Natural layers

Birch bark, ginko leaf with painted details on stenciled background

I had saved the birchbark and ginko leaf years ago, tucking them aside until I had a way to use them. They had drifted to the bottom of a pile only to be excavated last week. And then to be incorporated into card 25 this week! The saving of scraps and ephemera can result in way too many bits and pieces, yet can also provide a goldmine of items when you least expect it. In the 100 day project I am trying to winnow my scrap stash and put the pieces to use. It is fun to dive in and see what surfaces as I sift through the boxes, and forces me to work with what I have. 75 more artist trading cards to go.

Into November

Autumn colored mixed media with ‘create what you seek’ and stencil of plant

Now that the corner has been turned and November is here the days seem to slip away. The shortened hours heighten that feeling. The sun plays tricks, shining brightly and the quickly setting when we blink. It is an adjustment every year to get used to this. I spent some time exploring fall themes this weekend, using leaves to make prints and silhouettes on different surfaces. A bit of experimenting to see the results and have some fun. The leaves held up to the job, but had a one day usability. Luckily my yard has more and many have yet to be hit with a frost. I am hoping to gather more this coming weekend to press and use over the winter. That way I can keep a bit of autumn with me.

Al fresco

Garden

The evenings if dining outside are quickly slipping away. After many walks by this garden it appears they did have a dinner party or al fresco meal of some sort. I can almost hear the conversation and laughter, feel the relaxed enjoyment of those who gathered around the table. Perhaps much of the meal came from the very garden they were seated in.

I am often given to flights of fancy like that, creating a story where one seems needed. It allows me to make use of all I notice going on in the world around me. They rarely make it to paper, being just quick snippets vs. developed stories. It is just an exercise in seeing and stringing words to memorialize a scene.

The End of Augusting

Unfiltered sunset

Here it is the tail end of August, the final few weeks of summer lie ahead. It catches me by surprise every year how quickly summer slips away. The first school bus rolls down the street and wham it is September. The chorus of crickets at night reach their crescendo and start to taper off. The woods take on that different smell that foretells the approach of fall.

There is a wistfulness that comes with this change of seasons that seems specific. Perhaps that is why fall explodes in so much glorious color, to soothe us over the loss of summer.

Down the line

Smoke haze far down railroad line

It has been another smoky stretch here, not because of wildfires nearby, but because of those far to the west. The near constant rain this month has meant most days the smoky haze isn’t visible. When the rains have ceased it becomes all too apparent how much is being carried on the winds. The sunrises and sunsets have had that ominous neon glow that bathes everting in an odd light. There is the faint smell of smoke in the air and the air quality index shows the danger that is drifting in. What are we to do? What can we do to undo the damage that has occurred over decades? And can we pick up the pace enough to repair the broken areas?

Eye caught

Leaf shadows against window

The morning sun highlighted the rose bush leaves giving it a stained glass appearance that caught me eye. I am not usually down by the laundry at that time of day, and have missed out on seeing this view evolve. How many things do we miss or see simply by the chance of time and location. Our minds distracted, or focused on other things as we scurry to and fro in our lives.

Field of phlox in the morning

In the same way I happened to glance up a street on my commute and see a swath of purple and green. The next day I gave myself extra time to take a quick detour so I could pull over and take a look. I have driven by this side street for 6 1/2 years and had never looked up it. What a delightful foray before starting work, plus just around the bend abutting this field is the sweetest little cottage, complete with front porch. It felt perfect, like a design magazine spread.

I have been trying to be more alert to these moments again, and drink them in when they present themselves. To make that detour down a side street, to take that minute or two and really see what has caught my eye, and appreciate the fleeting nature of them.