Happy Holidays

Tis the season for giving!


If you are looking for a fun gift (especially for those who love to read) I have you covered. I love saving old books from the landfill and turning them into something new to enjoy.

I search my (vast) book collection for just the perfect page for a quote or saying or just the perfect words for a special necklace. I’d love to create something special for you to gift.



Printmaker Richard Black


I received sad news last week, my ‘artist friend’ Richard Black passed away. He was an interesting ever learning man. I first met him while I was the Education Director at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was an instructor of some for credit courses that we were offering. I was intimidated by him, he had trouble understanding me (young and talking WAY too fast, I am sure) but it didn’t take long for us to start to ‘get’ each other.

As a graphic designer I was able to help him with a logo for his grape growers association, later with a website and an attempt at the ever changing social media. We spent hours together working on his website, sorting though images he had created and each had a story. I remember many of those stories… but I wish I would have wrote them down.

Richard was a printmaker, a professor emeritus of Drake University, a member of the Royal Printmakers Society, had art exhibits all over the US and in London. He was a grape grower, had begun quilting just a few years ago and had plans to hold a kite festival. There was no slowing him down. He was always working on something.

We shared a love of gardening, dogs and art. His humor was special. I am grateful for the time spent. I am grateful for the images and stories he shared with me over the years.

Strawberry Shortcake no longer needs more strawberries! (inside joke) I will remember you fondly.

Learn more about Richard and his work on his website roettastudio.com


Another change of season

Another change of season


We are back to fall again… the cold snap has finished off the garden and winter projects are in full swing. Many fun summer days were had and many tomatoes were canned. The puppy (Ridley the silver lab) is now a year old and has passed Dixie in length and height, but not weight 🙂

Now that the weather is turning I am turning my attention to re-stocking my Etsy shop as well as local stores. I have made a delivery to Liberty Market in Gowrie, Iowa and she is stocked up for fall (and Christmas!). I have also provided new product to Genevieve’s which is the gift shop and cafe at the newly renovated Humboldt Memorial Hospital. I have a couple more stops to make before all locations have a replenished stock, but that is a good start for October,

I completed my new book page Christmas tree for 2019 and delivered some to Liberty Market in Gowrie. They are the first to have the 2019 tree design.

As always, you can shop locally, you can get in touch with me many ways or you can purchase prints or make special requests via my Etsy shop.

Puppies and fall projects

Who doesn’t love a puppy!! Our chocolate lab (Dixie) is nearing her 10th birthday and we decided it was time for her to teach a puppy the lay of the land at our house. So everyone meet out new silver lab Ridley. She is fun.. and a handful!

Despite the new distraction I have been getting some new work done! This fall in local stores or by contacting me I will have some fun new items! They are currently in progress and will be available soon.

I stumbled along this little machine called a Zutter at a garge sale late this summer… it makes spiral bound books! I have been creating fun notepads with little extras inside the pages with it. I can also create a special notebook for you from a book you have at home.. maybe a fun title for a co-worker, something special for a teacher. It is a useful gift with a lot of personality!

Also in the mix are wreaths made from book pages. They are beautiful. The process to create them takes some patience… but I just turn on Pandora and jam to some music and work away. They are great for any season … I just happen to be rolling them out before the holidays.

This year’s Christmas tree is a simple design, one tree looks great, but a grouping of them really dresses up the mantel.

I’ll be sure to post when everything is finished and available.


Family Fun and Shopping Local


Have you checked out your local farmer’s market? I love visiting the Fort Dodge market! And now the town I grew up in is hosting a market that started in August and will continue in September and October. What fun we had and check out this locally created pumpkin to adorn my yard this fall!


Enjoy the harvest…. my pumpkin (yup..not plural… I have just one) and my first time growing cantaloupe has me excited! I have a bounty of other veggies coming on and when the garden comes to a close I will get to work creating with books again.

Enjoy these warm late summer days and get out an enjoy the local offerings available to you.

Earth Day is almost here!

Each spring (even if it does not feel like spring outside) I celebrate Earth Day with a sale. I enjoy recycling books (that were headed mostly headed to a landfill) into new items! I also use other recycled items in my creations. Because of this I feel Earth Day is a fitting holiday for me to celebrate.

From Friday, April 20th – Monday, April 23rd you can use coupon code EARTHDAY10 to save 10% on your online order from my Etsy shop.

I will be posting fun Earth Day and recycling info all week long. If you want to learn more check out the Earth Day website https://www.earthday.org/earthday

Here is to hoping spring really is coming this year!




How eleven became my favorite number



Each year I celebrate the 11th month of the year as eleven is my favorite number, and has been since the age of seven… I was married on 11/11/11 and that year our dog had 11 puppies! True story.

Why eleven? I was home sick with the chickenpox for the week, it was the week in school that we were learning the number that add up to eleven…. 8 + 3, 9 + 2 … well you get the idea. My mom, being the teacher she was, made sure I kept up on my school work and taught me this math lesson… to this day I (who do not make math in my head) know numbers that add to eleven better than any other math.

End of story.

This year the celebration is simple… from now until the end of the month save 11% OFF order of $10 or more in my Etsy shop with coupon code ELEVENOFF. Or just click here and the code will be in for you automatically!

It’s time! The holiday shopping season is here.

This is the coolest feedback ever


Last night I was having an ordinary evening until I received a notice on my Etsy shop that someone had sent me a message. Well, this gal named Joan had ordered a ‘Mentor Print’ and had received it and was happy with her order and the prompt shipping… THEN she explained that she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the address I had sent it from. She grew up in the house I live in now, my address had been her address! We plan for her to contact me next time she is in the area to take a peek inside – I did warn her that my creativity seems to get in the way of my housekeeping … but with fair warning she was welcome to come take a look around. What a small world!





It’s Official

11uniformIt’s official!

It is the 11th month of the year, Halloween is over and we are full on to the Thanksgiving and Christmas season! I have been working daily on new pieces, photographing them, and listing them in my Etsy shop. I am usually also deep into the vendor show season at this time of year. However, I am taking a step back from shows this year as my day job has been a little more hectic than usual and I am needing the weekends to recharge my battery! I do however encourage everyone to check out your local vendor shows and support local and handmade! I know even though I do not plan on vending (unless someone twists my arm) I do plan on shopping! You can still shop locally and find my book creations – check out From Miry Clay Potter in Dayton, Iowa, Tin Shed in Downtown Fort Dodge and the Humboldt Memorial Hospital Gift Shop in Humboldt, Iowa.

Now… back to this 11th month! As many know 11 is my favorite number and so I celebrate. Keep an eye on my facebook page for more info coming soon and check out the shop section of my website to see all of the new things I have been working on. http://www.iowabookgal.com/shop/

And just for fun, here are my 11 favorites right now… my list of favorites is forever changing!


New this fall 2017

Greetings all. I have been busy in the garden all summer and have been spending the past few weeks harvesting my goods! I have made Amish Hot Mustard, Salsa, Spaghetti Sauce and more! I will be all stocked up for winter.











I also did a few fun projects for myself this summer, refurbishing a $2 metal cart for my patio and painting on some old windows.

Fun times were spent with my family and my husband, going to races, fishing, enjoying time with my nephews and all that summer brings.


I am now beginning my fall stock up on my Etsy site and preparing for a few fall sales. One in the Des Moines are in late October and perhaps a local Fort Dodge show closer to Christmas. I have also began to stock items at The Tin Shed in downtown Fort Dodge and will be cutting back on vendor shows this season.


New for fall is the introduction of leather into some of my necklaces… and leather earrings are all the rage this fall… so I have added some of those into the mix as well!

Check them out here.