Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Joy of the season

The wheel of time has turned and autumn is on its way. The rains have started. I sit with tea cup in hand and look out. I think about this past summer. It was wonderful. I finally found out how to find peace with our property. I no longer can keep up the paid crew of gardeners working for owners of the NEW mega mansions that surround us. So, instead of changing MY ways I am simply calling our property a 'camp'. It was amazing how that changed my mood. Nobody expects a camp to be perfect. Really, the only thing missing is a lake. We have two craft lodges, a covered eating area, fire wood galore, and the old caretakers cabin. Ha ha - Smile. There it is - my zen. The things on my to-do list haven't changed they just have been given a new perspective.
Come see -

Ivy was removed, a new path to Raven Lodge and even an outdoor easel for messages to visitors or for painting or whatever one wants to do at 'camp'. 

Of course one thing lead to another... and Bell Garden and Labyrinth was created.
It is a meditation garden. 
You ring the bells to enter then straight on to the dukkha wall. 



This is the wall of dukkha - there is a rusty thing that represents most all types of suffering. Like the  shovel head - you know when you keep talking when you should have stopped. It's like digging your own hole and you regret it.. The  drill for those thoughts that drill into your head; the grater - thoughts that grate. You see how this goes. I quickly learned to leave any unsavory thoughts there at the wall. 

You hike past the stone elders and 

objects that remind one of faith...


or fairies 


or nature


and water

The table that holds gifts to the seasons, the spirit and reminds me to be grateful. 



I pass the tub of living things in a closed system. I am reminded as I try to encourage water plants and gold fish to survive that earth is a closed system. oh, how we humans have mucked it up.
 


By the time I make it to 
my open gamme (Sami for spiritual shelter)
sometimes I refer to it as my crannog
(a Scottish building over water)
there is time to light a candle and meditate. 


The making of the garden, the visiting it daily - all of it has helped me find peace. 

When you are at peace it is easier to create. 

I participated in Puget Sound Book Artist first book exchange. 
The theme was 'pocketbooks'.
Here's mine:

I used my printmaking designs for the envelopes. Each envelope had a little book.



Here's the book I received in exchange. 
It was made by Bonnie Julien. 
It is a Chinese sewing thread book. They are extremely difficult to make. 
What a treasure for me. 




The highlight of these past six months has been my collaboration with the 
Vérité WOWers. 

As with the calling our place a camp - 
one thing lead to another with this collaboration. 
We WOWers published a book 
so everyone had a record of their square and our project. 
Of course we needed a bookmark!
Do you know how hard it is to photograph a 100+ inch accordion book!


Well, sure, let's have a banner and bags and hats. 
Why not!




 Things came to sweet culmination for the WOWers this past Saturday.
There was a lovely Opening at Collins Library on the University of Puget Sound campus.  
We all celebrated. It was so much fun.
Don't tell them tho...
I already have a new project in mind 
just in case we have snow again and can't row. 
If you are interested in knowing more about 
Vérité WOWers here's a link:






Tuesday, March 26, 2019

New books to share

It has been a busy few months. I have been stitching all of January and February. I have already shared the results of January's stitching in the previous post.

 Now it is time to share about the latest project - it was a my first big collaboration and my first attempt at video taping to share about a book.

 I have rowed on a gig called Verite for twenty years with women that call themselves the WOWers (Women on the Water). This year word came out about a book arts show that focused on stitching. Without a backward glance we jumped on it. Well, what else could we do - it was the coldest and snowiest winter in years. We couldn't row! Or even pull the boat out to do the normal maintenance. So we stitched. I did a little more - but only because I am so gobsmacked about this boat. She is freedom fashioned out of wood.

This is the collaboration with the WOWers: 

Women on the Water



This is my book - Make Way Together Verite



The materials: cotton cloth, embroidery floss, Melton wool and mat board.

The Melton wool is exactly the same as used in the Sea Scout wool uniforms.
 A few of us took some old wool uniforms and made them into other things. 
It was so nice to work with we felt it was perfect for this project. 
It has such a nice hand to it. 
The mat board fits is sandwiched in between the two layers of wool. 
It gives the structure necessary for the book to stand up, 
but it can be removed and the book 
then becomes soft in the hand and almost cuddly. 
If that makes sense. 

The next part of the project...
A soft cover paperback book has been created for each participant. 
Then if we sell the book, I mean we could if we wanted to use it as a fundraiser, 
or we could just pass it around, but in the meantime 
everyone will have their own paper version of the book. 
The books should arrive on the 1st of April. 
I hope that isn't a joke and I pray all went well with the printing
 and there are no surprises for publishing a book was a first too. 
Great fun... what a great bunch of women. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Stitching things up

Here it is almost February - the seasons come and go and yet stuff gets done, hands are kept busy. In December I made an Altered book for the upcoming show at the Collins Library, University of Puget Sound called Transforming Knowledge.
Here's a link https://pugetsoundbookartists.wildapricot.org/event-3159178
Frankly, I just couldn't cut into the encyclopedia I was given. I just couldn't. So here's what I did:
Not a great photograph but you get the idea. Can't wait to see the other entries.

Lady Britannica

The Collins Library and Puget Sound Book Artist is also having an
 international show in the fall. The title is All Stitched Up. 
So I have been stitching. All these projects fall into the category of play except for one. 
It may or may not be suitable for entry. We will see. 

This one is called Solar Blue.
 I may rip the binding apart and try again on the binding.  
Or what does it matter?
Perhaps I shouldn't watch the news channel with talk about the shutdown, 
Muller investigation and that damn WALL while stitching. 
I can't tell you how many times I stuck my finger when 
I grew outraged with the news! 



My next cloth book was Soft Kitty.




I love the gauzy fabric and the fringe edge. 
The book itself is soft and delicate.

Next came a more serious effort. 
I call it O.O
Its in remembrance of my mother. 
It contains many of her favorite flowers. 
The cloth was from boiled wool Sea Scout uniforms.
Nice thick pages and worth the challenge. 



This next book was just for fun. 
I call it Scraps and Thrums - Krazy Kats.
Listening to myself say that out loud 
 it doesn't seem quite right. 
I will have to rework that title.
See, that's the best part of this making/creating stuff. 
If I want I can just up and change the name if it doesn't suit me any longer. 






This little thing was an experiment on the theme - pocketbook.
It's got pockets. It was also a study in mark making with stitchery. 

Eggs in the Nest:




It is almost like a wallet. 

So, that's how I spent January. 
I recycled scraps, used up thrums, made more scraps 
and more thrums and had a good deal of fun.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Mist on the Moors

After a month of travel we are home, home just in time to witness the mist and fog wrapping itself around us. The spider webs dripping with dew have been strung with care. Usually to catch those unaware. The colorful leaves here in the NW have almost rivaled those of New England. One might ask how many leaves did I collect on the trip?  Lots!  I put them in an old phone book while traveling and into the book press when I got home. I tried to record the location of each batch. They will make good stencils for future artistic efforts.


My trip was all about going home to my childhood home, 
to the place I went to college and to see family and friends. 
My college friend was so welcoming I had to make a thank you book.
It was composed of photos from our walk on her property. 
It was one of those perfect moments in time. 
The fungi were scattered through the forest. It was like a treasure hunt. 
The leaves on the trees were a blaze of color. 
The temperature of the later afternoon was like crisp apples. 


The amate paper I used for the book cover pleasingly 
looks like it came from the earth. 





I love the accordion book technique. 
The twenty one images each have their own space. 
Make it into a star or stretch it out or double it up. Great variety. 



Back at home we discovered this bad boy of a web had 
taken over the covered area. 
This wasn't your typical web... definitely not made by a garden spider.
Perhaps something  more sinister... with long black legs? 



October is a time - they say - when the veil of death is thin.
This poor little chap met with an unfortunate death. Cause unknown.





To every season there comes a purpose and a special beauty. 
My purpose is to collect colorful leaves and enjoy their beauty. 
Hope you find the purpose and beauty too.