Thursday, December 29, 2011

What A Year!

I'm over here working my buns off for the next online class (mixed media journaling) which of course will contain everything but the kitchen sink. I cut the stencil above as part of one of the demos; my father, mom and older sister from a photo taken before I was born. Daddy left for Guam shortly after this was taken; he was an airplane mechanic and it's probable that I was already in the oven here. That was all so long ago. 

The brown paper bag journal bug has bit again and hard. More about that in a moment.

I'm living in smoothie-ville now. I'm always the last one on the turnip wagon. There's a food revolution going on in the country (or is it just Portland?) and everybody's getting healthy. At least until the next trip to Mexico. The purple smoothie is red cabbage, blueberries, mango, banana, almond milk, nutritional yeast, chia seeds, lime juice and spinach. We're eating more vegetables than Bugs Bunny. 

I've been hunkered down low trying to get all the videos made for the March class before we take off in a month. It's been so dark and rainy here that we're really looking forward to breaking free and getting out into some sunshine. We hardly got to wear our summer clothes this year so maybe we can go where it's summer all the time. 

This long, sweet week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the perfect time to dream, count blessings, bid adieu to the old, and to conjure up the coming year. Like a good witch I like to think I have a hand in what happens; not that I'm in control of anything but that I can choose to help things in the right direction here and there. I feel like it's my responsibility as a pushy old gal. 

I used to choose words for the coming year but recently I've stopped at Grace. I don't think there are many better words than that. To be willing to accept what comes whether you like it or not. To hold it in your heart toward others, especially when they try your patience.   

I like to sit for long sessions with my journal and write it all out. How the miracles just keep coming. How glad I am to be a creator instead of a destroyer, politician or meanie. I have great sadness for those people and for the very wealthy. I think it would be a curse to be rich or famous. I love being a nobody. And I love other nobodies. I think we're the bomb.

See my little fingers conjuring up a wonderful new year?

Nathan and his new camera. Just because. Did I ever mention his beautiful hands? No? 

So here's the latest brown bag book. First the measured papers, soaked, scrunched, flattened.

Then dried quickly on the red hot woodstove between gulps of coffee.

The dried pages looking like a stack of tobacco leaves.

Ironed lightly and folded into folios.

And sewn with aqua linen book binder's thread into a coptic journal.

This is one of the other brown bag books that I wrote about here.

And the first brown bag book that I wrote about here. Long live the brown bag book. I'm going to try milk paint on the pages of this new one. White milk paint. I can't wait. And then I'll show you. Because it's so much fun to get excited and see if I can get some of you excited too. 

Happy New Year 2012. May grace, beauty, magic, and miracles follow wherever you find yourself in the coming year. xo


huntla1 said...

I am excited already. Just waiting patiently for the class!

Susie said...

Oh Judy, your not a nobody, you a wonderful, joyful, talented,uplifting, awesome and amazing giver of inspiration and cast a little bit of lightness on the world and the rest of us. You are an artist who is making the world a better place for all of the meanies, politicians and destoryers, just maybe they will think twice about this life is about. I bet you've touched a heart or 2 who stepped back and decided to take the path less traveled. You never know, but I like to believe that kind of stuff happens everyday whether we ever know it or not but I am hear to remind ya, that you do make a difference. You are a somebody to lots and lots of us. :) said...

TOOOOOOO WONDERFUL for my words post, good woman! i smiled, i laughed and i oooohed. i could have sworn i saw little bunny ears sprouting on you avatar :].
you ARE the bomb! xoxo

dorylyn said...

Well, Judy Wise, you are a somebodies to me. I, too, can't wait for the class!

Janine said...

OMG! You have got me going now! Thanks for sharing!

About that smoothie, you got me going there too!

I agree with Susie you are wonderful and an inspiration! I always look forward to your posts! Thank you!

roc said...

oh wow - what a post filled with lots of information and beautiful photos. i love your humility but question the term "nobody" because everybody is somebody and from following your blog i can tell that you are very special in so many ways. you make a difference in people's lives and that certainly is a gift beyond measure. i'm wishing you good luck in the new year. i know what ever you touch will be nothing short of magic. i will be watching and cheering you on.

Jan said...

Lots to see and think about and bookmark and ask questions about in this post. Chia seeds huh? Pushy old gal huh? somehow I doubt that. Who's Nathan? Your son? Not that it is any of my business. Very handsome, whoever he is. Which issue of CPS are you on the cover of, I see on your side bar but can't read the month. I found your earlier tutorial for your brown bag books and bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing that. Your pages in this post look a different color, not that it matters. Looks like a fun thing to do and I'm wanting to get more into journaling this year.
Happy New year to you and yours! Stay close to that wood stove, as I am mine.

Jan said...

Where do I find out about your mixed media journaling online class?

Ro Bruhn said...

Another great post, I have so many brown paper bags and I really will get down to making a book one of these days. I've started a very small vegie garden this year and am loving reaping the rewards, thanks for all of your garden photos this year, they really inspired me to get going.
Have a fabulous New year and an even more creative 2012.

Anonymous said...

you touch people with your words judy and that is a graceful gift to be sure...thank you

Paula In Pinetop said...

I'm anxious for class to start. Think I'm going to hole up in my studio this weekend and make brown bag books....I need to hide away and have some time to myself.

Hurry, we can't wait much longer.

Beth said...

Happy New Year, Judy! May it be as colorful and nutritious as that incredible smoothie!

Kat Kenney said...

it's always uplifting when you post, the shared bits of everyday are what make your blog come alive. Some people love being Queen, like you, I like the role of nobody much better!

kelly barton said...

you simply make me smile. smooches.

katie said...

judy wise - generator of beauty, beauty, beauty...

Randi said...

I have a few questions. Why do you soak the brown paper in water? Is it just to get those delicious wrinkles? And If you're going to glue a spine on, why do you use the coptic stitch? It covers up the beautiful effect of using coptic, it seems to me. I'm a beginning book binder and am looking for lots of whys and how-tos.

Susan Jonsson said...

I think of the word Generosity when I think of you. Thank you so much for all the giving you extend to so are certainly a very important somebody to me.


Kathy said...

This is a wonderful post and perfectly thought-proviking for the new year. I have been trying to choose a word and I know it must have something to do with living more calmly but I haven't quite hit on it yet.

becky s said...

Love this idea for brown bag recycling. I told my mom and she gave me a whole stack of paper bags that she'd just been putting away for no real reason. Can't wait to try it. Thank you for sharing the technique, Judy. :)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree very,very happy to be a nobody as
well....we are the bomb!!
happy new year....
missy from the bayou

Judy Wise said...

Randi, I'm not going to cover up the stitches. When I have it is usually with a transparent fabric. That's just me because I like the stitching too. xo

trish said...

Can I be your friend?! :) xxoo Judy Wise my hero

Seth said...

The perfect post to end the year with. It is like all the others...filled with creativity, generosity, and inspiration. Thanks for all you do Judy and thanks for making the blog world (and the real world) a better place!!

Andra Hepler said...

A nobody...never...wealthy in friends and artistic talent. Yep..that is what i believe.
Smiles, Andra

Jan said...

Judy, thanks for your continued generosity and inspiration. I wish you a happy, healthy and creative 20121!

mansuetude said...

Happy "smooth-ie" New Year.

That looks so yummy after all the rich food i have been eating.

Parabolic Muse said...

Dear Judy;

Please knock it off. I cried at this post. Do you think this makes me look sophisticated and self-possessed?! Sets a good example for other blurfers?!


Oh, but wait... I'm a nobody, too! I don't have to set an example!

Thank you. (sobbing)

Here's the deal: I have toyed with brown paper bags in private, with the curtains drawn. I have gazed with wonder upon their changes, powers, their sheer (or, Damask) glory in being alive. Or, at least, organic. And here, I see that you're playing with them in PUBLIC! Among other nobodies! I could FAINT, I tell you!

but before fainting, I had to come here and tell you something. I love those little fingers in your journal, and their New Year machinations.

My word of the year is Titchy. Like, I want to do each little titchy thing I feel like doing when I feel like doing it, no matter how titchy it is. And the beauty of being titchy is that every time I do be titchy, Blogger, or Word, or Excel tell me that I'm misspelling titchy.

THIS is what makes life worth living! Flaunting the titch in the face of electronics!!

Something's changed since I started this comment.

Please forgive me, with grace.

Lynn Cohen said...

I love that stencil. It "feels good" to me the subject matter.
Such a nice way of capturing it.

I love that book too. And the crinkled papers on the old stove.
I can see you sipping your smoothie and tying your pages together...and all those colorful journal pages sing off the paper.
Your life is a colorful vessel of joy my friend.

Wishing you everything good in the new year! Be well and be happy and have fun on your path(s)!

Carrie Clayden said...

love your journals and the brown bag looks like fun. How clever to recycle an ordinary object and make it a journal...I wil be looking for your class when it comes about...

Paula In Pinetop said...

I had a blast making my new journal. Posted it over at my blog and included a link with credit back to you. This was really fun. Bummed though that I didn't keep a pad under my work and bent the point on my awl. And it was a new one!!!!! dang.

Well promised food to my family today so guess I'd better get busy.

Hope all is well with you.

Looking forward to next class.

Melinda Bloom said...

I always love visiting your blog. You are uplifting and inspiring. I'm so glad to know you!

Kathleen Conard said...

Thanks for sharing your latest creations with us. I made a paper bag book, but didn't bind it very professionally (I used staples and then covered them with paper : )). I love this bookbinding stitch and will definitely need to try that instead. I just put some plaster on my first substrate yesterday - a few of us are going to start going through your ebook together on Jan. 5th. I am glad to have this to play with until the weather warms up and I can add wax back into the mix! Happy New Year, Judy! xo

yolie said...

what a wonderful post! beautiful and inspiring.
thanks Judy....may your New Year be filled with delicious smoothies and
much Grace.

Anita Van Hal said...

Your new workshop looks awesome!!! Thanks for giving us a peek! Hugs!

Unknown said...

You got me excited! I love your posts, and regret that I haven't been more diligent about posting myself as well as following and commenting..oh well, it is a new year! Grace is my word Hawaiian it is "Kahiau" (kah-hee-ow) which interprets to give freely without any expectation of awesome 2012 to you..filled with grace!

Marit said...

I'm convinced you can get me excited with milk white on brown paper bag pages... I'm excited already! What a year this will be too! May all your dreams come true in 2012 Judy! (oh, and thanks for calling me 'the bomb' - I like that!)

Parabolic Muse said...

Hi. it's me again.

I am going to take your online journaling class. I would like to pay by check in two or three installments, paying in full before class starts. Is this an impossible dream? I just don't want to use pay pal at this time.

I am not on facebook anymore, but I'm assuming I can be just as annoying a student through Flickr?

Thank you.


p.s. I'm so excited I could spit!