As always, special thanks to Kathreen Ricketson at WhipUp.net for her support and promotion of fellow crafters and artists. Today, she is running listen + watch, a little piece that I wrote about my own creative process.
Each Saturday morning, I’ve been going to the Sauk-Prairie Historical Society and working with fellow archivists to scan and analyze local glass negatives from the early 20th century.
I feel like the person in the movies who sits in a dimly-lit library at night, only it’s morning, paging through thick volumes of material and looking for that obscure clue. I’m Lisbeth Salandar tap-tapping into online databases. Last week, I signed an email “Sherlock Holmes”. Next time, maybe, Encyclopedia Brown or Inspector Clouseau.
I was sharing with my daughter some of the subject matter. In the very first image, there was a man crouching in the bushes with a child while his wife posed in the foreground with a bicycle. Yesterday, in what looks like a graduating class of six young women, way over on the edge, there is a man peeking from behind the skirt of a girl. Silas joked that this must have been the photo meme of that generation, the 1910’s version of planking. Glass negative bombing, if you will.
When I get home in the early afternoon, I sit down with a stack of books at my desk and my favorite online databases open on the computer, and I take out the notes from that day’s scans. I generally find a few hits and I get sidetracked by a lot of misses. By Sunday, my desk is covered in papers, they are my tracks in the snow. Arrows. Lists of names and places. Initials instead of whatever RMV means.
Next month, I hope to share the project on PortalWisconsin’s blog, where I am a new contributor. Jody Kapp wrote a nice introduction to the glass slide project HERE.
[The daguerreotype above was found behind another photo when I bought a vintage frame several years ago. More here.]
Spring has been buzzing in at a dizzying pace. Suddenly, almost everything is coming up or coming out. I made peace with summer last year, but I really didn’t think that it would attack the last few weeks of winter. Basically, it has been hot all over so I won’t lay out the record-breaking way that things are specifically here, except this:
In recorded history, Wisconsin has never had an April without frost. Heck, the average low temperature is below 32 degrees this time of year. That said, the apple trees are budding. If it freezes, it’s going to significantly impact this year’s apple harvest and, even more sadly, the apple farmers.
The green and quickly-becoming-lush yard makes it tempting to get an early start on planting, but I am holding myself back and remembering my priorities, like spring cleaning and garden planning and seed starting and yard tidying. We did a lot of the latter on Friday, when my husband was off of work. Things that were safe to move, like ferns and ugly bushes, did a little switch-a-roo to make a twiggy hangout by the bird feeders on the north side. Some trellises have been pulled and will be relocated to allow for crop rotation.
Some of my spring activities include starting these two groups on Flickr…
- Crafting in Community — I got a bee in my bonnet to start a community crafting photo group on Flickr. Indeed, I am an introvert by nature. Yet, in a classroom environment or with the company of a good friend, I feel something blossoming while learning and teaching and just working together.
- Craft Wisconsin — After that, I felt I had another row to hoe, so I looked for some kind of Flickr group about crafting in Wisconsin. If it’s there, I didn’t find it. I’m not sure about how to find people to invite to these groups, so I guess that I’ll start by inviting the few that I know and hope that others discover (and are interested in!) these groups.
I’m a happy girl, dabbling a little in everything lately and finding such a nice balance. There is a lot of rest in that mix too, but I’m learning that as long as I do something enjoyable during my downtime and keep from making any additional messes, I come out of it just fine on the other side.
During my quiet moments this week, I’ll be inching toward getting my grandma’s sewing machine CONQUERED. It’s a Japanese Fleetwood and it is called a “Light Weight De Luxe”, but weighs in at 40-ish pounds. It is probably from the late 50s or early 60s. I am fortunate to have the original owner’s manual. However, the Fleetwood company itself long ago disintegrated and there is little information available on these machines otherwise, save for the models that used a Singer patent in the 40s. It is my understanding that the Fleetwoods were generally superior to those Singers, for reasons which are unknown to me. That said, I don’t know that this machine is a Singer patent.
It deserves a photo shoot of its own.
Some things going on or about to happen: putting in a few mini hoop houses, making a good garden draft, starting seeds in my studio under a temporary light set-up, learning to scan glass negatives at the local historical society, more weaving, obsessing over fabrics, and reorganizing all of my craft supplies in the furthest room from my studio because it just has to be that way for now (yet still glad to reorganize it all).
I started a class yesterday. I’m trying to take lots of photos so that I can share the whole story when I am done, but I get so caught up in working (playing?) that I forget more often than not. I guess that I’ll just have to weave another basket or two. Oh, boo hoo, me!
I am a bit buried in unfinished projects, mentally-drafted essays, garden lists, boxes of goods for charity, overflowing kitchen counters, and piles of laundry. This is why I post peaceful photos in my journal. *deep breath* I just noticed that half of the stuff is mental and the other half physical. Interesting.
Okay, right, so I guess I should get busy.
On Thursday, I went on a little tour with my daughter, visiting a few state parks and the rural neighborhood where I grew up. The house that my family lived in is on the market again. As a child, there was an attached 175 acres. Now, the house sits on a 0.92-acre plot. How sad.
Still, I tromped about at the creek and found that I’m still creeped out by the little building that sits near the bridge.
- Hawaiian Flowers — I’m a little taken with this crochet pattern. I have not tried it yet, but I would definitely like to in the future. So much good stuff to crochet, but only so much time… and moola to buy yarn.
- Ojo de dios — Translated as “God’s Eye”, I find this simple yet lovely wall hanging to be perfect. For my space, I can’t hang a lot on the walls or it looks cluttered, and not in the good cluttered way, but in the “Is your house on drugs or just white trash?” way. So, when I get a bit more renovation work done, I may revisit this idea and make one for myself. (Edited to add: I am taking an antler basket weaving class next month, and I just realized that this is probably the basic weave for that ribbed style. Win, win.)
- Lasagna Bolognese — I don’t know why I do this to myself… create these linkage posts when I’m hungry. So, I’m not talking about this recipe and how although I’m not a big lasagna fan, I’ve been thinking about this version for nearly a week.
- A Whiter Shade of Pale — I don’t have anything to say because this palette leaves me speechless.
- What Size Am I? — I haven’t tested out the interactive formula by shopping from any of the suggested stores (for my measurements), but this is still fun, regardless of whether it lends to my clothes shopping experience. (It probably won’t.) The calculator is HERE.
I don’t think that I have written in my hardcover journal in almost a month. I certainly haven’t been working out my thoughts on home, food, craft, or life here. That said, mentally, I’ve been journaling harder than ever. Or, I guess that would be more accurately stated as planning, working out the details, making mental notes. Also, buying new markers for garden plotting because … just because.
I am in the process of getting one of my grandmums into a senior nursing facility. She is there now, but a quarantine due to virus/flu has kept the place on lock down and I’ve not seen her since she left home, which has been more than two weeks. I stopped by her place today and started to pull things together.
I feel like a lot of this leaves me with few words these days, at least for now. Oh, how typically February!
Here are the things that I don’t want to forget about right now…
- Paper Dolls — Breaking Bad. Arrested Development. Parks and Rec. There’s more.
- Egg in Avocado — I love eggs and I love avocados, but I’m a little scared of cooking avocados. I don’t know why. Maybe I am afraid that the flesh will be mushy. Still, I’m intrigued.
- Top 10 Maggie Moments — This little video is helping me get through until season three of Downton Abbey. In September. Oh, and last week’s SNL bit, “Spike TV Downton Abbey”, it was so funny. I don’t yet have a link.
- Random Tutorial Generator — This is kind of a fun way to come upon tutorials. It feels a bit like Roulette, but with less losing!