Spring in the backyard

Spring in the backyard

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Postcard Poets

I have joined a long list of poets - 424 - who are writing a poem a day on the back of a postcard and sending it off to a new person each day for 31 days. (That means I should also get 31 poems on postcards!) Each day's poem is supposed to be written that day and we are to write the first original draft on the back of the postcard and mail it out right away. It is an exercise in being fresh and fast — no do-overs! I am excited to write my 31 postcards for August.

If you are reading this and want to get a postcard poem - send me your name and snail mail address to wherever you live in the world, and I will send you one from me! Send it to the gmail account attached to this blog or find me on Facebook (Catherine Alice) and send me a personal message. You will put me over the 31 mark - but I will still send it during August, doubling up on an extra inspirational day.

Thanks! I need the nudge. Later I will post some of the postcards poems here.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Taking handfuls of plant material, wrapping it in paper, and submerging it into a dye pot is not unlike taking digital images and importing them into software meant for audio files and then exporting them out as image files once again.
As with paper transformed by dyes, the image is transformed by audio effects.
The way metals and plants will react and mark the paper is like the way digital image files are transformed by echos, decay, noise removal and equalization.
Until you unwrap the paper you don't know what you've got. Until you export the image file and open it, you don't what you've got.

Learning this process has been fun. It's been out there for a while, but as with all things digital, I am behind the cultural curve.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lessons in Dyeing

Thank you Velma for telling me about the bedstraw–the red lines are exquisite. I owe you!

It seems ironic that when my mother died in December I suddenly was ready to bulldoze forward to experiment with dyeing paper–nearly 3 years since Velma taught me what to do! It's just two words that sound the same, but a funny coincidence none the less.

I am finding the contact plant dyeing process extremely rewarding. It is one more expression of lessons learned from the plant world. My life long passion for plants is largely due to my grandmother Alice - my mother's mother. When my grandmother died, through a last act of my grandmother, my slight interest in plants was suddenly transformed into something meaningful and vitally important. 

I don't mean to imply that now plant dyes are connected to my mother–just interesting timing with the words dying and dyeing. If anything, my connection to plants feels much more directly experiential and not sentimentalized. Some years back, when I wasn't paying attention, a great transformation happened. I no longer needed the plants to keep me close to my grandmother. Rather, I can be close to the plants for the the simple appreciation of the plants. And I can feel my grandmother without the plants to help me.

And when it come to people, I see these papers and think of Mary, Velma, and many other friends. I especially think of, and give thanks to, my sweetie Billy who works along side me in the creative process.