Monday, January 26, 2015

Two Red Squares

Acrylic on hot press watercolor paper, 7 inches square

Acrylic on cold press watercolor paper, 9 inches square
These two paintings began as red squares early last year.  I finished them over the weekend.  Originally there were four red squares ~ the other two got tossed after several layers.  Moving on.

But taking it slowly.  Now that I'm making art on a more regular basis again, my neck and back have been bothering me again.  No worries ~ I've got the rest of my life to explore with paint and collage, and I'll just continue taking things one day at a time.

Short and sweet.  Have a great week.  And warm wishes and blessings for those on the East Coast as Juno blows through. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Picking up where I left off...

I have a stack of unfinished paintings from early last year that I'm finishing up so I can move on.  These are all small ~ 5-1/2 or 6 inches square.

My strategy now is to work things until I like them they way they are.  I'm not one to continually rework something to make it "better."  And if I'm not liking something and it can't easily be reworked to be more pleasing to my eye, then I'm tossing it.  It's not worth my time and energy to rework and rework and rework.  That's beside the point for me.  The point being, I don't care if it's "good," I only care if I like it and if I've enjoyed making it.  If it also turns out to be "good," then so much the better.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Easing Into Things

Neutral Journal Collage, January 2015
Now that I've actually begun the next thing, I can say what it is ~ I'm painting again...although "working with paint" sounds less overwhelming to me than "painting" does.  Gelli plate printing is planned, as well.  I just want to work with paint now.  I actually fooled around with watercolors for a bit on Friday.

But I've also begun doing some collage again, and painted postcards and ATCs.

I'm going to take things slowly, I don't have an agenda, I'll just move between things as the mood strikes.

I recently finished In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, another Inspector Lynley novel.  This one bogged down a bit for me and I thought perhaps I'd leave the series and move on.  But I'm just a few books away from Careless in Red, the very first of the Lynleys I read, that I'll likely just keep on, catch up, and then jump in front of Careless to finish the series.  I also read The Dead Season by Christobel Kent, which I loved.  Murder mystery in Florence with Italian P.I. Sandro Cellini.  Wish my library had more of the series.  I'm currently reading Good Bait by John Harvey.  He's written a ton of mysteries, including several series.

A while back I found a fab website called  Just put in the name of the author you're looking for, and you'll get all his/her books by series, in order of date of publication.  It's been an awesome reference for me as I find new-to-me authors I want to follow.

We're in for some spring-like weather on the North Coast for the next week.  We haven't had much in the way of winter yet, this year.  Hoping for a lot more rain between early February and May, when our "rainy season" typically ends, but who knows.  The west's severe, deep drought may worsen yet.

Have a great week.  xo

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Freaky Time

I've been thinking about time lately, and how it passes.  Twenty-five years ago seems like yesterday in some ways...  Although in 25 years from now, I'll be 91.  Now that is really freaky.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Last For Now

This is the last journal for this run, completed yesterday.  Believe it or not, when I began this journal roll in October, these book boards were the first I'd prepped...yet it was the last journal I made.  Funny how that goes sometimes.

I made another book with this fabric a couple years ago, and kinda wanted to do another one similar to the original.  The only things that are common between the two, though, are the fabric covering the boards and the fact that they're both in horizontal format.  

This journal is 4-1/2 x 7-1/4 inches, has 10 signatures, 160 pages, 9 pockets and 19 foldouts.  Sewn tapes with French link stitch.

So there you have it ~ the handmade book report...until I take it up again.  Meanwhile, onward.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Little Something on the Side

This isn't the next big thing for me, just a little something I've been working on in snippets of time over the last couple weeks.  Most of this batch of postcards (and all of these six) are illustrations from a kids' book about Luther Burbank.  I colored them with stamp pad ink applied with cosmetic sponges.

I've been busier than usual this week, through yesterday.  Today I'm resting up, or will be after I finish this post.  Catching up on "me" time.  I've begun volunteering my time with Miranda's Rescue, in the admin office, doing a little of this and a little of that, development and P.R. stuff mostly ~ the parts I really liked when I was employed with nonprofits.  It feels really good to be volunteering my time ~ an excellent confluence of where my heart is, with animal rescue work, and this time in my life when I'm retired from paid work.

I'm reading Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery, and enjoying it immensely.   Will look for his first, Absolution.  I'm glad there are so many outstanding new authors these days.  What a feeling of security that I will never run out of good things to read in my lifetime.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Space Case

Yes, this is the same book I posted last Tuesday.  However...later that day I took it apart, added spacers between the folios, and rebound it with doubled 2-ply waxed linen.

Spacers are merely narrow strips of paper or cardstock inserted between folios and bound in with the rest of the signature.  They make the book thicker at the spine edge.  Since most of my books end up being too fat on the fore edge, I need to insert spacers.  Which is what I did the second time around.  (You can also attach things to the spacers, with glue or by hand stitching, after binding.)

Also, the single 2-ply thread looked and felt too wimpy for the heft of the book.  So I doubled it on the rebound.

I read three really great books just since New Year's Eve ~
  • The Burning Room, Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch book (Harry's on the cusp of retirement; I sure hope Michael isn't going to retire Harry as a character.)
  • Suspicion, by Joseph Finder.  My first of his, and now I have another author to follow.
  • Afterwards, by Rosamund Lupton.  This was especially fantastic, highly recommended.  I've got her earlier Sister on my "to read" library list.
About 10 days ago I finished Mean Streak, by Sandra Brown; she's another author to follow.  Also read The Secret Place, Tana French's latest.  I haven't liked her last two (The Secret Place and Broken Harbor) as much as her first three.

My reading report for 2014 ~ I read 135 books, an average of 2.6 novels a week, and about 54,000 total pages for the year.   Wow.

Planning to make that last journal sometime this week, and then move on.  Meanwhile, I've been reorganizing a few things in the studio.  And easing into the year.

Have a great week.  xo

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Before I Go...

...for the year.

Just finished binding the latest journal this morning.  You can see better in the second photo that this is Coptic with French Link binding.

The journal's specs ~ 9-1/4 x 7 inches, 8 signatures, 128 pages, 9 foldouts and 17 pockets.  Too fat at the fore edges, as usual.  Whatever...

This is my penultimate hand bound book for this book making roll I've been on.  Just one more, and then I'll be switching to something else early in 2015.  I've already been thinking about the new thing, building the inspiration and desire.

I've really liked focusing on one thing for the last few months, and doing a lot of that.  It works better for me than constantly changing up what I'm doing, where my focus is, etc.  
Other than the coming media shift, I have no plans, goals or resolutions for 2015.  I don't believe in such things anymore, especially the resolutions part.  Come what may, I'll make the best of it.  We have no control. anyway, over most of what happens in our lives, and intricate plans usually go awry through no fault of our own.  I can say, though, that I aspire to be calmer and more peaceful, to have more compassion, to show more kindness, and to be more heartfelt in all that I do.

Wishing you all the very best in the coming year.  Happy New Year!  xoxo

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Goodies

I got a raft of treats for Christmas, nearly all from mail-art and/or blog pals I've never met.  Thank you so much to Pamela, Dawn, John, Terry, Ellen, Jen, Donna, Jacki, Kristin, and others who sent cards.  For someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas, this was truly lovely.

I stopped by Eureka Books when I was in town on Tuesday, and found five great old books in the bargain section.  The two Book House volumes are from 1921 and 1925, and I hadn't seen these earlier editions before.  The others I have from that series were published in 1948 and 1953.  Essentially the books inside are the same, but the covers are way more ornate on the earlier ones.  Also, the one on top above is number five in the series, and the title is "From The Tower Window," whereas the number five in the later editions is called "Over The Hills."

This music theory book is from 1945.

The picture puzzle book is from 1937.  Interesting what we used to amuse ourselves with back then.

This last beauty is from 1900.

Hope you all had a special day yesterday, and a lovely weekend.  xo