20+ Uses for a 5 Year Book

I am a sucker for any kind of planner/diary. The Hobonichi is no exception. The Tomoe River paper alone is enough to make me swoon. It takes a variety of media without bleeding and when you use it the crinkles when you turn the pages just get me in the feels. 🙂 (I purchased an A6.)

Y’all they offer a 5 Year diary.

I know, right?

Although I am a bookbinder I have to say that I adore their planners and diaries. The paper and the Japanese asthetic are my jam. And so I caved and bought their 5 year book. So here are some ways that you can use a 5 year book.

  1. Daily drawing. Self explanatory.
  2. Weather every day. If you are a weather geek, this is your jam.
  3. Gratitude journal. We all need to practice an attitude of gratitude.
  4. Poem a Day. You can write your own or copy the masters.
  5. Thought of the day/saying of the day.
  6. Day summarized in 1 sentence. It’s fun to look back and see what’s happened.
  7. Kid diary (quotes, etc.). This is a wonderful way to chronicle kid life.
  8. Health/symptom log. If you have a chronic illness this is a great way to track symptoms, meds, etc. over the years.
  9. Scripture a day. You can memorize or just write them down.
  10. Food diary. If you struggle with food, a yearly food journal can help your long-term goals.
  11. Household diary/log. You can document repairs, maintenance and a host of other long term household related things.
  12. Dream journal. Writing down dreams can be very insightful.
  13. This day in history. Write the thing you feel is mot important each day.
  14. Plant/garden log to track you progress long term.
  15. Word of the day (especially second language)
  16. Pet log. Vet visits, behaviors, etc can help you better care for your furry friend.
  17. Work Diary.
  18. Personal log. Log things personal to you–exercise, tech time, etc.
  19. Workout log. Partition days to track distance, weight lifted (or lost) and anything else you need to know so you can monitor progress.
  20. Metal health/Mood.
  21. Habits of all kinds. If you are trying to kick a habit or starting a new one, this can help you with your long term tracking/goals

What do you use your 5 year book for?

Marbled Monday 4/23

It’s been a busy month! I will share more on my Arts in Bloom show soon. For now, here are some papers I marbled today. Pretty happy with how they turned out. This was the first print I pulled today and it I was pretty hopeful after this one:

Then I wanted to get into some yellow and black zebra pattern with spots:

And I am obsessed with this flame pattern! I cannot stop printing it.

Then my two middle kids came home from school and were dying to dip their hands in the bath.

Love that they love what I do. ❤

Marbled Monday 3/19

Yesterday I was able to marble some beautiful papers. I love marbling more each time I do it. It’s a little science, a little art, and a little serendipity. And I am always jazzed each time I pull the paper off the size and see what happened after all the painting, raking and combing.

Here’s a little of what I did yesterday. Which is your favorite?

More paint colors are on their way! The guru of marbling, Galen Berry of Marble Art, is my source. I took a class from him many years ago and I have loved marbling ever since.

10 podcasts for creatives that you don’t want to miss

I love podcasts (REALLY!) and listen often when doing other things. (I try to learn something new each time I am in my car on my day job.) Here are some of my go-to’s when I am in need of a podcast fix.

  1. Creative Pep Talk. A jolt of adrenaline for your creative endeavors. Part creative inspiration and part business building insight, one episode and you’ll be 100% jazzed.
  2. The Creative Empire. All about building a creative business.
  3. Art Marketing. Weekly Action tips to market your creative business.
  4. Bookbinding Now. Discussing all things bookbinding and artist books.
  5. TED Talks Art. You had me at TED talks. And art.
  6. The Purposeful Creative. Put feet to your creative aspirations.
  7. The Productivity Show. The guys at Asian Efficiency are full of ideas to make your life better in every way. I always learn something.
  8. The Goal Digger. Jenna Kutcher challenges and inspires us to reach our goals.
  9. Scrap Paper. Creative biz owners share their joys and struggles and help us all navigate entrepreneurship with humor and insight.
  10. How I Built This. NPR hosts this inspirational series of business moguls from all sectors and they detail how they built their business.

18 for 2018: Big Plans for Bluebonnet Bindery!

Happy 2018!!

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited about this new year. It’s going to be a year of growth and challenge. Even though I still have a day job, I have big plans for BB in 2018.

A black mug sitting on an office desk in Missoula with white writing which says "Hustle"

I have seen several people I admire post their business goals/plans for everyone to see, with regular updates. It was really inspiring throughout the year–not to mention really, really brave!–so I thought I would do the same with my plans for BB this year. So, here goes… *deep breath*…

My goals for 2018: grow BB in 3 areas–

  • Brand
  • Bottom line
  • Braverism

To make this happen, I plan to complete (at least) the following 18 tasks for 2018:

  1. Participate in the monthly IG challenge #areyoubookenough
  2. Celebrate 1 obscure holiday per month
  3. move my products from Etsy to my own website store
  4. Teach at least 2 classes
  5. Create one new product/binding quarterly
  6. start a newsletter
  7. create a workspace that makes sense for my business
  8. be a guest on a podcast or post a YT video
  9. host a FB Live of my process
  10. post to my blog [at least] weekly
  11. create a bookbinding kit
  12. set up wholesale to one vendor
  13. create one original printed paper
  14. Participate in one art/craft show per quarter
  15. celebrate Booktober
  16. Participate in the #100creativedays challenge
  17. Grow the BB community
  18. Take 1 class from another artist/crafter

So there you go. I plan to update monthly, for accountability and to [hopefully!] celebrate my success.

What are your 2018 goals and plans? How can I support you to reach them?

Japanese four hole binding variations

These buttery papers I bought at Paper Arts last week were my latest bookbinding inspiration. They are the perfect weight for soft cover books (and look at that sparkle y’all!). I have wanted to make some Japanese bound books lately so when I got them home I knew just what I wanted to do with them.

I was so pleased with the results! The pattern of the marble lends itself so well to the simplicity of the variations on four-hole binding patterns.

Kangxi Biinding

Hemp leaf binding



Like Coptic stitch, this binding can be quick–and the results are oh so satisfying. I am whipping up more of these beautiful books ASAP..

Buy these and other books in my Etsy store.

Visit my Etsy shop



Marbled Monday 9/18

Yea! Another Marbled Monday has happened. I spent the morning in the same basic color palette that I seem to find myself in most often–blues and greens, with some brown, and little gold for sparkle. I experimented with several different patterns today. Here are some samples:

I enjoy marbling and look forward to mastering some of these patterns.

Do you marble? Would you like to? Have any questions? Leave me a comment below.

Visit my Etsy shop

Here is some of the latest #marbledmonday IG eye candy:

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Marbled Monday 9/11

Once again it is my favorite day of the week–Marbled Monday! I love marbling paper and I wish I had room in my home to dedicate a space to marble more easily. It takes a lot of preparation but I don’t mind. The results are worth it!

I made ten pages this week and worked on some new techniques (including blowing the paint around with a straw). There are a lot of imperfections, but overall I am pleased. Here are a few:

This time around I tried a new technique. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried it sooner because I think it is now my favorite pattern. Italian vein marbling is deceptively simple and the results are stunning:

If you are interested, please add to the IG hashtag next Monday, or just search for it and enjoy. Some people marbled their own papers and some are showing off their wares using papers from others. It’s all wonderful.

Visit my Etsy shop

Here is a gathering of all the gorgeous #marbledmonday tags for you to drool over:

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Bookbinding 2.0

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything artistic. Life has taken some unexpected turns, putting my bookbinding on hold. I have missed it so much!

I am so happy to announce I have hung out my shingle once again and I’m opening Bluebonnet Bindery. The name is a nod to my Texas roots and to my love of the color blue. Visit my Etsy store and find me on the usual social media. I look forward to connecting with you!

Visit my Etsy shop