Friday, September 26

"Off track" in Cortona, Italy

". . .it is only by going off track
that you get to know the country. . ."
- - E.M. Forster
I didn't go to Italy exactly to get to know the country. I went to take a week-long workshop with Michael deMeng, but what a pleasant surprise the setting was!And how I grew! My quads grew somewhat I think just by being in the hill town of Cortona, where everything is either a steep uphill climb or a careful downhill stroll. . . but, I also grew through the teaching of Michael deMeng.Our opening night reception was held at Il Pozzo. Ivan displays a delightful gallery of artwork, and the centuries-old history of Cortona is in evidence in his shop as well. If you go to Cortona, you simply must stop by Il Pozzo (translated means "the well"), and within the gallery, you will find the remains of an Etruscan well, that Ivan unearthed while looking for more height to his shop.Monday was dedicated to a field trip. Our first stop was a pottery shop, where we watched the clay go from the wheel . . . to the painter.Our trip through this process was explained by Carlos.Ah, yes. Carlos . . .Reluctantly, we moved on to an olive farm where we had a delicious lunch with primarily olive oil as an ingredient -- the fruit of their efforts.And then wine-tasting in Umbria. A terrific day!

Our next day was spent at a huge flea market to gather materials for our project with Michael deMeng. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures during that gathering, but it was amazing.
View from our workspace.

The next four days were spent in a delightful room at the Oasi Hotel making our Alchemist's Books. Some people completed multiple projects, but I was wrapped up in my one and only book.We were a wonderfully compatible group of fourteen.And there was even dancing!

My book:

Tuesday, September 23

Under the Tuscan Sun

So many stories to tell about my week in Cortona, Italy, under the guidance of Michael deMeng. And so little time to tell them.

I will be back soon!

Thursday, September 4

K Thursday

Every Thursday morning when I announce to no one in particular that "K is coming," Atticus goes to the laundry room door to watch. He will wait there until the Source of All Sunshine arrives.A baby in the house does that to everyone.
The SOAS and his dad -- my oldest son.

Tuesday, September 2

The things we learn . . .

Last weekend I discovered that it is possible to dance in the kitchen without a 6-month-old laughing at you . . . or anyone for that matter. I learned that shaving is better than waxing. And I found out that bleach can be a valuable tool when creating art.L.K. Ludwig goes over this process in her awesome book, Nature Journals, but e.b. focused on the technique last weekend during Blogstock. I missed the actual project-doing as I was making guacamole, but I stopped at Michael’s on my way home to pick up the ingredients.I loved the results, but wanted something cool to do with the papers. They just screamed to be paired with black and white photos, and even better . . . vintage photos.I have lots of vintage family photos, but vintage nature shots seemed the way to go, so I went online and found some awesome overlays at Sausan Designs that gave my modern images just the effect I was looking for.Long-stitch binding is the perfect (and easy) way to turn an old book into a new (vintage) journal. It’s true that an old book was destroyed, ummmmm, repurposed for this project, but I promise that the pages will go to a good home or another project.In the spirit of vintage (and because who didn’t look better 18 years ago), I chose this photo of myself from 1990 for the first page.I’m not sure which excites me more, the photo overlays or the bleached pages.