Jes Lee


An intriguing title for a blog post, especially if like me you live in Minnesota. We won’t talk about it beyond that, except to say that my title does have a reason. More on that in a bit.

Today was one more day in the ‘make all the things’ weekend! I felt quite distracted today though, and feel like I didn’t get as much done as I could have, even though I still accomplished a lot. Tomorrow is a new day, however, and even though I do have to work part of the day, I will still have a lot of time to devote to my artwork. We’ll see what that brings.

I did start work on my second triptych box!

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I’m excited with where this box is going. It will be quite different from the first, though it will have the same form.

The most important thing to me today is the fact that I finally feel like I am pulling these pieces together into one show with one theme. I know it is easy for me to see the connections between the pieces, but not always that easy for someone else to see. I think I finally know how they will all be presented this time, and that I think will tie everything together quite nicely.

Part of my distraction today was caused by The Princess, who seemed a bit upset by the storm and needed help making a place to burrow. I helped her come up with this little set up, and she seemed to settle down.

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She keeps life interesting around here.

I had a hard time getting started on a poem today. I finally ended up sort-of using a prompt from Hazel and Wren’s blog to write about a fireplace. My poem is about a bon fire instead of a fireplace, but it was a good prompt to use. It made me think about great summer nights spent with my cousins outside by the pool.




goldenrod flames reach towards
the oak and pine trees that stand
a tall guard around us
just far enough back
to not get burned.

sparks swirl up
joining a clear navy blue sky
full of as many tiny stars
as you can see from the city.

the smell of chlorine
burned marshmallow sugar
wine coolers
root beer
wet dog
and watermelon
mix together.

a little further out
the flicker of citronella
tiki torches spot the dark
stone path with light
the glow of the pool lights
casting a neon blue green beyond that.

we swim until we feel
like we will never ever be dry again
eat toasted marshmallows and s’mores
until we could explode
then eat a giant watermelon between us.

damp and sticky i bike home after
knowing we’ll do this all over again soon.

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Extra days

I often find myself wishing for extra days. Extra hours, or minutes even. There has been a lot going on lately, and I have often felt like I’m non-stop-running from job to job to project.

Because of the threat of bad weather, schedules were changed at my day job, and I wound up with today off of work. My ‘make all the things’ weekend started a day early!

I made the most of it! There are now prints ready for my next box, quite a bit more of my wood block engraved, test prints done, more ideas thought, and new artwork framed for the gift shop at Bloomington Art Center.

At first, I didn’t know where I should even start. I still couldn’t fathom having an extra day to myself. So, I piled organized everything on the kitchen table, and picked something to start with.

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Before long, it looked like this:

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Happy chaos of prints, book pages, and everything else. More of that tomorrow!

I wrote poem #10 today. I wrote it earlier today while I was in between bits of projects. I noticed there were no birds or squirrels out here, and the princess was huddled in a corner of the room. Everything seemed to be waiting. It isn’t my favorite poem, but it is one for today.



The atmosphere seems to be holding its breath,
keeping all of us waiting
for the crescendo,
the seemingly inevitable storm
that will plunge us back into winter,
remind us that the ground is still sleeping
and the growing season is still not here.


We will see what the storm brings tonight!

Dear Tuesday, thank you.

Today was one of those amazing days where things work, bits of projects are completed, the cosmos seem to align, blah blah blah! I completed the last two print runs for the little book I’m creating for my show. I do still have to figure out how to print the cover, but the pages are at least done.

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I had a great afternoon making pottery with my dad. After that I had a great evening with John cleaning out closets! … Ok, at least I thought it was great. We now have a few bags of things to take to a friend’s garage sale next month. Yay!

I am very excited to have a long weekend off of work ahead of me. This long weekend will be spent working on more pieces for my show. I have only one supply run to make. The rest of the time will be devoted to gluing, printing, carving, and creating. I am really looking forward to it. I have even named it the “make all the things’ weekend! :)

‘Cleaning out’ has been on my mind for awhile and considering I did exactly that today, it is the topic I chose to write my poem about.


is what he calls it
when i play whirlwind
pull everything out of closets
examining the fit, color,
texture and memory
of each item
before sorting

is what I call it.
Teaching myself again
that memories are not stored
in objects
but in photographs
and journals.

Maybe just a few objects…