When we left our heroine, she was tied to the railroad tracks with the 6:15 express train to Sweetwater bearing down on her . . . no, wait . . . she was tied to her desk chair scrambling to meet a couple of deadlines for work. Did it, though I had to pull an all-nighter to do so. Three or four times a year I end up doing this to finish writing an article or some such thing, and every time I am more deeply convinced that I’m getting way too old for this stuff. It’s not nearly as much fun as it was back in college, when we laughed in the face of deadlines and clocks and we once caught our friend Jim in his dorm’s common room eating freeze dried coffee crystals out of a jar with a spoon in an attempt to stay awake to finish an overdue term paper.
There is a part of me, though, that relishes those quiet hours for work. The phone doesn’t ring, everyone’s in bed; even the dogs are snoozing in their crates. No one cares if I take an ice cream break at 4 in the morning, and from my office window I can see the dawn breaking over the pond. But, honestly, once or twice a year would be plenty.
Anyway–art notebooks. I was saying a few posts ago that more pictures were creeping into my writing journals and my daily calendar, so it was becoming clear that this stuff needed its own books. A couple of years ago I picked up a cute, sturdy, unfussy little perfect-bound blank book in a sale bin at, of all places, Old Navy. For 79 cents. This one has become my art/craft/project/ideas/inspiration book. I record things I’ve made, make sketches for things I’d like to make, draw quick versions of clever things I’ve seen so I can either try to make similar ones or take inspiration from them, as on this page at the beginning of my bag-making kick.
It’s also a great place to record the stamps I carve sometimes (like the little rabbit from yesterday):
Most of these are my designs, though the little mug of tea on the far right was carved by First Child, who wandered through the kitchen while I was playing with the Master Carve and sharp implments, and the apple core and green bullseyes on the right-hand page and the carrot and blocky faces on the left were contributed by Second Child. It’s in their genes, you know?
The designs that look like Japanese crests are just that (also the little crane on the right hand page). I think I’ve mentioned before my love for this book:
I checked it out of the library so many times that the universe finally threw a copy my way–I found my own at a used bookstore for all of $5. Over 4000 illustrations of Japanese heraldic crests from years (and in some cases centuries) past. Wonderful for freezer paper stencils on shirts and bags–here’s a larger fabric paint stenciled version (from a market bag I made my sister) of the little crane stamp I used on the page above:
Also–no, that’s enough for now. I think I need to go and take a nap. Like I said, getting too old for this.