Sunday, April 7, 2024

Rosita's Guide to Time Travel

Rosita's Guide to Time Travel is my latest work. 

I didn't think it was going to happen. 

Sometimes the weight of the world in addition to coping with life's happenings (two passings, a surgery for my spouse and my reaction to all of it) was too much. When that happens...

You simply have to hit the pause button. 

My time was spent in quiet solitude, just being, listening to the rhythm of the earth. 
It restored my spirits. 

When the lights came "back on" I tried to make some art but was stymied.
The exhibition theme Time Travel released too many ideas and now no time. 

Finally my muse took pity on me and jumped in, compass in hand.

 I like to think of it as a collaboration, even though she led the way.

Who knew it is so easy to Time Travel?
You really don't even need a machine, or a Lamborghini car
Or any of that nonsense. 
You only need yourself, a journal, and a few readily available tools. 
Truth is - you don't even need to leave the house
or you can do it where ever you are. 

So frustrating the video doesn't show - grumble.
Just tap on the you tube name on the screen and it 
will take you there. 

Rosita, and her small guide book, suitcases and display folder have been accepted 
into the Puget Sound Book Artists Membership Exhibition 2024. 
The display will be held from June to August 2024 at the Collins Library at the 
University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.

Friday, September 1, 2023

This year's Puget Sound Book Artist Exhibition's theme was Collaboration. The first collaborative book, Meeting the Alchemist, A Feminist Fable, I have previously shared on the blog. I entered two other collaborative books to the exhibit and both were accepted. Water Has Memory was created by seven members of Women on the Water (WOW) and is the second sewn book the group has created.

                        Water has Memory

Contributors: Dorothy Baars, Leslie Brantner, Jennifer Davis, Sally Slater, Janet Stanley, Muriel Taylor, Jan Ward

Structure/Medium/Materials: Coptic binding, cotton fabric, photo fabric, embroidery floss, English paper piecing technique with embroidery.

It is a 16 page book, 5" x 6.5" x 3"

Artist Statement: In 2020, circumstances beyond our control ended the Women on the Water’s time on Vérité, a 38-ft sailing and rowing gig. This sewn book collaboration was to have fun, fellowship and to share Vérité's “Community Spirit” with the extended community. We stitched our silent story pages using the techniques of English paper piecing and photo fabric embroidery.  It was a perfect opportunity to utilize the scraps from our stashes. Instead of 18-ft oars we used tiny needles and thread to create this final story. In the making of Water has Memory, our spirits had a place to be during these changing times.

flying HOMEward

This book was the offshoot of my participation in Shu-Ju Wang's workshop - A Study of Home.  As it turned out it was much more personal in nature than I ever imagined. For you see my collaborative partner was my eight-year old self. Together she and I went 'way' back in time and place. She had things she wanted to tell me and show me. I am still trying to absorb all the things she revealed to me (about me). It was fun but yet trust had to be developed (a necessity when participating in a collaboration). If only I had made a recording, or a video of how the two of us interacted after she became "real" to me. Alas, sadly she has 'left the room' as they say. She has gone back to her time and place. Honestly, it was the weirdest and best experience I have had in a  long time. 

contributors: Jan Ward and 8-year-old Jan

Structure/Medium/Materials: modified accordion, paper - Southworth TECHWEAVE, computer printed, text -Tempus Sans ITC, watercolor, pen & ink, Adobe Photoshop, Folder - BFK Reeves

This book has 12 pages and is 8.5" x 5.5" x 1" and is an accordion book that stretches 12".

Artist Statement:

flying HOMEward, tells the story about my eight-year-old self and me traveling back in time to our beloved farm in Pennsylvania, on the back of a magic crow called Skye. Our collaboration flung open the doors to memory and place. It was a delightful and unique experience for both of us. She and I think Rod Serling’s words capture the essence of our adventure best.  “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas.” Rod Serling took his stories into the twilight zone.  Our story took us to a happy place. 

September 1
As the light shifts and summer draws closer to fall, I wonder, is this the end of my child-like fun? I August I reimagined the remnants of our old Costco tent tarp structure. I made it into what I call (today) the Cozy Craven Craft Coop (some days I replace Coop with Camp) for that spark of girl scout camping feel. 

For days I hauled old wood, screen material, tables, the farm desk, and "repurposed @#%* (hint- starts with c) that was languishing and waiting for a new purpose to the PLAY-site. In the process of upending every corner and outbuilding I actually let go of a 'few things'. I mean, it wasn't like I went all Marie Kondo or anything, but it was worthy of a star on my eight-year-old's accomplishment chart. 

Cozy Craven Craft Coop is now the place for all my messy art stuff - a place where Mother Nature herself can watch me grinding earth pigments, dying and botanical printing, rusting paper, and can see her treasured her gifts, well most all  some of my natural science collections. Okay, I vow not to pick up another rock or shell or leaf or feather or piece of rusted metal or rock (did I say rock again?), 
whatever. I promise I won't...
Okay I think I just lied.

 I will try to think twice before I bring home anything. 
Well, yes, I do realize there isn't any more room under the tent roof. 
Yes, I do realize I am crawling closer to the 'end' rather than being eight again. 
But, if I can't drink wine, or eat sugary things, or chomp on potato chips or...
I mean, how bad is it in the big scheme of life if I pick up a rock...
a tiny little one, please.     Oh Fine!

I will simply go build something out of nothing. 
I'm thinking of making an outdoor 'loo' next...
so that I don't have to go into the house. 
I mean, think of how clean the house would stay if I weren't tracking dirt chippings, plant material, grass clippings, mud (if it ever rains again) rust dust - not to mention my dirty hands on the knobs. Just think of that! More like a real camp!
Plus - I already have MIL's portable throne and an old homer bucket. 
I should get stars for repurposing, right?
I just need walls and a cover (should it ever rain again... someday). 
And I've got a bunch of old doors. Smile. 
Do you know what they say?
They say:

"Happiness is Homemade"

Friday, June 2, 2023

Drum Roll Please...

 Drum Roll Please... 

 Meeting the Alchemist, A Feminist Fable

is done!

 After a day of exploration with watercolor crayons and the silkscreen printing process, seven Puget Sound Book Artist had the idea to make a collaborative book using the created artwork. Over the next 9 months, which included another day of play with the same materials, a plan was developed. The final book, in which all 7 artists added their touches has now been completed. This book and two of the artist's personal books will be on display during the Puget Sound Book Artist Annual Membership Exhibition. Here is what my book version looks like. It will not be on display as I have opted to put two other books of mine in the show. More on the later.  


Friday, September 30, 2022

When fall comes to the upper left hand corner, the mist dances on tippy toes betwixt the trees. Long fibers stretch between the weeds to hold mandala circles mirrored with jewels. They sparkle and glint in the slanting sun of early morn. 

The guardians witness this autumn transformation.
Oh, to know all of what the stones know.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Pandemic Period Catch Up

 Time has passed... what with the pandemic and all. This catching up with life is long overdue. I am reminded I did have had some productive moments during the past three tumultuous years.  

In 2020/2021 I participated in Science Stories which was on display at the Collins Library at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. 

 Bound/ Unbounded

Here's a link to the project:

My work is listed under Mountains. 
You can also read about my science partner, Abir Biswas who provided the 
field research for my books. 

In 2021 I made a 3rd book to go along with my original set of two.

I called this one 

Mt. Saint Helens, The Living Laboratory.

The next stop for the exhibition show was Port Angeles Art Museum. 

Unfortunately the large overstuff Book of Knowledge and Mt Saint Helens, The Living Laboratory
 along with the Big Horn Sheep antlers were stolen. 
The smallest book - the leather bound girdle book with watercolor drawings 
of Mt St. Helens was spared. 
It is now part of the Science Stories exhibition currently at Whitman College. 

This year's Puget Sound Book Artist Member Exhibition had a theme - Peaks and Valleys.

I call this book 

Escaping Flatland

It was serious study of The Four Treasures (sumi brush, stone, ink and paper) and 
The Three Perfections (poetry, painting, and calligraphy).
Workbook 1 focused on sumi brush painting, kanji character writing, haiku poetry.
 Workbook 2 utilized suminagashi paintings and responsive writing. 
Mountains and valleys, waves and troughs were the subject.

As the season shifts to Autumn it seems odd that the activity level is increasing. 
Perhaps it is the instinct to prepare for winter. 

My checklist
Plenty of paper 
tea and coffee

Yup, I think I am ready to dig in. 
Puget Sound Book Artists has a new workshop going -
"A Study of Home" - taught by Shu-Ju Wang
and I am all signed up.
May the creativity flow. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


On a Super Full Moon day... I venture out into the cyber world. The days are warmer and the air clearer. It feels possible to speak about the last few months since my last post. So much has happened. So much is still happening. The whole world is being rebooted, reset, and reassembled. In time I am sure we will see the drama, death and destruction will be transformed into a new way, a new life, painful as it maybe. Some will question Mother Nature's process, but I will not.

Fall was all about traveling the southern states. Let me just say some of our experiences lead me to believe some things have just not changed fast enough for ME. Perhaps this is why the days and weeks and months that followed were so fraught with frustration. I tried my best to view the national issues with balance. As my frustration grew I knew it was important to find creative ways to deal with the negative frustration. I will leave my point of view to just one picture. Prayer flags, peace cranes, quilting, flag making, cutting up recycled calendars to make trees, pin cushions, stitchery... did not completely transform my frustration, but no need to stir those past embers into flames.

Yet who knew. these habits of creativity would help so well now during this Corona virus pandemic.

I do believe we are in informational times. Sometimes we have to look back to see where we have been in order to determine our path forward.

The following work contains a folder printed with hand-carved stamps, embellished with embroidery on silk book cloth,  and a magnetized flap closure. The amate bark covered book is Coptic bound with hand-stitching on the hinges.  The pages are my own botanical prints on Arches cover paper. The contents on the pages are a small variety of fragments, bits and pieces and experiments from my bookmaking. The last pages, on Mi-Tientes paper are photos of the books I have created over the last ten years. In looking back I am so appreciative to the many Puget Sound Book Artist members, guests instructors, and lecturers, who in addition to Nature inspired my creative efforts.

May our creativity save us!

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: