goofing with the bees

july 31


I think this one is for Audrey – she who keeps bees and is (still, I think) obsessed with hexagons. The nut I had stubbed my toe on in the kitchen was hexagonal, so I was using it to blot paint off the plate, until I realized it had paint on it and I could transfer that onto another plate… So I did. Hence, hexagon. So to speak.

I sand with the Sacred Harp group again tonight. Last week I felt like I had a grip, this week I was seated next to a dubious person, and we were flailing more. It makes me wonder if my dad might come. The sight reading and the harmony might make him happy.

maple moon (wings)

july 30


Still experimenting with gelatin printing.

I used a biscuit cutter to cut nice round circles out of the sheet of gelatin, and experimented using those as block for printing. Since my biscuit cutter is smaller than my circle-a-day circles, there is an unprinted edge that I wanted to accentuate.

I realized I have not yet posted links to my sources for gelatin printing.

My favorite, and primary source, is Linda Germain, and her blog Printmaking Without a Press. Linda does lovely, delicate work. She has answers to frequently asked questions, and videos on YouTube for those who want to see what she's talking about.

The Sketchbook Challenge blog also has a tutorial, and some pictures of the process.

I have really enjoyed having the gelatin block around to experiment with this month. It has been a lovely cool way to spend time working with fabric and color. I found it easy to get started. The gelatin block was fun to make and fun to hold (and fun to make wiggle! think industrail strength Jello Wigglers…) The materials I used were things I had on hand (white fabric, fabric paint) so the project scrimmage was small. 

It took me a lot of experimenting to come up with truly lovely things, making me uneasy until I hit my groove. I am also not entirely sure what to do with the pieces I don't love. I finally decided I'd hold them as potential blocks for stitching together into a lightweight coverlet or unfilled quilt. Or maybe I'll just give them away. It is a good year for it!


bicolor ferns

july 28


Rain settled over our head this morning and never exactly moved off – like a conveyor belt the clouds kept coming and kept dropping rain. Which we need, but I am hoping it will clear out, or move away from our heads, tomorrow. I was persuaded I needed to ride in the dressage show tomorrow. I had thought I was helping and watching and generally being useful, but a space opened up, and I said yes, thank you.

I'll report tomorrow how things went. I'm hoping for dry in the weather department, and over 60% in the score department.

july 27

july 26


july 27




Two circles as promised, plus opening ceremonies for the Olympics.

On my way home I stopped at the fabric store to look for black thread, and I was ambushed by a stack of greens. see?

ambushed by greens

how doth the little busy bee

How doth the little busy bee – improve each shining hour? Mostly my shining hours were spent driving around today.

Of course, depending on what counts for a classical education in your house, you may instead recognize the parody of this in Alice in Wonderland:

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!

I spent a long morning taking friends to the airport, and arranging a series of bells and signals for their return. Since we can't park curbside and wait for people to arrive on account of how we might blow the place up from frustration, we had to arrange other… arrangements.

The afternoon was completely engulfed in a horse scrimage, but it culminated in a FABULOUS riding lesson, utterly fabulous, thank you. I love Verne; with his prompting and under his eagle eye I feel so competent, and so worthy, and the red horse comes off as such a rock star!

And now, because there is serious weather headed this way, I am turning off the computer so its little innards will not fry when the lightning comes.

Two circles tomorrow.

blue jay

july 25


blue jay


A circle, and a blue jay. I am delighted with the blue jay, and the hawk from Monday, and the thought of the crow who is coming next.

I've also been contemplating what I'll be working on in August. I think I'm going to start up an indigo vat, and see what kind of lovely blue things I can make.

near miss

july 24


Both Kate and I wanted the Queen Anne's Lace printed on the silk organza to be a beautiful overlay on the same thing printed on a more opaque layer, and it just isn't quite. I think part of the reason is that my pleasure in the print of the flower is all the detail that is visible, and the stitching and organza layer do not combine to leave the detail clear. Which is a bummer.

That is why I experiment – because sometimes things really don't quite work. Even though I think they should.

squdgy and cool

july 22


Another day that started out lovely and cool, but got hot later. Red Kate came by and we tried walking, but with my hip and her knee and the hot, we decided to turn around sooner rather than later.

It was a day of plotzing on the couch. Aerin did it first, I tried it before Kate convinced me to walk, Al accomplished it while we were walking, and Alice, pushed off the couch, wound up flopped onto the computer bench and an adjacent chair.

This was one of my favorite of today's prints. I'm finding what I can and can't roll paint over; feathers are a disaster, they stick to things and get wet and stuck togehter, the back of Queen Anne's Lace on the other hand, is brilliant. It is stiff enough that it holds a shape and bears up under a coat of paint, and can be pressed on without giving up the ghost.

The wubbly squishiness of the gelatin continues to please me immensely.