Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Royal Dog, a Squeaky Beaver, and a home for Elvis

Unusual weeks are the norm around here (if that makes any sense at all), but these past seven days have been really unusual.

The week started with a watercolor illustration project which, I am pleased to report, has been completed and already approved by the client! No, wait. I'm wrong.

It started with a dog.

The DM and I don't have any pets, partly because I'm allergic to everything but goldfish and partly because our schedules are too erratic to allow any sort of stability for critters. But this week we've been sharing our space with our "niece dog," Scooby. Scooby is a labradoodle (labrador-poodle cross), so she's acceptable on the allergy spectrum. And she's a sweet, mild-mannered creature, to boot.

There's been a lot of talk about royalty this week. Auntie says
I'm a Royal Goofball, so they all must be talking about me.

Of course any extra body in the house is disruptive, and it's taken dog and dog-sitters time to get used to each other. But how could you not be entertained by a face like this? (And a Squeaky Beaver. Don't forget the Squeaky Beaver.)

We must drag ourselves out of the hound's orbit, however, and get some work done around here. For me it's been illustrations and other contract projects. For the DM it's been new music videos. In the week ahead, however, I know I'll be twitchy to get back to printing because today Elvis finally got a new home.

The DM is handy as a Dog Entertainer and a Tool Box Assembler.
The arrival of Elvis Press-ley (a Richeson Baby Press) at the end of February unsettled things in the studio in much the same way that Scooby unsettled our household routine. I've been moving Elvis around the studio, looking for an efficient working location and a sturdy work surface. (Scooby's been moving around the house trying to find the perfect napping spot.) My tables are all too low, and I need every bit of horizontal surface I have already. (If you saw the photo of my work surfaces during the course of an illustration project, you'll know what I mean.) Elvis is "portable," but at 65 pounds it's not something I want to be constantly shifting from table to table as I work on other projects. It is possible to buy a press stand, but in my small space every piece of furniture must serve several purposes.

A solution eluded me until a few weeks ago when we were in Colorado Springs. I wandered into the tool area of a department store and there it was! A rolling steel tool chest!

Just the right dimensions! Moveable! With storage drawers! Best of all, it could be delivered (free!) to a small appliance outlet in nearby Poncha Springs, rather than the main store 2 hours away.

This morning we picked it up, and I must say I'm feeling rather smug about this solution. The drawers will hold my tools and inks and even a good number of blocks. Elvis sits smartly on the top at a comfortable height. I can roll it next to a work table or under the print rack or just leave it against the wall where it is. The wheels lock, and I'm going to get a piece of pressboard to fit in the top, both for extra stability and in case I want to bolt the press in place.

I'm excited to give it a run and see how it all works. But at the moment I have to give myself a run to get a towel, because The Dog and The DM just came in from a walk and they look like this:


  1. Oh, brilliant! Just brilliant!A moveable work station.
    I know you're a busy lady, but have you remembered that next Saturday is International Print Day? Didn't we say, last year, that we'd "do" something!
    I will make some sort of print and post it on my blog.
    (Don't know how I got that highlight there, but consider it serendipitous!)

  2. What cuties!!! (Scooby and Elvis) Elvis won't rock but he will roll....geddit geddit ...sorry, I'll get my coat..

  3. Excellent! Don't you love it when solutions just present themselves at the most unexpected times? Elvis is right at home on his new rolling chest, ready for action.

    @Lisa - ha! all finally got some snow out there, even if it is a day late and a dollar short.

  4. Glad you all approve of the new Elvis playset. ;-)

    Diane, YES, I intend to print next weekend. Have to work elsewhere for a couple of hours in the morning, but will be at it after that!

    Lisa... (snort!) You'd SO fit in in this household.

    Sonya... YES! SNOW! Today we woke to a couple of inches on the ground... probably the second biggest snowfall of the "winter," and here it is May 1. We've been dry as kindling around here, so it's welcome.

  5. Lovely dog, lovely press, nice solution...glad you like the snow, for I sure wouldn't want to see it here--we just endured the coldest April in 60 years in our area, and it was the first sunny, warm weekend of 2011, so I do not wish for precipitation of any sort for a while.

  6. snow?!?! o.0 this time of year, insane
    that is a great solution for elvis :D

  7. I would love to have one of those tool boxes and what a great idea for you! Scooby is adorable!!