Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mini Anxiety Art Book

Hello lovelies! Today is the middle of the month reminder for our challenge over at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk challenge.  You can create anything industrial/steampunk. Let your mind go and have fun! Here's what I came up with.
 I wanted to share a new idea I had and also tell you a little bit about myself in the process. This idea was generated because of a recent diagnosis that I got. I knew I was having problems breathing and my heart felt like it might run right out of my chest, not to mention the sweaty hands and constant barrage of questions in my head. I felt hopeless and confused because I know I am a strong person. So what in the world was happening to me? My wonderful DH convinced me to go see a Doc. That was an event in itself and a story for another day. The 3rd Doc I ended up going to (all in the same day) told me I had anxiety and was having a full blown anxiety attack. We talked for a bit and she mentioned medication and also possibly seeing a therapist. I declined the therapist and asked if I could do something else. She said sure. So I can up with this idea to do an Anxiety Book. This is a small enough (3.5x2.5) book to carry around with me and I can draw in it, write in it, scribble, or even throw it. Lol! Now you know where the idea came from and here's the process.

I started by cutting some brown leather paper and then embossed it. Then I cut some pages down to size. I don't measure stuff with a ruler, mostly by eyeballing it. I made 4 signatures and then got to binding my book. It took a few mistakes that had to be corrected but I get er done. 

Then out came some distress inks and metal elements. The silver flourish frame was brushed with Frank Garcia Artisan powder-La Chapelier ,as were the gears piece. 

I added some springs the the metal pieces. A couple of stencils from Andy Skinner and some stamps on the inside cover. The corner pieces were bright silver stickers that I applied Alcohol ink to. 

And a small closure that I sewed to the back with a Finnabair mini knob on the front to keep the book closed. Below is a picture of the binding. 

I have only done 1 page in my anxiety book. I used a TH stamp and cut the heart out and raised it with small foam dots. I hand wrote the word Brave in pencil, not totally brave enough to write it in pen yet, but I feel brave sharing this and brave going to the doctor. 

I plan on sharing this design with these amazing challenges: 

I used real hand stitching on the Coptic binding and to add the elastic closure.

Remember to Steampunk it up and have an amazing day! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki


  1. I LOVE your beautiful anxiety art book, Niki,

    but of course I am sorry to hear that you have to deal with anxiety attacks! Having to cope with them too from time to time (depending on thyroid and/or female hormones levels) I know how they really scare the crap out of you and make you feel totally helpless and worry if you are going nuts.

    As I like to say: know your enemy. I found that once I knew what it was that made me feel this way, it was a lot less intimidating and I could take a step off (mentally), watch myself and tell myself that this situation would pass like all the others and that I would not die - no matter how much it felt as IF.

    I love the idea of the anxiety art book - and I am sure throwing it is a way to feel more "in control" with the situation than simply hope and wait for an attack to pass by. Anger is better than fear - and I am sure your coptic stitch binding (hahah - I remember I struggled with that too when I did it the first time) will hold! lol

    Your design is absolutely wonderful and the textures and colours are just perfect! A true treasure indeed!

    Hugs and wishes!
    Claudia xxx

  2. Wonderful little book, love it. Sorry to hear about the anxiety and panic attacks, I know from my experience how terrifying this can be. Hope writing things down will help, and if necessary, see a therapist, they can often work wonders. Hugs, Valerie

  3. Wow Doc, this is really amazing. I love how tiny it is and how much detail you were able to fit on such a small surface! The cover looks like real leather, well done!! To read your story of how it came to be has tugged on my heart strings. I so wish you didn't have to go through that. Anxiety is horrible, if effects all aspects of your life and your health!! I am thinking of you and sending you big relaxing hugs through the internet!!

  4. First of all, beautiful book! That binding is just glorious... I mean, but how can it compete with embossed leather paper???
    Ah, anxiety. What a s0n0f@b!tch. Just breathe. Keep on crafting!!! That's the best medication for most things :)

    1. Was going to email you to say more about anxiety than what I wrote here, but can't find your contact info. Just know that my surface-level comments conceal anxiety frustrations it sounds like you feel! Xo

  5. What a great little mini book and a fab idea. Hope you feel better soon.
    Julie x

  6. Punkin, first let me say you were smart to get yourself to see a Doc, and I'm impressed with your perseverance in finding the answer in ONE DAY! Surely, I would have given up sooner!

    What a totally brave thing to do to share your story here; I'm sure it's going to make many others feel relieved they are not alone in suffering similar symptoms, and even give them a path to follow in getting help for themselves. Bravo, my friend!

    Now for this book--great idea, not only to have it on hand to draw in, write in, or otherwise express your anxieties in (or throw, if you must!) Sure beats tearing down the sheet rock in your bedroom (which is what my sister did!) Expression and art will be great therapy, at far less expense! Your binding is simply amazing and will hold up well to much use! The cover is fabulous unto it's own with the embossed leather paper and fabulous gears. Genius idea to color those corner stickers with alcohol ink for a truly aged look!

    As for your first page, the heart stamp is perfect symbolism of your sensations you had of your heart beating out of your chest.

    I'm so sorry you are and have gone through this awful time, but relieved you have found a solution. What a clever Doc you have found and what a wonderful hubby you have to encourage you to pursue your symptoms. Big understanding and hopefully calming hugs to you, Punkin'!

  7. What a gorgeous idea Niki, really fantastic and beautiful!!
    My best wishes! Hugs, Kerstin

  8. Well, for sure, most everyone reading this LOVES YOU Niki and I, for one, am so thankful you were BRAVE and shared. I'm pretty good at prayers so you are covered there!! It's tough to go thru what you are and scary. Your book is WONDERFUL and will help. Hehehehehe - can't wait for you to do your first wildly scribbling page!!!! Don't try to keep it pretty girl!!! I do love your BRAVE pages though and so proud of you for this INCREDIBLE post and your new ARTSY Anxiety book!!! Much love, j.

  9. Ah, Niki.... what a wonderful way to confront and even embrace a scary piece of life. I think a lot of us turn to making things as a way to navigate troubled waters.... a chance to play without strictures as it were. And totally up to us to reveal or not! I am so glad you did with this, though - it is gorgeous! And gosh, girl - I would love to have your eyeballs when it comes to rough guessing!! Pretty amazing, as is that binding - WOW!! Know my thoughts are with you. xxx Lynn

  10. Hi Niki, I am sorry to hear that you have anxiety issues, hopefully you manage to make it go away for good...
    Your book looks amazing!
    Have a good day!

  11. Oh Niki, I'm so sorry to hear about your anxiety issues. I'm so glad you were able to get the diagnosis so you know how to treat it. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending lots and lots of hugs to you!! Your mini is amazing!! It's so fabulous!! I love seeing how you put it together!! The cover looks gorgeous!! I hope it will help you, too. Big hugs sweet friend :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  12. So sorry to hear you have been struggling and hope this darling little book helps you deal with the anxiety. If it doesn't, do reconsider the therapist. My daughter had anxiety attacks when she was in university but she had already introduced herself to the student counseling office as a safe place to fall so she marched herself over there when she felt the need to talk to someone and found it did really help. Even now, 17 years later she will go to a therapist if things start to get overwhelming. She realizes that it is something she needs to do for herself and if others question it - too bad, they aren't her. Keeping you in my prayers and sending major hugs!

  13. What a beautiful and brave anxiety book! Great idea, Niki! The psychologist I am won't tell you it can replace the therapist, but it's a strong and helpful first step. Keep working, and be sure you have my best thoughts sent to you.

    1. And, sorry, I forgot to thank you for joining us at Our Creative Corner!

  14. Niki, I am so sorry to hear of your anxiety and panic attacks, but a huge well done for going to the Doctor, sometimes just knowing what the issue is, helps to deal with it. Your beautiful little book is such a great idea and hopefully writing things in it will give you an even better insight into what is causing the problems - I hope so anyway.

    I am a fan of leather paper, it looks fabulous on your little book and I love the way you tied those signatures in - very neat indeed.

    Thanks so much too for joining in our Sew Special challenge at A Vintage Journey! Big hugs, Anne xx

    P.s. Hope you resolved the sewing machine issue! xx

  15. I am so sorry to hear of your anxiety attacks, my lovely friend and I really wish you didn't have to go through that! What a great support from your hubby and what a brave girl you are to share your story with us! Bravo, my dear!
    I hope your clever idea to write down your thoughts in this fantastic mini book is going to help you to deal with it but I think a good therapist would help you for sure!

    Your mini book is fabulous! The front cover is brilliant and you know how much I love your steampunk projects! Your faux leather effect turned out wonderfully and I adore your framed cogs and gears!

    I am sending you big healing and relaxing hugs! Lots of love to you, my dear BRAVE friend! Branka xx

  16. Wishing you a GREAT day today Niki! Back with my DT hat on to thank you for joining the 'Hit the Books' challenge at OUR CREATIVE CORNER. And YES - giving you permission to LITERALLY Hit your BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! XXj.

  17. What a wonderful way to deal with anxiety. You have made a fantastic book. Good luck with handling your anxiety - believe me, I know what anxiety is like.
    Sandy xx

  18. Niki, I am really sad to hear that you are struggling with this. Hang in there sweetie. <3 This is a great way to deal with some of your life's stress and anxiousness. I certainly hope it helps! Stay strong, sweet girl. Hugs, Autumn

  19. Wow your little book is just stunning and the attention to detail is just awesome. Hope this little book helps you with your struggle. Wishing you all the best
    thanks for joining our challenge over at
    Debbie DT

  20. Thank you Niki for sharing so openly the inspiration behind your fabulous little book. That in itself can't have been an easy decision to make , let alone put into words.
    During my 'struggles' I have often found that spilling out onto the page can often be a healing process and I hope that proves to be the case for you too.
    This book is not only a beauty but it is a treasure to keep forever that one day you will find yourself looking through, smile and say proudly tough as it was ,I made it through!
    big hugs
    Amanda xxx

    Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey x

  21. wow wow wow amazing creation thanks for playing at Mixed media place

  22. Niki, you can write BRAVE in ink because you truly are, sharing what you have been going through is incredibly brave! I am so sorry to hear you are having to deal with this debilitating problem but good on you for seeking help and starting on the road to recovery. Your anxiety art book is wonderful and I hope it will soon be filled with insights and coping mechanisms as you heal. Sending big hugs and healing energy, Deb xo

  23. Wow! I love your craftsmanship in this cool Steampunk journal. Blessings!

  24. Simply gorgeous! Thanks for joining our challenge over at
    TIMI CraftStamper :-)

  25. A stunning little book which I do hope will help you particularly as you have been so brave in sharing the reasons behind it. Thank you for joining us at Our Creative Corner for our Hit the Books Challenge Jennie x

  26. Niki, this is a beautiful book all in and of itself, but the purpose for you and choosing a different path to take in all that you are facing is to me wonderful. My heart goes out to you, and here are a bunch of hugs!! I was with a friend when this happened to her, and it was really scary, so can only imagine what you and your DH went through. Thank goodness we have our art and creativity to help us through the difficult times. Take care my friend, and know I am thinking of you.

  27. What a sweet little book - love the gears on the cover and your first pages - I hope working in this helps your anxiety issues - anxiety can cause so many physical ailments - be sure you take care of yourself! Thanks for joining us in the AVJ challenge! Julia xx

  28. So sorry to hear about your anxiety attacks Niki. It's good to know you're taking action on it. This beautiful book is certainly testament to your creative reaction to the situation. Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey xx

  29. How amazing that something so creatively exciting should come out of such a worrying and frightening period for you. Good to have a diagnosis, at least, and it's fabulous that you are using your crafty skills to take control. Your book is gorgeous with it's grungy gears - a brave and beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing this all with us on A Vintage Journey.
    Alison x