Sunday, May 31

Feathers, ferns and friends

I shared an inspired weekend making nature-based art under the gentle guidance of L.K. Ludwig with a small group of friends at Bee Shay's stunningly beautiful and comforting studio.

Sigh.

I'm not ready for re-entry yet.L.K. led us through several techniques using natural materials, starting with dye and salt printing and then using patina to create prints on metal.

While those things dried, we moved on to paper and paint.And then book-binding . . . And gelatin prints.To aid in my re-entry, I came straight home and ordered all the materials necessary to recreate the techniques L.K. taught this weekend.It made me feel just a little better about leaving."I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." ~John Muir

Thursday, May 28

Another K and A

Since the very first day I started watching Kiran, he and Atticus have been buds.And since then, most Thursdays, you will find Atticus buried under a pile of toys and chunky books.Gladly listening to Kiran read him books.Enduring the 'foot-tickle thing.'

Yes. Atticus is a good dog.But, really, who could resist this face?

Thursday, May 21

Longwood Gardens and K Thursday

Kiran and I spent the afternoon at Longwood Gardens.Specifically, we spent the afternoon in their two Children's Gardens.Kiran loves the water, and I love the opportunity to share an afternoon like this with him.I'm so glad his folks suggested it. I bought an annual membership, so we'll be returning often.And, it just wouldn't be Thursday without one . . .or two . . . okay, three of these.

Wednesday, May 20

Repurposed

I love old stuff.And I can usually fit a lot of what I love in the car, because I love small old stuff.On my recent trip to Nebraska to "divvy" up (with my sisters) the stuff my mom couldn't take to her new independent living home, there was only one thing that I insisted was going home with me. This small image of my grandmother with the beads she wears in the photo.Most of my best flea market finds can be carried out in my purse.Unless there is a great stash of old books.

I love them too, and I especially love crafting their covers and pages into something else.The cover of this old scrapbook is from 1876 -- just eleven years after the Civil War ended.I am humbled to add anything to the pages that lie between these covers . . . even though the pages are now new.

Thankfully, "humble" is an emotion that generally passes.

Thursday, May 14

So many emotions . . .

I had dueling emotions as I wrapped the gift book for my mother.

I had looked through it many times before draping it in the velvet bag I made to carry it to Nebraska. And I'd thought how beautiful she was as a child and as an adult. 

I'd also thought about the people she told me refused to let her sit with them at their table at lunch. And I'd hoped that she might show the book to everyone in the assisted living facility where she currently resides, and that they would see how beautiful and self-confident she once was. Because they once were someone else too.

I continue to hope that it is a vehicle for showing them who she is without seeming like she is bragging about who she was; because it must be so frustrating to be surrounded by people who didn't know you then. 

People who get irritated when you forget things.

I must not do that anymore.

As I touched those pages, I knew that the next time the book was in my possession, my mother will be gone, and that made me sad.Still, once there, I almost couldn't wait to give the book to her. It's probably not a good thing to be so eager to present your own work.She loved it.

And one of the first things she said was that she couldn't wait to show it to her friends.And then she cried.

I already was.

Tuesday, May 5

'Dog' Sitter

I swear, if Atticus could be trusted with lunch and plush toys, he could watch Kiran.
'This is Atticus' eye'
They see things eye to eye.
'This is my eye'
In spite of all the relationship demonstrations.
'Atticus, you are a dog'
Atticus is good with flash cards.
'Atticus, what do you want to be when you grow up?'
He's always willing to indulge a daydream.
'Those guys better close the gate after they're finished cutting the grass.'
He keeps an eye on strangers around the house.
'Down by the bay . . . '
He listens to book after book being read to him.
'That was gas'
He even keeps a nose on the status of Kiran's diapers.

Yes. It's a good thing Atticus can't drive to the park or cook a hot dog. And I'm not teaching him either.


* You may wonder about the gray furry thing that Atticus has in his mouth in many photos. It's his 'blankie.' That's what happens when your kids are all grown. Your dog has a blankie.

Saturday, May 2

With time to spare . . .

I feel like I've been working on this project for weeks. Months even. But really, it's only been a little more than one week. Most of that week though.Almost 5 inches thick, my mom's book is ready to go!

If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Judy Wilkenfeld, you should bend time and space to get there. You will not regret it!

I'm flying to California in August to take another 2-day workshop with Ms. Judy. Why don't you join us!

Friday, May 1

Disintegration - the reveal

In January, Seth over at the Altered Page started his Disintegration Collaboration.My package of paper, beads and metal hung outside in my garden through snow and rain, ice and sun. I noticed a little rust forming and a change in the patina of the copper, but it wasn't until I looked back at the first images that I really saw the effects of the elements on my package.Check back with Seth in August to see what everyone does with their bundles.

Back to the elements with mine for now. Maybe we can even get some mold growing in there!