Saturday, May 11, 2013

background buzz

The horse chestnut tree next door is just starting to bloom.  It has extravagant flower clusters which are creamy white and each sit atop big leaves.  If you enlarge the photo you can see the leaves still folded downward, waiting to fan widely.  What I love most of all about this tree is that it is a haven for the neighborhood bees.  Some neighbors keep bees, and we have many visitors to the yard.  If I sit quietly, I can hear a smooth symphony of bee talk all day.

Other background buzz has been a persistent reminder that I love making art on paper and today I said yes to this voice.  I participated in a handmade book workshop at Klamath County Library with Roxanne Evans Stout of River Garden Studio based in Keno, OR.

Roxanne supplied most of the materials, and guided us through putting the small art book together.  We then added mini books within and embellished the pages.   Ideally, it was in that sequence, but really we all went our own way and either sewed, or pasted, or glued, or colored...Through all of this, Roxanne was the calm in this storm of creativity.
Remember. this was in the downtown library, and we had a few children asking if they could make one (No, sorry).

This is the cover of my little book.
Here are some pages in process showing the mini book within and a fabric bead I made long ago after a visit with Diane Erickson.  The bead is sewn on, and I also included a lot of fabric scraps layered over one another.  The book is darker than I had envisioned, and the words "hope", "direction", "dream" and "accomplish" showed up.  I am apparently a driven individual! :-)

I look forward to finishing it, and making a stitching art book while taking my Craftsy class.   That class does have a journal suggestion and so I am looking forward to letting both sides of my brain play together.

In other news, my husband is recovering from bronchitis and my brother Pete is home from the hospital (heart and COPD).  I have been trying to complete V 8876 and I am almost, oh so close, done.  I was hemming last night and took out my work twice!  A caution to those who want to make this dress-the hem is faced and it helps to use the same fabric.  I did not and my facing is limp and puddley.  The dress also angles inward vertically and is lower in the back than the front.  Pin carefully and check as you hand sew.  I matched it to the band seamline rather than the suggested length.   This is not an easy dress even though Vogue says it is.  Pshaw-what do they know about home sewing?  I promise you all a picture in a day or two.  Really.

Have a wonderful Sunday and if you are a mom, Happy Mother's Day.  If you have a mom still with you, give her a hug.


  1. Beautiful tree, and it must have been such fun to take part in a book-making course. I've made a few, but they've all been pretty simple, unartistic things. Yours is a work of art!

  2. Oh Dang! I am so sorry I wasn't there for that bookmaking event but your book is wonderful.
    Hope all family members continue in recovery mode. I hear the pine pollen is fearsome this year. E-mail me if you get a chance...I don't have YOUR e-mail on this computer.
    Give both Nick small and large a pet from me and Bandit and Woodrow too!

    Under the spreading chestnut tree the village smithy....

  3. Oh, what a FUN class. I love handmade paper! Your book is *beautiful*!

  4. Hi Mary, I took the same class from Roxanne when she was at the Rogue Gallery in Medford a couple of weeks ago.. It was so much fun, and I love Roxanne's energy. Thanks for sharing your creation. Happy Mother's Day to you too!...Anna H

  5. Mary, your book is so lovely! The colors and the objects you chose, and the way you put things together is wonderful. I also love the clothes you wore, (that you made yourself!) I imagine your design shines through in everything you do. Thank you for this blog post about our workshop and for being such a great student!

  6. We had three horse chestnut trees in our yard when I was growing up. Of course, the kids's job was to pick up the shells. I loved those glossy little chestnuts.
    And the book? I would love to try making one...I"m afraid I would get totally sucked in, though!


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