Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings: Hello!

I'm visiting my parents for Christmas, and have been avoiding my computer and social media for the past week. Lovely! But I thought I'd post something on my blog today to say Merry Christmas and Merry Everything all-over-the-place.

I've been working on a quilt since I've been down here. Like, marathon sewing all day with Law and Order on in the background. My fabulous Mum is helping, by ironing and advising.

I think I have 1/3 of the quilt pieced. Back to work.

This quilt started long ago, when I happened upon a ziplock bag of cut squares in an antique store in Murray, Kentucky. The material spans decades, and there are many many individual patterned pieces. I have since accumulated material from numerous sources...some I've been hanging onto for a long time, and some has recently been acquired to finish this project. I'm having a blast, and am determined to finish it while I'm here!

That yellow piece is one of my favorites.

It is all (seemingly) random squares, approximately 2 1/2", and I'm planning on tying it rather than quilting it. My mom and I made a little quilt when I was in 4th grade as a school project; that is the extent of my quilting experience prior to this monster.

Speaking of monsters, my big grey cat came along for Christmas! We had a not-exactly-fun drive down to Texas, via Jackson, Tennessee. Like 14 hours. Alfred was in rough shape.

Alfred and I have our morning coffee on the road in Tennessee.

Poor creature. But I never anticipated how happy he'd be at my parents, and what a good house-guest he'd be. He even likes my big brother! And everyone likes Alfred! And my Dad had a good time rigging up a way for my cat to access the best perch in the house: 

Spoiled rotten by my parents. I'm not sure he'll want to leave.

 I'm having a lovely time, and plan on continuing to keep my computer off in the coming days. After New Years I'll be going to California to visit more family and friends...Alfred will be staying here.

 Hope you all are well-rested and happy, and enjoying time, and people, and snow if ya got it. Love!

More Books!

Match-y grey and yellow pocket-size books, a commission for a friend to give as gifts to her wedding party. Nice, huh?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Let's Look at Books.

Here are a couple of piles of books that are out there in the world right now... Some are in Greensboro, some are in Charlotte, some are en route to Florida.

Now I'm heading home to work on more books, to bake bread, and plant garlic and bulbs....BECAUSE THE SUN IS SHINING! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

O The Sun Shines Bright.

I just got back from Kentucky, where I was a visiting artist for a few days at my alma mater, Murray State University.

And it was so good.
I love these women.
Bonnie showing.
My mentor Bonnie Stahlecker, who I meet up with as often as possible, (Maine, Milwaukee, Wherever.) was doing a two-day workshop with my former professor's bookarts class. I was there as her "assistant," but mostly Nicole and I were chatting and being troublemakers and unfocused bookbinders at the back of the room.

I need a haircut.
I did thread a needle for Bonnie. That's assisting!

I had individual critiques with the advanced drawing students, did some figure-drawing with the intro to drawing students, caught up with my former professor Dale Leys, whom I have known since 1996......and took photos in the ol' drawing room on the 7th floor of the fine arts building...

These couches are gone, but the cushions remain.
I am comforted by how long this has been where it is.

I also manically talked about my work with two groups of unresponsive high school art students, awesome introductory printmakers, quietly intense bookarts students, and intelligent, engaged advanced printmakers. I had brought sort of an odd mix of work, and probably said some odd things about it...

There were also lunches with Bonnie, a swell dinner party at Nicole and Jim's, where I manically waved my hands around...

Do I talk with my hands a lot?
I lived in Murray for about eleven years; my family relocated there from California just before I started eighth grade (the day before, in fact!) and I stayed there through college. I have been back to Murray many times since, but this was the first time that I was visiting the art department knowing none of the current students.

I'd describe it as comforting. All different characters, but some things have not changed a bit. And I was haunted by many ghosts and memories of my college days, and the misfit trouble-makers I ran around with. We owned that place and took good care of each other.

I also spent much quality time with my best friend Jenni, her husband Matt, a poodle named Lola, and my almost-three year old god-daughter Susie....

Reading, negotiating, tickling, princess-ing, all good.
Lola is like a muppet-pony, and we are very fond of each other.
I was there three full days, and it is an eight hour drive between Spruce Pine and Murray. And I was delayed in both directions, by rain, and detours, and sun in my eyes. But no regrets, and I find myself actually wondering if I could pack up some etching plates and sneak back for a few days in December after the gallery closes. We'll see.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, October 21, 2013


My Installation 'Forgetful Psychic' sneak peek. If you are around these mountains, please come see it in person on Friday from 7-9. Or 6-10. Or I can show you some other time.

You. Or me. I lost track.

This is my favorite part.

My installation has a suggestion box. 
You know. 'Cause why not?

Thanks for giving a damn!

Flying Time.

One Night at Penland.
Months ago I made boxes for a week. The best week ever.
Meanwhile there was a National Geographic worthy battle between an orb-weaver spider and a wasp. ..
Seriously, it went on for hours. The wasp finally did break free.
Alfred Artemis Moode at home.
Then Alfred and I moved to a little house I have wanted to live in for some time. He was scary sick for a while...but I think he is almost back to 100%. He is actually at the vet again as I write this. :(

fig & port.
 Amanda Lee came to town for like ten minutes, (as is her wont) and we went to Asheville for chocolate and bookstores. Perfect.
It started like this.
I have an installation up at Green Plum Collaboratory right now, and I'll be having a closing reception on Friday October 25 from 7-9. Do come. I'm very pleased with what I have put together, and it has been a good dose of obsessive craziness and therapy. So good. I'm heading over there to photograph it today....(and to keep adding to it, shuffling bits around.)

I'm making books and things for a number of forthcoming opportunities, and working on some applications and proposals. I wish I had an existence that allowed for more time for these pursuits. No, I don't wish; I want. Shall work toward.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Holiday

a new era.
Honest to gosh, I'm on vacation this week. I'm actually taking a class here at the Penland School of Crafts: Jana Pullman's week-long box-making class. It's just our second full day, and I am so damn happy. If Penland is Disneyland, (which it is) this is like getting to ride the Matterhorn after selling mouse-ears on Main Street for two years.

I have plenty of bookbinding knowledge and experience, and have made different sorts of boxes over the years, but never this kind. My notes are cryptic drawings of boxes, and increasingly complex box-making equations.

I am properly on vacation:

I went swimming on Sunday in the river, diving all the way in under the very cold water.

I did a cartwheel yesterday evening.

My ol' friend Amanda Outcalt is also here taking a class this week, and we have been catching up and enjoying a bit of red wine in the evenings.

I heard an owl in a tree by the painting studio last night.

I am observing the first few early autumn leaves on the ground, red and yellow and spotty.

And I have new penny-loafers. I have been wearing  the same pair of Eastland penny-loafers since high school, and they had become almost embarrassingly worn and beautifully molded to the shape of my foot. As my pal Mark Boyd said, they have seen a few things.

So I finally found and purchased a new pair, stuck a couple of wheat-pennies in the slots, and they have set off on their adventure, which hopefully will last as long and be as interesting as my first pair...which I will totally keep for sentimental reasons.

old friends.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nancy Drew and the Tin-Foil Creeper.

Yes, I'm already thinking a bit about Halloween, and I think this may be the year I go as Nancy Drew. Besides a titian-blonde wig and a magnifying glass, I'm pretty sure I can piece together a pretty good ensemble. I kind of wonder if I don't always dress nancy drew-ish in the autumn. Hmm.

In my preliminary research, I ran across this actual Nancy Drew book cover, which has me thinking a card-board-box robot is a good alternative costume option. Right?

Monday, August 19, 2013

So let it out and let it in.

Look, I'm blogging again.

Summer has gone quickly and has been full, busy, wet, and difficult. And suddenly it is almost over. Wasn't I just saying how spring was almost turning into summer?

Remember how in the winter during my residency I said how I'd never seen so much  snow in my life? Well, this summer in the mountains of North Carolina I have seen the most RAIN in all my life. It rained all of July. Days, weeks of rain. Moldy shoes. Moldy everything.

Boring. Here, let's look at pictures:

Bad picture of really interesting little things.
Same again.
Tiny bundles.
My god-daughter met her first cat friend,
and Alfred met his first little girl friend.
And by the end of the week they were best buddies. 
There were heart-shaped puddles.
Against all odds, I did grow tomatoes this year.
Several kinds of tomato. (and squash, too.) 
I went to California for like 10 minutes. And I ate all the fish.
And I took photos of things I've always known by heart.
And then I came home and I ate all these peas.

The best day of summer was a sunny one, August 3. I went tubing with friends, ate a cheeseburger and chocolate shake from Bonnie and Clyde's, took a two hour nap with Star Trek: the Motion Picture on (a GREAT movie to nap to) and then went up for delayed fourth-of-july fireworks and astronomy at Penland. I saw Saturn through a telescope and the international space station swing by. It was lovely.

Mostly there's been work and numbers and spiders and rain. But things are better now, and getting better and better. The Benefit Auction is past, and I'm gladly taking a class the last week of summer. I am moving into a better place soon, (BETTER!) and yes, that's three moves in two years for those keeping count at home.

'Til next time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


This time of year I experience much fatigue, as well as a sort of anxious restlessness. We've finally had a couple of astoundingly bright, blue-skied, DRY days, and rather than joyfully playing outside all day, I have just felt very tired and blah.

Yesterday I learned there is a german word for such a form of spring fever, and my friend Christina Boy tells me it translates as "springtimesleepiness."


I haven't posted on my blog in a bloody long time. Spring was a long time coming, and here it is almost Summer. It is almost time to keep an eye out for fireflies.

No really. We had lots of snow through March, and gross rain and cold...it even sleeted a week or so ago, in the middle of an otherwise mild spring day.

March 26 at the Penland Gallery.

I had thought I would not be able to try out my new boots
'til next winter. Ah, Well.
Spring concentration at Penland came and went. It's a pretty blur. 

I have a new job. Well, I'm working at the Penland Gallery still, but now in the capacity of "bookkeeper" since my friend Bekah left for a new opportunity. I miss Bek, but the job is good and busy, and I am still settling in and learning.

So much learning.

When I'm not book-keeping I'm still book-binding.

Books Books Books.

And still doing other weird things that tiptoe amongst sculpture, installation, magic, and hoarding... 
Creepy things inside other things, inside.
 Speaking of creepy, Alfred is still complicated...

Oh, Alfred.
Fatigue aside, I am having a delightful week of house, dog, and chicken sitting for some friends. I love chickens, and I like to think these chicks have taken a liking to me as well. Particularly the big fluffy grey one, and a yellow-y one that I have taken to calling "Lemon-head."

Of course I hope to have some of my own chickens someday. Yes, yes, I'm one of those. I really don't know where it will be, but I like the day-dreamy big garden (but not-quite-a-farm) in my head with the chickens and the bees, and the perennials  and bulbs that can stay put and not have to be dug up with every move.

Today in North Carolina.

I have my real 2013 garden in progress, but have not taken many photos yet. I don't think things will be quite as dreamy this year, because I am dealing with a very shady back yard. I have garlic and onions planted in the ground, but almost everything else will be in containers on my huge deck. But I have suspicions that there may not be enough sun on the deck to pull off the rockin' tomato situation that I rejoiced in last year.

Ah, well. I have greens and kale and strawberries and radishes doing pretty well, and damnit, I have a bunch of types of tomatoes started, and more daydreams of making tomato jam and pickled radishes and pickled pickles, and the rest. I gotta try, right?

Speaking of preserves, I've made my way through most of a jar of strawberry-rhubarb jam since Saturday. That's okay, right?


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