Category Archives: Literature

Naked Poetry Book

Yet another swap on swap-bot, but this time within a group. It was recommended I’d encounter far fewer flakers within the group swaps, so I’m trying it out. I was afraid I was going to be moving soon, so I avoided swaps, but this one I couldn’t resist! The idea was to put at least four poems in a booklet, decorate the cover, and send it through the mail with no envelope– thus the “naked” part. As usual, I went overboard.

I decided to make the booklet by hand (trying coptic binding for the first time) and using the techniques from Samantha Kira’s Wish Journal workshop to make the pages. THEN I decided to glue the poems in line by line. AND fill the booklet. The last 24 hours before mailing had a whole lot more stress than sleep, as you might imagine. The cover was a bit dull, but I feel the inside makes up for it. It’s far from perfect — crooked lines and loose binding, glue smudges and fonts I forgot to change after copying and pasting into a document for printing– but I really love the poetry I chose, including  poems by Pablo Neruda, Nikki Giovanni, Mark Jarman, Eve Merriam, and others. Click the thumbnails if you’d like to read them.


ATC: Secret Garden

Ugh! My art fought back! Yet another exercise in failure, haha. I am coming to realize that my art (or at least my muse) is most definitely not docile. It fights tooth and nail, and it has some pretty sharp teeth. But in the end, I beat it into submission. Or at least– into some sort of compromise.

When I saw the Secret Garden challenge on the Thank God It’s Friday website, I knew I had to enter. I’d just finished reading the original book by Francis Hodges Burnett for the first time, and it is easily one of my favorites now. Read it, if you never have.  (It can be found online at the Literature Network). It is soooo good. I spent a few days thinking on what I should do (a bunch of greenery seemed too easy, and not very meaningful.) Late last night, as I was drifting to sleep, the idea began to form and solidify. Instead of the flourishing happy garden of the middle and end of the book, I would depict the garden as it was when Mary first found it– wild and full of old, seemingly dead plants, but deep in the rich earth, full of potential and the magic her imagination would bring about.

Tonight, I went back, checked the specifications to be sure there weren’t any size requirements and– egads! it requires stamps! Ironically, this was one of my few artistic ideas that didn’t use stamps. I tried to make them fit, but it was turning out terrible. Most of the original stamping has been washed out, but the blurry colors in the background used to be stamped (and incedentally, used to be other colors, in some cases. That pink there was originally a color called “tea dye.”) I decided to just go ahead with my original plan, justifying it with the fact that the stamps are there, even if almost entirely washed out. However, in the end, I used the word stamp, and two other stamps in the final outcome, so there! It qualifies! I’m not 100% happy with it, but I’m willing to call truce.

Interestingly, the back might possibly look better than the front. Sadly, as bad as this is in person, it scanned 10 times worse, in part because gold thread doesn’t look gold on a scanner.

atc-secret-garden

“There’s lots o’ dead wood as ought to be cut out,” he said. “An’ there’s a lot o’ old wood, but it made some new last year. This here’s a new bit,” and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray. Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.

“That one?” she said. “Is that one quite alive quite?”

Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.

“It’s as wick as you or me,” he said;

—-The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Read The Secret Garden online.

See my other ATCs.


Moo- Robin King’s Children

The Eggs challenge on Make a Moo or Two made me remember an ATC I wanted to make a year ago for a Grimm’s fairy tale challenge, but didn’t get to do. Thus, I thought I’d try my first Moo. I looked up the dimensions, cut it out, and went “Wow. This is tiny.” I was dubious that I could actually create interesting artwork that tiny. Collage wouldn’t work at this size for the composition I had in mind, so I decided to give my markers another shot. The one on the left fits the Egg challenge, and the one on the right is close to what I wanted to do for the Grimm’s challenge way back. I’m fairly happy. Only one thing. I looked up the story again, and they are actually supposed to be wrens. Oops. This is his cousin, the Robin King, and his children.

moo-robin-king-eggs moo-robin-king-chicks

Read the Grimm’s story that inspired these, titled “The Willow-Wren and the Bear.”