Trapeze and Tangerine Tree

Greetings enthusiasts of blog,
I hope you are travelling well.
Hope too you will forgive me for veering far from my original stated topics today. Perhaps I should add to that “intention roll” (like a blog roll) fitness, gardening and life.

So excited this week…I did trapeze again on Thursday night!
I know circus training is good for whole body strength, but I hadn’t been for about 2 years, due to a couple of things.
About 4 years ago I lost about 30kilos (66lbs) (on purpose, for health reasons) and during that time started doing circus training. Crikey I must have been a sight up on the trapeze that first night after the strong guys had lifted me up there! (Don’t want to think about it actually). I panicked and came straight down.
But I liked the view and kept going back, and soon began to be able to do some stuff.
This Thursday, despite the full-on conditioning exercises being largely beyond me right now, my body was able to remember some of the trapeze postures. Isn’t the human body a wonderful thing?
Just to clarify, this is not flying trapeze or swinging trapeze, but static trapeze (see wiki).

Tangerine Tree. Have decided to call my newsletter Tangerine Tree (or The Tangerine Tree?).
Have been wondering what I can email out that would be useful to people who want to receive an occasional newsletter from me. I was planning on sending out advance news when I have a new linoprint available (ie. we let our friends in on things first). So to be fair I guess the mailing list would find out a little bit before blog readers, as thanks for entrusting me with their email address. Do you think that sounds ok? Do you think that is useful/worthwhile? As blog readers perhaps you disagree!

I promised artwork. Haven’t got on to my pile of scanning, so is next time ok? (Have decided I like one of them and not the other! I’ll show you).

Wishing you lovely things and a fine mid-February! (reminder: Valentine’s day next week, give it some thought!)
Meg

5 tiny little events (in a disproportionately long blog post)

Greetings friends in the world of blog! I seem to be wordy today.

I have had little I-can-move-forward type breakthroughs in thinking about my web-site. The site has been percolating on my mental back-burner, and now it’s starting to make its way to the front burner (?!).
1 Have been reading great info from Seth Godin, and what a relief to read the words: “…don’t even have a homepage!” (from Knock Knock – Seth Godin’s Incomplete Guide to Building a Web Site that works). (Download for free from Seth’s Squidoo lens (site)). Prior to reading that I was pondering and pondering what could go on this apparently essential page, but the concept of not actually having a “home” page makes sense to me. I now feel as if I can progress with my site. More on this later.
2 The other decision I have made is instead of re-inventing the wheel and having gallery, sales, paypal etc all coded into my own site, I am going to see what happens if I try to sell (the artwork) on Etsy. To get closer to that today I went to the Post Office to check out insured postage costs all around the world, and also uploaded A Cat named Magpie to my brand new Etsy shop today.
So all that time I thought I was wasting on the internet on the weekend came to be happily and unexpectedly fruitful as I realised it was in fact research!
I can still keep artwork progress and archives here at the blog or on the “site”.

Numbers 3, 4, and 5 are all prints.
I have made an trial of the 2 prints I was working on. And here I have to show you (drumroll…) the first ever view of the print for my site banner (tada!):

tangerine epiphany banner

(I may yet add colour to this.)
As I need to re-scan everything big for the Etsy site, while I am at it I will also scan the other new work to show you.
Hope all is well with you,
Meg

Happy 28th of January to all!

(Today is a public holiday in Australia for “Australia Day”)

You may note I have added an email feed, and a new blogroll category to this blog. I have just discovered more exciting printmaking sites, so I thought I would share them with you.

Have been looking and pondering other things on the interweb too:
Not sure whether to continue to build my own site (for sales) or to join Etsy, or can one do both? I will join Etsy as a buyer initially, I think. For those unfamiliar with Etsy it is a site for sales of handmade things and has millions of hits daily. I have discovered lots of beautiful things there today, from all over the world.

Squidoo is also interesting. Perhaps a printmaking-resources-on-the-web lens?

I am carving a banner-shaped strip of lino for a banner for my website. I decided it makes sense to have a lino print banner for a lino print site! It was really fun doing the backwards writing! Can’t wait to take a print.

My fabulous plum tree is like a living plum store outside the back door. The plums wait happily until we pick them. The season has lasted and lasted.

Thanks again for visiting!
Love Meg

Hotsy Totsy! 122 hits

Hi guys,

I have nothing in particular in mind as I start this. I just wanted to say hi to all you lovely readers in this world of blogging!
Had a look at the hit count…I never imagined I would see 122 hits on my blog. I am kinda new to blogging, and wasn’t sure what would happen. Thanks heaps!
I just added a new banner to this site, so hope you like it and it works on your screens.

Have been cutting 2 lino blocks (matrixes!) concurrently, and will shortly buy some great paper to print onto. Can’t wait to show you!
This afternoon I made a phone call about the water-based block printing ink that I use to ensure that it is light-fast and artist-quality. It is. Here’s a link to the Matisse Derivan site. The gentleman there was completely helpful.

Tried a ballroom dancing lesson last night. It was fun! Would certainly like to do some more.

Take care of yourselves,
Meg

Disappointing peach and inspiring quote

Less cheering: The (aforementioned) amazingly huge peach dropped and totally bruised itself. Have left it there for mulch and nutrition for the soil. Actually that’s not so bad after all!

Cheering (quote I re-read yesterday):
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Martin

Have a great day,
Meg

Anniversary paint and a giant peach still ripening

Hi guys,
Here’s the special paint I got (and the packaging thereof):

Blue Tube

Winsor and Newton had their 175th Anniversary in 2007, and as part of the celebrations made a fabulous blue paint called Smalt or Dumont’s Blue. The packaging says it is a colour that cannot be mixed from ordinarily available water colours. Apparently they were able to re-formulate Smalt to match their best quality sample from 1890! I am delighted to have some, and will let you know how it goes. Looking in the end of the tube I would guess it’s in the French Ultramarine vicinity. I also love the vintage style design of the packaging.

In the garden, the giant peach on the “left” peach tree is still ripening. The ones from the “right” tree have ripened and been enjoyed already. It’s a daily waiting game. Plums still profuse.

Hope 2008 is going well for you so far.
Enjoy your January, speak to you soon.
Meg

PS only 2 more hits to this site and the total will be 100. Thanks heaps for reading!

Carving of the niche injury

Hi guys!

Sorry news for my left middle finger this evening: Was carving a lino block and jabbed myself in the end of the finger with a sharpish lino-carving tool. There was blood. I now have a bandaid on and am fine. (I was foolishly not observing the early-learned maxim: Cut away from your hands.)

Am working longer hours at my job this month, so when at home I have decided to spend less time in front of my computer screen. This means I get to focus on design/lino work, but also means the web site wont progress much till maybe February.
I am pleased to say I have 2 designs going:
Worked out a way around the mental block I was having for a dancing lady design, by using a scribble technique I learned from Ruth Tuck. I have also decided to try a non-rectangular lino shape – daring!
The other is a simple cat design. Both blocks are in the process of being carved. Will scan and show you soon.

By the way I have added another page to this blog. It’s only the beginnings, but I intend to include some printmaking terms defined (just ones which are related to my work) and will also have links to more complete references. I have deleted that page for the sake of simplicity. There is plenty of good printmaking information on line. Wikipedia is good for a starting point.

Next post I will tell you about the Winsor and Newton special paint colour for their anniversary 175 years of making beautiful paints.

Look after yourselves,
Meg

Heat and stone-fruit

We’ve had some hot days here, o lovely readers!
41 degrees C here yesterday, that’s 105.8 degrees F, for those that know Farenheit.
This week my inspiration from the garden includes the first of 17 peaches, and ripening satsuma plums.
This is really the first proper crop from a fairly young pair of peach trees. There are 2 in the “same” hole (probably less than a foot apart, they could share the same dripper on the irrigation line; arranged much like the 2 people in “Tree People”!). The left tree has 1 huge peach and the right tree has 16 smallish peaches. I ate the first of them today, warm & juicy off the tree. The tree branches are intertwined; and I haven’t had any pest trouble since the birds attempted to save me from the apricot-slime-making insects.
The plums are plentiful, and seemingly wait happily, patiently ripe until we are ready to pick them. I am loving sharing them with my family, neighbours and work-mates. There are plenty. They don’t seem to be attracting birds.
Concurrently struggling with a lino-print idea that seemed viable and simple, but upon development is eluding a decent-looking outcome. Maybe I will do a different one next and let that one percolate at the back of my brain/remain in the planning phase! Website is getting there. Hope to get it on-line soon. Have just trouble-shot some positioning problems, which has made it feel as though I am on the home stretch.
Hoping all is well with you all,
Meg.

4 Things my garden taught me about getting things done

Hi guys,

Have just been working at painting the other 8 prints of the edition of “Tree People” and building my website, and musing upon how I have been going about things. These 4 things I can attribute to learning from the gardening process:

1. Keep planting. The tree I planted last year is bigger this year, and I get to put another tree alongside. It all adds up. Persist. (And put them on the dripper system).

2 . You get more done if you don’t watch TV at the same time. (Especially if you don’t have an outside TV. Mind you if it’s a really great show, you can get a little done in the ad breaks).

3. Be prudent about netting the birds out of the apricots. They might be saving you from the slime-making insects.

4. Save the water from the washing and you will eat raspberries. (We are on Level 3 water restrictions here).

Love Meg

PS Did anyone use the RSS clicker? DO people use them? I have a Mac RSS receiver thingy called Vienna and have been having fun receiving the blogs I have selected. (I subscribed to my own too, to see if it worked. It did!)