I kind of wish I could have taken a picture of myself last night but also not sure I really want anyone to see how exactly I get work done and what condition my living room is in. I'm in the middle of a major paper shuffle - trying to wrangle all those pieces into some semblance of order. My studio is a total disaster and I've taken boxes out of the studio closet and into the livingroom, with the intent of going through them and sorting/recycling. Last week I was focused on my notecard collection, this week it is old school notes, magazines, articles, pieces for collage. So last night I was sitting on the floor, surrounded by piles of paper: for the happy book, for the ad collection, for eventual collage, for more immediate collage projects, to share with the Bubbler, for travel journals, for the library travel journal workshop, to recycle. Out of all of that, I think that I managed to get rid of three boxes so I'm feeling like progress is being made. Before I got up from the floor, I started thinking, "hey, maybe I can have people over for dinner." But then I got up and took a bird's eye view.... not so much. It was very inspiring - to revisit some of my piles of intended projects (but resist going down the tangential path of starting something new), to collect some completed pieces for show n' tell at the Bubbler (yet to be determined how that is exactly going to work out), to stumble across some almost-finished pieces. I think it is so easy for me to get caught up in my head - thinking/planning - even though the best thing to do is just start shuffling paper, see the colors and shapes, start to glue things down, arrange things... I'm feeling very inspired to do some collage work after all of that work last night. That said, I've also found a local printer - just basics, but still fine quality (boy, things have come a long way, haven't they?) and need to sit down with my photographs to order some notecards. I am looking forward to having sets of Madison notecards by summer tourist season. And I am on hold just a little bit until my PhotoShop class starts in May because I have ideas for what I will be doing there... but don't know if that will match the reality.
In other paper-shuffling news, this week has been a big week for Valentine card-making. Sachi was at two branch libraries and the table has been set up with various supplies for card-making. We've had at least three people each spend approximately 3 hours making cards - and I think about how happy I would have been if I had not created space for crafting in my life and had stumbled across such a thing. But most people spend less time than that.
People particularly seem to be enjoying the mini envelope punch.
Tomorrow is Saturday and we are participating in an event for the 200 block - Walk the Block Bingo - where customers can visit various stores to fill up their card and then enter it to win gift certificates and other prizes. Amy at Little Luxuries is the ring leader who organized the whole things - and, golly, what a difference it makes to use a professional graphic designer (even though I am mostly fine with our more casual approach to documents, these Bingo cards look great!).
We've had a spike in business these last few days, and the store suddenly shifts its demographic from the majority female that it is during most other times of the year (excepting the two weeks before Christmas). But it is fun to help people find just the right Valentine card or card-making supply or gift. We have a lovely array of jewelry and restocked our mini Wisconsin stamped charm necklaces just in the nick of time. Of course, it is convenient that SERRV and Kilwin's are on the block so you can get your chocolate fix as well (though I still prefer James J. Chocolate on Midvale Blvd. if I'm going to treat myself).
Meanwhile, I will admit to mixed feelings about the whole holiday. The crafter in me has always appreciated the glitter and the doilies, and the decorated mailboxes and tiny cards from elementary school days. Being single at Valentine's Day is generally not fun because it feels like the rest of the world is happy and paired up. But I've had couples tell me it isn't THAT much fun from their end either. To some extent it just feels like a Capitalist-manufactured day... and yes, I know, that is silly to hear coming from a Capitalist. I'm all in favor of buying stuff and giving stuff and, especially, sending cards, but not if it is just out of some sense of obligation and not being done with genuine heart. Well, I resolved those feelings somewhat now that I have my niece to dote upon and can distract myself with the sending and receiving of Valentines among friends. Also, at the height of my infatuation with Viggo Mortensen, I converted the day to V-Day so there is more to celebrate that way. Perhaps a little Lord of the Rings is in order tonight. Tomorrow I will be going to Milwaukee to shop its cool indie stores like The Waxwing (there's a print I think I want... if I can just figure out where it will fit in my home) and Sparrow Collective and Fischbergers and Broadway Paper, and to see my dear friend and V-Day compatriot and drink Sconnie Mosas (orange juice, champagne, Door County cranberry wine). Oh, and to get pastries for Dad from Le Reve.
And I don't know if this is just a function of the age that I'm reaching, or that I'm paying more attention, or that there has truly been a string of unusual tragic events, but I feel like several people have just dropped dead recently - very unexpectedly and generally too soon. It's a rather unsettling feeling, not to mention sorrowful. So, any feelings of ambivalence about the holiday are really just overcome by the need to tell everyone they are loved, to hold that adorable girl close, and to be thankful for all the precious and fleeting moments we are surrounded by.
Happy Valentine's Day!
"In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants & hold the world in arms grown strong with love & there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them." StoryPeople by Brian Andreas