Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Clothesline at the Rensing Center

(Above:  The Clothesline Installation at the Rensing Center, an art residency program just outside Pickens, SC.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

The Clothesline Installation started with a proposal sent to the Enos Park Art Residency Program with the Springfield Art Association in Illinois.  The proposal called for a "creative clothesline" made from vintage and found textiles that would draw attention to the benefits of line drying, the need for household energy conservation, and the beauty of doing things BY HAND!  I started cutting, fusing, and zigzag stitching hand prints in January 2020.  Little did I know at the time that COVID-19 was already spreading its way across the globe and about to change everything.  

Shortly after returning home, the cancellations, indefinite postponements, and business shutdowns started.  Phrases like "social distancing" and "contact tracing" and "flattening the curve" became commonplace.  Mouse House, the limited custom picture framing business I have with my husband Steve, was deemed "non-essential" and forced to close.  This gave me time to continue making more and more items for The Clothesline.  (Plus ... lots of nice people were spending time "downsizing" and "cleaning out their attics and garages" ... which meant they were donating their vintage household linens to me too!  THANK YOU!)  Basically, I made a lot of pieces for the "future installation", and my project even spoke to the pandemic ... as in ... "Wash your hands"!  By the end of the year it was clear:  I needed a place to experiment.  I needed a place to attempt putting up a temporary, non-invasive clothesline.  I needed a BIG patch of "green" and time to work!  I applied for another art residency at the Rensing Center and got it!
My action plan seemed simple enough.  I was going to use a sledgehammer to pound half-inch wide, ten-feet long, galvanized electrical conduit two or more feet into the ground.  I was going to zip-tie a large screw eye into a previously drilled hole in the top of each conduit.  I was going to string a clothesline through the screw eyes, safety pin the items to the line, and add clothespins "for a proper look".  Like many of my plans, this was hilariously flawed but good enough to make a start!
I learned many things.  I learned that at no point in my entire life (even when young and fit) could I ever wield a sledgehammer ... not with one hand while the other held the conduit ... not when on a six foot ladder attempting to hit a ten foot pole ... not if it meant the darn thing needed to be swung higher than my own waist.  What on earth was I thinking when I put the sledgehammer into my cargo van?  Thankfully, a regular hammer worked. I learned that one can't drive an electrical conduit into the ground deeper than top soil.  If one hits solid rock, that's it.  Solid rock at the Rensing Center is approximate twelve inches under the grass.  I learned that fire ants bite ... so look down often.  I learned that wind is a real factor and had to be addressed almost immediately.  I learned that keeping a straight line doesn't matter.  In fact, a meandering line looks even nicer.

Thankfully, I had a back-up plan (or a place that I knew that would rescue me!)  Bivens Hardware store is awesome!  Family owned since 1923, Bivens' staff really HELP people and they sure helped me.  I came with just five electrical conduits.  I planned on purchasing more at Bivens.  After precariously pounding my five electrical conduits into the ground, I learned that eight-foot lengths would be better.  I can't cut electrical conduit.  Bivens can and did.  Bivens also drilled the holes on the ones I purchased there.  What took me an hour, took them minutes.  They also had plenty of rope and tent pegs to stake the poles against the wind.  With this help and the "gift of time and space" provided by the Rensing Center, I learned how to install a temporary clothesline.  Next time (and hopefully I'll get a "next time"), it will be easier and quicker.

I had hoped to install ALL the pieces made for this installation and accurately measure the yardage.  That didn't happen but that's okay.  Bivens ran out of electrical conduit.  Only a little more than half the individual pieces made in onto the clothesline.  Yet, I can now claim "more than seventy yards" ... because that's what's hanging now!  I also learned that my Clothesline Installation can withstand strong winds when the poles are staked using tent pegs and rope.  I learned that my Clothesline Installation can withstand an entire night of rain!  It dried again in the sunshine ... just like any other clothesline!  I also learned that cows seem to enjoy art installations!

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Clothesline Installation by Susan Lenz


I started installing The Clothesline last Saturday, the day after I finished putting up my solo show, The Big Day, at the nearby Pickens County Museum of Art and History.  A trip to Bivens Hardware store provided much needed equipment but more was needed. In spite of this, the installation survived last night's rain.  I returned to Bivens today, Monday, and bought tent pegs, rope, and more upright electrical conduits.  This is the result. The installation is doing quite well even in the strong winds!  I'm so pleased! 

Sunday, May 09, 2021

The Big Day, a solo installation

(Above:  The entrance into The Big Day, my solo installation at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Last Thursday and Friday were wonderful days!  I installed The Big Day at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History. Because the museum is only open Tuesday through Friday from 9 - 5, the show officially opens this coming Tuesday, May 11th and runs through July 23rd.  The museum used to have weekend hours, but that was before the pandemic, before the staff was cut, before social distancing, before ... like when art shows were scheduled years in advance. Getting this opportunity is like a "silver lining" after all the closures, cancellations, and indefinite postponements of 2020.  I'm so happy to have had this chance to work with my found and donated wedding dresses and to sculpt this installation.

(Above:  The exhibition signage and one of the two altered guest books.)

Although I got lucky in finding this venue, I was fortunate in many other, much more important ways because I started this venture well in advance of the pandemic!  I've been planning for two years!  Why?  Well, 2021 marks Steve's and my 40th wedding anniversary.  I wanted to mark the occasion as an art installation.  After all, I did something for our 30th.  Why not do something even more significant for this big event? (To see I Do / I Don't, the solo installation created for our 30th anniversary, CLICK HERE.  Yes, I've been blogging long enough that I have posts going back to 2011 ... even as far as 2006!)  So ... special thanks goes to all those wonderful people who donated their wedding dresses to this exhibit.  The pandemic could not hold me back due to your generosity! 

(Above:  One of two altered, vintage photo albums functioning as a guest book for the installation.)

Ordinarily, I take very little time to actually install a show, but ... ordinarily ... I am already familiar with the individual pieces, the general set up, and have a definite action plan. This was different.  This was the first time!  All I in knew in advance was that I would put my signage and one of two altered guest books near the entrance!  So ... that area was hung first.  (To explore the guest book, please CLICK HERE for an earlier blog post.)

(Above:  Some of the wedding dresses hung near the exhibition signage and guest book.)

After putting the guest book on the pedestal, I was face with nearly forty wedding gowns.  They had been rolled into the room on two, heavy-duty garment racks.  I knew some would need to "go on the walls".  But how?  Which ones?  At what height? These and other questions were answered intuitively.

Quickly, I knew that I needed to address the strapless gowns.  Also, I learned that the more voluptuously full ball gowns could hang in the windows.  I was mindful of the shifting colors, the long fabric trains, and the need to safety pin many to the fifty padded hangers purchased last month.  Also, this first area seemed the perfect place to suspend True Blue, a tiny, shrunken wool wedding bodice which is covered in embroidered wedding vows.  (For more about how I stitched True Blue, CLICK HERE.)
My prior idea was to suspend forty wedding gowns in a giant circle.  That plan was pretty much dashed as I collected the dresses.  Wedding dresses are often heavy, take up a lot of room, and an appropriate circle would have been wider than the room.  As a result, there are only three hanging from the dropped ceiling.  They are surrounded by the eleven veils made for I Do / I Don't, my 30th anniversary show. 
Each one of these veils is free-motion embroidered with statements about marriage and divorce.  I crowd-sourced for these special words.  Lots of people contributed phrases expressing pure joy, absolute anger, fond memories, words of wisdom, good advice, and special stories.  I used a water soluble stabilizer to do the embroidery.  Once stitched and washed, the stitched line is left on the veil.  Even though these statements are perfectly legible, one need to touch the veils ... spread them out in order to see the full lines. 
So, to make the statements more accessible, I created an artist book.  It sits on a small, tilted stand in front of my "selfie wall".  Each statement was collaged, letter by letter, using letters clipped from old books and magazines.  (To see the pages, CLICK HERE for a Flickr album.)
The "selfie wall" was so very much fun to create!  Well over a month ago, I spent an entire day trying on all the wedding gowns that had been donated or purchased at auction.  I snapped selfies in two different "sets" created in the house.  To be honest, it was exhausting ... but hilariously fun.  One set was in front of a very large mirror.  The other set was in front of gold brocade curtains.  Each selfie was printed as a 4" x 6" and hung on doll-clothes hangers that came with clips.  Who knew that doll's need hangers for their skirts and pants?  (To read more about this "selfie day" and see some of the images, CLICK HERE.)
From the moment I secured the Pickens County Museum of Art and History as the venue for this exhibit, I knew that I would transform this circular niche into a place for visitors to take their own selfies.  I envisioned three mirrors, just like a fashionable bridal boutique might have for viewing each gown.  Thankfully, Steve and I are picture framers.  We cut and built the mirrors. 
It was easy to determine the right dress for this location.  One strapless ball gown styled dress was size 28 XXXL. Carefully, the back seam was opened ... all THREE layers.  I turned the edges under and stitched them down.  Loops of elastic went under the arm area.  Heavy, wide lace was folded in thirds and made the hanging device.  Now ... visitors can literally step into this dress, wrap it around themselves, and snap their own selfie.
I know it works!  I did it too!
I couldn't quite get a selfie will all three reflections, but the niche does give that view!
Next to the niche is a wall that speaks to Steve's and my anniversary. I scanned our faded, 8" x 10" wedding portrait and had Spoonflower print it on cotton fabric in a size that fit into this lovely, antique frame.  It is free motion stitched.  (To read more about this process, CLICK HERE.)  Below is another altered, vintage photo album.  It is called Anonymous Brides. To the left is the signage for the selfie niche and the two selfies I took in my own wedding dress.  To the right is the original invitation to our wedding. Above is my wedding dress.  Yes, it is nailed and stapled to the wall. 
Like many of the donated and found gowns, my wedding dress shows some discoloration, I have no daughter ... and most of these gowns show the style of the era in which they were worn.  Few of these dresses are what any, upcoming bride really wants to wear.  The dress is personal, but it is also a large part of the socioeconomic pressures that come with "the big day".  While I worked, figuring out how to display these garments, I couldn't help but to think about the thousands of dollars in the room.
After forty years, I can easily attest to the fact that the dress wasn't that important.  At least four of the dresses in this show were bought for ten dollars or less at Bill Mishoe's auction.  They were still sealed in acid-free boxes after an expensive cleaning and packaging service.
Some of these gowns are covered with tiny pearl and seed beads. Some of these dresses came with specialty slips with layers of gathered tulle. Some date to the 1940s.  One is likely from the 1920s or earlier.  Most came from the 1950s through 1980s. Some of these dresses aren't quite as elaborate.  A few are down-right ugly.  Yet, trying them on for my selfies did bring feelings of beauty and charm.
One dress was put on a fiberglass dress form.  It is absolutely stunning ... and polyester ... and with 1980s puffy sleeves. It is equally gorgeous and currently unfashionable.   Many of these dresses and all of the I Do / I Don't wedding veils were ironed.  Yes ... I brought an iron and ironing board to install!  I ironed the full skirt of this gown right on the carpeted floor!
When ironing, I couldn't help but to wonder about the marriages each of these dresses started.  From notes received with donations, I knew that a few of the most beautiful dresses were worn for marriages that didn't last and that some of the rather ugly ones were donated by the children whose parents stayed together for more than half a century. 
On the largest wall, I hung my collection of anonymous brides and wedding pictures.  Fifteen of them were created recently.  The rest came from my installation Anonymous Ancestors. I've hung this "wall of ancestors" in several locations.  It is always a puzzle waiting to be solved.  I'm very pleased with the visual effect. Each piece is an original, anonymous photo collaged with individual letters that spell out suggestive narratives like:  Virgins on Our Honeymoon Night; He Cheated on Me; Shot Gun Wedding; I Didn't Tell Him that I Was Already Pregnant; I Lived in the Shadow of His First Wife; Made for Each Other; ... and ... of course ... Married for Forty Years. (To read more about the new additions to this grouping, CLICK HERE.)
As I worked, the number of dresses still on the rolling, heavy-duty garment rack began to shrink.  The atmosphere was developing.  Basically, the stage was set!  But, I had one more wall to transform.
This last wall became the place for ten different dresses.  I had worried over the blue dress.  I know who wore it.  She's happily married and I wanted to include it even though the color was so different from the rest of the room.  Yet, it wasn't the only one!  One satin dress was quite a vanilla color.  It didn't work well in any of the other locations in which I attempted to hang it.  Then, there was the itty-bitty, sparkling taupe strapless dress that looks like it ought to have been going to a disco instead of a church!  One beige dress was probably marketed for the mother-of-the-bride but was worn for a second marriage.  Together, however, they really do show the variety of dresses that once walked down the aisle.  To me, this wall makes a point of saying "the dress really doesn't matter".  On some level, all these dresses are special but it is the days thereafter that define a marriage.
I'm very, very pleased with how this show came together.  I learned a lot about how best to install it.  I have the confidence and images now that will allow me to submit this installation to next year's ArtFields, a competition and exhibition in Lake City, South Carolina.  (This doesn't mean my installation will be accepted ... but I couldn't apply without having this show first!)
I couldn't have done any of this without the generosity of others who sent their wedding dresses or without the staff at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History for the willingness to let me do this, but I definitely couldn't have done with without Steve.  Happy Anniversary ... now and forever.  September 12, 1981.
 

Friday, May 07, 2021

Last Words at Appalachian Center for Craft

(Above and all the images below:  Last Words, my solo installation at the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech, Smithville, TN.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

This week has loomed large for several months. It promised to be more than a little busy, have almost too many moving parts, and could spell disaster at any point.  I looked forward to this week with a mix of eager excitement and a healthy dose of anxious dread.  Thankfully, everything has worked out swimmingly. 

The week started on Sunday.  Of course it did!  Steve and I were in Lake City, South Carolina before 10:00 AM in order to dismantle my installation, The Cocoon, at ArtFields.  This event closed just the night before. We folded textile panels onto heavy duty drapery hangers, packed the van, and drove back home by 2:00 PM.  Immediately, everything was hauled back into storage.  We then started loading the cargo van with TWO other installations.  I was on the road to the Rensing Center, an art residency outside Pickens, South Carolina (two-and-a-half hours from home) by 5:00. 

Bright and early on Monday morning, I uploaded everything for The Big Day, a brand new solo installation featuring nearly forty donated and found wedding gowns and lots of other things focused on weddings.  This show marks Steve and my fortieth wedding anniversary.  I was excited to install but the gallery space wasn't quite ready and I had other things to do!  So did Steve! 

That day (Monday) Steve borrowed a friend's car (because we only have the cargo van and a moped) and drove to the North Charleston Convention Center to pick up my two pieces from Palmetto Hands, a state-wide juried fine craft competition.  Happily, this meant picking up a $500 Outstanding Merit Award too ... for my art quilt Oswald Home Laundry!

Still in the borrowed car, Steve left home early on Tuesday, picked me up at the Rensing Center, and drove us to Smithville, Tennessee.  We arrived before 5:00 and got to see the exhibition space, unload the artwork, and enjoy a fabulous provided cabin right there on campus!

Because several staff members live on campus, it was possible for Steve and I to start installing Last Words at 8:30 AM.  We've installed this show before ... several times.  I have so much work for this show that I could have filled a space at least four times larger.  As such, it took only two hours for us to hang the work.

The artwork includes several grave rubbing art quilts. I have a blog specifically for these unique crayon-in-fabric rubbings.  We were able to hang twelve of the 35+ sheer chiffon epitaph banners.  Each one is free-motion machine stitched.  I used a water soluble stabilizer in order to stitch on this ultra thin material.  When I did this, I became aware that I couldn't stitch all the deeply moving, heartfelt epitaphs I'd been collecting from various cemeteries.  So, I created The Book of the Dead.  This 696-page altered sketch book contains 1200+ epitaphs in my version of calligraphy.  All the pages were first embellished with watercolor markings.  This show includes several framed pieces from my Angels in Mourning Series, xylene photo transfers on paper to which I stitched small trinkets.  The last things added to this show were the artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters.  The colorful flower fabric was carefully dissected from the plastic parts and washed.  (The plastic was put into our recycle bin!)  We used only half of the flowers that I've collected.  

Steve and I were back on the highway after lunch.  We arrived back at the Rensing Center before dark.  Steve then switched vehicles, driving the borrowed car back home.  I stayed.  After all, I had another solo installation to install!

For the past two days, I've been working inside my gallery space at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History.  It's the longest time I've ever had to enjoy working with my own materials and concepts.  Truly, this opportunity is a gift.  It is also one of the "silver linings" to this on-going pandemic.  Many small museums have found themselves short staffed and forced to postpone or cancel too many events.  They've been apprehensive about scheduling due to the uncertain future.  The Pickens County Museum of Art and History is such a place but it was also willing to extend this opportunity to me.  I am so very, very grateful. 

So ... The Big Day has been installed.  It looks great, even better than I had hoped! I'll write about it tomorrow. 

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Last Words at Appalachian Center for Craft


This exhibit is called Last Words.  It is on view at the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech, Smithville, TN from May 5 through July 1st.  The show features artwork by Susan Lenz, including grave rubbing art quilts, framed xylene photo transfers of cemetery angels, free-motion stitched epitaphs on sheer chiffon banners, The Book of the Dead, and a perimeter of artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters. 

Saturday, May 01, 2021

A Wedding Portrait

(Above:  Our Wedding Portrait.  Framed:  32" x 26".  Scanned wedding picture printed by Spoonflower on cotton with free-motion stitching and trapunto/stuffing.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Today is "hunter-gatherer" day.  I will be spending hours making piles and trying to remember every little thing each pile really needs.  One, small pile will contain the things needed to successfully pick up The Cocoon from ArtField in Lake City.  That will happen tomorrow morning.  Then, Steve and I will drive it home, unload it, and start reloading the cargo van with the other piles. Everything will be packed so that I can leave for Pickens ... that late afternoon!  I'm due that night!

So, today I gather piles! One pile will be everything needed for Last Words, my solo show that will be installed at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, Tennessee on Wednesday.  Grave rubbing art quilts, sheer chiffon epitaph banners, framed Angels in Mourning, and extra large bags of artificial flowers salvaged from cemetery dumpsters will be in this pile ... along with the "little things" like a staple gun, monofilament, beading/sequin pins, a hammer, an exhibition list, etc.  Putting up a solo show is work.  I hope I don't forget anything!

(Above:  Detail of Our Wedding Portrait.)

A small pile will be my suitcase with enough inside to last two weeks at the Rensing Center, an art residency program outside Pickens, South Carolina.  Alongside it will be a few groceries, my laptop, and the external hard drive.  Another pile will contain two tubs of yarn, a box of thread, and my sewing machine.  During the evenings, I intend to make cording for more fiber vessels.

Another pile will be The Clothesline, an installation started over a year ago.  It has grown since the days spent at the Enos Park Art Residency with Springfield Arts Association in Illinois.  I don't know how many yards of altered "laundry" have been created.  I've never had the opportunity to mount the work properly.  I haven't quite figured out how I can install a temporary clothesline from which to hang all these household linens on which I've zigzag stitched found fabric hand prints. I have faith that the staff at Bivens Hardware in Pickens, an independent hardware store with incredibly helpful people, can assist with the plans I have.  They probably have clothespins too ... if I don't have enough of them.  In the coming two weeks, I hope to install, photograph, and measure this installation.  Fingers are crossed.

(Above:  Detail of Our Wedding Portrait.)

The last pile will be everything needed for a solo show at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History.  This show is called The Big Day.  I have nearly forty wedding dresses, three full length mirrors, a collection of altered anonymous wedding pictures, a series of printed selfies to be hung on doll clothes hangers with clips, altered photo albums, and also this wedding portrait of Steve and me.  It was taken on September 12, 1981 ... forty years ago.  Steve and I have only ever had an 8" x 10" wedding picture.  We never wanted anything else.  It has faded over the years ... sort of like us! LOL!  Yet, an anniversary inspired exhibit really ought to have a picture of the celebrating couple!  The image was scanned and digitally manipulated.  It was printed in order to fit inside this rather pretty, antique frame.  Between the antique frame, the fading, and the fact that neither of us really look like our former selves ... I think it perfect.  I also found a copy of our original wedding invitation.  It finally got framed too.  Not bad for two, professional picture framers who have owned their own shop since 1987!  

The Big Day gets installed on Monday and Tuesday.  Steve won't be there then. On Monday, he will be picking up my Triptych of Attributes and Oswald Home Laundry from another show in Charleston. It is called Palmetto HandsOswald Home Laundry won a $500 merit award!  He'll be in a borrowed vehicle as we only own the cargo van.  Thankfully, a friend is allowing him to also drive her car to Pickens on Tuesday ... so that he can go with me to Tennessee.

Being a working artist is so much more than just going into the studio!  There are so many other tasks.  I couldn't do it without help!  Many have helped but none as constantly and with more support than Steve.  I guess that's why it is important to mark our big anniversaries.  Life is an adventure and I've got the best person to share it with!
 

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Big Day's Artist Books

(Above:  Anonymous Brides, an altered, vintage photo album.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

One weekend, more than a month ago, I decided to transform one of the vintage photo albums in my stash to function as a guest book for my upcoming solo show called The Big Day.  My plan quickly went out of control when I pulled out the stash of "stuff" intended for this project. Instead of one, three books happened.

(Above:  One of the spreads in Anonymous Brides.)

After all, I happened to have three, vintage photo albums/scrap books that were the same basic size.  I had more than enough anonymous images that were suggestive of brides, marriages, and anniversary parties.  For pages, I pulled out a stack of xylene photo transfers made years ago ... actually ... over a decade. 

(Above:  One of the spreads in Anonymous Brides.)

One of the nice things about having a blog is the fact that I can find early posts regarding such things.  I made dozens and dozens of xylene photo transfers of cemetery angels in order to create a series of twenty-five pieces called Angels in Mourning. (To see some of them, CLICK HERE.) I blogged about making the transfers ... outdoors ... in a makeshift station ...  HERE.  At that time, I was working on my solo show, Last Words.  I was exploring different directions in which to take my concepts and ideas ... embroidery, grave rubbings, photographs, epitaphs.  The theme was grounded.  The artistic approaches were from lots of different places. 

(Above:  One of the spreads in Anonymous Brides.)

Anyway ... I transferred LOTS of images.  Why not?  As long as I set up an outdoor station, had an entire stack of printmaking paper, and bunches of photocopies, why not make "more than enough"?  As a result, I had plenty of images from which to select the twenty-five that would become my Angels in Mourning Series and plenty more to sit on a shelf until which time as I might need them.  That time was last month.  

(Above:  One of the spreads in Anonymous Brides.)

I cut every leftover piece into pages for these three albums.  The black paper in one album was still good, stiff, and in perfect condition.  It had never been used.  So, I zigzag stitched each page to one of the printmaking paper pages ... after having zigzag stitched photos to each side.  This became Anonymous Brides.

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 1.)

Working only with the printmaking pages, I made the guest book for the upcoming show.  Actually, I made so many pages that I ended up with volume 1 and volume 2!  On each page I zigzag stitched donated index cards.  They aren't ordinary index cards but a filing system used by a mid-century bride from a prominent Mississippi family.  These carefully organized cards were filed alphabetically with all family names and addresses.  They noted the dates for wedding and shower invitations, received gifts, and sent thank you notes.  They were saved for decades before being given to me with the hope that art might happen.  

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 1.)

After zigzag stitching three index cards to one side of each page, I flipped it over and zigzag stitched three more in the same place. 

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 1.)

I really like how the xylene photo transfers add just a touch of the inevitable.  The angels seem to appropriately haunt both books.  They seem to suggest that every "big day" will be quickly ushered into the past ... almost like the need for index cards.  (Thank goodness for Excel sheets and other on-line and/or computer kept filing systems!)

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 2.)

My hope is that visitors to the exhibit will take the time to sign their names right on the vintage index cards.  Maybe a few stories will be shared, added to the memories of past "big days".  After the show, I will add some of the notes I received from those donating their wedding dresses. 

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 2.)

While I have no illusion regarding the odds for these guest books surviving another generation, they have managed to present a few, special wedding items from past events at this time, currently, in the 21st century ... thus ... second life.  I could almost feel the anonymous brides and their guests while constructing these books.

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 2.)

Both guest books have about twelve spreads.  That's a lot of index cards.  Yet, I didn't use even half of the ones in the donated box.  So, now I have no more xylene photo transfers of cemetery angels but plenty of wedding index cards.  I'll keep the cards.  I have no idea how or whether I'll use them in the future.  But, I didn't know how or whether I'd use the leftover image transfers either!

(Above:  The Big Day Guest Book, volume 2.)

A friend of mine once said that artists who collect intuitively will always have on hand exactly what they need.  I believe this!