It's almost February and I just finished the February coloring page in my pocket calendar (scroll to the bottom of the link for the uncolored version). Normally I would not be drawn to this sort of design - a bit reminiscent of the 60's flower power motifs. But instead, it has reminded me of an annual I bought last spring to add to my pots on the back deck, and I dipped into my memory banks for images of similar flowers I have enjoyed over the years. This is such a different design than January's in that there is no obvious repeat of various motifs, but instead, the same motif scattered and overlapped across the page. So instead of picking a repeat design and coloring each repeat before choosing the next design repeat, this one called for completing a flower in one color scheme before choosing the next and its color scheme in order to get a good balance across the page. I decided to stick with the orange, orange-red, and yellow pencils for the petals, with green, brown and red overlayed with brown for the centers. This one took more time than expected and again, gave more satisfaction and enjoyment than I expected. In the dead of winter, it is a harbinger of the splashes of color to come. A peek at March has me a tad overwhelmed again - it is a very in your face design with lots going on and not much repeated.
Also taking more time than expected is my cleaning and tidying project. I've let my documenting go for over a year, yet the things I put on my pages like fabric samples linger on my work space. I knew I had photos to print - I know, I know, in this digital world, who prints out photos? But it's hard for me to believe that after I'm gone someone will come upon my external hard drive backup where all my quilt photos are stored and "leaf" through it. Yet they might find one of my binders of documentation files and discover not only photos of my work but many details about it. At any rate, I'd lost track of what needed printing so started by getting out the current binder to see where I'd left off and going through the engagement calendar I use to track my progress on projects to see what I'd finished since then. Good grief - I discovered padfolios from May of 2015 was where I needed to start! So I made a list noting dates and then sat down at the computer to find the pictures to print (some get printed on 4 x 6 photo paper, others like the padfolios can be grouped on 8-1/2 x 11 photo paper). Of course, I ran out of ink in the middle of the project, and my order got delayed, but as of yesterday, everything is printed and waiting for me to pair it up with its details on a documentation sheet. I will feel so much better when this is caught up, and once done, a lot of the clutter on my workspace will have disappeared.
And during all this, I have been reading through some books I ran across at the library. It started as a search for information on fountain pens, believe it or not. I didn't find too much of interest in the "Organic Artist," not really looking to make my own charcoal sticks or writing implements from sticks or feathers, for instance, but it did have an interesting section on making paper from plants and adding sizing. I've wanted to try making paper by recycling my morning pages notebooks and recently stumbled across a great video explaining the process with simpler "tools" than I've seen before. I may be giving that a go fairly soon. I'm also feeling pulled closer to working with a book I salvaged with the thought of altering it. It's taken me a very long time to get comfortable with the idea of altering a book, getting beyond the feeling of defacing and destroying rather than saving and enhancing (I'm the daughter of a teacher, niece of a librarian), but I am finally there, and those two books on the left are doing their best to show me the way. Have only flipped quickly through the colored pencil collage book, but it looks to have good and inspiring information in it too. And you know how I love my colored pencils and keep trying to figure out how best to use them.
So fiber, textiles, yeah . . . you may not be seeing much of me in the coming month. Although I have to admit that the combination of snow piled up outside and the mercerized cotton bought near the end of 2016 are reminding me I meant to use up some old dyes on a different approach to snow dyeing than I've tried in the past. Maybe it's just the sewing machines that will be missing me...