Friday, April 25, 2014

Surgery and Creative Recovery

I had a little surgery this week.  A Proactive Laproscopic Hysterectomy.  Not really my First choice of activity after another successful Tax Season.  But quite productive, seemingly no cancer involved and no more scary readings on this or that, at least in that area. :-)

Since I usually go to an art retreat right after tax season, and this year I didn't have one to go to since two Art & Souls happened just Before my tax season deadline, I decided to set aside some recovery days (whether needed or not!....and seemingly not.  All went Wonderfully, no pain, no meds needed, just a few slower days) to work on some art projects!  A little At Home art retreat for Myself. ;-)

As usual after tax season, I have a hard time figure out What to do with myself since I'm not working continually on tax returns.  And after the surgery, I didn't know what recovery to expect.  So the first morning after, I parused my bookshelf of handmade journals and found this little mini paste paper book I had made last June in Oregon in a class from Albie Smith.  I had never bound it.  So.....First project!  I bound my little book.  The stitch was Meant to be coptic stitch, which I've done a Lot through the years.  Maybe a side effect of the surgery, but for the Life of me, I couldn't remember how to do the stitch.  I kept coming out on the wrong side of the signatures.  So.....this is my adaptation of the coptic stitch.  Not perfect, but it is a cute bound little book. :-)

Next Journal I picked up was a Recipe book started last October while visiting friends in Wisconsin.  We had our own small Wisconsin Art Retreat for the 3rd year.  This year we focused on technique background pages, which we could later bind into a book.  We had talked in previous years about sharing recipes so we all brought recipes to share and I want to make mine into a recipe book.  We did many, many different backgrounds: Glimmer mists with saran wrap, acrylic paint, leaf print backgrounds, embossed metal with alcohol ink backgrounds, we used Stencils, Thermofax Screens and Gelli plates, we painted yupo paper with alcohol inks.  I'm sure there are more that I have forgotten now.  I found all of the pages worked wonderfully together to make a very different type of book.  I have my pages all matched up, I found some small dividers which I used for different types of food & labelled them with one of my large collection of vintage Dymo labellers, and I started adding some of the recipes to the pages. I have 2 canvas boards for covers that I have not yet painted.  And I am stumped now as to How to bind it as it is 3 1/2 inches thick now and I don't want to remove any of the pages.  Possible I will use Large rings and just punch 3 holes.  This will be a journal I will add to through the yeas as we all get together and share more recipes.  Our next art camp is October, 2014! Here are just a few of the pages.

Those were my projects the day after surgery.  Yesterday was day 2.  I again had a hard time figuring out What to work on.  I remembered a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea for a journal.  I am Horrible at drawing & painting faces, and I would Love to be able to do that.  I started cutting out faces from magazines, etc, and attaching them to a page in a long ago journal I had made but never used.  This is the first page and my start.  Interestingly, the early drawing looks more like a man than the woman pictured.  And I've never tried to draw a man before.  I think I am going to Learn from this process!

I finished her and am not Unhappy with her.  At Least she doesn't look like Every Single Face I have Ever drawn!  I tried the eyes again and think the floating eyes are better than in the picture.  I have space to try more eyes & lips.  The next page however, she looks Similar to my Always face.  I am Seeing things in the face by doing this.  I can see my lips are similar to hers, but mine are more harsh.  Hers are softer.  And I think on only the 2nd attempt, I have pinpointed a Big problem I have.  The Nose!!!  My noses are too long!  I might need a page with just Noses & work work work on that!  It's a Fun project though.  I'm excited at the prospect of getting a little better at drawing faces!

Today is day 3 of recovery.  From the minute I got up & went home, I've been feeling Fine!  I had high expectations of an easy recovery, but honestly, this has Amazed even Me.  I'm a little sore.  That's it.  No pain, just a little discomfort and I'm a little tired.  Since I Never slow down, I'm having Fun Using this as a forced art and reading week!  Today, I'm working on "Articulated Dolls" ATC's for a monthly swap due next week.  And planning to do some free style sewing on some of my DJ book pages. :-)

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