Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


Prisoner of paper…


I was so taken with our day on Alcatraz, I decided to make a book…what else could I do? This is a nice, simple structure I have wanted to try. I had a sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. paper on hand so the idea stuck and I was imprisoned by it until the book was completed.

Here is the structure.

I tore 5 pieces of paper 6″ x 12″ out of a big sheet of the Fabriano paper. (I have found if you fold and crease the paper three times, back and forth, it tears quite beautifully and cleanly.)



Three inches from each side (long way) I scored and folded a flap…


On the outside I put double-stick tape and stuck the flaps back to back. (This means there was a single 3″ flap, a 6″square, and a double 3″ flap until I had a long line of the pages attached together.


So that the book closes as a 6″ square, I folded the first 3″ flap over the first 6″ square and then folded the next double flap around to the back and continued as it folded into a book shape.


I decorated a 6th piece of paper with water-color and pen. (This piece was slightly longer, 12 1/4″, since it had to wrap around the very thick Fabriano paper and even then it didn’t quite meet in the middle. Mathematically it should have, but when it is Lois, the not-quite-precise, one just has to say “oh, that is the way I wanted it” and keep going…

The inside of the cover’s left-hand flap is attached to the outside of the first flap of the inner pages and the right-hand flap inside is attached to the outside of the last page. Both outside flaps meet on the front and are connected with a closure.


I printed out the pictures I liked from our day on Alcatraz 5″ x 5″ onto presentation paper from Office Depot (it is a nice, matte, two-sided paper that is not as expensive as photo paper. The images are very clear and I use and like it a lot for printing with my inkjet printer.) Photos that were of textures I cut in half and attached to the 3″ flaps, leaving 5 of the 5″ x 5″ prints to be centered on the 6″ pages.

IMG_8077 IMG_8081 IMG_8080 IMG_8079 IMG_8078

IMG_8085IMG_8086 IMG_8087

Oh, and a little silver-striped washi tape because I just can’t help myself…




TM has been getting organized for his birding class. This meant finding the right journals for recording what he sees and counts. First he sought out weather-proof small notebooks for the recording-in-the-field. (I happened to have the yellow one in my collection. I think I had collected it not knowing what I would use it for but having fallen in love with its pale-blue grid-ruled pages. I figured I could rip out a few for my needs and he could have the rest. Anything for the cause!) The smallest ones fit conveniently into a shirt pocket.


Also, he needed a more permanent three-ring binder for officially entering each birding-adventure. Set in a specific layout it holds all the data.

IMG_9912 IMG_9913

I am such a supportive spouse I offered him use of my tools and my experience with journaling. (I thought there could be room for some decoration here.)

I go on trips and I journal about the experience with watercolors…




IMG_9961 IMG_9963 IMG_9962

I alter old books with gesso, titanium white. titan buff, Davey’s grey, and collage papers…(they never seem to close once I am finished with them.)


IMG_9967 IMG_9966

I slap my printed iPhone photos onto inky backgrounds…

IMG_9939 IMG_9940 IMG_9941 IMG_9942 IMG_9943 IMG_9944 IMG_9945 IMG_9946

and I make collages from snippets of magazine pictures in books I have made myself. (Mostly because I absolutely love the way Fabiano Artistico paper behaves.)

IMG_9922 IMG_9964

I offered, I did offer to assist him in any way…tools, advice…but, no, he did not want my pens, my color ideas…he remains the legal pad to my handmade paper. Thus, it will always be…but now we have a fixture at the back door for any spontaneous, unusual sightings in the backyard. You never know who might fly through. Be prepared…



Happy things…

Feeling a sense of accomplishment…finished my travel journal from Italy…it has lots of flips, flaps, accordions, pockets, and envelops…


















Also, ready to grout the bathroom wall I have been tiling…

Insert is recycled glass tiles…

For two days it has been raining…happy, happy…


And…the very first Douglas Iris has bloomed…

Plus, I made a journal because I will take this class…(the Mixed Media Journal with Judy Wise)

The inside has marbled paper from Florence and Fabiano Artistico paper.

Looking forward to filling this book…


The Art of the Decorated Page

I took an online course called Printed Patterned Painted Journal Making taught by lk Ludwig, over the past month. This coincided with my investigation of my “rivulets” pictures from Yosemite. I realized I wanted to dedicate the pages I was making to one theme to hold these particular images. Here are some of the decorated background pages before I put the images on top, and also the binding. I used Fabriano Artistico paper and it was luscious to work with, it just seemed to love having the paint scraped across it.

I bound the book like this:

Put my first Photoshop layered image from DJ Pettitt’s Photoshop class on the cover:

(I’m kind of liking the way these women are using their initials of their first names, I think I have just become LR Mead!!) At 63, one always needs new identities…

Took the book with me to show Chris Cozen when we went to Morro Bay. A few nights after we got back, Terry and I went out to dinner, only to come home to this (taken with camera bag ap on iphone):

This sweet thing had chewed off the bottom of the cover because we had just been leaving her alone too many times. Cliff does not cut it as a companion to a self-respecting K-9:

And now after all those years of being a public school teacher (when I would never accept it as an excuse, mind you) I can finally say “My dog ate my homework!”