Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

The Sunday Paper #307
April 12, 2020

Paper of the Week: Momigami

I have been making momigami over the past few years – a paper that is coated with konnyaku (devil’s tongue root powder mixed with water), and I have accumulated a small stash. I have four similar sets of momigami for sale, and the first person to order a set gets a free copy of Don Farnsworth’s A Guide to Japanese Papermaking. Don wrote another book called Momigami, which you can find online. Click here to read more and place your order. I love sewing this type of paper, because it is flexible and similar to cloth, but I look forward to seeing what you create with it!


In the Studio:

I am working out the details for my next book, with the working title Tension. My father was a physicist, and I was delighted to look up the definition of tension as it relates to physics and discover that: Tension is the pulling force transmitted across an axis by the means of a string or similar one-dimensional continuous object. This string drawing crosses the axis of the book page, and tension makes it settle into this image once the page is fully opened. There will be eight string drawings, each one created with a single string – one line can create some pretty complex images! And the act of ‘reading’ each drawing begins with chaos and ends with order. Oh, and there’s a real surprise on the back of each drawing. I look forward to sharing more as this book progresses.
Papery Tidbits:


Madeleine Durham makes exquisite paste papers that artists around the world have come to know, love and use in their work. I can picture book covers, end papers, covered boxes, calligraphy, cards, collage, weaving and more! Hop on over to Madeleine’s Etsy Shop and start drooling! Better yet, purchase her papers and share what you create with them!
I’m going to be promoting artists as I can here on the blog to help them replace some of their income during the pandemic. Please reach out if you have a paper product to sell (or a paper tutorial to share) that you think my readers might enjoy.

Check out these unique newspaper sculptures by Amritah Sen that deal with fear, uncertainty and politics (how timely). The way this article is set up to read on the internet is quite fascinating, too.

Happy Easter + Happy Passover! Things are hopping along over in The Paper Studio. Have you seen the trend to have Easter eggs in windows? Sarah Morgan shared this photo of her front door, and others are commenting that it is happening in their neighborhoods, too. Sarah got the idea from the prime minister of New Zealand, who suggested an Easter Egg hunt of paper eggs in windows. Join us as we share our love for paper over in The Paper Studio. You just have to answer three quick questions to be admitted.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is hosting Cabin Fever Artist Talks, and this week they featured my friend Nancy Cohen. Nancy created a video about her ongoing series The Work of Time. Her large-scale handmade paper drawings relate to the waterways of New Jersey that she has been walking, drawing and kayaking for years.

Love cars and papercrafts? Mazda has papercraft models for the likes of the CX-3, CX-5, MX-5, Demio, Axela, Atenza, Cosmo Sport, R360 Coupe, Luce Rotary Coupe, and Familia.


The News from Here:
How are you faring? It feels like everything is going online. School (we just found out today that school will be online for the rest of the year here in Colorado), workouts, church, happy hour… What do you think of this? Are we are lucky that we have the internet to stay connected, or unlucky that we are now even more connected to our devices? I guess that we (have the option to) control that narrative, don’t we? As with most things, it is something to balance.
Speaking of balance, I am still doing yoga with the app Down Dog. And this week, my health club started posting online workouts. I thought they were going to be live (silly me) but they are recorded. There is even a swim workout, if you can believe that! Since I’m a swimmer, I took a peek… it is a workout with bands to keep your arms swim ready. I like the guy who created the lesson (he’s my masters swim coach) but I am not into swimming in the air – LOL. I am not a professional triathlete (he is), so I understand his need to keep his arms swim ready.
I have seen posts from instructors who have been forced to teach online (live classes via Zoom) and there seems to be a concensus that it is harder to teach online verses teaching in person for all sorts of reasons. Although I have been teaching online for several years (I pre-record my lessons, which is much different than managing a classroom online) I do prefer in person teaching where you can see, touch and discuss the work being created. I am guessing that there will be some silver linings from our new experiences though. In fact, I love online teaching for different reasons than I like teaching in person. My own children seem to think that online college classes aren’t their thing either. I’m glad to hear that, and I look forward to the day when they can walk through campus, run into friends, smell the flowers and feel the wind on their faces.


Featured this week in my Studio shop:
Flexible Book Structures online class, Momigami Paper, The Papermakers Package, and The Text Ball.
Flexible Book Structures Banner


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  1. Diane Eicher says:

    Helen: I love the Sunday Paper today – the story about car models, news of your book (there will be a lot of sewing involved for you!) and the other links. As a teacher, I can certainly identify with the comments about online teaching … I went from being what I thought was a fairly competent teacher, 17 years of experience helping struggling readers, to feeling like a first-year newbie with barely a clue of how to help children. Increasingly, I am doing small group Zoom lessons about phonics skills, sometimes with 5 kids, sometimes 10 – whoever signs on that day – and I can only hope it is helping a tiny bit to stem what we typically call the “summer slide.” Seeing the kids’ faces on Zoom is a huge help to me, so I love that part of our new tech-life … and also the art contacts I have on Facebook, including the Paper Studio. Sounds like you are hanging in up there in Edwards, and I hope your online Book structure class goes well! // Diane

    • Hi Diane,
      Thanks for sharing your experience – in some ways I feel like you are lucky – just having to jump in and figure out the online thing! I belabor things forever before I get my feet wet. Fingers crossed that we can gather in person in September.