Baby Bonnets + Narwhal Block Prints

My friends are having babies. Babies upon a babies.

So I’m making baby stuff.

I like making stuff for kids — not only do I think the fabrics are cute, but baby projects can usually be finished within an hour, which is just my style.

This weekend it’s been bonnets. I made a variety, but this little narwhal is the only one I carved and fabric printed for the project.

Little narwhal Soft Cut linoblock
The bonnet from the top —
the lining is the same cream shamrock color.

The ruffled bonnet is reversible, though why you would ever want anything but the narwhal on the outside is beyond me. Size 6-12 months.

Fast by Permission

When you block print on old cookbook pages and then make crossout poetry from the remaining words, it gets a bit… steamy.

It’s been a long while since I worked in a restaurant — I did for awhile when I was starting my freelance business, but quit in 2010 to go full time — but some of the stereotypes are true. There was quite a bit of intrigue and lack of inhibition that comes from long, fast-paced nights, in and out of a hot kitchen. Especially when the owner is a bit liberal with the Italian wine.

Perhaps some of it is how visceral the process of making food is, so visceral that we’ve taken food words and sexualized them. Steamy. Simmer.

And in English we also use food words as terms of endearment — sugar, pumpkin, cookie, sweetie pie.

Food and Sex and Science

The pleasure from eating and the pleasure from sex are also very intertwined in the brain. They both light up our pleasure centers, engage all of our senses and cause an avalanche of hormonal and chemical responses in our bodies.

I’m sure there’s some scientific research to back up what I’m saying here, but googling it is giving me a bunch of listicles on what to eat for better sex and I’m getting a little depressed.

Rainbow in the Storm

Over the last year I have participated in John Pedder‘s truly fantastic #oneofmanypostcard project three times.

It works like this:

Artists from all over the world make a run of postcard sized art, which they offer to send for free, anywhere, on a specific date.

People can check out the hashtag on Instagram and request whatever pieces they may want, with one caveat:

In exchange for each piece of art, you donate what you would have paid to the charity of your choice. Donations of time are also welcome.

The goal is to spread a little good.

John is in the UK, so he chooses dates for the send that are related to Brexit… but it’s good for everyone, everywhere.

I think it’s a lovely project — and I also do well creating to a deadline — so this little “Stormy Rainbow” will be going out on October 31st.

Stormy Rainbow Linocut Block Print

It’s a two-layer, 5″x7″ linocut block print on 120gsm Strathmore printmaking paper. The inks are all Speedball, though I used a mix of their basic and professional lines.

I made a run of 24 prints but am only happy with about 15 of them…

And all 15 of my cards were requested within about 12 hours of posting, which was super nice of people.

I’m actually going to try to squeeze in a few more prints this weekend because I’m not great at saying no and promised about four more prints than I have.

“The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.”

do the work [photo of fire]

At some point this summer I read a Tim Ferriss transcript where he was talking to a coach about training the weakest arc of a movement to build strength.

While I was searching for the interview – which of course I didn’t bookmark, I’m getting better about it! – I found this article on mental toughness. In it, former men’s gymnastics national team coach Christopher Sommer talks about breaking through frustration and committing to a long-term goal.

I love this:

The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.

A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge.

Refuse to compromise.

And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.

Coach Christopher Sommer, talking to Tim Ferriss. Read the full article here.

I’ll be honest:

One of the biggest things I struggle with is the consistency necessary to get to the result I want, particularly with my own projects.

It’s easy to show up for my clients, for other people, but when it comes to showing up for myself…

I’m not awesome at committing to a personal goal and then showing up every single day to get my shit done, rain or shine.

I get overwhelmed easily by the road ahead, by everything I haven’t done up to this point to set myself up for success.

I get stuck in the planning phase and don’t take action.

And when I do take action, I get frustrated easily when I don’t IMMEDIATELY get the results I want. I beat myself up. I lose motivation. I decide to do more research instead of showing up to do the work.

And then I give up because it’s easier than failing …and pretend like that’s not failure.

But I’m trying to learn. To be kinder to myself. To set the goal but love the process.

To show up every day and do the work.

How about you? What helps you stay motivated and take action when you get overwhelmed?

[IMAGE: A photo I took of my campfire while camping in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. I had just upgraded to a Nikon D7100 and oh boy was she fun to play with on that trip.]

do the work quote pin