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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Between the barrels - botanical printing

Yes... a whole season has passed. It wasn't without a bunch of hoopla.
Right after I wrote that last blog an unexpected thing happened. I had a close encounter. Let me just say, if you can't pull up your big girl panties you might be in a peck of trouble - and I was because I couldn't. I couldn't do anything - not a thing - raise my arms up, brush my hair, drive a car, or walk with any certainty or least of all dignity. Needless to say, it captured my attention. Fortunately with modern medication I am somewhat better. I could go on, but won't... I mean seriously - art is so much more fun to share.

By late July things were some better - I was able to do some stuff! Good thing too, because I was suppose to help organize Catherine Alice Michael's Botanical Printing Workshop offered by Puget Sound Book Artists. It turned out great, but who the heck ordered the 90+ degree day? OMG! Thankfully all went well and I am pleased to say I came away with some lovely prints. Here's one.

I spent the month of August trying my hand at Catherine's method. Let us just say, this art form has many variables - water, plant material, metals - yeah or nay, paper, time in the pot, the skill of the artist, type of mordant, temperature and more.

I call this photo selection -  Between the Barrels...

It is always good to see the whole spectrum to understand the potential. 

Sometimes though, you don't know if you have fallen off the turnip truck or not. I find that is exactly the best time to - rust!

If still confused as to what variable is speaking the loudest... you can always turn to suminigashi to straighten yourself out.


If you still haven't got things straight then you can bounce to making books. Why? 
Because there are no rules to this art making thingy. 
I mean, you can make books out of anything... 
even goeduck shells, mineral paper and real sea lettuce!

Or you could use the botanical prints and write a little story about August and
 even make it look like a real book with stitches and everything! 

You could also print the image of the botanical print on Mineral Paper! It's so smooth!

It is only when you feel the last of the warm sun  fading into autumn 
do you rush outside to make solar prints 
You may note you never see anyone doing them in the winter... do you?
The best leaves would be all be gone, right?

I love the little bites on the leaves. You can't quite see the tendrills on the sweetpea, but they are cool. 

I think these botanical prints will make a a very nice book. 
It is something to look forward to and way better than thinking about hair falling out 
or mysterious illnesses or
Supreme Court Justices with issues! 

Happy Equinox!