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Archive for September, 2009

IMG_2587This screw-post album-making would have made a nice tutorial, but I didn’t really think of it until after the fact. This is the one shot I took of the cover boards, but it was after I already cut and covered them.  Next time, okay?  It really is a relatively easy project, although it does take some time.  After my big photo album project, I had some leftover book cloth, my bookbinding adhesives were still out and my brush was still wet, so…jessica's album 003I put this album together for my blue-loving friend Jessica.  It’s a book  for her  “journaling, musing, scribbling, sketching and general pondering of the human sort”.  But really, whatever she wants to do with it is just fine with me.  jessica's album 001I filled the book with an assortment of papers.  There is some plain drawing  paper, some blue text weight paper and (my favorite) some graph paper.  I was excited about the combination.  It felt special.jessica's album 004When Jessica opened up her book, she said, “I really need this!”  And I thought, I think we all do.  A special book that invites us to come in, to bare something, unload something, discover something, create something, divine something, explore something, revolutionize something….

Mmm… maybe Heather’s Book will be coming next.

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the tub sessions

tub sessions 001tub sessions 002One little body in the tub quietly (more or less) getting clean while a bigger body quietly (more or less) composes new music…

The tub sessions have been going on for a couple of years now.  Jeff has developed a beautiful collection of mellow, ambient  evening songs while Eli has remained (relatively) clean.  Sometimes the two of them craft songs together, sometimes Eli sings along with Jeff’s lyrics, but always there seems to be an air of creative camaraderie between my two boys.

I have a certain reverence for these evenings.  The soft strumming of guitar, my husband’s gentle voice against a background of drips and swishes and splashes.  I am privy to something so sweet and fleeting.  I get that feeling often during the tub sessions- the one where you know what is happening is so incomparably special and you want to hold onto it so badly, but like water, it slips through your hands.

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flying man

IMG_7609ab (3810)IMG_2801This man of mine is often flying through the air.  I’ve always loved his spontaneous, risk-taking nature.  He just goes for it, you know?  So different than my own cautious, more on the ground sort of ways.  Anyway, it’s this flying-man’s birthday today.  He’s jumped, ridden and sailed through 35 years already.  Eli and I were talking about what we loved so much about ‘Dada’ and besides the already discussed flying abilities, we especially love that he can throw a raspberry 30ft into the air and still catch it and eat it.   We also love his ability to compose silly songs on the spot and ignite after-dinner jamming sessions with fork, knife, glass, plate, pepper grinder and whatever else happens to be around.  He’s really good at fixing things, he bakes a mean cake, and has extraordinary car-packing abilities.  Eli says he’s pretty good at legos too.

So- Happy Birthday to this wonderful man of many talents on this last radiant day of summer.  Long may he fly…

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drum lessons 004We haven’t been the sort  of parents to push things.  We’ve let Eli determine his own interests and discover his own talents.  But that doesn’t mean we haven’t hoped.  We hoped that Eli might be rhythmically-inclined like his drummer dad.  We hoped that he would be all, “Dada, teach me how to play drums like you!” and “I want to know everything you know!”

Except we all know that’s not how it usually works.  Instead, for the last 6 years (okay fine, the last 4, who can realistically count the first 2?) Eli has had his own passionate areas of interest.  Areas that did not include the drums.  His friends, on the contrary, go nuts when they enter the little basement recording studio complete with guitars, drum sets and rhythm instruments galore.  But Eli’s always been sort of, eh, take it or leave it.  And mostly, leave itdrum lessons 005So it was an absurd delight for us when Eli decided a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to learn how to play the drums.  There’s a palpable energy around here now on Tuesday nights.  We’re all excited about the weekly drum lessons.  I mostly stay out-of-the-way.  But sometimes I listen in while Jeff imparts a little drum history or Eli gets an introduction to hand drumming and the house echos with the two of them yelling, “Left!, Right!, Left!, Right!”

drum lessons 002drum lessons 003Music to my ears.

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One of the projects that fits nicely into my card design repertoire is album-making.  Photo albums are big, time intensive projects that when complete, feel especially sweet and rewarding to me.   I recently was hired to make a photo album for a 40th birthday celebration.IMG_2575For my past 4 albums or so, I’ve been starting with a 50 page text block from Paper Source.  If I had to cut and size and bind 50 pages before beginning, I think I would go out of my mind.  So hooray for text blocks!IMG_2576IMG_2579The fun part is picking out the paper for the covers.  I chose this red poppy wrapping paper for this album.  Wrapping paper seems to be just the right thickness for the cover boards. Thicker paper can really put my adhesive to the test and can be a challenge to fold in just right.  Wrapping paper adheres so quickly and easily, you just have to be sure to smooth out any air bubbles  right away.IMG_2582Then I attach the book cloth.  Here is where I have to be extra careful to leave exactly enough room for the spine of the book.  I’ve had trouble with this part before, but it went off without a hitch this time.  IMG_2596I love adding some coordinating ribbon and a cover plate.  At this point the whole assembled thing needs to be pressed.  I still don’t have a book press which is maybe a little bit ridiculous at this point, but between you and me, a stack of dictionaries and coffee table books works just as well.IMG_2600I deliberate for a long time over each page.  How many pictures on each page, how to mat and arrange them, how to work with any text that the client wants included… a single page can take an hour while I hem and haw.IMG_2607 IMG_2605IMG_2609IMG_2611IMG_2612Finishing an album always elicits a big phew! from me.   I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the pressure of creating a possible family heirloom with cherished family photos weighs heavily on me.  But after delving into the intimate photographs that are shared with me and working with them  for some time, I always feel such love for the recepients of the album, whether I know them or not.  It feels really special to be privy to the chronicle of a life and the inner bits and authentic pieces of a family.

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I am keenly aware of how often I wax on about summer swimming.  For me it is the absolute highlight of all my summer activities.  It is the sweetest dessert on summer’s abundant plate.  And like dessert, it’s special.   It’s not something we get all the time, so when it is plentiful, I’m all for heartily indulging.  And knowing that the autumn breezes are already beginning to sweep in, I feel okay about a few more props to my cherished watery adventures.

Sooo…  one wonderfully steamy day in Maine not so very long ago, the only goal for the day was to swim.  This quickly evolved into the swimming project, with the objective being to swim in as many different bodies of water as possible.IMG_2786We began with the ocean, which only Eli and I were bold enough to walk right on into.  And, if I might toot my own horn for a moment, it was only I who fully immersed myself and actually swam in the 55 degree water.  It really was cold enough to stun your heart, I think.  Needless to say, my swim was short, but I felt awfully good emerging into the baking sunshine afterward.IMG_2807Next we worked up a sweat discovering a hidden lake tucked into the outer parts of Acadia National Park.  The sparkling water was soothing and clean and surrounded by dense pine forests.  IMG_2857And lastly, we hiked into a quiet brookside trail and dunked into the chilly water among trickling waterfalls and mossy banks.

Swimming, I think, is my longest and truest love.  A summer-loving piscean has a yearning for water.   So a day with three spectacularly beautiful, unique swimming spots just might top the list as my best day ever.  May all projects be so refreshing.

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