How to waste time in self-isolation…but somewhat beautifully.

A bunch of you have been following my adventures making dresses out of damaged books and have asked how to do it so I thought I’d share while we’re all trying to self-isolate and keep busy.  One of the biggest things I’m using on a current dress is flowers made from book pages and it’s an easy craft to do while binging tv, especially if, like me, you have ADD and can’t concentrate on just one thing at a time.

I’m not sure how to embed a youtube video so click here if you can’t see it below:


And now…time for the weekly wrap-up:


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by The Whole Cancer Thing, a book you should totally check out because if you or anyone you know is dealing with cancer they probably need a laugh and some understanding.  This book is filled with stuff your doctor won’t tell you PLUS 101 must-have survival tips.  Diagnosis, chemo, radiation and recover might be a little easier knowing someone successfully forged a path into the bell of the beast, got barfed up and lived to write about it.  Get your copy here and read Anne Kruse’s tale to discover that stories about cancer can actually be entertaining.  Who knew?

42 thoughts on “How to waste time in self-isolation…but somewhat beautifully.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Self-isolating in California. Adjusting to the idea I’m old enough to be in an at-risk category. Husband’s recent medical emergency puts him as high risk.

    Currently digging through crafting supplies to amuse myself. Any how-to-do ideas for building a moat around the house?

  2. I love how you say the word “thing.” The “g” has a life of its own when you say it. Thanks for the tutorial! I’m going to try it and remembered I have a fabulous gold pen so I may make the flowers a bit schmancy.

    (Ooh…that is such a good idea. Digging out my metallic sharpies now… ~ Jenny)

  3. Thanks for the activity suggestions – such a fun outcome! I love the bookstore mural.

  4. So fun! I will be surrounding myself with flowers while we are quarantined! And color them. I promise to leave your books intact.😏

  5. Awesome video! When we’re out of quarantine I’ll have to hit some flea markets to look for books. I live very far from Nowhere, & getting to visit would be amazing, in the meantime, I’m totally willing to purchase a rose if you do wind up selling them at the store!

  6. Those are beautiful! I wish I didn’t live so far away! I want to visit your bookstore. And possibly move in.

  7. Hello my dear Blogess. Love the book petal flowers 🌹 What kind of dog is Dotty? XO 📚 XO

    (She’s a papillon with maybe some chihuahua. ~ Jenny)

  8. I would like to have a Jenny-made rose! Perhaps I can buy one online once your bookstore is up and running. I don’t think I can make it to Texas anytime soon. xo, Jenna

  9. You could also make copies of book pages on colored paper and use those, if you didn’t have any damaged books to recycle.

  10. Your timing is perfect! It’s the time of year where you want to make stuff and the need to social distance. I’ve seen these book pages flowers and assumed it was too complicated for me. Your instructions were wonderful. Luv to you and yours and the aptly named Dorothy Barker. xo

  11. Despite the fact I’m not particularly crafty I decided to reopen my craft stuff. I am making a tiny quilt — my 1st quilt ever– from the instructions given to me by a friend. I am crocheting a corner to corner Afghan. I’ve never learned how to crochet. Sure this is weird. I am planning to do a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s all very unlike me but I’m having a good time. I get out every day. I walk in the woods as often as possible, I go out and run as often as I’m supposed to. So that’s how I’m spending my time in self isolation.

  12. I love you, Jenny!
    Once I finish flowering the entire house, my husband, and my two Bostons, I’m gonna need more ideas. I’ve got a huge stack of books to work my way through, but I’m clueless about what’s really worth watching.
    Do you have any tv watching ideas. Can you maybe post an article about what you’re loving on Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos? I never know what to watch on a good day. Pandemic days have me frazzled.
    I’ll bet the community could get a really good list of great things we don’t even know about in the replies.
    Once again, I TOTALLY LOVE YOU!!! 😉
    Stay well,

  13. Love these, they are so pretty! I’m having a hard time visualising how to do the v at the bottom of each petal but I’m sure I’ll figure it out once I dig into my old book pages stash. Thank you so much! Stay safe, Jenny.

  14. So cool! Stay safe Jenny! Self distancing in WI… digging out my boxes of cross stitch and beading tomorrow!

  15. Thank you! It looks like fun. I like your top and was thinking it would have been cool if you were wearing The Jenny while you were crafting but then the sleeves would have gotten glued to your skin and Dorothy Barker would be stuck to one upside down and it would have been terrible and glorious all at the same time but not comfortable for you or Dorothy so good wardrobe choice. I am planning lots of knitting and sanding my homemade hexagon shelves while hanging out with my cat all day.
    For netflix recommendations please check out Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts! I binged my way through way too fast but could not help it. The animation is great, the characters are wonderful and the songs slap. I am trying to make everyone watch it as it is superb! I made my fourteen year old nephew watch the first episode and then he was eager to watch the next two but made me stop it so he can watch them while he hunkers down with my parents and makes them watch it too.
    If you haven’t already read Snapdragon by Kat Leyh please do! It is fantastic and involves a witch and roadkill and bones and family (bio and found) and it made my heart happy as well as the three other people at work that I shoved it at while gibbering about how good it is (working at library makes co-workers less likely to think you bat-shit for babbling incoherently while shoving books at then thankfully).

  16. Thanks for the video. Those flowers are amazing! One question…how do you get the glue off your fingers? ♥

  17. I may try the book dress once I finish the costumes for “Little Women” -yeah it got postponed unti who knows when but I won’t put unfinished items back into to stock.

  18. I love the crafting to keep sane thing, while I’m not crafty myself, I love seeing other’s works. Does Dorothy Barker get unhappy about just that one spot? Is it a new thing, or has she done it all her life? I’ve known cats and dogs who were always that way, but I’ve also known dogs that became that way about a spot that was “hot” due to allergies making their skin irritated or tumors. If this is a newish development make sure you take her to the vet to find out what’s hurting her so bad. I love your store and the giant cat statue. I especially love the pet otters video. They are so cute and smart, so even though wild animals shouldn’t be kept as pets, I love seeing them. I’m going to spend the duration of the social distancing time getting crafty with my cookbook. Creative comfort cooking. Everybody stay well out there. I’m going to check on my elderly neighbors regularly to make sure they’re ok and don’t need anything during this virus.

  19. PS I love Susan’s idea about making and getting suggestions about what to watch on tv and Netflix and Amazon Prime and other streaming apps services. What are people liking? What did the love watching in the past that I may have missed? A lot of shows have gone into production shutdown due to the pandemic, so what can I watch from previous years that I didn’t watch before because I was busy watching other stuff?

  20. Currently self isolating in the UK (have a cough) but no rest for the wicked as they say, I have my Open University course in Infectious Disease and Public health to study.
    Yes, I am really studying that.

  21. hey, re Dorothy Barker….does she have an ear infection or a bad tooth? I thought with those stand-up ears that Papillons would not have ear infections, but they were nearly constant with my two little guys. And with their short muzzles, they do tend to tooth problems. She was fine until you reached up towards her left muzzle area, it just looks like something hurts. She’s such a little darling. good luck!

  22. very calming. Pretty awesome project too. we could start a whole ‘nother thing. Introvert crafting.. or is that already implied to crafters? lol. 🙂 Thank you Jenny for the Project idea and instruction 🙂

  23. Super glue sticks to one thing…my fingers. I haven’t fixed a damn thing yet, but my fingers are constantly getting glued together. I’m like a commercial for mittens. Nope, not crafty at all, although I did find a hot glue gun (sans glue sticks, naturally) the other day when I was looking in my (unused) office drawers for my automatic pencil sharpener which has mysteriously disappeared along with my 3-hole punch. I’m trying to get back into the business of being a functioning human being, and you have no idea how convenient those items are to have around. I did, however, find my tape labeling machine and dictaphone which only serve to remind me that I’ve got to go on Amazon and buy more tape, and computers can voice record. Another thing I’ve got to figure out how to do. Note to self: buy Dragon Naturally Speaking whilst on Amazon. I’ve been behind in my Bloggess reading. I caught up a little today, and I still love you. You’re amazing. I’ve started 3 new things to learn how to do, and am still working on the original project, which is learning how to blog “correctly.” I’m a month behind on that. My original “spew my gu†s on the page” blog is still up, although I have managed to totally screw up my website formatting. I find my problem is motivation. How do you do it? At any rate, you do it well. Keep being you, and I’ll keep getting inspired by you. Love and lots of kisses (air kisses of course).

  24. Hi Jenny and everyone, I just queried the NaNoWriMo people to see if we might throw together a mini-version of their “write a book” challenge. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a support system and challenge to get that book inside you, out of you. Rather than see if this jigsaw puzzle I’ve got is complete or fire up “Parks and Rec” for the millionth time, wrestling down that book in my head with the tantalizing thought of it going “Nowhere” seems like a fun way to get through the next few weeks. And it’s for young writers, too! Anyone else like this idea of hitting the organization up?

  25. My dog was pining hearing Dorothy Barker. I had to show her the kitchen and garden before she relaxed that a dog wasnt in here 😀

  26. I love this! Have you ever tried coloring them? Like maybe dip your paper in water with food color and let it dry?

  27. Your timing is perfect! It’s the time of year where you want to make stuff and the need to social distance.

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