book arts, depression/anxiety, papermaking

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My mood was so dark yesterday that this morning my shadow had a shadow.

I feel better for the rant, though, and that the weekend is here. Here’s another photo from my walk to work:

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Sounds like Irma might take a path to the west, but of course, nobody can accurately predict a hurricane’s path this far out.

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If we get high winds, I feel sorry for my neighbor across the street. Look at all the black walnuts on his tree, hanging over his house. It’s gonna sound like hail on his roof. Of course if the wind is high enough some of them might make it over here too. I’ve been collecting some. There are lots of black walnut trees around here. Almost every part of the tree makes good fast dye.

On Labor Day, I cooked all the corn shucks I’ve been saving in my freezer with soda ash so that I can break down the fiber for paper pulp. I’m going to try to make some very rough textured paper this weekend, but there is SO MUCH going on around here!

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I pulled this book that I made in 2013 off the shelf and decided to work it some more for an exhibit with the Triangle Book Arts group this coming winter. It’s called “First the Seed,” and the cover has a seed catalog print gel transferred onto handmade paper, with some dried “whippoorwill” field peas in a mica window on the front. The pages are handmade paper from both recycled green office papers and recycled handmade papers with different plant materials in them. I decided to use it to showcase the seed packets that I have hoarded for years. I feel like they need to be framed, either with this rough corn shuck paper I’m about to make or with drawing frames in ink around them. I can’t add too much more paper to it or it won’t shut. I’m not satisfied with the front cover either.

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book arts, cloth weaving, papermaking, Slow cloth, Upcycling

Saint Patrick’s Day

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Thinking about Ireland. Aching for it. I wish that I had the courage to throw everything to the wind and take a chance on trying to move there. Like, NOW. This is a photo that I took on the Burren in May, 2012.

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Since I last wrote, spring came and then left.

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When this weather system came roaring through, I had cluster migraines all day. I always feel concerned for the farmers when we have these false springs.

I read “Long Quiet Highway” by Natalie Goldberg this past week. It was time for me to read something about Buddhism. Do you ever wish that you could get back a feeling that you treasured and you don’t understand why you can’t? I don’t understand why I don’t care about certain things that I once cared about. It occurred to me months ago that maybe I should get out one of my many books on Buddhism or mindfulness or simplicity but I didn’t care enough to do it until this past week. I want to care. I want to care about cooking and gardening and even watching TV and movies again. I want to feel present again. I guess this is depression. I feel so lazy and blah. Anyway, Natalie’s book is excellent and it stirred something up that needed to surface. Let’s see if I can get moving forward.

The book also made me want to go to New Mexico. I think that Sandy and I will go there in September, if we have the money.

I meant to go see Natalie at her stop at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Sunday, but I started making a book and that took me into a time warp and I forgot.

It was the first book I have made in many moons. I didn’t have a real plan. My sewing machine was in the shop and so I got out the denim paper that I made last spring and a piece of the recycled denim woven cloth to make a cover. A couple of scraps of old pajama pants decorate the front. This one is for me to experiment with stitching on paper. The paper is very soft so if I make another book with it I will need to reinforce the signatures where the pages are folded and stitched to the cover.

Ragged denim book

Ragged denim book

Ragged denim book

I just picked up my sewing machine and I look forward to some frustration-free sewing this weekend.

Back Forty, critters, fiber art, papermaking

Making paper from denim scraps, part I

I’ve been pretty bummed out about Fred and jealous of my friend Susanne, who spent her spring break marbling paper at my house while I dealt with April craziness at work last week. When the weekend got here I played in my studio until I triggered carpal tunnel in my right hand again. Can’t blame anybody but me for that one. I knew I was overdoing it but I wanted to get as many denim scraps cut up fine as I could to make paper pulp in Susanne’s “Critter” on Sunday. It’s going to make beautiful paper once my nerve endings get back to normal. Right now it is in buckets in my back yard. I am chompin’ at the bit to get back to creating and I find it very frustrating to be stopped in the middle of a roll like this, especially when I’m trying to distract myself from depression.

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^^^Susanne Martin’s marbled paper

denim trimmings

^^^Denim trimmings and threads that unraveled from the cloth strips I’m weaving together for a picnic blanket.

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^^^Adding cotton linter pieces and stirring until the Critter started circulating the pulp on its own. Fabulous little machine.

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^^^Later this week I hope to show you this stuff in the form of beautiful blue handmade paper.

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^^^Planted these lettuce seedlings at the front steps this year. We are having a late frost so I’m glad that I haven’t planted anything else. I’m going to plant my butterbeans and field peas next to the fence again in a couple of weeks.

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^^^A sweet shot of Theo, trying to charm me into letting him sleep on my pillow, preferably on my face.