Tuesday, January 31, 2012


P.D. Crumbaker recently shared that my last post gave her an idea for a project she wants to do in her community. I thought I would share a project I coordinated in my community. The publication, "I am Clarks Creek,  was the final product of a collaboration between Puyallup Watershed Council,  Puyallup School District, Washington State University, Master Gardeners and Conservation District, the National Park Service, WA State Dept of Ecology and 2 very talented artists Jackie Brookner and Susan Leibovitz Steinman. The students who lived in close proximity to Clarks Creek met in their classroom with representatives from the  Conservation District to learn about the creek and how to be a good neighbor to the Creek.  The following week they met with scientists and conservationist for a field trip to the creek and surrounding watershed to learn about the resources and ecology of the creek. Students then participated in various art projects and journaled what it meant to be a good neighbor to the creek. Susan and Jackie then selected choice pieces to illustrate this book.  The books were then distributed to the community members who lived along the Creek and sent copies to all the school libraries in the Puyallup School District.  

The second book is one of my very favorites - "Wetlands" written and illustrated by Nikki McClure, a well known artist from Oregon. I love the woodcut/ speedy cut look of the illustrations! Hope this  further inspires you P.D.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On a Winter's Day

A book to remember the winter storm of 2012.  It is called "On a Winter's Day."

The hand dipped paper made from shredded records and tax statements
is soft, rather thick with flecks of its past.
The 20 images printed on the deckled pages
 are muted by the texture.
It is as if you are looking out into the snowstorm itself.
A poem by Robert Frost - Dust of Snow
graces the second page and my story is at the end.
 A sea grass binding holds the single sheets together.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Be careful what you ask for!

Okay, that little snowstorm I wanted - it turned into Snowmaggedon.
Here's what it was like in the early stages:

Before the 6 inches and the crust formed.

It was so pretty and then it turned into Icemaggedon!

 So pretty yet so destructive.

  She who is to be respected, Mother Nature,
speaks with a loud and windy voice today.
We hope she spares us more of her editor's red pen,
 but just in case we didn't get the message, 
She has sent Old Man River to keep us humble and alert.

Here's what I learned from snow day 1, 2 & 3:

1. Learn how to get around your house in the absolute dark
(or otherwise known as - always put your "stuff" away in it's proper place
 just in case.) 

2. If they say a storm is on the way - take a shower and wash your undies.

3. Shave your legs while you are at it.
You never know how desperate and cold you might get.
(While you can always add perfume,
the stubble is hard to conceal even through thick leggings.)
Of course if it is only the cat or dog, perhaps then it is optional.

4. Remember that cooking on the wood stove takes longer.... lots longer.

5. Before the next storm learn how to play more games than skipbo if
you want to avoid playing cribbage.

6. Be more appreciative for -
 hot food, hot water, and hot wires (electricity.)  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Yes, it is true. I am on every one's naughty list because I want a good old fashioned snowstorm. I want the kind of snowstorm that makes everyone just stop. I want to hear the silence that follows. The deafening roar that we hear from the freeway would stop. The only sound would be the passing of the snowplow or the crunch under foot as I explore the property (camera in hand.) I suppose I could be satisfied with the little bit that fell on Monday, but if it is true - the weatherman says a 'good one' is a coming. Just one good snowstorm, that's all I need.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weather in the Pacific Northwest

This was Friday night. A magnificent yet ominous sunset.
Spellbinding in fact.
The kind of sunset that makes you drive erratically all the way home as you watch the show.

This was Saturday. Quite dramatic as well.
There was a bit of snow, mushy slush but mostly liquid sunshine.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adventure is out there!

My muse whispered in my ear... Adventure is out there. It is in my studio too. She and I put our heads together and imagined and experimented, then cut and pasted and played all evening. It is a simple book for others to follow if they want to have an adventure out there. Travel directions are inside on the black folds in white ink. Will you see the same colors?


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Clair de lune

Earlier today we left the comfort of the fire and ventured east of the Cascades to open spaces where the sun almost always shines. We hoped to see some snow. We traveled the backroads searching for what there was to see, open to whatever presented itself. The only photograph I missed was of a bent over old man checking his mailbox (Sunday paper perhaps?) His down jacket patched with frayed duct tape, feathers sticking out around the edges. I would have liked to photograph that frugal man. The shadows were long when we stopped at the hilltop cemetary. We found the oldest settlers there. Their names matching the back roads we had traveled. We turned west to watch the pink leave the peaks on our home bound way. As we drove into our place there was the moon at the end of the lane welcoming us home, refrains from Clair de lune in the air.