Gift From the Sea

With winter closing in and the drab dreary days before snowfall upon us here in Michigan, I find myself craving warmth and light and color.

I adore winter ... the cool quiet that comes with ample snow on the ground, the stark clear sky revealed by the lack of leaves and creating cozy moments to just observe and enjoy the season ... but the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving can be quite dull and uninspiring with everything in nature winding down and the festivities of Christmas not yet in full swing.

It seems the perfect time to share this altered book, full of color and inspired by warm Equatorial waters. Created in a copy of Anne Marrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea, this 50+ page creation was inspired by my trips to the Cayman Islands and some of my favorite creatures: trilobites and millipedes.

My obsession with millipedes started with the humble wood louse. Growing up in southern Ohio, we called them pill bugs. Here in Michigan they're called potato bugs or roly-poly bugs. Something about all those legs and segments captured my curiosity at a young age and eventually led to keeping and breeding giant millipedes from around the world.

I wanted to create a book that reflected the crisp, cool waters of the Caribbean juxtaposed against stark black and white images. The striking visual similarity between ancient trilobites and my brood of modern millipedes served as a nice bridge between my ocean inspiration and my desire to glue pictures of my pets into books.

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