Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Star 82 Review 5.4 is Live! Celebrating Our 5th Anniversary!

Read, accept, compile, write a poem, send out for print proofs, write code for the pages, announce, publicize. Every issue of Star 82 Review has this rhythm which has sustained it and me for five years (so far). I've learned more about writing from reading the submissions than from all the years before it. Many thanks to contributors: past, present, and future!

Here are the links to the newly released online and print issue 5.4 and to the 5th anniversary issue (print only). Issue 5.4, our twentieth, features a wonderfully eclectic collection of art and writing, some of which deals with different kinds of love, misunderstandings, confusion, tenderness, anger, and warmth.



The 5th Anniversary issue is a collection of all twenty regular issue erasure + photo covers (plus the Special Flash 50/50 word stories issue cover), a list of all the contributors, and the twenty found poems I created from either the first two or last two words of each written piece. An index, of sorts. For fun and fundraising. A little celebration.



5.4 Contributors
Geoff Anderson
Vincent Barry
Cristina Bresser de Campos
Leah Browning
Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar
Jette Clover
Nicolette Daskalakis
Anne Walsh Donnelly
Matt Dube
Alex Ewing
Charles W. “Bud” Gibbons, III
Howie Good
Terek Hopkins
Ana Jovanovska
Carole Jeung
Denny Kolakowski
Joy Merritt Krystosek
L.L. Madrid
Arturo Magaña
Cleary Mallard
Brooke Middlebrook
Ray Scanlon
Darin Wahl
Jud Widing
Jasper Wirtshafter
Noga Wizansky
Clarence Wolfshohl
Sidney Wollmuth
Albert Zhang

5.4 online is here.
5.4 print is here.
5th Anniversary is here.

Or search for "star 82 review" and "alisa golden" on Amazon (CreateSpace has stopped selling directly through their store so you can bundle your *82s and get free shipping.) Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reaching Deep, Reaching Out, and Betty Reid Soskin

Betty Reid Soskin is a 96-year-old, African-American woman who became a park ranger in her older years and still gives many talks a week at the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center today. She is calm, down to earth, and quietly amazing. I heard her last summer; she draws her listeners into her world as she speaks thoughtfully and matter of factly about her life. Since the talk I attended I've followed her blog, which touches me with every post. Her talk also inspired me to read To Place Our Deeds: The African American Community in Richmond, California, 1910-1963 (which I recommend). I was particularly interested in the WWII era because the history that is taught initially makes it seem as though all races worked together in harmony toward the building of the ships and participating in the war effort. If you read more carefully you see that black workers didn't get as good health care, there were separate black unions who had to pay dues but who had no votes, housing was built primarily for white workers, and the discriminatory list goes on.

All of this is important background and deserves volumes on its own. But one recent post that I feel I can comment on shone light on Betty Reid Soskin's creative spirit, a deepening that perhaps allowed/and allows her to continue moving forward. Her creativity is manifested in her talks, which are neither written nor rehearsed, but come from deep within herself. In her post, she shows how she needs time to situate herself, to respond to the people around her, and to gather her thoughts. A great teacher's work. 

I would say artist as well.

I've seen her only once. But I felt close to her as I read about her process: understanding the need for space, for quiet, for an opportunity to dive down into oneself in order to provide. Be it a talk, a book, a visual work, an experience. Each person has the potential to reach many others, even in daily acts; a calm tone and kindness in life and art can in ripple outward.

*

More about Betty Reid Soskin
Betty's blog

If you are nearby, I recommend that you go hear Betty Reid Soskin yourself. Check the calendar for dates and times.



From birds to Betty to the wider world. Here is a bit of process info: watching the osprey web camera and visiting the osprey nest, which is next to the Red Oak Victory ship, got me interested in WWII shipyards, which is what brought me to Betty and a better understanding of history.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tool for a Line

While I like the look of freehand embroidered text, I found that keeping the lines somewhat straight, particularly with a large block of text, can become stressful. How do other people mark their fabric? In The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook (which auto correct insists is "sashimi"), Susan Briscoe, the author, lists a whole page of fabric marking tools. I've tried white pencils, white marking pens, even regular pencils and regular chalkboard chalk, but found they either don't show up or don't come out. She mentions a "Chaco liner," a tool that has a little wheel that picks up powdered chalk and lays it down on the fabric. I found the tool, the Clover Pen Style Chaco Liner Yellow, at my nearby Jo-Ann's, but it's also available through Amazon.

The chalk brushes out easily, which means I must reapply the line, but that's just fine. When I'm done I can quickly wipe it off. No need to wash!



It has a little duck-billed tip.

Clover Chaco Pen Refills, are also available. They come in white, blue, pink, yellow.
I found the yellow worked well on both dark and light colors.

Tiny dotted rotating wheel at the tip.

I'm happy with it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

New Art Quilt/Open Book: Sweet Osprey Dreams

After spending the summer closely attending to the sfbayospreys.org web camera and finding myself a little obsessed, I found I needed an outlet. All this daily input of watching the chicks grow up, watching the parents feed and teach the babies, the loss of one of the chicks, the eventual seeming disappearance of the other—all of this input had to get stored somewhere, and my head was too full to contain it.

There's an upcoming call for art quilt entries on the theme of "Dusk to Dawn," an aspect of night. Since I had screenshots from the web camera of the birds sleeping, it seemed like a good way to sew my obsession into the theme. The web camera goes to infrared light at night, and I luckily had some black and white images to work with. I started two quilts: "When Birds Sleep" and "Sweet Osprey Dreams." I still have much embroidered text to do on the first, but I've finished "Sweet Osprey Dreams." Abbreviated as SOD, it is what the Live Chat folk (also known as WWOC) wish each other at the end of the day.

The large image is from a photograph I took of the whirley crane, the structure that holds the nest (see this post for details). Embroidered words point out the nest, the nest camera, and the "around the nest" camera. Pandion Heliaetus means osprey. My text says, strangers meet as friends / watching the birds sleep by the bay / sweet osprey dreams.



Sometimes all the things you've learned and all your interests align and combine into one project. Here, I've incorporated: photography, embroidery, drawing, letterpress printing from wood type and photopolymer plates, solar printing with colored dyes, and sashiko stitching for waves (seigaiha) and fish scales (urokozashi). More about sashiko here.






It's good that the ospreys only have family time from March until September, or I wouldn't get anything done. (See last osprey post here.)

Bald eagles, however, breed roughly October through January. I noticed that at night on the North East Florida Eagle camera they wish each other SED (Sweet Eagle Dreams). That's the camera I'm not watching. Really.