Classes in California–Mark Your Calendar

Give yourself a gift of meaning-making for the holidays. Or give your best friend, sister, or someone you value a gift of a raw art class. I’ll be in California in January–on the 21st and 22nd. (Saturday and Sunday). If you are going to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association), you may want to break away and do something for yourself.

iHanna's confetti lines

Saturday, January 21.  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:  One-Sentence Journaling
207 N. Broadway St., Studio L
Santa Ana, CA 92701

What will you do in class?

My classes are a little different from other classes–you won’t walk out with a pretty gift for your sister. Instead, you’ll walk out with ideas that will fill your life with explorations of your world and meaning making in your journey.

If you’ve started a dozen journals, but have never finished any of them, if you have always loved the idea of keeping a journal, but haven’t ever kept one, or if you have kept a journal but don’t find it satisfying, this class will make your heart glow.

You’ll start with one word and grow it into a pile of words and a box to keep them in. You’ll chose a word and use it to start your journal with just one sentence. Two, if you are ambitious.

This class is about the power of words you use every day, and the words you want to use on your journey through life. You will laugh hard and write deeply, one sentence at a time. Raw art is part of the mix, and your pages will have color and design on them to help you stay connected with your writing.

At the end of the class, you will have completed at least five journal pages
and have enough ideas and techniques to last you for years to come.

Price: $88. Register at the bottom of this page on Jenny Doh’s website.

Bubbles, by Quinn McDonald

Sunday, January 22, Journaling for Perfectionists.
Location: Zinnia
1024 S. Mission St. South Pasadena, CA 91030  Phone: 626.441.2181

What Will You Do in Class?
Started a bunch of journals but never finished one? Don’t want to start a journal because you will “ruin” it? Join me–a journal-keeper and recovering perfectionist– to play in your journal. You’ll learn ways to start your journal, ways to save a “ruined” page, and intriguing ways to write in your journal regularly and be satisfied with your work. If you are new to art journaling, even better, because we will be adding color to the pages as well.
Be prepared to laugh a lot, too. At yourself, and at the odd and bouncy walls we build around our lives with perfectionism.

How long:
2.5 hours–11:30 to 2:00 on Sunday, January 22.
Price: $55  To register: Call Tamara at Zinnia– 626.441.2181 or email her at

Come join me in a class–I’d love to meet you and help you find your story!

–Quinn McDonald teaches what she lives. She is the author of Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art.

More Mixed-Media Postcards

The last batch of mixed-media postcards were a good beginning. Having fixed the concept, I began to work on details. Still exploring, still making mistakes, but getting better at identifying them.

After making the pink/yellow/orange one:

I decided it needed more. I added quotes from Plutarch (“Nature and wisdom never are at strife”) and one from Toni Morrison (“If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it”) and one from J. Petit Senn (“Happiness is whwere we fine it, but rarely where we seek it.”) After that, I added design in gel pen and then framed it in copper tape. I think that was one step too far, but it was good practice in framing with copper tape, the kind stained glass artists use. I love the effect, even it was a little too much here. It can add a spark of color or a bit of steampunk, depending on the postcard.

Moving on to other unlikely materials,

this postcard is made on a tag base, uses book pages, black paper and cheesecloth. I love the effect. It’s not done yet, but so far, the stitching works well. Thanks, Rosaland of Soulful Creating,  for telling me about stitching over the edge.

I had some handmade paper with flower inclusions left from paper-making days,

so that became grist for the mill. Derwent Inktense pencils for the circles, and washi tape for the edging. I’m starting to pay attention to the finishing details now. In fact, the other side of this card is a different paper,

and uses a different tape for finishing. All of these cards will eventually have writing on the back that relates to the front. And my rule is that they must all be sent to make them real postcards.

I had some embossed foil in plain silver. Using Copic markers (alcohol markers) I colored the floral embossing, attached the foil to a card-stock backing with fusible webbing, and added a copper foil edge.

The edge doesn’t photograph well, (there are no black marks along the top, I think it’s a ceiling fan reflection) but it looks appropriate. It’s difficult to get right, as I have a well-known inability to get things perfect straight. I’m not sure all four sides need to be exactly even, but edging the postcards is almost always a must, so I will also try edging them in marker and bias tape.

This one is the beginning of a frame. I don’t know what’s going to go into the middle yet, but the hem tape and decorative touches make it look almost Victorian.  It’s 4 inches  6 inches, so I’ll have to watch the proportion.

Remember I said I had a postcard that needed a zipper? Here it is. “I’itoi unzips the sky at morning.”

There are other zipper cards coming. I want to attach two cards using a zipper that separates. But first I’m enjoying this one.

Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and writer whose art combines words and images. Her book, “Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art” will be published by North Light Books in July of 2011.

Perfectionist’s Dilemma

“Hello. My name is Quinn. I am a recovering perfectionist”

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii Quinn!”

Ummm. Now what? If you look at the tag cloud over on the left nav bar, you’ll see “Recovering Perfectionists” as a tag. And it’s teeny because there are so few posts in it. Not because I don’t swim in a sea of recuperation from my perfectionist problems, but because. . .well, the posts aren’t done yet. They aren’t quite good enough.

And that is a major problem of perfectionists–we’re procrastinators. We can’t put it up because it’s not perfect. So it never goes up. And then, of course, it’s not only not perfect, it’s nonexistent. Perfectionists often don’t show up. Not at work meetings, where they are present, but silent. Not at social gatherings, where they put in an appearance, but leave before something goes wrong. Often, not in their lives.clock

It’s easy, as a perfectionist, to stay behind the scenes. Come in after the fact. Point out what went wrong, how it should be fixed. We play “devil’s advocate” because it stalls the actual doing. After all, if we speak up, we might be wrong. It’s hard to be wrong afterwards, with 20/20 hindsight working for us.

OK, I’ll say it. Perfection is the death of good. You will never be perfect. Get over yourself. Being a perfectionist is nothing to be proud of, it’s something to get over. Because when you get out there and try, and fail, you become better. Closer to perfection. Yep, perfection is all about messing up. Join me in recovery.

Note: The next course “Journaling for Perfectionists” will be taught in person at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  It will be taught online in January. To ask questions or get put on the information list, write me at QuinnCreative [at] Yahoo [dot] com

(c) 2007, All rights reserved.

Clock image:

Journaling Courses: Perfectionist, Wabi-Sabi

The course is just about two weeks away and there will be no walk-in registration. (Because I have to confirm number of people 1 week in advance).

Both courses are being held in Alexandria, VA, in a hotel function room in the Landmark area.

3journals Time to sign up now for Journaling for Perfectionist (no pressure to change, just a chance to explore where perfectionism is taking you) and Wabi-Sabi–a Japanese esthetic that can simplify your life.

You get a great chance to experience journal writing and creativity coaching.

JULY 8, 2007 (Sunday) 2 pm to 5 pm
Journaling For Perfectionists

Why do perfectionists start a hundred journals, but never fill a single one? Negative self-talk, guilt, and procrastination are three of the most popular reasons. If you want to keep a journal but haven’t been successful, you’ll enjoy this course. Get the benefits of creativity coaching while you start that journal you’ll finally fill up! $65. Details and registration at: or 703-307-2106

JULY 15, 2007 (Sunday) 2 pm to 5pm
Wabi-Sabi Journaling

Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese esthetic that honors the old, the worn, and the incomplete. Move that concept from art into your life. Simplify your mental environment and your journal-writing. Release control and stress to discover a life filled with meaning. Combine the benefits of creativity coaching with journal writing. $65. Details and registration at or 703-307-2106