Sunday, January 31, 2016


simple gifts,
simple things:
a honey
house warming.
clair van vleit
who runs janus press taught this
simple structure tome in a class 
she taught at the paper trail in ottawa. 
a LONG time ago.
 using it with amazing paper deepens the experience of simple
this paper is rhubarb with abaca
a paper i have only once been able to duplicate.
simple old rhubarb
 hides its fiber
 and then the season for papermaking is past.
 like these little squares, 
also simple
 truly good work 
can be woven on the simplest of looms.
 i had thought to make a simple booklet
to explain a bit about shifu
and contact printing on papers,
 i wrote about it,
 and so a dummy appeared in my mail,
my designer, printer, and dear friend carol
and i have been cooking up a project
for me to share
with students and friends.
i'm heading to australia in a month.
teaching and traveling and being in
for a short while.
i've been swamped and forgetting things
simple things that made me happy:
a new year greeting
from the cave
 and another
from jennifer
a message i am loving, 
good madness.
 and i will continue
to make little things
 and bigger things.


  1. What a surprise to see my card shown here! Isn't Neil Gaiman's quote sublime? Here's wishing you the best of years!

  2. Lovely thoughts, still occasionally making shift and love weaving small things. arthritic joints becoming more of a worry, do wish I hadn't had to pull out of the Grampian but I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

  3. Something so intimate here. Oh, I do wish you well on your journey outward in a month. Time is turning and Imbolic is upon us. Light a candle to carry you over the last of Winter.

  4. honey for a honey.those little shifu squares speak volumes

  5. such a beautiful post of your process, will you be printing some spare copies for the folk who can't make it to your class?

  6. jennifer, i hope it was ok, i LOVE it! and thank you.
    penny, i so wish you were going to be (t)here! arthritis is a worry, indeed, i agree.
    liz, yep. one of my favorite ideas
    michelle, i will do that tonight. thank you.
    neki, thank you. little bits of happy shifu. woven on a stump. of sorts.
    mo, i hope so. i will post about it!

  7. I can't wait till Grampians 7 March!
    Lovely shifu.

  8. Hi V - every bit of this post made me smile and my heart sing a little bit. What bounty and joy!

  9. V - what a handful of woven treasures. Not long before you are down under out of the cold. Go well. B

  10. jill, me, too, but i need every minute before to get it all together!
    fiona, yes, beauty in simple
    barry, soon...

  11. I use that simple book shape a lot...first stumbled across it in Europe in the 80s, and much later again at the Waldorf school in Mount Barker (South AUstralia).
    It seems to have various names...I see it on the internet as the "origami book", the school called it the "diamond book" and I like to think of it as a "four winds book"
    It's such a practical wee thing. I guess the origins are lost in the mists of time, but it would be intriguing to know how/where it first popped up

  12. love it all - the shifu, stump loom, little woven squares. I've quit knitting, arthritis in the baby finger of my right hand - seems so small an issue, but I need my hands for other things!

  13. india, it's lovely (and i remember a small one you made with my hosta paper and a few stitches) and simple. you can edition an artists book easily with just this little structure.
    jean, knitting is not as essential as a happy, healthy pinkie.

  14. oh what a wonderful litany of glorious things! and you'll be here soon :)

  15. Often the simple things are the best, as you've just proven here...

  16. sharmon, not sure i've proven it, but i sure believe it! thanks.


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