Friday, May 6, 2016

The Altered Sewing Book - The beginning of the Fear

Many years ago now, I started an altered sewing book, a huge vintage sewing book that I turned into an art journal, little did I know back then that this journal would be one of my very favourite art journals that not only I adored but many others had come to adore.

So one sleepless night (I have so many) I laid awake thinking of new ideas for my Y
outube channel, when I decided I would teach people  (and I use this term teach SUPER loosely) how to create a sewing book altered art journal for themselves. Not realizing the absolute magnitude that this project would become I decided to set the wheels in motion and present the idea to my viewers.

Streams and streams of positive feedback hit my inbox, I was actually very overwhelmed with the amount of YES PLEASES! I got. People wanted to see this happen, and now it was my job to make it happen...and so I took the steps to begin planning this mammoth task.

In between this project we moved house (and it was a nightmare) we also got hit with a superbug as you do when all your defenses are down due to the previously mentioned move, and then the dreaded school holidays.  My poor sewing book idea was put on the back burner as I got my barrings in the new house, created my studio space and generally took a break (if you can call school holidays a break).

While doing this, the comments kept coming, are you still doing this? Is this book still happening? Did I miss a video? Almost daily I would get 1-2 of the same questions about my sewing book. A constant reminder of what I have undertaken.

This book became a force, a force I was starting to get petrified of! So many people wanted to see the book happen, am I really going to be able to give them what they want?...What if they hate it?, What if they end up hating me? My anxiety went through the roof! The thoughts of this book not living up to peoples expectations or even my own were starting to plague me day and night, maybe this idea wasn't such a good one.

People ask me all the time to do a paid class...ALL THE TIME! Why am I not teaching a course? and to be honest, I don't feel I have enough original content in me to do a paid course. I also like showing people what I do, for nothing...because I've had nothing before, I've not been able to afford to do a course due to our finances (previous marriage was struggle street) and so it means that a HUGE portion of people wouldn't get to see this book happen..if I made it a paid class, and that in my opinion is sad. One day I will get the courage to do a paid course....but today is not that day people.

Then there is the negative Nancy on my shoulder one would pay anyway so why try.... So I'm just going with what feels it over to the masses and hope that it inspires a few to create their own.

I wanted to write this blog post so you saw a little bit of my mindset when creating this series, my own perfectionism gets in the way of me doing half the ideas I have in my head. Sometimes when you think an artist can just produce ideas and art at the drop of a hat, (some artist may but I assure you I am not one of them) believe me when I say this journey has been a long one. One that has been riddled with self doubt and self questioning. I am not an expert nor do I claim to be one, I create what I enjoy and share because I enjoy sharing.

I hope this has given you a little idea of how sometimes I may make it look simple and effortless...but it truly does take all I have within me to create things for my viewers, that I not only am proud of but also love aswell.

Enjoy the series of the Altered Sewing Book Art Journal.

x Courtney

Links To Remember
The Facebook Group:
Playlist of the Videos


  1. Lookin good sweetie! Can't wait to see this take off ^_^.

  2. I am loving your idea :) Can't wait to watch it grow xx

  3. Enjoying the process and greatly appreciate all the work and love it takes you to do this.

  4. Courtney... I enjoy your art, talent, and videos. They're fun to watch....! Don't worry what others think. Your videos are very inspirational. Sometimes I (and I'm sure others) sit down to play in our journals but have no ideas on where to start. Thank you for sharing your pages and ideas. 👍🏻💕

    1. I have been waiting anxiously for your next sewing book video. I've collected a lot of items and have glued them on most of the pages of book. Please do a video of the next steps soon.

    2. I have been waiting anxiously for your next sewing book video. I've collected a lot of items and have glued them on most of the pages of book. Please do a video of the next steps soon.

  5. I wanted to let you know that I have been watching as many videos as I can since I found your channel a few days ago. I totally love your little creatures and this wonderful way of journaling! I have always been a book nut and love the idea of using a repurposed sewing book. I found the book I am going to use today and can't wait to get started!!!

    1. You are welcome! I just started my journal! Woot!

  6. Hi Courtney! I found you via your Scrap Monsters video, pinned on Facebook. I just wrote a blog post sharing how my daughters and I are loving making scrap monsters, and wanted you to see it if you are interested: Because I love art journals and stitched paper, I will definitely check out your sewing book videos as well!

  7. I am eagerly awaiting this but understand that 'life' interrupts all good intentions. I suffer the very same problems although with older family. I look at your videos as 'me' time where I can indulge in a like minded joy of play and colour and (not being rude) but 'weirdness'. At least that is what the adults surrounding me think if I dare mention my interests and what I would like to do. I can't wait for the next video but self care comes first. Always. What you are doing is appreciated and I fully understand your doubts and inner demons. What you are saying here sounds like the voice in my head too!!!! But at least you ARE 'doing'. I don't. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR JOURNEY.

  8. The style of writing just made me fall in love with you!

  9. I'm old and I love watching your videos. I've done free tutorials for years. Some of us enjoy sharing what we learn. I just like the fact that you are honest. With us and yourself and love your chatter as you film.


Thanks so much for the lovely comments! it makes my day to know that Im not babbling to myself!
Ink and Love