(August 15-21, 2012) BRRRRRRR!!! With sweater weather closing in, I soaked in as much green space, fresh water, and fresh air I could get. Being outdoors in Vermont has been really good for me. 2012 turned out to be my first allergy-free summer — I never had to break open the new bottle of my allergy medication I packed with me! Thinking of going back to the city was like thinking of uncontrollable sneezing fits… but while here, why worry? Instead, check out this moose! I first met him 16 years ago, and he still looks good as when I first laid eyes on him! Fancy that!
Back in the printshop, things are winding down. We’ve done most of the summer printing, and spend most days hand painting posters, and stocking the museum store with supplies. In the evenings, I worked on two cigarette-case-style boxes for Peter’s JingleBooks.
Box #1 was designed to be worn with a neck strap (by the book seller or performer). It can display 5 copies of 6 different books. It has a jingle bell, a flip-top money box with a coin slot, and a plastic sleeve for the envelopes. I have never made anything like this before so I kept the design simple. Nevertheless, my simple expectations worked better displayed on a table. When worn, the propped-open lid felt uncomfortably flat against one’s chest, its top edge, made stiff by the coat of paint, threatened to cut one’s chin like a sharp blade, and every time the seller looked down to reach into the box, the case where the books are displayed, swayed a bit forward, almost spilling the books on the floor! Evidently I hadn’t factored in how the neck strap attachment would destabilize the box once it is filled with books, and the seller is in on the move. So — after a bit of sighing and shoulder shrugging and reflection, I throw my hands up in the air and I turn my attention to — Box #2!
Box #2 is courtesy of Currier’s General Store. A sturdy, old box of good local brew got a new coat of paint, and became a display case for 12-24 different Jingle Books. The tiered compartments are removable and can be adjusted to accommodate several copies of different-sized books, with room for some handmade envelopes, or postcards. AH, Yes! visual proof that good drinking makes good packaging!!!!
Beer was also instrumental in learning a new fiddle tune from Ira, an intern from California. I played this tune on the Chinese fiddle, the erhu, for Hou’s super secret birthday, which turned out to be just a very clever way for her to have some fun at my expense. After I played her the song, she looked at me, and told me it wasn’t really her birthday. HA! I couldn’t believe it! I apologize to everyone on the farm last summer who had to endure listening to me practice my raspy version of Angelina Baker. To soothe your senses, here’s a slideshow of the Harrell Brothers, Noah and Gabe, defying gravity as they alternately dance with a very long pole and an even longer flag! This flag act was a sure crowd-pleaser! It could be hard to tell from the photos, but the flag never once touched the grass! Much better seen up close had the long flag fit inside the frame of my phone camera. If you are going to this year’s 50th Anniversary, you must bring a proper camera.