Monday, March 31, 2014

Don't Make the Bees Angry.

Drawing from my Bee class notes. Don't hit the hive with a hammer.
My Beekeeping class has ended, and today I went out to my teacher's farm for a second time to have some more interaction with real, live bees. It was nice, and a BEAUTIFUL day to be a bee. I dug around in my garden a bit too....I'm mostly waiting on seedlings to get bigger, and for it to be done snowing. It's supposed to be warm this week, but I'm not sure I can trust the weather.

Some great drawings have happened in my beekeeping notebook, as well as some classically absurd conversations with my brother, my best friend Jenni, and 'best fwend' Susie, who is three years old. I'm pretty sure a children's book, or picture book of sorts is taking shape in my mind.

My Kickstarter project is creeping along...I added little journals into the mix as a reward. Take a look and tell your friends!
As always, thank you for reading!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Overthinking Every Thing

Note to Self.
In January I got an iphone. I feel like I was one of the last people on earth with a flip-phone, (a little red one that was literally falling apart) and although I made the switch with some reservations, I've mostly been happy with my new gadget. Particularly for the camera feature, which is the whole reason I am rambling on about my cell phone in this blog post. These pictures were all taken in February up at Penland, when I was working in the Printmaking studio. And there were wonderful walks on cold days that looked like this....

Craft Tracks
Rectangles are so over.
 I've been doing tons of printing of old and new etching plates, several layers in translucent colors, almost all on kitakata paper. Then I've been cutting them into shapes.

My relationship with printmaking has matured and changed so much since I was a student (a full-time student, I mean) and I feel good about what I'm doing. I'm printing material, "stuff," that will become something else...components of installations, elements of a book....I'm excited by the potential of layering the fragments, and making work that is "bookish" and feels more like an object than a picture. I'm exploring ways of making wall-based work that does not feel like it needs to be in a frame.
A bunch.
That was a bit of a ramble. Anyway, that's what I've been working on and thinking about in brief. I'll take some better, non-iphone pictures soon.

My Kickstarter project, Paper Trail, is almost 50% funded, and I want to say THANK YOU again to my supporters! Funding is creeping along, though, and it has occurred to me that this may be a challenging time of year to do a project like this. I'd appreciate your help in spreading the word about it; every little bit counts!

Thank you for reading!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Paper Trail!

California Poppies, etchings printed on kitakata paper.

I'm so excited to be heading to the Paper & Book Intensive in May, at Ox-Bow in Michigan. I received a scholarship, but to help me pay my remaining tuition and to help me get there, I have put together a little Kickstarter campaign which you can find here. Please take a look, and tell your friends!

At PBI I will finally (FINALLY!) learn about papermaking! I love paper, and have been a fan (and hoarder) of handmade paper for a long time. I am interested to see how this will work into my work, and you know....if I will even like making paper. But it doesn't matter; I'm going to be learning new things and meeting lots of people in the book-arts world, and making things in a whole new environment. Yeah!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


My pretend boyfriend, the garden docent at historical Williamsburg.
My parents and I went there a year ago.
Today I planted snow-pea seeds, carrot seeds around the snow-peas, and more radish seeds around the carrots. I never tire of radishes, and hope to have enough at one time to pickle some this year.

I also started seeds for six kinds of tomatoes in a make-shift greenhouse situation (a clear rubbermaid tub, upside-down) and zinnias, and marigolds.

In Murray, Kentucky last weekend I divided and dug up some lemon-balm that I planted there a decade ago. I had forgotten how very heavy clay the soil is there.

Anyway, even though it may very well snow again this coming Tuesday, I am gardening, damnit. My garlic and onions look good, and I have lots of radish, kale, and lettuces on their way.

Not much to look at yet...
I'm living on a dreamy piece of property, where my landlord has a great deal of garden space, apple trees, and four rowdy hens running around. I can't even get into all the sunflowers I'm planning on planting.

A long-time daydream, (like the huge garden, and chickens in my future) is happening this spring. I think I really got decisive about it when I was in Bakersfield in January. Honeybees. Where I'm living would be such a great place for a hive of bees, and I knew my landlord would be excited about it, and she totally is.

And so am I. Like anything I get excited about, in January I began ferociously, obsessively learning all I could about bees. This includes reading four books (so far), taking a continuing ed. class at Mayland Community College, and joining the Toe Cane Beekeepers Association.

And I feel prepared. I am starting with a 'nuc' (nucleus hive...) of bees sometime around the end of April or beginning of May, and I have most of my equipment at the ready, including the hive body, which (I know the bees won't care) is painted a lovely shade of robins egg blue.

I am also planning some of my planting for the bees...lemon balm, bergamot, pollen & nectar-plenty flowers, herbs, and clover seeds wherever I can toss them in blank patches in the garden.

I look forward to sharing how this adventure progresses!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

As Few Question Marks as Possible.

I went to an ostrich farm recently.

My last post was on Christmas Eve! And here it is the first day of spring!

I was on the road all of January. At my parents, out to California to stay with my aunt and grandma, up to Bakersfield to see about miniature trains and ostriches, back to my parents, delayed by weather, delayed by car repairs, delayed by quilt-finishing, but I finally packed up my cat and headed home to the mountains.

I got back to North Carolina, ready to make stuff and get back into internet business. The making stuff happened, but the internet happenings didn't happen because I finally spilled a cup of tea all over my laptop.


It could have been a lot worse. However, I am left without a functioning question-mark key, or an enter key.

Which is problematic in formatting blog posts or asking questions in emails.

So how am I managing this???

I finally got my hands on another keyboard, plugged it into my laptop, and I am using it ONLY for the question-marks and to "enter."

True story.

February I was mostly in the printmaking studio, getting my life in order the way you can when you're temporarily seasonally unemployed, and learning everything I could about honeybees, as fast as I could. (much more about that later.)

THEN we reopened the gallery, and I turned off my creative brain and put on my bookkeeping pants, and have been tense in my shoulders, jaw, and eyes ever since. But it's okay; I am working hard to find the balance again, of 'working' and working. What? Oh, you know.

Oh, I also went to Kentucky last weekend to see some people I like.

Enough words; more pictures!

Apple Pie, circa January 1, 2014
I went out to California. Again.
In California I took myself to the Huntington Library and felt woozy all day.
But there were camellias blooming, so that was nice!  
Amongst numerous adventures, Yvonne, Liz and I found ourselves at a model train club in Bakersfield.
Like ya do...

We also found ourselves in Tehatchapi.
 Very much more soon.

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