7-1-06 Found something amusing on the
Internet the other day. (Were you aware that I had moved to Thailand?
Didn't think so. Neither was I...) Back in June of 2004, I wrote a journal entry
about making paper from birds'
nests. The following year, the entry was picked up by a blogger
who called the idea "freeking fabulous." Now it seems that blog entry
was read and appropriated by the individual who wrote the text for
this site, because the terms "freeking" and "fabulous" appear there
also. Fortunately, the individual in the second instance more or less
rewrote the text, so there is no copyright issue involved.
Unfortunately, the papermaking facts were somewhat garbled. Not
only that, I was moved from the good ol' USA to Thailand (this without
benefit of a passport, mind you). It's pretty obvious that English was
not this person's first language, and I find the whole thing highly amusing.
It does point up one very important thing - never accept just one source of
information about "how to" unless you know and trust the source.
7-2-06 Have you ever been totally consumed
by something that drives you up the wall? That's me right now with the
watercolor. I have never been so frustrated with something in
my whole life. Mixing the colors is no problem. I understand
that well enough. It's getting them to do what I want on the page that
bugs me. Either the paper is too wet, or it's too dry, or the color is
too intense, or it's not intense enough, or any number of other problems.
A part of whatever I'm attempting to paint might be just perfect, but then I
blow it in another section. And once it's there, it's there, for the
most part, no going back. Bah! And if you think I'm uploading
pictures of these messes, don't expect it any time soon. Matter of
fact, I may very quickly be driven back to papermaking or basketry just to
get some relief.
7-10-06 As I said in my last entry....
Today I pulled hickory sheets to use over a woven form. Mind you, the
form isn't woven yet. I had some round reed, no telling how old, that
I was planning on using, but it seems to have dry rotted, if that's
possible. Whatever has happened, it's brittle and hard to work with.
Some of it is okay, and I'll be able to salvage enough to make the form.
Strength in the woven part won't be an issue because it will be covered with
the hickory. Didn't take pictures, but I will before I begin to cover
7-11-06 The Berea Arts Council asked me to
make some recycle pulp for
a project they will be having on the Square the
15th during the Berea Craft Festival. (The link is to a newspaper
article and I don't know how long it will be valid.) I can't believe I'm
using a Hollander beater to do this,
but it seemed the easiest and fastest way to make pulp, particularly given
the amount I "volunteered" to make. I hope they appreciate the fact
that they're getting 2.5 pounds of award
winning words from my
husband's old manuscripts. (Okay, I know. Cheap way to get a plug
in, but I'm proud of my husband, Jim Tomlinson. He's an wonderful writer, and I
enjoy getting the chance to share him with others.)
7-13-06 Seldom does a one-of-a-kind piece
I start turn out exactly as I envisioned. Perhaps, in the process of
weaving or working with paper or binding, I find that I'm asking more of the
materials than they're capable of doing. Or perhaps I didn't think
through the design and it may require more time and work than I'm willing
to commit. Or I may just lose interest in the piece. Most often,
though, the work changes directions because the piece itself suggests (sometimes even
demands) a different course. What happened with
this piece was pretty much a
combination of all the above. The original idea was for a 3'x3' flat
wall hanging and began with a woven waxed
linen center. I had planned to extend the weaving further with
heavier weavers, then leave spaces interspersed with other weavings and odd
elements. After finishing the center, I realized it wasn't going to
work as I planned, lost interest and stuck the unfinished piece in the
closet (I don't think I ever throw anything away). What I'm doing with it now came out of a combination of having
another, totally unrelated idea and accidentally running across this piece
at the same time. A few days ago, I decided to create a sort of
vase-shaped paper piece
over a woven frame. When I looked in the closet for the roll of reed to create the
frame, I found that unfinished piece. Ah! And with careful
weaving, it could be shaped into exactly what I needed. I wet the
reed, pulled the top together with a rubber
band and began weaving with more round reed. The piece pulled in
nicely and the shape is exactly what I
wanted. The only thing that bothers me now about the piece is that
the bottom will be hidden unless I find some way to seat the piece at an
angle on some form of support for display. It's really too neat a
design to be on the bottom of the piece. I haven't formally woven the top
yet. It's just temporarily secured. Not sure whether to continue
the wrap or stop it off more cleanly where it is now.
7-15-06 A couple of years ago, a woman who
does layout and design for the National Park Service brochures and
promotional materials contacted me about using some of the plant paper I
make as a background image on a project she was involved in. She
stopped by the house, picked out five or six sheets that showed promise and
told me she'd get back with me when the project was finished. Now,
mind you, this was a good two years ago, and I had totally forgotten about
it until she showed up on my doorstep yesterday with the completed layout.
(Seems the wheels of justice aren't the only ones that grind slowly.)
When she originally talked with me about using the paper, I had the idea
that it would be used as a background in a brochure or one of the long cards
that are used to promote various parks. That's not exactly what she
had in mind. Instead, it is a fold-out
suitable for a bulletin board! (Yes, that's my sandal in the
picture. I needed something for size reference.) Here is
a close-up of the center frame.
This is so, so neat! Now I wish I could remember which papers she
took. The scanned image is definitely clear enough to see every fiber,
but which fiber??? The paper is so generic could have been made
from any number of plants. Ah, well.... She included a credit at
the bottom of the page. So neat!
7-17-06 I've finally done
a watercolor I'm willing to share.
In taking the picture of it, I've discovered yet another thing I'll have to
learn -- how to edit photos of pictures. The white border around the
painting shows up as gray,
but if I lighten that in a photo editing program, the rest of the picture
burns out. I'm certain there is a setting n the Mavica to help with
this, but I'm not camera geeky enough to know what it is. [Editing to
say that I ran the jpg through the photo editing program, lightened it and
upped the contrast. Much better now.]
7-18-06 Pardon me while I take time out to
have a summer cold/bronchitis. Bah! :(
7-28-06 I survived, but I'm not doing
anything worth writing about. Maybe next month? :)