Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

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Pattern, Color, Printing…

Pattern          Color          Printing

While in Provence, we went to the factory where Les Olivades fabrics are printed. These are the iconic “Pierre Deux” fabrics characteristic of Provence. I was excited to see the silk-screen process. (You may remember that when I entered my first Duomo in Italy I decided my goal was to become the intern sitting on the floor cleaning ancient mosaics with a tooth-brush; when I marbled paper in a paper store in Florence I wanted to hire on to be their “marbler”; and Paris made me think I could get hired to paint walls the colors that the Musee D’Orsay has chosen.) Now that I have returned from Provence I want to follow in the steps of the many Cheesemen I saw in the marches (my friend Lisa and I have signed up for a cheese making class in August) and I keep wondering why I spent so many years in that classroom when I could have been learning how to be a master-printer at Les Olivades? The process is very similar to EZScreen printing which I love because its cleanup is with water. Here is my iMovie of the process: (You can make it full screen by clicking the square to the left of the word Vimeo.)

pillowThe pillow I bought at the factory store. (Any one else have a husband that hates pillows on the couch? geez, I felt like I was bringing back contraband!)

patternsPatterns for a class with guru Mary Ann Moss here and an inkjet transparency of a photo I took of the clock at the Musee D’Orsay ready to be made into a silk screen. Fun is happening here!

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Sartorial splendor…

I was feeling the need to add a little spice to my early morning walks. We walk out the door before it is light in the morning. We see a few cars on the street, and often beat the paper delivery man. No one is around but still I recognize my 15-year-old fleece jacket has seen better days. What kind of impression was I making on the flora and fauna?

At the same time we have been reading a new mystery series (thanks sister-in-law Jenny for the introduction!) about Bruno the Perigord detective where a character was described as wearing a waxed cotton  jacket, “that had become highly fashionable in France.”…light bulb! My walking partner, the bird-man, has had a waxed cotton jacket for fifteen or so years that has the most wonderful glossy patina buffed on the sides and pockets where the sleeves rub. This has been a perfect jacket for him as often he must check on a raptor rehabilitating in the aviary before light or after dark in the winter, come rain or shine or dusk of night, when he gets home from work. Good in the rain (the water just peels off) and (it has never happened) but quite a barrier, I think, if talons ever went prematurely for their food. I quested for a similar waxed cotton jacket for myself. Most of the ones I found after a google search were boxy and would have made me look like a linebacker, but I did find one, styled like a motorcycle jacket (Lois and a motorcycle jacket? If you knew me in person you would think that was an oxymoron. Even in my youth I did not go for bad boys…but, as they say, you only live once and it is never too late.) It had a significant sale discount so it became mine.

The jacket has put a spring in my step (even though there is no audience except the dog and husband) and energized my walking because I swing my arms much more, closer to my body. A girl must work on her patina after all. (How many years will this take me?) I do not think this jacket will actually make its way to France with us because it is quite hefty and June probably won’t need it, but waxed cotton is sweeping the world from France to California. Dare I say it is the new orange, therefore the new black?! Just this morning I got an email with this link on how to make our own waxed cotton camera bag. (I am surprised that they do not give these instructions with cautions about flammability  and fumes of the wax, but that is just the art teacher in me. Personally, I would not use my home dryer for this but dust off my heat gun. Remember the days of embossing powders…perfect use for the tool in the drawer!)

Last weekend we went to lunch in Healdsburg and in one of  the small stores around the Plaza I found the perfect gloves to spark up even this new jacket. I didn’t know it could be sparkier, but there you go. Fingerless, weathered but with a hint of flowers. Excellent for taking iPhone photos without freezing your hands off and waving at the neighbors as they pass in their heated cars on the way to work. It is sartorial splendor…gets me out the door and embracing my days…





For the hands:


Here, from the runways of Milan and Paris, the bird-man and trusty companion showing the waxed cotton jacket put to use walking the Briones Reservoir.


The Briones Reservoir is a lovely walk we sometimes take but it is virtually impossible to get a picture that does not include high power utility lines. I will take this opportunity to show you what a couple of iPhone apps can do for you. I always bring out Pro HDR when I walk here because the landscape is so wide-open and seems to beg for the lush color the app gives photos and in the picture above there was originally a white utility box sitting behind Katie’s head. Gone now. Thanks, TouchReTouch app.

More of the landscape:






You can get rid of the power lines by cropping, pretending that they are so far in the distance that you can’t really see them, or by trying TouchReTouch App to erase them. Here is an example:



Same picture but no power lines in the middle left…frames were put on the pictures with Snapseed app.


Traveling companion…

On our recent road trip to Canada through Oregon and Washington, I took along a travel journal that I made as a result of taking an on-line class from Mary Ann Moss (her blog is here). The class was called Remains of the Day and the book has a soft cover made from scraps of fabric and has pages of scrap papers sewn together using a sewing machine. The fun thing was that on our second stop my niece, Katura, gave me a bag she had gotten from a street vendor and it was the perfect size and an incredibly coordinating fabric with the book, which then got to travel the rest of the way in style in it’s own little container.

What did I learn from this soft travel companion?
1. When you are my age and you drive six hours on a day, run around and see all the sights that you can, find dinner and then settle in to journal or blog, it is probably not going to happen. I finished blogging about the trip two weeks after I got home and three weeks later I am just now finishing up the journal.
2. I wish I had figured out before the trip that the Diptic app creates a great size image for the size of this journal (6×9). I thought I would use 4″x4″ images but when I started glueing things in I needed some to be smaller in order to fit more. If you create a four box image in Diptic each image is 2″x2″ and they can be cut out individually or cut in a horizontal or vertical strip depending on the kind of pocket you want to slip them in. Wish I had created a Diptic image each evening of the four best shots of the day so they were all ready to print when I got home. My journaling would have been faster. So now I know.






Maps and brochures fit in clear sheet protectors sewn so they are pockets. I do not think this journal will ever be complete, I see myself adding things forever.
The point of this journal was to chronicle what we saw and visited, but now I am working on one that is strictly going to be visual. Another Mary Ann Moss class (called Full Tilt Boogie). I am behind, of course, so although the class has now completed I just finished my first book today. Found a really ratty Victorian photo album on eBay for cheap (the wooden frame inside the cover velvet fell out when I removed it from the photo frames-what is that horsehair it was padded with?) Anyway, recovered it, made a page block, and made a closure because only half the clasp still remained. Light pencil writing indicated it was given to someone on Christmas 1891. Couldn’t save the name, but wanted to keep the date visible. Now to fill it…