Create What You Love

When I first started out making journals it was out of necessity.  I had just been layed off from my job and the journal I had bought from the Renaissance Festival years before was worn out and tattered looking.  So I started looking online at journals and found the prices (for someone who was without a job) excessive.  So I grabbed my old journal took a good look and decided “I can do this”!  This is how Dragon Alley began.

I went to my local leather store and found a nice piece of black leather.  Then I went to my local office supply and got acid free, recycled paper for my journal, nothing fancy.  I used unlined paper as I also use my journal for an Art Diary.

Then I agonized for several hours were to cut the leather for my journal.  Did I want a natural edge or did I want to cut a fancy edge.  As I am a very down to earth person, jeans and t-shirt girl, I picked the natural edge of the leather.

My next step was to take 50 sheets of 8.5 by 11 paper and cut it in half to make one hundred 5.5 by 8.5 sheets which equals 200 pages.  I three hole punched each sheet, and did the same on my leather (use a leather punch on the leather).

The last step was to cut two long strips of leather to make my binding and a tie to keep my journal closed.

This all sounds like a fairly simple process but I am a perfectionist and this little project actually took several days.

I now make journals for a living and I love the creativity, the touch and the smell of the leather.  If I could I think I would keep every journal I make.

I love what I do and would not change anything about how I got here.  Create what you love!

If you want to see my journals and other leather items I make, go to my site on eBay at:

Leather Journal








Finding My Own Time

I am at a time and place in my life where I no longer need  or want a career/job out side of the home.  What I do have is an on line business where I make, create and sell Leather Journals, Belt Bags, Messenger Bags and other leather items.  But no matter where you are in your life, career girl, newly wed, new mom, mom of teens or empty nester, you need as I do, time all to yourself!

You need to escape the chaos of your world, your day.  I find when working for myself I work even longer hours and yes even weekends, but I love what I do. Even I need an escape, time for myself even if it is just for a short thirty minutes before everyone gets up, I sit down have a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet.  So go out on your porch or patio, stroll through your garden, sit in the barn with the cows, take the time, your time.  Take a deep breath, relax, clear your mind and listen to the quiet.

This is so important for all of us in our crazy go, go world of noise and back to back meetings, or customers that want a custom item that just can’t happen.  This is your time, make it happen and don’t feel that you have to share it with anyone.

As Norman Vincent Peale said “Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.”

So create your own relaxed space by taking time just for yourself.  Life is short and you need to stop the crazy noise even if it is just for a short amount of time every day.

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Cat Lover!

I am a cat lover…dogs scare me.  This phobia is because I was bit by my next door neighbors dog as a child. I still shy away from dogs to this day, but cats are my friends and my loving family.

I officially became the crazy cat lady when we, as a family, adopted our fourth cat, Thor Kitty.  Thor Kitty is a lover and was abandoned by his last family and your guess is as good as mine on why.  Thor is such a loving cat, but still being a kitten (he is under two years) he gets into mischief.  Thor Kitty will terrorize my cat Boo who is the oldest of the inside cats.  Poor Boo just wants to be left alone AND Thor just wants to play. Boo is my cat, she is a black, all she wants to do is sit by be while I work in my studio.

Athena and Tiger round out our family of cats.  Athena, a muted torte, is a one person cat.  She loves my daughter and only my daughter.  We always warn visitors not to even try to pet her or they may pull back a bloody stub.  Athena hates my husband…..well all men really and she only puts up with me if my daughter is gone.

Tiger is the old man and is about 18 years old.  His name of course came from his orange tiger stripped fur.  He loves my husband and puts up with me because I feed him.  His favorite activity is to knock on the back door so he can walk through the house only to go back out the front door.

Love my cats no matter what.  They are my forever family.

“The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.”  ~Doug Larson

Come and see me @

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Wet Paper Bag

It continues to amaze me how many people can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag.  They spout off on any and all subjects.  Some will read an article (usually only part of the article) and then they know all there is to know on the subject.  This is not only tiresome but can be dangerous when giving someone else advise that could effect their health or safety.

I never believe everything someone else tells me.  I do listen to what they have to say.  Then  if the subject is interesting I read, research and come up with my on conclusions.

Don’t let someone else lead you blindly around by a ring in your nose, know what is going on.  Never allow someone else to do your thinking for you.

Remember when reading an article whether from a news outlet or a blog that it is usually slanted to the views of the writer.   The same goes for listening to someone on TV, listen to their view but research to make sure you totally understand the subject matter.

Think, Read, Research!

Think Man, Think!

“Although we think we know it all, we don’t, you will for a fact learn something new everyday.” Unknown

Come and see my new Leather Journals @

Chiricahua 2



Excuse Me! Where are Your Manners?

What ever happened to common courtesy? To the simple everyday manners your mom taught you when you were growing up. Did you loose them, did you forget them, what?

The assumption seems to be that the young; especially teenagers, are the ones who are very discourteous, even rude to their elders. On the contrary, I find teenagers to be very polite and a lot of teens go out of their way to help you. I have had more young people hold open doors for me than adults. It is the middle age and the elderly that seem to have a problem, they seem to have either lost or forgotten their manners.

Recently I was in a clothing store buying a suit for yet another interview. When I approached the cashier there was not another customer around. The cashier greeted me, smiled, and asked if I had found everything I needed and started my transaction. Halfway through my transaction a 60ish woman walked up to the counter pushed me aside and placed her articles on the counter. Then in a demanding voice told the cashier (who was young, probably just out of High School) “Wait on me, I’m in a hurry.” The cashier very pleasantly stated that she would be with her as soon as she finished my transaction. The woman started getting upset and said, “No, you don’t understand, I am in a hurry.”

At this point, it is all I could do not to say something to this woman, but remembering my manners, I kept my mouth shut. The very well trained cashier stated firmly but politely that the woman could wait until our transaction was completed or she was welcome to locate another cashier who was available.

Well the 60ish woman held her ground; that is to say she was still in my space making huffing noises, and being incredibly rude. As the cashier finished my transaction, (this woman was so close she was probably memorizing the numbers off my credit card) I was tempted to turn to Ms Huffy and state. “Sorry, was I in your way?” But my Mom taught me manners, so I thanked the cashier for her courtesy and walked away laughing.

Good manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.  ~Bill Kelly

Dragon Alley Journals @

crazy woman