Monday, November 3, 2014

Autumn: letting go and catching up

Greetings Everyone!

  My goodness time has been flying by! As with most folks, life seems to be happening at such a fast pace these days, even here in the quiet forest! I often forget (until it is upon me) how busy the season of autumn is for me. There is so much that becomes time-critical in the autumn. The leaves changing colors last only approximately 3 weeks here. If we are lucky, and if the weather is good, there are plenty of days for constructing sculptures and photographing them. If however, like this year, we get a lot of grey and rainy days, then things pile up like a car crash. The inter-connectedness of everything I do becomes painfully obvious... I wait for a good day to take photos but that day becomes THE day the firewood guy decides to deliver 2 cords of wood, so my plans to do my artwork have to take a backseat... firewood MUST be stacked and under cover before the next downpour. It is all good but as anyone who works with the weather knows, in autumn you make your plans but you'd better not be attached to them!

   The overwhelming responses from the NY Times article and the PBS show has been delightful and a surprise. Your orders and comments have kept me busy and focused... and I had to re-stock my shelves as orders for my greeting cards and DVD sold briskly. To all my new (and previous) customers, thank-you, thank-YOU! I am currently working on a new set of Faerie house cards and 2 new 2015 calendars which will be out very soon, hopefully. These are the Lulu productions that I do every year. If you want to get your holiday shopping done early, you can go see my Amber Lotus calendars by clicking HERE. These are gorgeous, large calendars and made with 100% environmentally responsible practices so we can all feel good about these lovely products.

   In no particular order, here are some of the other highlights of the past month and a quick peek ahead.

- After many years of exuberant creativity my studio desperately needed a deep cleaning. I had set aside 4 days because I knew it was going to be disruptive... but I had underestimated the mess and how long it would take to get it re-organized! Now, 3 weeks later at long last, it is almost all put back together with things boxed and labeled so I can find what I need. Here are some before and after shots that don't begin to convey what a relief it is to finally have a clean studio to work in! Now projects are moving forward again and it feels great to be working instead of sorting and boxing it all up!
What a mess!

- As many of you know, I began working on my own book project a few years ago. There have been several delays and re-starts as all of this is done in digital form and my computer died in mid-process. Now it is all back on track and I am thrilled to say that I have cleared significant goals and am now catching up on that project as well. I finally was able to take some time off from working on the interior pages to create the cover art and am thrilled to share it now with you. Here it is:
 I will be updating the Kickstarter project shortly with more interior page images and notes on production. I will give links here when they are up and running and of course will talk more about the book here when it gets closer to completion.

- one of the busy tasks for autumn is collecting all my supplies that I will need for the coming months of custom Faerie house building which has been difficult to do with all the rain we've been having. Around here, the winter snows makes it impossible to gather many of the items I need for the dark months of working, so fall becomes the season of gathering for me. I was laughing at myself when I told a friend that I was on my way to pick up a few "building supplies".... they thought I was headed to a big box lumber yard but instead I was headed to the forest! Just a day or so ago I was down by the river collecting twigs, mushrooms and birch bark when I spotted something I've always wanted to see... here it is:

  I've known that we have bears here and have seen only two in the wild in my life. But this was a nice fresh track and it made me feel good to know that such a creature was able to live in these woods and survive. No doubt it was foraging along the river for the same reason I was... the mushrooms were very abundant in all the downed trees that had been blown over by the hurricane named Irene several years ago. Even though I was alone I was not afraid. Bears are usually very timid and shy and I knew that the chances of seeing this one were very, very small. But getting to see fresh tracks in the sand was a delight and a thrill!

- I made an amazing discovery in my gardens this year as I was cutting down the old foliage. I'll write more about this in another post (hopefully) but I found a whole bunch of Giant Swallowtail butterfly larvae and I started a little butterfly nursery in my living room! I now have several cocoons which I am keeping in my fridge along with a Luna Moth cocoon and hopefully, when spring arrives next year, I can bring them out and they just might hatch! Here is a photo of the Luna moth caterpillar beginning to weave its cocoon:
It is working inside a large glass jar I had set up for it. It did not feed very long on the leaves I provided as it was already huge and fat and ready to go into its cocoon. It took several days to spin and weave the structure and another few days for the shell to become rock hard. I hope this can survive in my fridge - which is actually a better climate than what it will be like this winter. I would love to see this hatch out, if possible.

- I have made plans to be in the 2015 Vermont Flower Show! I will let you know more about it as the time draws closer, but set your calendars for the end of February and the 1st of March! I will have a booth and will be giving two presentations on my work..... stay tuned!
 - and last, but not least for this post anyways, the long-awaited book on Fairy Homes and gardens is about to be released. I will have a lot more to say about this book in another post. It is a long, difficult story and one other artists need to hear about... but I will need write about it another time. For now, the book is supposedly shipping soon. I have not seen the book itself yet, but supposedly many of my images were used, and one was chosen for their cover and for that I am very grateful. Here is the cover:
I have more stories and images to share but for now, a fourth cord of wood needs stacking, so I better step away from this keyboard and get back to work before more rain comes!

Bright Blessings to one and All

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your updates.
Have a great November!

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.