Friday, January 16, 2004

An End In Sight???

We woke up to the news that schools in all of New Brunswick, and many businesses too, were closed due to -44 degree temperatures with the wind chill. So Nick and I went back to sleep. Unfortunately when Bethany woke up and crawled into join us, she was burning up with a fever. We got an appointment with our doctor as soon as her office opened and bundled the whole family out into the cold. It looks like it is either Strep Throat or a bad case of Tonsillitis, so she is on medication now but still feeling very “sooky”. We got one piece to the framers and the negatives to Black’s then “mall ratted” until they were ready.

We got home to discover that we’d missed the redelivery of the banding I needed from Purolator by about 6 minutes (it had slipped my mind in the rush to get Bethy to the doctor) so poor Nick braved the cold later to fetch it from the depot across town once the truck reported back in.

It looks as if it will warm up by tomorrow (or should I say this morning???) and that schools may reopen. I’m not sure that having Bethany home sick while I try to meet my printer deadline will be easy... which is why I am still not in bed yet, but we shall just see. If tomorrow is dreadful, or she needs me more, then the files will have to wait until first thing Monday morning. You just do what you gotta do.

I’d better get myself to bed now... so that I can proof check all the inside materials with some sleep behind me. The alarm goes off in about 6 hours.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Trapped...but relatively warm...

Nick and I woke up when the alarm went off to realize how much the wind was howling outside and how cold it felt beyond the confines of our duvet. Sure enough, the radio announced that schools in much of the province were closed today... not so much for the paltry snow we received overnight.. but because with the high winds, the temperature was the equivalent of -41 degrees!

Nick was the only one who ventured out at all for a brief foray to the grocery store to pick up some essentials. I found various activities from play dough to Polly Pockets and Harry Potter Lego to amuse the girls while I got some work done on the computer. I didn’t even bother to try going across town to Black’s with my Runekeeper negatives. That will have to wait until Friday now since Nick needs the car tomorrow for a Vice-Principal’s meeting. If the outer cover files have to wait until Monday for the printer, so be it. They won’t be doing much with the other files on Friday unless I have them there when they open!

Brrrr! It has gotten even colder outside and the wind is howling beyond the office window. I am so glad to be in a relatively new and well insulated house!! Nick has been making dinner upstairs and it smells heavenly, so this dragon is going to crawl out of her computer cave and see what is on the menu!

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Sometimes I HATE making decisions!!!!!

Well, I’d love to say that after all of the torture shooting Runekeeper in the bitter cold yesterday that the photos knocked my socks off... but I can’t. I was using the tail end of a roll of film from indoor holiday shots. When a film is processed, the machine usually takes an average reading and exposure for the roll, then some can calibrate each image a bit from there.

It’s not that they are bad... I just need to go in and spend some time with the girls at the photo lab to alter the image ( a bit more magenta... a bit less density....) The real problem is in how much of the model I am going to show. I love the framing and matting on this piece. I know that when shop owners see it “in person” they are going to say “Wow”...but none of the photos that show the full frame really do it justice yet (I may change my mind when I play with the colour a bit and have them print it as a 5 x 7)! The one exposure that really draws me tonight (under my horrid kitchen lighting) is the one where I zoomed into the piece and shot a “close-up” that just covers the stitching and the cut edges of the mat around it... but ignores the frame and our DD fabric.

So, I did the really mature thing and indulged in a 5 minute pity party where I had my little rant “I wish it hadn’t been so cold out! I wish I’d been making these decisions 3 weeks ago because now I feel like my back is against the wall and I hate to settle for anything less than being thrilled with something.... I wish I had people to delegate stuff to....”

Then, I picked myself up off the couch and made some toast and a warm mug of tea to curl my claws around. I always try to eat the elephant one bite at a time.... I will play with the image at Black’s tomorrow to see if I can come up with a version that I really like.... and if not, then I will decide from there. After all, the files don’t have to be to the printer for 36 hours... and Nashville is only 23 days away...

Deep Breath.... Think of a Happy Place..... (I just want to go claw something!!!!)

Monday, January 12, 2004

You Do What Has To Be Done...

I will ALWAYS LOVE my husband.... but right now I HATE him!! He called around 9 am to let me know that the sun was indeed out (my basement office doesn’t have very big windows... but I had already guessed that) and that the temperature was holding steady at -18 degrees Celsius. For the first time in just over a week, there was NO wind to kick the -33 degree wind chill into effect. So, I bundled up in my winter woolies and headed out to our little shed to find my photo shoot box. This is a large cardboard box that once held the “Excersaucer” we bought for Erin when she was a baby... so that tells you I’ve had it for at least 8 years.... but it is big enough and sturdy enough cardboard to pin my fabric to and then put the models up for a photo shoot on one of our kitchen chairs out on the back deck.

This time, however, there was a problem getting to the box. Not only were all the recently removed Christmas decoration and artificial tree boxes between me and my goal. the giant Mickey shaped wading pool, a wicker basket of empty plastic storage containers, the screens from the windows and the patio furniture had been piled up around the box in the farthest, darkest corner of the shed. With a sigh, I began to move boxes. Have you ever played Jenga or Pickup sticks?? Have you ever spent time trying to untangle a skein or Rayon or Flower Thread?? It seemed that somehow most of the summer stuff had shifted in the cold, sliding down to trap my poor box against the back wall. In order to even get to it and move it in any way, I had to first clear through the debris field. I’d forgotten that I still knew some Greek swear words..... but they all came back to me. After almost half an hour, I finally got a path cleared to my box and managed to wrestle it free (by now I had lost the feeling in my fingertips and toes) only to discover that it had been severely crushed on the side I liked to use by the weight of all the stuff!

I came in to the house to thaw a tiny bit, box and tripod in tow. I stumbled down to the basement to iron the Dragon Fabric (just peek at any of our model shots and you’ll know which one I mean) since I keep it folded in a cupboard when not in use. I was so cold that I even contemplated ironing some warmth back into my fingers! Not really, but the warm fabric sure felt good under my fingertips. Then, grabbing the model and fabric, I raced back upstairs.... only to discover that the sun was now hidden behind cloud cover!!!!!

I could have cried. Nick chose that minute to call about a file I had e-mailed to him and I was almost in tears of frustration. He took the brunt of it VERY well (poor guy!) and told me that perhaps things would clear up soon since it was still sunny over at his school. I hung up and then remembered that he works in the direction the clouds seemed to be moving towards... so maybe they hadn’t reached him yet??

With a deep breath, I pinned the fabric to the one remaining side of the box that was intact, put my winter woolies back on and headed out onto our back deck. Taking a deep breath in the shed hadn’t been too bad. Out in the open, you could feel the air trying to freeze you on the way in until body heat won... I set everything up to start taking my pictures, cloud covered sun or not. While sunlight makes the braid sparkle nicely, any full spectrum light is much better than indoor light for colours anyway... and all the white snow reflecting around should help to brighten the piece anyway. So I began to shoot the last 9 pictures on my roll of film from the holidays. The story does have a happy ending after all. The sun came out briefly for the last 3 frames... just enough to add a bit of sparkle, I hope.

So I will run these over to our photo place tonight (or as soon as Nick gets home with the car) and see if any of them are crisp enough to scan in once I get a 5 x 7 made. Since Runekeeper is being printed as a book, I want the cover image to be as crisp and clear as possible... which would normally mean shooting an image on a larger format or high end digital camera. I have called a few studios and know what kind of money I am in for if these don’t turn out, but at least this way I will have TRIED....

After a warm mug of tea and some toast, my fingers and toes have thawed enough to type this. Being a designer means sometimes doing whatever it takes to get a quality product out to stitchers... and I am sure that many of my fellow designers have their own collection of horror stories. I’m just glad that today’s had a happy ending!!