Well, rather than a bunch of excuses (or, as I prefer to call them, reasons) for my absence, I will show you what I am working on. I thought I was done with Codex Canadensis imagery, but then I came across this image in a book about trees.
It took a bit of re-working to come up with the design. I enlarged the Barker image to about 800%, and fiddled with and resized the Codex critters to fit. (I was able to find replacements for almost all, except the elephant and the camel.) I replaced the text on the banderols (scrollwork) with three quotes: one from James Joyce, that was encoded into the first synthetic bacteria DNA (To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, and to re-create life out of life), another from microbiologist Carl Woese (Organisms are resilient patterns in a turbulent flow), and a third from surrealist poet Paul Eluard (There is a world beyond the world, and it is in this world).
I transferred the design to a beautiful piece of linen that was grown, spun and woven in India, bought from Capiscum, a gorgeous and inspirational fabric store in Amsterdam. I began stitching.
With the thin, weak light these days, I can't get much done - about 3 or 4 hours a day. And I keep making decisions that require more stitches, like the shading in the banderols. I figure another four months and I will be done, but that's a loose goal. Like Lao Tsu said: "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."