Thursday, November 29, 2012

new pages

The first spread strengthened with a strip of linen
Mod Podged into place.

The next spread adding in a page glued to the left.

The left hand line drawing.

Flip side of that page.

Showing spread fully open.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

advent 2012

Sunday moon rising.
photo by Bennie
Late in the day, I realized today is the first of Advent. Bennie and I love to haul stuff out for altar making and this evening was no different ~ especially with the late realization. The first light (lit in the East) is for shells, stones, bones and crystals. We busied ourselves with the creation of a mandala of stones and crystals. A different direction from the stone spirals made in other years. Once done the first candle was lit.

An easy end to a busy weekend . . .
Our mandala of stones and shells for the
Advent Garden.

The altar complete until next Sunday.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

spinning Saturday

Kim giving her monster a whirl . . .
Thanksgiving recovery requires wool and a willing compadre. At present, I have both in Kim. Well, I supplied some of the wool. I split that Romney (not the latest loser presidential candidate) purchased at the Sheep & Wool so Kim could try out the wheel her dad Frankensteined from a bad ebay purchase. She is intrepidly spinning locks without scouring, but they are lovely locks and the lanolin does the lovely for the hands.

I, on the other hand (pun intended), opted for some lazy spinning with a roving of a mohair blend. All of which goes along well with Thanksgiving recovery and lazier cooking later in the day. A turkey, stuffing and gravy layered affair . . . How good is that?
Igor! I require wool!

My refined laziness.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

holiday preparations

Ah, the first page . . . forget the need to Do It Right.
Yes, there is the hustle and bustle of food preparation. Yes, the table is set for all to arrive. The wine is out, beer in the fridge. Snacks are available on the table near the TV for football (all day and unrelenting). So. I spent a little time in my corner of the world to prepare the very first page of this altered-book journal ~ an ecologically sound and earth-responsible way to continue navel gazing. The title page has been coated with gesso for paint flinging and writing later. What will I be thankful for?
The texture surrounding this flower is likely to stay.
Needs another coat though. Perhaps between the making
of potatoes and gravy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

some time to create

The altered book mid-alterations.
Before some pre-holiday run-around, I had some time to moodle about in the studio this morning. It was a good day to break out the acrylics and plastic wrap for the next journal cover. Painting through the plastic with my fingers was fun. Just me and a cuppa tea. While Dirk was searching for chainsaw parts on line, I spent another half hour drawing my left hand holding a tea bowl that was chipped. All in all, a great start to the day. Better than Frosted Flakes.
I'm eager to see how that magenta splotch will come out.

And this one too.

The left hand with page rotated.

A little closer, my dear.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

fun guy

Today's progress.
The mycorrhizal fungi that we met in our trance journey are a vitally important part of forest ecologies. Threadlike and spreading, they insert themselves into the root hairs of trees and almost all other plants (except grasses). They then extend the reach of the roots, drawing in more water and nutrient than the plant can reach alone, in exchange for sugars extruded by the roots. The network of sticky threads helps hold the soil in place and allows plants to communicate and share nutrients. Through the fungal network, trees can nurture their young. Trees in the sun will feed trees in the shade ~ even those of a different species. A clearcut forest, where the mycorrhizal fungi have died, will not easily regenerate.

from The Earth Path by Starhawk, 2004, p 172

My network of mycorrhizal fungi.

Before bumping into the above passage years ago, I'd never know of mycorrhizal fungi existence. To think this is how trees and plants communicate! Like a forest internet carrying not only information, but also an exchange of nutrients. Digging around in my woods, I've found mycorrhizal fungi. While it does go deep, it's not too hard to find near the surface of a healthy wooded area. I can only imagine the gossip these woods exchange.

Some image searching of mycorrhizal on the web encouraged me to incorporate this happy fungi in the Snake and Tree painting still lurking on the easel. The painting seems to be one of change, transformation, dissolution, connection, composting . . . I let my thinnest brush create a network of fungus around the tree's roots. It was soothing, meditative work.

The first coat.
The future altered book journal is beginning to see some changes also having coated the cover with gesso today. Tomorrow will most likely see another coat and then I wait for a vision. Perhaps I'll let my imagination reach like the hairlike threads of mycorrhizal fungi seeking communion and nurturing.

Bennie caught tonight's sunset.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

on a rainy Tuesday

The Travelocity Gnome oversees the progress at hand . . .
Somewhat left to my own devices today. There were few errands to run allowing me to stay home most of the day. After a delicious asana practice (long overdue), I spent some time in my favorite place creating and writing (also long overdue). These activities are easily enjoyed on rainy days. All I need do is tune out the cyber-carnage of whatever game either male youth is playing and the journey begins. It's my spa day without the cucumber and mud wrap. The gray skies and rain drops become a white noise that soothes a weary soul.

What is your rainy day escape?
A finished page.

And Blogger opting to mess with me today.
Perhaps the message is clear despite the tilt.

Monday, November 12, 2012

impending creativity

The fat moon journal.
As mentioned sometime ago, the present journal is now fat with experiences, emotions and images. Rather than shop for new journal parts (not that I'd have a problem with art shopping), I thought I try my hand at an altered book journal. Gleaning a few hints from iHanna's Blog, I started ripping the centers of signatures out. This was not easy as the book is actually a lovely Audobon Society pictorial and there were images I wanted to use for future journal imaging/writing. Some photos had to be ripped out, but I figure I can reincorporate them in future creations.

So. That part is done. The next step will be painting the cover with gesso or creating a collage using Mod Podge (what holds the Universe together, by golly) and other stuff. I am excited about moving on to a new volume with fresh insights and nonsense yet ambivalent to leave behind the present tome as it's become a fine friend in the past year. I took a look back with an eye toward the future.
Stuff from the inside at around mid-Summer . . .

Late summer . . .

Early autumn . . .

and again . . .

kind of now-ish . . .

This Good Earth waiting reformation . . .
with lovely photos.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

studio meanderings

Some left-hand musing . . .

Beeswax candles ready for meditation . . .

Churro waiting to spin during any Netflix watching . . .

Other stuff waiting to spin during anything watching . . .

A painting gestating and finding a direction . . .

A scarf for Bennie . . .
(Pattern gleaned from Ravelry ~ Easy Drop Stitch Scarf ~
using Jamie Harmon's wool.)

Today's left-hand drawing waiting for a quote and
tender musings @ 11:00 . . .

The finished sweater.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

the left-hand path and Samhain

My left hand layered up for the outdoors.
I am enjoying the sketching of the thing most available to me during the day: my left hand. It's there being not ambidextrous and generally inactive. My left hand holds the twist in spinning most times while my right deftly maneuvers drafting and adding more wool as needed. My left hand doesn't draw and sketch much, sometimes helps with stamping and a little finger painting. My left hand has its purpose in small unassuming ways and as such (being a righty) becomes venerated in my art. It's my Left-Hand Practice ~ trying to maintain it as a daily one. Like brushing teeth and meditating.

My left hand pretending to hold a seed of Light.
Today is also the planetary alignment for Samhain. It's the Samhain I like to recognize as it is a quieter day untouched by the new consumerism Halloween has ushered in for the past 10 or so years. Honoring Ancestors and the Beloved Dead on this day is easier in it's contemplative silence. No 'lectric lights, just the Living Flame. A little water, a little whiskey and some shortbread. Simple.

Blessings to the Ancestors and Beloved Dead.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sunday intentions

A quote from the Feri Tradition.

A good question in a strange time.
  1.  Yoga. Long overdue for this body.
  2. Make beeswax candles. I'm running out despite the time spent in #3.
  3. Increase my meditation time to 15 minutes. Recent activities have had me slacking at a mere 10 minutes in the morning. Time to get back on track.
  4. Journal daily with a live sketch ~ my left hand (I'm a right-handed human), either foot, a leaf, a stone, a cat in situ ~ all geared toward honing and maintaining my craft.
  5. Finish a sweater. There's only the neck line left. Really. This is manageable. Especially during football season.
  6. Get more spinning of fiber done. Especially easy during these times of long nights. Lot's of Netflix. A fair library of DVD's. How difficult can this be?
  7. Return to my personal studies. This is a tough one. I generally have a million distractions a day. Many self-imposed and require a little more self-examination. Others imposed upon me in dealing with the Everyday. This includes going outside and being in Nature regardless of weather ~ even 15 minutes does something for the human soul.
  8. Express Gratitude more often.
More bricks in my pavement to Hel? Perhaps. The thing is to do what one can. Keep it simple. Have chocolate, do not berate the self for failing and come back to center.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

package & pizza

From Greece with lots of stamps!
It isn't often I get a package from Greece. So the one I picked up at the local Post Office was a veritable treat. It was an expected treat, but that still counts. It's International Mail ~ almost like traveling and getting one's passport stamped especially if you get stamps on the package.

Inside was a long-awaited Persefoni pomegranate oil lamp purchased from Epalladio Art Workshop. The price wasn't too bad either ~ about $36 including shipping. A lovely addition to the Ancestor Altar.
The Persefoni lamp with a journal page.

And just what does one do when there is no power thanks to the most recent storm Who Must Not Be Named? Make stuff in the pizza oven of course. They didn't look pretty ~ quite rustic, in fact ~ but they went down well. Next time: caramelized onion focaccia.

Cooking ugly.

Still a little ugly.

And yet with a certain inner charm.