Tuesday, October 28, 2014

this fall

my friends and family know:
this fall has been very hard at work,
the hooligans very challenging
i have the best assistant in the universe,
and yet
work has been overwhelming.
 so when this surprise, 
beautifully wrapped in translucent paper,
came in the mail
i thought: this is it!
 the beauty of this gift
has touched my heart. why?
 this is essentially a government publication
julie johnson oversaw that the research presented inside
was honored by
her beautiful handmade paper
fine photos and writing and layout
it's bound with her own twined dogbane.
did she know how 
 it so touches the thoughts i'm exploring
about the honorable harvest.
 a few walks help me get through the tough days.
 some of the contact prints emerging from the 
depths of the old enamel pot
are extraordinary.
and then
yuko kimura and i agreed upon a trade
her tiny, exquisite sample book
came, also. 
i am in awe of this beautiful work
 it fits
in the palm of my hand.
i am grateful to these amazing artists,
(lori, you, too!)
who add such grace to my life.
thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


 the honorable harvest has been much on my mind
 and this weekend i found myself marveling
over these seedheads
black eyed susans
lots of seeds to feed this little one,
and i almost missed it.
  old/new tub spent two years outdoors and has ecoprints
it's actually quite clean and shiny.
 around here you can be looking for stuff
 just walking
and you catch a cliff 
out of the corner of your eye
like this one.
i once watched a young man, sam,
spider himself up a far higher cliff.
i was in "charge" of him.
thankfully his skill
was exquisite,
as he crowned that cliff
waved hi to me.
 i've found a very intimate field
on my way home form work.
an amish place, 
small fields.
you know how when you ride a horse, 
or drive a team
or hike often
over a field
how well you get to know it?
i love that.
i was taking this sneaky photo
and then moved forward, 
and there was a young amish man, watching me, intently,
as i watch his corn ladies!

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.

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