Wreath foraging and making

Sure there are places you can go with tables that have all the tools and piles of shrubbery, but - in my opinion - finding your own way (and stumbling a bit) is so much more fun! I especially love trampling through the forest/garden to find clippings, gathering twigs etc and finding other winter treasures (like the glowing orange fungi below!!!)

Anyhoo, below are some clues for wreath-making from this non-professional. Good luck and have fun on your adventure!!

 Found glowing up from a dark, soggy stump! OOOOOH :)

Found glowing up from a dark, soggy stump! OOOOOH :)

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 We found GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLDDDD!!!!! :)

We found GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLDDDD!!!!! :)

 Also, glowing from the darkness!!

Also, glowing from the darkness!!

 Ok, on to wreath construction:  Supplies: Something to cut with (official clippers would probably work better), something to bang down the spikes (I tried pliers, hammer worked better), tree and plant cuttings (seek out little bits of color. Dead stuff looks good too!), wreath frame with spiky things.  Warning: Do not wear soft soled slippers for this activity. Ouch!!

Ok, on to wreath construction:

Supplies: Something to cut with (official clippers would probably work better), something to bang down the spikes (I tried pliers, hammer worked better), tree and plant cuttings (seek out little bits of color. Dead stuff looks good too!), wreath frame with spiky things.

Warning: Do not wear soft soled slippers for this activity. Ouch!!

 Make two types of bouquets. Theoretically, you’re supposed to keep this pattern, but I always forget what I’m doing and the world does not end.

Make two types of bouquets. Theoretically, you’re supposed to keep this pattern, but I always forget what I’m doing and the world does not end.

 Lay bouquet 1 diagonally facing outward from the frame. Hammer down the spikes to hold it in place.

Lay bouquet 1 diagonally facing outward from the frame. Hammer down the spikes to hold it in place.

 Lay bouquet 2 diagonally facing inward. Hammer down spikes. Repeat all the way around.

Lay bouquet 2 diagonally facing inward. Hammer down spikes. Repeat all the way around.

Prayer Petals

A week after my Aunt passed away, I found myself on Harstene Island with a heaviness. It felt like I was standing in a muddy hole. Not a deep one, but my body was so heavy that I couldn’t climb out. It was dark and damp. Moving was the only way out. It wasn’t easy, but I took a step and I picked up a rock, then a leaf, some grass. I looked up and saw roses. I reached for one, cut it, and put it in my pocket. I grabbed another. A thorn left a small scratch on my arm. Ouch. I started noticing more things. Bright green moss. Curly reddish brown - my favorite color - madrone bark. Things started to feel less dark. I dumped them out on a bench, organized them and then just… started moving things around.

How to make art with nature:

Step 1: Go for a walk. Gather some shit (not literally. leaves, rocks, sticks, dirt etc…)

Step 2: Move shit around while thinking of (choose one of the following or insert your own)

  • Someone you miss

  • Someone you love

  • A feeling

  • A problem

  • Nothing at all

Port Angeles Nest

I used to look forward to smores when camping, but now it’s this. Intuition switches on and, like a magnet, the forest provides materials. They bend and shape as if it’s what they were made to do. Sometimes they snap, flip, fall. That’s part of the fun and challenge. This took me all day and I returned to it at different times of day to admire shifting light and shapes. Ahhhhhh. I can still feel the sense of accomplishment even though I left it behind weeks ago. This one reminds me of the gigantic spider sculptures by Louise Bourgeois and that makes me smile a lot.

A path untraveled...

Is now traveled….

I had passed the trailhead no less than 2,000 times and not gone up. Today was the day. The first day of Fall. I grabbed a gorgeous pal and headed up the trail with my camera. We found lots of treasures. A fort with an old chair and underwear in it (hhhhrrrrrrrmmmm), gems in the form of Rainier beer cans shining from dark crevices, glowing seed pods and much more. Beauty - even in trash - all around.

Toe Jam

See that little black fuzz on the floor? My favorite pair of socks decided to disintegrate all over the house at a family photoshoot on Sunday. Somehow we decided it was "toe jam" and played with it for over an hour; jamming it in between toes, tossing it in the air, hiding it in pockets, in hair, giving it funny voices, making it jump around.  We laughed so hard. This type of play is pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world. Not to mention, it made for some amazing photographs. It doesn't take much, folks!

Recy Taylor II

“Mom, is this blood cause of when she got hurt?” Pretty stinking insightful for a 5-year-old. I honestly hadn't even thought of that. The deep pink initially jumped on the page on accident and I just went with it. Although the original photograph was in black and white - and I love black and white - I wanted to see it in color. My 2-year-old put down the first markings, which can be seen in the bottom-left and a circular motion across her chest. I took it from there.  

Heather Brincko
Talking to Ghosts Through Art

When I saw the notice that Recy Taylor had passed away in late December just a few days shy of her 98th birthday, I froze. The world seemed to stop. (Note: If you don't who she is, read or watch her story, say her name ((pronounced Ree-cee)), share her story.)

Although I can't remember or find the exact quote, something she said really helped me cope with my own experience with assault. She said that even though law enforcement had failed her (understatement of the century), she believed speaking up at very least made her assailants think twice before committing further crimes. I immediately started sleeping a bit better at night.

My grandmother was born and died the same years as Recy (1919-2017). I needed to talk to them both. Some might turn to a ouija board to do that, I turned to art.

Simply painting wasn't enough. I needed something more sculptural, something with layers. I started melting wax and found some old airline tickets. I turned off the logical side of my brain, turned on Tupac, and talked to them as I melted, carved, pressed pigments with bare fingers, and cut tiny pieces of paper from my past.

No Instructions Provided

As usual, I ducked into a store last-minute looking for holiday crackers (holiday table decoration thingies that pop and are filled with crappy trinkets). $38 bucks for a box? Are you fucking kidding me? No, no, no! Tradition or not, I decided from here on out we will not. The best part is the crown (tissue paper, mind you) and we can beat that, I decided. Before dinner, I grabbed a pile of paper, magazines, some bling, scissors and glue and spread it on the table. "Ok, peops! This year we're making our own crowns. Go!" Mikey jumped right in and cut, folded, and pasted himself a majestic beauty. The next person said they didn't know how to make a crown. I said there would be no instructions provided, just go for it. They did just fine. Everyone did. It was so fun to see everyone's creative expressions. I wish I had photographed each one, but I was too overwhelmed by how amazing the evening was to remember to pick up the camera:)

Heather Brincko