Friday, July 22, 2005

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

Friday night is Date Night in our house and the kids are just finishing up their turn on Animal Crossing before we bundle them off to bed, pour ourselves a nice glass of our new favourite wine. It is called Terra Rosa by Jost and is a light red wine that can be served chilled. The perfect thing now that the thunderstorm has rolled through and the humidity has broken a bit. My files are at the printers and so will be ready for Charlotte. We have one model to stitch up to show off for a September release, but Nick has done as much as he can from my rough pencil sketch. I need to graph out the image in the middle for him to be able to work from a real chart for a change.

Tonight, the work stays in the basement, the Hoffman order can ship out on Monday instead of racing to the airport to catch a plane that leaves in less than 15 minutes... I’ve spent most of my week in the basement staring at a computer screen and it is time to take a break!

Life is good. I know that Laurie and Yoshi are safe, although my sister was out and about during the latest round of mayhem in London. I can’t wait to see my new nephew and my fast growing niece in just over a month at a family wedding the in Ottawa area. I had an awesome workout at the gym today and in less than 45 days, I get to be She-Hulk at Dragon*Con. Life is cool!

Have a wonderful Friday night!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Crawling Through Files...

Sometimes this is the stage of the design that I hate the most, even if it is one of the areas I am most qualified to do (and one where I am able to save myself some money). Being a graphic designer lets me layout all the files and hand a CD over to my printer camera-ready, but the larger the files or the more complex the design, the more chances there are that you will overlook something important, miss a spelling mistake etc.

I get to the point where I peer at the screen or at artist’s proofs so many times, I can no longer be objective about them. I grab friends, teachers and sometimes even total strangers to look over the proofs, begging them to read them through in case there is an error. Most times, I find them about 3 days AFTER they come off the press as I am folding them to send to distributors. Sometimes it is eagle-eyed stitchers who notice things as they are stitching them while the design is only a few weeks old. (You know who you nimble needles are!!) Then there is nothing to do but grit ones teeth, scream loudly in the basement where the neighbours can’t hear you and call the funny farm, post corrections to the website if the FTP is cooperating and then hope that next time you will catch everything.

Back to peering over files to avoid the basement screaming in a few weeks if at all possible. This is the only cool place in the house. Poor Wuffles is still upset about living in a fur coat through a Canadian summer, but at least our dwarf hamster is down here in the basement with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tea With The Dragon...

This past Saturday, Moncton played home to a new needlework show. I had been asked by fellow designer, Jo Gatenby of X’s & Oh’s who organized the CNSS, to do an afternoon event that ended up being called “Tea with the Dragon”. It was great fun trying to explain to people, who didn’t understand exactly what I do for a living, what the event was all about once they’d seen the posters around town. Several people I know asked me how long I had been involved with Dragon Boat Racing!!

It was really fun to spend time with the people who showed up for the event, despite a glorious summer Saturday outside. Nick and I had driven back into town from Nova Scotia, where we’d rented a cottage for the week to share with my Mom and John. They stayed with the girls at the tail end of a drizzly week to enjoy the sunshine and beaches while Nick and I drove back for this special event. Our local shop even got to premiere Dragon of the Deeps fresh from the framers!!

What fun it was to spend time with those who gave up their Saturday afternoon to share tea and goodies, laughter and stories with this dragon. It was such fun to meet new fans, new colleagues and to look out at the audience that included some of the wonderful stitchers I have grown to know over the years through the spring and fall retreats at Camp Wildwood. Seeing your smiling faces around the tables meant more than you will ever know!!

As much fun as it was to unplug for a week and even end up totally out of cellphone range, vacation and escape time ultimately is made more precious by the very fact that it can’t last forever. I’ve come home feeling recharged, replete with lobster and other great meals, card gamed out, slightly sunned and far more in touch with my whimsical side as I explore a new passion... painting rocks found along the magnificent beaches here in the Maritimes into fantasy landscapes and magical wizards. I have plans for these in the fall and am having great fun bringing out what is already trapped there in the rock. Best of all, no one will be able to slap these suckers on a scanner and share them!

So it is good to be home in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, though I miss those ocean breezes. This is the weather we thought would never arrive back in the depths of January. Canada is such a country of extremes!!