zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
The subject line comes from Dorothy L. Sayers's translation of a Dante canzone/sestina that I used as the text of my first major bookbinding project, for a class I took twenty years ago at Elaine Borruso's house in Michigan:

12 slim

12 slim

12 slim

That class was also where I first picked up on the buzz about Shereen LaPlantz's Cover to Cover -- which, as the buyer of craft books for Borders's 100+ stores, I promptly placed large orders for. The publisher was unprepared for that. Given how most craft titles sold only a handful of copies each year at best, and given how many people I personally knew were eager to get their hands on a copy, I grew so exasperated at the "indefinitely out of stock" notices that I typed "PUBLISHER IS AN IDIOT" in the memo line of the order screen, which I understood to be visible only to Borders corporate staff.

Some months later, the publisher reps took me out to dinner and cheerfully informed me that a copy of that purchase order -- WITH my note on it -- was now framed and hanging on one of their office walls. The senior children's section buyer, another guest at the dinner, squawked, "What? You all can see that line?" The publisher liaison later said she'd never seen my face so red. The reps then presented me with an autographed copy of the book:

Shereen LaPlantz autograph

I've bought many Lark books in the years since, what with Aunt Louise and Paula and other people dear to me being dedicated knitters and beaders and the like.

Shereen died in 2003, but her work remains visible at the LaPlantz Studios website, where her husband continues to create and teach and share ideas and examples.

[This entry prompted by #100untimedbooks - items 6 (craft) and 12 (slim).]
zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)
I just received two of my contributor's copies for Overplay/Underdone, and it is as cool as it looked in the preview photos. Spending more time with it will have to wait for some Friday night in the future, but there is so much to look at -- and take out of pockets, and unfold, and thread through holes...

...including Elliott batTzedek's "The Rebbe's Synecdoche," which was written "for Rebecca, my most favorite ever utterly resistant to being a rebbe rebbe" and features a mass of colorful threads. They are knotted to a list of concepts in a column (beginning with "sleep," "Shabbat," and "dark chocolate"; the reader is instructed to use the threads to "draw lines between the concepts and their corresponding ideals." Nifty!

a page from Overplay/Underdone


Jun. 14th, 2013 10:03 am
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
Two days ago, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I had copyediting and lettering targets I'd planned to meet, but I also had a headache, and I haven't gotten past the "eek!" part of the current calligraphy thing, so scrubbing the tub and sanitizing pots and making a new batch of basil toner seemed way, way easier than putting pencil to paper.

Yesterday, I started copyediting after breakfast and worked flat through lunchtime (which almost never happens, because I loooooooove food and get very, very cranky when I'm running on fumes) and didn't stop until 2:45 pm, when I yelped, "Eek!" and rushed out the door to meet my hiking partner. (There are times when I curse pre-scheduled exercise because it disrupts my grooves, but we saw two fawns at the lake, and the ridge that always kicks my ass does seem to be getting slightly easier to climb.)

I worry about losing touch with people. I worry about people dying before I make time to bake the pie and find my crocheting to take over for a long catch-up chat. I worry about not getting around to planting the seeds I bought this year, or the ones I've put in the "plant later" tray because it's already too hot. I worry about the energy evaporating from the sketches of poems I don't have time to amplify or revise right now. I worry that when I finally throw out the bags of tomato seeds my mother tried to preserve -- I tested a few this spring, and nothing came up -- I'll wish I had them on hand a week later when the poem about Rorschach seed patterns on scraps of Bounty finally gels (I could take pictures -- I will take pictures -- but they aren't going to retain the layers or up-closeness of the actual thing. I could keep just one. I could work on the dang poem after all if I'm gonna think aloud about it this much).

I fret about how everything, but everything, expands into a million marigold petals when I touch it. I want to scrape at the scale on my bathroom faucet with a toothpick, and to paint my living room myself, and to redo every inch of my yard. I plan to find the pillow for the cover that's been made out of my wedding dress, and the upholsterer I'd hoped to ask about recovering my dining room chairs has gone out of business. I resent work for taking time away from studying. I am breathless whenever I spend an hour studying, awed at how much more there will always be to learn. I get deep into a manuscript and it reminds me of how much I actually already know, just from the years I've put in and how they've developed that editorial "sixth sense" that tells me when a name is probably misspelled or that something on page 38 isn't in sync with what the author says on page 83, as well as being hyper-conscious of all the little cues and nuances that separate a professionally designed book from a document assembled by an amateur. (Nothing against amateur efforts, mind--as long as the professionals are getting their due.) I miss learning new music, but not enough to rejoin my old ensembles or start the trio I sometimes dream about pulling together.

I am delighted by Cathy Yardley's review of my book. I'm singing along with madrigals in the car to de-rust my voice (I'm leading hymns at the early service this Sunday). I found a Spanish-language copy of Isabel Allende's Zorro at a used bookstore, and gave it to a GA delegate in my congregation to take to Louisville for the library to be established there. I saw that the bookstore had copies of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in both the Reading List and Agriculture sections, and that some of the copies in the Ag section were slightly cheaper, which was intel my hiking partner (and mom of a schoolkid) found useful when she went shopping there a few days later. My E player in fantasy tennis (the delightfully sassy Donna Vekic) has made a surprising run to the semifinals in Birmingham (UK), and I'm still alive in Survival at the Shore (horseracing predictions) -- ranked 1118th, true (my second-best day got negated by a cyberglitch, woe), but I haven't let myself dive deep into researching the ponies, so I'm fine with merely swimming along. Go Chocolate Drops! Go Zealous on the Run! Go Toute Allure! I'm amused by this interview of Charleston chef Robert Stehling, happy to hear reports that Husk Nashville is living up to the hype, and, in the bath, reading a 1996 Baedeker guide to Canada that used to live on the shelves of the Charlotte public library.

(And now it's been more than fifteen minutes since I applied sunscreen, and I've been asked to deliver a shirt and a gallon of water to my favorite motorcycle repair shop. Time to move from inventory to service! :-) )
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
One of the things I learned last month is that feathers shed a lot. The debris made me think of grade school art classes:

feathers and bits

I've been dipping into The Best American Poetry 2011 a couple of times a week the past couple of weeks. The poem that has resonated the most with me so far is Mary Ruefle's "Provenance," which begins, "In the fifth grade / I made a horse of papier-mâché / and painted it white / and named it Aurora..." (That part I don't relate to so much, but I was fully hooked with "I did not want to give her anything," and the last three lines -- yes, yes, and yes.)

Ruefle's own website looks like a lot of fun -- among other things, it features some of her "erasure books," in which she alters other people's volumes with deletions and additions.


zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

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