Monday, March 19, 2018

below zero again

the view on that really cold saturday.
see the solar panels? they cranked away, 
so the woodstove's morning fire plus the solar gain from windows
kept the house warm all day and through the night.
snow is about a foot deep.
stuff on the work table
 more experimenting

portable mess-making.
it seems to be what i do even though i think i'm organized,
see my old stump?
and the empty nalgene bottle, 
hydrate, hydrate.
 trails in the snow? 
 stitching holey indigo flax before burnishing.
indigo smudge
i probably had a bit too much pigment in the pulp, 
though the water seemed clear,
or almost.
upon reflection, that almost is the problem.
 crazy icicle growth
they are really curly
 on the 
weekend photos for you
and for dear wendy, who continues to move
back to good health.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

what a week or so!

this march i am not traveling.
no trip to australia, or,
anywhere else.
this is fine, because i love march.
i love the weather changes, the way the land changes
bit by bit, and the birds return.
but i am missing australian friends
the australian landscape,
the kindness and big hearts of my friends there.
oh, and the sense of humor.
below is colleen jones with a friend in her installation.
i name them australian gothic.
 next is the shifu/paper work made by another australian friend, barb adams.
she makes amazing work.
see how her kami-ito turns into cloth turns into paper. 
 at home, or not far nearby,
 is a dear one some of you have a deep connection with.
wendy golden-levitt had surprise illness and surgery last weekend.
she pulled through well, 
but oh, my, out of the blue, surgery.
please send her your love and prayers for a speedy recovery.
 and even my big sister claudia had a health scare this week.
she's back home after a quick hospital overnight,
new meds taming the issue.
oh, my. 
and this morning on facebook 
another friend becky has a hernia
keeping her out of her studio.
beware the ides of march.
happy st patty's day.
i still like march, though i'm sorry 
people are hurting.
and then there was a big snow.
big and heavy and wet and continuing for hours and hours
and hours
building up to an over my knees height.
and my subaru couldn't get through the blockade at the end of the driveway 
(snow plow detritus)
i could get outside, high step through, but it takes a lot of energy.
one trip to the mailbox was quite an adventure.
(my mailbox was severed from its post by the county plow)
on snowshoes it was easier 
and i'm surprised that i enjoy them so much.
 happily a prince came to the rescue on his orange steed 
over 18 miles on backroads to dig me out.
 i'm now between both homes keeping the fire going 
and dog care-giving for awhile.
and i'm stitiching.
and stitching.
 running stitch, 
 it's definitely more a walking stitch.
 i've stitched several, 30 or so, small sheets of my flax papers now. 
all that stitching has given me a notion.
an idea for a book edition of five.
today i'll begin putting them together.
unless the sunshine entices me outdoors.
 stiff, strong raw flax paper 
becomes soft and sueded with the stitching.
taming a potato chip of paper 
into a soft, almost pillowcase almost cloth,
continues to fascinate me.
this idea began years ago, and here it is again.
 i've used kami-ito, 
 cotton, silk and linen,
often waxing the thread.
 i like putting on my own candle-leftover beeswax.
it's very soft and scented with the labor 
of local bees,
 and who knew? 
the candles i buy are made from local beeswax
by my last winter book arts student randy merrill. 
i've been enjoying her candles for a couple of years now.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

getting it right

when you get something right
even if it's only to please yourself
it feels really good.
this one is pretty big.
and waits
 for someone to work into it.
maybe me, who knows.
 all 10.5 x 12 inches of it
and believe me if i could photograph it well
you would be hooting and hollering, too.
er, maybe not...
 contact prints
 and handmade flax, hemp
 more prints,
just a series of folios,
some gatefolds
and paper you can work into.
 this has been sitting on my work table
waiting for tweaking,
which i did today
just before i sewed it together. 
and because i had to show someone,
i'm showing  you.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

flax and roof

they arrived early most days,
between 7 and 8 and stayed until almost dark.
this is rudy
shortly before hauling up 4 x 8 foot metal roofing
and here is my old ark of a house 
in all her soft green glorious sheathing.
and then, well, rudy spoke with me about siding...
indoors i've been messing around with flax and stitch,
charlie's flax here with my stitching.
making lots of small papers
and reading this book which excites me no end.
i bought some old hemp from sri
which i love
and intend to put to good use.
notice the stitching here.
can you guess the stitching material?
notice these squares.
can you guess fiber and pigment?
they really look good together
these colors
i'd like a nice soft red with them.
actually, i'd like all the colors
i was a happy woman to order
and receive
a LOT of indigo
kitchen papermaking.
mould by britt quinlin, the paperwright

my next splurge will be a lot of flax.
i've used up almost all of the 10 pounds i ordered last fall.
and today there was a breakthrough of sorts
but i am too tired to mess around with blogger and pictures and stuff
so it'll have to wait some. 
i've offered a friend a book, but if she doesn't want it,
i may offer it up to you all. 
my first ever contest,

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

really big doings

in the past little while my old farmhouse
got spiffed up.
rudy and henry and levi
risked falling on (off?) the steep old roof,
but they persevered and there it is
the whole house is clothed.
moreover, two crumbly and useless chimneys disappeared,
the one useful and rather nice one remains.
two porch roofs and the garage remain.
but this morning they're back, working on them.
back after they got started with sugaring.
these three men have just recently moved here from pennsylvania.
the land is cheap and it's possible to live well here
if you like hard work.
they do.

both rudy and henry looked at my for sale place and passed on it.
on sunday two paper and book friends were here
both of them had looked at my for sale house the other time years ago
but i pulled it off the market.
and now my house looks better than it did years ago.
having three uninsured men walking around on your very steep roof
is worrying.
i can't watch-it's better if i stay away, but not too far.
i was very aware of every untoward clatter and thump.
it was the worst when they chimneys went down.
my amish workers were somewhat taken aback by my dining room.
rudy asked if they might eat inside everyday,
to warm up and get out of the wind.
there is all that "stuff" on the walls and
piling up my work areas.
unlike other "english" i have no dishwasher, tv, microwave, or dryer.
but i do have an imac (they did appreciate the weather reports).
worlds collide, i think, more often than not.
handling that can make us better people or  monsters.
it's our choice.
they're working again this morning, 
and i wish i could show you their faces but their religion eschews photography
which is why my photos are surreptitious.
i want to share this, as respectfully as i can.
it's very important to me.

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.

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