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….




Friends in Far Places


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


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



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.”