Thursday, 20 August 2015


The dog days of summer are upon us.  We have had an amazingly hot and humid two weeks in Ottawa with evening showers, just enough to keep the grass green and the trees clean. 


I have been thinking about making a secret garden for a while now.  A fellow artist gave me a beautiful piece of Chinese paper depicting a community celebration. There was such joy in this paper when I handled it.  I used this paper to make the secret garden.  It seemed to dictate the type of garden I would make, not what I had in mind, but still a beautiful garden.  

I decided to make a hidden compartment box for the secret garden.  This is the lid of the box. 

When opened it has two compartments. 

This side of the box has a water scene, two small boats on the water, a pagoda and a hut in either corner.  I used stained glass for the water and small stones from the beach to put around it.  The boats and pagoda are made from clay.  

The other side of the box has a clay fisherman sitting on a rock, fishing.  As you can see he has been successful. 

When the box is turned around and opened, the secret garden is exposed.  

The secret garden.  All the figures, bridge and pagodas are made from clay.  I purchased them at a local shop in the market.  The two frogs are carved from bone.  The water is stained glass. 

To complete the secret garden box I used six triangular game dies.  They have numbers on all sides and are red, yellow and tan to match the colours in the paper.   This box measures
15 1/8 x 8 1/8 x 4 ½ in/39.7 x 21 x 11.3 cm.  The stones and stained glass give it a good weight.  


I always have fun making new journals and using the pigment pens to enhance the covers. 

These are single signature, portfolio bound books with corn cob stitching. 

These are multiple signature, long stitch bound books. 

I like to add colour to the books, so I used different coloured thread to stitch them up. 





The cover of the book on the left is made from a Thai paper and I lined it with another handmade paper. 

Lately, I have been drawing eyes and having great fun with it, as you can see. 

My friend Catherine gave me a large piece of stamped leather to make books.  This is the first book I made with the leather as a gift for another. 

That's about all for now.  I'm working on some artist books as well and will post them when completed. 


Ottawa School of Art Boutique, 35 George Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 
Ottawa Art Gallery, Sales and Leasing Boutique, 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
La Fab Gallery, Chelsea, Quebec, Canada 

You may also contact me at: 

Wishing you all gloriously lazy, hazy dog days of summer.  


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