Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Letterpress Lesson

Books can only take you so far - the real tricks of the letterpress trade have to be learned in person. Paul and I got to spend this past Saturday with a great fellow Fall's Mill in Tennessee. Fall's Mill not only has a huge waterwheel that powers their stone to grind corn - very cool! - but it also boasts a great little C&P Oldstyle - bonus cool points. (Oldstyle because of the curved spokes on the fly wheel - which means it was manufactured between 1886-1912. My press [aka - Preston, circa 1924] is a Newstyle C&P and has straight spokes on the flywheel.)

Mr. C walked us through the entire printing process - from make-ready to clean up pointing out everything along the way. It was really great to have someone who knows exactly what they are doing show you everything in person. I took notes like a fiend while Paul played paparazzi.

Mr. C showing me where to set the type in the chase (always try for the center). The chase is the "frame" you set the type in

And placement of quoins (items that lock the type and furniture into place) between reglets (skinny wooden strips) - never metal against the metal of the chase; also not directly against furniture (larger wooden blocks)- use reglets

Mr. C doing some fine adjustments of the gauge clips by tapping on them with the pica stick

Mr. C brought some beautiful sample work with him also. Items that he himself had printed and others from friends. This great poem was an item a friend had printed - and the rhyme and meter of it is incredibly addictive. Give a click on the photo above and read it aloud for yourself and you'll see what I mean.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Coming Soon

Just saw Laura's little post (6.25.07) about something fun coming to me in the mail and wanted to share it some more. What fun - Thanks bestest roomie! I can't wait to see it in person!


Friday, June 22, 2007

Cutesy Kudos

A small manila envelope appeared in my mail box today and held a wealth of cuteness for me to behold. Much to my delight, said item is perhaps the cutest hair pin I have ever seen and now, quite happily, own. This beautifully wrought bauble of cuteness is the brainchild of Laura Normandin of Wren Handmade which is based out of Brooklyn, NY. Many cutesy kudos to you Laura, I will surely shop at Wren Handmade again!

I have to prove I'm not all mud and ink somehow, right?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

From the Breakdown Maze

JR climbing up after reading compass and clino on the edge of Jericho Pit (station #JC6), Fern Cave.

This past Saturday I joined JR and Steve for a little surveying jaunt into the belly of Fern Cave. Last month we finished the major trunk passage of the Lower North that encompassed 13 months of trips. So now we are moving on to close a loop between the West room and the Morgue area. Steve estimated that it would take (I think) 4-5 trips or so, since it will consist of little short shots. Travel time is the big time factor here; We went in the Johnston entrance, down the Blowing hole to the Gold (Eeek! I hate this first part) level canyon, past Helectite Heaven, into the Northwest, through Myrick's Room, and into the West Room - average at 2-1/2 hours of travel time one way. We picked up the survey there in the West Room and set stations across Jericho Pit and into the first part of the Breakdown maze.

I haven't brought my camera on a survey trip in a while. My On Rope 1 pack is so maxed out by the time I shove in the extra Chilli Heads shirts for warmth, extra water and food, my survey notebook, all my vertical gear, along with batteries, an extra light and some small misc items that there's no room to even buckle the darn thing closed. I can only cinch up the drawstring and let the top part hang out like some sort of green bloated creature. Which brings me back to fact I haven't had a camera down in Fern on a survey in some time - so I took advantage of the fact that JR had carried his - and snapped a couple pics and a short video of his first foray into surveying.

A fuzzy picture of Steve holding the blue LED on station #JC8 - heading into the Breakdown Maze area. I was sitting on station #JC7 because it was the flattest most comfortable rock and a good place to sketch the area.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

RAR Birthday

Got a call from FedEx late last week. The gal told me I had a 17lb package from Design Within Reach. Hmmmm.... I wondered. Could it be? Would it be an early birthday present from my folks? I drove out to Madison to pick it up since I'd only get a window of 3 hours time for delivery - and they could not release it without a signature.

I had to open the box to put it in the car. And there it was, nestled lightly in bubble wrap - The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker - RAR (rocking armchair rod), designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1948 - a licensed reproduction by Herman Miller - producers of the original fiberglass molded version some 50 years ago. Ab-Sol-Ute-ly Beeaau-Ti-Ful!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Is that Bee on Your Boutonnière ?

By end of this month I will have attended 4 weddings in 2 months. I would like to extend and hearty "Hooray!" for all the couples! Special wishes for many many many happy years of love ahead for my two good friends whom I have known the longest - Miss Jamie E., now a Mrs. B, and former bachelor, who now has curtains hanging in his windows (way to domesticate him Roxy!), Adam.

Today is also my parents 33rd anniversary. They dated on-and-off for somewhere around 20 years and then eloped to be married on a Friday, a Friday the 13th to be exact. They are the most lovely and delightful parents in all the world. And I count myself lucky and ever blessed to be their child.

Much love to all celebrating!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Coolest Package Ever

There was a fellow giving away die cuts for free on the letterpress remailer. All I had to do was pay the postage (and a cookie tax) from Canada for them. It arrived today at my PO Box and I have to admit its probably the coolest looking package I've ever gotten. Its also the only one I've ever received with stamps on both sides! It must have driven the postal workers crazy having to hand stamp all those. The lovely package included die cuts for business cards, a rolodex card, a cool round corner square, an oval, some clouds (which will soon become an awesome letterhead topper), a fun squished hexagon shape and some little tops for some tiny hang tags. Thanks for the awesome die cuts Mr. Phil Ambrosi of Ambrosi Printers (est. 1929) in Canada!


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Caves on Mars?! How Cool is That?!

Unclaimed Mysteries dropped this in my inbox the other day (thanks man!). And I'd gotten another version of the report from another grotto member from Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII (2007) so I wrote a little summary for the Grotto Newsletter that's due out in a couple days. For those of you who are grotto members this is a little preview:
Black spots have been discovered on Mars that are so dark that nothing inside can be seen. These spots (seven so far)might possibly be entrances to deep underground caves. The unusual hole pictured at left which is about the size of a football field was found on the slopes of the giant Martian volcano Arsia Mons and is so deep that it is completely unilluminated by the Sun. The photo was captured by the HiRISE instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently circling Mars. The holes were originally identified on lower resolution images from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The Martian surface is virtually unprotected from UV radiation, solar flares and meteoroid bombardment so protected subterranean voids and skylights might be prime targets for future spacecraft, robots, and even the next generation of human interplanetary explorers because of their biological possibilities.
Also - for you non-cavers I guess I need to do a bit of translating of "BO!" to understand the photo (otherwise Bo of WmWms will be like why the @#%$ is the hole on Mars shouting my name?):
BO! - This single BO is used to signal a request for recognition. You should respond with a single BO. This is frequently used while ridgewalking to keep track of where everyone is on the mountain. You can usually tell the direction, distance, and identity of the person calling. This is also handy if you get separated from your friends in a cave. You can call BO! to one another to help you zero in on their location.

BO BO! - Two BOs mean that I am coming to you, wait for me.

BO BO BO! - Three BOs means for you to come to me. This is frequently used when people are spread out on a ridge looking for a cave entrance. If you hear this call, usually someone had found the entrance.
Here's to caving on MARS in the next couple hundred years! Where do I sign up? BO! BO!

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