Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Devotional Images

It has been a busy spring! Who am I kidding? Winter seems reluctant to let go. But I have spent some time in the print shop making letter paper inspired by young Clovis. I can't resist, and it helps shake off the winter blahs and blues.

I have been working on silhouettes of Clovis and their associated moods. I mixed the colors myself, trying to match them with the mood. Here is the work in progress. all screen-printed onto 118lb. cream paper. First the color through the stencil.

Then an acrylic gloss to give the image a little shine.

A "selfie", apparently a 21st century requisite, the printer at work.

Out of the oven and onto the cooling rack. Green with anticipation.

 Red for attention.

Blue for concern.

The full set, with purple for repose.

And the muse himself, reluctant to emerge from the warmth of the blankets.

And desperately following the sun as spring progresses.

Not interested in the camera.

Golden, sun-kissed, sleeping lamb.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Hijinks

The holidays were great and Clovis and I have been running ever since. I got to spend a few days in beautiful Provincetown, which had a nice dusting of snow. Here are some pics from Marconi Beach in Wellfleet.

Then it was off to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for the Wilkes University Creative Writing MA/MFA residency. I graduated from this program and am so grateful to remain a part of this wonderful community as a faculty member. My first two MA students graduated!

Max and Andrea both wrote beautiful novels and I look forward to watching (and helping) them grow and write in the future!

My friend Laurie Loewenstein, also a graduate of the program, is having her first novel published by Kaylie Jones Books, an imprint of Akashic Books!  The novel is called Unmentionables and is absolutely beautiful. You can't put it down. It is set in small-town Illinois around World War I and centers on the relationship between a doubting newspaper editor and an unequivocal feminist speaker on the Chautauqua Circuit and deals with identity, certainty, love, regret and redemption. Read it! Here she is at a signing. :)

The program has turned more than one chicken into an eagle!

And then there was Clovis. He got a new scarf for Christmas.

He is the king of lazy mornings (after a late night with his "toys").

A nice elevator selfie that Clovis took of us!

Here he is in his new red and white checked sweater. I love it. He was worn out by the residency, too.

Playing hide and seek.

The next project...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Knit Three

Another great event--this time in Duxbury at the Free Library in partnership with Westwinds Bookshop.  Carol of the library and Brooke of Westwinds are both amazing. Such great readers and supporters of books--and big lovers of Clovis!  They each got sets of the new Clovis cards I printed up--more on that later.

There was a great turnout--and this community clearly loves knitting. They yarn-bombed the trees out front. And there was more yarn-bombing inside. If you live in the area, you should definitely stop by to check it out.

The bike rack was turned into a dragon--here I am with the tireless Ann Hood and wonderful Anne D. LeClaire.

Anne's essay in Knitting Yarns is so beautiful and moving. It brings people to tears. We also read with Marianne Leone--a hilarious and touching essay. The Philadelphia Inquirer in a great review said she wrote one of the best essays in the book! You may know her from The Sopranos, and she brings all that Italian pride into her writing and reading. She becomes la strega before your eyes! It was a wonderful event and I can't wait to get back to Duxbury for more fun.

In the meantime, I was back in the printshop last week and with help from my artist-mentor Caitlin printed some new Clovis cards!

Here is Caitlin hard at work at the AS220 print shop.

An artist at work.
Caitlin made these awesome and funny "Merciless Fatty" cat prints. 
Cristin did this beautiful illustration and printed it up in two colors. Beautiful.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Finding Pearls (and Purls) in Middletown

In case you missed it, there was Small Business Saturday this weekend. I had the great pleasure of doing my part at Island Books in Middletown, Rhode Island. What a great store! Sally, Pat and Emma were wonderful and welcoming. I overlapped with the unsinkable Ann Hood, which is always a pleasure, and got to hand sell my favorite books to many eager readers.

This concept has been championed by Sherman Alexie, a great writer who recognizes the importance of local, independent bookstores to our profession as writers and to our communities. Here's a great interview on NPR about the idea. I had so much fun and hope to do it again!  Here is the book table I worked.

I pushed some of my favorite writers, including the laugh-out-loud funny and moving collection of short stories by Sara Pritchard, out this summer from Etruscan Press, called Help Wanted: Female. Two great memoirs by two great writers, Beverly Donofrio's new Astonished and Kaylie Jones' wonderful, funny and sad memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me.  J. Michael Lennon's authoritative, encyclopedic and beautifully written biography of Norman Mailer, A Double Life was there. And let's not forget The Rebel Wife!

There is a great knitting store next door, too! The Knitting Corner and Beadery. I got some beautiful yarn to work on a new sweater for Clovis. My new ambition: houndstooth!

Clovis also had his first acupuncture appointment on Saturday. I'm hoping this will help us get in front of any future back problems. He is not, however, a candidate for needle acupuncture. He won't even let me clip his nails! But the wonderful staff at Healing Paws on Westminster Street have laser acupuncture. I cannot believe the difference. After the session, Clovis was hopping and prancing around like a newborn! He was a little stressed as we waited for our session.

Here's the kid doing a nice stretch in some new winter combinations. Blue sweater with orange cabled scarf.

Hot pink and navy stripes with a gray scarf.

This one is too much for me. Coy chihuahua.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Knit Two

Look at this great picture! Taken by Helen Peppe at an event the other night at the wonderful Wellesley Books. Huge thanks to Jillian and Kym! I had the great pleasure to read with this amazing group of contributors, in order Elizabeth Searle, Marianne Leone, Suzanne Strempek Shea, me, and the unstoppable Ann Hood. Peeking over the table is her multi-talented daughter Annabelle, also a knitter!

There was a great crowd and much sharing of knitting advice, projects and vocabulary. I learned that frogging is when you have to rip out the work; you say "rip it, rip it, rip it." Handy to know. BOFA was another phrase, but I've already forgotten what that means!

And in the meantime, some great reviews have come in.  Here is an excerpt from the review by the Book Reporter:
Lan Samantha Chang, in “The Perfect Gift,” writes about the age-old knitter’s dilemma of making gifts for other people who may not really want the hand-knit item, no matter how much work it entailed. But, she shares, when the recipient of one’s knitted gift loves it, it is the best type of gift-giving there is. In “Teaching a Child to Knit,” Sue Grafton offers solid (and witty) advice for teaching the craft to kids. Kaylie Jones’s contribution, “Judite,” is a heart-tugging recollection of the Portuguese nanny who raised her and showed her love with knitted items. “The Clothes Make the Dog,” one of the best selections in the book, is a hilarious and honest essay about Taylor M. Polites’s relationship with his tiny chihuahua, Clovis, and how he learned to knit just to make sweaters for the dog who taught him to “love more broadly.”
And would you believe it? Clovis made People Magazine!!  He is a celebrity. No dog deserves it more.

The sexiest man alive is on the cover (?). I'm waiting for the sexiest dog alive. Wait, that doesn't sound right.

I love this pic of Mike and Donna Lennon. Taking a break from promotions for Mike's great biography of Norman Mailer, A Double Life, to check out Knitting Yarns!

Some recents of Little C.