Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sigh, It's the End of Summer (West Coast)

We were relaxing in Yosemite last week, then came home to an abrupt end to our leisurely summer. We had three birthdays parties in three days, and a few other end of summer gatherings as well. It was really nice, but I am glad to have a bit of quiet print time this week.

My kids start back to school today! I don't know who was more excited, them or me! Not that I don't treasure the summer time we've had, we've had a blast. We have spent the past few months going steady with our group of friends out here—pool, beach, boardwalk. But I am anxious to get back to work and start printing again. I really want to get ready for our upcoming craft fair. I leave in two weeks to head out to see Amy, and do the Chicago Renagade Fair. It will be my first craft fair, but in stead of being nervous, I am excited. Yea!

This morning I worked on printing a few boiler plates for my cards—one for a flat note, and one for a folded card. I had made them up a while ago, but haven't had much luck with printing small text on my Kelsey. It usually fills in, or prints uneven. With the kids being in school, I had the time to get it right today. I went to work after drop off, and knocked out the remainder of my card stock. I am pleased with the results. I ended up removing all my packing in the press to get a cleaner print. Also, I was trying not to get a deep impression, so the text would not show through onto the inside of the card. I made up a gray for the ink on both, but the flat note is much lighter. I didn't want the ink to show through.

This past Sunday I worked on finishing up a plate for Boxcar Press to print out this week. It has shipped and should be delivered tomorrow. I am excited to have some new artwork to print from. If timing goes as I planned, I will be printing 3 days next week.

Thank you Amy for my care package and sweet new rubber stamp!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bad Hippo! (Midwest)

I came downstairs this morning to discover this ghastly scene. It appears as if Hippo has knocked off Spiderman. That's Spiderman's dislocated leg on the table behind Playmobile man. I'm glad the photo is blurry because it's very gruesome and you probably don't want to see it. Naturally, I'm riddled with anxiety and thoughts of concern for all the innocent toys and figurines in our household. The Polly Pockets and My Little Ponies don't stand a chance against a killing machine like this. Playmobile Man may look like a strong enforcer in this photo but I know him and he's a coward.

What should I do? I'm considering binding Hippo with duct tape, putting him in my trunk and driving out into the woods. But, considering we found hippo injured and abandoned (or so I thought) on the bike path I know he's crafty. And worse, what if he has ties to the Hippolino crime family!?!

Any comments with advice would be appreciated.

Friday, August 22, 2008

11 More Days (Midwest)

This is our sweet Sunny. She comes when she's called, is cage trained, likes to snuggle, and has some cute habits. Who knew a rat would become such a cherished pet?

I woke up this morning thinking "I should post on the blog today". I had some early morning lucid dreaming involving youtube and the internet (!?¡). I will dismiss any notion of dream analysis and the idea that dreaming about the Internet may be a sign of daytime addiction, and instead compose a post...

We registered the kids for school yesterday, got teacher assignments, compared rosters, etc. I spent a huge portion of that time thinking about the near future (11 more days) when they go back to their day jobs. Some of my friends when asked if they are glad summer is almost over say they are so sad that their kids are leaving. They enjoy having them home and cherish every minute of time they spend with them. I will set aside my guilt for the moment and admit I am not one of those moms. I don't enjoy the fighting and whining part of having them home. I miss my time. Maybe it's selfish but what I want is a little bit of each day to myself. Don't get me wrong, I do like to be with them, just not 24/7. Anyway, I am really, really looking forward to the school year. I want to take on some more freelance work and of course work on my letterpress.

Speaking of letterpress I'm finally posting a photo of the notepads I made over the weekend. They were created almost entirely from salvaged materials. The chipboard from craigslist, the paper insert sheets from 3 reams headed for someone else's trash, and the pencil image from a vintage printer block. The only part that I purchased new was the binding. I hope to have more notepads in different sizes and designs soon.

Just 11 more days, hold on Amy, you are almost there. With that I must go make breakfast and break up the squabble that is escalating in my living room.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

To the Point

I am at the tail end of a 36 hour respite from my family. Joey took the kids up North for an overnight and two days of swimming in the lake. Go Joey. Go Joey. Before he left I made of list of things I wanted to do while they were gone. I actually wrote them down. As if I would forget! So, far I have accomplished 4 of 5 items. Can you guess which one is undone?

1. ride my bike
2. eat a nice meal out
3. print
4. pick up my camera filter
5. clean the upstairs

Number 5 had no business being on my list, right? Clean the house? C'mon! When the kids are gone? Not a chance. Ok. I scratched it off the list (I really did). I think I wrote it initially for Joey as an incentive to split town. Whoops.

Earlier this morning I cut up a bunch of chipboard with the intention of making little note books. The chipboard took the ink beautifully. And, it's just the right density for a good impression. I don't have photos of the prints on the board, but above is something else I printed. My thought here is that the person sending the card can write their message in front of the pencil. I've always thought that greeting cards are better when customized. And, this one card can become appropriate for any occasion.

All right. I have to go make the best of what's left of my peace and quiet. I should probably change out of my pjs and head outside. It's sunny and warm. Bye for now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Say Cheese (Midwest)

Last Sunday Kate picked me up and we headed downtown to do a little photography shoot/walk. We sneaked into the Hilton and headed up to the top of the building. From there we discovered that the top floor party room was left unlocked and unattended! We had to enter. The room had a bar, a bookshelf with arty vases and vintage books, and an amazing view looking down onto Monona Terrace and the lake. My first thought was to mix myself a drink, but then I remembered the task at hand which was learning to take pictures.

I'm still in the initial stages of mastering my camera, so I mainly just try to take a picture that isn't blurry. I do consider the composition as I line things up, but it's pretty much an unplanned let's see what happens approach. Kate talked about where to stand to catch interesting light, and about background color and scenery. It was very interesting. Lots to consider as I continue practicing.

After we exhausted our Hilton photo opportunities we strolled outside and shot flowers. The evening sun was low in the sky and seemed to get tangled in the petals and grasses. Very pretty.

The evening was perfect for strolling, chatting and taking pictures. It was such a nice little outing. I'm glad to have a friend who shares her creativity and skills with me.

Finally, I'd like to send a thanks out to Diana of Pravina studio. Diana creates simple and modern bags and accessories. She also maintains the blog, Heartland, which highlights her discoveries in the Midwest. I met her this summer at the Craftacular and she sent me a note several days later asking if I wouldn't mind being featured on her blog. Hello!?!?? Of course I wouldn't mind. Here is the post. Thanks again Diana. I'll see you at Renegade!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lucky Bee Gets Lucky! (Midwest)

Laurie called me yesterday with some exciting news. Lucky Bee Press has a card featured in the September Issue of Family Circle Magazine! Here is a photo of page 25. Right under the "25" you can see our (small) Koi Card. They even linked our Etsy shop. Whoohoo!

Ok. Enough horn tooting. I'm now returning back to regularly scheduled weekend plans...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Vacation (Midwest)

I have returned home after traveling with the kids 4 hours North to my Aunt and Uncles fabulous house on Sand Lake. We had such nice weather. We swam several times a day. We played many card games. We picked currants that were turned into currant jam, pie and a mixed fruit pudding which is a family favorite. I went for sweaty runs outside until the horseflies chased me indoors to the treadmill. I meandered along the lake with my camera (and new lens) shooting nature photos. I even read two books. It was such a nice, relaxing week.

Unfortunately, our drive home was interrupted with bouts of vomiting from the way back seat (sorry if that was TMI). Sam's stomach decided to remind us that the vacation was officially over. At least we are in our own beds again and have access to our pediatrician if need be.

So, I'm now forced to come down from the leisure high I had on vacation. I'm back to my list. I have an Etsy order to go out, some ideas to sketch, and a craft fair to plan for. There is dust on my letterpress and it needs to go. Time to get back at it!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

What If Modern Advertisers Created the Stop Sign? (Midwest) - Watch more free videos

This is so spot on. Laurie, does it remind you of some of our old clients?