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“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

Henry David Thoreau

A SOMETHING in a summer’s day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon,—
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;

Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.

Emily Dickinson from Complete Poems 1924

August 26, ’13 

The lovely summer weather of the past 2 weeks has turned to chilly and gray overnight and this morning.  We’ve been having warm days and cool nights which is a certain harbinger of Autumn.  I’ve been reminding myself that summer isn’t truly over until Sept 21 or 22, which is all too close. 

My heart has been rendered heavy with thoughts of the coming Fall and then, the dreaded Winter — and all the worries about dealing with those seasons.  My particular worry is the dreaded Heating Season and the amount of dollars it may take to get through.  Where those dollars are to come from, I don’t yet know.  It’s a low day and I’m in a low frame of mind.

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I have a commission to design and produce a Floor Cloth for a client.  That work is going well with the design semi-complete and the cloth itself hemmed, primed, 1st steps marked-out in chalk and ready to go.  Except that I’ve run out of paint and have to chill on this project until I buy more.    Which will probably be on Wed or Thurs….

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When I cut out the canvas for the Client’s cloth I also cut some for 2 smaller Floor Cloths and primed those, as well.  For the primer, I used paint in a quart can that I bought years ago to paint a wall in the Culvert St apartment.  I decided to use up what I have on hand rather than buy more white.  I’m liking this tone for my work, it reminds me of pastel paper.  When I came to the present stopping place on the Client’s cloth I decided to start work on one of the smaller ones, replicating  the design I’d used for the Milk Can, earlier this summer.

This Floor Cloth is 28” x 35”, unhemmed.  I haven’t yet decided to hem or not.  After 5 hours work I’ve reached a temporary stopping place on this small cloth and won’t be able to continue until I go out and buy more paint.   I omitted a few of the initial steps from the Milk Can and am pleased with the results.  It has less tone and is brighter.  I think it won’t take me 40+ hours to finish this Floor Cloth.  

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3 Responses to

  1. beetleypete says:

    Your floor cloth design looks bright and colourful Gretchen, I am sure they will like it.
    We are also seeing the first mists and fogs of autumn, and the acorns are starting to fall. Like you, we worry about heating costs (we have oil-fired heating) and we are hoping to use more wood this year, to keep oil costs down. Let us all hope for a mild winter! Regards from Norfolk, Pete.

  2. Kathy says:

    May your dreads for winter and the upcoming heating system never materialize. May the money come when you need it…or the way to earn what is required. Trusting in the Universe can be so hard at times. How interesting that you create floor cloth designs! I don’t think I’ve ever met another person who did this.

    • Thank you for your good wishes. I –we all — have to ultimately leave it up to the mercy of the Universe but you’re right, it is hard sometimes. Thank goodness for right now, when all is well!

      Doing Floor Cloths is an art that somehow crept up on me. I made some for myself because I had the canvas and paint and no money for the rugs I would have liked. Then, I got a client who wanted Floor Cloths. Designing art for the floor is a different perspective that I enjoy.

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