Greensboro North Carolina, Visual journal, Visual journal 2014

Visual journal, February 24, 2014

My co-workers often walk in Green Hill Cemetery during lunch. Sometimes I join them. Today the gusty wind was a little too much for me, but I got a few photos. Maybe next time I’ll take some art supplies and make rubbings. It’s a beautiful old cemetery.

Found some great rusty metal pieces in the scrap bin behind the art building. These will make some interesting prints on fabric and paper.

art, Greensboro North Carolina, Visual journal, Visual journal 2014

First Friday at GreenHill Gallery and the City Arts Center

First Friday at GreenHill Gallery and the City Arts Center. Local students had a stunning installation of figures made from clear packing tape – “We Have a Dream: The March on Washington Packing Tape Project.”

Description from

“African American Atelier Inc. – 200 N. Davie Street
In celebration of Black History Month, the Atelier will present an opening reception for the exhibit entitled, “We Have a Dream: The March on Washington Packing Tape Project”. The exhibition will be presented in collaboration with Guilford County Public Schools and will feature over 100 life sized packing tape sculptures that the students have created of protestors, simulating the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Guilford County art teachers are working with approximately 500 middle and high school students to create the art installation. The exhibition is coordinated by 10 Guilford County art teachers and curated by LeShari Clemons. The exhibit will be on display from February 7th-14th. Sponsored by ArtsGreensboro.”

The last two are from the Imprint exhibition in GreenHill – here is the link from their website as I have run out of time:

Mark Iwinski

April V. Flanders

Fungi, Greensboro North Carolina, hiking

Reedy Fork Creek play day

Sandy and I and Anne, a new co-worker, went on a short hike on the Reedy Fork Trail, one of Greensboro’s many trails around our reservoir lakes.

Love this running cedar.

Either we took a wrong turn or the trail vanished. It was in need of maintenance. We ended up crossing a power line right-of-way, in which I identified several dye plants and found a bouquet’s worth of hawk feathers.

Even the scrubby potholed service road leading back to the swampy area was interesting. Just the place to shoot an old refrigerator full of holes.

We followed the creek back to the trail and there were lots of trees felled by beavers.

Fun with leaves.

I found a huge grapevine to swing on. My new friend found out just how silly I can be.

We were more tired that we expected. I want to start doing this on a regular basis and get in better shape.

That’s not pink. I don’t wear pink. It is “tomato.”

coffee pot posts, critters, Greensboro North Carolina, whining

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Yesterday was so peaceful. I painted lovely mindless color-washed pages for blank journals – a page for just about any mood, including a few stormy ones. But now I’m ready to make some book covers and it just ain’t happening. I started doing it anyway yesterday and hopefully something good will pop out. Sometimes you just gotta do da work. Now is the time to go to my photo collection for inspiration – maybe the texture photos? Hmmmm.

Susanne and I are riding out to Goat Lady Dairy this afternoon to pick up iris leaves for papermaking. I should have some cotton and abaca pulp thawed out by this afternoon so if the storms let up I might get some papermaking in. I have a lot of colored papers from the office that I save for recycled sheets. I find that the recycled pulp is much stronger when added to cotton or abaca. I like to use shredded transcripts and blue book covers in these papers – I call it “graduate student sweat paper.”

If this sounds like my hands are much better, I’m afraid that is not the case. However, my doctor assures me that I will be better and he can give me a couple of injections in my thumb if I continue to have problems. My physical therapist shakes her head at me and tells me to only stitch for fifteen minutes at a time – which I usually do anyway – but sometimes time falls away when I’m doing these things, which I guess is why I do them in the first place. I am left wondering just why the hell I had this surgery to begin with, but I am trying to have faith that time is the answer, and I don’t do as much as I would ordinarily in the spring, so I’m being as good as I can be. I’m trying not to complain but it has been depressing. I was trying to get off my anti-depressants but I started them back up on a regular basis and I do feel better now. I gave up beer for Lent, which was major, and I’ve fallen off the wagon twice. So considering how crazy-making work has been, I think that I’m doing rather well, actually. Art and good books and thinking about Ireland have all been part of that mood enhancement.

I haven’t done much gardening other than clean-up from last year and pruning back the fig tree rather viciously. I planted a lettuce mix and Danvers carrots from High Mowing Seeds in the beds that don’t get as much sun. The violets are taking over again and they are so pretty this time of year I can’t say that I really mind it.

Theo had to go back to the vet – he really has the worst allergies that I have ever seen in a cat. How did they ever survive in the wild? He wouldn’t last six months as a feral cat. So the vet thinks that if I get him a steroid shot every six months, keep him on daily antihistamines, and vigilant flea medication, that should work for him.

Meanwhile, Guido goes to the vet every six weeks for the same shot, except this one controls his cancer. He freaks out worse that any animal I’ve ever taken to the vet. I dreaded taking him yesterday because Sandy said that when he took him in early February he nearly had a heart attack and he’d never seen him so stressed out. So I gave him a pain pill before we went, popped him into the cat carrier, and he pooped all over it and himself before I even got him to the car. Ugh. It was a major mess. The good news is that he finally gained weight, .6 lb since the last time, and he behaved reasonably well enough for them to get him mostly cleaned up. There was concern about inflamed teeth (he doesn’t have hardly any left) the last time and Dr. Hunt did not see that problem this time. The steroid shot made him super hyper and he ran around and cried most of the night. This morning he seems better.

Lucy’s asthma and coughing is finally much better. I put a vaporizer in our bedroom near where she sleeps and I think it helped all of us.

Hopefully I will have some photos to show of the Magic Hands flag soon. I am not rushing it at all. I’ve also been working on a denim blanket constructed mostly of woven cloth strip squares on the sewing machine. I am way behind on Jude’s online class because I find it frustrating to have all that inspiration and the competing admonition of my brain saying, “Slow down. Slow down.”

I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of one of my favorite hangouts – M’Coul’s Pub in downtown Greensboro, NC.

critters, Greensboro North Carolina

Day After Christmas in a snowy North Carolina

This amount of snow is very exciting to us Southerners. When we get winter weather it is more often ice and sleet. Looks like you folks to our northeast are about to get dumped on.

In the South, everybody runs out to the grocery store at the hint of a snow forecast and loads up on milk and bread. It’s kind of embarrassing when you really DO need milk and bread. So y’all stop doing that, okay? Fortunately, I really loaded up on food last week because I wanted to be able to concentrate on dyeing and art-making this week.

I bought a potted Meyer lemon tree this summer, and brought it in about a month ago. It has been flowering like crazy so I hope to get some lemons this winter! I was told that I would. It has filled half the house with a heavy gardenia-like smell, which is great if you like that smell, and gag-awful if you don’t. Guess which camp I fall into.

The eucalyptus dyeing project should help a lot with that.

Here’s what we woke up to in Greensboro, North Carolina and it is still snowing.

Santa dropped off some catnip for the kittehs, so here’s the other entertainment for me this week. Even Miss Jazz got into the fun last night. Guido is still into it:

Guess dusting this week wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

coffee pot posts, Greensboro North Carolina

Sunday morning second coffee pot post

I consumed the first pot, spent a couple of hours in the Back Forty weeding and doing general clean-up, then decided that I deserved a second pot. So here I am, after all.

I’ve been a little freaked out at the amount of money I’ve spent lately, and I would have had to go into frugal mode despite the eminence of the second Great Depression. However, one thing that I consider to be essential for mental and emotional health purposes is my camera! How I missed it during September! So last weekend, I bought a display model that was on clearance that is not the latest thing, but an update from my old Canon. They threw in a two-year replacement warranty since it was a display model.

So here are a few highlights from my week.

Wednesday I went to the dentist, where they found a little cavity that was no surprise. I decided to treat myself to lunch at Sushi Republic, where I had a bento box with vegetable tempura. I sat at the bar and watched the sushi chefs. For the first time ever, I was tempted by the octopus in the display. And this was so beautiful I had to snap a photo:

On Saturday, the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market relocated to the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion for Farmers’ Appreciation Day. I set up an information table about Slow Food and it was worthwhile – usually I feel that I’m preaching to the choir but quite a few people had not heard of Slow Food. I put my groceries on the display – organic corn from a backyard market gardener (organic corn is rare for a reason), yellow stoneground grits milled at the Old Mill of Guilford, with corn grown near Yanceyville.

I loved this vendor’s booth – what a beautiful variety of local produce!

Then I wandered around Artstock, an open studio event held each year in Greensboro. I just went to the five nearest stops, one of which was my friends Susanne and John Martin. On my walk down Fairmont St., I encountered these beautiful fungi on a willow oak between the sidewalk and the street:

One of my visits was to a printmaker who showed me and a couple of other visitors two methods for making multi-color prints. (And she doesn’t have a press – she presses with by hand!) My heart began to beat a little faster and stronger and I knew that I am right to move into this book art direction. Then my friend Susanne told me that a couple of other local bookbinders had come by her place, and they were thinking of forming a small group. My heart filled up.

Sandy and I went out to eat at Fishbones, ending a perfect day.

Earlier this week, my co-workers and I posed for this picture for our department newsletter. I’m “See No Evil” – appropriate since I’m shutting out the politicial ads.

Greensboro North Carolina

Battle of Guilford Courthouse 2007

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007
In the British camp

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007Today’s reenactment of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was chilly and muddy but at least the rain stopped. This reenactment is notorious for its bad weather (for around here, anyway). I had forgotten that the event was moved to Price Park last year, which is a little dodgy for taking photos without cars and electrical lines in the background.

To the right is Sandy and Bill, the only two soldiers that showed up for the Forty-twa (42nd Highlanders Light Infantry, now known as the Black Watch). A few years ago, the regiment’s photo boasted around 14-15 soldiers. Hopefully it will regain its former glory.

Last night we took Bill out to Natty Greene’s and McCoul’s Pub for grub and Smithwick’s Irish Ale. I heard a rumour that some of the British re-enactors might go to Natty Greene’s tonight in full regalia. That will be interesting since there will be a St. Patrick’s festival going on.

I dressed out as a backcountry trader and took photos until my fingers froze. I was quite disappointed because some of the very best shots of the battle were out of focus when I downloaded them. There are no photos of me here, but a friend took one of me that I might get to post later. I looked like Calamity Jane from Deadwood. Guess that will be my next Halloween costume.

If you were there, Sandy was the British soldier who fell down first (clue: he always does) and lay on the ground for ten minutes before rejoining the line. This amused the Mystery Science Theater commentators beside me quite a bit, but I informed them that he was merely stunned and bravely re-entered the battle upon recovery.

What happened was that he had a problem with his musket and he was trying to fix it. He said that he got off two shots the whole time.

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007
Before the battle

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007
Traitors against King George Patriots line up

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007
His Majesty’s troops fire upon them

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007
Hessians march with the British

Guilford Courthouse reenactment 2007
British advance and win the battle, but are weakened and will lose the war at Yorktown within the year