Thursday, October 23, 2014

an honorable harvest

sunny quaking aspen
nine for a friend.
i listened to this lecture this week: 
(i sadly missed it "in person")

autumn cow pasture 
about the honorable harvest.
it's happening here
i see amish neighbors
bringing in hay and corn using their big horses.
the gardens are mostly asleep
(you may remember what happened to mine)
but my friends are still eating
fall bounty.
my backyard and overgrown meadow 
i am harvesting from my friends 
the weeds,
and i find myself 
doing what dr. kimmerer suggests:
introducing myself
asking to share
and sharing what i make
with others.
it's surprisingly comfortable, appropriate
to say
hello, please, and thankyou
to wild grapevine.
 a few little grapes.
 the medicines at your feet,
 sumac, prunus, goldenrod, wild grape,
 common weed plants.
and a few pieces of aluminum, copper, and 
"hard" well water
an honorable harvest.
for beauty
and for the knowledge of books.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

12 moons

home again
this book is making me happy
it's been shown and has now returned.

it opens up in
various ways:
as with opening our hearts,
and lives,
opening can be an adventure.
there's even a soft woosh.
 it contains drawing
a winter of work.
serious play (as carol blinn calls it)
on silk, shifu, flax, cotton & lokta
paper and cloth.
fear and joy and sadness,
 mapping consciousness,
if that's possible,
 rich and luscious fiber
this book pleases me more than i can say
i am happy
i find that i want to hold this one
and imagine it accompanying
two sections
four x's
a bit of shell
filled with folded explorations
of season, mood, weather, luck, and happiness.
a book.
12 moons.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

book boxes

i learned to make a clamshell book box from
keith smith
at visual studies workshop.
then, years later,
i purchased gary frost's 
board book and mahdar kit.
i made one, then i made another couple,
and i bought a bunch of kits
to teach kids an illuminated journal workshop.
hedi kyle taught me to make a wunderkabinet, 
that was years ago.
you have to practice this sort of thing.
when made my edition of two books last year,
november song,
i had the amazing mark thomlinson make boxes for them.
worth every penny and the wait.
and today i found these 
book boxes.
on facebook.

unbelievable treats. 
posted by monica langwe and eden workshops.
can you imagine how precious a book would be to have such a container?
or how about the book being a container and the box 
containing the container...
and here's a third, from eden workshops
on facebook this morning.

Monday, October 13, 2014


 i will admit my chagrin
when i opened the work table drawer
amidst the measuring tools, the binding threads
the plastic bags saved for reuse
a little mouse had made ready for winter.
 the seed cache was lovely
but the mice in this old farmhouse
keep me constantly on my toes.
 and the rabbits at the new place
helped themselves to the garden
less than 24 hours before we picked 
for a special supper for visiting children...
 stems left, mostly.
last night
i had one tiny bite
of wild woodcock
eating from the land.
returning later to add this:
my first known bite was not a connect
and i took three more off my body.
after the first frost
is apparently the worst time for ticks.
 i was shocked today to see this daylily
and took home the spent blossom
for bundling into the latest batch of contact prints.
while working away this afternoon, 
more tooth broke.
dentist tomorrow.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

coyotes, nightly

they call, every night...
 We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, 
                                          whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. 
                               To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, 
                                                 all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, 
                                      and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place. 
                          It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd.     Barbara Kingsolver
 teri windling quoted barbara kingsolver today, 
and part of that quote is specially appropriate for me. now.
i borrowed it.
so many of you have checked in
about my wee disaster
and that caring is much appreciated.
and all is fine, except those folded papers, that is.
then i walk out and see
even my neighbors, the cows
fully engaged in cowishness
and i need to get on with being human.
being a fiber/book/papermaker
and a weaver.
 this whole adventure with weaving on the stump
began with a curiosity about those four selvedge peruvian weavings.
and here it is, a book about just that.
 i've woven tiny and slightly larger squares. 
hundreds of them
mostly moro-jifu
many many experiments have resulted and there are 
four stump looms now,
one especially for slot and tab pages.
 my dear therese sourced these beautiful japanese shuttles
and bamboo quills for me
perfect for weaving longer cloths 
on the little schacht 4 harness loom.
here is the stump,
a little worse for wear.
it's been across the country, to australia twice
and to canada with me.
and spent many evenings in my lap,
as i dream of those peruvians
of long ago.
and today in our classroom
a miracle:
three girls and one boy
ages 13-17
were singing along with the radio.
our injured, damaged, and dear students, 
happily singing, together.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


i found my book and shifu sampler
thank you all for your support
 this is what i did on saturday
to fight off the demons
autumnal printing
it's getting good, now. 
and so there's a nifty moon.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

kicking and screaming

  3x6 shifu
a folio
plus a stack of papers
contact printed with
 wild grapes and sumac and goldenrod and rose
in response to frustration
in retaliation to that feeling of being devalued and used. 
today i saw over 20 wild
turkeys and deer.
everyone is moving, 
it's autumn and there is unrest.
yep, that's how i've been feeling
if it's not my tooth, 
one or the other,
it's work, 
a huge challenge this year.
friday i came home
to a package of my work,
returned from an invitational show.
part of the work is missing completely.
two pieces, shifu, one a very special piece.
hopefully they will come in another box.
in good shape.
but i have doubts because
another large paper piece was returned. 
folded. folded.
12 kozo panels, long and narrow, hung together as a series...
they were hand delivered, neatly rolled in a wooden box.
now the panels are folded.
all weekend i have been in that place
you go when you have been 
attacked somehow, when your work
is devalued. 
i can't understand how this happened,
i hope the other two pieces
are returned.
i have my doubts.
another solace is this place
still no functioning kitchen
but getting closer 
to habitation.
the west porch bridge, the south face,
and stucco foundation
at the new place.
some things are very good.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

crane blessing

this morning a student brought in 
chocolate chip cookies.
for the class.
i ate one, 
and my temporary crown
fell off.
two teeth disintegrating lately.
but this one was an easy fix.
so i left school to drive 20 minutes through 
amish farm country.
in a field cleared of corn stalks
i saw a wonder.
i couldn't believe my eyes...
great blue herons or green herons or bitterns don't behave 
like this.
 a pair of sandhill cranes.
in june my nephew and i 
saw five of them fly over
a couple miles from here.
but today they were foraging and striding about
as though it was an everyday occurrence
and they had been hanging out here for years.
they were in that cornfield at least an hour.
i saw them on both trips.
i'll keep watch for this marvel! 
i think that you my friends who blog
aren't hearing from me
not because i'm not there, reading and thinking about your posts,
but because the blogger chain
has split a link.
my comments to you aren't showing.
i am still reading. 
and i still comment...i don't know how to fix this.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

negbw mini conference and home

this image has become my recent favorite
from maine, in acadia
these are the bits i made 
working with nancy leavitt at cclc
(near lubec.)
who came by each of us at work
and wrote out our names
just my name
i have lousy lettering skills
but nancy spoke about the COLOR
and i began to treat it
more like line and shape.
and there were delicious experiments on watercolor
and gouache 
with quill
and pen and brush

nancy prepped a portfolio for each of us
filled with sample papers to try
my favorite was one of katie macgregor's
who was my afternoon teacher.
i could kick myself for not taking, 
one photo
at her studio.
but this is the tiny keepsake
she gave us all
and of course the two sheets i pulled
will be along presently.
this is my table currently
with two printouts of the first photo
one on my daylily paper, one on glossy stock
plus there are several sheets of katie's paper
that i brought away to experiment with.
sometime ago i fell madly in love
with these small depictions
of first nations people's
work and living spaces.
the mapping of how we choose to live
interests me,
and the maps themselves
dance with play.