Monday, April 27, 2009

A whole week of admin work coming up

It's looking like a lot of computer work and running around this week. Already, today was the various announcements, getting the print sale stuff functioning better, IFCC proposal, Portland Open Studios tour guide stuff. And the boxes came back from the Cedar Crest exhibit, so that had to be unpacked and checked. The rest of the week will be more or less the same, just different 'stuff.' My eyes are sore already.

OK, you can buy Mare & Foal now...

I put up the paypal buttons for buying Mare & Foal over at the Relay Replay Press blog! General announcements go out tomorrow.

I spent a quite a bit of time today out at The Dalles getting to know the gentleman that I'll be working with. His wife picked me up at 8am and we didn't get home until almost 6pm. It was a beautiful day for an outing, and we picked him up from the retirement home and went out for a drive and lunch. Afterwards we went back to his room and browsed through some of the books I brought. He's a WWII vet and is very into ships and cars (all things mechanical, actually), so I checked out a bunch of big picture books of ships and cars from the library, to see if he would enjoy looking at them. And he did. I think that was a great success. Of the two times that I've met him, he was probably the most animated when he was talking about his Model A Ford.

When we said goodbye, I told him I was going to give him a hug, and he flashed a big smile. I think that was an excellent sign.

And that business about me being so caught up? Well, I did forget a few things...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Miracle of miracles

Hey, for the first time in a looong time now, I'm NOT behind! I wrapped up my GBW entry and shipped it off, right on schedule. I finally prepped my vegetable bed, now I just need to get my starts and put them in...OK, so that's a LITTLE bit behind schedule. I even got some mending done, the pile of mending that's been sitting in a heap on the chair for the last...oh, eight months. I got that almost completely taken care of. I'm so caught up, in fact, that I'm going to Bend to see my mom tomorrow. Just a day trip.

But of course, I've probably forgotten something...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Relay Replay fundraiser print

After a couple of days of planning, I made the print today. This is the print I'm doing as a fundraiser to raise money to pay for materials and for me to go out and spend a week at The Dalles to work with another senior who lives out that way. His family lives in Portland and they have horses. I went out a few weeks ago and took a bunch of photos of their horses and used those as sources for this print. [I should add that these are Gocco prints, but of course...]

Here's the first layer, basically a solid 6"x6" square with different areas inked up with what I have left of the watercolor inks. The white horse was blocked out with a self-adhesive stencil:

After the 2nd layer:

And as I was designing it, I really couldn't decide which version to go with, so I went with both:

I printed about 2/3 of the prints in the pastel color version, and the rest in the sepia toned version. Both prints have that old-fashioned look, which I'm really liking. I used the same two screens for both versions, one screen a solid 6"x6" area, and a second screen for the darker lines. I like that the solid is somewhat spotchy too. I decided to go with the splotchy screen rather than a good solid open screen that I have been using for a variety of other projects. I don't know, there's just something about those little bright spots, they look like snow flakes, or maybe flower petals floating through the air.

The design of the print came from these 2 photos. The two horses are a mother-daughter pair.

Monday, April 20, 2009

And even more home owner stuff

We (actually, the Good Prince) put up the clothesline!

Yes, it's indoors. We hardly need our clothes or sheets to hang outside and become infused with pollens. We have enough trouble as it is.

Although it's not all that warm yet, and this is down in the basement where it's even cooler and damper, pretty much everything dried within 24 hours.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Home-owner duty calls

Our house & yard are getting dangerously close to looking like the town dump (notice how I carefully said 'our house...') so I really had to do something about it today. Remember all the storms we had over the winter? The snow, the winds? That left a giant pile of Douglas Fir branches on our deck, and now that it's the middle of April, I finally just got around to sweeping that all up. (The driveway got done a few days ago.)

We also lost quite a few plants, and several died way back although didn't die-die. So I pruned back a lot of the dead stuff—And whose idea was it to plant so many thorny things anyhow?—although there's still a lot more to go.

We did even more home-owner type stuff today, if you can believe it—we replaced a window screen! Like we bought tools and a roll of screen, and took out the old window screen onto which the kitty has made her mark over the years, and installed the new screen. Following directions and everything!

Lets see, what's happening in the studio—trimmed paper for the fundraising print, had a really long meeting about the 2009 Portland Open Studios tour guide, met with the critique group for our new collaborative book project. I was planning to start working on the fundraising print today, but now I'm quickly running out of steam.

And also about the latest painting—when I looked at it again the next morning, it felt really finished, so I decided to just stare at it for a few more days before I did anything else. And now it really does feel finished, and I'm also going to stay with the title 'Two.' It was part of the original intent, and also the piece from Artist X that I was responding to was titled 'WTO...,' and although the anagram was a complete coincidence, I like it too much to pass it up.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baby's first drop-spine box

The Guild of Book Workers requires that the books you send for exhibition be housed in a drop-spine box. The last time, I got Andrew to make me a box for Fatherland, this time, Andrew isn't around for me to take advantage of, so I actually had to learn how to do this. So behold:

I downloaded a couple of sets of instructions, one of which claimed that it would take about an hour to make one. Well, I can't tell exactly how long it took me, but it was probably 3-4 hours, excluding having to go Art Media to get some book cloth. Not having a board shear, I had to cut all the boards with an exacto knife (and then cut some of them again). But overall, I think it went pretty well. The two sides fit exactly, although the inside is just a smidgin too wide for the book, which I can fix with a small strip of some board. The box just needs to be functional, it doesn't need to be pretty. And since the book is deeper on one side than the other (and plus the extra height of the mah-jongg tiles), I'll need to make a plinth or insert anyhow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm not sure what happened, but here we are

So here's how the painting ended up today (last seen here):

I'm not quite sure what this is all about, it was one of those "one thing leads to another" deals — "oh, I think I'll do this...," "hmmm, this looks like this-something-or-other, so I guess I'll do this next."

I'm not quite finished yet, but finished enough that I can still meet tomorrow morning with Artist X. We'll see what she says...

Monday, April 13, 2009

You know the honeymoon is over...

When the Good Prince reports that he has to work late tonight, instead of going out to meet him for dinner, I ask if I could have his leftover pizza. And this right after our 18th anniversary too. It's harsh.

But otherwise, life is just lovely—shipped off another box of books to Vamp & Tramp, shipped off a special order of notecards, caught up on some Portland Open Studios business & website stuff. Worked on the IFCC proposal, and now I'm making copies of the Food Confessional that was part of the For the Love of Food exhibit at Cedar Crest.

Didn't get to my painting, which might be just as well as I'm still kind of stewing over it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This feels good

We wrapped up several things today, and that feels good. My RACC grant application is packed up and ready to be delivered; the special, custom made note card order is packed and ready to ship; our taxes are done (yay!). I do have a few things that I was hoping to get done today but didn't, but it will just have to do.

Two (temporary title)

I finally started working on my exchange with Artist X. So this is in response to her piece that she did in response to my Prosperity Soup to be Eaten in the Dark, which I finally finished. (It's not too different from where I last left it, but some of the details are brought out a bit more.)

This was where it started yesterday. As always, I love ambiguity in interpretation—is the braid menacingly wrapping itself around the obelisk and about to rip it out of the ground, or is the sword about to cut the braid off? I'm carrying forward the idea I used in Trip, in addition to responding to her piece.

The idea that you don't really have the two choices listed above as the two are quite connected to each other is starting to take shape. The egg shapes are forming too, and no, it's not because it's Easter weekend, it's an actual response to her piece. She used egg forms in her piece, although they were without the shells, just yokes floating in egg whites. Here I've put them back together again. But I'm not liking the curliques.

Where I left it for tonight: the curliques are backed out (as much as that's possible in this medium), and the peony is in place. Right now I'm thinking that all four of the eggs need to be whole eggs, but I'll sleep on it.

Although now that I'm looking at it again, I'm liking the curliques better...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Decorated Egg contest

OK, I'm officially entering the Decorated Egg contest sponsored by Mr. Smarmy Man (who seems to be disguising himself as one "Mr. Russell Romano"). Since he didn't specify that all work must be completed within the last two years, I'm entering here 3 eggs, all completed sometime between 1977-1986.

Egg one, front view:

Egg one, side view:

Egg two:

Egg three, not completed sometime between 1977-1986...although I always figured that I'd eventually finish it:

Thursday, April 09, 2009


11 days—I think that's the longest I've gone without jotting down something since I started The Last Bedroom. I haven't had any enquiries as to my whereabouts, health, or premature death though. But since you didn't ask...

Lets see...taxes, grant application deadline and Portland Open Studios transitioning into 2009 tour year have been keeping me busy. And I was gone for an exciting 3-day weekend of exhibits and workshop in Seattle this last weekend. More about those in the next few days after I get back on schedule with regular life.

The exciting news for today is that we have a new front door! For a while now, the door frame had had a big crack, the bolt did not bolt, and the lock barely latched. Somebody could've broken in with their little finger probably. But anyhow, that's all fixed. We have a nice new door (the old door was pretty dinged up so we just got a new one) that actually functions. Yay! Now I just have to paint it when the whether gets a little nicer.