What a Beautiful Morning

Morning Journaling

It is cloudy out this morning, which makes it a good time to sit down and journal. Although any time is a good time to journal. Day, night, rain or shine, journal and feel the stress leave your body.

Why journal? It clears the heart and soul of things that get in the way. Sorrow, fear, hate. Write them down and close the journal and walk away. Better yet, tear out that page and burn it. You will be surprised how much satisfaction and cleansing this will bring.

THEN, journal about the things you are thankful for in your life, be it either the past or the present. Your family, friends, the animals in your life, there is no limit of people or things that bring you great joy. There is so much to be thankful for each and every day.

I am thankful for the clouds and rain as they are rare where I live. The beautiful sunrise I got to see this morning because my cat Thor Kitty insisted I get up. Now, because I got up, I get the witness and enjoy the rare quiet of my house, as I sit here journaling with coffee in hand and my cat curled up at my side.

Visit Thor Kitty on Face Book #DragonAlley https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dragon-Alley-Journals/156515134449134




Life is GOOD!

Some mornings are frustrating from the very beginning. My first clue, as I am stumbling down the hall with my eyes half closed, I step into cold cat barf. I suppress the urge to scream as I hop down the hall on one foot so I don’t spread the joy.   I grab paper towels and spray cleaner and clean the gross crap off my foot first. When that is cleaned up I run for the coffee which is so very necessary to get me through my mornings. COFFEE!   But wait…..the fancy automated coffee maker did not start. So I push the manual button as I stare longingly at the empty carafe. Must have my coffee.

To kill time, I start my computer only to find there are three bazillion updates waiting to load! I watch the counter 3 of 468, well this is going to take awhile. I really didn’t need to get any work done, at least not in the near future, as my computer continues to count down the numerous updates. COFFEE!

I stumble back down the hall to get my glasses so I can see…..yes that is the kind of morning I am having, I forgot my glasses when I got up and I really need to see.   On my way back out to check on my coffee, I peek into my daughters bedroom to see her peacefully sleeping.   A beautiful calm look on her face and suddenly everything is fine. Life is good.

Visit my new Etsy Shop Dragonfly by the Creek @ https://www.etsy.com/shop/DragonflybytheCreek



Homemade Gifts for Holiday Giving – A Year of Living Cheap!

This year I will be making my Holiday Gifts!  This is a great way to save money and to make a one-of-a-kind gift for the special people in your life.

Several easy homemade gift ideas are:

Simple leather journal

Soy container candles, scented or unscented

Beaded bracelet

Leather draw string bag, pouch

All of these are simple DIY projects and only take a couple of hours, tops.  You can do an internet search and watch a video or get the step by step instructions.  IF the instructions go on and on, do another search with the word “easy” in it.  None of these projects are “Rocket Science” and any beginner can accomplish every one of these.

I melt the wax for my soy candles in the microwave in a “microwaveable safe glass bowl”.  It is easy, fun and I love the fact I have candles made by me in my home!  When making the leather draw string bag, there is no sewing if it is round (like a dinner plate)!  Punch holes evenly spaced, run a string or leather lacing and it is done.  You can choose to decorate with beads or if you are using suede leather you can paint on it.  It is really simple and fast.

So choose your project, don’t go overboard when getting the supplies.  Simple is always better and won’t hit you in your pocket book like a bomb went off. Your friends and family will love the gifts you made just for them and you will not have to touch those credit cards this year!

If this is not your cup of tea, then support local crafters and go to a craft show to get your unique handmade gits!



For great Custom Books, Leather Journal, Planners @ http://stores.ebay.com/Dragon-Alley-Journals


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







Making a DIY Gift


There is nothing more satisfying than creating something with your own hands.  Whether it is a piece of art or a handmade gift for someone you love.

Sometime at the least expected time I get creative ideas, so I always carry my “to do” journal with me.  It is a small leather journal I made that fits in my purse or back pocket of my jeans.  If I didn’t write my ideas down I would never remember them by the time I got home.

The next step after the “Idea” is selecting the materials for the project.  I never throw away scraps from any project, this way I always have most or the materials I need for my next adventure into DIY!!

Make your project, admire your finished work then give it lovingly to that special person.

It doesn’t have to be and elaborate project, make something as simple as a pin cushion or soy candles.  Both projects are simple and will bring you and the person receiving the gift lots of great memories and joy.

My Handmade Leather Journals http://stores.ebay.com/Dragon-Alley-Journals

Creating Your Dream Journal


“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”  ―    Gloria Steinem

Our dreams are a rich source of entertainment and wisdom.  When we journal about our dreams we can learn about our past, our longings, hurts and attitudes.

Making regular entries will create a tool for personal enlightenment.  They can reveal a problem you never knew was bothering you.

Remembering Our Dreams 

1.    Write

2.    Write

3.    Write

Immediately upon waking write what you remember about your dreams.  Whether it is in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.  Keep a note pad, pen and a notebook or journal next to your bed.  Do not rely on your memory, as you will forget your dreams.  Our dreams are revelations and if heeded and analyzed, recorded often lead us to growth and healing

Dream Recall 

1.    Truly want to remember your dreams

2.    Tell yourself you WILL remember

Have a short talk with your subconscious and tell it you value your dreams and want to remember.  Ask for help in doing so. Reinforce the desire to remember.

Make physical space for your dream journal.

A dream journal is best written when you first wake up, so the best place for keeping your journal is next to your bedside on a table or trunk.  I keep mine in a wicker basket along with a pen and a small flash light. You can also buy pens with lights already in them!

The problem with rummaging for something to write on and with is that you’re likely to forget your dream, so make this part of keeping a dream journal as easy as possible!  Everything you need nice and handy.

Make your Dream Journal a separate journal from your daily journal.  I carry my daily journal with me and don’t often remember to place it on my bedside table every night.  Keep your Dream Journal accessible to your bedside so you can write immediately upon waking.  Your Dream Journal could fuel ideas for that next great novel!

“All men dream:  but not equally.  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”  ―    T.E. Lawrence



Creative Journaling has no boundaries.  Write, draw, stamp, color!!  You do not have to stay within the lines.  Write a story; create a song, a poem.  Over the years you will build a wealth of notes that could lead anywhere you want to go, the next great novel, or screen play.

You never know!!

“All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.” – Steve Martin


1.    Romantic

2.    Lyrical

3.    Silly

4.    Thoughtful

There are quite a few faces to poetry, from metered rhyming verses to free style to a more formal structure.  All are great for journaling; whether they are serious, fun/silly, and lyrical or thought-provoking they are all a great form of expressing yourself in your journals.

Free Verse Poems

1.    Emotions

2.    Worries

3.    Humor

4.    Sensitivities

Free verse poems don’t rhyme or have any set meter but they flow from you mind, your heart, and your soul with rhythm.

Essays and Prose

1.    Fiction-Write a story

2.    Real life-Write about a day/week in your life

3.    Fable-Write a fairy tale

4.    Observations

Create a fairy tale with yourself as a hero.  Use fact, fantasy and anything else that comes to mind. Bring out the writer that is hiding within you.


1.    Tell a story

2.    Parody-Tong-in-cheek

Songs usually tell a story.  Pour your heart out; let your emotions tell a story in song. Write a funny parody about life.