art, Back Forty, book arts, coffee pot posts, collage, critters, Upcycling

Sunday Sweep – Collage and Life

schillercollage

^A book cover collage I made ten days ago at a craft event at Oden Brewing Company.

I’m starting to feel the relief that comes with the wind-down of the academic year. At this point, I am done with a lot of the major budget stuff. Handling the budget for large amounts of money is not something that I thought I’d ever do. Now I’ve calmed down enough to turn my mind toward some art-making.

Lately I’ve been using old book covers as substrates, sometimes with the cover intact, and sometimes with the covers stripped of the book cloth. You can get a lot of interesting colors and textures with the parts of a book cover and spine. Sometimes you find paper from an older book under the spine. The endbands and mesh holding the covers to the spine are nice elements. Flip over the pieces of the book cloth and papers underneath and the old glue sometimes has a scaly texture and occasionally a bit of sparkle.

The challenge I set for myself for these collages, using an old library copy of The Origins and Growth of the English Constitution, Part I, pub. 1897, was to use only the elements that were on the covers and the spine, which had split away from the textblock. I’m hanging on to the textblock for now since I’ve developed a passion for English history. From the library “card” it appears that it was never checked out, but it landed in a used book store at some point. I occasionally visit free and trash bins outside used book stores for collage fodder.

I didn’t use the back of the cloth in these two, but it has a very nice mottled light blue color. I have a few pieces to save for another. The first collage came together magically in only about an hour of moving elements around.

Taylor1

The second one I played with all day, taking photos, walking away, moving something as I walked by, walking away, and so forth. Here’s one of the drafts, showing the light blue back side of the book cloth. I kind of wish I had used it now, but it’s done.

Taylor-Draft-2

And here’s the final piece:

Taylor2

Now wondering if I should spray it with something to protect it.

Here’s a skink couple for you, holding “hands” while sunbathing.

skink buddies

I’m pretty happy about this week. I actually got some yard work done, including getting our yard guy to come back to mow our “weeds”! Last Sunday we went to the plant sale at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, where I bought tomato and pepper plants. Naturally, the most expensive tomato plant that I bought, mainly to support the vendor who sold some unusual varieties, is not doing well at all. I think it is flea beetles. I just brushed all the plants with water and Dawn dishwashing liquid. The tomatoes and peppers this year are: (drum roll)

  • Cherokee Purple
  • Better Boy
  • Sungold
  • Roma
  • Black Plum
  • Sweet Banana (2)
  • Fish
  • Poblano
  • Red Bellfrontgarden041623

In the back, where I’ve nearly given up, I planted most of this packet of seeds in half of the womb garden. A couple of asparagus survived.

backgarden041623

Reading: well, I’ve been slogging through Black Leopard, Red Wolf. At times it goes fast for me, at others, I lose interest. I’m reading “Here Be Dragons” at the same time, and I’m happier with that. The Marlon James book club and event is over and I haven’t even finished his first book, much less the second I was given. I have a lot of great books on tap.

Techie stuff: We switched from Spectrum Internet to T-Mobile Internet and got a higher speed for half the price with zero problems and a seamless, easy transition. Spectrum tried very hard to keep us with an almost matching offer, so if you’re not interested in leaving Spectrum, you might want to give them a call and threaten to leave. Be sure to have the information for a better offer on hand, though. T-Mobile had a 15 day free trial but we made our decision much earlier than that. And Sandy bought a new all-in-one computer yesterday. His computer was old and having problems, but he built it himself and it lasted for many years. This new one has the added value of taking up less space.

TV: I watched “Lucky Hank” for free and then bought the season. I love Bob Odenkirk in this role. It’s an academic comedy that I can relate to very much. As for the other shows, I don’t watch a lot of TV, but we both wept through “1883” and are watching “Ted Lasso” and the second season of “Picard.” I subscribed to HBO Max but so far I don’t think we’ve watched anything on it. There are a lot of good choices right now for us: the new season of “The Last Kingdom” (I think it has a different name, though), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and I understand that the final season of “Better Call Saul” has finally popped up on one of our streaming services. I don’t have a long enough attention span for a movie right now, but I’m looking forward to watching “The Banshees of Inishiren.”

Okay, back to the outdoors for this pleasantly cool day to plant peas, carrots, and lettuce. Maybe I’ll get one of my small looms warped. Starting to think more about our San Miguel de Allende trip in a couple of weeks, which makes me a bit anxious.

 

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