Lost trades, diets, & coming up for air

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Life has swept us up lately. Nothing momentous, but one thing is bleeding into the next and leaving little room to come up for air.

I have been making zines and snail-mail packages and painting and posting mail-art. I have also been working on the picture-book I told you about. I sketched up the pictures for the story-boards and then didn’t like them at all, and had to throw them away because even looking at them blocked my ideas for what I WANTED them to do. I think I feel the pressure because I’m not a professional illustrator, and I really want to do my friend’s story justice. I need to find a way to let go of the creative burden and just enjoy the creative process. Do you know this feeling? Does it happen to you? How do you overcome the fear of letting somebody down, when you’re doing something creative?

My little boy has been keeping us up of a night, and not just with nightmares. We don’t really know why. It is probably a combination of teething, and too many grapes during the day (that was definitely the reason on one particular nappy-dominated night), and wanting to crawl around while watching CSI with us at 11pm. Anyway CSI is not THAT great and I’d rather be sleeping and secretly, I think Ralph would rather be sleeping too. He just takes a bit of convincing. Lucky he’s cute.

Mr B and I have been ordering Lite ’n Easy for our lunches and dinners for the past four weeks. We are trying to lose some of our combined “baby weight,” and enjoy the convenience of having the food ready to go. That would be great if you could call Lite ’n Easy food. Which you can’t. At least, the lunches are mostly lovely and fresh, but those frozen dinners! Our theory is that people lose weight because they simply lose the will to eat. Seriously, I can’t spend one more night smelling that food permeating from the microwave, so I’m going to give up. I’ll take away the lessons I’ve learned in portion control and the fact that I no longer seem to desire sweet things after a meal, and make the effort to cook even when I’m exhausted rather than order take-out, and hope for the best. I should probably cut back on the wine at night, too, but nobody’s perfect.

On the other hand, I think anyone in customer service should study the way they do it at Lite ’n Easy. I might not enjoy the meals, but the people on the other end of the phone are wonderful to deal with. Consistently, no matter who I speak to, they are polite and knowledgeable and supportive and friendly and flexible and personable. That’s pretty good, don’t you think? It’s not their fault that frozen microwave food tastes like, well, frozen microwave food.

The cat has a weird allergy that is causing her to scratch her nose all the time. The dog has gone blind. I'm sure you needed to know that.

In other news, we visited the Lost Trades Fair at Kyneton on the weekend and I've never seen so many pre-hipster beards in the one place in all my life. It was a perfect day for a jaunt to the country and the fair would have been lovely, if it were not for the uninvited swarms of European wasps.

We didn’t stay long, but it was enough time for Mr B to discover the joys of letter-pressing and decide that I really needed a letterpress machine to enhance my snail-mail endeavours. So, who am I to argue? I would LOVE to get into letterpress! Would you like your next mail from me to include something lovely and tactile with that classic letterpress debossing? And maybe some kind of illustration I've created on metal plates? I found a nifty little starter number on the internet for $100, to which Mr B responded “Pshaw, you need an original!” He promptly pointed me to an antique (and very expensive) printing press, not letterpress. Now that would be seriously fun, except that we’d have to move to the suburbs to afford a home big enough to house my new hobby. Which might be worth considering. I think the world is almost ready for the Naomi Loves Times.

What’s been going on at your place?

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