Sunday, February 18, 2018

learning printing

i've made lots of flax paper this winter.
one mould,
custom made by britt quinlin the paperwright for a zone 4
and brush gallery project,
makes a dry sheet of about 10 x 24 inches.
the mould is unweildy and tricksy to use.
but i like it. 
working with the expert guidance of melissa schulenburg
i made some collagraphs 
about weave.
my living room furniture as drying rack. 
there was no way i could abandon these to the drying rack 
in the studio for five days,
they're too new and special for me.
and living with them helps me figure out the next steps.
dog kennels re-purposed.
 my living room includes two,
for the visiting setters,
gwen, who has made a happy comeback from her bad spell, 
and tess the princess birddog.
i opened up my sketchbook
looking for pulp stories
 and found this
from two winters ago.
a pulp herbal.
shanna's covered rock holding the page.
at school
the freshman group made 
super mokuhanga self portraits,
here are some of them.
and a warwick press surprise
i found in my mailbox.
a reflection on the times,
a poem, and this lovely, lovely landscape.
it feels like almost nothing in my hands,
so light and airy.
it's been a good week.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


several years ago my amazing son ian drew his heart
his woods
his love
maybe because he was raised next door to woods
and was babysat by a grandfather maple
and played with his sister
climbing trees,
tasting sap-weeping sugar maples in march,
and now borrows wood bits, old and new,
to carpenter into useful
and beautiful
we would do well to remember how rooted our hearts are
in this woods
all our woods,
this world.
please, be mine.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

how creativity infects life

i edited this a little, especially trying to explain how creativity works for me,
and the alignment, etc. is still wonky, but i'm leaving it. 
i still maintain that others, non-creatives, see it as procrastination. 
creatives know better,
but still have to manage it.
remember that poster from the 70's? 
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits."

sunday's post:
i was informed by my love that procrastination is part of creativity, 
(research proves it)
that the gestation taking place while procrastinating is part 
of the process. 
i like that.
/girls; it's what we're not.
sometimes creativity springs spontaneously from need:
i had to fix those basket handles.
as i walked past my work table i noticed
two long pieces of thick hemp string
that tied up a recent gift
and had to be reused. 
they were right there ready for me.
many years ago now i heard the term "compost dyeing".
way before i knew what it could be, 
then eventually found websites,
still not understanding much i made it up and then, and then, 
i found an amazing book, eco colour,
  and fortunately met india flint, and ecodyeing, now contact printing.
she who is teaching via facebook right now, a very creative, online class.
i'm getting ahead of myself, though...
knowing what i did about compost and natural dyeing
i put it together and thought: what if i wetted a fabric,
hung it in my green cone composter and let the heat and microorganisms make some color/pattern.
so i tried it.
meanwhile, back at the ranch, as they say,
there was a 55 gallon barrel 
brought over by a riding friend to make practice jumps for my mare and me.
it had burned in a shed fire and then rusted, being exposed to weather.
i rolled it into my yard, 
wrapped white cotton sheeting around it, tied it on
and wet it out. 
for a couple of autumn months.
i used: water, vinegar, milk, wine, beer...whatever interesting liquid i had that day.
mostly it was water.
the final cloth was colored and patterned, 
salvaged before any weather damage.
i washed it well, dried and ironed,
 and off it went to become someone else's shirt.
this is what it is: 
gestation. creativity. procrastination?
i've been making small sheets of paper
from the pulp leftover after bigger runs at school.
(2 pounds of flax = a bunch of large papers and 
a gallon of leftover pulp too small for the big equipment)
i make little papers
 and can be at home, in the kitchen! 
and manage pressing and drying at my leisure.
early, i sometimes wear my nightclothes.

and the other day the ups delivery guy and later on a state trooper both startled me

stomping up on the back porch in a snowstorm, 

when i was making paper in the kitchen (they were both ama/uzed).
i, fortunately was clothed appropriately.
but where these new sheets will go, 
prints and books,
this is what i'm working on now.
all the while i'm prepping for pbi, 
and for summer/fall papermaking class, 
and thinking about another cool opportunity that i hope
i can share with you once it's finalized.
i found this ⇧ while tidying up at school.
the storage closet is now easy to navigate.
and this year there's winter, 
who does winter's own creative work being poor man's fertilizer, 
and slowing down drivers of cars and buggies.
(slowing down the work on my roof, too.)
a woven landscape,
with new snow and now freezing rain today 
 hearing from both kids
during a snowstorm in one day 
highlighted my week
 and the neighbor three
see three, now? 
often joined by two others often check in during the dayout back the snow around the barn
looks like a sewing machine went wild
stitching patterns all aboutand as usual 
i see weaving everywherealders and other brush
woven by wild grapevine suggest patterns for books
maps for living
a life.

Friday, February 2, 2018

back and forth

the buddhist monk's chest holds a bunch of stuff
it's a constantly evolving surface filled with things i love.
and now there's a winged being
from aimee.
 i was away in toronto
and just before i left rudy and the boys 
brought over the lumber for my roof.

there has been some snow, 
and wind, too,
but they did work on the roof one day while i was away.
these guys tried hard to get this done
 but this crazy on and off winter has had its way 
 with the best laid plans.
 so a dark green metal will soon grace this old place.
feeling like i can get things done:
yesterday i walked three miles and then sat myself down
with h & r block and my mac
and got the damned taxes done.
up till midnight with that, but oh! it's done.
this morning i repaired my laundry basket.
 the handles had moved from functional to, 
 now they'll do for a bit.

 february is such a strange month,
short but cold,
there's a little shrine on my cupboard.
(shanna leino heart)
 and jack frost is busy 
painting frosty fern shapes
on my old storm door windows.

Friday, January 26, 2018

now, listen...

posting two days in a row, 
this time to let you all know that the amazing morning voice 
of north country public radio, 
todd moe, 
interviewed me, and made little papers with me here at home,
and has posted that interview and a video plus some photos on NCPR's site. 
todd was one of the adult students 
in our Book Arts class at St Lawrence University last fall. 
here he his enjoying some of the SLU
special collections treasures
in the owen d young library.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


just a little business: 
many blog comments are coming to my personal email rather than the blogger site. 
last post I pulled two of them and placed them on the blog. 
but that is a little weird, so
if you want your comment to appear 
you should use the comment box, 
rather than the lower down reply thingie. 
i think. 
i love hearing from you and try to respond, 
but if they come to my email i sometimes loose track. 
thank you as always for reading
wake robin. 
i truly appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

ice lines

wound off the skein onto cardstock
ready for weaving.
 landskeins iced over
 ice broken
 warming ice
 plant lines
 old grasses
 ice fissure
 big ice becoming stream
the outlet from trout lake 
view from the road.
alder cones illuminated 
ever so little.
 ice outlet
 letting go the water
 leaving an ice gown
 the snow, the ice, the changes this winter
from 27 below to 60 above.
and today, an ice driveway.
 sweet setter gwen is saying goodbye, little by little
here and not so much
like the ice.

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