Friday, October 30, 2009
This is the piece of wood (well, actually 3 pieces glued/screwed together) that Dad and I worked on last week. I've primed it, and painted it gray with enamel paint.
Next step was to make the press bed, platen, and stiffner. Dad used his tablesaw to cut them out of 3/4" sheets of MDF into each piece (side note: Can you fit 3 greyhounds with attitudes, 1 testy human, and 2 huge sheets of MDF in a little Scion xB and then drive it to your parents' house, the longest 10 miles in your life?? Answer: Yes, but I don't recommend it!! LOL!).
Dad refused to let me use the tablesaw to cut the sheets of MDF. Apparently the time I accidentally ran my hand through the sewing machine will be held against me for life! Well, Dad cut the MDF beautifully, saving all 10 of my fingers from ruin. Afterwards, I brought them home and coated them with 2 layers of polyeurathane, which will keep any dampness from warping the boards. It will also (hopefully) make them easy to wipe clean if I get any ink on them. We had some beautiful, warm fall days during the week that made painting outdoors a delight!
Jack and Lucy (BFF's??) enjoyed napping in the yard while I worked. Clifford popped out of the house occassionally to check on us but spent most of the time eating grass along the fenceline and pee'ing on my brussel sprout plants. :oP
Part 3 will hopefully be coming this weekend!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We spent several hours measuring and cutting 3 2x4's, glueing and screwing them together. They are going to form the top brace of the press. A bottle jack will be attached to this eventually.... that will be the mechanism that applies pressure and (hopefully) allows me to pull linocuts and woodcuts.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Jack was sprinting so fast around the yard that I actually worried he might hurt himself! Love his zoomy butt in this pic:
And I love this one of Amos, who did his best to keep up. He ran on the inside of Jack's imaginary "track" and frequently cut across the middle to gain ground lol.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I finally re-opened my Etsy Store, woot! Included are a few of the pieces I made for the Greyhounds In Art show this year- the Artist's Proofs of each piece were matted and framed for the show, and these are editioned pieces being sold unmatted/unframed ("Escape by a Hare" still needs to go up, but I need to print more first!). Hope you enjoy. :o)
Things have been a bit crazy this week following Dewey. First of all, I'm building a new printing press (with my Dad's help) that was designed by Charles Morgan of Mossworks Studio. The hounds and I have been doing our best to get out, hike, and see the fall foliage before the trees become naked. I visited my college bud Carol in Ithaca, and then had a greyhound playdate with friend Renee, her hubby, and their hounds. And last but definitely not least (especially in terms of mental energy, lol), I've been re-designing my website.
MANY many thanks to all of you who sent happy thoughts into the atmosphere for my boy Cliff. After playing phone tag with his vet for the past, oh, 7 days, I finally got a hold of her this morning. I tried to focus and be as clear-headed as I could when talking to her (*don't you dare have an anxiety attack while on the phone, Jennifer!* lol). She didn't mention cancer at all, only saying that Cliff's panel was fine, normal liver and kidney values, but that his white blood cell counts and platelets were low. Not extraordinarily low, but a drop. I asked if it could be his pink canine tooth causing the WBC drop (perhaps a pulpitis infection), and she said that was possible and we might try a low dose of antibiotics. Cliff's immediate "problem" though is that his new NSAID pill for arthritis, Deramaxx, is causing him to have diarrhea. Before we get Cliff on antibiotics we want to clear that up first. Plan of action is dropping the Deramaxx (which I already did- stopped Saturday) and going to a bland diet for the next week. I'll slowly re-introduce the Deramaxx.
Because Cliff has lost 4 lbs., and I've been trying to fatten him up with anything and everything I can shovel into his mouth, I'm wondering if the diarrhea is from treats instead of the Deramaxx. I guess we'll see with the Bland Diet Experiment. Chicken and rice? He's going to love it lol! Much more fun than kibble.
Anyway, this whole conversation made me wonder about the LAST conversation I had with the vet, while I was getting ready to leave for Dewey. Why did she even mention cancer and scare me? Was I pushing her for "worst case scenarios" which is why she said it (which is totally possible)? Did I over-react and blow some little tidbit she said totally out of proportion (again, knowing myself that is totally possible)? Did she say other things but when I heard "cancer" I totally zoned and that's all I remembered afterwards? Or did she not say anything today because it STILL might be cancer but she doesn't want to worry me? Is she hiding something? Am I losing my marbles? Wait, don't answer that.
I have a bunch of great pics from this weekend that I'm going to try to get posted tonight- including the first stages of my new press! But for now lunch break at work is over and I need to get back to my mailing.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I was never that lucky with Lucy or Clifford.
Adopting a greyhound is a wonderful experience. You are presented with a dog that you fall head over heels with. You get his/her NGA (National Greyhound Association) racing papers, the bertillion (the official paper that lists your dog's color, and any individual markings). Sometimes, if you are lucky, you get a read-out of your dog's last 10 races, including how they placed and comments about their running from the track. You can go online to Greyhound Data, an international racing database, and find your dog's pedigree and find their siblings. You can look up the siblings and see if they are still racing, up for adoption, or already placed in a group. Basically you can go ga-ga doing pedigree research, sibling searches, etc etc., especially if you pretend you are an amateur sleuth and are willing to do the digging.
When I took Jack in as a foster, I found his racing kennel's website and since then have been corresponding with his former owner. Not only that, I got in touch with the kennel where he was whelped and trained annnnnddd..... got puppy pictures!!!!
This is the Jackpot of Greyhound sleuthing... getting puppy pictures of your dog. I know, I know... lame. But it's true. Other Greyhound people can attest.
So... without further ado....
Jack's puppy photos!!!
Jack's litter as newborns. There were 3 boys in the litter (Jackhammer, Jet, Jumpin Johnny) and 3 girls (Jitterbug, Jenga and Jupiter):
As young'uns in their pen. Squeeeeee!!!
I know, I know-- utter cuteness! I could just plant a big ol' smooch right on all those kissers!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
THEN my vet calls as I'm finished packing up the car. Clifford's blood test looks really "great" but there are three values really off. She thinks it could possibly be Bone Marrow Cancer. I get off the phone and spend some time breathing deeply, trying to contain myself before I implode across the ceiling. The Big C? My first thought is, How can blood look "great" but then their be a chance of Cancer? Why would she say those 2 things in the same sentence? Isn't Bone Cancer the most painful and worst cancer? Does that explain Cliff's significant weight loss recently, and his limping?? My second thought is, Shit, there's no way I can go to Dewey now and if I have to euthanize my beautiful Clifford, then I'm going to kill myself. I can't live without him, I can't live without Lucy, and I'm going to have to OD on all those prescription sleeping pills and barbituates I've been squirreling away in my medicine cabinet, quietly piling up, for the past several years. Oh F*ck, my dog is going to die!
This part is best shown in pictures. :o)
We saw such beautiful skies... and Jack got to see the ocean for the first (?) time.
On Friday and then again on Sunday, we watched pods of dolphins just off shore, swimming leisurely south.
Of course it was a greyhound event, and we met dozens and dozens of other greyhounds on our travels around Dewey and Rehoboth beaches.
Jack got a winter coat to prepare him for upstate NY winters! And he and Clifford got Heart Throbs, which are THE best durable stuffed animal I've ever found (and really cute to boot)...
...And we bought Lucy and Clifford great big dog-biscuit lollipops which they really enjoyed when we got home! Yum!
We loved walking the beach and saw dozens of jellyfish, several species...quite amazing creatures.
...and we spent hours combing for shells and smooth ocean rocks.
And last but not least!!...
The art show was successful. I sold three of my six pieces, and my auction print went for a higher price than I valued it at (all benefits going to the greyhound health program at OSU!). It wasn't a total sellout like last year, but considering the economy and the fact that there seemed less greyhound folks at the beach than last year, I'm really pleased. The folks who bought my work seemed so pleased with it, and that made ME happy. And those who stopped by to ask about Lucy and Clifford, and say nice things about linocuts, and support myself and the other artists in the show- THANK YOU!
And I'll leave you with one last picture... the beauty of coastal Delaware.
We ended up having a pretty swell time. Now it is back to "real life"- my 9-5 job, investigating Cliff's blood values, dealing with the squirrels that chewed a new hole into my house while I was gone and made a nest in my kitchen ceiling. We have a really tall lawn to mow, a house to clean, a really sandy car to clean out, a grandpa who was just put into hospice. We will have new hiking adventures, new projects around the house, and new art to make! It will be interesting to see what the rest of autumn brings.