Ho Ho Ho – Art Journaling We Will Go


A couple of months ago, on a whim, and because the Santa Fe Art Journaling Retreat was coming up, I did a post about my favorite artist-made art journaling bags – which I sell at my gallery.

I said I would place a custom order and you all blew me away with your enthusiastic response. I also blew the artist away by placing such a large order. But she recovered.

I then reordered for my gallery, but the Retreat students wiped that order out before it ever got to the gallery.

These are GREAT bags that weigh almost nothing.. See the full description in this post:


Now, I am getting requests for more bags because they make great gifts for artist friends.

I have just gotten a new shipment of two each of the bags you see above and one green fern bag is already sold.

I also have orders for some other color combos, so I will be placing one big order early next week for the holidays. Because poor Corrine has to actually make these by hand – even printing her own fabrics – this will be the only order I place for the holidays. Turnaround will be 2-3 weeks if I don’t have what you want in stock, but we will get them to you in time for gift giving.

This is also a fabulous iPad bag. Fits the iPad in a folio – with lots of extra room for stylus etc.

Here’s the Shopping Cart Link

Custom Made Art Journal Bag


Feeling Like An Idiot . . .

We all know how a new art form can grab us by the heart strings and pull until we say yes.

I have really tried to fight that lately – in the interest of concentrating on just my painting… and journaling… and photography… and jewelry making… and . . . you get the picture.

Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, when Lynn was here, Betsy and I took her to the Galisteo Studio tour. Galisteo is a lovely village, very scenic, and home to several of our most treasured artists around here. In fact, I am going to share some photos next time, but on with this story.

We walked down a long, tree shaded path along the river to the studio of Judy Tuwaletswia. Judy works in natural media and does amazingly beautiful works that may take her 5 years to complete. There are fibers and textures and there are stories.

When I saw these pieces on her wall, I loved them



The first piece looked like paper and the second like corrugated copper with a “strange” glow to it

Judy said it was glass.

“Glass on what?” I asked?

“Glass on nothing.” she replied.

PING went the heart strings!

I was in trouble.

This is fused powdered glass fired directly on a kiln shelf. I can’t even say how much this excited me! My mind just about exploded with possibilities.

But I know NOTHING about glass. I don’t even LIKE most fused glass that I see.

Judy gave me the name of our local Bulls Eye Glass Resource Center (there are only three in the country and we have one here!). When my DFFL, Valerie, was in town last weekend, we trotted over there. Valerie is a potter and owns some kilns, and owns a fabulous gallery in Durango, CO, so for all those reasons, she was interested.

There was a workshop on the schedule about how to create these sheets of glass and also how to screen print on them with more powdered glass.

Valerie and I always get in trouble together and this time, we signed up for an expensive workshop right there on the spot. It’s not ENTIRELY our fault, They told us there were only two spots left. Who can resist that?!?

So, she is coming back to town tonight and we will be in class for three days. I’m excited.

I was SO excited, that I signed up for a short and inexpensive workshop yesterday – on how to cut glass sheets.

Here comes the IDIOT part . . .

On my first try, I dropped and SMASHED a large sheet of glass. OMG.

Lots of noise – glass smashing and the other students’ jaws dropping.

Something in my brain had not gotten the concept of hanging on to a sheet of glass WHILE you dropped it on the table edge.

“Someone does that in every class,” said the instructor kindly. (I bet she says that to all the idiots.)

So, I was the SOMEONE for that class.

At least my feet didn’t get cut up.

They FORCE you to wear shoes in these classes, and it was a good thing. My flip-flops would have led to my wiping out the large supply of bandages they have close by. LOTS of bandages.

Maybe someone DOES do this in every class.

The teacher said they had felt foolish putting the closed-toe shoe requirement in their class description at this time of year. Who WOULDN’T be wearing closed-toe shoe?!

They hadn’t met me yet – grin.

But now they have.

So, I apologized the whole time the teacher swept up all that broken glass, and “felt like an idiot” while the other students all looked smug with their nicely “dropped” but unbroken sheets of glass on the table in front of them instead of on the floor.

I was telling Val all about it on the phone last night, and she was giving me lots of sympathy.

“You must have felt like an idiot,” she said.

“No,” I said, “I actually did not feel bad or embarrassed at all, now that I really think about it.”

“Sure you did – you must have.” she said.

But the truth is that you can reach a spot in life where you can find your idiot moves entertaining instead of embarrassing. My “feeling like an idiot” was actually fun.

And the best part was – I didn’t have to worry about doing something stupid. I already had that out of the way. I was sure to make other mistakes, but they would likely be quieter.

What a sweet thing that is

It’s taken a long time, but when you have made enough mistakes in life, you get pretty comfortable with yourself in your own skin, and it really doesn’t matter what other people think of what you do.

Are you there yet?

Can you have dinner alone at a restaurant without feeling funny?

Do you still get embarrassed if you do something like I did?

What’s the last “sheet of glass” you dropped?


6 thoughts on “Ho Ho Ho – Art Journaling We Will Go

  1. Louise W

    Jessica, I love those bags! They are beautiful.

    I have dropped lots of glass – both literally (I do stained glass) and figuratively. I guess one of the things about getting older is I rarely get embarrassed about the stupid/silly/embarrassing things I do any more. It’s a “what will be” attitude.

    And I’m glad I don’t live near that Bullseye center. I’d be in big trouble! I liken glass to quilting/sewing. I see a piece of glass and know it will be just perfect for some project, which I will forget what it is and now have all these sheets of glass. At least I don’t have to buy much when I decide to do a project!

    Have fun with your new project. Hope you post some pictures for us!

  2. Deb Sims

    Oh Jessica! I love it. Now I have words for something I have done–my idiot moves are entertaining instead of embarrassing! Reaching this point in life is so freeing and joyful! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Timaree

    I still don’t like to eat alone. But I sure connected with your statement about the mistake being fun rather than embarrassing as I do that quite a bit myself (the goofing up bit) so I figure I might as well find the humor in it. What I have done is dye my hair purple. My husband hated it so much he told me I “was a walking freak show” and that’s how others would see me. Well I disagree as I have had mostly surprised “wow”s rather than “what made you do that”s. He made me sad and I considered not doing it again (it sure doesn’t last long over gray hair) but then I decided it makes me happy every time I look in the mirror and see dioxazine purple so I am and I told him so too. My daughter wants to get me a Tshirt that says “walking freak show” as she thought that was hilarious.

  4. Jeanne

    The last, horrendous mistake I made was when I was backing into a parking spot at Ikea to load up my purchases. I stepped on the gas instead of the brakes… and smashed into another car AND the railing in front of the store. Thanks be to Whoever is in charge up there, no one was hurt. Except my pride. And my wallet. But because of my advanced (!) age, everyone was concerned about me…. It took a little time to recover from that (I kept thinking about what MIGHT have happened), but what I’ve determined is that I will be careful about backing up—and I will laugh at myself for mistakes from now on. They will pale in comparison.

  5. Marilyn

    Timaree…I have found a t-shirt that I am going to order. It says “I am who I am. Your approval is not required.
    The other one I want says “I can explain it to you I can’t understand it for you. :-)

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