Friday, September 23, 2011

From the studio today...

Scissors + the old press
+ a few hours in the studio =
a little dose of pure inspiration.

Because it's true...
nobody knows how far a seed can carry you.
I needed to dwell on these uplifting words today.

How about you?
What secret dreams are buried deep inside you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grab your raggedy clothes & spread some ink with me!

I'm packing up the old wood and lead type, the heavy old proof press, glitter and ink and paper galore.
The ribbon, the scissors, and most of all, the anticipation!

It's all preparation for the printing classes I'll be teaching in Portland, Oregon at Art & Soul.
There are still spaces available. 

Sunday October 3 I'll be teaching a class called "Oodles of Paper and a Paperweight."

There will be plenty of paper... a girl could print herself a set of stationery, a pile of Christmas cards, and a deliciously vintagey crystal paperweight...
There will be loads of type and blocks that date way back to the late 1800's... and they are all the rage right now. Grab your raggediest clothes and get ready to smear some ink with me!
All day Monday October 4 we'll be doing Letterpress 101... making handmade books.

First we'll make our book forms and then go to it with all all day printfest again.

If you've always wanted to try your hand at letterpress printing, join us in Portland. 
I've got so many wonderful goodies ready...

If you want to sign up or get more info click on Art & Soul Retreats and Glenny will get you set up.

One little disclaimer: Don't blame me if you try printing once and end up addicted! It's almost irresistible...

Whoooooeeeeeee!!! There's a good time coming!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The juicy end of summer

Summer is slipping into autumn here in our little valley.

I always feel a tinge of regret, never wanting to let the sunshine turn to gray skies
and the warmth dip, prompting me to bring out the wool sweaters and bring in another
armful of fire wood.

But there are compensations.

Fresh local corn at the farmstand we pass every day.
The last straggling blooms in the garden.

And this year... elderberries!

Signs of autumn are everywhere. It's undeniable.

Chillier weather.

Time to start thinking about a neighborhood bonfire, the last batch of jam, and getting the Christmas projects underway.

Time to bake another pie and celebrate the lingering joy of summer before we embrace the autumn that's rushing toward us.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Welcome to America!

I've been working with a company in China this year and we needed a concentrated time for face to face meetings so my friends flew from Shanghai and we spent long days in the studio this week.

I can't show pictures of product because we're still in process, but there are some encouragingly juicy deals in the works. Almost all the time was spent in nitty gritty hard work.

But we did find some time to share a typical American welcome.

Some of my dearest friends welcomed my Chinese clients to pizza & salad...

...and of course we enjoyed a wee bit 'o shopping in the sunshine.

It's not easy to communicate when we don't always understand one another's culture and there's a language barrier as wide as the Pacific, but persistence and kindness bridge the gaps and we are all learning.

Hurrah for a business that makes the world a smaller place.

Some days I really, really, really love my job.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Jim phoned.
"Want to kayak this afternoon?"
He didn't have to ask twice!

I was exhausted after long days of meetings with Chinese clients whose English was limited and a quiet paddle around Bowman Bay was irresistible.

Bring on the sunshine and the water!

The woods look different when seen from a kayak...

... kelp and starfish and jellyfish, too.
And then, since one little jaunt deserves another, we decided on a family hike at Fir Island.

Why not?

The barns along the country roads...

wildflowers so high you have to wade through them.

If you're feeling worn out and stressed, let me recommend a jaunt somewhere wild, whether it's the sea that's calling you or the woods or just a quiet corner in the neighborhood park.

Take along a buddy or two and leave the world behind.

There's not much summer left and we all need a little quiet to reflect and recharge before autumn.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On being alone and away from home...

In Europe you are sometimes very aware that this is not America.

There are interesting smells, intense flavors,

 vibrantly colorful sights,
a fresh awareness of the past colliding with the present.

Sometimes you're alone in a small town

where hardly anyone speaks English
but everyone smiles in the same language
and you remember again the joy of pantomime.

Foreign can be charming....

 ... European details are bolder, the light more vibrant,

 textures more interesting,
and everywhere you look there is fresh inspiration.

There are new collections beginning in the studio now that I'm back on home turf!
What are YOUR latest creative ventures?
I'd love to hear what's inspiring you, and what you've got underway!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hail, Brittania!

Our British friends have a charming tradition.
When British people abroad set sail for home, they get together for patriotic singing accompanied by enthusiastic waving of flags... a thoroughly engaging custom.

So infectious, in fact, that I found myself singing "Hail, Brittania!" and "Land of Hope and Glory." 

Am I the only Anglophile among us? Or are you equally smitten?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Italy's timeless ancient treasures...

the Etruscan ruins and tombs in Tarquinia
and Pompeii's sculptures, glass vessels, and silver housewares are amazingly contemporary.

Sometimes the sculptures could have been the man next door...

The people in Pompeii at the time of Christ used beautiful silver spoons, bowls, salt shakers...
even colanders that would look at home in our kitchens.

I think the designs are stunning, don't you?

I would exchange my plastic colander for this elegant metal one in a heartbeat.

What intricate patterns and techniques those ancient people had mastered! Their lives were not as different from ours as we think.

Notice the elephant heads on the elaborate coaster below. Italians were familiar with elephants, tigers, and other exotic animals and they had medical instruments that were surprisingly sophisticated.
Their techniques with glass and ceramics and metals in the first century were amazingly advanced.
It was not the primitive life we imagine!

The Etruscans in pre-Roman times had wonderfully vivid glassware and fine gold and ceramics, too.

I meandered for hours and marveled at the timelessness of the Italian treasures.
No wonder they look so splendidly classic today in their fine leather shoes and perfectly tailored clothing.

The Italians have quite a history.