Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas, in a nutshell.

No Christmas is complete without a last minute helping of work and on Sunday I had a few illustrations printed in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was for their 2009 Geography Quiz, and never have I learned so much from a project. Did you know that duelling is legal in Paraguay? You must be a blood donor however. That is a fact. It was a wonderfully pleasant assignment, if a little hectic with the many many family members whose arrival for the holidays coincided with the deadline!

It certainly has been a whirlwind. This Christmas has been a whole new experience indeed, and as if to confirm that conclusion the weather has put it's own uncommon twist on things. Day upon day of ice and hail and sleet and whistling winds turned the usually mild village of Saundersfoot into a giant ice rink. The hills were like glaciers and we've all been shuffling around like penguins in a bid not to hit the deck every few steps. 

There was also sunshine- fleeting but magnificent. We enjoyed it while it lasted.
Now 2010 is peeking across the last stretch of day, and I can't even believe it. Happy New Year everybody- I hope yours is a fun-filled and happy one!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree....

Fully aware that this could be my last Christmas in England for a little while, I embarked on the task of decorating this year with extra enthusiasm. Anybody who is familiar with my usual levels of Christmas-time exuberance would realise this is no small achievement.
The tree is a fragrant individual with much character. I am nothing if not infatuated with it. My goodness, it smells like heaven.
There have also been frosty walks and paper bags of roasted chestnuts and songs of the season creeping merrily into my consciousness. Looking around at the lights and the shops and the general abundance of seems everybody is fully submerged in the magic of Christmas. Penelope Dullaghan says it better than I do, right here.
The German ornaments are out in force, complete with the customary tug of nostalgia for all of my Christmases past. Next year I should be back in the States, starting new traditions of my own with the Boy Pickle, but for now it's hard not to revel in the familiar traditions of my own family Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In my little corner of the world (things are rather exciting).

A big new illustration job has compelled me to rearrange my work space/ sleeping quarters. Now everything is backwards and I've tried to climb out of the wrong side of the bed twice in a row. But finally my desk is under the window, and that's worth walking into the wall and stubbing my toes for. 

I write this with a smile on my face as I think about sensible things like hand lettering, and characters and layouts and pacing and deadlines. The smile transforms into a look of terror when I think about the deadline, actually.

So armed with a brand new teacup (thanks Kate) and a pen collection that seems to be breeding, it's time for action stations. I'm ready. Infact, I've already begun....