catching up the year end

she's been visiting regularly
but i don't see her often,
just her tracks.
 i made two homes for special pebbles.
the australian ones came from the southern oceanside
at cape otway.
the acadian ones came from mt desert island, maine.
 i couldn't get them all in focus, but it didn't matter.

 the last three contact prints
with the left over flora from this fall.
i had saved it
and it was mostly all dried out-
 some freeze-dried plants shared their 
 the colors were strong, lots of green, too.
what a surprise.
 i practice bindings
 on leftover scraps of paper
you can see tension was an issue here.
 over at zone 4
milkweed pulp.
i made three different milkweed papers,
from here, field retted and colorful and wild
 milkweed from berea 
gathered by gin petty and dried for some time
lovely tidy paper
sheet formation a bit better
 and butterfly weed
also from gin.
all three were handbeaten, the best was the butterfly weed.
either i was more patient
or got tougher
but my shoulders and neck are still complaining.
using the gift of the zone 4 studio
i've been happy working 
with different moulds,
formation aid that was already prepped, 
and all i have to do is haul stuff around.
i've gotten to know which moulds over there i like
and which ones are beguiling 
and rather strange for my work.
aimee reminded me of placing thread between two wet sheets
so i did some with kami-ito
long ago i used linen for this purpose,
and in fact my very first hard bound book
was made with this paper
my teacher was the amazing sally smith.
 this is the corner i like to make sheets in
there's a drain directly under the mat i stand upon.
 and felts. 
i've washed and/or brushed all of the felts now.
 drying out moulds
my own and zone 4's
 there's even a manifesto of sorts:
Let's make paper!
and books! 
and silkscreens
and adinkra prints
and journal binding
i've been using some of the larger 
offcuts from caliban press
for funky sewing.
making paper with the smaller ones.
 drying blotters
 on christmas eve
listening to the festival of nine lessons and carols
from king's college in cambridge
a tradition i adore.
i cleaned and tidied and readied myself
for christmas.
 christmas morning breakfast
pancakes and strawberries leftover from that summer wedding.
(and maple syrup and butter)
 we'd agreed to have a quiet christmas,
 purchased new tubbs snowshoes for ourselves.
but then this little machine appeared.
and it works just fine!
astonished me
i love it.
 we went for a drive in the 27 degree sunshine before lunch 
and i found the first paper-related "official" sign i'd ever seen!
 that huge mission oak table will move through the doors
into my studio soon
 where i will set up the dry studio.
  a chilly and frozen and slippery walk ended
coming home with the dogs
through meadow
and the long shadows
you can see the new place,
 bridge to the side door.
home, where soon with luck,
i will be full-time.
all of the kids are away this year.
 to you
my dear readers,
friends, and sometimes even students,
happy holy days 
see you on the other side.