It’s All In What You See

IMG_2101

Sometimes people will come in the shop and say, “Do you have a card for _____?” And, of course, I have everything BUT that. So I was thinking I could make something ambiguous that might fill several needs:

It’s the way you….

~hold my hand when we walk

~pick out the perfect birthday present, even when I haven’t asked

~let me cry when I’m sad

The card is blank inside, so you can write whatever you want.

But, this could also go in another direction…

It’s the way you….

~leave your coffee mug on our wooden table all day

~drag me to your parents’ house when I’d rather stay home

 

He he! It’s all in the message.

Courage

IMG_0820I think a lot about fear. Fear of flying, situations, world events. Sometimes it’s crippling.

I also believe in stories. The stories we tell ourselves help us learn, live, and relate.

The phrase “the courage to own your own story” is one I’ve seen for years. But lately the words have resonated even more. It is far too easy to believe what our thoughts tell us is truth. To me, figuring out my story means letting go of rigid memories, thoughts, or beliefs about my past or who I am.

Fears can block us from being creative, pursuing projects, and even putting ourselves in new situations. I mentioned to someone that I tend to be a person who leaps and then looks for the net. But the last few years, not so much.

Now I am working my way back out, and that’s freeing.

Last week I took some of my letterpress printed cards to a lovely gift store in town called Heather Boutique. I am really delighted they are going to carry my line. (That sounds cool, doesn’t it? “my line”) Yesterday I began working on a series of 5×7 posters, inspirational and motivational, to frame and sell.

But I want to keep my focus. I began printing the words I wanted to see on my own walls. Now that I’ve begun to sell them, I want to continue that, not be swayed by what might sell. What matters is doing the work I care about. And that’s my story.

Working Together

I love working on teams, sharing ideas, making something happen.

Truth is, I am more of a big picture person than a detail person. But sometimes things happen because someone says, “Why don’t we try…”

Recently I worked with a friend, a graphic artist in town. I printed some cards and passed them along to her for watercolor touches. Wow, I was impressed. I LOVE the work she did.

FB Water

Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to realize how much I like making things. Getting my hands dirty, playing with ink and type, this keeps me going for hours. I wish I’d been able to study design, the weakest link in my process. But I’m willing to learn, put in the time. It’s the problem-solving that keeps me going….

 

etsy
great.ly
website

 

Friends in Far Places

6842960884_aa17e1b74c_z

I have loved making real connections online since I began blogging ten years ago. I’ve ended up with running friends, teaching friends, and now letterpress friends all over the world.

The other night a friend from Australia (whom I’d met online and subsequently in person) tweeted me, and we chatted for a few minutes, catching up since we’d last seen each other in D.C.

These days, I connect less with teachers and not at all with runners. But I’ve discovered another community that feeds and supports me in many of the same ways. Letterpress printers. Whenever I have reached out, someone has been there with help.

Tonight I was reading about rubber mats that can be placed on presses to help the printing process. I was confused so I called Fritz at N.A. Graphics in Colorado to see if this was something I could buy. No, he said. They are for Vandercooks (my dream press, by the way).

But then he took time out from his busy day to ask me questions and offer some possible solutions to my problem. Tomorrow when I get back in the shop, I’ll trim my tympan paper and the rest of the packing to be sure it’s not causing the platen to hit the rails and not allowing the platen to touch the type fully.

He also suggested a “thumb test” to be sure I’m getting appropriate inking from the rollers.

I love this problem solving– made so much easier with good friends and folks willing to share so freely.

#letterpress #troubleshooting #nagraph

 

I Need Snow

IMG_1647

This is it.

All the snow we’ve had this year.

Now, I’m not a snow person. Give me a beach, warm sun, and cawing seagulls anytime.

But I do love the occasional snow day, the tucking in, the lazy sit-in-front-of-the-fire day that is usually unexpected and a delicious surprise. So I’m waiting. And waiting.

In the meantime, my energies are going to Valentine’s Day cards for the shop, more volunteering with Fredericksburg Main Street, and working with young folks after school on writing and writing strategies.

I’m trying to be patient.

The Sky Late

IMG_1053

 

I love the sky late in the day. Here, I caught the sun lighting up the trees on the river bridge behind the studio. Often the clouds melt into pink cotton candy. And then there’s the teal blue water reflecting off the setting sun at Turks and Caicos.

It’s my favorite time of the day, especially when I’m alone or deep in thought. Annie Dillard says, “Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

 

Thinking About

 

I read this today online– and it has me thinking…

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.’” –  Marianne Williamson

2014 What Have I Learned?

 

I never want to stop learning. Yup, that’s what I learned.

When my hands were full of ink and my new press was giving me a fit, I had few moments of angst. But I wanted to figure it out. I’m not sure I was a learner when I was younger, but the adult me loves to problem solve.

I also learned:

  • how to make a tasty beef brisket and sour cream potatoes
  • I really do have anxiety issues (plane, relationships, food)
  • how to balance writing rejections with the joy of acceptances
  • I want to keep my hair short
  • some things never change (dislike of cold, love of sugar, need to be near the beach)
  • I can still overdo social media (it’s a great place to hide sometimes)
  • how to let go of expectations (most of the time)
  • not to listen to the voice in my head (most of the time)
  • how much I enjoy being creative, even reading about creativity!

Let’s see what 2015 has in store……