Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Made By Hand: Bridgette Guerzon Mills

Silent Moments, 7"x5", mixed media

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the Beautiful Stuff out." ~Ray Bradbury

Currently I am working on a series about bowls, inspired by the following Raymond Carver poem.
Cigarette smoke hanging on
in the living room. The ship's lights
out on the water, dimming. The stars
burning holes in the sky. Becoming ash, yes.
But it's all right, they're supposed to do that.
Those lights we call stars.
Burn for a time and then die.
Me hell-bent. Wishing
it were tomorrow already.
I remember my mother, God love her,
saying, Don't wish for tomorrow.
You're wishing your life away.
Nevertheless, I wish
for tomorrow. In all its finery.
I want sleep to come and go, smoothly. 
Like passing out of the door of one car
into another. And then to wake up!
Find tomorrow in my bedroom. 
I'm more tired now than I can say.
My bowl is empty. But it's my bowl, you see,
and I love it.
-Raymond Carver
Be sure to check out these relevant links to find out more about Bridgette and her beautiful work!
bgmills (etsy shop)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transition Time....and Just Where Did Spring Go?

Hope you all had a fine weekend and are energized for the coming week.  I spent time in the studio on Sunday finishing up some book pages and playing with the new sewing machine.  I think it's a time of transition, not surprisingly, as I'm kind of plodding through the making of the work these days and I'm learning that I can interpret that in any number of ways.  I like to think it means that a new kind of work is on the way, and as of yet, I'm not sure what it might be.  I keep half-envisioning things that I'd like to see existing in the world, but it's only glimpses I see, as you sometimes do at night in your dreams.  I know that I think through my hands and I just have to bumble along, fiddling here and there until the work announces itself to me.  Now that I have a sewing machine, I'm quite sure it holds some of the secrets to the future work, but it's all so new that I don't have a way to quite envision what's possible yet.  I did manage to successfully thread the thing, get a bobbin wound and sew some rather convincing lines on a piece of cloth....with different stitch lengths!!  For someone so unmechanically inclined as I am, that's pretty good.  I've seen so much inspiring work in the last year, that it's almost getting in the way of my seeing my own path.  Much as I want to explore what other people are doing, I know I have to back away and find the work that is mine to make.  So, that's the task for the coming weeks.  In the meantime, I'll continue to make pieces that involve sewing by hand, because a machine (thank goodness) can't do everything I can do with my own two hands and a few simple tools!

Here are the newest book pages...

Page From The Book Of Gestures
(text reads: a faint smile)

Notes From Home

Page From The Book of Remembering

They are being added to my shop over the next couple of days, so if you'd like to see more views or the descriptions, you can find the information there.  

Has anyone else noticed that Spring seems to be playing a rather good game of hide-and-seek this year? I think we had nicer weather in February!  Transition is one thing, but now I think she is stalling...I'm just so ready for spring!!  See you in a few days...cheers!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another Week's End

Greetings at another week's end!  Today we woke up to a couple inches of snow...I know I'm not alone, as plenty of people woke up to what I hope to be the very, very last snow of the season!  Enough!  This was a busy week and I couldn't figure out how I got so little completed in the studio, given that I'd let go of  much of the blogging features...and then I remembered all the scurrying around I did trying to get the tax information together to take to the accountant.  I'm sure glad that's done and because I was so disorganized this past year, I vowed I wouldn't waste so much time having to reconstruct everything a year from now for 2011 and I came up with a new system for keeping track month by month.  Hope it helps!

Here's what I can show you....with some quickie photos taken on my beat up vintage tables.  I'll be posting these pieces in the shop this weekend with better photographs, but for now here are a couple of new drawings, once of which is a spring meditation piece...I'm sure you'll know which one!

There are two book page pieces almost ready to go also.  Tomorrow we're doing some house cleaning and having some friends over for dinner and then Sunday I have a date with the sewing machine....finally time to get acquainted!  

Hope you have a great weekend....see you Monday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The New Addition to the Studio

Well, without further ado, let me introduce you to the newcomer in the studio...the new Husqvarna sewing machine, which I just got in Sioux Falls today.  As you see, it's still sitting in the box on the table...I'm waiting for John to get home, so we can unpack it together and give her a proper welcome.
Obviously I must also get rid of the clutter on the desk...those are hoops that were part of a series, which I will eventually get posted in the shop, but for now they must just get back up on the wall where they belong.  We have a Husqvarna riding mower, which we call Husky (we tend to name everything...cars, mowers, some of the plants, etc.) but clearly I'm not going to call her Husky...besides there could be some confusion.  I'm sure she'll (and I am pretty certain this is a "she", while the mower is clearly a "he") tell me her name in due time.  I'm smiling, but I'm not sure I look quite as gleeful as that lady on the box!

While I was taking a shot of the new sewing machine, I took a quick shot of the tables in the new studio set-up...all lined up in a row under the window.  The one on the right is totally filled with the artwork for sale from my shop (before the work was occupying all sorts of surfaces in the studio) and the desk in the middle is now my only real work area, whereas before I had two.  There is a third table, which you can see on the left, which is housing work in progress, trays of parts, fragments, etc. that I can use for inspiration and collage.  The sitting chairs and the combo coffee table/flat file is on the opposite wall, so you can see out the windows from there.  Seems like it's going to work out nicely.

So, here's what I've been thinking lately....and maybe some of you who know me by now, won't be surprised.  Something's got to give...I'm trying to do too much and I have to admit, it's more than I can handle, especially now that I have to learn how to operate a sewing machine from scratch....and eventually use it to help me make art!  John and I have both been trying to learn to play the banjo for the last year or more and having been so busy this winter, I've all but given that up, which I never intended to happen.  So, I decided that I'm going to have to let go of A Walk Through The Universe feature altogether...at least for now.  And I'm going to do the Made By Hand feature as I have people send things to me.  That feature doesn't require a lot of my time, but A Walk Through The Universe takes enough time, that having it back would make a difference.  I mean, here it is Monday evening and I haven't had time to do anything about tomorrow's post....it's always a scramble to get it together.  I enjoy everything I'm doing with the blog and I hope my readers do too, but I have to get my priorities realigned.  I hope that you're with me in thinking that my direct communication with you about what is happening in the studio should remain the central focus of the blog.  So, there are invitations out there for people to be part of the Made By Hand feature and as I receive them I'll continue to post them in the middle of the week, but other than that, I'll do my usual post on Monday and Friday.  Rats...I hate to cut things short, but there are only so many hours in the day and gardening season hasn't even hit yet!  Last summer I barely did anything outside and I'm determined it won't be that way this year!  So, hope you're still with me because you all mean so much and the connections and friendships across the planet are very important.  Thanks so much for your support and I'll see you on Friday, unless I have a surprise post for the Made By Hand feature, which could happen anytime! I'll continue to solicit new folks for that feature also, as time permits.

Oh....I forgot to show you this last Friday...Page from the Book of Stolen Moments!

And I had a great time at the Jackson Street Bookstore on Saturday!  I talk big, like I ws going to spend hours there, but it's like having your eyes bigger than your stomach...you get full too soon when eating a wonderful meal...I lasted an hour and a half before I figured I'd better get out of there before I got dizzy from looking at so much and before the choices became too painful...as it was I spent almost $50, which was pretty good considering what I had stacked up in my pile of possibilities!  

Happy Spring!!  Have a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Not Turn Everything Upside Down?

I've had this growing feeling lately....time for a shake-up in the studio...a total rearrangement!  I know that my studio is featured in the Spring issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studio, which includes a floor plan and everything, but it's spring and time for a change!  Besides, I'm feeling as if I'm about to adopt a child or something....I need to make a new space for the sewing machine that I'm going to get very soon!  I speak as if I haven't yet enacted this shake up, when in fact, the whole thing is said and done, as of late last night! Johntimothy is away at a conference, and while it might have been easier to move some things around if he'd been here, once I get an idea in my head to do something...well, I'm ready for action.  Off I went first thing in the morning to Lowe's in Sioux City (45 minute drive) to get yet another hollow core door and some sawhorses....voila, instant desk!  I moved tables and file cabinets and then moved them once again until it was all just so...quite lovely actually, and my back was only a little stiff this morning...but that's what yoga is for! Actually, what took the most time was gathering up and moving out and then back in all my little trinkets and memorabilia that occupies every inch of space...all objects carrying a bit of memory...a stick, a seed pod, a plastic this or that, a tiny box, handfuls, armloads of brushes, crayons, little dice, small animal figures, etc. etc. Every inch of paper, gathered in piles, reorganized and brought back to live in a new space.  And, I made a few more discoveries of unfinished works, some of which have now been been torn apart to make new and different pieces, and others that just a need a bit more tweeking, some of which was done today in my freshly designed space!

Page From The History Of My History

This piece had long since gotten buried, maybe because I'd grown weary of making all those stitches that never seemed to end, but I was delighted to meet up with it again yesterday....a long lost friend.  I spent a fair amount of time today adding more stitching....until I announced it finished!  I thought for a time it was named Page From The Book of Lost Love Letters, but only in posting it here have I realized that it is called Page From The History of My History.

Page From The Story Of The Three Buttons

This green and cream colored piece of decorative paper has been resurfacing in my pile of paper scraps for a few years now.  I had dipped it in beeswax some time ago and had never quite known what to do with it.  Today when I picked it up I knew exactly what to do....at least to start.  I found that a little sheet of Japanese paper dipped in beeswax does not have to remain pristine, but in fact, when crumpled, it reveals drawing marks that are quite amazingly beautiful.  This little piece was crumpled and attached with the button and countless, random and overlapping stitches in subtle colors, of pink, green, yellow and cream.  Despite it's title as a page from The Story of The Three Buttons, this little piece only has one button.  I had three ready to go and then understood that I was not to actually USE three buttons....you see, this page appears at the very beginning of the story, say page 7, and I don't believe the second and third buttons appear until pages 52 and 76, respectively!  I just do what I'm told....

So, more fun for me tomorrow!  I'm very much looking forward to my field trip to Omaha, where I will spend as long as I please at the Jackson Street Bookstore, perhaps the best used bookstore I've ever had the pleasure to frequent.  There are so many books just in the literature section that they're wedged in and sit in piles on the floor...but that's only where I'll start....so many winding paths to other sections, so many books to peruse.  I can't wait!  No place to be, no deadlines...total bliss!  See you fine folks on Monday...have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Made By Hand: India Flint


[piece will be shown at Katherine Nash Gallery in Minneapolis for Surface Design and at Orange Regional Gallery, NSW ,Australia]

i love running stitch it just keeps on going forever running and running. the name says it all. when the thread runs out [it likes to run, too] i just find another piece. you can run in circles or loops or up and down in tight rows mapping memories and drawing cornfields with a line of thread. you can piece together cloth, quilt a blanket, sew a dress. running stitch can be fast or slow, wild or carefully considered. running stitches take me to the places where i need to be in my mind as well as on the cloth
they trace the labyrinths of thought
run red lights on memory lane and then keep on running
like me
i have been sewing since i can remember but it’s still not very neat

Photos of India's hands by Sharon Mc Grath   http://shazzmc.blogspot.com/

India's Links:
PO Box 209, Mount Pleasant 5235, Australia
+61[0]439 999 379
save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Words: Three Great Quotes

My husband has had this little book, Affirmations For Artists by Eric Maisel, for a number of years and often chooses quotes from it to put on the outside of the door to the Printmaking studio up at the university. These three thoughts I found in different sections caught my eye this evening.  I think I will go to sleep now with these little gems tucked quietly under my pillow.

"Where is your Self to be found? Always in the deepest enchantment that you have experienced." -- Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." -- Pablo Picasso

"Fascination is a key to productivity; it unites experiences; it is even its own reward." -- Erving Polster

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Walk Through The Universe: Green, Week 3

Welcome to week three of A Walk Through The Universe where I've stumbled upon some delightful new surprises...just like the most interesting kind of journey, where you start out and have no idea where you'll wind up! At some point this weekend, something I was about to close some Etsy window on my computer and just out of the corner of my eye caught an image and the term "depression glass" and it dawned on me that I really knew nothing about depression glass and became curious to know more...I started looking at some images from vintage shops on etsy and realized that much of it was green and green depression glass became the subject for this week's post. It didn't take me too long to wade through some initial images to realize the shop I wanted to investigate, stlouiselegance, which specializes in vintage glass. I corresponded with the shop owner, Jeff, who was more than generous with his response to my query about depression glass and provided  beautiful images that span the range of greens used in making this glass during the 20s into the early 40s. Jeff's explanation and images follow here. Make sure to check out his shop for an amazing variety of beautiful glass!

"I have been involved in collecting depression glass for many years. Green is one of the two most popularly collected colors in depression era glassware. Pink is the other.

Depression Era Glassware is the name given to the colored glassware that began production in the 1920's through the 1930's (in some instances continuing into the early 1940's before WWII) and can be classified into two categories: (1) the major patterns (Adam to Windsor) that were mass-produced by the Hocking Glass Company, Jeanette Glass Company, Federal Glass Company or MacBeth-Evans Glass Company, etc. and (2) Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era from the "better" glass manufacturers like Fostoria, Cambridge, Heisey and Tiffin, etc. Elegant glassware manufacturers made a finer quality product. The glass had greater clarity and, in many instances, was factory polished similar to the more expensive glassware of Tiffany and Steuben. The mass-produced glassware was quickly and inexpensively made and the edges were not factory polished before it left the factories.

As for the Depression Glass "green color spectrum", the greens range from dark Emerald or Forest Green to the typical green (Kelly Green) and all the way to chartreuse yellow Green. There is the dichotomy of the dark and pastel greens. The Fostoria Royal urn that I have listed represents the dark Emerald side of the palette, the green Federal Glass Company Patrician is the mid-point green, and I have photos of other pieces from my past sales and collections that show the chartreuse-ish side of the scale. "Light Emerald Green" Cambridge is a very luminescent color that literally glows in the sunlight. "

Images and Descriptions

Dark End of the spectrum:

The first two are the Forest Green Cambridge shaker with original label and the #646 Key Hole candle holder both etched #746, Gloria.  Both are from the 1930's and are both rare.

The third is a Cambridge #3105 Pressed Pattern Stem Rose Point sherbet with a Forest Green bowl and crystal stem. this is a very rare piece that was only in production between 1932 and 1934.

The fourth photo is of the green Fostoria Vernon etch grapefruit liner and insert set from 1927 - 1933.

Mid Point of the continuum:

The fifth is of a green Hocking Glass Company Cameo bread and butter plate with the original label. 1930 - 1934.

Sixth is the green Fostoria Palm Leaf Brocade large dessert bowl with the Mother of Pearl iridescent finish. Available in 1929 ONLY.

Progressing to the brighter increasingly luminescent side of the spectrum:

Seventh is a pair of Light Emerald Green Cambridge #646 Key Hole candlesticks etched #744, Apple Blossom. 1930 - 1934

Eighth is the Light Emerald Green Cambridge #864 Candy Box etched #731, Rosalie from the late 1920's - early 1930's

The chartreuse-ish yellowish green end of the continuum:

The last photo is of a very RARE Hocking Glass Company Mayfair plate in green. Production of this color was probably limited only to the early years of the offering of this pattern which was between 1931 - 1937.

So interesting!  Jeff is quite a passionate collector! I admire anyone who has such a deep interest and knowledge of the history of their field and I very much appreciate his generosity in sharing so much information for this post! Hope you'll visit stlouiselegance.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The news around here is that the migration of geese is in full swing!  This is our third winter/spring here on the river and I don't quite remember the fall or spring migrations being anything quite so amazing.  The geese are here in huge numbers, including flocks of snow geese...at least that's what I think they are.  They make so much noise that they wake us up at night, even with all the window closed.  The like the river too and hang out in droves on the sandbars that form here and there.  Sunday morning, for some reason (the noisy geese?), we were up before the sun rose and took a lot of shots of the geese just as it was getting light. They were hanging out on the river, but would spent much of their time in flight...in strange sort of undulating circular formations.  I know there must be a structure to it, but I couldn't find the pattern.  Here are a few shots of our friends!

More new work to share here...a couple of meditation drawings and a piece that calls itself Spring Showers, all of which have been added to my shop.  The titles are linked and will take you to more view
and description.

(this shot doesn't capture the lovely deckled edges of the paper like the one below)

Hope you've had a great weekend and are ready for the unfolding week.  I know we all have the folks in Japan weighing heavily in our thoughts and hearts.  See you fine folks tomorrow for A Walk Through The Universe....have a lovely evening.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Friday Already!

Another week has come and gone...kind of a whirlwind.  Speaking of wind, spring must be on its way...today temperatures were in the 50s and the winds are still blowing steadyily.  I have a couple new pieces in the shop and just finished dipping some even newer ones, which I'll show you on Monday when they're finished.

These botanical/biological drawings are rather intriguing to me, as I ponder early life forms that weren't quite plant and weren't quite animal...at least I don't think so....clearly my science background is weak, so I'm going to do some investigating.  I'm not interested in copying nature exactly, but using natural forms as a springboard...I've never been one to work directly from "life" as it were, always preferring to make something brand new from my imagination.  And yet....I'm suddenly dying to have a microscope!!! I checked online for kid's microscopes, but almost every review talked about how awful they were and that you really couldn't see anything, not to mention that they broke right away. Don't know how I'll get my hands on a "real" one, but it's on my list of things to pursue.

Also, on my list of things to pursue is a sewing machine...I'm going up to Sioux Falls tomorrow to do some investigating and research.  I certainly don't want to give up stitching by hand, but there are many avenues I'd like to pursue that I can't really get serious about because some of it would really require a sewing machine.  I haven't used a sewing machine since I was in junior high school (I was one of those inept young ladies who ran the needle through my finger!)....watch out!!

Botanical Specimen no.6

This little specimen has a lot of tiny stitching on it, which makes it look kind of lace-like. The found text reads: "found under the roots of the oak tree"....who in the world knows what it is!!!???

I do like this little book page...just so simple...

Page From The Book Of Planting

I know I'm itching to get planting in the garden....hoping the snow and cold weather is over, but around here if you bring up the ideas of spring being right around the corner this early, people are quick to tell you that March is our snowiest month.  I just don't know where they get that....it might snow, but then it warms up right away and disappears, as happened this week. I do hope, however, that we've seen the last of it!  I should have several new pieces to show you on Monday....hoping everyone has a good weekend.  

Welcome to the new followers....all of whom I think came over from Seth Apter's blog...Seth was the highlighted artist yesterday for the Made By Hand feature!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Words: A Taste of Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

I wanted to share a little snippet of a beautiful book with you, in hopes of enticing you to discover it more fully for yourselves.  Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman, is a magical little gem that will stretch your ideas about time and space. It is beautifully written and it is one of those books you must have in your collection...it isn't just enough to read it, you must own it, you must have on your shelves to live in your midst.....the smallest taste here...

From the chapter titled:
24 April 1905

"In this world, there are two times. There is mechanical time and there is body time. The first is as rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum of iron that swings back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The second squirms and wriggles like a bluefish in a bay. The first is unyielding, predetermined. The second makes up its mind as it goes along.

Many are convinced that mechanical time does not exist. When they pass the giant clock on the Kramgasse they do not see it; nor do they hear its chimes while sending packages on Postgasse or strolling between flowers in the Rosengarten. They wear watches on their wrists, but only as ornaments or as courtesies to those who would give timepieces as gifts. They do not keep clocks in their houses. Instead, they listen to their heartbeats..."

I don't want to say any more....reading it yourself is too rich an experience for me to give any more away!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Walk Through The Universe: Green, Week 2

Welcome to A Walk Through The Universe as we continue to look at the color green throughout the month of March.  Last week, chlorophyll and plants, this week United States currency...it's quite green...but why?  I did a bit of checking around and turns out it's one of the most popular questions put to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the government agency in charge of printing our money.  You can find the full answer to this and many other questions at their library's site here. An excerpt follows here:

It is known that at the time of the introduction of small-sized notes in 1929, the use of green was continued because pigment of that color was readily available in large quantities, the color was relatively high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes, and green was psychologically identified with the strong and stable credit of the Government. In the course of preparing this history, much attention was given to the matter. Extensive research developed evidence in support of the following explanation:

With the growing popularity of U.S. currency and the development of photography in the mid-1800s, it was customary to print the notes in black combined with colored tints as a deterrent to counterfeiting. The early camera saw everything in black. Features that were distinguishable on a note by color variant lost their individuality when reproduced photographically. However, the counterfeiter soon discovered that the colored inks then in use could easily be removed from a note without disturbing the black ink. He could eradicate the colored portion, photograph the remainder, and then make a desired number of copies to be overprinted with an imitation of the colored parts. The solution to the problem lay in the development of an ink that could not be erased without adversely affecting the black coloring. Such an ink was developed and the patent rights were purchased by Tracy R. Edson, who later was one of the founders of the American Bank Note Company. This is one of the same firms that produced the first paper money issued by the United States. The faces of these and other early notes produced under contract were printed with a green tint, presumably of the protective ink.

It is not unusual in printing with oil-base-type inks, such as was the "patent green," for the color to strike through to the opposite side of a sheet. It might, therefore, be conjectured that the backs of the early notes were printed in a darker shade of ordinary green to make the tint "strike through" less obvious.

Since the transition of printing money exclusively at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was gradual, it is logical to assume that the backs of the notes produced there during the intervening period were printed in green for the sake of uniformity. Once the BEP was on full-scale production, there was no reason to change the traditional color and so the practice was continued.

I know there are artists who are using currency in their work, either through a depiction of money or through mixed media....but in my initial searches I stumbled on money origami...I had no idea!  Maybe you knew there were innumerable sites, videos and tutorials out there that show you how to make untold origami delights with paper currency, but I didn't.  One name seems to come to the fore....the true master of money origami seems to be a fellow named Won Park who is making some pretty intricate items with American money. You can do a search and find lots of hits and he has a page of Facebook here.

As the paper money from so many other countries in the world comes in a variety of colors, I can only imagine origami made from other currency.  Anyone have any examples or names to share?  

This brings to mind one more thing.  In the fall, John and I saw an amazing PBS video, Between The Folds that was all about paper folding, from many angles, including sculpture, education, mathematics and the sciences and it is....HIGHLY recommended.  We gave several copies as Christmas gifts and it's on our list to buy for ourselves.  I had a great walk through the universe this week...hope you've enjoyed hearing about it and now I'm off to hook up with Won Park on his Facebook page!  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Reporting and New Work

Hope you have had a restful weekend!  I wouldn't call my weekend restful, but I defintely got some rest and I had a little rejuvenating outing to Sioux Falls, the biggest city in South Dakota...located about an hour north,  with a population somewhere I'm guessing between 125,000 and 150,000.  I know that's quite laughable to many of you from large metropolitan areas and I quite agree...but what it means is that there's no traffic in this state to make you road weary, there is plenty and I mean plenty, of wide open space and the people are friendly and relaxed.  But, it means that we have to drive an hour to get to a city with a major choice of restaurants...which is what we did, because we had noticed a couple weeks ago when we were there for a doctor's appt. that there was a brand new Indian restaurant.  John and I both did a doubletake because the only one that had been there closed last year, so we were very excited by this new possibility!  The bonus for the outing was that I also got to see a beautiful print exhibition that I thought I was going to miss at Augustana College...a Russian artist, Michael Goro.  John had taken his students up to see it last month, but it was difficult for me to get there when the gallery was open. It was quite a treat to see the beautiful work AND have dinner at the new Indian restaurant!

Meanwhile, here's a bit of what I've been up to in the studio.  I have several pieces still in the works, but here are two that are finished.  I apologize again for the bad photos, but tomorrow I'll take the official shots of the work so I can post these pieces in my shop....in the meantime, you can get a feel for them I think...I hope!

I've been continuing the practice of making found text poems on a weekly basis for my other blog MissouriBendPaperWorks and this piece started out its life there on the post for March 2nd.  I've also been posting them for sale in my shop, but thought I'd change things up a bit and so I dipped this one in beeswax and because the poem itself was only on the lower half, the upper half was asking for attention....although wasn't sure quite how it needed to be resolved.  Eventually this dragonfly stamped onto a teabag that had been floating around the studio was dipped in beeswax and sewn to the page.  And then another little fragment...a little circle cut from a printed copy of an old photograph from the albums my mother kept since long before I was born.  Two little stitches hold it to the page....you probably can't read the poem in this photo...the text reads:

we know 
what little we know
driven to act the clown
with one side
weak and 
the other strong

This appears to be Botanical Specimen no.5....those colorful shapes look like something under the microscope...they are teeming in their centers with activity in the form of tiny stitches.  I still think these pieces I'm calling botanical specimens appear to be more biological in nature...but then I also like to think that they come from a time before life differentiated into plant and animal....before this was this and that was that.  Anything could have happened and we're surrounded by what did happen...and is still happening!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Notes To Myself

Somehow by the end of the week, I'm just dragging.  It must be from staying up too late and/or getting up too early, along with my inability to slow down.  I don't know about you, but left to my own devices, I'd sleep easily for nine hours, but it averages a bit less than seven hours during the week since we get up early to do yoga before John heads off to classes.  We wouldn't dream of giving it up, but the days are long....and somehow during the last year, since I started this new life,  I seem to have forgotten how to relax.

And you'd think, as a former cataloger, I'd be more organized, but tax-time is looming and I have yet to organize all the million receipts and bits of this and that from last year.  I've gotten as far as making various piles on the floor of my studio.  They will torment me until I take care of them once and for all!

So....I'm here with a new piece and another older piece that has come out of the woodwork, so to speak....I don't know how I keep finding them, but I do.  Often they are pieces that just hang out with me in the studio and I don't even "see" them any more.  This little beeswaxed drawing, done back in Florida, was screaming out at me the other day...."hey, look at me...I'm a spring blossom!!!"  Sure enough...all it needed was to be fitted onto a sheet of handmade paper for support and here she is, Spring Blossom! I'll list this tomorrow in my Etsy shop.

I found myself making another book page and was mid-way through it, moving along as I felt led, before I understood that this piece was called "Notes to Myself" and that it was all about the conflicting messages I send myself...."get new pieces made/relax, you're driving yourself too hard", "time is a'wasting/you have nothing but time", etc. etc.  I think we all make "notes" to ourselves and I think they are often in conflict...no wonder I'm so tired!!!  I just listed this piece in my shop here, so you can read a fuller description and see more detailed views.

I am going to try to force myself to take a break this weekend.  I only hope the weather doesn't get nasty, as is predicted, so we can go on some kind of excursion....anything will do!  Hope spring really is coming your way, because it's taken a detour and is nowhere close to arriving here!!!

Have a fine weekend and we'll see you Monday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Made By Hand: Lori Koop


An "UPWoRD" is a word that encourages and inspires. I choose one a week. To keep us moving upward. (www.moveUPWoRD.com)

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Henry David Thoreau

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Found Text Poetry Card

Another of the "found" found text poetry cards....I'm still trying to figure out if these seven cards were meant to be read together or not...it's been quite a number of years since I made them.  I think they'll probably tell me eventually...

found text reads:
enormous change
time among the gifts
as if scanning
other languages
the daily concerns of casualties
much envy and resentment

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Walk In The Universe: Green, Week 1

It's finally March!  I bet you already know (even if you haven't noticed the title of this post) what color we're going to consider throughout the month...GREEN! Time for growth, renewal, gardening, not to mention St. Patrick's Day.  I would be remiss if I didn't choose green for this month.  So, thoughts of working in the garden,  which I actually won't be able to do this month as it really is much too early here, got me daydreaming about those green shoots popping up out of the ground....and the tender green of leaves unfurling on trees.  It will be quite a while before I actually see these things, but now because it's March, I give myself permission to daydream with abandon!  What makes those green leaves green...why chlorophyll of course!!!  A trip to the dictionary can give you the definition of the reaction with light that makes our world turn green, but here's a much more interesting way to see it's chemical composition from a creative etsy seller...in fact tonight's post will be filled with green from a handful of my favorite etsy artists!

And how about those plant cells....what's going on in there anyway?  Check this out....you can wear your botanical illustrations for the world to see...this shop has an array of decidedly different illustrations to wear on your person!

I've long admired the work of the following artists and when I think of green, these are the folks that come to mind.  I hope you love their work as much as I do....introducing Golly Bard, Miles of Light, Ali Hermann and a wonderful shop I recently discovered, Garden22DesignStudios.  Check them out and find more beautiful work that is sure to delight your green-loving senses!

Enjoy thoughts of spring, even if there is still snow under your feet.  For those of you in the midst of summer, perhaps this is just a bit of overkill for you...my apologies if you've seen quite enough green lately!