Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Last night, as I was sleeping

I love this poem! It is not working out exactly right though. The gold letters get lost against the blue background. And I have to say the gold is real gold leaf, which I have attached with Jerry Tresser's size. I also used walnut ink--which I made myself--for the brown background. As well as the usual lineup of acrylic airbrush pigments and pearlescent inks.

I am planning to do this again on paper with the acrylagouache to see if I have more control. The paper is a beautiful purple handmade sheet with mica in it, made by Nancy Carter in Athens. Hope I don't blow it!

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Lat night, as I slept,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Antonio Machado
translated by Robert Bly
from the book Risking Everything,
110 Poems of Love and Revelation

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Busy busy bee

This has been a really busy week for me, and it's not over yet! Tomorrow is the Bridal Show at the Gainesville Civic Center, at which I will have my own booth. I've been busy preparing for that: making more samples of envelopes and invitations, including an album. I found the album in Helen last weekend at the cross stitch store. It is a beautiful thing, covered with handmade paper full of pressed flowers and leaves. I will leave the clear protective cover on it, otherwise it will quickly turn brown. (People's hands are so much dirtier than they realize! And I am not a clean freak either.)

John made a sign for me to put on the table. He also printed out a bunch of information sheets for me to hand out, and took care of business cards. I am to have a real website, although the account is 'still pending changes' so I can't set it up yet. John had already spent a lot of time preparing the site pages, and loading them on his site, but I don't want prospective clients to have to key in 45 letters or so for my address, so we're changing it.

Also last week was National Handwriting day. Tuesday, January 23. I did a 50 minute lesson at my son's 5th grade class, and in the afternoon had a table at the local public library to write names on bookmarks to give to patrons. We set up the books the library had about calligraphy, and the librarian in charge of adult programming had made a great vertical poster about John Hancock and National Handwriting day. She included the bio I had provided her with, as well as the info on Atlanta Friends of the Alphabet. There was a decent turnout, including several people who came just because they are interested in calligraphy. I had a great time talking to them.

And of course, the biggie still hanging over my head is the quilted wall hanging for my aunt. It is hard to finish it for many reasons...I just want to keep experimenting! And then I end up overworking each piece until it becomes muddy, and then I think she won't like it if it is muddy... also I wonder what to do about the binding; whether it should be a traditional quilt binding, or do a wierd hand sewing job with the fake fur yarn, or maybe bind with a fat ribbon, or leave the edge raw (nope).

When I work on many things at one time I am so stimulated creatively! I am overwhelmed with possibilities!

Friday, January 19, 2007


I'm working on a piece for my aunt. She commissioned me to do this a loooong time ago. I've been remiss. It is to be a quilted wall hanging. This is one I thought could be for her, but it's not right yet. Not happy with the roman caps title, among other things. I'm doing more of them, on a finer muslin, which is creating other problems having to do with the ink bleeding into the fabric when I use a lot of ink (acrylic airbrush pigment) at once. This, even on freshly bought 100% cotton muslin, unwashed so the size is still in it. But the one here is on a heavier weight cotton fabric--I think it is 'duck.' And it is great to work on! Why didn't I buy more of this this morning? Because it isn't really what I want to use for quilting. Decisions, decisions. Something lost, something gained.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Calligraphic Folly

I figure the point of doing something like calligraphy is so that you can 'do whatever you want.' It doesn't have to be a poem by Shakespeare written in black ink in an appropriate hand.

In honor of the new year I have dredged up one of my favorite bits of nonsense. I think it appeals to no one except me, and even I sometimes ask myself, when I come across this in my big box of fabric things, "what were you thinking?" Most people look at this and say, "Is it a placemat?" For it is exactly the size of a placemat, just because it worked out that way. And now I'm thinking, what a good idea. Yes, it's a one-of-a-kind placemat.

I think I was thinking of my grandmother. Just because the bit of lace with which I adorned the edges is from a trunk of hers from about a million years ago. I have never yet met anyone else whose house has a 'trunk room.' It was above the old kitchen in her antebellum home and was accessed by going through a little hall and up about five stairs; then it was the room on the right. (The room on the left was the 'back bathroom.') There were marvelous things in those trunks: clothing and accessories from several generations of ancestors. Whenever we played hide-and-seek someone always ended up in the trunk room.

At any rate, I hope the new year contains some folly--in the best sense of the word--for all of us!

My 2006 Christmas card.