What October looked like

Farmer Fred Fearlessly fends off the fox from his flock.  You go Fred!

Here Fred helps bring in the letter F. (Thank you Fred)

Fred’s mode of transport through the US Mail.

Here we have evidence of Fall and a few other items beginning with the letter L.

Leaves, Lavender-Colored Thread and a Left-handed Pencil

Thimbles and Thread Together in the Thick of Things

So where did October go exactly?  All I know is that with it went all of the leaves and the early evening light.  And on to Paige went 4 more letters of the alphabet: F, L, J & T.  You won’t see J here.  It is J for jewel.  A modest jewel, made from a cereal box and glue and a pin back.  All four letters went under separate cover.  One in a clementine crate, one in a large biscuit tin, one in a flat rate box and one in the green lunch box.  They didn’t all fit in Paige’s mail box but like John Bartram who had Benjamin Franklin, the large biscuit tin, had an interceder, the Burnsville post-office. They all arrived unscathed, I understand.  I think there is a certain amount of adventure that happens in risk taking.  It would be fine by me if eventually something arrives not quite right, maybe de-shelved or truncated. There are more alphabet boxes to go.  We’ll see how future ones fair in the shipping and receiving process. We’ll see how they go.

Common Critter Collection

Larry doesn’t know….

that this is what he dropped off in our mail box yesterday.  A delightful collection from Paige and Hannah Branch Road.  Direct from the Spruce Pine Post Office.  All these critters.  I have seen a garden once that contained plants with animal common names: zebra grass, and lamb’s ear among them.  It makes you wonder what the animals would name the plants if they actually had the chance.  Nesting Needles? Tastes Great with Bugs Bush?

One image I didn’t include here are some Jack-o-Lantern mushrooms that supposedly glow underneath when it’s dark.  Glow in the dark plants, how come humans haven’t come up with such a thing.

Thanks Paige.  Thanks Larry.  You two are great collaborators.


A is for…

Twayblade Orchid

Contents for “A” parcel

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from tway (variant of twain) + blade, translating Latin: bifolium .

So I had never heard of twayblade before.  Now I know: two-leaves.  Like idiot-mittens, there is no separating the two.  This twayblade orchid must be magical when you find it in the woods.  I wonder if it has an enchanting fragrance.

It was pretty magical to open up the contents of Paige’s package.  The hay-scented fern had a beautiful fragrance and the contents seemed to multiply. Calendar pages, Ace Hardware bag full of azalea leaves and a paste paper landscape.  The letter “A” commands some respect, being the first letter and all.

Next Paige and I will meet in Canada as two of the 100 visual artists in the Emma International Collaboration  which meets near Big Lake Saskatchewan 2 hours north of Saskatoon. We’re anticipating a couple of letters might develop over the week.

See you in August!


Chilmark Post Office 02535

On 12 July this is where I picked up the letter “A”.  This is truly the town’s center. It shares a green space with the library and the community center and across the street is the general store.  The post office is closed for lunch between 12 & 12:30.  That’s why I had to go to the PO a couple of days in a row.  General Delivery.  All of life should be this simple.  Stay tuned for details on the parcel’s contents.

B is for band-aid box

So I took the band-aid box to the PO and they said they couldn’t mail it.  Not because they didn’t want to but because it was too small.  A parcel has to be at least 3×5 (remember that) and it was about 1.5 inches off on one side and .75 off on the other.  So I brought it home and repackaged it.  Paige is going to send me a photo of the parcel when it reaches her so you can see what it looks like after the journey.  Here’s what it looks like before.  The bottles are old pharmacutical bottles and are filled with blackberry lily seeds.  They are one of my favorite summer flowers.And after the blossoms come the beautiful seeds, so gem-like.  Easy to grow and happy to self-seed.  I have some more seeds if you want some!

mailing container and contents

inside the herbarium

The USPS remains reliable. And I recommend using it often.  For the sake of its longevity, and for the sake of excitement both for the sender and receiver!  It really works.  Leave something for Larry (our letter carrier) and he helps get the parcel to what ever address you label it with.  So since the Herbarium arrived in N Carolina, (Thank you Larry) I thought you might want to see what it some of the pages look like.

herbarium front page

inside pages

inside back page

maiden voyage

So Paige and I are doing a project together.  We’ll be mailing things to each other that we fabricate and compile in our studios.  We’re replicating to some tiny degree the shipments made between John Bartram and Peter Collinson, botanists and statesmen in the new and old world, between 1734-1777.  We say to a tiny degree because our shipments won’t be on ships or take ages to get to one another.  We don’t think we’ll have to deal with mice nibbling on the contents or drunken sailors not watering the goods.  We’re making art and contributing to our friendship.  We even plan on having it all add up to an art piece due in Philadelphia 1 May 2013.  Stay tuned.

little leaf press