Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years to you all!!

Paul and I are enjoying our time in Florida. We're having an awesome time and I have tons of great photos to post, but have to wait till I get them on my computer. So for now I'll paint a lovely Lakeland picture: short sleeve shirts - oranges straight off the tree in the back yard - spanish moss - massive oaks full of bright green leaves - lizards - AOE art supply - Cuban Sandwiches - a Webster flea Market romp - walks around the neighborhood - Hancock Printing equipment - long drives on back roads - clay-covered hands - piles of tissue, wrapping paper and bows - turkey and dressing - purple and yellow orchids - Strawberries - Aunt and Uncles - cousins - Guava empanadas - and laughing with old friends.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Firecracker Press

I took a letterpress pilgramige of sorts with Paul to Firecracker Press on Cherokee Street, St.Louis, MO.

Here it is - Firecracker Press - a beautiful little letterpress covey for Vandercooks, C&Ps, paper, type and ink.

Eric Woods, owner and operator was kind enough to give us a chat and a tour of his place after I mentioned Preston (my 10x15 C&P).

Here's Eric's C&P. Its from the mid 1930s - about 10 years newer than mine. They use is for finishing now - no ink - die cutting, folding and the lot.

I also chatted with Eric's employee (who's picking up ink on a brayer in this picture) about dies and Owosso. He was really nice too.

I bought some letterpress cards and Paul and I thanked Mr. Woods for the visit. I'm definitely going to try doing some wood cuts after seeing the beautiful results at Firecracker Press. I hope to one day operate a business very much like this one - and hopefully just as cool.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A St. Louis Thanksgiving

Enjoyed a weeks worth of St. Louis Thanksgiving and sightseeing with Paul's family - had a great time. We did quite a lot!

2 days of cooking & prep work can make some folks a bit squirrely...

Paul scrubbing one of the many potatoes that I peeled

Karen putting bunny ears on me with her carrots.

There were 4 tables set up for the 34 people we had at Glenn and Karen's. Folks brought dishes to to share (like broccoli casarole, green beans, yams, apple and pecan pies). Karen Paul and I fixed carrots, real mashed potatoes, Carrie's Cranberry Strawberry relish, Olive Bites, Bread Stuffing, cranberries, an apple tart, a pecan pie and 3 turkeys.

Here's Doug's plate for further reference:

Karen picked out all the table settings and I coordinated all the glasses linens and accoutrements with each table. Glenn masterfully carved the turkeys and shuffled tables and chairs around to accommodate everyone with Paul. And then we got to enjoy all the hard work with some food, fun and family.

After Thanksgiving we toured the Foundry Arts Center with Glenn and Karen.

The building used to be a foundry for making trolley cars. Its now used for event and gallery space and houses artist studios like this one -

There was a really nice potter we chatted with for quite some time while he threw a pot to chill wine -

In another studio - a warning to people who might get a bit to close to the artists

Paul and I were even exhibited as art for 20 minutes or so - that is until a competing artist with two canvases arrived to make use of the picture hangers.

Paul and I hit up one and a half floors of the St. Louis Art Museum. Why did we never go there before? Please tell me!! It is by far the primo museum in St. Louis. The History Museum is ok (its a bit more educationally oriented) but the art museum has just as much history - if not more. They have a beautiful collection - and we only had time to see part of it. We'll definitely be back! Here are a few highlights:

Their armory was phenominal. This crossbow was just one of the gorgeous weapons on display.

Paul with a piece from the Medieval period

Pre-Columbian (The central figure is indeed a bat!)

This wooden statue was amazing - it was seated at eye level to the left of the budda in the photo above. This statues presence was tactile. It felt like if you listened hard enough you could hear it whisper its secrets.

This is a photo from a few days after we visited. The Art Museum was closed and we were on our way to the History Museum - but the view was just too pretty pass up.

There were two pretty cool items at the Missouri History Museum plus a really nice restaurant with a great view of Forest Park (Meriwether's).

Cool items #1:

And cool item #2 - a working steam train exhibit with a huge layout:

Paul and I also went to the Butterfly House and the Museum of Transportation with Glenn, Karen, Ted and Marilyn one day.

Marilyn, Glenn, Paul, Karen and Ted in front of the chrysalis (butterfly hatchery)

Here we are playing with the big toys (and freezing a bit too) at the Museum of Transportation

A 1923 Stanley Steamer - not just for cleaning carpets!

How about a 1933 KB LeBaron Convertible Lincoln Roadster. I was practically drooling when I saw this baby. What a gorgeous piece of automobile! There are only 6 of these known to exist in the world. This one had a full off-body restoration and has only had 4 owners!

Next post - A Visit to Firecracker Press!

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