My friend and paper mentor Susanne and I flew out to Oregon to attend the Focus on Book Arts conference in Forest Grove at Pacific University. Despite our friends’ warning about the rainy weather, it was beautiful and I didn’t have to open my umbrella once. The cooler temperatures were such a relief!

Judy met us at the Portland airport and as I thought would happen, Susanne LOVED her! So we had a trio of three amazing women for most of the trip. We arrived in Forest Grove late on Wednesday, just in time for the Farmers’ Market on Main St. held each week from 4-8 p.m. Good idea for a farmers’ market here in Greensboro.

Table at Maggie's BunsAt the Wednesday Farmer's Market

We picked up cherries and the sweetest “Hood” strawberries for snacks. Also some marionberry creamed honey. Creamed honey is new to me. The town is small but just big enough for me. There was not a lot of time for exploring, but we both enjoyed a funky little bakery coffee shop called Maggie’s Buns and bought art supplies from The Accidental Bookmaker.

Susanne at Maggie's Buns

My first class was Jill Timm’s “The Amazing Dremel,” a class that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years, actually. I found it on the Internet and thought that it would be very helpful, and it sure was. The first thing Jill had us do was work with glass, because it tends to be the most intimidating surface. After that, we all settled into it. She provided a large number of bits and wheels and by the time the class was over we all felt totally comfortable using a Dremel or rotary tool.

My new dremel bit setGlass etching in Jill Timm's Amazing Dremel class

I was most happy with two samples picturing Guido and Miss Jazz, which is not surprising, but since I was really after learning about this tool for woodworking I was surprised that I enjoyed working on glass and ceramic tile so much. The flexshaft attachment was very helpful because it was lightweight and allowed me to hold the tool more like a thick pencil. My hands did hurt at the end of the day, but I don’t plan to use this tool for hours on end in real life so I am pleased with the potential of what I’ll be able to accomplish with it.

The next two days Susanne and I both took Patti Glass’ “Caterpillar Book on Cords” class. I went forward with an “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” theme, since Patti had beautifully printed copies for our text blocks, while Susanne used a copy of her paper weaving and a large snakeskin in black and white. I was anxious and went overboard with the image transfers and I did not like most of my wooden covers. I plan to sand and carve out the butterflies with my Dremel tool – hooray for new skills!

The caterpillar stitch is complicated and requires patience, practice, and a lot of concentration. Susanne and I are still working on finishing ours. I removed my stitches and completed the headband. This week I am going to redo the stitch you see in the photo.

My caterpillar book on cordsSusanne's caterpillar book on cords

Next posts: Portland and texture ideas.