twenty nine and thirty

twenty nine

Mum – you were right. Twenty nine stars go around (and around) a circle or two. Which is a good thing to do with a prime number. I spent so much time and effort putting the finishing touches on my Sketchbook Project book last night I couldn't scrounge up enough energy to post this one.

I did mail the sketchbook this morning, and just after I dropped it into the post box I realized I hadn't finished photographing it. So I have no further images for you. I am only mildly distressed because I will go visit it when it comes to Lynn, or maybe Portland this summer. 

And today's circle: 


Thirty is five sixes, or six fives, depending on the way you hold it. 

Some knitting is calling me. 

willow leaves

pages of willow

Working again on the sketchbook. These are some of the willow pages. I was particularly pleased with the idea of enclosing real leaves, as well as prints from real leaves. The stitched portrait was especially fun to make, with all those sweeping lines of weeping branches. I need one more willow thing – the seeds are hard to come by right now, but I may be able to do womething with the bark, or a willow withy. 

tree portraits

portraits; elm, oak, sycamore

Using the (extremely smart) cell phone, I can take pictures of things even when I forget my camera. These were taken using a cool app that emulates old film cameras: a Brownie ( got one of these for Christmas one year, I remember it with great fondness), a Russian orange box, a Polaroid (of a vintage I recognize from my childhood) and a pin hole camera. I particluarly like this format, from the strange Russian orange box. 

I'm working on several folios at once, experimenting with things that work, and things that don't.

The leaf prints from yesterday were made by coloring on the back of a leaf with oil paint sticks, and then ironing it, paint side down, on the page. It hightlights the veining in the leaves, and some of the edges, it keeps paint form going everywhere on the workbench, and ironing leaves makes the most evocative smell.  


elm leaf, sycamore leaf

elm and sycamore leaves

I'm making a set of pages for each of a series of trees. You've already seen some of the pages for oak, these are leaf prints for sycamore and elm. I think I am working from an individual tree for each set of pages. Each bunch of leaves came from a specific tree. 

I made a lovely discovery: after calling the set of pages the oak folio, I thought I should go look up folio and make sure I was using it correctly. To my delight, I was.  Wikipedia says a folio is a pamphlet or book made up of full sheets of paper folded in half, printed on each of the four pages that result. Folded sheets can be nested to make gathers, and the gathers can be stitched and bound as signatures.

Since I am working with full sheets of, well, sheet actually, and folding them in half and nesting them to make signatures, they really are folios. The pages are old sheets ripped to a reasonable size, and painted with accidentally colored gesso.