Monday, October 29, 2012

It's About Time

I finally bound this book over the weekend.  It's an old children's book covered with shiboried recycled linen.  The stitch is called Standing Zs, binding in two sections at once.  So there are eight signatures here.  The book is approx. 9 x 6.5 inches.

All the paper is recycled.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What the Heck

I decided not to wait until November 15 to show you this piece ~ there's other work for that and still a lot of time left to see what else I come up with.

This accordion book is made from a piece of shibori discharged cotton flannel, backed with cotton canvas (heavy weight interfacing between), then machine quilted along the resist lines.  It also sports a machine embroidered quote along its entire 48 inches ~ You can never conquer the can only conquer yourself.  Folded, the book is 6 x 6 inches.

And here's my quality control inspector at work...he gave me his stamp of approval.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Work in Process

This is my worktable, Wednesday morning. 

The green book at top left has been there for close to a month, waiting for me to do more work on the inner pages before binding it.  Perhaps I'll get to that this weekend. 

I'm on a run of fabric books ostensibly for Fiberactions' neutrals challenge.  I've got two finished thus far and will finish a third this morning.  And there's more I want to do.  Challenges are good ~ I know I've said this numerous times, and it's true.  They focus your energy and seem to create their own motivation..

The two journals in the photo on the lower right are my completed Wild Journal on top, and Design Journal below.  I took some new photos yesterday of journal pages which I'll upload a few at a time in coming posts.

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pie Season

Pie season began at Rose Cottage yesterday.  This beauty is organic gala apple pie.  The tarts were made with homemade cherry jam that a friend made.  All delicious.

I've been toiling away on my piece for Fiberactions' current challenge -- neutrals -- to be revealed November 15.  I've made a series of small quilts, am beading them now, and then will turn them into a fabric book.  More work than I bargained for...but hey, I've got nothing better to do these days anyhow.  If there's time, I've got a second piece in mind for the challenge.

I've been reading a lot this year ~ I love to read.  I read throughout the day between artmaking sessions, I read most evenings, sometimes spend most of the weekend reading.  So glad I have the time at this point in my life.  Here's some of what I've read this year, and if it's on the list, it's recommended ~
  • all of Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series of international espionage novels, beginning with The Kill Artist
  • all of Henning Mankell's Wallander series of Swedish mystery/crime novels (I read Steig Larsson's trilogy a couple years ago)
  • most of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series of Norwegian mystery/crime novels
  • Appassionata by Eva Hoffman
  • The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
  • Sea Change by Jeremy Page
  • True Believers by Kurt Andersen (mid-way through this one and loving it)
  • Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes
I recently completed the first of my art journals (now called Wild Journal) and am slowly working toward the end of the second...while at the same time working in volume three, which will be called Design Journal.  That black & white fabric-covered book I made not long ago has become my zentangle journal -- I'm doing new work in that (white pen on black paper, black on white) plus I glued in the small zentangles I drew previously in an early book that I dismantled after I'd used all the pages.

I've been making entries in my shabby Autumn Journal every few days, wanting it last for the entire season.  There's not a lot going on in my life now, and this is blissful.  I rarely write in my writing journal any more, because there isn't much to report.  I used that vehicle over countless years to work through difficult things.  Life has really mellowed out as I've aged.  It's such a blessing to just live peacefully and without stress or strife.  To take each day as it comes, to do what gives me pleasure and not worry about anything else.

As always there are countless projects I'd like to begin, ideas I have in my head...but I no longer have the compulsion to power through anything.  If it gets done, great...if it doesn't, that's okay too.  My muse is definitely in kick-back mode now.  And that's just fine as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Breast Pocket Project

As some of you may know, Melanie Testa is doing a project creating 1000 Breast Pockets in honor of women each of us knows who have "gone flat" after breast cancer.  Read all about it here.  There's still time to participate ~ Melanie needs the pockets by the week of October 22.

My four pockets honor two women friends who both went totally flat following breast cancer ~ Jean, who had her surgery at least 10 years ago, and Betty, who just had hers.

Using bits of handmade (largely) fabrics, I spent an enjoyable afternoon yesterday making these.  And they're in today's mail to Melanie.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Old Stuff

The last big rummage sale of the season happened on Saturday, the Humboldt Sponsors sale that raises money for children's programs on the North Coast.  It's always a good one for old linens, and this year was no exception.  In the photo above you'll see about 90% of what I got -- the rest hadn't been ironed yet when I took the photo.  I loaded up on tea napkins and tea tablecloths and a few assorted other goodies -- all linen, all beautiful.

This is my faux ecodyed shirt, another find at just $1.  This is one of those hunter camo shirts, with oak trees and leaves printed on.  I can't pass up a good men's shirt, they're all I wear, truth be told.  Pants, jeans and undies are the only women's things I buy, everything else I buy men's (including men's cotton a-shirts instead of frilly camis -- I can't stand the lycra and itchy lace in the latter).

I like the way men's shirts fit and I buy 'em big.  I like my clothes loose and comfy.  Men's shirts are far better made than women's clothes are, they last a lifetime, they always come with extra buttons, the stitching never comes out, the colorways are more to my liking.  I've built a wardrobe of men's shirts that have hardly cost me anything.  This summer I got into wearing aloha shirts ~ I have a collection of nine, some silk, the rest rayon, I paid less than $1 on average for each of them, and each one has years of life left in it.

There's a saying that you keep repeating something until you finally learn the lesson ~ and I had my final repeat over the weekend of something that's taken me eons to learn.   I created a sales event for myself at a friend's shop in downtown Eureka on Saturday, and just repeated what I'd really already learned -- my artwork hardly and rarely sells.  It's too hard on me emotionally when it doesn't, and I've finally got that one deep in my gut. 

The amount of internal grief I suffer isn't worth the very few bucks I make -- which, in this case, just about covered my gas into Eureka and a few prep supplies I bought beforehand.  Lesson learned.  This, too, is old stuff.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Formal Affair

I can't stop making books.  It's such a satisfying thing to do. 

My most recent is this black and white fabric-covered book with 5x7 pages that alternate between black and white throughout.  I used a new-to-me binding stitch.  I'm sure this stitch has a name and that many others use it.  But I didn't get it from a book, I didn't search online for a tutorial.  Instead I figured it out on paper, along with another couple stitches, and then tried them.  The photo below are my little test books from the day before, trying out two of the stitches.

The key to these "new" stitches is sewing in two signatures at the same time and alternating the thread from one signature to the other to create the stitches on the spine. 

Am I having fun yet?  Need you ask?  I already have half a bookshelf filled with handmade books.  I'm on a roll.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthday Book

I made this book recently for a dear friend's birthday, and now that she's been given it I can show you.  The pages are 8.5x5.5, it's covered with prints of two early collages, and has Coptic stitch binding.  I covered the spine edges with strips of another collage.  The pages are 60 lb. drawing paper ~ it will be used for a writing journal.

I have several other book projects in the works, mixing things up as it were. 

Suddenly the weather on the North Coast is unseasonably warm -- Indian Summer.  Was about 80 degrees yesterday, something that almost never happens here, and it will likely be about that warm today.  It's nice, for a change.  Especially since we never really had summer here this year.