book drifts and a lap top bag

As I get older, I find myself worrying less about goal setting and thinking more about how I should live.  What constitutes a good life?  It's creeping into midlife, late night thoughts of mortality territory, and the more I think about it, I realize, the less I know.

Which is probably why this is what my bedside looks like:

Actually, this ever shifting messy pile of books is not a new thing.  I'm just trying to justify my book drift with my existential angst.  I've always been untidy with books, coffee cups and general art supplies.  A little cavalier when it comes to leaving my mark on things, especially since I consider literature, art and curiosity to be of much higher priority than being neat and clean.

My childs have learned well from me.

We don't need no stinking gloves.  Our kitchen table bears the marks of a hundred projects.  And often our art falls into collaboration, as we inspire and encourage each other.

Messy creativity with weak boundaries may not be a virtue, but it still qualifies as a way of life.

In the same way, I love combining what I read with what I make.  One of my favorite children's books is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.  I love it as much for Alvin Schwartz's short stories as for Stephen Gammell's illustrations.  If you don't have a hard copy, you can check out some of the stories here.

My attempt at recreating the illustration from The Dead Man's Brains is not super duper excellent, but it was a free hand machine stitch drawing that I touched up a bit with water colour and wanted to keep around because it's still kind of cool.  And reminds me of a good book.

This is it:

I've made it into a laptop bag, since I've been transporting the laptop back and forth from home to my studio. It is all machine stitched, no hand stitching.  A closer look:

You'll have to forgive my messed up hand, with the scrapped knuckles from the gym and the nail polish that girl child applied.  She's a great kid, but not so precise with the paint (see second picture of this post).

Also, on the theme of screw ups, I managed to some how put the patchwork panel intended for the back of the bag on the inside and putting the inside pocket intended to hold a power cord on the outside back. 

My only real defense is that while piecing the bag together I was also having a small argy-bargy with The Man over text messages about what-I-can't-even-remember, and I was all flustered and did not pay enough attention to what I was doing.  Which reminds me why I wanted to have a studio in the first place, so I could focus on what I was doing and not have to redo things or rip them out so often because I was distracted by family life.  I will have to start ignoring messages from home, keeping at least one boundary a little intact.   

I don't think that will stick though.

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