Monday, December 21, 2015

Ho, ho, ho! Still Time Left to Buy a Tree!

see also: the lovely willingness of my partner.

Ahhh, Day of Wonders!

...Or at least, one of copious sugar, a bubble bath with a damp novel*, and a much appreciated "bang trim."** It has been a surprising day, with the best indicator being my Jewish fiance standing on a curb like so:

He was gamely waving and ho-ho-ho-ing. He spoke with a curious accent: jolly, sure, but originating from where exactly? "Get your Christmas trees HEEyuh!" Cars were honking. The handful of Christmas trees remaining in the Washtenaw AlAnon lot were small in stature, but not overtly Charlie Brownish. 
It was too cold for Santa to not have Santa gloves.
<-- Javier said my smile when I pulled into the parking lot was the biggest he has seen in a while. Gleeful mockery aside, you can probably see the inner child is all "SAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYNTAAAA!" 

My actual child, meanwhile, was inside, being hefted by Javier's dear friend (and snazzy elf, to boot); and sheltered from the cold and her recognizable-but-odd Papa.
they emerged for a photo op.
We are in our early stages of navigating different religions/cultures. Last Fall I had stressed that baby aside, I *definitely* needed to continue having a tree, though I understood that it was not a shared necessity; this season, I got a smaller one that would fit outside of Baby's area, and have been super super happy that Javier has approved its compact twinkliness. It probably helps that it makes me gleeful and more prone to bake things like snappy anise stars / dark chocolate pistachio bark / chocolate peppermint bars. We currently lack a menorah, but this will most certainly be rectified before this time next year.
& babbles at fake greenery that sprung up overnight
She eschews the spoon, wears bibs she can not read
I like to think we'll raise a child who will be savvy at navigating through different cultures, religions, schools of thought, and who will embrace that which appeals, question the questionable, release that which does not resonate; and not interpret confusion as overly alarming, or as a lack. Tall order? And maybe this, too, is self-justifying blather from someone who tends to get sucked in by visual trappings and rituals, but is, by no means, devout. Which is not to say that I'm apologetic for not being a person of faith; I think self knowledge is of the utmost importance and faith in any kind of higher power can never be forced on anyone who doesn't already contain a germ of this within themselves.

As of two days ago, our daughter turned 9 months old. Curious and strange to consider that her life outside my body has now surpassed the one she had within it. Curiouser and curiouser to consider Javier and I have been on this collective journey for over a year and a half now. I blogged about it, three days ago. Imagine a good post here: solid, kinda funny, with a few surprising twists. It was worth your time. I shifted my own perspective through the writing of it, and temporarily felt more settled, as I do after satisfying posts. I was, however, writing in a restaurant with dodgy internet, and the connection must have cut out wayyyyyy early in my writing, because the entire post evaporated. Gone, gone, gone.

So! Suffice it to say that I haven't lost my essential self, the baby is and shall be a crazy handful, the Cakeasaurus picture book is humming along (only 4 pages left that need to be drawn from scratch! lots of carving ahead for 2016), and Tiny Expo was a wonderful re-entry into shows. I'm not sure how many shows I'll want to take on in the coming year, but this one was a great reminder of why I (sometimes) love doing them -- inquisitive and enthusiastic people, bonding over mutual loves; healthy sales and new art discoveries. Why is it so refreshing when strangers find you funny and/or odd? Not a bad way to mark the year's end. In the next few days, we are Pennsylvania- and Florida-bound for our families -- many more plane flights for baby, oodles of Baby love, and hopefully some hours drifting in the Ocean. Happy Holidays, Winter Solstice, New Year's All!

*Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior -- so good!: "...she was dismayed by the crowd of people who stood close together on her own front lawn, all facing the house as if expecting it to perform. They looked dressed for a camping trip, in boots and backpacks and puffy down parkas. As she drew closer, she saw some white cardboard placards. And heard chanting. A lot of energy directed toward a house where no one was home. Don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes, she thought, a directive that was never meant for nearsighted people." This passage in particular reminds me of Tom Drury's dry wit, though the story's sense of yearning, constraint, is more front-and-center than its humor. 

**The latter comes just in time for our holiday visit home to my family, which will likely bolster my mother's anxiety that our daughter will be "confused," what with two parents having (nice, streamlined!) short hair. As discussed, we are already providing numerous confusion points for her, but this is a favorite for my Mom. But truly, if the babe is foiled by hair length, we're clearly in trouble. I'm more confident about the baby's future ability to navigate gender and sexual norms than I am that I'll escape the current stage without being savaged by her four newly descended teeth. She has bitten me with the lower two, and that was alarming enough for all involved parties. Hopefully my past exclamations are recalled just enough to fend off more experimental momchomping.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tiny Expo! And Snacky Badgers

I used the terms "Summer" and "Fall" the other day and Javier reminded me that it's November. Michigan is trying to catch up with some weather nastiness (last Friday's high wind advisory, Saturday's rain, snow, hail pellets), but in between we're still getting days in the 50s and 60s -- bonus, bonus, bonus days! Let's buy balloons, let's throw a party! The Inner Eeyore intones: "we'll only pay for it later~~"

In the meantime, here's a little bit of local celebratoryness, for which I'm making busy like a bee. I'm excited to be a vendor at the Tiny Expo, held at the Ann Arbor Library (home to huge Connect Four sets and checkoutable theramins! to baby playgroups and mesmerizing aquariums!). Behold this year's enticing poster: 
Wouldn't we all go to more fairs if we had confidence bears, foxes and rabbits would be among the attendees? ...So, something else to stave off the early evening dark. I have been building up my woodblock card inventory, playing with collages, and have steadily chipped away at the picture book pages*, so I'll have a lot to share on a little ole table. The baby will most likely make an appearance as well, though for the sake of my back, Javier will also be with her.

*hah! hah! hah! woodblock humor!

Sneak peek of prints hot off the press from Studio Wednesday:

Next Up -- New Card Design, for the Discerning Snacker
An enthusiastic, but generous, Badger
Brand Spanking New, Just for Cards:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Roasting Brussel Sprouts, Eating Spoonfuls of Cookie Dough

...Increasing attention from little one will, in theory, force me to reform my sporadically ridiculous eating habits. In the meantime, it is 4:12 on Monday, October 26th: high time for a picture book progress post! Quickly, quickly, as la Bebe will be transferred back to my care shortly. She looks like a wee gymnast in her floral navy onesie and she is covering impressive floorspace with an aggressive commando crawl. She would happily pound this keyboard and lick my monitor, but will also initiate the grand back arch of protest if kept on one's lap for too long. So, here we go -- just listed on Etsy:

Page 28:

After the shouting, before the cake eating...Here we witness our precocious hero explaining to Cakeasaurus just how cakes come to be. If you were (/are) obsessed with getting your daily cake by nefarious ends, and you were (/are?) a sneaky monster, you may not be well versed in baking basics. Quimby tries to break it down...

Woodblock print, edition: 15, available here

Page 29: 

"All Good Cakes Are Born from Books": a fine statement, and most would agree, aside from rare bakers like my maternal grandmother, who could whip up an angel food cake ("light as air!"), bookless, with nary a measuring cup or spoon...The rest of us, though, must use recipes as road maps, to take us where we want to go. Cakeasaurus, being a dessert thief NOT a dessert creator, finds the concept a bit suspect. 

Edition size: 50. Available for sale here. 
All stages
Pages 18-19: You saw this being carved (plus maybe a test print?), but here's the final version of "Quimby Lay Awake..." This is an eensy tiny edition, but I must confess I'm rather of fond of this one.

I wanted it to capture some of the magical surreal quality of nighttime wakefulness as a child. I always get a kick out of playing around with the lettering and I think the words troop across the page pretty well. 

"This print marks a pivotal scene in my Cakeasaurus picture book: the fateful night where monster-in-search-of-cake meets five-year-old to be. Cakes have been disappearing for months now! Despite all precautions, the townspeople experience ongoing cake deprivation. The situation is untenable. And here we are: Cakeasaurus outside, Quimby within."

Available here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My keen desire to sidestep departmental meetings notwithstanding...

Thank you for coming, it's great to see so many faces here. I have called this meeting today because now is a time of much needed change. I hope to provide a positive springboard to address everyone's concerns and to make certain that the changes we implement will be both embraced and contribute to a strong foundation for our continued growth.

First, it has come to my attention that there has been much "watercooler" discussion about the wholesale movement of tall furniture in our department, followed by, shall we say, migrations of individual pieces, without obtaining approval through official channels. I don't want to dwell on this behavior, other than to say that I need to be cc'ed on all such proposals going forward; I should not have to point out that while I will soon be fully mobile, I am not yet. And in order to oversee the daily workings of this organization, I need to be aware of all facets of our physical environment. Preferably by gumming, as this has been deemed the best judge of character.
And moving on ~ M, you're out of turn, as well as invasive. Again, we are all part of a team here. We need to foster communication -- ideate collectively -- and from this we will draw the optimal road map for our future. If we each independently decide to make these little detours, they are just that -- they fritter away energy without advancing our larger goals. M, I will hold your scoopy rod until the next break.

J, please hold your questions, while I take an initial read.

Long end more trustable than scoopy end (but also: gaggy). Does not melt from saliva bath. Lower chewability than giraffe; still affords pleasing resistance. Surface-bangability, but easily leaps to the floor. Taste: dairy-reminiscent, with displeasing foreign trace notes. Color does not affect experience...Speaking of detours! This is a perfect illustration of their hazards: my focus has been completely altered. Let's reconvene tomorrow: until then, consider what you feel to be the most important building blocks for our near-term future. Get creative! Blue sky thinking! Powerpoints permissable if narrated in sing-song.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Creating Order (Child and Adult Editions) or The Specter of Tall Furniture

Yesterday was a fruitful printing day in my friend Val's studio -- so fruitful that the tiredness still radiates across the span of my back. I usually feel all-over tired these days as a new parent, but this carried it to a different level. Overdid it? Possibly, but take studio time when you can get it, best to push through a bit, right? I neglected to take pics, but I must say I'm RAWTHER excited about the design I editioned, "All Good Cakes are Born from Books." Simple but pretty nifty! Cakeasaurus doesn't quite believe it, however. You'll see. They're strewn all over the studio, drying, along with myriad partial prints for cards (birds! houses! candle-shining cakes!).

I was able to studio, courtesy of Javier's weekly Bring-Baby-to-Work day, which so far has been working for all involved (any baby malcontents are, naturally quiet). We try to exchange a few texts to help the baby-free person and yesterday he sent me this:

First of all, that would be laughable, as cluttery/jumbled as her parents are, but that would also be life, wouldn't it? It could merely be a function of her wanting to push things along, which she did until she quickly hit the edges of her baby pen. Sorry Baby, you must be contained! We hereby roll out the first of many, "It's for your own good."

But still, kind of funny, and what a fun time, to be anticipating which ways Baby will go. Personality-wise, as well as physically... And *how*, with all her engaged grabbiness and energy...the childproofing is daunting. Namely all the bookcases and CD cases which need to be affixed to the wall. Plus any eensy things which come into view and a little red sign flashes on in my brain: "choking hazard choking hazard choking hazard." Being a well trained consumer, when my environment feels most out of control, I turn to spending to make things feel a bit more reasonable. But it's for my own good, nay, for the good of the family! So anyhoo, I saw a small, sweet oak dresser that I think will be the solution for all the CDs in the dining room area.

They're all residing in this, my only attempt at furniture making to date.

In case it's not obvious from the photo, it has a homicidal bent* and has been silently begging for toddlers for years, just so that it may topple over in a terrible clatter of sliding CD cases and befuddled wailing. Until now, a careful advance warning to parents of our house's baby non-compliance has been sufficient, but now I feel the black case redoubling its toddler luring power. On Dumpling's end, she's already clamping onto power chords like she's engaged in a tug of war the rest of us aren't privy to, so the time has come.**

*I built it to be kind, to be useful, to hold ever so many CDs

**Some would also argue that the time has come to go completely digital. "Oooh, that's so cute, you still have CDs!" said my doula this Spring. "No, I mean it's kind of sweet, you know -- quaint -- that you still have them!" She pursed her lips at them like they were a sea of down-at-the-heels Garfield stuffed animals. But I just can't do it. And if you are about to comment at the tapes at the bottom, I have two words for you: hush up.

So here's the improvement. Ain't she swell? Much more self-contained and so much less topply! From the tiny-but-well-curated Annex of Pare Down on Dexter. Well. I will say that CDs don't fit in the top two drawers, so do allll the CDs fit? No -- but for that, I have some lidded wine boxes. Not perfect, but a work in progress. 
I fancy the side detailing

And with that, I'm off to get outside//do some carving work in the basement. It has taken me almost a week to post this, but here's to baby steps! But not too soon~~

Friday, September 25, 2015

Let's Visit the Subway! Post contains neither Pope nor Muppets

seated, after stink eye from NYC travelers
There were numerous causes for anxiety over Labor
Day weekend: flying with a baby, sleeping next to a baby, balancing Javier's theater-work needs, 2 hour breastfeeding cycle, sightseeing and socializing; carting about a car seat, stroller, playpen, etc.; flying with a baby...I raised hesitations frequently enough with Javier that he came close to barking at me; at which point, I quieted down* and eventually relaxed slightly, because let go and let god, right?

*to him
But all worry aside (or because of, if you're anxiously superstitious) the weekend wound up
monkey on his back. slightly excited.
being a graaaaaand week's vacation: spent nourishing time with loved hosts (including night time dining on their Astoria rooftop, tralalala), Fun Home was the most fitting musical adaptation that could have been brought to life from Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, the Public Theater's Odyssey adaptation was spectacular; and the Sparrow's brunch served up rummy egg creams and croissant french toast, while the Baby made eyes at various patrons hunched on barstools.

too young: dazzled by sports bar mega-screen
keeping close watch on suspicious little human with rattle

indifferent to Eyez in Astoria

Long Island City
Long Island City
With so much bloggy fodder, who would suspect a post about a subway station? And who am I? Is it true, that in my middle age (*cringe*) I have suddenly adopted my father's fanatical love of trains (and trolleys. subways are fine; but buses are inferior and good lord noooooo, not those horrid buses masquerading as vintage trolleys for undiscerning tourists). Hardly. I certainly do appreciate the independence afforded by a well developed mass transit system, and being the driving wimp that I am, you won't find me driving in major cities. But the thrill of an engine, the developments over model years, the (/im)precision of timetables? Not so much. But throw in some public art and I'm in. I have been struck by several airport art exhibits in the past and counted myself lucky to have taken part in the University of Michigan Hospital's "Gifts of Art" program a few years ago. Even when the art fails to resonate for me, I appreciate that it was created and funds were freed up to put the works in front of a broad cross section of the population, going about their days. While art installations in public venues are not quite the same thing as the designer's urge to unite an object's beauty and utility, it's not far off. To me, the existence of such programs affirm the psychological boon of encountering art, even if momentarily, casually. Maybe even better if casual? Art without a rarefied gallery air, art as backdrop, which will come to the foreground if given a moment's pause. Even if only one in several hundred passers-by give a few moments of focused attention, it's a worthy program. 

And so it is, with some fabulous subway stops. The MTA Arts for Transit Design Team and American Museum of Natural History finished their collaborative renovation of the 81st and Central Park West stop in 1999. The uptown and downtown stairways and platforms explore animal life, the earth's geology and (less so) the heavens, and are collectively titled "For Want of a Nail," as in:

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail
-- Benjamin Franklin

(there are apparently all manner of variations of this, over the centuries. While not speaking to the neglect aspect -- not maintaining the horseshoe -- this also makes me think of the Butterfly effect)

The ornate tile work below is hinted at by these uptown stair parrots
Blurry, but beckoning.
Quail, shadowed by an extinct species. This brilliant "shadowing" was done throughout

Echidna? or more likely kiwi...
 This alligator (crocodile?) was my favorite, with the lower part of its body and tail spelled out with the dun colored floor tiles. I could have spent so much more time with these designs! But we were on a mission to catch the Odyssey in Central Park. So on we marched, with me exclaiming and Javier noting we could return this way (but alas, we were more tired and focused on returning to La Bebe by night's end). More details and images here and here. The downtown stop was devoted to very touchable fossil casts -- quite cool -- but the glass tiles are what I most loved.
Each tile piece is well incorporated with surroundings

star tiles also lovely.
Mundane by comparison, but the curvy letters quite appealing

What an 8! How about that S??

Friday, September 18, 2015

Midweek Caffeination, Baby Eats up the Months

FVBP, with good quality foam
I'm just not sure about the Songbird Cafe's California Roll on Brioche sandwich. Which hasn't kept me from eating it, especially since there are no tiny hands scrabbling for it with each approach to my mouth. Order something fusiony, get something fusiony. This characteristic also seems to be the defining one for this cafe: latte, yes, but Cardamom Rose latte (Compatriot's mention of which lured me to Songbird initially), latte, yes, but Fig Vanilla Black Pepper latte. Similarly, the new, modern light fixtures and jaunty chalkboard wall menu are out of sync with the ugly bones of what used to be the Flim-Flam, a down-at-the-heels diner which limped along for many years before giving up the ghost. Minor oddities aside, being an upscale cafe (with fine espresso drinks, no mistake) within a strip mall on the North Side of Ann Arbor means a wealth of interior roominess* plus easy parking. "Oh," a local proprietor assured me, "The Songbird is the nicest thing in a kind of janky stretch!"

Misfits, at reasonable prices
It's a prime location for me for this week's Dumpling-at-the-office-day, without the worry of meter feeding or any cafe owners trying to stop me from my laptop domination of a two-top. We laptop table-hogs are legion, but here, fields of space remain.

*Let the baby stroller invasion commence! Biding my time.

I had many studio-ish tasks lined up today, but almost all were located in our basement and it's a BEEEEEYOUTIFUL Summerfall day, and spending too much time inside my own house is warping me. So! Delivered some printmaking cards and set myself up here. Expressly to write, though the sad, sad activity that I almost always fall into first is flipping through recent photographs of my baby. Is part of me dying for today's separation? No. And yet, look, this expression is different from that one, and looook, even though this is blurry, it's kinda great because you get such a sense of her little baby BUSY-NESS. Oi. It doesn't help that she's turning 6 months old on Friday; hard to fathom how half a year has passed and this requires further image perusing. I have watched Javier watch videos of the baby, while the baby wiggled on a blanket, gazing up at him; I have done the same. Love makes a fool of you, parenting version? My sister is also coming tomorrow and baby documentation will enter overdrive -- she has been charged with getting new videos for our parents to watch on repeat; and our entire family is a bit ridiculous with documentation to begin with. So.

The moment following month-sticker application
I know I must eat it, but still I worry.
Adhesive means nothing to me
Here I demonstrate my sloppy-burrito technique
And here we are, a day later, Sister is safely here and watching Dumpling roll about on the floor, scouring the (low) horizons for new things to gum. She is speaking to her about her 6 month birthday tomorrow; Baby seems currently unimpressed by this. There have already been more photos taken of her than she will ever be able to fathom; more images liked and commented on. I really can't comprehend how many people have held and cooed at my child already, in her life. Don't you remember adults telling you things like,"More people love you than you will ever know?" and this resonating not at all? I remember hearing something like this, and it making no sense to me. "They watched you grow up!" How could that be, when I barely knew this adult, who I seemed to be meeting for the first time. They didn't know me. They seemed strangely invested. I didn't have words for it. And here and now, all these people with connections to Baby, however fleeting... The outer circle, maybe, their day was brightened momentarily. But the inner circle (whose circumference is far larger than I ever would have thought) is peopled with those who seem to love this new little being, whose personality is just emerging. Loved before known.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You Are: Capable and Dependable, Fun and Calm! We Are: In Flux, In Flux, In Flux

not my baby
I have been reading about separation anxiety. It makes me anxious. Currently, Dumpling is happily indiscriminate: barring diapering and nursing needs, if you get in her face and smile at her, she will eventually laugh silently or beam up at you. Programmed to delight and be delighted. Heh-heh-heh laughs aren't reliable, but are on the upswing; often, she will become utterly blown away by something unremarkable to the rest of us, her eyes grown huge, her mouth a tiny oh, or a dropped open laundry chute. She freezes in anticipation of the next puzzle piece. And she thinks you hold it in your possession. You may give it to her, or you may simply distract her from the current mystery, with a tickle bout or a pendulum swing through the air. Interpersonal connection goes hand in hand with navigating this mystifying life.

But soon, I am led to believe, the baby's sociability will narrow down to only mother or father -- perhaps a few more -- in terms of acceptable friendlies. While I find Baby's spider monkey tendencies endearing in limited form (i.e. removing her from a cloth baby carrier is tricky, as moments after you unpeel her tiny fingers from one rung of side ties, they wrap themselves around the next rung of ties), I cringe at the idea of our future leave-takings heralded by wails of outrage or desparation. And more specifically, what about when this scenario occurs when I am still in the house, with a trusted someone watching the baby, so I can carve or sketch or write? How can I wall it away and pretend my endeavors are weightier than her (fleeting or extended) fear/anger/upset? Where does one purchase a guilt deflection cape? I have been told that as a mother, I will always feel: guilty, inadequate, behind/overwhelmed, with a tinnitus-like background noise of incessant worry. Well luckily, I say, none of those feelings are new. Yes, they say, but this is *different*. Well. Hmm. 

In any case, the key to partially outwitting the separation anxiety (stranger danger!) is to get loved ones and caregivers solidly into the inner circle before the gates shut. Cue the conversation wherein our primary helper tells me about a second interview for a desired full time position closer to her home; which would nix our late afternoon hours. The nerve of people moving around, after one has acclimated to them! Back to the drawing board. Since then, another very fine candidate (gushing recommendation from a daycare owner : "...And it's not just that SHE is excellent, her ENTIRE family knows babies. I would clone her if I could ~~") calls to apologize -- she has also secured a great new full time job and will be moving to Troy, MI, next week. Another seems enthusiastic and sensible during the initial phone call, only to fall silent afterward. Another interviewee seems...mostly? okay...and is quite persistent, but her references never call me back, which seems disquieting. Still, there are good possibilities, but too much seems in this process, just like the hateful online dating. I can no longer discount that, as it brought me Javier. Eh, eh, eh. So um, I hereby summon synchronicity!...That's not quite it, is it? That almost magical coming together of things that fit...Synergy? No. Serendipity, Javier offers. Yesssssss. Again with the seeming: is it a bad sign that I couldn't remember the word on my own? But perhaps it will come together. A new person to help, the magical time to think and create, preserved; Baby kept happy and healthy; all three of us, sane and grateful for it all.

So far, Baby has held true to her current, amiable form. Javier has started taking her to his office once a week, which has been good for growing her fan club members (up with morale, down with productivity!). On those days, when Javier and I eventually speak, Baby is usually gurgling in the background; smiling at everyone and salivating over (/under) the dangling teddy bears of the away-team pack n' play. So far, we seem to be in some early parenthood fairytale land. Not sure how we arrived exactly here; or who holds the crucial puzzle pieces....Or no. We *must* have the puzzle pieces, though some are likely lost, hiding in Javier's car, buried under a winter scarf avalanche... I predict we'll need to break out the jigsaw blades to jerry rig pieces that just.won'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Happy Moments Plentiful, Happy Hours Rare

Marissa didn't lie about the Kunde Zinfandel. Lov-er-ly.
Weheeeeelll, so I was going to post a flurry of photos, but I am on Vinology's dodgy internet connection, and was, perhaps, overambitious, and clogged it. So I'll start without visual aids... As of yesterday, we are ONE WEEK shy of Baby being 5 months old, which brings us close to almost half a year of Dumpling's existence, which is hard for me to fathom. Today is Baby's day at the office, which meant I woke her up a teensy bit early for her for a good nursing session and then waited for Javier to get his things together and be off. He couldn't help it -- at whatever stage, he kept wandering over. Him, in his bath towel, leaning in, "DADDY" pointing inward,"loves BABY" pointing to her. She gasped and gazed upward, starstruck, pistoned her legs. Her body struggled to convey how utterly exciting he was. "Come ON," I said, "Let's go~~" He harrumphed and eventually got himself and the baby gear good to go, and was off in time for Fresh Air.

Which left me a little time to finish up a new batch of cards before meeting a new artist friend for afternoon tea. Not bad! The past couple days have been a visit to my old existence: yesterday -- > hair cut, followed by a leisurely browse about Salvation Army (with new tweaks of looking for dresses that would A.) make me feel like a properly dressed person while also B.) easily allowing me to whip out my breasts at Baby's whim; plus a fabulous "update" text from babysitter letting me know they had a nice walk, looking at leaves and shadows, and such). Today, extended cafe socializing as if one didn't have many time constraints, followed by Hallelujah! a Happy Hour glass of wine and Thai chicken flatbread outside, because the almost-Fall weather was too beautiful to defy by going back to the house, and down into the basement for carving...

So heartening to be making new connections now in the midst of some new-Motherhood isolation, especially with fellow creative folk (new friend referred to us collectively as Makers, a term I have certainly heard before, but had not applied to myself. I guess I associated this with more technology/cool geekery/rebellious creativity. But I much prefer it to "Artist," which I sometimes cringe from, for my own neurotic reasons; and which reaction has brought flak. But do I, we, make things? Most definitely! And it also carries with it the practicality, too, doesn't it? It conveys a sense of proactive being in the world, which I most definitely appreciate. Ahem.)

***Back at the house. With count-down to Dumpling arrival, behold some card designs:
Favorite color schemes right now

Toss up between which decorative paper is better. Table rim a big change in feel
Hopeful and happy to me

My ever-apprehensive woman, from the online dating print

A side design for the Cakeasaurus Picture book, guest appearance as card
Bonus shot, with Fisher Price Chime Ball