Friday, September 30, 2016

Your Birthday was Gross; Separately, Puppy Prints!

Vinology lowered their lights drastically at 6 PM on the nose, and the music developed a heavier, echoey beat, but on the booth side of the restaurant, the two filled tables are doing nothing to add to the hip, safely dangerous feel. There's me, who's drinking but wearing my knotted up scarf against the chill; and the family next door celebrating one of their two young adolescent's birthdays. The kids are mostly game, though McDonald's was mentioned wistfully. The mother started with brief  "how you were born"/ wonder of life anecdotes. The kids are mostly grossed out and no less confused for her forthright manner.

The girl, accusingly: "The baby PEED inside of you," as in: you allowed this to happen and you are, by extension, gross.

Mom: Well, no, not exactly, when you are pregnant, you are feeding the baby inside of you, and there is hardly any waste, because the baby is using everything to grow, to develop~~

Girl: ****

Boy, helpfully, to girl: You peed from your mouth.

Girl: No.

So, on that note, I'm out of the house, and Javier's putting Oyo* to bed this evening. Given her current habits, she will likely sing over him tunelessly while he reads to her, attempt to climb over him to the reverse side of the glider chair, as if she would flip into some grand new world; and then whisper-coo "Daddy Daddy Daddy" at him from the crib in an obvious attempt at re-engagement. But, uh, I'm away from that. I guess this is what happens, right?

Summer has blurred into Fall, with plenty of gorgeous, refreshing days. The Moppet is tossing out various new word surprises every couple of days, though some are only discernible to Javier and myself. Yes! has been added to Yeah, 'ouse has appeared for buildings, a few key people have their own lovingly-but-consistently garbled names (Sadie reads as Adezede in her brain somehow); she is still on a mission to grab as many balls as she can.

I am down to three blocks left to carve for the Cakeasaurus picture book, woohoo!

Separately, I found time to do my first pet commission (linocut):

I'm pretty excited about this new design, both its finished state, as well as the potential it represents for future work (view Etsy listing here). I was dismayed to encounter a bit of printing difficulty on a mechanical level, though I have leads on some different routes to take for other larger soft linoleum cuts. Hmmm and hmm. It had been so long since I tried to print anything other than my usual shina plywood on the wheeled press, that it didn't even occur to me that something significantly softer would need such different attention. SO very much easier to carve, but much harder on my hands and wrists to print. Minor aging complaints...

*the one year old, whose name expires in March 2017. never use ages for nicknames! Should be obvious, yet this is the third time I have done it (prior instance: two adorable sisters, separated by one year in age)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Goodbye Summer, Hello BookFest.

Fall is upon us and we are re-entering the school groove. There is nothing of school about me, specifically, but as the partner of a youth theater director, whose schedule will now exponentially ramp up, late nights proliferate, and Saturdays be claimed by football, I feel it settling in about me with a certain sense of...dread? Doom? Anxiety? Surely not, we are: up! for the challenge, gazing lovingly and expectantly upon our growth opportunities! Perhaps the caffeine just needs to kick in.

Anyhow, Javier needs to leave earlier than normal today and is getting his shower out of the way so he can give me a little time to myself before driving into Detroit. Estimated shower times are difficult to discern for someone like Javier, as they may include him taking a shower and they may include his sudden reappearance to announce things like, "BREAKING NEWS: HUMA ABEDIN IS SEPARATING FROM HER HUSBAND" before he closes the bathroom door once more. And as you know, something is always breaking, whether news, or furniture; spirits or tree branches. Dizzying existence washes over us. But this morning, nothing especially noteworthy, the shower pressure sounds impressive from one room away; and I am listening to the Moppet throw progressively larger and heavier toys outside her play area in a ploy for our return.

On Saturday evening, we returned from a week-long road trip to visit my parents and sister in Pennsylvania -- a long overdue collective reunion with Oyo. It was heartening to see them all get to know each other again, though we have skyped sporadically (dodgy internet connections and hyper-mobile toddler permitting). Oyo excitedly christened my Dad "Dada!" but refrained from settling on a name for my Mom. At meals, Mom would intone, "I'm Grandmom. Grannnnd....Mommmmm. Who am I? Grandmom!...Oh, it's okay, it doesn't matter...Grandmom!"  Oyo continued to refer to my sister generically, but also continued to be snuggly and trusting with her, so all was well. The visit was short and the trek was long; and when the baby slept she slept very well, and when she would not, it was horrid. Or something to that effect.

*** {Minutes, hours, most of a day}*** Well, if this was gaining any steam earlier, I'm not feeling it now. This is my problem with the idea of getting all kinds of things done after the baby goes to bed, though I know this is when a lot of productive parents must take care of things. My will seems to dissipate once I turn on the fake crickets of the sound machine each evening. I just haven't ironed this out for myself yet.  

ANYhow, what I most definitely AM building toward is BookFest on September 11th, in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown. I'm really geeked to be a first time exhibitor in this robust event -- excited to be among our local booksellers, writers, printmakers and book artists (including John Gutoskey and his new A2 Print Studio, Ephemeral Books, Fineburg Art Studio, Sloe Gin Fizz).

I'll have not-one-but-two! tables, of woodblock prints from my picture book, an expanded line of linocut cards, and - brand spanking new! as of today! - two tote bag options: "All Good Cakes are Born from Books" (cream tote) and "Lost Cake Anxiety" (black tote). Both feature Cakeasaurus on the back, scrutinizing a recipe.
front and back of "Lost Cake Anxiety"
The black one is really soft, and hangs nicely against the body; the "natural" one is more structured, with a wide gusset sewn in -- both are surprisingly roomy.
Same "Cakeasaurus Prints" image, entirely different feel
"All Good Cakes..." tote
nice side action!
For the original woodcuts the totes are based on click here (Lost Cake Anxiety) and here.