Always be You – the entire book read by me!

The end of the year is often a time for reflection. We think about the past – what we have accomplished (or haven’t accomplished) during the past twelve months. We also think about the future – what we intend on accomplishing during the next year.

Whilst thinking about the past and the future are natural, they are often out of our control and have a tendency to lead to a whole load of extra stress. I believe that it is much more important (and constructive) to reflect upon the ‘now’, as this is within our control. Who am I now? What am I doing now? What do I want now? What am I feeling now?… Being fully present and in the moment opens our eyes to the world around us and most importantly it allows us to see ourselves for who we are.

It is precisely the question “what do I want now?”, that I asked myself at the beginning of 2019. Our son was nearly two years old and I was thinking about what kind of life I wanted for him. That is the story of how my debut children’s book came to be. In publishing this book my mission is to help us to remember to be  present, to be ourselves and to allow others to be themselves too.




Only 9 days to go until Always be You is released!

Always be You Ioana StoianThere are only 9 days to go until the official release date of Always be You

I am so happy with these reviews from these leading professionals in the field of child development:

“With delightful illustrations and rhyming words that extol love, acceptance, honesty and authenticity, Always be You is a treasure to be enjoyed by children and parents alike. I will be giving this gem of a book to every new parent I know.” — Deborah Carlisle Solomon, author of Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE® Way

“The beauty of this book is in both the simplicity of the message of authenticity, love, and acceptance, and in the unique dimensional visuals. A lovely book to remind parents and kids to be, and to be ourselves.” — Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, co-author of The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, The Yes Brain, The Power of Showing Up, and author of The Bottom Line for Baby

Always Be You is a wonderful book. It is artfully crafted and clear in its message, yet filled with heart-touching nuance. You will love reading this book with your child over and over!”     — Ruth Anne Hammond, author of Respecting Babies: A New Look at Magda Gerber’s RIE approach.

There’s still so much to do, but these words send a lot of positive energy my way. I hope that others will be inspired by my book, to slow down and accept their children for who THEY are.


Always be You – available for pre-order!

I’m excited to announce that I now have North American distribution, thank you Itasca Books! Yes, this means that you can order a copy from your favourite online retailer, although that one also does a great job at eliminating independent bookshops.

Always be You is available for pre-order from Central Books, my UK distributor, Itasca Books, my North American distributor, The Book Depository (free international shipping) and amazon. Friends, there are options!

And, as we’re only one month away, here’s a peek of one of my favourite inside spreads:


Always be You – my first board book

Always be You Ioana Stoian


Here’s some exciting news – I’m publishing my first board book in November!

I have to admit, before becoming a parent I paid little to no attention to children’s books, especially those aimed at under-fives. Today however I have read my fair share of board books and have spent huge amounts of time wondering about the messages we’re sending to our children.

So, I decided to make my own and it’s no ordinary board book, I like to think of it as an artwork I’m sharing with the world ;-) The entire 18 page book is made from my handmade paper! Each and every page was created using beautiful, hand made, hand-dyed paper. The amazing illustrations were created by Dawn M. Cardona, an extremely talented illustrator who works primarily with paper and who also happens to be a full time mother and artist. The text was laser cut by my wonderful husband and then each and every letter was hand glued by moi-même! Once everything was complete, the pages were scanned, some magic done on a computer or two (not by me as I’m computer illiterate for the most part), files sent to Sachsendruck, a German printing company specialising in high quality children’s books and voilà, I am now awaiting to see the final results in person.

Always be You will be released on November 5th 2019 – exactly 9 months after first being conceived. It is currently available for pre-order directly from my U.K. distributor Central Books, my North American distributor Itasca Books, AmazonThe Book Depository (which has free international shipping) and most other places books are sold.






The A-Z of Motherhood

How many of us really know who we are?

For me, motherhood has been an enlightening experience, the beginning of a complex and colourful journey deep into my Self.

The A-Z of Motherhood documents this journey. Within the pages of the book are 26 words that map the first two years of my new adventure. Each page of handmade paper is dyed with the colour that corresponds to its specific word, amplifying the energy of the emotions.

Segments of my ultrasound scans are engraved into the custom wood type, stamped into the surface of the handmade paper, symbolic of the fingerprints of a newborn baby recorded at birth. Titanium rods representing the internal mental and physical strength of a mother hold the binding together, forming not only the crown of the child, but also the soul of the mother. The sterling silver beads symbolize the cord both physical and spiritual that links us eternally to our child. The book is protected by a hand stitched blanket cover made from Faribault Woolen Mills fabric containing the narrative of this journey that began in Minnesota.

I would like to thank Bridget O’Malley for assisting me with the paper-making, Gundrun Zapf Von Hesse for her typeface Colombine, Hedi Kyle for her wonderful piano hinge binding and Lilian Verner Bonds for her deep knowledge and understanding of colour.

I am very grateful to the Jerome Foundation for their generous support that enabled me to make this edition of 8 books. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in further information.

Fold a flower for Mother’s Day at the Minneapolis Craft Market on April 24th 2016

Origami Carnation from The Origami Garden.
Origami Carnation from The Origami Garden.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching (May 8th 2016) so come and join me at the Minneapolis Craft Market on April 24th at Lakes and Legends Brewing Company and fold a beautiful little flower that will make your mum smile!

This is one of my own designs inspired from Egyptian mural paintings and is published in my recent book The Origami Garden.

Kathleen Sheridan from Origami and You and I will be holding free workshops at 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm and 3pm. We will also have copies of both The Origami Garden and Origami for All available for purchase – a perfect gift for this time of year!

We look forward to seeing you there!




nous sommes, my 2015 artist book

As a self-employed artist, I often apply for different grants and opportunities in the hope that financial support will come my way. 2015 was a pleasant year as I had the good fortune to receive a grant from the Jerome Foundation to make an artist book. This included one year of 24-hour access to the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, a mentor, and a series of introductory workshops to learn the basics of paper making, letterpress printing, and book binding. The intention of this particular program is to offer artists the resources to create a book, fusing together newly acquired skills with aspects of their own artistic practice.

I must admit that before embarking upon this adventure, I knew very little about the book arts genre. For me, a book was an object, with pages, that contained printed information. I soon found out that the term for such a book is a codex, but that there are many other ways in which a book can manifest itself: a scroll, a box, a print, a sculpture, a t-shirt… the definition of a book for those in this field is merely a “contained narrative”. This gave me a lot to think about over the next few months and after many hours of contemplation, I decided to focus on the element of surprise that books offer us along with the experience they provide.

In the last few years I have become more and more interested in Eastern philosophies, numerology and the spiritual qualities of colour. I have also been experimenting with form and structure, often with paper, which has resulted in numerous origami creations (and a couple of authored books along the way.) So, my goal for this project was to combine all of these elements along with traditional bookmaking skills to create a visually stimulating book that would produce positive energy in the hands of the reader. There was so much to do and very little time!

Nous sommes is a physical manifestation of the spiritual nature of our souls, illustrated through the use of colour, structure, and form. It is a contemplation of life, the game we play; and the universe, the puzzle we all fit into. Just like life itself, my work consists of many layers, each offering an opportunity to participate, to pause, and to ponder.

This work will remain on show until February 19th at The Minnesota Center for Book Arts. I have produced a limited edition of nine books, please feel free to contact me for further information.

Here are some images from the year-long book creation process.