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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September and the bugs are back...

coming home

I noticed last week when I finally got around to taking photos of brooches for my Etsy store, that I had put the store on vacation last February and had left a message that I would be back with new fabulous work when I returned from teaching in Hawaii. About mid-April.

I have no excuse because for the amount of time I have spent on this blog writing about excuses, I could have written, published, sold out and put on remainder tables an entire self help book on excuses. I just was busy. It is now mid-September, not my favorite month as the stink bugs come in my house to roost.  And not my favorite month because it is a time of transitions.  Summer becomes fall.  My teaching season changes to production time in the studio.  My wardrobe of tattered, cut-off sweat pants and t-shirt-du-jour gets put away and I wrap myself in winter body armor of layers, sweaters, leggings, socks and cheap slippers. I think I look better in fall.

And trying to look back and write about what I have done in the months since my last blog post - which in itself is an exercise akin to beating my head on this desk - I will pretend that I really did write out all those fully articulated posts that occupied my brain while A) I waited for yet another frigging plane to arrive at the gate; B) I packed again my 150 # of heavy metal in fragile suitcases; C) I wrote manifesto number 487 about how I will change my (1) entire life, (2)career, (3)medium, (4) studio, (5)choice of food, (6)brand of gin, shoes, haircut, underwear.  Enough said.  Nothing changes.  Everything changes.
Cowgirl, or Cowboy or maybe Cowpoke Travel Journals
At this exact moment I am working on a brand new blank book.  No felt to be seen.  I have had a life long yearning for waxed canvas and leather bags and during a particularly bad downpour recently I realized I could make a book binding of the same material!  Aha, I can draw and paint on the canvas! Aha!  And these practical, almost waterproof (if you hold them horizontal to the rain) travel journals I am calling Cowgirl (or Cowboy) Journals. Durable and tough like the great outdoors!  And yesterday I started painting travel vistas on the canvas - the mountains, the prairies, seashores and pies. Yes, I consider a trip to a great pie store worthy of a travel journal log.
Book 2 of a ten book self learning study on raised cord, flat back books. (3" x 4")
And in quieter moments I have been working on a ten book series of leather-bound, flat back "real" books.  I can actually feel my brain straining to understand and remember the series of steps gleaned from probably eight reference books. I've been told that learning new skills will sharpen my brain so I've sent off for my application to Mensa.  By the time I finish this series I'll either have a new career advising presidents or my tombstone will be a replica of whatever book found clutched in my dry, stiff fingers.
One of three boxes of the new brooches of the season
And so I don't veg out too much watching crap on television - oh, I meant to write - those intellectual PBS mini-series, I continue to design and stitch those brooches.  I think I am on number 956 today.  They will be listed in my Etsy Store sooooon.
"what is the number of cups of coffee remaining..."
And the Fall also is the time I start back on the "Page" series of stitched and beaded felt artworks.  This one, just started, is about wanting to know how many more of those delicious, sitting in the first rays of the sun,  cups of coffee do I have left.  I plan on five framed pieces done in time for the Voorhees Family Art Show in November.  I stitch a bit, take a photo, have a G&T, decide the next step, get distracted by a startling discovery by the intrepid PBS documentarians, lose my thread, needle and focus and decide to go to bed early and read Bird by Bird (Annie Lamont) for inspiration.
drying September Mitsu apples
September is also the only time the tart and tasty Mitsu Apples are available. I dry bushels.  The house spends like a (soup cookin', applesauce makin', apron wearin') grandma lives here.