Holiday party. Done! It was a lovely event with Robbie telling lots of funny tales and kind people. It was a crazy dark drive with rain combined with an NPR story on the costs of college… enough to make me drive off the side of the road. Tonight is a concert at the school. Tomorrow is a community concert.
More projects keep coming. Just when I thought I had caught up, it continues. On and on…
I am often struck with how things happen. Either it is fate, or divinely orchestrated—but sometimes the alignment of events are just so neatly planned even before they happen that I often scratch my head and take a minute to think and wonder.
One door closes and another one opens. The great step onto another plane—is at once confounding, scary and wonderful. I am inspired by Steve Job’s last words of “Oh, wow!” or a friend who left us after battling AIDS, who sat up in his bed with his face radiant and brilliant welcoming the next chapter. The second birth.
It is this time of hope to welcome God as man…the advent of this time when God was born as a tiny baby that these passings of men seem more poignant, more poetic, more hopeful of the promise this tiny baby represents. Forget the manmade frivolity and focus on this amazing symbol of hope, of energy, of life, and of the renewal of all of these things. This is the gift we are presented with every day to own and embrace.
“In life, there will always be many paths to follow; I hope you always choose the right one…If you give a part of yourself to life, the part you receive back will be so much greater. Never regret the past, but learn by it. Never lose sight of your dreams; a person who can dream will always have hope.
Believe in yourself; if you do, everyone else will. You have the ability to accomplish anything, but never do it at someone else’s expense. If you can go through life loving others, you will have achieved the greatest success of all.”
Judy Bourgeault, Blue Mtn. Arts
“Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us.…Let us pray that this presence of the liberating joy of God shines forth in our lives.”
Pope Benedict XVI (12/2005)
“Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.”
Wild wrapping and drawing. All the plates are spinning. And, just as things start whomping up, my computer decides to go finicky in the email department. Jeez.
There are pubs to be corrected. Pubs to be laid out. I love the work these days—because production methods drive the design. So many publications I am working on these days are output to pdf or even (god forbid) word docs that are sent to individuals to output to their little pokey desk printers. Will our local offset printers become rarer and rarer with this type of work just being printed locally—and the idea of bleeds and delicate tints thrown out the window with the blunt tool of the cheap desk printer. Will excellent printing go the way of jobbing out typesetting (with all the kerning and proofing that the old typesetters used to do)? Is the graphic designer now just going to be the technology arbetor?
As you can see, I am bitten by the land of scherenschnitte…only my ink version of it. There are many miles in these pix, and they will evolve as my advent project in black and white—with maybe a half dozen of them in color. I like taking this up again as the images are a bit better designed…and I can bring animals and flora into the images to make it more mine. However, I love these Swiss trees, and want to imprint it on my brain and hand. Squirrels, raccoons, bear and deer. Leaping cats and daffodils. The little Swiss cottages need to change to Greek Revival farm houses with fences and chimneys. Someone commented on the Home Sweet Home images wanted to know why the windows were light versus dark… worth looking into. Maybe some musical instruments too?
I got 4 boxes out yesterday with another 3 filled, wrapped and addressed (ready to go). I dawdled with this stuff until around nine last night. I only need brown paper to get the other significant things out. And then, cards…and chez Camp presents. Need to get going. December is two and a half quick weeks. Yikes.
Cyber Monday with my Etsy stuff (we knocked 25% off everything) yielded someone buying a stack of tattoos. Jeez. I did mine with Etsy (something for Kitty and something for a resident of Camp Camp this summer). The dachshund card, however, is blowing out this year. We are selling multiple packs of cards at a clip. Also, big Cyber news, Fat quarters on Spoonflower is a great price (twofers) this week. Could be cool if I had a minute to spare. I want to make some Qillos pillows.
Just back from Sauders, the Mennonite grocery store in Seneca Falls. It was a beautiful drive with clouds and little peeks of blue sky with gold light casting shadows on the snowy fields and painting the trees dark purple and brown. Beautiful. We bought a cartful of groceries with a lot of flour, butter and the basics. I picked up a package of John Martin Scrapple for my mother-in-law who loves it along with frozen blackberries, dried parsley, teensy potatoes (called creamers) and much more.
They had dried mushrooms (my new add to the mise en place) but Greenstars are better and believe it, cheaper. Mushrooms add so much to any saucy thing--adding so much weight and dimension to the flavor of a sauce. It is amazing, much like the leek, the shift/or add of an ingredient can make so much of a difference.
We have eggplants for Kitty and Alex's favorite eggplant along with all sorts of spices, nuts and add ins. What with the time I have at home, the bottles and cans for cooking have been replaced by single pieces of paper and plastic bags. The whole quantity of our household trash has reduced to a trickle...and the composting and recyclables a bit more weighted.
I have flour for the week. I am making a new recipe in The King Arthur Book--not the Pain Levain, but the Whole Wheat Sourdough which is a bit more complicated (but thats not saying a lot).
I am thinking of calling the Society of Illustrators in New York to find out what it would take to create a digital (maybe even taking it to vector) award for the Student's Show. I would like to do a $1000 prize (max $1500) as this is the place to encourage growth and staying on track. It would have meant the world to me when I was in school, but prizes were not given. I am also thinking of prizes for the first years and a single prize for the second years at Hartford Art School's MFA in illustration. Illustration keeps giving and giving to me, I would like to encourage this small community of lovely people through giving to students who may need applause and praise for excellence and effort. Put this on the list of things to do.
Must go for now. There is some reference to search....for more of these home sweet home pictures. I am developing things and feel I am on the front end of this...
Off to Target later this afternoon for shopping with Alex. Maybe dinner at The Nines...!
"Fix’d like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot."
Alexander Pope, Essay on Man. Epistle ii. Line 63.