical notation. That way I could say five things at once, all in harmony. Because there are times when it is challenging at best to tell a story one event at a time.

One of my goals for this new year is to invest a bit more time in telling my own story . . . . I’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of hours over the past several years encouraging other writers to tell their stories, and I’ve helped edit, publish, and promote the writing of others that it just seems like the right time to remember that I have a story to tell. too.

But that can seem quite overwhelming and intimidating! I know that many writers feel some level of anxiety when they first send their manuscript to me for editing . . . . apparently there are editors out here who can be rather harsh and critical. As a teacher first, however, I tend to look on my tasks as an editor to be primarily instructive. So I always want my writers to know why we have to fix a split infinitive, or correct a prepositional phrase, or eliminate a comma splice. DSC01293-002I love having the opportunity to encourage other writers, because I know that every story is important to someone. But as I contemplate taking a journey into a frequently dark and sad place where I will have to go if I am ever to write my own story, it just feels way too scary. Perhaps that is why I have decided to be gentle with my heart and begin to express the truth and the sadness through wordless story telling.

I’ve been working on a couple of art journals that are filled with paint, paper, ribbons, lace, buttons (my favorite!), and of course glitter. That has been great fun and rather expressive – in much the same way I have found with filling scrap books with photographs and memories from long ago – but since I also love to sew, I thought it might be fun to create an art journal from fabric . . . . .


As I was researching the various creations of other fiber artists, I came across fabric books that are absolutely gorgeous! The ones I’ve seen are all created completely of various fabrics, fibers, ribbons, lace, and all other embellishments that are typically used for sewing garments or home decor designs.

But I wanted to create a journal that could incorporate both the beauty of fiber art with the practical and fun possibilities of filling it with paper, paint, and glue. And glitter. And buttons. So I created the cover from two layers of ivory linen I had left over from another project and put a piece of quilt batting in between. Then it was really fun to design the front and back covers, complete with pockets for stashing memorabilia that I didn’t want to glue or stitch down.

I began this project several weeks ago, as documented in a previous post, “My Love Affair . . . . ,” and I have made some changes to this beautiful lace book journal and finished off the inside pages. It’s now time to start the next lace book which is already for me to put together out in the sewing studio. I hope to have time to work on it this afternoon.


This is the beginning of my journey to tell my story – but for now, it will be a story in stitches. Eventually, I trust that I will venture into the memories without fear or overwhelming anxiety, and it will come out in words. Until then, we’ll just go with a story in stitches.

I hope you can join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop – it really is fun to meet up with other bloggers, so please come along to the party!


 It’s time to share your blog at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop!

Blog Hop LOGO JAN 2016

Please follow your wonderful hostesses.

Blog Hop Hostesses JAN 2016 2Katherine-Katherines Corner

Nina-Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Debi- Surroundings by Debi

Erika-What Erika Wears

Betty- My Cozy Corner

Rosmary-An Italian In My Kitchen

Rina-I Thee Cook

Pam-Over 50 Feeling 40

Olivia-Reinvented Collection

Shellie-TheFabulous Journey

Marilyn-Marilyns Treats

Antonella-White House Crafts

Angelina –Peonies and Orange Blossoms

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Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine and her hostesses’ permission to share your posts and pictures via social media, on Pinterest and as features on their blogs.





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  1. Kathryn Ross

    Nina! What a scrumptious journal!! Michelle at Just Add Glue has been an inspiration, I expect. I have the bones of a new journal, too–My Gatekeeper’s Key Journal. So excited to start–but I have deadlines looming on other projects, so I’m collecting the pieces for a day when I can indulge my creativity just for me!

    Love this quote of yours: “As a teacher first, however, I tend to look on my tasks as an editor to be primarily instructive.”

    Yep–That’s how I look at it, too. Mentoring writers. Mentoring artists. BTW–I’m working with a new artist and just wait til you see what we’ve worked up and will be bringing to conference this summer. Hope you’re planning to be at GPCWC again!


    1. Nina

      Thanks for your words of encouragement, Kathryn! Actually I’ve been making crazy patch journal covers for many years and sold lots of them in my Etsy shop, but moved on to other projects for a while You know, writing and editing and stuff like that ;o) So when I decided it was time to get back to the sewing / design studio, I was researching various journaling techniques and came across the fabric journals. They are beautiful but I also wanted something inside that could really be used, so this is kind of a hybrid experiment. But yes, I love to see all the gorgeous creations in the Just Add Glue group . . . . it keeps me mindful that I need to get away from the computer occasionally and do something else. My writers will have to wait a few minutes for me to reboot my brain! I hope to come to the conference again, just not sure of the timing. I’ll keep you posted! Hugs, Nina

  2. Beth Brubaker

    You see, THIS is what I love about you! Not only creative, but you really care about the writers- and certain assistant editors..lol!

    I like to instruct to, but I tend to be more ‘drill sergeant’ than motherly. Of course my mothering is a bit drill sergeanty too! But thanks to you, my harder edges have softened, and I’m a much better editor than I used to be.

    Now, about that journal. Have you thought about selling them as blanks? They are GORGEOUS! Brides can use them for sign-in books, they make great display pieces for comment books for hotels (or even in your home!), and really pretty journals as you use them now. Just a hint-and-a-half from your friendly neighborhood crafter! 😉

    I love reading your posts!

  3. Nina

    Hey Beth, my faithful assistant editor ;o) I miss chatting with you but I know you are very busy these days. I do LOVE my writers and want to do whatever I can to be an encouragement and even do some hand-holding along the way when needed.

    Yes I have thought about selling them as blanks, so I’m working on a few new ones in the studio – I’ve gotten a bit of my energy back after the January Misery finally left our house so it has been fun dividing my days between writing / editing and sewing / cutting and pasting / stitching and covering stuff with glitter. I’ll get a few made and then see if I can figure out how to get them out in the market place. Thanks for your support and encouragement! Love ya!

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