Sunset through the prairie grasses, Shabbona Lake State Park
Have you ever had a moment in your life that was just right, exactly the way it is supposed to be? The colors are brighter, the air is fresher and the entire world seems awesome in every sense of the word? this past Saturday was one of these days for me.
Osage Oranges (Hedge Apples) racing down the creek waters
Al, Elinor and I walked at Shabbona Lake State Park. We entertained ourselves by having Osage Orange races in the creek. We threw some of the hedge apples into the trees and one stuck in a forked branch. We cracked off some ice from the shore, threw it onto the frozen bay and watched as the ice broke apart into gleaming diamond shards which skated over to the grasses on the other side. The sound was amazing.
Clear ice of Shabbona Lake
I dearly paid for these precious hours of walking, though. It took me about 3 days to start feeling like myself again. I was so tired, my muscles were sore and I was just plain worn out. Was it worth it? Oh, yeah, it was plenty worth it!

This week has been incredibly busy at work. There are quite a few very interesting projects to work on from website design to creating icons for a certification DVD to creating Point of Purchase designs for a national company. The quarterly magazine I design also went out this week. I think I have 17 jobs in progress! Yowza! It keeps me hoppin' but doesn't leave much time for printmaking at night.

I have been working steadily on the large woodblock. I've been working on it for 3 months straight, trying to fit in 5 minutes here and there. I can't wait until it is finished! This is going to be my "showpiece" for 2012.

I friend from high school asked me to design a private wine label for her and her husband. She wasn't sure of the approach she wanted, so I tried going very formal. In the end, it didn't match her vision, but I like it despite this. She has some cool plans that will call for a custom illustration and due to scheduling, I won't be able to get to it until after the holidays. The ideas will be rolling around in my mind, giving me time to digest the concept a bit before starting.
Chateau Fiasco Riesling Concept Label, 2011©
In this first design I created a woodblock print look in Photoshop using layers including a wood board texture, watercolor brushes, and paths for masking off colorblocks. It turned out pretty good! It is a whole lot faster (and cleaner) to create woodblock prints in Photoshop, but I wouldn't be left with anything tangible using that technique.

Another friend requested a custom Christmas card. I've created one for her the last few years and it is always fun, but this year it was EXCEPTIONALLY fun. Her idea was to have a comic book design.
Custom Christmas Card for 2011
Christmas is just around the corner. I'll be doing my shopping tomorrow. At 2pm, they are playing "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Egyptian Theatre. Paul and I are going! I've always wanted to see it in a theater. I've promised I would purchase the popcorn. Plus, if we bring a non-perishable food item, we will receive a $2 discount on tickets!

Sunday I thought it might be nice to make some gingerbread men and have hot cider while we decorate the tree. There hasn't been a real snow yet. Maybe there will be snow for Christmas?!


becky said...

Have a very Merry Christmas, Erin. I love that you are going to see "It's a Wonderful Life" in the Theatre. It's gotta be the all time best Christmas movie... I watch it almost every year... and I still get choked up at the same parts. :)

Betsy Grant said...

I love this photo with the sun shining through the trees. It's really exceptional! Visit me sometime. I make new music videos almost weekly which you might enjoy.