Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Does She, or Doesn't She?

I decided late yesterday to shut down my sales blog effective this Saturday...even though I just listed a few journals there.

I've had so few sales via that blog over the years that it's not worth it to me to hang on to it.  There's also the bigger discussion, which I have with myself ongoingly, about whether or not to even try to sell my work any longer.  And after this last brief spell of making things with the intention of selling them, I've decided, finally, to ditch that whole operation.

This doesn't mean I won't sell any of my work, but it means I won't be making anything for the express purpose of selling it.  That whole thing really hasn't worked for me since my beaded jewelry days.  Other than supplies, which I've done fairly well with at Etsy on and off over the last seven years, my online sales of finished artwork have been abysmal.  And in order to actually sell anything, I've typically had to discount my work by as much as 75 percent to get people to buy it.  As poor as I am, I'm simply not willing to do that any longer.

So, that said, if you ever see anything posted here on this blog that you would be interested in purchasing, then email me for details.  I'll continue to process the occasional online sale through PayPal for anybody who wants to buy, but I'm not going to be marketing any of my work.  Local peeps, nothing changes.  I'll always have stuff you can buy for gifts.

And if I never sell anything again?  Well then, that's more work to donate to Miranda's Rescue and Sequoia Humane Society in support of animal welfare in Humboldt County.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Back At It

New journal made with old book covers.

I went to the Eureka Library book sale on Friday morning, and although I did get a few old books, there wasn't much to write home about.  Not really what I'd hoped to find, anyway.

Which is probably a good thing in the end.  I'm planning a batch of journals to sell utilizing my own handmade papers and fabrics on the covers, instead of continuing to hope I can find old books with really great covers...in this place where good old stuff is very hard to come by and/or way too expensive.

I just finished a book I liked a lot, Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska.  Now reading Tana French's The Likeness, the second in her Cassie Maddox series ~ the first is In The Woods, which I read about a year ago.  French might be my latest favorite mystery suspense author.  Also recently read Swimming Across the Hudson by Joshua Henkin, and enjoyed it.  And my next read in the Inspector Lynley series will be For The Sake of Elena.

We've had rain in far-northern California, and we're expecting more.  Bring it on.  Although I do have to laugh every time it rains hard.  My storage shed leaks, although not as you would imagine.  Water comes up from the bottom of the thing, even though it's raised up off the ground.  I've sealed or caulked every imaginable spot where rain could get in from the top, or by wicking up the sides at the bottom.  The water does not run down the walls inside, nor does the pond that forms -- two, actually -- reach to the edges of the floor.  I've been trying to figure this out for four years, it's simply mind-boggling.  My very own Mystery Spot.

Anyway, I keep plastic things stored on the floor of the shed where the water pools, and use a turkey baster to suck up the water after the rain stops.  I don't have power outside or else I'd use a pump of some sort.   It's a primitive system but it works.  And it keeps me from taking life too seriously.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Start of Something New

I finished this sketchbook/journal yesterday.  Technical Illustration was a vintage textbook, now it's something you can use for your own drawing.  The book is 7 x 10 inches, filled with 128 pages of heavy 80# drawing paper and four cardstock pockets.

Have a good late week.  xo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey...Cut That Out!!

I was in a bit of a tiny booklet frenzy yesterday, and made this batch to give away.  Check out those paint chips in the mix ~ perfect for little booklets.  I'll be getting me some more of those.

Finally, I got myself a paper cutter.  Two years of book arts cutting everything by hand, with the tools below.  Got to the point where I couldn't do it anymore because of the tension in my neck from holding the ruler down so the paper wouldn't shift.

My new cutter is a Dahle 15E.  I did a bunch of research on paper cutters, so if you're looking for one and haven't had one before, ask me what to look for.  I definitely knew I didn't want a mass-marketed consumer product like those made by Swingline, X-Acto, Fiskars and many others, and I even considered a way-more-expensive professional guillotine.  In the end I settled on this very-reasonably-priced, German-made, metal-based model from Dahle's less expensive line.  And I'm totally happy with it.

So I made those booklets primarily because I was hankering to cut some paper!  Now I've got a sketchbook project in the works, in the style of the journal I made last month in the NorBAG workshop I took.

If you're in the U.S., hope you have an enjoyable Indigenous People's Day today.  I refuse to call this legal holiday what they still call it in this country.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Blast from the Past

I'm showing off two pieces of early work today.  The first is a handwoven throw made entirely of hand dyed, hand spun merino/silk blend top.  I arranged the warp and weft threads so that one corner of the throw, which measures about 30 x 60 inches, is completely lavender, and the diagonal corner is completely pea green.  The parts between slowly gravitate toward one color or the other. 

I love this piece...and if I weren't sharing my home with BeeGee or some other feline, it would be thrown over the back of my pea green couch.

This piece is a scarf knitted from mohair and silk, two singles plied together.  The basket weave pattern, which is really just enormous 10x10 seed stitch (ten stitches, ten rows), gave this scarf a summery feel.  I only wore it a couple times, though, because it itches.  I can't wear wool or any other animal fiber any longer, and haven't been able to for maybe 10 years.  Unfortunately, I still do have a few hand spun, hand knit sweaters that I rarely, if ever, wear now.  I can't bear to part with them; they're the last and best hand knit pieces I have.

It's been a busy week for me with more to do today.  Looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

I saw a new chiropractor yesterday, another of the few in Fortuna.  The other practice here, the one that I went back to as a Medicare patient after seeing my old practitioner in Eureka, suddenly decided that effective November 1 they would no longer be billing Medicare.  I would have to pay for service upfront, and then get my own reimbursement from Medicare.  What kind of patient care is that? 

So I switched, and I love my new guy.  He's the best chiropractor I've had in at least 20 years.  Way better than the practice I just left.  Glad I got on board before his practice gets inundated with other seniors who don't want to pay out-of-pocket upfront for chiropractic when Medicare reimburses chiropractors 80 percent of the cost.

I've been pondering a post about my 40-year journey through New Age Spirituality and why I eventually became a Buddhist.  Next week for that.

Have a good weekend.  xo 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing zine, October 2014 ~ back and front covers
This is my second zine, also created last week.  I did work out my technical issue with this one, so now I'm good to go. 

Gone Fishing, inside pages 2 & 3
I finished a couple of noteworthy books over the weekend ~ Infrared by Nancy Huston and Rust by Julie Mars.  Rust was especially fantasticI only wish the Humboldt Library system had more of Mars' books; I'll have to request through inter-library loan.

Gone Fishing, inside pages 4 & 5
Currently I'm reading The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black, and enjoying it a lot.  Beautiful, well written, first novel for this author.  The atmosphere and ambiance remind me of Peachtree Road, my favorite book by Anne Rivers Siddons, which would be worth reading again.

Gone Fishing, inside pages 6 & 7
Wrote a meditation haiku this morning ~

Calmly abiding
Thoughts hovering overhead
In peace I remain
Have a good week.  xo

Friday, October 3, 2014

Zine Fever

International Cats Zine, back and front covers
After weeks of zero inspiration and little creative energy, I finally made my first zine...two, actually.  This is the first one, International Cats.  For the uninitiated, tiny zines like this one are made from a single sheet of paper, folded to open like a regular book, with eight page surfaces.  The background for this is fabric that I scanned.
inner pages 2 and 3

inner pages 4 and 5

inner pages 6 and 7
I had a bit of technical difficulty with this one, something you likely don't notice at all.  Yesterday morning, in working out the bugs on a test piece, I created my second zine.  I'll upload that next week sometime.  Meanwhile, I've already started mailing these out.

It is an absolutely gorgeous fall morning on the North Coast.  Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, the air feels luscious.  It's supposed to be 81 today, which is HOT for us, and which can be stultifying here in Rose Cottage in the early evenings.  Right now, though, 8:15 in the morning, it is glorious. 

Hope you have a beautiful weekend.  xo