Marja-Leena Rathje
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this past week

sunny, crisp cold days
sparkling frosty nights
brilliant blue moon
foggy mornings

wet brown carpet
of magnolia leaves
filling compost box
future black gold


I've made good progress on the the print I'm working on, the one with the hand collagraphs over digital images. I've made some changes and I've now got the colours the way I want so it's ready to edition.

The next piece is mentally coming together and roughly sketched. I have to prepare two of my photos, scan or photograph a section of a deeply etched copperplate and I need a photo of pebbles. I'm still thinking about the collagraph image, which I'll likely decide on when the digital sections come together in the first trial proof.

One long day was spent designing this year's Christmas/Holiday card, starting with a collage of cutouts from colourful old proofs, then scanned and worked some more in PhotoShop, and finally placed into a page layout. A break in the afternoon for a walk in the lovely weather was good for relieving tired eyes, and to find that pebbly beach.


Yesterday I test-printed the page of cards then did three large sheets of 20 cards each. That's on the wide format inkjet printer in the studio. Next week calls for cut and fold and writing letters. I no longer have the patience and energy to hand print that many cards! Sometimes I look at buying but don't like what I see out there.

Because we agreed with the family to keep this year's Christmas gift giving small and simple, I'm planning to sew some of them, something I haven't done in many many years. Maybe this will get me back to regular sewing and finish several projects! Finding the time....

This morning we made one of our infrequent shopping trips and were shocked at the crowds already! We went to purchase some of the new warm-white LED holiday light strings that we've waited for, to replace our remaining old energy consuming ones. The cool white ones bought the last couple of years didn't please enough so I'm glad we waited for these. Now what to do with the old strings? We don't want them in the landfill, nor to give them to someone to consume the extra electricity that we will now be saving.

Marja-Leena | 24/11/2007 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Digital printmaking, Home


Sounds like you're a busy elf these days. I didn't know there were LED holiday strands. I'll have to look for them. (Hm, that would mean going into a store...) I don't have any suggestions for the old lights, unfortunately. Maybe some artist who uses old junk in their installations??

We're also trying to keep gift giving simple and energy efficient this year so we're planning on gifts to an individuals favorite causes. We all have too much "stuff" anyway! And I too have to get back to sewing.

Leslee, the LED lights (as well as the new compact fluorescents)have been heavily promoted here by BC Hydro, our provincial electricity supplier. I like your suggestion re an artist using them - will advertise in Freecycle!

Joan, that's a great thing to do! I notice Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade crafts shop here, is offering this kind of gift service too.

Most of my friends & I have agreed either to stop presents altogether or to go back to a more imaginative time and find something interesting to give for a fiver (£5). I can't sew prezzies but it makes shopping much more fun; I found, for example, in a charity shop, a (rather foxed) framed print of Dickens' Mr. Pickwick arriving at the Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Local interest, quality gilt frame, price £1. So four more to spend.

I always imagine Finns treating exclusively with candles.

the lake so placid
dreaming blue November dreams
while the trees stand bare

Anna, that is a delightful find! We exchange very few gifts these days, just with our children and grandchildren and one couple, our dearest friends. My cards are my gifts to everyone else, especially those who live too far away to see often. That's interesting about Finns' gift-giving, I didn't know! I've learned that they put candles in their windows on many special occasions - I must remember to do that sometimes.

Olivia, that is lovely! Just an aside, the body of water is a beautiful sea inlet called Indian Arm, like a fjord as one heads north between the mountains.

I wonder what it was like when the very first person gave the very first gift? What was the gift? How was it received? With great joy? Who gave it, a man or a woman? What was the occasion and the circumstance? Was it elaborate or simple? Was it treasured or immediately forgotten? Did the receiver even know it was a gift?

Miguel, wow! I think we'd need to sit by a campfire for a long and very interesting chat, with no answers but many possibilities.