Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer date

Steam show, mule jump, flea market junk to peruse (passed on a treadle with really interesting irons, but lacking its coffin top). Milkshakes for lunch, and sweet corn for dinner.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fruits of today's labors

I figured i ought to do something start-to-finish at the demo, from first sketch to finished print, so this is what i came up with: a wee pear, a block that's just a couple inches wide. I'm thinking i'll print a few up as ACEOs, once i've had a chance to play with colors in the oil-based ink (i stuck with water-based for the demo, for ease of clean-up, but i do like working with the oil-based stuff better).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dog and pony show

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Shepherdstown, West Virginia this Saturday (July 25) - for the Contemporary American Theater Festival, say, or to hike, or to play in the river - stop by O'Hurley's General Store between noon and 3:00... i'll be doing a block printing demo in the Great Hall at the shop. (There will, in fact, be both dogs and ponies - or at any rate, a pony mule - among the available prints, too.)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

When life hands you apricots's time to start the canning season. After a thrift store stop that left me empty-handed, i thought i'd check out the nearby grocery outlet, to see if i could score on provisions, instead. And score i did: among the odd bits of produce on offer was a small box of apricots at 99 cents a pound. I left with all the ones that weren't too squishy already, a total of about a pound and two-thirds. Not enough for a real batch of anything by themselves, so i set about looking or something to pair them with.

Raiding the trees and bushes at the barn (because free fruit is even better than cheap fruit), i came up with a few sour cherries and a few red currants, and after an evening of hunting recipes - which left me wishing i had lots more apricots, so i could try a few of them - i settled on this jam. I worried a bit about the set, because even with cutting the recipe in half, the proportions were a bit off: more apricots and fewer currants, and i knew the currants provided most of the pectin. In the end, though it took forever to gel, it was fine, and the color is simply glorious. Aside from the apricot/currant imbalance, the only alteration was a wee splash of brandy as it cooked. I ended up with four half-pints, and one of the tiny little four-ounce jars - plus just enough extra to slather on an English muffin for quality control. It's tart and sunny, and if you have the good fortune to find both apricots and red currants at the same time, i suggest you pounce.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Wee shirt

I was talking with a friend a few weeks before she had baby number three due, and asked if she had everything all ready... she laughed and said that between moving to a new farm, closing her store and opening her home studio, she pretty much hadn't done a thing.

"So, everything's normal, then." But i took it into my head to make something to send, and after rifling through the patterns that were on hand, came up with Simplicity 6259, a vintage-ish (1983) layette pattern, some super-soft cotton chambray (actually a set of thrifted sheets), and a cotton with a tiny, tiny print to make into scads of bias for the trim - all carefully chosen to be highly washable and also gender-neutral. As a bonus, the wrap can go in front or in back, and either side can be lapped over first - a virtue, when dressing a wriggly baby.

Fiddled about with the pattern a little bit - topstitching, and shortening a tiny bit in order to replace the hemmed bottom edge with one that was simply bound - and fought the binder attachment quite a lot (the inside curve of that tiny neck edge is a bear), but got the thing done and shipped off, only a few days after the kiddo made her appearance.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Springtime walks

I dug this little Victorian engraving out of a postcard bin in a junk shop - i was charmed by the scene and the location and the fact that the registration is slightly wonky (i feel a bit of sympathy for the unknown printer...). I've hunted around the Internet a bit to see if i can spot the same view, but with no artist, engraver, or publisher listed, there's not a whole lot to go on, just the image itself.

I've never been to Scotland, so i know the location only from the old tune, "Roslin Castle" - there's a snippet, here, played on viola da gamba by Tina Chancey.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shhh...'s a Mother's Day present:

The hand-colored version of the tiny little cat nose - the printed image is just two inches square. The frame is a made-to-order job from fellow Etsy shop signedandnumbered.