I'm not sure why this one took so long to finish, but it might have had to do with breaking ten needles on it. Generally the needle body count ranges from zero to three (they do run in threes) so I am not entirely sure what made this one so voracious.
I'm leading with it because I am really proud of it. I still need to finish the edges and stretch it, but the piece itself is finished.
I also started Book 5 – white pages for the next two books/four weeks.
foolishness with circle stamps, and thinking about rivers (again)
and you can see how increasing amounts of phlegm in my head made it difficult to do much of anything.
i had a long meditation on stepping in rivers, but i'll find it tomorrow instead, because i must now nap again
Half the fun with stamps is combining them with other stamps to make patterns and repeats. Although I still have the story stamp I made with some friends. Each of us got an eraser, and using all six sides, we had to carve stamps to tell a four panel story. Mine had to do with lightning, and a forest fire, and rain putting it out. I remember Lynne's better though – a princess lost her cats. It was funny, and the faces were all characteristically hers.
I also managed to break four needles tonight, and finish a small piece:
It will be 5×7" once it is cropped and the edges finished.
I mentioned I made my own stamp pad (and spilled green ink all over). I wanted some new colors, so I made a purple and pink pad, and did not spill any ink. One of my Flickr contacts wanted to know what I used, so I show you the tiny adorable bottles of Tsukineko inks and blank stamp pads from Dharma Trading.
Over the weekend I took Alice and Red Kate, and we took my mother too and went to the Peabody Essex Museum. A friend had acquired timed tickets for us to hang out with about 40 tiny adorable zebra finches and their musical stylings on a half dozen electric guitars and basses. They looked like this – the picture is courtesy of PEM, because my sketches of the birds were not successful.
The little round stamp is from yesterday, but the hole was so appealing I wanted to use that too. I used a paper punch to cut the hole out, and centered it on the eraser becaue I was worried about edges. The texture on the piece with the hole is from the trademarks on the surface of the eraser. The nicer erasers have smooooth surfaces, and the pink Easy-carve is just one GIANT pink rubber eraser in 1/4" sheets of variable size.
Shown below are pieces of two medium sized landscapes I am building simultaneously; one in the middle of a snowstorm, the other the clear blue day after a snow storm. With the weather cycling back and forth like this, I'm getting a lot of good looks at both conditions!
on the good side, a new ink pad, and also knowledge about how easy it is to make another, and I do have another five blanks ready to go, AND it works really well, so it is a huge win all around
on the less good side, a lot of ink in places it should not be, and I have to make a new work surface because this is now shedding green on various snowscapes that are in progress, serious snowscapes, all white, and more white… no green until March, when the thaw starts
This morning the temperature was right around zero F, and the river was smoking and steaming. The moisture in the air condensed and froze on everything next to the river, producing the most astoundingly gorgeous frosting on the landscape. I took some landscape photos, and some of sumac and false bittersweet up close with frost on them, and then my camera battery stopped and I took more pictures with my phone. I am glad to have a camera in my phone, that I carry everywhere.
I even stopped and parked out of the way and walked back and forth across the Sunderland bridge, trying to capture the the fluffy beauty of the trees.
Today's stamp has tiny leaves all over it, so I tried turning it, when stamping, so they went up and down in alternating ways.
I have these great triangular pencils, and the erasers are triangular too. So I added one to the array of things:
and then today I finally carved something on the end of the first eraser, and it looks like this:
I promised hand carved things and then promptly got subsumed by the stomach bug of the ages, and its uncle: smacked not once, but twice, while still nursing a sore hip and weird ankle.
The hippo is an older stamp I made for a different project, but I still like him, so I used him too. The squares and rectangles are the uncut ends and edges of the erasers I intend to carve, just noodling around with patterns. In the state I was, sharp carving tools seemed like a very bad plan.
Today I was thinking of the individuality of snowflakes and trying to get my fingerprints to show on the fabric, but the weave is too coarse for them to show up.
I think I missed a day in January too, from plummeting off the red horse. Things were a little hazy there.
Sunday morning it was bright and clear and blowing like snit from the north-west. I know this because I heard it all night at my mother's house, sleeping in the other bedroom. Her dog tried to tell me something in the middle of the night, but since we agreed it wasn't about my mom's health, we both went back to sleep again.
You can just barely make out the swirly wind shapes I was drawing on the image. I printed it onto a cheap vellum paper, and stitched it into the book. This is the end of Book 2.
For Book 3 I was thinking about February, and Valentines and pink, and then I wondered what the opposite of pink might be. If you have suggestions, leave them in the comments! The first page looks like this:
I printed this image onto printer-ready canvas – I think a coating is what makes it printer ready – and then stitched in the spruce tree behind the big sycamore. I realized a while ago that my threads for evergreens in winter are not the right set of colors, I needed more that were grayer, and less green and even dustier. This was a test of one of the new evergreen colors.
Today I went back to the cheap vellum paper, and tried gluing it down with semi-gloss acrylic medium. Which sounds like an incomplete idea, but if you think of medium as the stuff that carries color in paint, then you realize that acrylic medium is basically acrylic glue/varnish/texturizer (the uses are many). Using it as glue produced some crinkling and buckling in the paper, and a certain amount of color smearing, but it could be worth exploring further.