like building a nest

 |  February 16, 2014

“Making a book is like building a nest”. -Paulus Berensohn

Book making tools make me happy. #studiotable

There was a time when I spent all my time making cutting boards, cutting paper, gluing, measuring, folding, and binding, binding, binding. My desire to paint though nudged me away from making the journals. And then when I started developing arthritis that was secondary to my psoriasis, well, it became too painful to continue to bind as much as I did. That was my final push to where I am now in my creative journey. I don’t regret it. Sometimes we just need to move on and my body told me that I was beyond that time.

But I still make my own journals for personal use and there are times when I like to slip back into creating journals. A few weeks ago I watched this wonderful video on Paul Berensohn’s Soul’s Kitchen on making journals and so the next time I was in the studio I found myself wanting to make some journals. I made these two journals that are now available on etsy.

Even So
handbound blank journal
a encaustic mixed media cover
5×7 inches
168 pages, 24# recycled paper

My favorite binding for journals as the journal will lay flat while opened

handbound blank journal
encaustic mixed media cover
5×7 inches
168 pages, 24# recycled paper
available for purchase on etsy

I actually had made a few other panels to bind into journals…..but they ended up becoming part of a larger painting. Which now I think will also become part of an even larger painting. Sometimes I get led down a path that surprises me. Much of the creative process is asking “What happens if I….” and then it goes on from there. I will share soon!

“The journal is sitting at the table with the questions we carry” -Paulus Berensohn


  1. by Sweetpea on February 16, 2014  1:38 am Reply

    I am very touched by this post. I too, have arthritis [in my hands] that dictates much of what I [am able] to do.
    Which has nothing to do with heart's desire, of course. Just is.
    Psoriasis is very connected to gluten intolerance, especially in my husband's family heritage, and was such
    an impediment in his own life till dietary changes were made. My impediment is also hereditary.

    We go on. And share lots of "what if?"

    best to you,

    • by bridgette on February 16, 2014  11:27 pm Reply

      Hi Christi,
      Thanks for your comment and I am sorry to hear that you deal with arthritis in your hands as well. I have been hearing more and more about diet being very important for those of us with psoriasis and other inflammatory issues. I still need to address that, but at least I am aware of it and doing a little research into it. Changing my diet is probably the best thing I could do, but it's so hard!
      Yes, we go on, that's all we can do.
      Take care and thanks again.

  2. by ArtPropelled on February 16, 2014  3:33 am Reply

    Even So ..... exquisite journal, Bridgette!! I'm happy that you are still able to make the odd journal for yourself and even happier that you share them on your blog. Hope you are managing to keep the arthritis and psoriasis in check. xox

    • by bridgette on February 16, 2014  11:24 pm Reply

      Thanks Robyn. I am doing well with managing all that stuff, thanks. I'm on medication that really helps, but I need to work on getting more rest. But who has time for that!? :) Thanks again.

  3. by Sue Marrazzo on February 16, 2014  6:38 am Reply

    The Patchwork Journal is a real natural looking beautiful creation!
    You are so talented ( :

    • by bridgette on February 16, 2014  11:22 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Sue. I appreciate it!

  4. by Pretty Ragged Threads on February 16, 2014  1:23 pm Reply

    Beautiful journal and thank you so much for the link to Soul's Kitchen. It was so inspiring.

    • by bridgette on February 16, 2014  11:22 pm Reply

      Thanks so much for visiting here and for your kind words. I'm so glad you followed the link, I found it incredibly inspiring too.

  5. by Mary McCloskey on February 16, 2014  3:17 pm Reply

    One of the reasons I so love looking at your blog is that I always seem to find some piece of inspiration every time I read it--either from the work you display or from links you include. I SO enjoyed the video from Soul's Kitchen. It was terrific. Great way to get out of my funk stuck on the couch after having wrenched my back several days ago picking up the dog to avoid salt on the sidewalk. Now I'm looking forward to writing in my journal!

    • by bridgette on February 16, 2014  11:19 pm Reply

      Mary, I hope you heal up soon! Back pain is no fun. And salt on paws are no fun either. I'm so glad you watched the video- I found it so inspiring. I've watched it several times and each time I get something else from it. Get better soon

  6. by Jo Murray on February 17, 2014  5:00 am Reply

    both gorgeous journals, despite your challenges. We do what we can with what we have.

    • by bridgette on February 20, 2014  11:11 am Reply

      Thanks Jo. Yes, we do. And at times it pushes us to a new direction. Making lemonade, always!

  7. by tangled sky studio on February 17, 2014  9:34 am Reply

    once again new a new parallel. i too have psoriasis and have started having flare ups and arthritic pain in my knuckles.i am also working larger which a much more fun subject to compare notes on-


    • by bridgette on February 20, 2014  11:12 am Reply

      This is getting crazy Beth!! I just spoke to someone about some natural remedies for inflammation. I'm going to have to email you

  8. by windrock studio on February 17, 2014  7:49 pm Reply

    These paths can send us off in unexpected directions, for sure. I'm so glad that you do what you do, big or small, paintings or journals ... I love getting to come here and experience your art. Stay well and yes, pay attention to the diet!

    • by bridgette on February 20, 2014  11:13 am Reply

      Thank you. yes, I agree, one door closes, another one opens...or one gets pushed through another door! I just met someone who is very knowledgeable about diet + health, especially concerning auto-immune issues and I'm hoping I can learn more from her.

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