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Letterpress, part 1.

8 May

Dingbats, furniture, and ink, oh my.

I drove three hours for a 2.5 hour class on Monday night.  And it was worth it.

I signed up through St. Paul Community Ed to take Beginners Letterpress.  I’ve been oogling over letterpress classes for years; the one at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts is super expensive.  This two-session community ed class was $37.  Score.

The woman who teaches the class is delightfully eccentric.  Her studio is in her home and so I joined five other female students in what appeared to be her dining room.  [It was an interesting, old home.  I’m not sure where the refrigerator was and there appeared to be no television or sitting area in general.  But I give her credit for having a room full of paper.]  She gave us the brief introduction and told us to choose a dingbat.


A dingbat is an image, as opposed to letters which are typefaces.  Out of the hundreds of options, I chose a pig.  Next, you take your dingbat [which looks like a stamp on a metal or wood piece] and using metal pieces called furniture, one sets it in a frame.   I know I’m making no sense.  I don’t have a photo either.  You’re just bound to be confused.

We took turns at the letterpress machine.  As you pull a lever, the press inks your dingbat and pulls whatever you’re printing on towards the inked dingbat and -viola- it’s printed with 600 pounds of pressure.  It’s pretty intense.  And this is just a baby press.  Next week, as I understand it, we use the big daddy.


So this past Monday we used our dingbat to print six notecards.  Next Monday we will set four inches of type in 18-point and print 27 postcards.  The postcards and type we set can say anything so that’s my challenge this week.  To choose the most witty, fun, and awesome saying that will be no more than four inches.  Thus far in the running is shut the front door and – that’s actually it.  That’s all I got so far.  This is where you come in.  What should I print on my postcards?  If you help me, I promise to send you one hand-pressed postcard.  You have until next Monday.

This week –

9 Apr

I’m trying to be a better, healthier, more whole-food eater and trying all sorts of things as a result.  Salads in jars, more Thai chicken quinoa, date-and-peanut-balls, and HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS.  That’s in caps because – holy shit – they are delicious.  It might be the coconut oil.  And the dried cherries.  And a little bit of sesame.

The other part of my better, healthier being is figuring out my sleep.  Goal: In bed reading at 10.  Lights out at 10:30.  That goal has failed in execution more than it has been successful.  The early bedtime was instated because I can’t. get. out. of. the. bed. in. the. morning.  Ever.  But really I just end up sleeping more because I go to bed early and still stay in bed just as late.  Enter new app.  It’s pretty cool and wakes me up within the best place for waking in my sleep cycle.

The better, healthier Lindsay is also – thanks to awareness from her counselor – becoming aware of her distorted thinking.  Distorted thinking is when I am hard on myself, when I assess situations to be all or nothing, when I discard compliments I receive as not true.  Distorted thinking is basically how my brain works so it’s being aware of my negative thoughts, turning them around, and “telling the negative committee inside my head to shut up.”

That’s my week, along with meetings, two-hour long pastoral visits [I need to work on leaving.], rain, and hanging with confirmation kids.  How’s your week?

February 1: friday favorites.

1 Feb

[February 1: friday favorites.]  There is something so full of potential with the start of a new month.  With the start of each day, really.  After clearing my mind during vacation, I’m excited to approach February.  A new month.  New possibilities.

I hereby declare February the month of the blog.  [In addition to the month I start exercising on a regular basis again, the month in which Lent begins, the month I do something creative every day, the month of everything else I could ever possibly want to do, etc.]  The blog got its own domain and a whole new look just a few weeks ago.  Now it’s time for a little focus and a little forward thinking about this thing I love to write.

And so, during this month of possibility and month of the blog, I institute a weekly post: friday favorites.  A round-up of my favorite things both on and off the web from the past week.  Let’s begin.

I saw this and loved it.  The tutorial calls for sheet metal glued to the inside of a cabinet.  Something tells me that’s not a great approach for the poor pastor in the parsonage.  But it did inspire me to 3M-strip-the-heck out of a couple cork trivets to the inside of a couple cabinets.  It’s the perfect place for recipes [no longer cluttering the side of my fridge] and coupons and all sorts of important stuff.

Another organizing idea I hopped right to was this one.  I [once again – thank God for 3M strips] 3M-stripped-the-heck out of a couple hooks and a wire basket.  It now holds my sponges and fels-naptha.

Have you watched The Office from this week?  The show has had its moments of floundering in the past years but I’m in love with it once again.  They’re going out with class and the classic humor that first made it the show I love.

Look at these darling fabric bows.  I want to make one hundred of them and cover every known surface.

Do you watch The Bachelor?  No judging, please.  If you don’t, you can but pretend you don’t.  If you do, check out this dude’s blog.  He reviews each episode in an oh-so-manly and hilarious fashion.  And apparently he has a black belt in feelings.

Have you heard of Go Mighty?  Go Mighty is an online community where you set goals, tell stories, and encourage one another to challenge the status quo.  I just joined and am still getting the hang of it.  They have an annual conference in California I would die to go to; unfortunately, it’s not in the budget or vacation this year.  One thing we all can do right now – Go Mighty is challenging everyone to take 20 minutes each day to do something intentional for yourself or for others.  20 minutes a day in February.  Today I mixed up three batches of Valentine cookie dough to bake and send to people.  That was my #20minutes.

Perhaps that’s enough for now.  Come back next Friday for more favorites!

great love involves great risk.

22 Jan

[great love involves great risk.]  One of the readings that Kay and Peter chose for their wedding ceremony was from the Dalai Lama.  I simply cannot get it out of my head.  I love it.  I’m sharing it with all of you.

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

And that a loving atmosphere in your home

is the foundation for your life.

Be gentle with the earth,

be gentle with one another.

When disagreements come

remember always to protect the spirit of your union.

When you realize you’ve made a mistake,

take immediate steps to correct it.

Remember that the best relationship is one

in which your love for each other

exceeds your need for each other.

So love yourselves, love one another,

love all that is your life together

and all else will follow.

adios, 2012.

1 Jan
If I told you that I ushered out 2012 with a bang, then my first post of 2013 would begin with a lie.  I spent New Year’s Eve with my sister and my aunt, eating dinner, drinking vodka slush, and watching Butter.  [It’s a satirical movie about butter carving competitions in Iowa.  I found it hilarious.]  I was in bed by 11.  Party on, Wayne.
But really, it was okay.  It had been a long week at home.  I began the week exhausted from three days of church services and exhaustion of all kinds [emotional, social, physical] continued with the service for Grandpa Sid on Saturday.  Between the visitation preceding and the service, it was estimated we greeted nearly 400 people.  No wonder this introvert was tired.  Throw in odd sleeping hours and eating, well, not well, and the whole week is almost a blur.  
I’m home in Austin, settling in for the night to prepare for a funeral that is tomorrow morning.  I felt before I could write that sermon, I must write to you.  It’s been sporadic of late, and I feel I owe you some sort of 2012 wrap up.  All the other bloggers are doing it.
2012 favorites:
1. Vacation on the north shore and sea kayaking.
2. Auditioning for MasterChef.  
3. Vacation with Kate to the woods.
5. National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.
6. I love composting and how it decreases my garbage. 
7. Perfecting iced coffee, raw oatmeal, and plain microwave popcorn.
8. Local family parties. [Oscar and lefse to name a few.]
9. Volunteering at school.
10. Many new babies!  [Below: the most recent Banana baby I met while home!]
Mason Miles.  He’s a cutie pie.
Certainly, it’s both a trivial and logical list.  
Certainly, there is much more that belongs on the list.  
Certainly, one can’t sum up a year in a single post.  
Any goals for 2013? you ask.  I’m refraining from setting actual goals or resolutions.  Sure, I want to exercise more, sleep more, try more new recipes, go on adventures to new places, create freely, and tackle those books on my ever-growing to-read list.  But instead of setting anything tangible to any of those, I think it can be summed up otherwise.  I look to 2013 with this –

Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book.  Write a good one.

pancake balls.

24 Sep
I’ve been a delinquent blogger.  I feel obliged to take you back to last weekend.

To the aebelskiver.



A Danish pancake ball.
Paige and I attend this church supper, a supper put on by one of jD’s churches.  We both missed the event last year so it was exciting to learn what an aebelskiver was and eat seven of them.  [A full plate = seven balls.]  Not only that, given our close friendship with the pastor, we donned hairnets and had an aebelskiver lesson in the kitchen.  Given my love of ball-shaped foods, I feel as if I should perfect my aebelskiver approach.  Add it to the to-do list.

new hobby.

27 Aug
I stumbled across this blog tonight – Lindsay Letters.  
First, her name is Lindsay.  [duh.  awesome.]
Second, she loves pretty writing and paper and addressing envelopes.  [me too!]
Third, that’s her job.  People pay her to address envelopes.  [this lindsay jealous.]
ohmygoodness.  I love her.  I want to be her.  [her husband is a gorgeous red head too.  of course.]
Many, many years ago, I had a calligraphy book and pen.  I’ve always loved writing and letters and penmanship and I remember trying to learn the art of calligraphy.  I also remember giving up.
Watch me try again.  I’m so inspired by her writing this may just become a winter hobby for me, learning calligraphy with nibs and inks and pretty papers.  
Then I can address your Christmas cards.

new sunglasses.

25 Aug
I know I’ve written before about constantly worrying of how I am perceived by the people around me, feeling judged, and the negative self-talk that goes on in my head.
No more.
I don’t think I realized the extent all of those factors had on my life until recently.  Some of those factors are cultural, some of it is shame, some of it is part of my created being.  But I’m trying something new.  No more worrying about what other people think of me; they can think what they want and that’s up to them.  No more paralyzing fear surrounding the constant black cloud of feeling judged by others when I open my mouth or walk into a room.  No more saying mean things about myself to myself, or thinking that I’m not enough as I am.
Well, it’s not that easy … but I’m working on it.  
I remind myself each day that people can think what they want.  I remind myself that fear of judgement should not hold me back.  I remind myself that I am enough.
Exercise #23 in operation-no-more-making-myself-feel-shitty-about-myself: Buying and wearing this pair of sunglasses.
They are obviously sold with an adolescent age group in mind.  They are likely not something a 28-going-on-29 year old pastor would or should wear.  They make me look ridiculous.  Sometimes, when I’m well aware of what is on my face and I’m meeting someone new, I freak a little bit and feel like I should take them off to somehow make myself more proper.
But f*ck that.  I like polka dots, they’re crazy awesome in my book, and they keep me from squinting.  
Think what you want; I’m going to keep wearing them.

saturday soliloquy.

4 Aug
Windows are open.  Breeze is blowing.  Life is good.
I wish I could bottle the feeling one gets after exercise.  I feel one-hundred-million-twenty-seven-thousand-and-seventy times better afterwards.  [If you’re keeping track, that’s a lot.]
I finished a quilt top this morning.  Onto a second matchy-matchy one later tonight.  Subtly and not so subtly, one could say they will be like twins … perhaps like their future babies …
This is my absolute current favorite.  Zucchini squash oven roasted.  It’s nearly an every night staple for me.  Throw in some sweet potatoes or some broccoli and I am set for dinner.
I spread grass seed and filled my water softener with salt this afternoon.  I cleaned a clogged shower drain yesterday.  It was gross but I feel very domesticated and home-owner-like.  
Have you checked out Steeples and Stilettos lately?  I’ve been a terribly horrible blog partner but Megan has been posting some really great stuff.  
I’m almost done with my sermon and it’s not even 6pm.  [Who am I?]
I have three weeks of vacation to take before the year is done.  Where should I go and what should I do?  Maybe visit you?  I welcome suggestions.
Mabel and her large mouth says hello.

garden remix.

26 Jun
one of the two big blue pots on either side of the front garden.
It’s a bit delayed in sharing but my mum was around last weekend and we had one goal: to make the parsonage gardens bee-u-tiful.  It was a lofty goal for two days – the gardens were a wretched mess because I couldn’t even differentiate what was a plant and what was a weed.  I called in the right person for the job and after five stores, a truckload of mulch, and long days, it came together.  We added some new plants, moved some others around, and Pastor Lindsay bought a bird bath.  The final product is quite lovely, wouldn’t you say?

Front garden:


after. [with two blue pots on either side, just on the outside of the photo.]

 Corner garden:

a corner garden with two new pots.

 Back garden:


Not pictured is the small bed we [read: Leanne] dug around the mailbox for a couple hostas and stone. There is still work to do – a little mulching around the garage and maybe edging out a bush.  All in good time as Lindsay gets the nerve and time to dig in.  This parsonage’s landscaping is well on its way to being top notch. 
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