Monday, September 28, 2009

Lucy Endorses Adoption

Those of you who have had your dogs bit/mauled/attacked by Lucy (which includes almost all of you, I'm sure) will be shocked to see this photo of The Queen of Mean. Yes, that's Lucy, snuggling up with Jack. And no, the photo wasn't Photoshopped! I have been hemming and hawing about adopting Jack, but he's fit in SO well. Heck, Lucy even likes him!! He and Cliff are adjusting and things only get "tense" when running outside.

I think we will be filling out adoption papers soon.

Jen

Despite the Rain...

Well, despite the rain on Sunday, we ended up having a great weekend. On Saturday, Lucy accompanied me on errands and then had a spa treatment (massage, grooming with the hound glove-which she loves- and then some lavendar calming agent massaged into her fur. Mmm). Clifford, Jack and I went hiking at Green Lakes State Park and then visited Bridget. We also went to the pet supply store for Dick Van Patten Natural Balance, and Clifford almost ate an $800 parrot. Ugh. Sunday we napped and then I carved some blocks, printed and finished my exhibit for the upcoming Greyhounds in Art show! Woot. Now comes the matting and framing- the part I hate. :oP

Pics to come when I get home- currently on lunch break at the office.

In other news:

  • I am building a new printing press. Well, I'm in the materials-gathering stage right now, but plan to commence building right after Dewey. Charles Morgan was kind enough to send me new, updated plans on building a Bottle Jack press- something that even a low-tech person like me can accomplish- and I'm very excited.
  • I was reading Luann Udell's art blog the other day and she had a post about banners- you know, the identifying headers at the top of your blog, website, Etsy store- how important they are for your art business. It again made me realize that I need to update my website and give that, my blog, and my Etsy store a fresh look. I've been pondering this for awhile now but it just kind of gives me momentum to DO IT.
  • I had another few bullet points but cannot remember them. Sigh.

Well... anyway... stay tuned for photos.

Jen

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cheap Entertainment



Clifford and Jack are apparently very amused with my horrid Darth Vader impression. Lucy-not so much lol.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hike at Chimney Bluffs State Park

We really wanted to take advantage of the last weekend of summer! It was such a beautiful, bright-blue sky Sunday- I packed up Clifford and Jack and headed northwest to Wayne County and Chimney Bluffs State Park even though we'd already been hiking on Saturday. I'd never been to this park before and although my hiking book gave it "4 boots" out of 4 for difficulty, and my neighbor said it wasn't hike-able with dogs, I decided to go anyway. Even if it was just to see the spires and not do a lot of hiking. I figured if it was too rugged (especially for Cliff) we'd just take some pics of the coast and then find another park nearby that was tamer.

No fears- the hiking was fabulous (very do-able for dogs- in fact we saw quite a few canine visitors!) and all three of us enjoyed ourselves.

According to my book Take a Hike: Family Walks in NY's Finger Lakes Region by Rich and Sue Freeman*, "Chimney Bluffs is a glacial drumlin cut to sharp spires, 150-feet high, by wind and wave action. Drumlins are long, narrow rounded hills of sediment formed when glaciers scoured the countryside. The last glacier to cover this are melted 12,000 years ago... the drumlin field of which Chimney Bluffs is a part, is one of the most extensive in the world, with over 10,000 drumlins."

I can't believe I've lived in this area most of my life and have never been to this spectacular place!!! It was perfect for hiking and wasn't that difficult at all. We did a 3 mile circuit which led along the bluffs of Lake Ontario, giving us spectacular views of the chimney spires. The trail along the cliff's edge was absolutely amazing. There were a few downed trees that we had to hop over (or crawl under) which made me a bit nervous for Cliff- he has a weak back end- but he was a champ. Cliff on the cliff, lol:

More of the chimney spires, with Lake Ontario in the background:


Clifford and Jack along the Cliff Trail:

Another view of the bluffs:

More spires:


Jack dips in Lake Ontario for the first time!

Clifford and Jack find the BIGGEST fish I have ever seen in my life. It must have become stranded on the shore and died? Seriously, it was huge.


Cliff on the shore: A tired, happy boy! :o)

We will definitely go back to this park again. If you live in the area (or are passing through) I HIGHLY recommend it!! Probably the most stunning park (and hike) I've been to so far.

Jen

*This is a fabulous book-two thumbs up-if you live in Central NY and love to hike, you need this book!!

Hike at Esker Brook

Hiking with my Aunt Tina and cousin Melanie at Esker Brook (Montezuma Wildlife Refuge) on Saturday. I was so busy chatting that I didn't get many pictures!

Lucy Soaking up the Last rays of Summer

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind.
-Seals & Croft

Linocut & Printing

Working on more art for the Greyhounds In Art Show. It is coming up sooo fast! Almost done. I haven't been very good at posting my work (at least the finished pieces) because the scanner is broken at work. I can take photos of the prints, but my camera skews the color a bit since I'm using an SLR lense on a digital body.

Setup: Ink, brayer, finished print!
For these linocuts I printed by hand, not using my press. This involved inking the block, laying the paper on the block, and then rubbing the back of the paper with a wooden spoon to transfer the image. I'm using Japanese and Nepali papers for this- American papers are a bit harder to use with a spoon transfer b/c they are thicker- this particular paper is a Lokta, from Nepal.

Hanging to dry!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Library Corner....

A quick post on some books I recommend (highly, highly, highly!):



Many thanks to Katka at the Blue Chisel for recommending this fantastic book: Coaching the Artist Within. It's not just aimed at fine artists but also crafters, writers, musicians, screenwriters, etc. Wow, wow, wow. I'm only on chapter 2 but already blown away. The book is written by Eric Maisel, a creativity coach out of California. If you ever wonder about your creativity and what drives you, wonder if what you create has meaning, if your ideas are blocked, if you can't seem to find the time or energy... this book is SO inspiring. I went through a bad patch awhile ago with my color woodcuts and am now in a "better" place with some linocuts I'm working on, but still... I borrowed this book through Interlibary loan and HAVE to purchase my own copy.

So Saturday, after getting my Scion tuned in North Syracuse, I headed to Barnes and Noble and found this gorgeous book:


The Printmaking Bible... It has everything, everything, everything you want to know about every printmaking method out there- from the newer techniques to the older. There are artist profiles too which are great. It is all color, hooray! The only HUGE glaring ommission (that I can find so far) is that there is no section on Moku Hanga Woodcuts! How can a printmaking "bible" leave out Moku Hanga?!?!? Otherwise, definitely worth the $50.

AND OTHER "BOOK" OBSERVATIONS...

Can I just add a SMALL ('small') grump about OH MY FREAKING GOD WHAT IS UP WITH ALL THIS MANGA CRAP???? It is overtaking the art section at the bookstore and library! I understand that some people enjoy drawing cartoons with an Asian-style flavor, I really do. Goodie for anyone who wants to draw, no matter what floats your boat. But... really? Whole collections of manga??? I even saw a book at B&N called "How to Draw Erotic Manga" or something to that effect. Of course I picked it up and rifled through it (trying to hide the cover from the guy browsing next to me, LOL). What wierd stuff! One whole section dealt with drawing high school manga students in cheerleader/football/sports uniforms banging each other. Another section was drawing naked girls with huge bazookas riding dragons or wearing elf costumes (with their bazooka's popping out, or in compromising positions with naked manga elf boys). It kind of seems like cartoon child porn. I really don't get it. I mean- do people really get off on this stuff? Holy crow.*end of grump*

Jen

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Lucy!


I can't believe it. Today, September 13, my beautiful girl Lucy turns 13 years young!! Thirteen! Where did time go?

I will never forget the day I adopted Lucy- Easter, 2001. I was living in Brooklyn and a friend from church drove me out to New Jersey to pick her up, since I didn't have a car. PW's Dixiesquick, black tuxedo female, retired from Plainfield Greyhound Park at almost 5 years old. It took Lucy a good half-year to warm up to me, to finally play with a toy. To this day she still holds her cards pretty close to her chest and isn't very demonstrative. I can't count the times she's frustrated me, bit other dogs, and resisted all attempts at any sort of socialization. There have been times I've wanted to kill her and I'm sure she's wanted to kill me. But boy oh boy, what a girl she is. We have gone through so much together- September 11, an American Airlines plane that crashed only a few miles from our house just after 9/11, our move from the city back to upstate NY, the purchase of our first home. Lucy has been there all the way.

I look forward to many more years with my special, special girl. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PW'S DIXIESQUICK!!!!

Jen

Pug Playdate!

Saturday evening I brought the three hounds over to my parents' house for Game Night. I only got a few pics since my camera battery was low, but here are a few.

I love these two...
Mom and Dad have a half-acre fenced in, so I was able to bat one of Benny's balls quite far with the tennis racket. Jack "fetched" a few times while Clifford spent some quality time with his boyfriend Amos.

Cliff and Amos... Cliff is probably trying to run away lol....

Later that night one of my brothers, John, came over and we played Scrabble (Dad won by over 120 points, ouch, but I came in second)....

While we played Scrabble, Lucy lounged on the loveseat. And Jack wasn't shy clambering up next to her. At first I was a bit nervous, because Lucy can be CRANKY with other dogs. I can't even tell you the amount of dogs she has ripped into in her lifetime. But she seems to tolerate Jack extremely well...


And eventually they were snuggling together for a nap!


Lest you think Lucy has become TOO mellow yellow in her old age, this is what happened 5 minutes later when a pug walked by the loveseat:

That is not Photoshopped or skewed/cartoon filtered in any way! That is the actual picture! ROFL. Man, that is pure, unadulterated hate lol. I hope I never get on Lucy's bad side...hee hee.

Jen

Friday, September 11, 2009

Semi-Clean Studio Table


Working on another linocut for my upcoming art show.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Gaggle of Greyhounds


Stopped by Bear Villa with Cliff and Jack to visit with Bridge, her hubby Bill, sister Jo, and all the hounds! So much fun- chatting, pizza, and puppies, what more could you ask for? :o) Left to right: Clifford, John, Maggie, Sophie, Rimfire, and Jack.

Saturday Fun

I was so excited to visit my cousin Mel and her family, who recently moved back up to Central NY! Mel is an awesome bead- and jewelry maker, be sure to check out her Etsy store!

Mel and her beautiful pomeranian mix, Ladybird:

Jack and Ladybird romping in the 2 acre fenced yard:

Mel's daughter Sarah and Clifford:

Clifford takes a romp with Ladybird:

Aunt Tina with all the dogs (except Cliff... where was he?). Ladybird, Ivan, Annie and Jack:


After having a playdate in the big yard, we were off to Pratts Falls park to hike the Crossover Trail, which was about 2 miles. It was really fun, and a BEAUTIFUL day. The wildflowers were out in full force!


Lucy at Sunset