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Showing posts from July, 2015

Fiber Friday

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At the fairs, I inform incoming guests that everything is handwoven with the exception of the books. That has changed ... slightly. For those who don't know, I also bind blank journals both for myself and to sell at fairs or through the Etsy site. I enjoy experimenting with bookbinding because I see it as an art not unlike weaving - simple with lots of potential.

Case in point, this journal. I had some extra scrap fabric laying around which was too small for a bag, too big for a dishcloth, and to short for a scarf. In addition, I had a text block I hadn't decided how to cover yet. Covering the text blocks was an easier choice what with the fabric and scrapbook paper I have.

The two seemed to be a perfect fit - the cloth was just long enough to cover the book, with a little bit extra, and the text block needed to be covered. Voila!

Putting flaps on my journals is not one thing I enjoy doing mainly because it usually involves a gluey mess. This time, however, it involved less me…

Wednesday Wake-up

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Marathons and Books

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I am not a runner. I started out to try running last year, and I did well then I injured myself (twisted my knee and ankle) which had me off my feet for almost a month, but even at that point, I understood the purpose of pacing myself.

Pacing in a book is a good thing because it gives the reader a chance to catch a breath after a heady scene. It also can lull a reader into a sense of safety to make the action scenes even more dangerous.

As a writer, pacing on the writing process is also a good thing. It enables us to plot out how much we need to do, what research is required, and even how long we can push ourselves.

Currently, I'm working on two books - one is my designated chapter-a-day books which keep me solidly on pace. It's slow-going for a variety of reasons, but every morning, I wake up, prepare my coffee and write. The scheduled time forces me to focus on the book.

On the other hand, I'm writing another book which also has a minimum daily word count, but in this ca…

Fiber Friday

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One of the fun elements of travel, whether near or far, is translating what you see and learn back into your everyday life. Many people travel to gain new understanding of culture or see exotic places. What might be exotic for one person is mundane for another.

To this day, even after living over twenty years in Western New York, the bright autumn colors still impress me. Where I grew up, we had a short version of fall, and even then the colors were fairly muted. Trying to capture the feeling of a crisp autumn day under a canopy of red, gold and bright blue is fun, but hard to explain to all those who have grown up with nothing to compare it too.

The same is true with my recent trip to France - the colors, sights and sounds still dance around in my head, and I'm trying to translate everything I remember into items which express what I felt.

For the most part, weaving is the art form I gravitate to when trying to capture images. I use writing as a means to explore the depth of huma…

Wednesday Wake-up

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Organized Chaos

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Last week, I mentioned the fact my new book had many twists and turns. Coming up with a way to organize those twists and turns proved both easy enough and complicated. The easy part was the system - colored paper with short descriptions to indicate the action. For example, Tree enters school would go on one color, while another character had another color. With washi tape, I'm able to shift the items around and keep them in the journal.

The journal currently looks about as good as this shot of the Eiffel Tower - a bit messy and confusing. The shorthand notes give me the general rhythm of the series, but not the exact path of the series - something I like because I typically allow the story to write itself, or at least, allowing for the possibility of a detour.

The best part of the process (which hasn't finished) is the fact I'm able to keep track of the many parts of the story. Where one character is in danger, another character's story line provides the answer. I hadn…

Fiber Friday

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Today is preparation day for the Saturday Artisan Market tomorrow at Canalside in Buffalo, NY.
Added to preparation, I'm working on developing out the ideas for one book which features a fashion designer who focuses on handwoven fashion. Fun times.

Wednesday Wake-up

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Long term Projects

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One of the things that astounded me while in Europe (both Ireland in 2007, and recently in France) was the plethora of churches. These beautiful stone churches took decades to build, and remain today with some bumps and bruises, but otherwise intact.

I live in a world where speed is the basis of life. My world doesn't always appreciate the time and energy it takes to make something by hand, though that is changing. It's interesting how in times of great upheaval humanity always looks back to simpler times and crafts,

Writing, however, is much like building a church. It takes time and energy, sometimes writers write by the seat of their pants whereas other times they form an outline. I'm in the process now of developing out a series. Normally, I have an idea where my end is, but I rarely mark out the points along the road, allowing myself to discover what is in the story.

In the current series development, that proves to be problematic since I have four stories overlapping…

Fiber Friday

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Been a busy last couple days for weaving, primarily because I've been trying new items. Unfortunately for other items, my second sewing machine broke. For those who are wondering about second sewing machine, I inherited sewing machines from both grandmothers.

The photo is an image from my latest item - bamboo hemp mixture. It is pleasant to weave with, soft even on the cone, but the largest surprise was the amount of shrinkage after the first wash. I lost nearly three inches in the width and height. It was surprising because I rarely lose that much with cotton.

Still, I love the sheen of the washed fabric which you can see slightly in the above photo. The drape of the fabric is smooth and soft, a perfect weight for a summer dress, which circles around to the broken sewing machine. Unfortunately, the machine stopped working while I was sewing the fabric.

Creating fabric and sewing it into garments comes with a variety of surprises, both good and bad. Like writing, what I first im…

Wednesday Wake-up

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Summer's Here

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It's warmed up in Western New York. Honestly, I've felt like it was April, not June the past week or so, but thankfully, it finally feels like summer.

One of the more interesting parts of writing is developing the weather for the story. As a writer of historical fiction, I can often find information on weather conditions from certain time periods, especially from the late 19th Century onward since most newspapers had a weather forecast. For other times, it often helps to read journal entries because if the weather is strange, people write about it. Big stories such as blizzards or heat waves normally make an appearance in journals and news accounts. It's the unusual rather than the normal which people remember.

When creating weather patterns for my fantasy series, I tend to begin with a continent and work my way down from there. Added to this, since many of my worlds are loosely based on areas around Earth, I'm able to utilize their weather patterns.

The weather influe…

Wednesday Wake-up

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