Monday, December 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home



Ahhhhh, Christmas.

Zoe and I rocked the Christmas socks at 4am for the annual Christmas concert via webcam. It was so much fun!

And I finally managed to make properly heart-shaped pancakes!

I hope everyone had a wonderfully merry Christmas. I'm off to London for Dean's birthday celebrations, then home to Portland for 10 days (I can't even begin to explain how excited I am...as my little godchild Erin would say, Portland is my home sweet home).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Of White Christmases and Holiday Inns


I was watching Holiday Inn while I got ready for work this morning, and it put me in a Christmas-y mood (especially as I'm not working tomorrow - oh how I wanted to sleep in today!). Don't be deceived by my photo - that's last year on the farm. There's snow all over the rest of the country, but at the moment Oxford is determined to produce only

ice.

Sadness.

Dean and I wrapped presents last night for his family. We used my new gift tags, and brown craft paper, and it was lovely. Tonight is more wrapping, printing, tree-trimming, holiday-movie-watching, perhaps popcorn or cookie eating loveliness.

Tomorrow Zoe comes - we're getting up at 4am to watch our best friends' annual Christmas concert via Skype. Speaking of Christmas traditions...this is the best one.

EVER.

It all started 10 years ago with a penniless college student...now those students are professional musicians of some pretty high calibers (Andrew Oliver, of Sextet, Kora Band, etc. fame, Scott Kennedy, of Bridgetown Sextet and others, and a few other people always thrown in for good measure and more fun - last year we had an organ in the instrument line-up!). The concert is a gig for friends and families, in someone's living room (usually barely containing everyone), and with lots of food and drink. It's the best thing ever, and I HATE missing it. Last year we drove three hours through snow to get there.

I love my friends.

Monday, December 21, 2009


The first rough production from my printing press - Dean's idea, actually! We had to do it on the kitchen table instead of in my shed (TOO COLD - hasn't passed about 34 in days and it's supposed to snow again tonight), and it was all very cozy and fun. My Adanas don't have rollers yet, so we did the whole press-the-ink-pad-up-to-the-type thing...I taught Dean about leading and spacing, and he told me to relax about the rough printing :).

I do love Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Tuesday!


So. Tuesday's not usually an especially amazing day, but it marks the almost end of a crazy work month...from here til Christmas things will be a lot more relaxed. You wouldn't beLIEVE how hard it is to think of funny Christmas jokes.

I heard Philip Pullman read tonight at the Bodleian, as part of a the A Outrance book launch (more here - it's a charity publication from Oak Tree Fine Press, and it involves woodcuts and designer bookbinders and it's cool). Pullman was reading bits from the bear fight in the Dark Materials trilogy, and he is an AMAZING reader. He ROARED like a bear. Seriously good.

In other notes, I had the best cheesy heart-killing pasta with Will tonight and received my first Christmas present before baking gingerbread and listening to Bing Crosby's Christmas music...

By the way, above picture is from The Rabbits, written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan. It's an award-winning kids' book from Australia, a sort of allegory on colonisation, and the illustration is SO GOOD. Lots of words and image play, and so witty (while remaining quite serious...it's a serious subject...).

image from Shaun Tan's website

Monday, December 14, 2009

Doing the happy (sleepy) dance



So. Clearly I have been remiss in my up-to-date-ness here, but things have been rather busy (but exciting. I photographed PD James. I did a very important work thing. I will photograph Roy Strong. I am not a photographer, but I am learning.)

But

I have BIG news.

I got not one...but TWO (two!!!) printing presses. Thanks to the eagle eyes of a friend, we came away with an ebay lot that equalled an entire vanload for...£130 EACH!!!

Unfortunately my focus has been on sleep, Dean, and Christmas presents more than printing recently, but I have had time to go ooooh and aaaah. Huzzah!

In other news, old friends have been to visit, I've hit about a kazillion Christmas parties (more to go!) and I can't wait for the libraries to close so I can sleep. But I am very happy with myself!

PS. Christmas is so soon....I love Christmas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

(Zoe and I after a successful afternoon of cooking)

(Yes, that ivy is from the park. And it was free. Woohoo!
But we do need matching plates...)

(this isn't even everything...yum)


Ok, I did miss my family (a LOT), but I had Dean and Zoe! And Zoe and I successfully stole greenery, roasted 15 pounds of chicken, and coordinated seating and LOTS of food for 10 people. It was much much fun (and was made even more so by Thanksgiving Part Two on Sunday at Kim's).

all pics courtesy of Zoe