Many years ago, I was part of a small design collective called picnic. Recently, after tidying up my storage space, I came across a handful of cards from a line of stationery from picnic. The lovely women at Aster & Clove have put them up at their shop.
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
— William Carlos Williams, Spring and All, 1923
A rainbow felt heart for mother's day. A four-leaf clover I found in a friend's garden this morning.
The soundtrack for today is Rhythm & Sound which we used to listen to early mornings with the baby, who was born on a rainy summer day like this one.
Auggie temporarily named himself Crazy Red last week, after deciding that red would be his favourite colour for his 'whole life'. But now he likes blue and green and he's changed his name back. At the paint store we were talking about the names for paint (doesn't everyone at one point wish their job was naming paint colours? Sweatshirt grey was my favourite name this trip). Anyway, he pulled out a deep red called Cherry Burst and was very excited about it. I said, 'what would you name that colour?' and he said: A Loving Pink.
We covered most of the house with Valentines yesterday. We did little heart envelope valentines for Auggie's classmates. We put out all our stamps on the kitchen table to decorate (as well as a rainbow crayon). I tried making a couple of vegetable stamps, but the big hit were the number stamps. Honestly, they turned out looking a bit like ransom notes.
Probably my favourite thing in general was the turnip, so I was quite distracted by the turnip and how great it was, while Auggie was similarly distracted by the number stamps. We are not an efficient production unit :) I finished the Valentines up at bedtime.
This is such a lovely, tender book about being a boy and being in love. It's been very popular in our house since our own little son was a baby. Peter McCarty has a nice, spare style — simple and clear and full of emotion without ever getting sappy. That's very hard to achieve.
It's only recently that the Auggie has been able to hold a conversation. We had a good year of interesting fragments, like, "Do butterflies drink milk?" or "[The song, Poor in Love by Destroyer] is a Christmas tree, a book, a banana and a rocket ship," and "[The song Dreaming by Adam & the Amethysts] is the best music of all! This is about music music. This is about [Auggie]. This is the most perfect music and I like this!".
But recently we've been getting more in depth, like, "Amazing. What is amazing?" [I explain amazing] "Like a maze? We can build a maze." Then we worked out what our mazes would look like. His is made of cement, with a cement mixer theme and has between 20-30 bingy-boingies, 10 swings for little kids and big kids and a sandbox. A bingy-boingy is what he calls those playground toys that are attached to a big spring. I have no idea what they're called, so why not bingy-boingy? It also has a tree in the middle and dead ends, which we learned about in a book on mazes at the library.
Ok, so we have a game left over from the old days that we still like. It's "I love". You say "I love" and then something you love. It is a good game. So, here's one: I love opening the mailbox and finding a pretty postcard inside.
I was remembering a spread in Mirabella about Valentines made by various artists and designers. One was a painting of hearts, all wonky, and underneath it said, "it is for you that I try to perfect my heart." It made an impression on me as a teenager, I thought it was beautiful.
Anyway, I was noodling around with some scraps of paper that evening, and made an impromptu set of Valentines bookmarks for my booky husband.
Then, because this valentine is often reading several books at once, I made two more. I punched out a loose pair of constellations, one for each of our signs. Then used scraps of gold, silver and pink to colour in the holes by gluing scraps of paper to the back.
I like the way the backs look — little collages.
Here is a Valentine's gift for everyone: The Young Visiters or Mr. Salteena's Plan by Daisy Ashford. You can read this delightful book online at google books.
This is the story of a love triangle between Mr. Alfred Salteena, "an elderly man of 42" with "a small portion" of noble blood flowing in his veins, and his young visiters [sic], Miss Ethel Monticue and Bernard Clarke.
It was written by Daisy Ashford, aged about 9, in 1890. It is transcribed from her exercise books, with spelling and grammar intact (hence the title spelling).
It is full of odd twists of language and beautiful details. Mr. Salteena, very old and unloved by Ethel, comforts himself while "imbibing his tea beneath a pink silken quilt". Cows "flash past the windows" of the train as it speeds through the country. There is also this stirring passage (with spelling intact from the original) which is both tender and very funny:
They arrived at Windsor very hot from the jorney and Bernard at once hired a boat to row his beloved up the river. Ethel could not row but she much enjoyed seeing the tough sunburnt arms of Bernard tugging at the oars as she lay among the rich cushons of the dainty boat. She had a rather lazy nature but Bernard did not know of this. However he soon got dog tired and suggested lunch by the mossy bank.
Oh yes said Ethel quickly opening the sparkling champagne.
Don't spill any cried Bernard as he carved some chicken.
They eat and drank deeply of the charming viands ending up with merangs and chocolates.
Let us now bask under the spreading trees said Bernard in a passiunate tone.
Oh yes lets said Ethel and she opened her dainty parasol and sank down upon the long green grass. She closed her eyes but she was far from asleep. Bernard sat beside her in profound silence gazing at her pink face and long wavy eyelashes.
Really, this book cannot be recommended highly enough. The preface, by J.M. Barrie (of Peter Pan) is also pretty great.