Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cottage Studio Time!

We have been at the cottage for the better part of two and a half weeks. It has rained at some point during every day we have been here, but we have also managed great periods of sunshine with spectacular sunsets.  The evenings and overnights have been quite cool for the most part- but it has been great sleeping weather! We are feeling rested and refreshed, bit-by- bit, from our time off grid and in the “back of the beyond,” as my husband is fond of saying. 

Fran├žois has been busy with chores around the cottage, including installing a new-to-us propane stove/oven in the cottage and a solar system which is providing electricity for various uses. We hope to add some DC lighting to the cottage and studio before our cottage time ends this year. I have been working in the studio some evenings by the light of an Aladdin Lamp, which doesn’t quite provide enough light for close work.

Long Stitch, soft leather covered journals
My studio here is full of activity each and every day. I am working on my new series of long stitch, soft leather covered journals. Many have leather tie-backs with interesting bits of beadwork or ornaments attached. I am also making leather stamped bookmarks to go with them.  These long stitch journals make the perfect, personalized travel or daily journal for the writer. Many are filled with Fabriano watercolor paper, perfect for the sketch artisan as they lay flat.
This past week when we have had visitors here, I set up the outdoor hand paper making studio and made pulp using recycled paper shreds. I now have a fine post drying that includes around 50 sheets of colored and birch bark papers.
Next week I plan to make 100% cotton rag papers as well as some Abacca papers, all of which will be used in brush calligraphy projects in the coming year. All of the dyes I use are hypoallergenic and biodegradable, which is ideal for the cottage studio-low impact on the environment. I have really enjoyed being able to set up the hand paper making studio here at the cottage.

On September 27 I will be offering a one-day Introduction to Hand Paper Making workshop in Barry’s Bay at the South of 60 Gallery. Check out their website for registration information and a complete description of the course. Participation is limited, so if you are interested, sign up as soon as possible. I will not be offering another hand paper making workshop in 2014.
View from cottage front window!

As I sit here this morning, watching the sun come up on the trees across the lake, the hummingbirds battling for a place at the feeder, and the red squirrels running up and down the trees next to the deck, I wonder at the beauty of the world.   I marvel at the solar technology that allows me to tap away at the computer keyboard. My heart soars like a hawk with the fresh crispness of the air coming through the screen window.

And I know that All will be well, and all will be well, with the peace and joy that God’s wisdom of creation provides us, all will be well.