I'm feeling in the mood for a little carving and block-printing session. The inky muse is sitting on my shoulder.
This must have been because I sorted out my workroom yesterday and piled up all my lovely white and creamy-calico cottons, plus some of the brights I dyed a few months back.
We'll see what eventuates!
:: This is the papercut picture I cut for Tracey, way over in Far North Queensland. As well as bloggers, we are longtime Scrabble buddies on facebook, and while we were chatting during one of our games (she probably whipped my arse as usual), we organised a swap: a papercut for some of Tracey's brilliant quilting.
Tracey started the ball rolling by quilting this quilt I'd made for a cousin's first baby in England, and she did an amazingly beautiful job ...
... all swirls and stars. Gorgeous! I'm expecting to hear from Brighton any day now to say the quilt has arrived, and that baby Jasmine will stay warm and cosy beneath it during the rest of their Arctic winter. Brrr!
:: I'm reading Someone at a Distance, by Dorothy Whipple. It's a beautiful Persephone edition I bought in Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon — isn't that an exquisite cover?
(I went mad in there - imagine, a bookstore starts in a shop on a corner, then it buys and expands into the shop next door, and then the shop round the corner ... and eventually it takes up an entire city block, on all levels; a rabbit warren of books ... sigh!)
Whipple (1893-1966) is a brilliant writer, subtle and fluent, with a perceptive eye for characters. She says a lot by understatement and quiet observation — admirable.
Here in Australia, we haven't heard of her very much, if at all, but I recall listening to a few of her short stories being read by English luminaries through the BBC Radio 4 website, and was blown away by her story-telling.
Someone at a Distance, set just after the end of the war in the early 1950s, is about a warm, loving, happy family and the effect of the arrival in their midst of a cold-as-ice, hard-as-nails French girl, who is to be a paid companion to the family matriarch.
It's fabulous. As someone on the back-cover blurb says, Whipple is the 'literary heir to Mrs Gaskell'.
:: I'm off now to carve some rubber.