three books

three books

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hey Mister Postman!

It is always a good day when something special comes in the mail but when something long awaited finally arrives that is cause for celebration. A few weeks ago I was the winner of one of Stefanie Seltner's charming give-aways. When I opened it this morning I was delighted not only with the lovely ring but with the box it came in too. What a treat for Halloween! Special thanks to Stefanie and Happy Samhain to all!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

One bad apple

A weekend with Nixie Barton has taught me more about working with encaustic than I would ever have gleaned from all my books combined. But more than that and maybe more important even, I realized what a conservative - okay, chicken - I am and what glorious colorful fun I have been missing out on because of it. I'm not sure that it suits me to work in brilliant, living colour like Nixie does but I do think it is about bloody time I learned how to mix it up a little more. So, here is me dipping a toe in. Twenty six letters in the alphabet, only 24 left to do. Note to self - it's only paper and wax, don't get precious.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Autumn Leaves

It is autumn in BC but, much as it pains me to admit it, that isn't such a big deal. Yes we have some trees that turn colour, even a few that put up a decent show of crimson hues but really, if you want to truly appreciate the season you need to experience an Ontario autumn. It was always my favorite time of year out there and all my memories of country rambles are still bright and crisp, and smell like Macintosh apples.
This week's drawing challenge is presented by Sabine of and the subject is "Leaves". Because I have been busy learning how to make new kinds of books this week I thought it fitting to make a book in homage to Autumn in Ontario.  
When the leaves start to fall it is time to pick apples.
I'm afraid I don't know who to credit with this funky little book design. I made this one up based on a picture that caught my eye a few months ago. Come to think of it that may have been a sculpture rather than a book. Hmmm, oh well, in the spirit of Marcel Duchamp I will say "It's a book because I say it's a book".
Then, because I was having just too much fun printing leaves, I made a couple of variations on what Alisa Golden (author of Making Handmade Books) calls a "guest book". The term apparently comes from the fact that it's original designer - Paul Johnson - makes them and draws in them while travelling then leaves them behind with his host or hostess when he leaves. It is such a lovely gesture that I hope to make a practise of it one day myself . A few folds and cuts turns a single sheet of paper (one side printed) turns into a book with six "leaves". Very clever.
Finally, we're off to the island tomorrow to pick up "OH, BABY, BABY an assemblage by my hero Nixie Barton that the husband surprised me with for our anniversary. He is also very clever.

Saturday, 13 October 2012


As I was puttering along in my studio this week I was pondering the drawing challenge "driftwood" as proposed by the immensely talented Mano of Mano's Welt (or Mano's World depending where you are in it) . Years ago, when we lived on Vancouver Island and spent a good deal of our time on the beach, we commonly dragged home piles of driftwood and built our garden furniture and fences from this abundant (not to mention free) resource. I also found planks of wood worn down by the sea and I enjoyed painting sort of folkish art on the rough, knotty surfaces. I kept this one of crows.

Now, although we still live close to the ocean, the beaches are oddly bereft of driftwood and I found nothing to inspire me there. So, I looked to see what I had on hand in my stash of stuff that serves no purpose except to remind me of all the lovely beaches it has been my pleasure to explore.

I dug out a couple of bits and poked at them. I thought about something Grant Leier once said about dragging driftwood home to your garden, "paint it orange or something, make it your own". So I contemplated painting them in honour of the late, great, Barton/Leier garden but "orange"? I came to a less permanent compromise.

But, just as I was about to walk away from this week's challenge I thought wait, this is Mano's challenge! To honour her I had to find a way to box these bits and so this is my official entry to this week's challenge. Visit Mano's blog for a list of participants this week.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Happy Birthday Stefanie

I've been back home for four days and still I am struggling to get my head back into this time zone. The nine hour difference combined with the completely surreal culture clash has taken it's toll and my overloaded brain is still processing WAY too much information. So, I am particularly grateful to Stefanie Seltner for proposing a weekly drawing challenge that managed to inspire a brief moment of focus. I celebrated my birthday this year in a small town in Sicily - Santo Stefano - that is renowned for it's highly ornate ceramics. One gentleman in particular, who's name is on a card in this huge pile of stuff I haven't sorted yet, did small, faithful, reproductions of images found on ancient religious works depicting strange little half-human creatures. I was alternately told that these were primitive angel figures or sirens, but I was also told that Italians love to make stuff up for the tourists so he may have been pulling my drumstick. Anyway, I couldn't resist a somewhat less faithful play on the chick-en.
Don't ask me what the black lava turtle has to do with birthdays but it was presented to me with much ceremony during a sing-a-long while a taped version of Buon Compleanno A Voi  played LOUDLY over the restaurant's sound system. Yup, there's an image for you.
See Stephanie's blog for a list of participants in this weeks challenge.