Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Hurricane Season Somewhere Else

Six years later, I still try not to watch weather reports that overuse the word "extreme" and generally inflate a sense of panic, even if it is to instill a sense of seriousness in the warnings. A bunch of my friends are on the east coast now, hunkering down, baking a pie, or about to play a show. So I am at home eating everything I would put in a veggie hot dog bun as a salad:

Not as gross as it sounds. Too tired to cook for myself and since I am staying home to do "homework" I thought I would do a little research with my new vegan cookie recipe book. First up, almond butter and honey cookies. They use agave syrup but I like local Louisianan honey over that. My choice. You decide if you'll eat it or not. They came out all right. I am going to send some to a friend who is about to have a baby.

Most of my school work this week has been planning and organizing so it is fitting that I finally bound a datebook for myself. The pages are letterpress printed, a collaboration with and soon we will both have some for sale with vintage hard book covers and coptic binding holding them together. Lovely.
Now back to not worrying and writing papers.

(Note: I made my datebook cover special for myself because I couldn't choose from the books I had so I printed this chicken on book cloth and voila!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Garden Bounty

It's been so hot that after about twenty minutes in the garden I feel woozy. Though usually I am there in mid-afternoon after waiting tables for 8 hours and I am soaked in diner grease and I feel like a baked potato in the sun. That doesn't stop me. We have red okra that need to picked every 3 days or it turns into a giant cardboard model of an okra pod. There is a jar of bitty ones in the fridge pickling right now.

Also there are tiny eggplants growing in fistfuls, spicy peppers (maybe jalapenos, maybe serrano), and three kinds of grapes. Yum! Also in the garden area are two persimmon trees and two pear trees. I have a recipe for persimmon cider. And a plan for persimmon cinnamon rolls. If only summer lasted forever.

Don't think the garden is separate from my art-making. I photographed these frozen friends, okra sliced cross-wise, this morning. Nevermind why I was up at five a.m. photographing things from the freezer. I have plans. Just you wait.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


...but can't fall asleep.
My studio is cleaned up, shelves cleared for new studio-mates. One bike is ready to ride, though the other is upside down in the living room with a flat tire. Maybe that is what I will work on next.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lil'Road Trip

The pre-classes crazies are settling in here and the weather has returned to something akin to being inside something's mouth while it opens an oven and inhales. It is August in South Louisiana! So A. and I went on a little road trip to see places we have not seen. We drove over a few bridges. This first one was on the way home, the I-10 bridge over the Mississippi. We mostly stayed off the highway.

We did follow the signs to Avery Island, not an island at all but a salt dome. I'll have to get back to you on how that works. We paid for the walking and driving tour at Jungle Gardens. Not much of a jungle. I did not see an alligator, but I did see a lot of birds, egrets, a blue heron and a few ibis. Partially a bird sanctuary, partially a drive-though forest and garden. Odd but a chance to walk in the shade in the afternoon and enjoy the quiet. We drove all the way to Morgan City before deciding to attempt to navigate a path home. Easier said than done in a landscape that is more water than land and road. We did it, and made it home in time for dinner. Now back to fretting about school.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Million Dollar Books

Somehow it is noon on a day in mid-August in South Louisiana and we have all the windows open and the air conditioner is off. I might even leave the house this afternoon. I think it rained yesterday, clearing the air, but I am not sure where the smothering humidity went. And I am not complaining. It is lovely outside and school starts in a week.

Here is Keep Writing no.32 as promised. Two shots. This month it is actually three postcards, one for you with my new address, one with a love letter to the USPS stamped and addressed to the Postmaster General, and a postcard for you to send back to me with your description of your favorite form of communication, real or a plan for the post-internet world.

August has been slow all around which has given me and Blackbird Letterpress a chance to get a bunch of printing done for our letterpress datebooks. If only I hadn't miscounted somewhere along the way by 1/3. Good job. Anyway, the back pages were done while waiting for the new shipment of paper to correct my mistake. We also had a chance to bind a few practice ones and they are cuter than we could've known. Worth the wait, I hope.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Baton Rouge We Wish For

A few months ago I came home and this was on my desk--Andy's dream Baton Rouge. As football season heaves its way through the summer heat and I try to prepare for school and its crowds, at least I have a vision for something else. I finally posted more responses to Keep Writing # 28 I've been hesitant due to some technical issues but I think this is still the best format I have to share these, unless you will be here in December. I will try and post more soon before school starts.
Until then, here is another of my favorites, Alec's map of Marigny Street, the same block I made my screen print of. Same street, different view.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Can't Even Draw Straight

I am in the process of designing stationary to print and sell. Did I mention that all this internet stuff is to get you to send more letters? Any way, I tried using the computer to design it, it is taking me weeks, so today, with the air conditioning humming and my allergies making my nose drippy, I busted out the paper and pen and rules and finally drew up the plan. There is still some work to be done, scanning and I think I will have polymer plates made...but at least it is started. What I learned today: even with a ruler and a grid, I can't keep it even. Also, I was trying for something more like the pattern on the left but my brain made it look like that other pattern I use over and over.

Yesterday I had a conversation with another printmaker at school about how some people post everything they are doing, and I was like, yeah, I can't keep up with that. Don't let the past few days fool you. Classes start in two weeks. Then you might not hear from me till December.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sneak Peak

Lots of good things going in the mail lately. This is corner of one side of my print for the Current Event Print Exchange hosted by Walker Mettling and Emmy Bright in Providence. I am excited to show them off but it is no fair to show you before the other exchangees get theirs. Also, I realized after they were all packaged up that I think mine is crooked, maybe the paper isn't cut straight.

Today 120 postcards went in the mail, Keep Writing Number 32. Again, you only get to see a little to the patient folks get theirs the old fashioned way. Meanwhile, school starts in two weeks. I thought I was ready until I realized all the things I still want to do.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wake Up Call

Something about the weather and weird dreams, but I couldn't sleep last night. And when the alarm rang at 5:30 am, Andy would've been ok with going back to sleep. Instead we filled our mugs with iced coffee and drove across town to the last day of the Baton Rouge Hot Air Balloon Festival.

I have been making prints of hot air balloons and paper hot air balloons and I finally made it to the event. There were not too many folks skipping church this Sunday morning, so we had plenty of room and it didn't get hot until about 8 as we were leaving. Lots of beautiful balloons, different shapes, a million ideas and, when we got home, a nap and a lazy day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Ashley Hurst's closing show is tomorrow night, at the LSU Design Building from 6-8pm. She is graduating with a BFA in print making. Yahoo!