Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Amsterdam Post Office

Plain Spoke is enveloped, addressed, and ready-to-be-mailed.

And it has been since yesterday. The post office in Amsterdam this morning decided that it was "too close to time to close" to mail them today.

I called and made a complaint about it, and then I wrote a rant, and then I took that rant and polished it into a letter to the editor of the Herald Star.

You can read it here:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

well, i think i am finally adjusting to this new schedule of my i actually worked on some artwork, and i really enjoyed it. i forgot how therapeutic creating is for me. It is a need, if I am not able to get in there and get messy, this is one crabby chick. Nobody wants to see me crabby. Oh, and now that i am adjusting Scott is taking a voluntary lay off, so some younger family guy doesn't have to...Well, now that i am adjusting, he is going to be home all the time..........I am just gona be all screwed up.

Last week, we ordered a small studio for me....HURRAH I am so excited....we have to prepare the site and then they will come and build even has a small covered porch. Now Scott and I can sit and listen to the rain...something we love. Anyone wanting to help move a little dirt just paddle your lil' hush puppies over here, we'll be glad to see ya.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Stuff of Neglecting the Blog: Grad School, ATCs and a little bitta poetry to boot.

I've been silent for a while. Maybe that's a little more than understated, but it's the truth, regardless of the reasons. I am, however, unafraid to state them, and even though most of them might seem inconsequential enough to delay my attentiveness to the blog, when added together, the sum of their parts really does make for a mountain of a whole. Conversely, maybe they're all little molehills that make a wonderwerks of a mountain range. Any way that I look at the piled-up to-do-lists, there is just not enough scratching off going on, and that makes me sad. It makes me sad because I love to write, and I just don't have much time for it anymore. I need structure.

So here are the things keeping me away from my Other Mother (Jackie) and my lovely friends (online and off), in no particular order:

1. I have been making things for me lately. I always make a bunch of things I like and then they sell practically before I've finished them, and then I'm left with nothing but the big mess I've made. So a while back, I organized an ATC swap on Facebook, and here are some of the cards I made:

Bird School
Bird School, 2009

And None of them are Sugary or Spicy
And None of them are Sugary or Spicy, 2009

Family Tree
Family Tree, 2009

I also made a custom stamp out from a lino block so that I could stamp the back of my cards. I forgot to leave a space for my email address, but then I decided that technology has nothing to do with the organicness of creation, that technology's only place is in the meta-discourse that comes afterward, in sharing the photos on flickr and here and there/elsewhere, in using my Nikon D40 to capture (or almost capture) the character of the finished product. No, they're not as nice here as they are in person, but I can assure you that much fun and creative renewal was gained by the simple act of creating to share. Yay.

ATC Backs
Custom Stamp, 2009

2. Graduate School. Finishing up the spring semester was great, though I miss going to my Children's Literature class. There was hardly a break before May/Mini-mester began, in which I took a Grammar course and a Philosophical Studies in Education course. Horrifically, I found that my grammar is not and has never been anywhere near perfect. However, I did find my way back to diagramming sentences. Everywhere I go. I can't help myself. I leave Post-it notes everywhere. This one I graciously left for an unknowing server at Applebees in Steubenville:

3. Press/Shop/Etc. We're going to have our shop open again! Yay! (And then I'm going to wait for Jackie to put all her new artsies in her new-but-yet-unpurchased craft building complete with cute porch. Once I'm fairly certain she's got enough stuff in there to fill the walls, I'm going to sneak down there and get it. Or maybe I'll ask her for it.

Amsterdam Press is going to be releasing a bunch of titles this year, and I've got David Beard's book ready for printing. I've just got to print some proofs and get him to OK the final product. I've also almost finished Jendi Reiter's book, Swallow, which was the winner of the Flip Kelly Poetry Prize for 2008. We've got a lot of projects slated, and we're trudging through the pre-press for all of them right now. Trudging, I say, not because it's a grueling task, but because I have almost no time to devote to it until after my Teaching Writing class has ended. The month of July is dedicated to patient writers everywhere, as I catch up on correspondence, acceptance and rejection letters, requests, reviews, and other odds and ends associated with being the most disorganized editor on the planet (or at least in this tiny section of Ohio).

We have had delay after delay in getting the current issue of Plain Spoke out the door. First, I misplaced the contracts. Then it was the computer. After that, the printer ran out of toner and needed a new drum. Then we couldn't get the ink for the Epson, on which we print the covers. The toner and drum had to be ordered by mail because nobody carries it for the Xerox Workcentre M20 around here. The ink for the Epson is the one with the guitars on the box, and for some reason, nobody ever has the light cyan, so we were stumped on that one, too. Finally, I printed page 10 (which means page 47 and pages something else and something else else) the first time with a glaring typo (in which our featured poet "teachers" at such and such school instead of "teaches" and I could have just screamed. Now, the issue is ready to go, but we've got all those envelopes to address. Tomorrow is the day. We're going to get it finished tomorrow.

Here is a sneak peek at the cover:

My grandmother's handbag circa 1969, CMK 2009
Photomanipulation: black and white family photograph, Photoshop CS3

The bench has way too many pieces for me to ever attempt anything that detailed again, but I like the result.

We're painting and transforming here in the Olde Garage. We're going to have designated spaces from now on, and we're going to stop tearing everything apart all of the time. We have decided not to go to Jewett Craft Show this year for reasons that are just too lengthy to fit in this brief update, which is getting too big for its britches already. Suffice it to say that in the end, it's just not worth it. I love that my clientele always consists of the eccentric and charming ladies, young and old, who wear interesting coats and yearn for some unusual, small object, but there are just not enough of them there for us to put so much effort into going back. After something like 20 years of having been a fixture in the elementary school in what used to be a joyous show, the charm has worn off and I realize my - our - time will be best spent focusing on our small enterprises here.

Olde Garage / Life on Europa booth | Jewett, OH, 2008
Not the show it used to be...

But there are plenty of things to be excited about: July is going to be wonderful (except for the Praxis II on July 25), the shop will be open again this summer, and for keeps, and I am almost done with my teaching licensure program. Yay!

I've started working on my Ph.D. applications already.

I am a glutton for anything difficult.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


wonderful day, wonderful people.......and KAREN AND TOM look the same as they did 25 years ago......Karens sister, Shelia hosted the party and did a fabulous job.......
and all I can say about Dolly (karens mom) is
thank you for including us.

what a sweetie

This afternoon we are going to celebrate Karen and Tom Stevens 25th anniversary....these are two of the nicest people I have ever met....they just don't come any better.And don't they look pretty spiffy in the wedding photo.....
of course they look just as happy and young 25 years later.

Blanca Medina from

has such a lovely a lovely blog and an abundance of talent. The other day I received these beautiful tags in the mail and was thrilled ............soooooo cute. What a wonderful generous gesture, thank you Blanca so very much. Be sure to visit her blog

or her shop

I am sure you will love her work as much as I do.

Monday, June 1, 2009

sooooooooooo...... someone has informed me that my heritage is french. who'da thunk???? My maiden name was always Jackie Lumbatis
(i was always just a jackie) they spring on me a new name
Jacquelyn LamBatise'
whoa whoa......wait a minute...sure sounds fancy. wonder if I would have been more sophisticated and genteel had I known this in my formative years????
maybe instead of rollerskating and swilling beer I would have learned the waltz and sipped on champagne. I really don't know if I would have been different but I think I may start now.....
BREAK OUT THE BREITENBACH(i am fresh outa the bubbly) and crepes
or as Marie said
let them eat cake