December 23, 2007

Pre-Christmas


Well here it is, tomorrow's Christmas Eve and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I'm on schedule: house clean and decorated, baking done, presents wrapped. I even steam-cleaned the living room carpet yesterday, after vacillating for several weekends. Actually, the decision was pretty much made for me by Frodo who, randomly and unexpectedly, chose to leave a fragrant (not) little gift of his own on the carpet yesterday morning. Why, after years of going outside??? I can only think I somehow subconsciously willed it so that I'd be forced to steam-clean. Anyway, all done now and the room is the model of Christmas cozy.

Even the tree, more odd-ball this year than ever, is lovely. This year we have a juniper -- the top of the juniper in front of the house -- berries and all. R topped the tree a few weeks ago, worried that the branches, leaning more and more after last year's wicked wind storms, might take out our hydro lines during a repeat performance. The top seemed too nice to throw away after that, so we decided to save ourselves a hassle and re-cycled it for Christmas. Somehow, it feels right, although decorating it was definitely a challenge.

Now, the only bummer is that I've been retail widow while R's been working every day for the last two weeks and coming home too drained, to truly appreciate the spirit of Christmas I'm trying to infuse the house with. Poor man, the commercial retail world is soul-sapping. I've tried my best to stay out of the malls but the little exposure I've had was enough. What an insane ritual this yearly shopping frenzy is! Thank God we've been able to get beyond that this year, none of us really needs anything, and we've managed to keep it simple: some books, a couple of DVD's, lots of candles for atmosphere, and some good wine and things to nibble on in front of the fire. Tonight we'll be watching White Christmas, even N's going to watch with us.

As to printmaking, I finished my cards and sent them out, filed away the unhappy Gargoyle, here's the final version:


6" x 8"


And I began work on a new reduction print: Tree Spirit. I hope to print the first colour this coming week; I'm off from work until Jan. 2nd!!!

The image is based on a photo we took on our trip through the Kootenays last summer:


Here's my colour sketch and the drawing transferred to the block. The first step is to clear away the edges around the image; I'm not using white so can print after that.


I feel like I've been away from the press for far too long. It's time to reintroduce ourselves.