I've just spent the weekend in the Southern Highlands of NSW, checking out Bernice Balconey's new hidey-hole, which is small but gorgeous. The weekend away from my studio was a bit of a birthday present to Best Beloved, who turns 37 today (I love being married to someone younger than me). He loves the chance to talk politics with Bernice, and also to pop into a certain Berrima jam shop and swap cooking tips. I love the chance to talk art with her, and not averse to popping into Peppergreens and The Art of Bookbinding. So a good time was had by all. Funnily enough, we always stay in that area around this time of year.
Today's Book Design class was on box-making, and we got halfway through making a clamshell box, something I'm quite able to do on my own but am nervous to make with a group, because my maths is so bad and it shows as I'm calculating bases and sides and gaps etc. Luckily I'm quite able to expose the flaws in my personality and very open to being laughed at, so I don't try and bluff my way through these things; instead I confess all at the beginning of the class and we all have a good laugh and help each other get things right. It makes classes a lot of fun. I can prove my abilities in other ways later on, when I can show how to fold the little tuck in the corners of the bookcloth, or how to glue out a large swathe of cloth without getting glue on the neat side. In the meantime I get to hear a lot of student gossip, which is also enormous fun.
When I got home after doing all the shopping and pre-preparing a self-saucing chocolate pudding to follow the pizzas that I would pick up after my yoga class (the requested birthday meal), I found an email from artist book mistress Adele Outteridge, who shares a love of cats with me, especially cats who torture cardboard boxes. She sent me the link to a very funny cat video called An Engineer's Guide to Cats. Do yourself a favour.
As you were.