October Writer Response: Emily Wheat


After reading Beth’s response to my challenge for this month, I felt inspired by the image she posted of the ghost that has been living in her car. Eventually these guys will journey around the country, spreading Halloween joy, but for now they are strung across my room.

wheatie ghosts

wheatie puppets

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an Adventure Time themed party. Not knowing what Adventure Time was I googled images and immediately knew I needed to make finger puppets of the characters. Hopefully the Birthday Boy likes his gift! I think that they turned out pretty cute.

wheatie leaveswheatie prints

As an art teacher I spend a lot of time creating projects and prepping materials. One of my current jobs is teaching art once a week at the local Montessori school. Last week we made gelatin prints, which turned out to be a joyful experience resulting in some beautiful prints.  These images show the process I go through on a weekly basis to make examples of the project and collecting materials.


I decided to make some cards using Styrofoam printing plates and while I was searching for some materials I came across this plate of a skeleton that I created last fall. I made it just around this time last year in an attempt to create something to celebrate my grandfather who passed away a several years ago.  I say attempt because like many projects that I start I didn’t ever do anything with the plate. I’m thrilled about the prints (which some people will receive in the form of cards) and want to share a little about why I was so inspired to create this imagery in the first place.

As Beth has pointed out we share a deep love for Halloween. Part of this love has to do with my fascination with skeletons and the depiction of them functioning as if still living.  For this reason I was looking at a lot of art centered around Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, last year and wanted to create a piece of my own that would allow me to celebrate my grandfather, someone who has had a profound impact on my life.

My grandfather, Al Nolin, was a man who was always making something new or changing something that already existed. My childhood was spent visiting his ever-changing wooden deck that transformed the back yard into a terraced wonderland. When I was young he sculpted a life-size horse on the basement wall, later deciding to chisel it off due to a leg that wasn’t quite right. He was a man who did as he pleased, living his life the way he saw fit. He constantly challenged people to embrace who they were rather than allow someone else to define them. Not only with his words, but through his actions he inspired me to be a maker of things. His lifestyle and his attitude have influenced me in more ways than I can know. Honestly, sometimes this influence seems like a curse as he was a fairly stubborn man, but I am grateful to have shared part of my life with such a talented and passionate individual. This year has been spent celebrating the life of a loved one lost and remembering that Dia de los Muertos is not about mourning the passing of those folks but remembering the lives they lived.

Our protagonist has also been thinking about her grandfather this month. Here is something she made for him.

Here are a few other things she has been making this month – check out the Living Chapters Facebook page to see more of the making this month!


Just finding this blog today? Read more about the Living Chapters project here.

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