Saturday, July 30, 2016

natural disasters and thank you

the beeswax book was in this shape,
more or less,
yesterday morning.
 the mail came
and with it paperwork pertaining to retirement
so i had forms to fill out and
financial people to speak to on the phone.
the iphone works best,
when it does work, that is,
on my screen porch.
where trace willan's xanthorrhoea resin in solution lives.
in a jar with a not very tight lid.
it must have eased over
by preoccupied me
all 12 ounces of it.
and i didn't notice until i saw evidence
 after i used up all the spillage
to decorate the book
there was a huge clean-up,
using the only solvent i had that worked
nail polish remover. 

 they went out into the sun to air.
 and as the book cover dried
it morphed into something else altogether
 inside pages got a bit of mark making
thanks to 
the bolyard xanthorrhoea spirits spill

 aromatic is too nice a word.
 this morning
 i will try to sew the signatures to tapes
and lace in the tapes.
 it has a wonderful surface now
and it's 
 no longer sticky!
(sorry about the darkness, 
i was too excited to go noodle around in iphoto)
i don't recommend bookmaking 
by chance
but i do recommend
making hay while the sun shines.
thank you trace!

Friday, July 29, 2016

ink and beeswax

black raspberry sludge
 i cooked and cooked those raspberries
low heat, many hours, added vinegar
and now there's a pint of ink
fun work!
 there are little black raspberry marks around the place
and outside
 only a few juicy ones left.
many dried ones on the canes
since it was such a generous year,
the birds had plenty.
and the coyotes,
who leave their scat in insulting spots
(for fun, they are coyotes)
are lush with seeds.
 i had a huge amount of "dirty" beeswax to deal with
after the cupboard, 
and ant 
so in the spirit of making hay
 i decided to stack the cloth that was covered in "dirty wax"
maybe you can see how thick it was
(there were thick "drips" as well)
to make a sandwich and transfer wax 
and "dirt"
 to a piece of case paper
i'd readied for a book
the stack included three pieces of abaca 
i'd made long ago
that had pigment issues.
 ok, so it was like this:
brown paper, white cotton pillowcase
case paper
beeswaxed cotton cloth-the straining cloth 
(the other half of the pillowcase)
 cotton cloth
 brown paper...
anyway a BIG sandwich
got ironed.
 a lot.
 as the thick wax dispersed into the various layers
as did the "dirt".
 i reduced the sandwich
 to this
 and this
and this and
 refolded the case
 used the various parts for signatures
 and folded it back.
  there was way too much bulk.
i cut much of the stationer's binding away
 and was left
 with a rather neat little cover
 i will sew it up today
 and make the final
rather sticky
beeswax and ant 

Thursday, July 28, 2016


pennsylvania carpenter's apron.
there's something really appealing
about text on canvas.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

waiting summer

paper arc of safety
the beautiful north country wasn't really waiting for me,
though it seemed like it was.
instead, it was just doing what it does so well,
being beautiful.
being, now, summer.
deep in july and hot and dry and growing.
i went for a visit to toronto last week.
to see, amongst other things,
the magic feather cloth
friends wendy, hiroko, and dorothy;
 gifts were exchanged,
even joy, perhaps?
 these amazing women came 
to have a most entertaining lunch at the gardiner museum
and rich conversation after.
to be IN the city
and IN refuge IN the city.
my shifu thinking met up with wood worked beautifully
(below in some iphone play)
 there was also a treat for me
the magic feather cloth
briefly installed
by val, 
who left me instructions:
 i didn't mess with the cave,
touched the cloth.
 followed a featherstone path
 to find the grief book 
(velma's book of grief
my shifu and handmade paper book).
doing its job.
 there were many instructions to attend to
and i have a new last name.
and i am waiting
(val loves india, too!)
sometimes wendy's kids write poems,
(my grampians texture students remember me reading one to them)
val wrote,
thank you val, 
i love reading your words!
these words
 carried me to the textile museum
to see the works of hands
and i had to sit at this old leclerc
and would have wound it forward, gone to work weaving,
but the yarn was tight 
woven right up to the beater
kids delighted, but instead i talked about how this one was prepared
for patterning.
my feet played treadle dancing and my hands
wanted to wind warp formard.
these mirror pieces came home with me.
from sartaj's shop kinna sohna
and this scarf
of a million running stitches.

and now, back home.
all is well.
the soil is pretty dry, the birds still singing most babies fledged.
there was a medium sized four-legged
out last night at the new place.
bobcat? coyote? fox?
i was above, moonlit, a brief movement through the light
the one approached the porch,
a roof and many feet in the way.
i think a bobcat, but this morning, nothing to give that one away,
not even a scent for my uneducated nose.

my city time 
my country time

the gift of "black caps" 
these black raspberries had gone a little too far
in the fridge
while i was in toronto.
so i made a rich rich ink
thinking of my son ian and his friend nate
who made some once and left it
in the fridge for years.
 and ants got in 
and into the raisins
the honey
the sugar
and cornstarch.
but mostly the honeycombs.
 a huge cleaning ensued
including heat and beeswax and cloth and honey and dead ants.
even a dead honeybee.
 (ant trap added for a brief time)
because i lost quite a bit.
up front and center:
soma chocolate from toronto
wattle seed from australia.
and quite a bit of gelatin
for sizing paper.
ian and hannnah will see this cupboard
and be shocked by the tidiness!

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