Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Busy as Bees

View of Montmirail from the west

Our season is more or less in full swing. With the gorgeous spring weather we've been having, city-weary Parisians are out early, looking for that pleasant weekend in the countryside. We've had more reservations and last minute walk-in clients than ever before in early spring. Generally, Easter is when our phones begin to ring, but the process has been accelerated this year.

I will barely have time to finish my painting work before next weekend, when we are completely full. I am still painting trim whenever I can find a few minutes.

I'm liking the freshness and sunny sherbet quality of the colors.

Work continues on the garden, the zine, setting up the boutique and printing new images. I wrote a blog post about my deeply etched printing technique for Printsy (Printmakers of Etsy) if you are interested, you can read it here. Along with all that, we are in the process of making a birth announcement for Zinnie. I made a little print and Rick is setting type. We have a few fonts which we can set up to letterpress in the old-fashioned way. It makes such a nice contrast to the computer, where text can be banged out in seconds but all the sensuality of handset letters is lost.

One sets the type backwards one letter at a time, adding spaces and punctuation and then locks the final page into a frame, using "furniture" (wood or metal of various sizes) to hold the type tightly in place.

We print on a tiny Kelsey press that works like a charm, but is limited in size to pages no bigger than 8 X 10."

The ink is distributed on the round disk which swivels around. The paper to be printed is placed on the bed. When the handle is pulled, the rollers ascend to the disk, where they are covered in ink, they then roll over the type, which is locked in behind them. The paper is pressed onto the letters as the rollers move out of the way.

We made a quick trip to Paris for one night between clients. We hadn't seen the the family for several weeks. Zinne is growing like a little sprout and beginning to engage more with her world and flash her sweet smile at the faces that swim before her. She is really looking at us now. I loved this photo Jos took of her, even if she is sound asleep. She reminds me so much of her mother.

Quinn is doing so well in school and with his new sister. He's very affectionate with her and seems to get a big kick out of the little things she does. He told me how funny she is.

I was enchanted with these real flamenco dancing shoes that Emily's friend Jofre sent from Barcelona. It's hard to picture Zinnie in them, but then she does have a ways to grow before they will actually fit. I wonder if Catalonian children take their first steps in high heels?


  1. What gorgeous little shoes! They could be the start of a life-long love affair for Zinnie. Thanks for your photos showing us your letterpress press. They are amazing devices - one day I hope to try one out. So the weather is warm? I thought that last year was pretty warm too, but it's even warmer earlier this year? (i'm thinking packing, of course. I'll probably obsess about it from now till May 6 when we leave.)

  2. Nancy, I love everything in this post : Montmirail landscape new sho, new point of view, house colors, printing process (makes me think of old ages when one had to be very patient to make a newspaper, also old movies about western conquests !)then, lovely Zinnie, cute James, and finaly amazing shoes ... (Gwenola would have loved to get a pair like that, I am sure)
    Thanks ! Have a nice Easter time.