Letting go

I’m in bed with my laptop, endless coughing, sucking on cough drops, and drinking a variety of hot liquids today. So I figured that I may as well do a little blogging.

Along with a bunch of my stuff that was clogging up my storage, I let go of my self-elected leadership of the Greensboro Fiber Guild. It is nice to get together with my fiber artist friends now and then, but I felt like it wasn’t going to go where I hoped and it felt better to honestly say I’m done trying. At least I did try. I used the excuse of getting my last class in my art degree program done. That was truthful, because the class I registered for requires an enormous amount of research and written and presentation work. Our first class was canceled because of icy weather, and I read a huge amount of pages about art exhibitions, and was trying to deal with getting together outside of class for some group work, when I realized that spending sixteen weeks of my precious life in stress-filled misery to graduate in May was not worth putting all this effort into a subject that was surprisingly boring to me. Plus I hate group work with the intensity of a thousand suns. So I’m dropping the class.

My loom is in the living room, and I’m slowly, slowly, slowly inching forward on getting it warped up for a new project. The only way I could move forward was to let go of my original plan, and change to a plan that wasn’t as efficient but excited me. I’m going to weave some fine overshot scarves with 10/2 black mercerized cotton and hand-dyed silk. I almost finished measuring the warp yesterday, when I finally let go of the idea of charging ahead no matter how I felt and went to bed.

I’ve been trying to find an inexpensive way to travel to India Flint’s workshop on Madeline Island, Wisconsin but it just ain’t happening. The prices keep increasing, and I’m not going to book the flight for a while yet anyway. Maybe something will change for the better.

If I don’t get into Paper and Book Intensive, I’ll go to Focus on Book Arts again in Forest Grove, Oregon. It will be about the same amount of money for half the amount of time, but good instructors and classes and an awesome little town. Or maybe I’ll just do the one trip to Wisconsin this year.

Now I’d like to let go of a large amount of congestion in my chest. Time for hot tea and the vaporizer.

art, art retreats, book arts

Paper and Book Intensive

Now is the time of year that most of the class and workshop schedules come out for 2013, and it has been making me crazy! I am so addicted to these retreats. I realized that I am not going to be able to do Art-is-You Petaluma again this year. Too much is going on either at work or in my personal life during those times. And taking this workshop with India at the Madeline Island School of the Arts ain’t exactly cheap money-wise (but, oh, the riches I expect to gather from it!), leaving me with little to work with financially, since I don’t do these retreats on credit. Well, actually I did the last one on credit and broke my rule, but I don’t plan to break it again.

So I just up and decided that the Paper and Book Intensive was way too terrific and too much of a bargain to pass up this year. Amazing teachers and an all inclusive price for lodging and meals for 10 days, on a beautiful oxbow lake close to Lake Michigan, and a serious book arts curriculum where I can learn some skills and knowledge about historical book binding as well as art design. The airfare is not horrible, and it is one long day’s trip if I really had to drive it. It would probably be cheaper to fly. It is cheaper to fly to Grand Rapids, which is a closer airport, than to Chicago! I’m beginning to see that the biggest airports don’t always have the best prices.

Here’s the kicker – I announced on Facebook that I had applied to PBI and my friend Judy who I met at Journalfest in 2010 and roomed with at Focus on Book Arts said that she had too! Judy and I will make great roommates.

It’s not a done deal yet. I’ve applied and I have to be accepted. I hope that it happens because between this and the five days with India Flint my art is going to be kicked up several notches this year.

art, book arts

The “Whatever” Book

My good friend and mentor Susanne Martin lend me her marbling vat, supplies, and expertise the day after Christmas and after eight hours at her place I came home with quite a few nice sheets of marbling. I brought along a stack of colorwashed papers that I was mostly disappointed with, and captured the leftovers in each vat to rescue the papers. There were other people marbling also, so I was able to print with some colors that I would not have chosen, and get ideas from their choices.

It led me to finally, finally produce a blank journal this past weekend. What was funny is that I used the rescued papers for this book, my favorite one, and my least favorite one. This is why I find it difficult to get rid of anything – I have found a perfect match for mistakes or disappointments so many times.

The book cover is upcycled from a novel titled “Eden’s Lost.” I left the title on the spine barely visible. I like to retain a bit of the original book somewhere when I upcycle it. The binding is longstitch; the paper is Stonehenge. Dictionary page entries collaged on the cover (inside and out) are for “whatever” and words with “when” and “where.” I call it the “Whatever” book because the pages are suitable for whatever you’d like to do with it, but I also chose that word because I had just read that the word “whatever” had been voted the most annoying word for several years in a row. I can understand why, but sometimes I get annoyed at the contortion of a perfectly fine word’s meaning and wish to restore its reputation. I guess that it is part of my love affair with words.