It is getting harder and harder to post here, because for one, I am art journaling on actual PAPER (yes, it does still exist) and two, every time I get online I am totally distracted by this wonderful new Yahoo group that just started. Everyone is excited and enthusiastic and it is very busy with interesting posts right now. There are people on it who have been journaling for decades and people who haven’t journaled at all but want to begin. It is flat wide open and it could consume all my time just chasing the links and looking at books that are recommended. If you’re interested in getting into art journaling, defined here as “notebooks with a few sketches in the margins to watercolor diaries to collages between the pages of an old hardbound book to everything in between” and mixing “words and art on the pages of a journal/diary/notebook/sketchbook,” this looks like it is going to be one of those really inspirational, helpful, supportive discussion groups with some very free spirits in attendance. If you’d like to join: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theartjournal/

My head is full of the book projects that I’m working on, too. Yesterday I carved a large stamp of Mama Kitty, which came out very well considering that she was a torty. It was a bit of a challenge. I will post a photo separately. Today I plan to warp up the tapestry for the cover of the Feral Family book. I’ve decided to work on the pages before I bind them, because I’m planning to do a lot of writing, and if I mess up, it will be easier.

I also made signatures (the folded page sections inside a book) for the Elements tapestries books from four sheets of handmade paper that Susanne gave me. These will be thin, 4″ x 6″ books. Right now I am trying to decide how to bind them. I bought a book called How to Make Books that I like a lot. But the decision is hard for me – I also can see making cloth pages for these tapestry books, and doing different covers for Susanne’s papers.

So many ideas and possibilities for the weekend. I feel overwhelmed at the outset! I’d like to take a stab at making my own paper from recycled paper and cooking some plant materials to make pulp, too. I’ve promised Sandy to work on decluttering this weekend, and if I don’t clean out the refrigerator, I’ll deserve what I get when some mutant vegetable rises from the bottom of my vegetable bin and consumes me.

Yesterday I worked some in the yard, planting more beans. I figure that this is my last chance to get more beans in, and I had the space from where I harvested garlic and pulled out lettuce and 2-year old parsley and chard. I have green tomatoes, finally, and harvested one cucumber and some Hungarian wax peppers are appearing. This year I have planted eleven different kinds of beans, and two varieties of field peas. I hope that they will fare better than my green beans did, who got blasted by the record heat at flowering time.

I’ve been sleeping an unusual amount of time lately. Yesterday afternoon I had a headache and took a nap – highly unusual for me to nap, not unusual to have the headache this time of the month. Then I went to bed at 9, got up at 7:30, fed the cats and lay back down for an hour! Jeez! I feel like a vampire has been sucking on me, but other than that I feel okay. This is the third period that I’ve missed, so I guess that I’ve definitely hit menopause. I am afraid to stop taking birth control pills, mainly for the reason that I’ve taken them for 27 years and the one time I tried going off them was not fun at all. I’m sure that this time would be different though – whether better or worse I couldn’t say.

Reading a lot of Elizabeth Berg now – she has replaced Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler for my new “women’s book” author, at least for now. I like her style and her characters are very different so far. I just finished Talk Before Sleep and have started Open House. When I find an author I like, I tend to read all their books I can get my hands on all at once. I’m not sure that this is the best way to go about it. Seems a little obsessive.

Okay, I’m done with the coffee pot. Time to upload some photos and then get out to the studio while husband is still sleeping and NDN is inside the house. Lately she has really gone off her rocker. Can anyone recommend a good exorcist? God, she must be terrifying the poor little girl who lives on the other side of her.