Monthly Archives: August 2012

Watching Paint Dry

Marbling paints, that is!  Yes, I finally got out the marbling trays again and had some fun.  My main goal was to make some more sheets with blue as the primary color.  I like it and tend to use it a lot.  I also wanted to try some monochromatic sheets. I had done a few with just green, white and black and found they form a nice contrast to my usual work. I used this piece on a portfolio.

I started out with four blues, but found that one tube hadn’t been sealed properly and the paint just wouldn’t dissolve in the water or float on the size.  Frustrating. The black was working nicely, both producing a lovely grey and a strong black, depending on how I used it and I did get a few relatively monochromatic sheets.

I also played a lot with the accent colors I had chosen.   In this case, almost overworking the pattern by adding an extra layer of raking.  In contrast, on this piece I decided to print the first pass of the stylus.       I rather like the bold result, but I’m not sure that I will be able to use it on my books. The pattern of spots was produced by paint that had not completely expanded when I started making the get-gel.  I had been intrigued with them on another piece because they looked like seed pods.

I also marbled some more maps.      I have to be careful when I work with any paper that has already been printed.  The pattern has to remain light enough that the words or pictures can still be recognized. If the pattern is too intricate or the colors too dark, the point of marbling on that type of paper is lost. I’m pleased with these maps. One is Los Angeles, the other Louisiana.

Here are groupings of all the large sheets I marbled in this session.  I’m pleased with most of them although, as usual, there are a few clunkers!

I’m still planning to do a few more small sheets as I’ve moved to the small tray now.  I have some dark card stock that I’d like to play with, but that may have to wait.

You can see more of my papers and the books and boxes I make from them at my shop, Losing Her Marbles, on Etsy or on this page.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Craft design, Marbled Paper

Corn, Tomatoes and Rabbits

I’ll start at the end.  Rabbits.  I have lots of rabbits this year due to a combination of a mild winter and lazy fox. I know there are fox around as I see them very occasionally, especially in the spring. This year I had three sightings, which is more than usual.  They just aren’t doing their job on the rabbit population, however.  Rabbits seem to love my lawn.  I suspect it’s because it isn’t really a grass lawn.  It has lots of thyme, mint and other goodies mixed in.  Smells lovely when I mow.  Yes, it needs mowing right now, but that’s another tale.  My rabbits are more curious than afraid of me, but usually they scamper off if I’m too close.  The other day, as I was taking my morning walk around the property, a rabbit darted across my path and then stopped.  I also stopped.  He, or maybe she, was about four or five feet away – just sitting and watching me.  I watched him.  He watched me.  He didn’t hunker down or lower his ears, just sat there.  After a minute or two, I decided I had work to do and walked on. He ducked under a low hanging branch and I’m sure kept watching me.  Cheeky little fellow.

I love fresh corn and I used to freeze some every year.  For various reason, I haven’t done any for several years and this year I was determined I would get some.  I hadn’t done anything about it, but happened to notice some U-Pick advertised in the local paper.  I decided I just had to do it, so I went to the farm and talked to the owner.  She said the ad was really a mistake as the corn was pretty much over, too tough, but there were some people still picking and I could try it if I wanted to.  I had to try and I’ve found the more mature corn freezes better.  The very first crop has wonderful taste, but tends to be small kernelled and turn to mush when frozen. I spoke to the others who were picking and they assured me that the corn was still good and juicy.  It looked a bit old, but at $1.50 a dozen, I decided to take a chance and get four dozen ears.  After getting home, I set up all the equipment, shucked the corn, parboiled it and started cutting it off the cob. The farmer was so right.  Definitely past its “sell-by” date.  Oh, well, maybe I can make a lot of corn soup this winter.

On a better note, more tomatoes.  I rarely grow large tomatoes as they always seem to get eaten, have bugs or rot. I stick to the cherry tomatoes and have great luck with them.  I always put in a couple of plants of the larger variety for the few tomatoes that do make it.  This year is, of course, is different.  I have a huge (well, huge for me) crop of large yellow tomatoes.  So out comes all the canning equipment and off I go.  I have put up a batch of the yellow tomatoes, a mixed batch of red & yellow and still to come a batch of over-sized cherry tomatoes.

What does this have to do with books or marbling?  Nothing, except it keeps me from playing with my toys.  I did get out the marbling trays this weekend, but that will be another blog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under etc., Life

Where Did That Week Go?

Busy, busy week. Not sure quite what happened, but I know that the painters finally came to start work on my porch, my company left and I finally mowed the grass.  To update the trifecta, first the pickles did get canned, another 12 pints. 

I finished one book as a sample for a potential customer.

The final bit was making more Treasure Towers with maps on the outside.  They are close to being finished, with just folding the interior boxes and gluing them to the outside.  Keeping the two blue/purple towers separated with their proper papers was a challenge, but I think I have them right.  It really wouldn’t make too much difference as their colors are very similar, but when I put a lot of effort into choosing just the right piece of paper, I hate it when I mess them up at the last minute.  That’s one reason I never work on more than four items at once.  There’s just way too much chance for papers getting switched.

Here are the towers and the paper cut and folded for the boxes.

On a totally different note, I’ve started harvesting potatoes from my garden.  There’s nothing better than a freshly dug potato!  Here’s the harvest for today.
The cherry tomatoes are overflowing.  I may have to figure out how to can them!

1 Comment

Filed under bookbinding, Boxes and Towers, Life

Going for a Trifecta

This week is starting with a bang: papers chosen and started for four Towers with maps on the outside, papers matched for four books and the textblocks cut and folded, plus another gallon of cukes salted in the fridge.  Let’s see what gets finished and what waits for next week!

The cucumbers are just about over.  We haven’t had much rain in the past two weeks and they are getting smaller and smaller.  On the other hand, the cherry tomatoes are going like gang busters!  So sweet and juicy, nothing like the ones in the grocery store.  I may even try to can some, just to have a memory of summer next February when the snow has piled up and I’m almost house-bound.

I’ll take some pictures of the towers and books as they begin to come together.

Leave a Comment

Filed under bookbinding, Boxes and Towers, Life

Home again with more boxes and way too many cucumbers

I arrived  home again and was immediately faced with a deadline.  Before I left for North Carolina, I had started five new Treasure Towers and assumed I would have plenty of time to finish them after getting home.  Of course, I hadn’t counted on delays caused by illness, weather and general negativity. Drop-off day for the new show at the Arts Center was Monday and it took a real push to finish the towers in time. I was pleased with the results: All the papers on the correct boxes with no last minute switches or upside downs.  Mistakes caused by pressure & rushing seem to be plaguing me recently.  I hope the jinx has run its course.  Here are the finished towers at the Arts Center. I didn’t have time to make “artsy” photos, but it gives me a record of what I’ve done.

The third tower has a print of a painting of Keuka Lake by Jane Terry on the outside instead of my marbled paper.  As I was photographing these, I realized there were none with maps on the covers.  I often put marbled local or area maps on the outside of the tower and these have been very popular.  I wasn’t planning on it, but I should probably do another set with maps before the summer people and tourists leave in September.  I hope I can find enough maps already marbled!

On the garden front, I came home to a jungle of tomato, squash and cucumber vines and even a couple of heads of broccoli.  First task was the cucumbers as they spoil fastest. The cukes are huge, but still sweet and fine for making bread and butter pickles. I did two more batches, 22 pints, if I’ve counted correctly (not counting the ones before my trip) and more to come.

The cherry tomatoes are just coming on, both orange and red.  They are oversized this year, but still sweet and flavorful.  For the first time I’ve been able to outwit the rabbits and actually harvest some broccoli and cauliflower.  I harvested one small watermelon just a bit early (still delicious) and a second will be dessert today.  Again, for the first time, the acorn squash has really gone to town and I’ll have quite a few that are good-size in the fall.  The potatoes are almost ready to be dug.

In spite of the late start and my intial pessimism, this looks to be my most succesful garden ever.

I am really pleased!


Filed under Boxes and Towers, Life, Marbled Paper