Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Shackleton, one of my white homing pigeons. Posted by Hello
Easter came and went and we really didn't do much of anything.

Hubby had been in the army's hand to hand combat course all week. Wrestling on the floor eight hours a day for seven days. He was black and blue. So he spent most of the weekend laying on the couch recovering!

He was pretty psyched about the course though and delighted in practicing on little me when he got home each night! -"What are you complaining about? It's not supposed to hurt until your shoulder starts to dislocate!"

Saturday was my Dad and Mum's 50th wedding anniversary. We had a nice get together on Yahoo messenger but I wish we could have been there in England with them.

I did get all the FDC's finished and ready to send off. I enjoyed making them but I'm glad to have them done. I had briefly entertained the notion of going into business as a Cachet artist. Making FDC's on a regular basis. But after you've made the same thing 10 times with more to do... it soon gets old.

Yesterday we had a call from our Lawyer in NC to say that the sale of our house down there was going to be finalized on Thursday. Great news but very short notice. We thought we would have to cancel our trip to Virginia in order to travel down there for the closing. So I was on the phone to the Kennels and the realtor to rearrange dates. Now due to a glitch with the buyer's lender looks like it isn't going to close Thursday after all. And it seems that we can take care of everything by fax and overnight mail. So our original plans are back in place and we will be going to see what I hope will be our future home in four days!!

Oh, the anticipation! I can't sleep for clearing and fencing the pasture and planning all the other little enterprises that have been simmering on the back burner for so long.

If it all works out this time next year we will once more have baby goats frolicking around the barnyard and little chicks cheeping in the brooder. My white homing pigeons will be trained and ready to start their career as wedding release birds and the garden spot will be tilled and planted.

So much to look forward to!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Thursday, March 24, 2005

This evening I got really sleepy and ended up taking a long nap on the couch. Needless to say it's now almost 11pm and I'm wide awake! May as well sit here and waffle a bit.

Actually, I haven't been sleeping good at all this past week because I'm excited that we may have finally found the farm we've been looking for! We will be heading off down to the mountains of south west Virginia next weekend to look at the place. Woo hoo! Can't wait!

It's a totally renovated one hundred year old farm house on 33 acres with a nice stream. Very secluded about a mile from the hard top. There's a small barn. It isn't in the best of shape. It's leaning a bit but will serve the purpose of sheltering the goats until we can put up something more substantial next year. All I have to do is throw up a little corral of cattle panels and build a gate.

There's also another building that has power to it that will be my art studio! A real art studio! No more clearing off the kitchen table so we can eat.

Anyway, more about this later. Just hope it doesn't sell before we can get down there to see it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Yesterday was the birthday of Mick Mather a fellow blogger and eraser carver. We've had such a hectic week here that I was only just able to get a greeting posted in time.

Glad you had a great birthday Mick!

It's kind of funny, I don't really remember how I got into carving erasers and I certainly didn't know anyone else who did it. One day I typed "eraser carving" into the Yahoo search box and a whole new world opened up. There was the Carving Consortium website and a whole bunch of sites related to mail art and letterboxing. And this name Mick Mather kept popping up all over the place.

A couple of months ago I found Illustration Friday and set up this blog so that I could participate. What a surprise when who should leave a comment but Mick! The world really is a small place.

He's since moved on to other things than eraser carving but above you can see one fine piece of his entitled "Keep Out!"

Check the links in the side bar and go take a look at his blog. Maybe some of you up there in the north will be able to go see the exhibition he's currently working on!

Keep Out! by Mick Mather Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005


Illustration Friday threw me for a loop this week by changing the theme on Friday instead of Monday. It makes more sense though. Now people will have the weekend to get a piece done.

I decided to enter this little Ex Libris eraser carving.

It's spring!

Bloom Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Too busy to post anything the last couple of days.

I've been playing with my new speedball inks and finding them a bit frustrating. They dry so fast! Having never done this before I expected to be able to make about 10 prints at a time. It's more like three! I'm back and forth to the sink to wash the stamps, plate and brayer. Then have to start over.

Above is the very first one that came out halfway decent. You can see the image is a bit thin on the right hand side. So this is something I'm going to have to practice.

Actually this is one of my first carvings and the first time I've been able to print it! It's carved on a piece of 3" x 4" "stuff" I found on a shelf at a craft store about two years ago. It must have been sitting on the shelf for a long time because it wasn't the best quality in the world. The check out lady let me have it at a discount. When I came to ink it with the rubberstamp pad the ink wouldn't stick to parts of it. I tried and tried. Washed it in soap and water, cleaned it with stamp cleaner, nothing worked. So it was thrown in a box and forgotten about. It was quite a thrill finally see it printed.

This afternoon was spent working on the Carving Consortium First Day Cover swap. I have about 7 out of the 18 envelopes printed and some of the hand coloring done. Will post pictures when they are all finished.

I still haven't come up with anything for the Illustration Friday theme "fragile" yet. The First Day Cover has a deadline so that's my primary concern right now. There are a couple of ideas rattling around in my mind though. I just might manage to get something submitted before Friday.

First print Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saturday went by so fast. Hubby had to go into work because a couple of his students failed an exam and had to re-test. I spent most of the morning watching the news about the arrest of the murderer down in Georgia.

This afternoon we went to Michael's Crafts. I bought a boxed set of Speedball inks and a brayer. Up until now I've always used those ink pads sold in the scrapbooking section at Walmart. They serve the purpose but since starting this blog and participating in the Illustration Friday themes I've been hankering to create "real" prints. Can't wait to try these out!

The instructions mention an "inking plate". The store didn't have any so I'm going to have to use whatever's handy. Not sure what will work best though. The ink seems rather thick. I hope I can get it to cover the stamp without it filling in the fine details.

Oh well, it's after midnight so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Illustration Friday word for the week is "ancient". For some reason the first line of the poem "All That Is Past" by Walter de la Mare popped into my mind.

Thank you to those who have left kind comments!!

I added a few links to the site recently. I always enjoy exploring the links on other blogs- causing me to spend way too much time on here. But heck, there's so much interesting stuff to read!

Not long ago I found the IUOMA site. I love it though I've never participated in any mail art projects myself. It all looks so 'out there' on the 'edge' and my work seems too tame to fit in.

Anyway, I have decided to bite the bullet and take part in a First Day Cover swap with a group of other eraser carvers at the Carving Consortium and I'm really excited about it! I joined the Consortium way back but with hubby deployed for two years I was always too busy to participate much. The FDC is the Northeast Deciduous Forest stamp that was just issued last week.

I didn't know much about FDC's and had to search online to learn more. I was surprised to discover that there are "cachet" artists who specialize in turning out hand painted FDC envelopes for a living!


Posted by Hello
All That Is Past
Very old are the woods;
And the buds that break
Out of the brier's boughs,
When March winds wake,
So old with their beauty are--
Oh, no man knows
Through what wild centuries
Roves back the rose.
Very old are the brooks;
And the rills that rise
Where snow sleeps cold beneath
The azure skies
Sing such a history
Of come and gone,
Their every drop is as wise As Solomon.
Very old are we men;
Our dreams are tales
Told in dim Eden
By Eve's nightingales;
We wake and whisper awhile,
But, the day gone by,
Silence and sleep like fields
Of amaranth lie.
Walter de la Mare

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Well, what do you know! As soon as I published the previous post the problem was fixed! Phew! That's saved me a lot of messing around.
Oh man! Last night I decided to edit my profile. Or I should say write my profile since I hadn't got around to it earlier. I typed all this stuff into the "about me" block and hit 'save changes'. Now it's up there on the front page of my blog and it won't let me edit it. I went in and deleted the whole thing but it's still there. The thing is when I go to the 'edit profile' page, the 'about me' block is empty because I deleted it! So why is it still showing up on the front page? Think I'm going to have to back up each page then delete the blog and start over with a new template.

Friday, March 04, 2005

In an effort to improve my skills at carving text, I decided to carve Edward Thomas's poem 'Easter'. Here's part of it along with it's illustration. Think I'll carve another panel and make a triptych.

After inking it up to test it I saw that all the 'a's are backwards! Decided to continue on anyway.

Something I'm working on Posted by Hello

My new lamp! Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Had to post a picture of my new halogen "architect's lamp" which I found at Target last week end. I think it was about $13.00.

It isn't very big but it sure is saving my eyesight! The base is quite heavy making it very stable and it also has a little wire handle at the edge of the shade so you can adjust it without burning your fingers. I absolutely love it!!

I'm in no way affiliated with Target by the way!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Below you will find my and Joshua's contributions to this week's Illustration Friday theme Jazz.

The word immediately brings to mind Chet Baker and all the other great jazz musicians, the sax, a haze of smoke, clincking glasses... So I decided to come up with something a little different.

Not sure if she's singing or listening but she is enjoying!

Jazz Festival by Joshua! Posted by Hello

JAZZ Posted by Hello

The word of the week is JAZZ. I love jazz!