On the eve of Valentines’s day, I hope you’re feeling the love. Valentine’s day is the ultimate creativity infused holiday where we create a card, a gift or experience to express our love for those special people in our lives. I’ve been making a few, but more on that later, first I want to tell you about my recent trips.
On my drive to Berkeley to teach workshops for the East Bay Heritage Quilters, I took a detour to visit my pal Pokey at the ponderosa, and followed up with lunch at the Napa General store.
By the way Pokey’s breaking ground on the ‘Crafting a Life’ art barn tomorrow, Valentines day! What a perfect way to celebrate the love of creating!
While in Berkeley I taught both Tea & Ephemera and Tsukineko inks workshops. The tea workshop went by in a blur as it often does with so many different techniques covered.
At the end of the day when I packed up my stuff and headed to the car, I found Sue Fox continuing to work on her piece on the hood of her truck. She had her piece finished, an early Valentines gift for her boyfriend Joe, when I saw her two days later at the meeting. It’s filled with meaningful symbolism of their relationship and is such a heartfelt gift.
Everyone in the Tsukineko class did a great job. There’s a bit of a learning curve to mastering the inks, but by the end of the day everyone usually falls in love with using them.
These gals were my wonderful program coordinators. Ellen Wong and I knew each other from the Northern California Nevada SAQA group and Pamela and I found out we had a (non textile) friend in common within the first 5 minutes of meeting each other.
On my free day between workshops and lecture, we went to the Oakland Museum of CA seeing a fantastic exhibit called Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, followed with a late lunch in a boathouse restaurant called The Lake Chalet, I had no idea there was a lake in Oakland! Needless to say we really hit it off and had a great time.
Two weeks later I drove to Visalia, which is about half way to Los Angeles from Sacramento (200 miles), to do a Tea & Ephemera workshop and lecture with the Hanford quilt guild, which I think is probably the smallest guild I’ve ever been to, in a predominantly farming area. I was really surprised to find that there were about 5 or 6 women there that I had previously met at IQF Long Beach and Road to California, so it was nice to find familiar faces when I arrived.
While I was there, Northern California got hit with 2 big rain storms, so I left immediately after we finished class and managed to get home before the second wave hit Saturday night.
On Tuesday I drove to Richmond to go to Codex Book Fair and Symposium, to meet up with me and Pamela’s mutual friend, Rebecca Chamlee who came up from Los Angeles to display her handmade letterpress artist books. It was really fun in the evening when our worlds converged and my new friend Pamela, my old friend Rebecca and I all had dinner together.
Rebecca and I went to school together and studied graphic design at Otis Parsons. Upon graduating, Rebecca began teaching design at Otis, and soon after bought a letterpress, to delve into her love of printed text, imagery and typography. Now she only teaches book arts at Otis. Be sure to check out Rebecca’s blog to see her process making the different editions of her gorgeous books that she had on display.
I had no idea what to expect at Codex, but I was blown away by what I saw, hundreds of beautiful limited edition, fine art, hand made books of all kinds from around the world. This is the show that collectors go to purchase books, so this was the creme de la creme of book arts.
I tried not to look too much at the gorgeous papers and book binding materials for fear of wanting to buy way more than I should. I did buy 2 very fine Japanese carving tools for carving stamps though
and I couldn’t resist this letterpress print of a contemplative skeleton from a vintage plate. I think it goes quite nice on my mantel next to the old Masonic document of my dads.
The weather here has been gorgeous, I’m not missing living in Chicago right now! I spent the day sitting outside painting paper and painting canvas, with acrylics, textile paint and acrylic inks to cut up and make valentines.