Thursday, November 17, 2016

Process and Progress

I always enjoy seeing someone else's process--
creativity is such an individual thing...
but Jody Alexander's process is truly unique.

I do love her work:
altered books, boxed books, etc.


I have not reviewed these yet, but Louise Penny's A Great Reckoning was even better than I hoped.  Of course, I'm always a little surprised at how good her books are, her ability to juxtapose humor and kindness with the worst humanity has to offer.  

And Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson was also a pleasure--maybe it is not realistic to have a real-life character who so resembles the Little Prince, but the book gives a positive and sympathetic look at a boy who does not fit the norm, who is labeled an oddball even by those who love him, and who catches at your heart even as you know how difficult it would be to live with him.

In progress:  The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.  I only read from 2-10 pages at a time, but it is both delightful and informative.  Although I've been familiar with some of Sei Shonagon for at least 20 years, only after a letter from Penne did I decide to order and read the entire book.  Her lists are fun and her comments about the Japanese court during the late 10th c make me realize how much we have in common despite the differences in time and culture.


Read an ebook by Arnold Grummer on paper making and have been experimenting some more.  

Used a couple of blue post it notes for color.
The dark spots are milkweed seeds.
Some left over pansy petals were still in the mix.

 I waited until the pulp was well blended,
then added a few more scraps from envelopes to this one.

The blue in the sheet below is from the inner lining of an envelope
(like the bits in the above piece), but I blended the pulp longer and
did not add any additional scraps.
Set a bottle on the screen before adding pulp to get the circle
and added a small Japanese maple leaf
and a yarrow leaf before pulling this sheet.

Pansy petals and hibiscus petals blended in the pulp.

All of them (and a few others that were still not dry) are under books and weights to flatten them.  These sheets are all thinner than the first ones I made, although I did alter the thickness on these, too, as I experimented.  The one with milkweed seeds is thicker because I didn't want the seeds too rough on the surface.

Now what?  This is one of those activities that is more fun in the process than in the product. I still have several other ideas to try out in "the making" -- then I will have to decide just what to do with them.  

Onward to another mess!


  1. I just picked up a Louise Penny book at the library this morning. I really enjoy her mysteries. She has a lot of detail and interior thought on the part of the characters but its always a good mystery too!

    1. :) She does have both great characters and great plots. As usual, my favorite is Ruth, and I love the way the other characters bounce off of her!

  2. I took a papermaking class quite some time ago. I loved the process but at the time I was focused on rubber stamping and handmade paper is not so good for that...or at least my attempts were not refined enough. Your papers are beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! The process is strangely compulsive. I've learned a little more from Arnold Grummer's ebook and from watching some videos online, and I enjoy disposing of junk mail this way!

  3. Love your papers-you've done a wonderful job making them!

    1. Thanks, Debra! I've had fun playing with this technique. So weird to see the pulp turn into paper!

  4. I imagine it must be a bit of surprise in the end result with each paper. Knowing you, they are going to be fabulous players into your arts.

    1. It is certainly a surprise to me! I'm still not sure what I'll do with the paper, but making it has been fun. :)

  5. I agree, some things are fun to do, and doing something with the result is distinctly secondary!

    1. I have always loved trying new techniques and sometimes I discover what to do with what I make at a later date. :)


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