Category Archives: 2012

You’re Invited to My New Place

I hope you won’t consider it too far to travel (too many clicks to get there?!), but MyArtfulLife is spreading her wings and moving over here. There’s more to do yet, like wrangling the archives from this site and transferring the files to the new place, but there’s a fresh post ready and waiting. The subscription sign-up form is up and running, and I decided there is no time like the present to invite you in.

Welcome to my new internet home – please make yourself comfortable and register for blog updates!

Warm regards,


DIY Thank You Cards

See that book title, “WordPress 3”? Now that I’ve invested in some new real estate — virtual, that is — I’m putting my DIY inclinations to work. Learning how to maneuver in the backend of a privately hosted WordPress site is a little trickier than expected, but I’m making progress. As soon as the floors are swept and the pillows are fluffed I’ll let you know the address so that you can come on over and have a look-see.

On a more immediate front, I played with some older photography in my favorite-but-about-to-disappear-forever online photo application, picnik, and made a stack of cards for my Thank You Project.

It’s been fun sending them out.

the joy of POD books

Pen and watercolor illustrations for my next Blurb project.

The beauty of the software from the folks at Blurb is that you don’t have to know how to write code, or even have a background in layout design, to join in the immediate gratification of bookmaking. My experience with print production goes back to my early twenties, when I learned how to set type on keyboards that evolved into desktop publishing computers. Bottom line, I love typography and I love the process of assembling images and words into books. Eating Clean was my first formal bookmaking project, but that was in 2002, before the wide popularity of print-on-demand, not to mention digital book formats. There are no wholesale rates for the books made on Blurb, but if you’re not interested in the expense of inventory and relinquishing storage space to boxes of books-that-are-yet-unsold, the 1-by-1 pricing might just work for you. For now, that suits me just fine. I can keep playing and doing, which is where the joy in POD is for me.  Have you tried an online POD bookmaking service? Love to hear about it and hear your thoughts.

Joy Dance: 8 Hours Unplugged

I took a stand yesterday. It wasn’t comfortable but it was necessary. Patty Perfect — that would be my very lively inner critic —  was harping in my mind’s ear, but instead of giving in, I ignored her. In a single bold move to rescue my gasping-for-breath creativity, I barred myself from logging in to work-related email and gave myself the gift of time. What to do? Play with the oh-so-fun online bookmaking application, blurb, and my collection of Nantucket Island photos.

for doodles, dreams…
By Lisa Allen Lambert

I love writing, drawing or doodling on graph paper, so this was my paper of choice for the notebook’s blank pages. Eighteen summertime captures of favorite island nooks and krannies are staggered throughout 104 pages.

Time evaporated as eight hours flew by. Bliss reigned; I reviewed dozens of photo files, cropped, and tested selections. Utterly joyful.

The learning curve for Blurb’s bookmaking software is fairly  easy to overcome. There are lots of formatting choices: ebook, softcover, hardcover, hardcover with wrapped image book jacket. The menu of sizes has something for everyone. Curious? Click the graphic above and browse the results of my day.

January Bits

Corabelle's Stare-DownWe had an esteemed houseguest recently, but someone wasn’t pleased. Beware of the calico personality! Our visitor, Ann, is the author of the lighthearted-with-serious-subtext novel, On Maggie’s Watch. Ann makes me laugh more than almost anyone, but Corabelle fails to appreciate the humor. “How long is she staying?” she seemed to be asking.

Who's that?

snow porch

Before Cora’s patience was stretched to dangerous limits, Ann and I left for New Hampshire’s north country. The MFA winter residency  — a week-long gathering of students and faculty for workshops, readings and community — is always intense, and for me, a 24/7 responsibility. Ann’s on faculty; I work behind the scenes and help to keep things running on schedule. There was no time for outdoor exploration, but I managed to capture a few scenic shots from the hotel.

One of the unofficial perks of the job is that on occasion I am able to attend a writing craft workshop, as if I were still a student. Wiley Cash’s session on “place”  let loose a watershed of revision inspiration for that manuscript of mine that has been accumulating dust in the closet.

Now that I’ve had a week to catch up on post-event administrative tasks, it’s time to get back to my own projects. It feels great to be back. Happy New Year!