Saturday, April 25, 2015


 twined milkweed bast
"The land knows you, even when you are lost."
-Robin Wall Kimmerer

Friday, April 24, 2015

harsh and kind

seems like lately i've been called
to be both
harsh and kind.
kinda weird but pretty normal for me.
i spend my days at school with kids
who are trying to be like their peers
and aren't.
and i spend my other teaching hours
with adults who are so kind 
who appreciate what i bring to them.
and often let me know about it.
it's a lovely contrast, like the spring weather 
that swings from snow to warm sun in a few days
or hours really.
 one of my students from maine
wrote about the workshop
a good report.
she is a gem,
 the kind of person you know you like just by the way they walk
(and wave!) 
in fact all of my students were like that
fine and really attentive.
several have sent words or cards of thanks.
just yesterday i had a card from pru.
thank you all for being there, 
it was wild and busy and messy and wonderful,
and these photos 
(thank you rebecca) 
don't quite do justice to this big and beautiful room.
it is a bright and happy space
at the university of southern maine.
 the ferns are back, 
greenly vivid in the umbers of the woods
where little bits of other greens are appearing, 
coltsfoot and spring beauty and bloodroot
and flowers are falling from trees, 
prelude to leaves.
the book continues 
to keep me busy.
there's still much more press time, 
and then and then and then and then,
does it ever end?
outside there are perils,
 last weekend there were four ticks on me, 
one took a little nibble of my scalp
but was stopped before any damage was done.
i may cut my hair short so i can keep track of these beasts.
in other news
i am now co-administrator of susan byrd's shifu spot on facebook.
i am ruthless and stick to the paper textile rule.
must be my special ed training!
my wonderful daughter hannah 
has ramped up wake robin
 several notches 
and given me a few more pages. 
i'm working on learning it.
did i say the peepers and the woodcock and the robins amongst all the rest
are entertaining for free?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

walking another

this is my north country.
there is still some snow around.
you can see lake ontario on the left, 
and the st. lawrence river emptying out the all great lakes 
on the right is lake champlain
where the white is are the adirondacks
there's a ridge of sorts from below the st lawrence 
running sw to ne. those are my foothills.
 i walked gwen last night.
she doesn't behave like wendy did, 
she is enamored of birds 
as she should be.
i've gotten some treats in the mail lately
 this envelope was filled with goodies, 
but i particularly loved this graphic
enhanced by aimee
the sample of aimee's fused paper to fabric made me chuckle.
 and this packet from beautiful silks arrived.
 lest i get the big head
the macbook won't in any way allow me to upsideright this
but you can read my title there
sideways and roped in with marion-made strings.
(i can add that marion is wonderful, too.)
my very own 
with reflection
 until gwen and i returned home
as the sunset.
 last weekend i met in person
the wonderful and witty lee thompson
and forgot to provide a link.
also, i forgot to link todd and sharon pattison.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

afternoon walk,
my first long walk since returning.
i found what remains
of a whitetail, this one who was tossed
into a stream
by the person who jacked it,
hacked off the haunch and tossed the carcass.
i will celebrate this deer person.
my first encounter with the ladies
who have overwintered rather well
 leaning some
 they remain until the farmers take them home 
maine seaweeds and blueberries 
some half dozen prints completed after my trip
using up the gifts my students brought
i was a little nervous about 18 students at once
worried i couldn't connect with them all
though i learned few names, 
i did thoroughly enjoy them all,
heard stories, 
saw their work.
and farren's gift
the tea bag book 
 makes me happy!
the robins and woodcock are calling 
and all those many other birds
peepers are singing
frogs of every size
a wee tick crawled up my pantleg yesterday.
it is spring, and quite dry.
 but the hard winter is over.
i think i will have my snow tires removed
until november.

Monday, April 13, 2015

full blast

or as full as it gets for me...
 so before i left for portland and the big atlantic
 i tried several ways to make my envelope for the new book
even knowing it wouldn't be ready 
for the book arts bazaar
it felt right to keep that work going
 i pulled out some of my map fold samples
from learning with pam spitzmeuller
 and came up with something that might work
(the finished one won't be red)
 this book never got sewn
 before i left.
there were several of these not yet done things.
fortunately there were 
many things that did get done!
long winters are good for some things...
but leave i did 
on friday,
and made my way to portland,
to visit with hannah
before setting up for a whirlwind, huge workshop
full of absolutely delightful folks.
book arts people are awesome.
 portland has a 'bit' of that
maine wit about it...
i did also encounter two irate and downright annoying women
one in a vintage vw microbus with a license plate that proclaimed 
something like "strider" or "hiker" or "walker"
and bumper stickers that said things like 
"practice random acts of kindness"
and at the tool booth when the driver stopped and backed up 
almost into me
i beeped politely,
and got an irate holler, a fist raised and shaken.
anyway, it was just odd,
as was the table browser at the bazaar
who proceeded to tell me what i should do with my work. 
too much "you should"

 the bazaar was well attended and full of good work
lots of student work
and beautiful papers like katie macgregor's
 i obtained and was given or traded some loot!
 one of my 18 students, farrin, made me a gift
a tea book
a way to remember her,
and my wonderful students,
and full of tea. 
easily replaceable for traveling.
 todd and sharon brought me some leftovers
from their letterpress stash
for printing. 
 i found a dodo or two
 rebecca goodale, 
a professor at university of southern maine
(and book arts bazaar organizer)
makes wonderful work,
playful and connected to place.
much of it is about endangered species
(and the occasional extinct one...)
 she is an artist saying "WAKE UP"
quietly and with beauty in her bookworks.
 a lovely little book of photos
called finale
 a map fold book about 
 jill osgood's work also pleases me
 todd pattison and i did a little trade
 i have a nice tiny leather bound book
and he insisted that the paperbound one join it
 the paper is harvested from
the original papermaker-- 
a paper wasp nest
abandoned at the end of the season.
these two are precious and beautifully made.
when i was unloading the car
a huge surprise pulled up behind me in a pickup
carol blinn and perry smith.
so of course i finagled 
(with permission)
our tables so we could be neighbors.
it was such a gift to see them.
i met so many folks, 
including the amazing lee thompson
(who came for my class)
and saw many many friends.........
i can't remember all that i was going to write about, but i do know this:
all of this would have been
nigh onto impossible
without my amazing daughter
hannah's help.
portland, rebecca, book arts folks, hannah, my amazing students all
a HUGE thank you.
what a great weekend!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

marks in landscape

 hidden texts 
 colors emerging
 two geese 
 and marks morph and change
 a maker's mark on 
an enamel pan
 a maker's mark
on the fenceline
 copper marks.
 and then there was 
new snow
and temperatures falling 30 degrees
 iced grapevines marking place
barbed marks, 
in today's sunshine.
i made some soup.
it's good.

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