Monday, March 5, 2018

Putting Journals Together Part 1

A very long time ago.... back when I first retired from having to work outside the house every day, I did two things.  I got a dog....

And then I encountered a book that really changed how I thought about how I wanted to spend my "retirement". 

Lk Ludwig has an interesting do it yourself approach to photography, book binding and collage.  I loved this book and still go back to it first when I am looking for ideas.  NOW... does she give instructions for exactly what I am doing? Nope, but she gave me some ideas and I sort of went with them. 

I  built up a collection of 4 collaged "books".  I started doing them in 2014, I had some decent paper and I made 4 pamphlet stitched books. I didn't work in a straight line through the books, but I did finish one before I did the second and I did date them as I went.  I am slightly notoriously slap dash, but dating things that I am working on is one of my main rules. 

These are the covers.  The books are about 4" by 6" and contain generally 25ish pages.  Not all the pages are the same size, there were some leftover bits of the same paper that I just bound in as they fit. I will do some content pictures and there are some earlier in the blog that I will link to from each book that was covered here.. 

Number 1is dated June, July, August and September 2014.  At that point I realized it was going to take longer than I thought and I stopped using months and began using month ranges and years. 

Number 2 is dated September 15 2014 and continues to February 23, 2015. 

Number 3 runs from February 25, 2015 until May 18, 2015.  The last pages are here. and the same applies, you can page back through a number of the pages, although they may look different now.

Number 4 is the last one, dated May 19, 2015.  I finished it last year in November 2016, and I documented it here on the blog.  If you want to see other pages, just click on previous and work your way back. as I documented a bunch of this book as it was then. The first pages are here.My nature is that I never think something is ever really done.  I know I worked in all of these books for at least another 2 or 3 years. As of 2017, however, there were no more empty spaces or places, and I began to think about next steps. I also started working in my big huge collage journal, and it was taking a lot of my thought.  So I began to consider how to keep these from getting lost. 

I will post the process with pictures over the next week or so. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Log Cabin Knitting

In case anyone who loves knitting hasn't noticed (what rock do you live under????) Mason Dixon's Ann and Kay are talking about Log Cabin knitting and pushing the boundaries.

Well, Log Cabin and Ball Band were two of my favorite things in their first book... and lots of my knitting life has been spent knitting log cabin stuff.

Start by understanding that I have enough sock yarn in a HUGE variety of colors and I will NEVER be able to knit all those socks.  And, I started just knitting one sock in one colorway and then the next sock, often a different pattern, in a different color.  That left me with a lot of half balls of colors, and there are only so many pairs of sneaker socks (whatever they are called... you know what I mean) that one can wear.

SO I am now showing you pictures of my last 3 log cabin slightly larger than lap blankets.

This one started out as a scarf, so the center part the is yellow at the start was fairly long before I tired of it. ... So I bound off and picked up along the long side to make a larger square and log cabined (do you suppose that can be a verb?) from then on.  I just used one ball until I got tired of it, hunted around for something else I liked and continued until I decided it was time to turn it, bound off, picked up across the piece and kept on going.   SO. It is a log cabin, but since no measuring took place it is a log cabin INSPIRED piece, I guess.

 This is the same piece but it looks so different when the intro piece is vertical, so I shot it from the other side so you could see it.

This is actually the first one I did. It might have started as a washcloth in the Ballband Pattern.  I have a couple of those out of this fine cotton. I had several cones of it and I loved working with it. .. anyway.. I launched into log cabin and kept the Ballband pattern, and changed it slightly here and there. 

This is a bit of a closeup so you can see the patterns..

Finally, this is the last one I kept. (I also made one for my best friend as a sort of wedding present).  I tried to do some increasing around the edges with this one, why I do NOT remember. I don't recommend it.   I wanted a frilly edge for some NOT be deluded into thinking that is an improvement.   But you get a sense of how ANY color can be worked in.  I heard Kaffe Fassett talk once and he said.. if it looks like the color you just added doesn't work, ADD MORE COLORS!... or words to that effect.  He is, as usual, right.  Several times in all the colored ones I would start thinking oops!  and I made myself keep on.. and it resolved itself.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black and White Class...

As I said yesterday, I am taking a class from Jane Davies.  It is the third online class that I have taken from her and I have learned a lot from each of them.  What is great about her classes that I have not seen in other online classes that I have taken is that she comments on every single thing posted in the class space and the posts are thoughtful and helpful, not just "attagirls".  She has a structure for the class and it moves you through a series of steps and you end up knowing more than when you started. I know I said similar things yesterday, but I decided that some people might only look at today, so Jane gets two posts... VBG!

SO, these are a couple of the class products. Nothing is ever finished that is done to meet the class requirements, but a couple of the things I did this time I found interesting, so here they are.  The class is totally Black and White.  The BEST class was 100 drawings on cheap paper, which was SO much fun I would almost take it again.. still might.  This one was shorter and more structured and really focused on the process of making black and white abstracts.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I've been over on Instagram a bunch and it's like a quick fix drug. Makes it harder to do a thoughtful post here, I just put up a cat or dog post and I'm good. But I'm going to be here more with my journal entries as soon as I make some!

I've been working through some online classes,  one with Jane Davies that is GREAT!  I'm doing her black and white abstract class and she is teaching me so much. I have taken a couple of her classes and the best part is that she never let's you slide by. If you do the work she gives you thoughtful evaluations and suggestions and never lets you phone it in.

Try it!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How hoarding feeds what I make, though there are more hoards to be revealed

I got some questions about a book I showed on Instagram and here a few posts ago.  I made it ages ago and found it intimidating and so have only recently begun to work on the pages.

I painted paint sample brochures, the kind you get from hardware stores.  They are a variety of sizes and formats, but range from 8 inches by 8 inches to 9 inches by 12 inches or even bigger.  They are all either three or four folds, so open they are really large.  I painted them all with acrylics, with no real plan as to color or theme. I did it over about 3 or 4 days, so continuity was never a consideration.
I bound them into a book with a really simple coptic stitch binding and used some cloth tape that was used to tie up a delivery to help hold them together. I just covered bookboard with some nice paper that I had saved (two hoarder savings in the cover alone!) for the cover, it has a snakeskin texture that you can feel.

Some pics might help here... to show that the trifold and quadrofold pages can be seen in several ways, depending on how they are folded. The interactions between pages is VERY interesting to consider in creating pages.

The right side page here is the same in each of the next two pics.  The left page is folded differently.

Here the furthest left side is folded behind the center page.

Here the page is folded over the center part of the page.

As you can see from the next picture, the pages are different sizes, so the edges do not line up, but I really like being able to see other pages behind the one I am working on at the time.

This is the only "page" I feel is sort of finished,

 and in the following closeups you can see the other interesting part about making pages from paint sample books.  Although I did lightly sand the pages if they were shiny, the grid from the sample chips is still visible.  In some places I covered it with collage or something else, in others I used it.  I am still playing with how this works overall.
Left side:


Right side:

Finally... man this post got long.... I have the "red page" I am working on, and it is in pause mode while I think about it some more. I often work on more than one page at a time, so I thought I would show you my next "start" ...

 I have had this picture since the 1980's. Not sure exactly when I shot it.  It is of one of my friend who is also a photography nut.   I cropped it, played with the contrast, and printed it on my laser printer.  Then I did an image transfer using matte gel medium to a page in the journal.  It is on the "first side"  of a trifold page. so there is a totally different page on the left and the page could open further on the right. This page also has lots of semi hidden paint samples on it.  We shall see what happens next..

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Number 3 in the I am a Hoarder series...

I used to print black and white photos in a rental darkroom down on 3rd Street in Manhattan.  It was behind an art gallery, and when the gallery wasn't open you could rent the darkroom.  You could go back there and lock yourself in, turn on the radio and work as long as you wanted.  It was a little slice of heaven.  These are the negatives and many of the prints I made back there.  I want to use them again.  I haven't shot film in ages, but every time I look through these notebooks I want to break out the film cameras and start again.

One story about the darkroom.  I came out one evening, having been in there for hours, to find the street full of police.  I asked what was going on, after I explained where I had come from, since the gallery was closed and dark.  They said that the Hell's Angels had a clubhouse at the other end of the street and they were having a book signing.

After I processed that I asked about the heavy police presence for a book signing in a place not well known to house bigtime readers?   The police said that it was unusual, but the last time they had a book signing there was a shooting, so they were there just as deterrence.

I went home.. New York, the East Side in the 1980's you gotta love it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

step two in the I am a Hoarder series....

I am a firm believer in the premise that the unexamined life is not worth living... hmmm spell check doesn't like the word unexamined.  I certainly think it is a valid word, if not a way to live :-)

In any case.  Years ago... Many many years ago I fell into the book The Artist's Way.  As a result of that I started doing the Daily Pages... 3 pages of handwritten braindump first thing in the morning. It was a habit that stuck and of course generates enormous numbers of pages.  I burn them, or otherwise destroy them on a semi regular basis but they do pile up.  I find them very helpful in purging a lot of things that I might otherwise obsess about.

I haven't purged in a while, so this is the current iteration:

I need to get rid of them soon, as the iron on the right side... its the best use I have found for an iron in years... is failing to hold them up and is getting crowded out of the windowsill. 

As you can see, tags go here too...Most of them are just the dates covered but every once in a while I add "big ideas" or whatever. 

Hoarders can be neat, but they don't have to iron.....