Archive for December, 2005

Happy Christmas!

December 26, 2005

What a day. What a month. What an end to the year.

So fantabulously Christmas-y. Much love and happiness and generosity.

I’d like to preface by saying that Christmas is a very important time to me…although I personally am not religious, I’ve been raised in an environment where Christmas is the opportunity to appreciate all we have, our friends, our family. The most important people in our lives. I could care less about receiving gifts…It’s the giving and the hugging and the being with others that makes me happy. But then again, all that food is pretty nice too. Haha.

This morning, as always on Christmas Day, Amerr, Brittany and I woke up early, waited for Mom and dad, and opened our stockings and massive amounts of awesome gifts from Santa. It was a complete surprise all morning because I provided my parents no list or clues as to what I would like, but they never fail to blow us all away with the best presents ever.

We are so spoiled. I only hope they know how truely grateful we are for all they do for us…

So, just to mention a FEW things I received from different loved ones this year:
No less than eight stuffed sheeps.
A stereosystem for my ipod.
Kids books. Cookbooks. A photo book. Suduko.
A beautiful cream coat.
A most excellent purse and bracelet.
An awesome brown cordory jacket from Brittany.
DVDs of Fraggle Rock and Dead Like Me.
An absolutely amazing new Sony Cybershot digital camera (7.2 megapixels!!! ahh!)
Gift cards, monies, etc etc. The generosity is astounding.

And one very special brown box that means so much…

Sigh.

(Overwhelmed with happiness, Courtney retires for the night to enjoy the remains of Christmas with her family and new pet sheeps.)

It’s going home and getting warm by the fire…

December 19, 2005

It’s starting to feel like Christmas!

But before I can fully invest myself into the season of cheer, I want to recap the end of my fall semester so that I forget nothing that has transpired in the past couple of weeks.

So here goes. The important stuff, anyways.
Last week I was busier than ever, finishing up final projects…I finished my photo project and had that crit two Fridays ago. It went really well…ps I love shopping carts.

Anyway after that, all I concerned myself with was Print Techniques and Picture and Word. I hastily printed my final copper plates and that went pretty well. In all my final project consisted of a series of five different small plates, one plate being an edition of 5, the other four only editions of 2. I then went back to some of my crappier doodle prints and worked into them with watercolor and micron pen and they turned out pretty sweet. My final portfolio looked pretty decent afterall. My crit with Randy was on Tuesday the 13th at 1pm. It went really fricken well if I do say so. He seemed impressed with everything (some things he hadn’t seen finished)…especially the presentation which was apparently cleaner and better organized than others. He photographed my color woodblock print of the owl as well as my hot air balloon reductive lino cut…and he even said my collagraph was one of the better ones he had seen….which made me feel so much better because I thought mine was quite crappy. He told me that he didn’t have much to say (which in his world is a good thing) so I left feeling validated and sent myself on my merry way.

The rest of the day was spent trying to get my two small dummies of my book copied and assembled in time to take them to Boston with me the following day. It was a fight to the finish but eventually I was done by midnight on Tuesday. All that lay before me was one last day. THE day, actually. My final crit for Picture in Word, which took place at Judy Sue’s townhouse in Boston. We all took the 8:10 train in to Back Bay and got there around 9:30. Her house was amazing. Its wonder really can not even be described. Illustrations, art work, everything…all framed and hanging on every last bit of the clean white walls. It was overwhelming. Beautiful. Awesome. Libraries full of children’s books alphabatized by illustrator. And we were all so happy to be there, to have the opportunity to present our books to important people…

We all piled into the uppermost floor of the townhouse, where the agency is primarily run. (And where Adam and I will be interning during wintersession). We sat on the floor, on the desks, on filing cabinets, everything, while our guest critics and teachers sat around a big table in the center of the room. When we presented we had to stand up at the end of the table and read our book, while a classmate held our dummy. After that the critics had their opportunity to comment.

So a brief rundown of our panel of listening critics:
One woman from a publishing house called Farrar, Straus & Giroux. One woman from the educational division of Houton Mifflin. Bob Kolar, author/illustrator. One woman who is a child psychologist among many other children/literature related aspects. And also Stuart something who is an author, and a former boss of Judy Sue’s…he’s been in publishing all his career. Then of course we had Judy Sue and Rebecca Bond (our teacher who is also a published author/illustrator and works at Houton Mifflin). The woman who is an editor in the trade book division of Houton Mifflin couldn’t make it, but as it turns out she is receiving a copy of our dummy which she will get to look at personally (a tremendous and rare opportunity for us all).

So anyway, many VIPs.

I was nervous about presenting, but at the same time I could’t believe how much I really wasn’t. I just kept a smile on my face the whole time up until it was my turn, and that actually kept my nerves completely in check…like the constant release of happy energy prevented nervous energy from taking over. So when it came time for me to read aloud, Cory held my book, and I just read it as best I could. My voice slightly shaky but ever so much better than it has been. At some points when I thought I was getting nervous, I just took a second to think back at the special friends who were there with me and my confidence was reassured. After I finished reading, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Although I can’t really recall exactly what was said, I do remember everyone really enjoying it, sighting that children would love it, they loved the anticipation, the build up, the clever release…the only real suggestion they had was an alteration to my goat illustration which would just push the goats back into the background and into a herd….It was a super encouraging experience and I am soooo happy with the response.

After that I was able to really relax and enjoy the rest of the day and the other presentations. Alicia, Cory, and Adam’s went so well I could not have been happier for them. I remember Stuart saying to Adam “It’s ready for publication,” which is just so awesome. It’s exciting to think of where the lives of these books may one day end up, if we pursue them and shop them around to publishers. At the end of the day we were told by everyone there that there’s a publisher for each and every book that they saw…so fingers crossed for us all.

I can not explain to you how proud I was of the entire class. Each and every one of them had put everything into their books. They all pulled it together. It was just such a special day. I was beaming the entire time. Story after story, book after book, presntation after presentation…. I was just so….happy.

So yeah. So much positivity that day. Not to mention that I am absolutely ecstatic to think about the fact that I will be interning with Adam twice a week to Judy Sue’s house of awesomeness in Boston. It’s a tremendous opportunity in so many ways. I can’t wait. I also can’t wait to get some good work going for my portfolio. I think wintersession will prove ample time to get a lot of work done on my own time. I’m just so excited for everything right now. It’s just too good.

But for now, school’s done. I came home late Thursday night on account of the bad weather anticipated for Friday, but as it turns out we ended up driving right through the storm on our way home. The roads were terrible and we actually couldn’t even get into our own drivaway as it was so icy. We even parked our car in the driveway only to have it slide back down and out of it with us still inside.

Although I was glad to be home safely, I was a bit sad to be leaving everyone prematurely. I really could have used a day to unwind and hang out with my friends some more. Especially as we had plans to see Chronicles of Narnia on Friday. But it’s ok, since Adam filled my shoes for me and saw it with the girls and spent the day with them which made me very happy to hear.

I myself went to see it with Erica on Saturday night and absolutely loved it. The music was spectacular, as were the visual effects, the acting, the sets, everything. Again, a really happy experience.

Other than that I’ve basically been relaxing, finding time to reconnect to music listening and such, and hanging out with Brittany and Erica as much as humanly possible. Tonight we all ate Christmas cookies and watched A Muppet Christmas Carol, which was delightful as always. It really isn’t Christmas until I watch it at least five times.

Well, that’s that. I hope to have touched upon all things of interest, lest I forget them among the excitement of the approaching days of shopping and gift giving.

Cheers to all, and to all a goodnight.
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One addition, if I may.
I would just like to take a more serious moment to respond to a recent tragedy.

On Wednesday night, my aunt was getting ready to leave to drive home from my house with her two dogs, Chase and Tzar, when the dogs ran off. My mom and aunt followed quickly after, but unfortunately the dogs were not reclaimed in time. Chase was, within ten minutes, struck and later killed by a car not far from our home. It was just so awful and unexpected. So unbearably frustrating. So pointless.
Such sadness should not happen so swiftly.

But there it is.

Like I said, easy peasy…

December 5, 2005

So. Quick update.

Things are fantastic.
No, seriously. They are. I’m happy. And trying my best to be productive as these last two weeks wind down. I certainly have a lot to get done in the coming days, but hopefully I will have a handle on things and get them all done succesfully…doot doot do….we’ll see about that.

I worked on my kid’s book most of the day. I’m feeling pretty good about it. If I work on it for a good portion of tomorrow and Tuesday night, I should be right where I want to be with it. Tomorrow I have to work on my little copper plate dry points for my final project in Print Techniques so that I will have at least one proof of it by 3pm on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday night and all day Thursday I will be in the dark room printing my final prints…they are due Friday….it will be a crunch but at least then I will be all done with that class for good on Friday…leaving next weekend to concentrate and finish my book, and prints. Wooooo. So much to dooooo.

Ok, so I’m off to bed so that I can try and keep my immune system strong.

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p.s. My luck boggles my mind.