Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I've been printing....

And I've been playing with gelatin plates.  I wanted to expand what I did before when I made a plate with only gelatin and water.  I made several prints, some of which I was much in love with, some not so much.  I wish I could say that this time the results were better, but the word different will have to do.

First I made what is supposed to be a more permanent plate with water, gelatin and glycerin.  I used the Frugal Crafter's recipe for a 4 by 6 ish plate.  1.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups of glycerin, 6 Tablespoons of gelatin.  Easy peasy, or so it seems.  Let me start by saying that I am not the greatest measurer, but I ended up with a too big container, and the plate was too thin.  It disintegrated a bit over a couple of days.  In the meantime, I made about a dozen prints that I considered first step background.  This is what a couple of them looked like.  I need to say that I limited myself to black, white and grey in this process, as I wanted to see what I was doing and not get into color just yet.






There were many more, but these are representative.  I had a major cold/fluish and got tired after I had done a dozen or so and I quit for the day.  I came back on day 2 with the intent of playing with black, white and grey again on top of these plates.  The plate had not held up well probably because it was too thin, and it started to crack when I took it out of the tin I had stored it in.  I LOVE the cracks.  A clean edge does not interest me, so this was great.  An example of my  work with Polaroid Image Transfers will show you the kind of edges I am fond of.

I had cut a stencil from an ad printed on heavy paper, and I just used that to see how it would all hold together.  I used my two new 'colors' and my single stencil and did some playing.  The results, in part, looked like this:


The big cracks in the paint in these are all from the disintegration of the plate.  I am going to have to figure out how to make this happen when I want it!






after this I had to junk the plate, it was determined to fall apart. This is what it looked like. You can also see it was a bit thin....





 I intend to melt it and use it again. I want to work on the texture, however.  This felt very sticky to me, it could have been for several reasons so more about that later.   In any case, it was a fun 2 days and I think I am certainly not done.  I can use these prints to do more and I can work back into them with various color media.  More to come.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Someone asked...

What I used to color the security envelopes and I thought I should probably say that it was not your usual paint etc.  What I used is Meltonian Cream Shoe Polish.  It does some lovely things to paper because the wax fills in the paper pores so it makes thicker paper feel a lot like leather.  If it is buffed nicely it does not release color and it smells good.  It comes in a nice array of colors also and is fairly transparent .  I have absolutely no link to these guys, I ended up with some really scuffed red clogs and when I went to my local shoe repair shop, this was the only shoe polish they had in close to the right color and it was inexpensive also!  One day it was lying out when I was playing with coloring paper and one thing led to another and there we are.  I now have 6 colors and use it a lot on the covers of my quickly sewn up booklets..

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sometimes you just have to think of something you didn't think of before

I am still working on my music journal,(the link is to a list of all the completed pages with links)  but I had an issue with a completed page ... actually with a combination of pages.  I liked both of these pages individually, but when they were next to each other I did not like the effect. I had not done two pages of different songs next to each other until I finished these and have been pondering them for a while. I work directly in the book, the pages are assembled where they are and somehow I let myself work on it without stepping back to get the whole view.  My painting teacher would have been appalled at me for not stepping back.  This is what they looked like next to each other. 


So I kept staring at them until I decided I had to add a page to separate them.  The easy thing, I guess would have been to just sew in a page that looked like the ones already in the book, but I got to playing with stuff and this happened.  The added page is sewed in around the existing coptic binding stitches, but that is not obvious, as the waxed linen is the same.  

The page is created from several security envelopes and uses the "windows" from the envelopes to include the previous page in the new one, which I am pretty sure is going to be a single song.

I am pleased, but there are a couple of other places where the song only took one page that are now playing with my brain.  I am going to have to find songs that go with the existing one, and now I have to find some that go with the adjacent page and with the view through the window.  
I guess planning that far ahead is not in my realm of possibility.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

I must be the apocalypse... there is no other answer...

At 10 AM it was snowing like a blizzard blowing and flying.
By 3 PM it was sleeting and icing and still coming down hard
By 4 PM it was raining
By 8 PM it was snowing again big time
At 9:30 PM it thundered and there were 3 huge flashes of lightning.. while it was snowing
and it snowed for a long time.

Apocalypse is the only answer.

Everything is frozen.  If you had a car parked in our neighborhood it looks like this:
 If you left for a while after you dug out your car, and tried to come back someone else had taken your dug out spot so you are left with this option.  That pile of snow that car is on top of is at least 4 feet tall.  The driver just backed up onto it.
 And if you left your bike, it looked like this:

And it is supposed to drop 4 more inches on us tonight.  This is going to be fun, again. 

I went downtown to Molyvos for brunch with great out of town friends and we had a lovely meal and a great long conversation, but I took no food pictures at all.  SO you will just have to imagine grilled baby octopus, and moussaka to die for.  Yum.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


This is what it looks like out my window.  This view is one you have seen before and probably will again as this winter is the gift that keeps on giving... REALLY!!  how much snow is there and why is it all falling in my city?   It is pretty, though, as long as you don't have to go out 3 times a day with 2 dogs who want to rocket about in it.... I'll have a better attitude about it tomorrow I hope..

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why I blog....

Well, obviously I DON'T at least I haven't since mid November, but I am trying to recover.  In mid November, Tinta... the youngest dog... went here for a 3 week stay:


No, she is not competing in the Olympics, that is not Russia, despite a lot of similar architecture.  It is here at the Monks of New Skete  in upstate New York.  She has been a handful since the beginning, not quite a city dog, and a bit nervous about blowing bags, slamming doors and people in the hall.  These were all new behaviors to me, since Sienna had been bulletproof since her first day here.  

Tinta needed a firmer hand, and the monks gave her that.  She was there 3 weeks and came home so much happier with herself.  Mostly the intense focus on obedience seems to have given her much more confidence.  She takes more things in stride, and is more reliable in her response to people.  Now that was, of course, true before the recent run of below zero 20 inches of snow weather we have been having.  It has to be practiced and I have been a wimp about the cold, though I think I was always a wimp when it got below 10 degrees.  The other day we went out and I found myself thinking it was springlike.  It was 21 degrees!!! So we have not been practicing outdoors and there have not been a lot of people for her to meet and greet since no one else is out there either.  But I do know what to do and so does she so we will get back to it.  SOON, I hope. 

New Cambridge is about 3.5 hours away, so there were a couple of long haul rides to get there there and get her back and I was a bit obsessed.  

I know this has the title of why I blog and I realized it is for me.  I need a record of what is going on and what I am doing and since I am a devoted journaler I have 2 kinds of paper journals.  One type is the "get the crap out of the way and out of my head" type which is the Morning Pages from the Artist's Way.  I have been doing those pages every morning for years and years but I eventually throw them away vecause what they really are is whining and kvetching about life in general so I can get it out of the way and move on every morning.  I have moved into visual journals, like my music journals  and many that preceded them, but they are finished pages by the time they get displayed anywhere or are just empty books before.  

This is probably the most documentation of process I am able to do, so that is what it is.  Sometimes there are big blank spaces in "process" and sometimes there is a flurry of activity and this is for both.  I blog for me, and I think that is the absolute truth.  I WOULD do it/DO do it when no one notices because I notice and that is what it is for.  For me to notice both the activities and the spaces.  And, actually, there have been just over 500 entries here since I started, not bad for a process!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's getting a little deep up here.....


 This is how my gorgeous view looked the night of the SuperBowl.  You can't really tell, but the string of pearls between the two piers is half green, half orange for the Seahawks and the Broncos.  New Jersey side got the Broncos, New York got the Seahawks.  Last night, although the SuperBowl is in the rear view mirror around here, the Piers were not lit up but the pearls were still colored.  I am a purist about the bridge and hate it when they color the pearls, so I am wishing it goes back to white soon.


Some of you may have heard we had a little snow this year.  Seriously people, enough is enough. Normally in a whole winter we get about 24 inches.  So far this year we are at 35 and counting with more to come this weekend it seems.  There is a special treat for us with this last iteration of messiness.  First it snowed.... A LOT of snow.  Then it rained and iced and then it froze.  This stuff is up to 2 feet deep and it is frozen SOLID.  It isn't going away til May!  Really, the dogs walk on it, ice skate on it and it just sits there.  I have never seen it quite like this and it is 21 degrees out there, so no melting is going to take place.


Across the river it is beautiful and the river is full of floating icebergs too, though they are pretty flat.  I keep hoping for one that is really huge but not any so far. 


And in the daytime, my bridge is its usual gorgeous self, although whoever approved the building of that tower right next to it should be removed from office.  There are almost no angles I can shoot from now that don't include that piece of whatever.  Since it is not inhabited you can't see it at night but it is going to be REALLY ugly when it is lit up at night.  I hope they have rules about it being lit up when the bridge is lit up but I am sure they don't, it is, after all, in New Jersey... enough said.