The Sheltering Book Chapter 5

The Sheltering Book Chapter 5


I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘The WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University, to create, “The Sheltering Book“.

web2hOpen to the world.

The Sheltering Book will be a life-sized book structure which will become the backdrop for community bookmaking workshops drawing parallels between the meaning and architecture of the book, and that of the Sukkah. The project also explores the relationship between the public sphere and private space, whether that space be our personal creativity, where we create, or what we create.”Debra Disman



A “Sheltering Book” program was held at the , of the Santa Monica Public Library. The program was attended by participants from preschool to post school who created books,  and shared them in the shelter of The Sheltering Book.

webaThis kind patron helped Montana Branch Library Manager Stephanie Archer and I carry The Sheltering Book into the Community Room.

web9Covers and pages were prepped, and participants bound them together into a single signature book which they then added to with writing, drawing and collage materials.

webgA whole wonderful family of three generations…grandma, mom, and four fantastic, talented and creative daughters!

webbwebiReveling in materials.

webcCreative use of papert strips too create waving grasses, behind which cat’s eyes glimmer…

webtSharing with little sis looking on…

webewebkUse of magazine images.

webhShe has a beautiful sense of design.

webdGrandma gets into the act!

weblwebpCreating with Grandma…pretty in Pink!


webmA children’s book illustrator…

webushares her creation…lovely color choices!

webnThis wonderful teaching artist claimed the time to create a piece about her own identity…

webvemploying buttons, collage, mixed media,

webv2to great effect…  webv4and sharing.

webxBeautiful use of leaves…



webx4and inside, her book!

weby_1She strolled into the Community Room during a break, and jumped right in!

  weby_4A natural presenter!

levyweb6-jpgThis lovely couple go right into the expressive spirit…

levyweb2-jpgcreating about music,

levyweb3-jpgand other visions.

levyweb1b-jpgPhotogenic too!

This maker truly committed…

weby1using inspiration from the natural

weby2and the man-made worlds…

weby4and fully developing ideas

weby3within her book.


webzThis spirited artist used to be a casting agent…

webz1and she has truly found a new medium within which to epxress herself…and vision.

The Sheltering Book becomes a synergistic process and experience for the community at-large, offering shelter, safe space, and creative inspiration for all who engage with it. 

Let us hold the vision!


Mock-ups and Murals…

Mock-ups and Murals…


It was great fun to teach a “mock-up to mural painting” program at the Montana Branch Library in Santa Monica this past Saturday.

We called it a


and attendees looked at a number of my live and in-person mock-ups (to-scale miniatures of planned murals), and images on my site of the finished murals.

Artifactory Studio

Artifactory Studio

Oshun Center

Artifactory StudioArtifactory Studio

Planning for Elders in the Central City

Artifactory Studio

Artifactory Studio

Exterior Mural done on fence 2 stories up, seen through kitchen window.

Artifactory Studio

Artifactory Studio

Garden mural done on patio fence.


Artifactory Studio

Living Room Wall Mural

We talked color, scale, technique, and then they painted their own mock-ups on project display boards. Big Fun!

The results were magnificent.

Each participant expressed her own style, color personality, and visual story.




WEB6What a privilege to work with these artists, and watch them express themselves in paint, color, line shape and imagery.


MemoryMaking Books

MemoryMaking Books

In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library, I had the opportunity to lead a bookmaking program at the  Montana Avenue Library, my home branch of the SMPL

“Making Memory Books” was requested… a single signature style book, embellished with fabric.

WEBaLeather, denim, beads, as well as decorative papers and fabric scrap were some of the goodies laid out for participants to use.

WEBcThe signatures were already prepared, with holes punched. Once bound with the three-hole pamphlet stitch, the first and last pages were glued to the inside of the front and back covers, and the book was formed.

WEBiThen, the fun could really begin!  let the embellishment commence!

WEBkPaper, “eco-fi” felt, cloth, lace and leather transformed the book structures into unique works of art.

WEBdUpon request, a square shape was used, instead of the more common vertical  rectangle.

WEBeA mother daughter duo enjoyed adorning their book covers with butterflies.


WEBfIs this a pink planet, surrounded by butteries?


WEB2The inspiration for the project was a series of fabric covered sewn book models,

WEB8with cloth pieces applied patchwork style.

WEB1The colors, patterns, shapes and tactile quality of cloth and textiles can evoke powerful memories.

WEB2The effect can be pleasing visually, as well as tracing remnants of life stories barely remembered but held in the body, memory and emotions through the sense of touch.

These books, that may hold memories barely discernible to the maker, can now become the repository of new memories, as scrapbooks, photo albums, journals, or sketchbooks.

What a beautiful gift.

Happy Holidays, and peace and blessings for the New Year.