Tuesday, November 30, 2010

work day

red sky at morning. 
route 68. 
big winds tonight. 
north russell.
a good day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

photos of home, scattered

i stayed up way too late last night and barely got a walk in this afternoon before i collapsed. fortunately the hooligans were in good shape today, the ones that made it in. (we have pretty high absenteeism.) 
this is a david wolfe print, one he completed at pbi. i loved it when he explained the intricacies of printing this (using copper) to me. it lives right above a spirit cloth from jude hill.
this one of jude's has some weaving in the border. there are three of her cloths on the walls in this room, where also lives a favorite adirondack mountain painting by bill evans.
this revealed itself to me after our walk. shelf fungi. on maple. 
i did a huge amount of dyeing with fungi when ian was a baby.
high bush cranberries.
more birthday goodies...and a questionable card. i laughed hard. that's blueberry preserves, made by my sister.
collage by anastasia osolin. she was my third yoga teacher. 

these are some of the images that i look at, that mean something to me. i have lots of art in this house, lots to keep my mind engaged in the process of discovery. and lots to inspire when the days draw in and the nights lengthen and become ponderous. 
i don't get bored or depressed. i read and make things and do some thinking.
i also sometimes get some more paper made. two vats, maybe three, have got to be completed. time to work. 

and go over to aimee's site and see the photographs of her newest work. it looks really really good!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

william blake and duck

and here it is, my birthday. i enjoy it because it comes along around thanksgiving, sometimes on thanksgiving, but the thing is, it's all about reflecting and just being. perhaps i will not be being next november 28. perhaps i will be being longer, even much longer. who knows? this little book was made with my words, a calendar or a winter count. of sorts. by aimee, who also sent a package full of delights. 

 navigating this package was a great adventure.
inside the exquisite hanji and pina book

there was also a duck
and a picture of me at a cleaned up work table. making books with carol.
i'm 54 today. my mom was 41 when i was born. if i had been in her shoes (heels, of course) i would now have a thirteen year old. oh. my. god. instead i have wonderful kids in their twenties, a border collie, a passel of family and very fine friends. 
there is snow on the ground this overcast day.
on my porch, i slipped, almost wrecking my camera. but i didn't. 
life is very good.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a place to be

i don't live on this road, unfortunately. my road is a main arterial between two communities here. this road is behind my land, aptly named hill road. i have walked, run, ridden my mare, or my bike here for 24 years. i remember the joy of finally being able to run these hills with no wind issues. my knees won't let me run now.
layered rural calligraphy
wild cucumber
november palette 
giving thanks is a good thing to do. 
i'll have a small celebration, the kids won't be home, but that's ok. they know how much they are loved, how thankful i am they are in the world. and when we are together next time, we will celebrate.
may your thanksgiving be full of light.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

wooly bear

yesterday another student finished his book. he took two pieces of scrap leather (all we have is scrap) and sewed them together because he wanted a larger book. he sewed his signatures into the spine with a long stitch. he originally wanted lots of overlap of the skins, but trimmed them. he was delighted to make a rolled leather button and braid the waxed linen for a closure. and see the fine weaving he did on the spine?
his pride in this book, which has a strong intention (as a memorial for soldiers who have died in iraq and afghanistan), was touching.
on my bathroom floor a friendly wooly bear. another proud survivor, like my student, who has survived much in his eighteen years. the wooly bear was given a trip back outside, to the garden where the violas grow.
this was monday. it's tuesday now, and i am off for five days. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

subtle color, wild texture

tangled horizon
this time of year color shocks, brilliant red osier, ochre corn spilled on dark chocolate soil with kozo paper stubble behind. tonight's full moon is deeply veiled, but not last night's.
flat light. you have to visually dig deep to see the reds and purples and brilliant greens. they're there.
and so is brittle ice, frozen in the wind.
how did this end up in the road? see the pebble weighing it down? why? it's not been good weather for snakes for a long time.
today the starkness overwhelmed me. then i remembered last night's almost full moon. i came home from wendy's walk to a growling chainsaw and a little load of wood. good work, better than mowing lawns any day.

i have been trying to make a blurb book. will report when i have success. see how determined i am? blurb appears to be easy. we'll see! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

wild wind

i remember a children's book that i found as a young woman called the girl who loved the wind. wind was a metaphor for freedom. i hear that phrase, the girl who loved the wind, whenever the wind blows big. like now. this morning it's amazing and wild and scares wendy, who hates the sound of big winds. (and thunder and gunshots)
november 20. 
there has been rain and sleet and snow on the wind this morning, but just now the wind has gone quiet.
out the window it is quite bare and ochre and grey. 

thank you all who i set to thinking about the ownership of ideas. it was pointed out to me that in the specific cases i was thinking about the tm was only on the title or phrase, not on the content. 
i am also inviting you all to celebrate the day after thanksgiving. i have been one of the non-shoppers for several years. this probably means nothing to readers outside the us. but here it's a mad craze to shop for christmas, with shoppers crazed by sales and hype. speaking of, i saw christmas decorations on a house last night. and one of my students informed me that they put up their tree (aritificial) on all saint's day. i cannot imagine this! 
 from Patti Smith's acceptance speech for the National Book Award for the memoir Just Kids:

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon 
the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


intellectual property.
sharing, as in kindergarten.
play nice.

this list, these words were much on my mind during an email conversation with india. there are people who own ideas. yep. they're out there. they also trademark them. savvy business people. seems ridiculous to me. 
i'm thinking about soft books, really soft with stones in them. i must be crazy. but maybe i have a trademarkable idea! yes! that's it! i will trademark my ideas! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

the inevitable north wind*

intellectual property.
sharing, as in kindergarten.
play nice.
art. (arrgh!!!)

*india flint
wendy the border collie has made a choice, and she actually picked aimee first, but dear aimee, i know you already have a shifu square, so i asked her to pick again. she did, and the person is (drum roll) nandas. (and being a border collie she took the job seriously and nailed one paper each time.)

please email me so i know if you desire plain or dyed, and your address. 

for all of you who participated, i give you all a little piece of my shifu thoughts... your comments were very much appreciated and seriously read and archived so i might learn a thing or two. i am old (so my students say) but at almost 54 (and a sagittarius!) i'm not, as they say, dead yet!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

one year

beaver pond ice
today is sunday, november 14, 2010. i posted my first blog piece sunday, november 15, 2009. one year (almost). in that counting much has happened in my life. today, i want to say thank you to all of you who visit, to those of you who have had the time to leave a comment, to those of you who take the time to think about what i'm writing about. to make things. to challenge, to laugh, to experiment, to understand what it means to love this mother earth we all share. i am not much of a writer, but i am someone who ponders things. and this is what i'm pondering today. a year. a reckoning. movement through a life, mine, and yours. 
i want to give someone out there a little shifu square to say thank you. i know people do this sort of thing all the time. i'm not so good at organizing contests or restrictions--but if you drop me a line in the comments, i'll write them down and then have wendy the border collie help me pick a name. tell me if you want a dyed one, or a plain one. i'll try to get to it by tomorrow evening. my hobbit sort of celebration. and a thank you.
like these snow geese, i may still have a thing or two to say. 
have i said how much i love november? it's because, among other things, it's my birth month. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

today, remembrance

a rock, not quite quartered.
a rock book?
a rock map?
how i wish there were no guns in the woods right now. as far as i know there have been two local deaths. so far. people shooting people. there is a crazed sort of hunting mentality that seems so foreign to hunting for food. wendy found this in the meadow. perhaps a natural death. probably not.
this death, near the beaver pond. the leg above probably belongs to this skeleton. if a hunter shot this on adjacent property, my three neighbors hunt or lease their lands, it may have run onto my land. coyotes have eaten the flesh. near the leg in the meadow i found a large, dark poop. coyote. i like to have a map of what happens out here, and because i no longer go to the barn twice daily, i don't stay on top of things.i could have taken some of these bones to make bone folders from. maybe i'll go out tomorrow with a bag.
i saw many downed trees that were too large to haul.
the edge of the pond in the picture where the line of sedges and cattails meet the water is the dam edge. the next pond is eight to ten feet lower than the uppermost pond! 
this used to be a wet meadow. 
and this little stream is one of the sources of the beaver pond. my place was a family farm, so at the junction of the old farm road and the stream was the dump, a place that my kids and their friends used to find treasures, bottles and metal toys.

so now it's time for me to get back to work, to think of books and paper and art and fiber. i brought home a pocketful of stones, and fungi. small stones from the stream, fungi from a downed tree. i will try to dye with this shelf fungus. i am too lazy to look it up. 
the little stones will go in aimee's book, i think. 
i have dreamed again of book things.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


the farmer who baled this hay mowed late, long after the nutrients were lowered. perhaps it is exactly what he wants.
 this fence post was placed by the farmer. and the milkweed is a beautiful commentary on november. i harvest milkweed.   
sunset on the treeline
 soon after i arrive home these days.
my back yard toward the woods
i can hear the coyotes quite close tonight, they sound lonely, but i think they're fooling. they are most sociable. but the neighborhood dogs are paying attention tonight. i wonder why?
i have walked at night and heard their calls and shivered. 
she ignores coyotes. 
 but not wet grass
 or me.
 towards the adirondacks.
 jude hill spoke of trees and their fingers. i think of their arms, where i used to climb. i loved to sit in trees, until my father told me i was too old, and i had to sneak that pleasure.
 from some of the trees in this hedgerow i will harvest a few branches for paper, stripping and using their inner bark. slippery elm, maybe a hickory. basswood.

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