Thursday, July 30, 2020

Itchy milestones

This was a walk from the weekend, I think. I realized it wasn't as hard to walk to the other property as I feared, and that it's a nice walk if you take the mowed paths through the fields, which apparently are a newer phenomenon (the paths, not the fields).
I started this lid and finished it but now it has no bottom! I thought it would be easier to make a pot fit a lid than vice versa but that means I have to make a pot first and I'm only half in the mood.
For years I had big thick cords laying around and I've kind of wrangled them into baskets but they really just want to do what they want, which may not be this.
Years ago I tried to harvest and strip dogbane from the fall and it was a total fail, because I didn't read Winifred Lutz's research closely enough to see that you have to strip earlier than the fall! The fiber is gorgeous and the next batch I almost don't even want to turn it into paper, only strip it for the fiber to do other things with—spin, weave, twine, make string.
Yesterday (was it yesterday? Maybe the day before? I can't keep track of days) I did a small marigold harvest from the garden for a tiny dye batch.
I didn't have white papers so I dyed milkweed and slippery elm/mulberry ones. It's nice to do small batch everything, so manageable. For three days I've done tiny paper batches, very contained and low pressure but still with delightful results.
This morning's hodgepodge of a harvest. It was from the garden, then I biked to the side of the road where I had seen milkweed but didn't want to walk through the tall grass to get there, just one stalk to have a sample stalk. I stepped on tall grass that was laying down, thinking, is this grass laying down because deer were hanging out on it? I check when I come in every day from being in fields or gardens, but I wasn't being vigilant enough: usually I only check my bottom half. I found the first tick ever on my shoulder and freaked out of course but in the end it's a miracle I survived four decades without this experience.
Pictures never do justice but the sunsets (and sunrises, I've been told, but don't get up early enough to witness) are gorgeous here.
I made two versions of this book, and though I hate the prep work on these lovely bindings, I always love the results. I had intended to do this for a long time at home, but it never happened. This is why residencies are so helpful. I've been feeling more antsy this week in quarantine and am really excited to be done with it soon, but have made plenty of plans to finally be able to enjoy the insides of the buildings here and the library collection.

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