Ah, a sweet comment from Albie Smith. What a wonderful way to start a Saturday.

Woodcut of JakeSo many things have happened this week. After I posted on Sunday, I messed around with my woodcuts and used my printing register for the first time. The two new proofs (Jake and a Spannocchia scene) were not to my satisfaction, but now I see what I need to do once I can carve again. They were pretty good, actually. I got the sly expression in Jake’s face in just a few lines. It was subtle, so I’ll have to be very careful when I refine it.

mama kitty stampI printed off a couple of Mama Kitty and named it “Waiting for more.” Then I went to the studio, dug through the books and stuff on the floor from the shelf crash a few weeks ago to find my woodcut prints. Luckily they weren’t damaged. I piled these books up on the metal shelves next to the door. This will end up being a hassle later. Steve is framing a few items for us and he is matting my woodcuts from a couple of years ago. So I should have them for sale at the Indie Market Sept. 3. Susanne is either going to share the table with me or I will put some of her work out for sale, so it will be an interesting array of book and paper arts.

I opened the refrigerator and saw something that I noticed early in the morning but didn’t make a connection. This time it was obvious – there was water dripping from the top of the refrigerator. I opened the freezer and almost everything was thawed out. I’d sort of expected this to happen soon because it is older than our stay here (9 years) and it has been making clicking noises for a long time. But I hoped that it would last until the next Energy Star appliance rebate program in the fall. Luckily I had the little chest freezer that I bought last fall for paper pulp, and it had enough room for the few things I saved.

When I opened the refrigerator part again, it was warm and I hustled to get what I could into the dorm-sized fridge in the studio in the back. We had just enough time to get to Sears and order a new one that would be delivered Tuesday. I am very happy to have the excuse for a new Energy Star refrigerator with a lot more room. And I added a lot to the compost pile over the next couple of days. It was a bit sad to lose so much food but that fridge was badly in need of a purge anyway.

Then we drove to Summerfield to have dinner with Steve and Rita Maloy, and had such a wonderful time. Steve gave me my first full-time bookstore job and I worked with him for 6-7 years. We have so much in common with them both and they both are so funny – I laughed so hard. Almost everything they served for dinner was local – either from the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market or from their garden – and so delicious. Sandy normally would not eat eggplant and he asked for seconds on the eggplant parmesan. And blueberry sorbet! I never knew that could be so good!

Okay, so the next few days are spent going in and out of the studio a lot, and the door tends to stick. Finally I got most everything back into the house. I was finally able to get to making paper with the cotton/corn shuck pulp, and when I opened the bucket, it smelled bad and was beginning to rise like bread! Well, it wasn’t so awful that it was undoable, but it wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t want to waste it. Susanne’s husband told me on the phone that it would be okay after I dried it in the dry mount press, and it was. I added dill to the pulp to help with the smell while I was pulling it, and it was a lovely addition.

I cleaned up everything and took some items back to the studio to store, but huh? The door won’t open. The aluminum shelves had fallen down behind the door. I finally got back into the studio this morning, and I have another big mess on my hands. I had to push the door hard enough to bend the frame of the shelves to get inside. I was worried that I would break the door, but the only other way I could see to get in would have been to cut the bottom panels out of the door. With our mosquito problem, I did not want to do that.

Anyway, that is the saga of my totally screwed-up studio situation. I think that the only thing I can do is to 1) seriously purge to make enough room to move things around and 2) move the yarn to more lightweight shelves and put the heavy books and supplies where the yarn and light items are now.

And really, all I want is to spend this time making stuff. Really, universe, is that too much to ask?

OK, this is too long. I’ll start another post with my second cup.