When I signed up to the Do What you Love Retreat, I was not only excited to be in Rachel Hazell’s Book Art class, but also to be her teaching assistant for the 3 days. (no “real” work really required, just a lot of chocolate and cake eating, tea drinking, singing and laughter!)

My book shelves in my studio are full of “Make your own book” publications, but I had never had the opportunity to spend 3 whole days in this total bliss you find, when creating with the same teacher and the same creative souls in class.

Not only was it total bliss, but full of tummy tickling, playful laughter and soul searching moments. Moments that are hard to put down in words.

Paper passion and folding exploration.

When you fully commit and give yourself permission to leave all your troubles and to do lists behind, there is something that happens to the mind and the soul when you just let yourself go in the moment of creative exploration and adventure. It’s like laying in a quiet park on a warm sunny day in the shade, looking up into the tree above you, watching the breeze blow the leaves and feel the silent movement of nature, mind shifting sideways and wandering into un-chartered subconscious waters. I can totally get lost in those kind of moments and its times like these, we find ourselves again.

This class so aptly titled:‘Maps, charts and other discoveries: An extraordinary expandable sketchbook journal’ gently guided us on our own discoveries of self, expanding our own creativity as well as the sketchbook. Rachel believes “everyone has a book inside them” and after taking this class, I am dreaming up a whole library for years to come.

I found a kindred spirit in Rachel.
“I know we will meet again”

Below are my favorite photos I took in class and pages from my book “A Journey of Heart”. I hope you can get a tiny glimpse of how much this class healed and revealed. I am itching to take a week long class with Rachel now, and if you get a chance, don’t hesitate!

Rachel showing us how to bind our books together.

Our class was full of color, creativity, heartfelt moments and laughter.

My Book: A Journey of Heart.

“Label of Love”
Collage paper, pages from an old dictionary and ribbon


Expandable page for “Love Struck and Heart Strings”

Secret flaps and envelopes for “I cried a river” page

I loved these neutral colors for “Friendship”

Gorgeous hand-made paper and some favorite words; “past life”, “soul” “law of attraction”, “universe”, “awake”

More exploring on “Push me, Pull me” page

My affirmation message from Beth in my book. We all chose one at random on our first evening.

A cut out window for the “timeless” page

Torn pages and the amazing Japanese hole punch for “Write yourself a love letter” page

Lovely paper folding expanded music paper for “Write yourself a love song” page

Window and map for the back page. The little square map inside the window was in my kit package and it wasn’t until day 3 I noticed the text on the map.

It reads “Rest and be thankful”