Frantic Summer

It never seems to fail, summer is unbelievably hectic. A big order of ornaments is going through the studio, and we’re busy designing a new product, a process that involves creating prototypes and a lot of costing.

For anyone who might stumble across this, I should explain that, while this blog is primarily dedicated to the my own experimentations with the Black Arts, namely using antiquated technology to print beautiful books, life is constantly getting in the way. My partner Holly Dean and I run a tiny craft-based business making ornaments for A Large International Entertainment Empire, which has kept us pretty busy over the last decade or so. In between orders we find time to print books and paint canvases and do a few art and craft shows to sell what we can.

Well, anyway, we’ve been very busy particularly on the R&D side, in the midst of which I printed a keepsake for Canadian Notes & Queries and filed an article about it earlier this week. I have been lamenting somewhat the lack of time to read, getting in a bit here and there, (if there is a term for reading equivalent to grazing, then that’s what I’ve been doing). However, whenever I write an article, I usually do a ton of reading which I don’t seem to count — not fair!

For example, the CNQ piece meant I had to revisit William Morris, the grand old man of fine press printing. Delving again into the history of Morris’ Kelmscott Press was a private pleasure, and it took effort and heavy editing to avoid make the whole article about that subject alone.

I had planned to make the CNQ piece about the glaring contradictions that make up William Morris and his life, and how those contradictions reflect in the work I do with my own press. Sadly, not enough room. I even had the title: “An Exercise in Glorious Contradiction.” More on this in a later blog.

In other news, Holly and I went to a wonderful wedding in Toronto on weekend, one of the most cultural experiences I’ve had in a long, long time. Congratulations again to my niece Laura and husband Forrest. The wedding was lovely, the reception sumptuous, the food delicious, and the music pleasant. My niece is of Irish descent, the groom of Jewish heritage, so I was delighted when the DJ put on the klezmer music while Laura & Forrest were hoisted into the air on chairs and danced around the hall. I found myself being dragged onto the dance floor to participate in the horah, a traditional Jewish circle dance. I had an absolute blast! Eventually this settled down, then Spirit of the West “Home For A Rest” spun up, and everyone was treated to an impromptu session of Irish dancing, courtesy of the bride, her twin sister Jennifer and two other lovely young lasses. There is something quite … well, I’m at a loss for words, really… watching a bride in a frilly white dress with train hiking it all up to jump around the dance floor like a coiled spring. The whole experience electrified the hall, and the sheer joy and energy from the performers could be felt by everyone. Just fabulous. Then we had to go, because we’re old.

One final note: I found my polyhydric dice this morning. This means I’m in business for an upcoming ‘old gamers’ reunion. May the gods have mercy on us…

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One Comment on “Frantic Summer”


  1. Just googled the phrase “Old gamers never die” – completions included “they just fail their saving throws.” (which sounds good, but doesn’t make much sense to me).

    Wedding celebration sounds very special!


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