Friday, July 12, 2019

Setting Up Cottage Studio!

We have been busy the past few weeks moving stuff over to our cottage in preparation for our Summer Holidays. I do not remember much of last year's Summer holidays, although I have seen the photos! This year my loving husband has been helping me to outfit my studio tables with heavy duty casters and shelving for materials storage.

Light Table is now proper height with great room to store supplies!

Work table is now moveable with all my paper making supplies stored beneath.
I have both my paper presses ready to go. We will be connecting the sink to the grey water system and running PEX plumbing to hook up the sink to our water system when we are there for summer holidays. Fran├žois already has the electrical system set up so that I can connect my little washer for making paper pulp inside the studio!

Here is a photo montage of how things are looking now!

Not everything is well sorted and put away, but I have my stone cutting desk set up and slate pieces are moved to the studio, ready to have designs applied and cut! It feels so wonderful to have the energy to think about making art again. I have lost almost a full two years to my illness and recovery. I am very thankful to be able to set up my Cottage Studio in advance of our arrival for Summer Holidays this year.  It means that I will not have to spend my first few days there setting up!

We still have one more trip to make over to take my typewriters that I need for making artists' books this summer as well as some paper and bookmaking tools, and books. Shifting creative space from the Ducks In A Row Press Studios here in Deep River to the Cottage Studio is always a bit of a chore, but especially more of one this year after my illness. After the Breast Cancer surgery, chemo and radiation, and the Auto Immune Encephalitis  (See movie, Brain on Fire to get an idea of what I have been through!) has affected my memory and the speed at which I can accomplish things.

Thankfully, we had help from our good friend Joshua Mayo who came and carried tubs of stuff up from the Ducks studio in our basement to the garage. My loving husband helped to load it all in the trailer and truck. We have one more trip this week and then all should be done! Normally I do all this loading and taking over to the cottage on my own, but I am not strong enough to make the trip over and back alone, or to unload everything myself this year.

I wanted to mention Helen Hiebert's website for you to visit. She is an amazing papermaker as well as a producer of exceptional video tutorials for the aspiring papermaker. She also offers online workshops and has wonderful books and original art for sale on her website. I was very impressed recently with her tutorial on making very thin sheets of paper and couching them onto 100% cotton fabric pieces for drying. The cotton provides an easy release of the thin paper which is not possible from pellon. Helen also has a marvellous blog, THE SUNDAY PAPER which is full of interesting news and links. Check it out!

The Museum of Printing is having the second QWERTY FESTIVAL on July 20!!! I was so happy to have helped a bit to get this going two years ago before my illness. Check out their website,, for more information. And remember, The Museum of Printing in Haverhill, MA is totally dependent on volunteers for operation, programs, and all of the events that they offer to the public. Check out their website Membership page and consider becoming a member this year to help support this extraordinary group of people who keep the history of printing alive!!!

It feels so wonderful to be active in my creative process again, getting ready for time in the Cottage Studio. I am not completely recovered, but I can feel that I am well on the way. I am excited about cutting slate, making calligraphy broadsides, and making prints and artists' books again!! I am so very thankful for all my book arts and calligraphy friends who have kept in touch with me through social media and video chats over this past year. My immune system is still compromised, so being in crowds of people (like church) is not recommended. I am still not able to drive to Ottawa for meetings, but hope to be healed enough by the fall to do so.

As I reflect during my morning prayers, I am so thankful to be alive and be healing. It has been a very long ordeal, to be sure, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is very bright and inviting! I feel blessed by God to have the creative verve returning to my life in such a positive and inviting way. I know in my heart that all will be well, and all will be well with the grace of God in her infinite wisdom, all will be well.