3 things I have discovered or learned on-line this week

Hello bloggy buddies!

Hope you are all well, and getting things done. I notice this blog has had 225 hits, up from 184 last time I looked. Thanks for coming! Feel welcome to leave feedback.

This week I have been researching on-line and discovered a few things/places which may be worth passing on:
1 You may have heard of the Zen Habits blog. This has tons of life information and ideas, in categories such as Family and Finance, Productivity and Organisation, Happiness, Health, and Simplicity
2 Tim Ferriss wrote one of the manifestos I mentioned last time, his is on not being distracted by emails! (I guess we all know that can punctuate your whole day sometimes). He also is the person behind the book The 4-Hour Working Week. Tim does some very interesting things.
3 I read/realised that I don’t have to join up to everything I see. Some stuff will just take up time and spread my time/effort too thinly (thereby doing nothing particularly well). Will try to do just a few relevant things consistently and hopefully well. I guess the difficult part may be discerning which is which!

Now that work has become 2 days a week instead of 3, I will be doing more things from the home office/studio. As well as progressing my lino prints, I am aiming to get on with setting my website up, and get more artwork up on Etsy for sale. I have some other projects which are bigger and collaborative on the menu too. Fun! I will keep you up to date with links and things!

Circus training is starting gently (which suits me), as the regulars are rehearsing for a show in the Adelaide Fringe (a most excellent Arts Festival – 2nd biggest in the world). Would it be worth giving you links for those? (ie. ZigZag Circus in Adelaide, and the Adelaide Fringe?)

Take care,
Meg

Happy Sorry and Valentine Days

Greetings you fabulous blog-readers!

An important day in Australian history yesterday: Our Prime Minister (head of Government) apologised for past wrongs to the indigenous population! There was a really hopeful positive feeling in the air.
I enclose my sorry cardigan photo. I am holding one of the last plums and standing in front of a bit of the apricot/plum tree!)

sorry cardigan
I had better finally show you my latest lino prints.
At the moment I don’t like the cat one. The plum trees are too generic, and I don’t like the way the cat looks at you. I have carved a bit of the concern from his lino eyebrows, but I’m not sure if that will fix the problem. Will keep you posted (get it?)

 

Orange Cat in the Plum Orchard

The lady (Joy) dancing/flying one is not exactly what I thought it would be but I think I like it anyway. There were a few missed bits in the carving process which I have fixed, ready for an edition I hope. Thought I was pretty daring choosing a non-rectangular shape for the print! Can’t wait to start choosing the colours.

joy

Excuse the variable white tones in the scans, these were too big for my scanner and were made of a few images Photoshopped (I am pretty sure that is a verb now) together.

I have discovered a fun site “ChangeThis” which has heaps of interesting, optimistic manifestos to download, read and be inspired by. There is a Women Bloggers one, and I also like the “RenGen” one (“The Big Picture is a collage”).
(Those links should get you to the right bit. Just let me know if they don’t work).

Hope you have had happiness and kindness as part of your “Valentine’s” day (what ever you might think of the commercialism, you can’t get too much happiness and kindness can you?)
Kind regards,
Meg

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