reading sketchbook |eleanor.

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I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman about a month and a half back–I actually listened to it and the reader’s voices were incredible. The Scottish brogues really brought this story to life in ways I wouldn’t have experienced if I simply read the book.

I’m featuring this entry in my Reading Sketchbook because, for the first time in a good while, this was a read I just simply didn’t want to end.

What are you reading? What should I put on my To Be Read list?

More from my reading sketchbook here.

summer | read.

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This was me, literally all summer. I avoided a laptop for 8 weeks (minus prepping for one conference presentation) and dove headlong, all day, into books. My best friend and pooch, Jackie B. Lee, joined me in all those stories and relaxation.

As a result, the only knitting projects I got to this summer were three kind of matching, scrappy, striped sweaters for my nephews. I read so many great stories. You can see what I was reading at my reading sketchbook here.

Any recommendations for me to read this fall?

tracking journal | knitting + makes.

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I’ve been tracking the days I make something (a new recipe in the kitchen, a textile art, beaded jewelry) and the days I knit, so I can gain perspective on how much I actually do create in a given year.

It’s been a fruitful process because when I’m feeling like I haven’t been creative, I can go back to this book and see that I’ve been more creative than I realized. Maybe some day, I’ll be able to categorize what I make on those days, too.

I love how much impact this has–I can see I was making more than knitting in May, and that in June, I’ve picked up my needles again.

Do you track your makes?

sketchbook | reading journal.

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Here’s another entry in my Reading Sketchbook. I love that I’ve kept up with this little project of tracking my reads. Here’s what I record:

Page length, completion date, how long to complete, whether it is an owned book, a library book, a kindle book, an audio book, or something completed in the serial reader app, whether I loved it or hated it (often “liked”), whether it fulfills a reading challenge selection, was it a recommendation, and my thoughts/musings on the experience and story.

It has kept my reading grounded and moving forward. I love to look back and reads and recall certain details about the book and to remember when I finished it and how long it took.

Here’s, also, a peak inside my books completed shelf in my tracking journal. I’ve kind of become obsessed with tracking what I make, when I knit, when I read, how long I read for, and what books I’ve finished. I’m hoping, when I feel like I’m not finding creative space or down time, I can look back on this and realize when and where I was able to fit it in.

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What should I add to my to be read list?

See more of my tracking journal here. And my reading journal here. Oh, and of course, there’s a knitting journal, too.

read | challenge 2017.

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In 2017, I agreed to take on a Reading Challenge. I don’t normally participate in those kinds of things because I like to read what I want, when I want, but this one seemed interesting and reasonable and maybe a challenge is good for me.

The 2017 challenge prompted a read every two weeks or 24 books on the year in various categories, including a book translated from another language, one from childhood, one from school days, something more than 500 pages, a book that takes place somewhere you traveled that year…and on.

I started off slow–my first read was Tolstoy’s classic War and Peace, a 1300 page sweeping epic that actually took me well over 2 weeks to complete. And so, I got behind. I picked up steam in the summer, reading well more than a book every two weeks. But, still, it wasn’t enough to make up with starting a new job and picking a number of 500+ page novels.

I came really close. I missed completing the challenge by 5 books. And it prompted me to start a reading journal, in which I keep track of everything I read, when I read it, how long it took me, whether it was a library book, a kindle book, or a book I own, and some general musings on what I liked or didn’t like about it. I’m pleased it pushed me to really start keeping track of my reads in a unique way, and I’ll carry on.

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How do you keep track of the books you read? Do you at all? I never used to. And so, in this space, I’m going to also keep track of that process, too. Because this blog, while I hope I have a reader or two, has been a great long term companion to me, my makes, my likes, my pursuits.

See more (a sample) from my reading journal here. 

 

inspiration | notes.

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I have a lot of sketchbooks. Ones that are half filled, ones that are entirely filled, ones never touched. I start them, I stop them, sometimes, I finish them, whatever that means.

But, nothing is more special to me than the way I conceive of my music podcast, available at my other love, P+C. It’s a labor–and a form of art–to pick the list of potential tracks, to draw out what I think the artwork should look like, and to eliminate and create the final track list.

Occasionally, that book also turns into a sketchbook or a space to dabble–with new, small scale block prints, or quick little drawings.

What kinds of lists and sketches do you keep?

sketchbook | defend.

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I’ve been working on a First 100 Days sketchbook as a way to address my pent up anger and to try and put this time, and these feelings, into my artwork and express.

I recently made a #nodapl block print–an issue extremely close to me as a Native American. It should be an issue important to all Native Americans. This is my sketchbook reaction to recent news that the pipeline easement would be granted.

Resistance continues.

print | sketchbook

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This is one of my latest block prints that’s got me thinking and wanting to print it everywhere. It just needs fabric.

I tested it in my First 1oo Days sketchbook, which is a project I am working on to help me process and make art as part of my creative resistance. I call this one “Which way?”

What kinds of things are you doing? Making?

block printing | studio practice

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After my first go around with block printing back in November, I’ve been taking to it in the last few weeks to explore printing blocks on top of one another, and determining how to create pattern.

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I’m getting in a lot of studio practice, thanks in part to a little space set up for me in work by a brilliant artist friend and co worker of mine, Rebecca. As an extension of having this space, the students can see how we work, our process, and we can demo different techniques.

The first block I made featured the No DAPL slogan. If you don’t know about Dakota Access, know that its one of the most important issues facing Native Americans right now; our sacred land and water are threatened and you should get involved. I decided to make this block print because I could easily replicate it a million times to spread awareness.

This is our civil rights moment as indigenous peoples. I will use my craft and my art to spread the message.

pizzas.

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Getting back to my gouache paints this past weekend, I fooled around with lightly washed color backgrounds and black and white pepperoni pizzas. Silly painting, but fun to spread out on the dining room table and paint again.

favorites.

These are some of the things I’m obsessing over in my maker world, right now. From top left to right: local wool roving about to become thrums for some mittens like these ; mini sketchbooks in bright colors by clairefontaine ; cheeky rubber stamps for letters, stickers, and homemade wrapping papers ; paper thin stitch markers ; wax paper treat bags in geometric prints ; fat quarters for small sewing projects ; my new windsor and newton travel watercolor kit, gifted to me by my guy for Christmas; and tiny skeins of cotton in various colors for wrapping and odds and ends.

What supplies are you obsessing over? As if I need anymore drool worthy maker bits…