Completed Lynne Crocker’s wonderful Hand Bookbinding class at The Button Factory in Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago. So much fun! Never ever will I look at a book in the same way I did prior to this class. Now I see a whole new world in a single volume: paper grain, signatures, smooth and rounded spines, headcaps and headbands, board papers, mitred corners and more. Don’t you just love it? In class, we hand bound three different types of books: a single signature book with folded cover, an accordian book with paste paper cover (we made the paste paper), and an eight signature case-bound book. Beginning now and continuing through this winter I’ll continue the new body of work I began printing this summer (Seacoast Women), plus will begin combining monotypes, writing and hand bookbinding.
September and the unofficial beginning of autumn is here! This is my favorite season. While I knit continuously throughout the year, autumn brings with it an extra yen for all things warm, cozy and made with love by hand.
Most every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 12 Noon, including today, I can be found knitting at Sit ‘n’ Stitch which takes place in the second floor conference room at the Portsmouth Public Library. I’m currently practicing Fair Isle knitting. Am making two pillow covers. This photo shows the square pillow cover which I’ve finished knitting, pinned and am ready to block. Front: Fair Isle pattern. Back: Basketweave stitch in dark heather. Now knitting second pillow cover which is rectangular and different yet complimentary to the first. Pattern is from The Very Easy Guide to Fair Isle Knitting by Lynne Watterson (Copyright 2012).
Perhaps one day I’ll design and knit one of my own Fair Isle inspired patterns. Who knows?
“Everything will be better when the little flowers bloom in the spring.” This is my Mom’s favorite refrain when times are difficult and life looks dark and bleak. Yes, indeed, it’s been a long, cold, snowy winter here in New England as well as in other parts of the country. “Everything will be better when the little flowers bloom in the spring” also is the title of one of the monotypes I printed this winter which I learned yesterday has been accepted into the New Hampshire Art Association’s 28th Annual Omer T. Lassonde Open Juried Exhibition. The juror for this show is Ron Crusan, Executive Director and Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Ogunquit, Maine. Come one, come all to the Opening Reception this Friday, April 4, 5-8 p.m. at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State Street, in Portsmouth. It’s been a long winter, and spring is in the air!
Happy 2014! I hope you and yours are well this new year.
I’m energized these days. Doing quite a bit of framing, including Small Pleasures, 2013 (below), in anticipation of this year’s exhibits. Looking forward to drawing more, plein air and from the model. I also want to noodle around with watercolor again, having been inspired anew by the John Singer Sargent Watercolors exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. And, yes, am printing a new batch of monotypes.
Here is my Christmas wish:
Let us each and every one of us contribute something to making this holiday season and 2014 vibrant, alive and joy-filled by printing, drawing, painting, throwing or handbuilding pottery, making collages, cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, arranging flowers, making music, dancing, singing, performing, acting, creating, being spontaneous, letting our imaginations soar, mixing up some magic and, most of all …
… by doing our best to practice kindness, compassion and peace each and every day.
“A farm is a form of expression, a physical manifestation of the inner life of its farmers. The farm will reveal who you are, whether you like it or not. That’s art.”
-Kristen Kimball, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love, p. ?
Our second year of Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Market got off to a grand start yesterday at Wentworth Greenhouse in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. We’ve been shopping at farmers’ markets for 20+ years, so I thought I knew a tiny bit about farming. Not true. I recently finished reading Kristen Kimball’s book A Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love which my longtime friend Connie, who grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, loved and passed along to me. I realize I actually knew nothing about farming prior to reading this book. Winter Farmers’ Market yesterday was a totally different experience than Winter Farmers’ Market this time last year. Same world. New way of seeing.
I’ve been writing Morning Pages for more than six years, having been inspired to do so by reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. When I began making monotypes in 2000, I put my writing on the back burner. In 2007, I returned to writing via Morning Pages.
At first, I wrote Morning Pages maybe one day each week. Little by little, however, my writing practice increased. I’ve been writing Morning Pages more often than not each weekday morning for about three years now.
How do I write Morning Pages? I flip open my trusty Mead top spiral college ruled notebook; dig into my bag for a Pilot G-2 07 pen (always blue ink with a Fine point); and put pen to paper. First, I write the day of the week (Thursday) and the date (10.24.13) then skip one line and write the name of the cafe where I’m writing and the name of the street where the cafe is located (Kaffee Vonsolln, Daniel Street). I don’t know why I begin writing Morning Pages this way; I just do. Then I simply write, write, write until I’ve filled three pages. I write anything and everything. It takes me one hour to write my Morning Pages.
When I began writing Morning Pages, it felt a bit labored. As time went on, I got more and more into the flow of writing Morning Pages. I enjoy feeling the pen glide across the paper, transforming each notebook page from a smooth surface into a tactile surface, textured by my very own handwriting. It’s a good habit to have, I think.