I promised to blog about something in particular, didn't I? Well, I've forgotten what it was, and I'm not going to go check right now! So I bring you this other post instead.
(Thanks to all the suggestions for my reading list, by the way. I have a lot of work to do now. Apparently this is a good thing.)
Anyway, now that the manuscript is back at the publisher's, and I'm only teaching 3 classes, and the semester isn't far enough along for me to be overwhelmed, I find myself with slightly more free time than I'm accustomed to having. I also find myself in need of something other than academic work to do--I have forbidden myself from starting on my conference papers or going back to l'article until February. On Saturday, therefore, I gave myself an Art Day. Actually, it was more like an Art Five Hours, since I ran out of steam at around 2:30, but it was truly refreshing and generally awesome.
Some context: I was an Art Girl back in high school; my senior year I even got to take two back-to-back studio classes. I was also, unsurprisingly, the Literature Girl: I ran the lit mag and sort of started up an alternative underground counter-lit mag (which we couldn't afford to print--why I was writing an anonymous counter-mag to the mag that I ran is unclear to me now; I'd have to revisit my diaries). And my two interests came together quite splendidly when, sometime in my sophomore year of HS, I discovered book arts. I gave up papermaking when I was 17 (too messy and I sucked at it), but bookbinding has remained my art form of choice ever since, with collage a strong competitor.
Since moving to Field a year and a half ago, however, I had completed zero (0) art projects. Last year my art supplies were all impounded in the storage unit back in MomTown, and this year? No excuse, really. So on Saturday I decided to warm up with a couple of collages:
[CAVEAT: I do not pretend to be a visual artist at all; I'm not even sure that I like these. They're just here because, well, this is a blog, after all, and what would a blog be without pointless self-indulgence? ]
The second one is a reflection on the soil quality of Field State.
Here's what I'm really happy with, though. I wanted to make a book, but I didn't want to take all day--so, using a couple of ideas from an instructional book, some interesting scrap paper, and a gorgeous bit of leather from a journal I made a few years ago, I invented and produced the following (it's a little more than 3" square):
The leather wraps around and closes with a pendant from a necklace that I wore a lot and loved in--coincidentally--high school.
The binding, which hasn't reproduced very well, is a coptic stitch.
Making stuff is good for me: I get totally absorbed in it in a way that nothing else (except maybe correcting formatting issues in a massive document) absorbs me (needless to say, the formatting absorption is less pleasant), and, because I am not a visual artist, the pressure that accompanies any form of writing--including creative writing--is lacking. It was, therefore, a nice day. I should do this kind of thing more often.
For your enjoyment, I also include a picture of the sweater that I knitted this fall (pattern available for purchase here):
*3 extra credit points to everyone who gets the allusion in the title. Hint: It's a Middle English text that you may have studiously avoided throughout grad school and beyond.