Posted by: jeanne | August 7, 2010

luggage update

well, i’m down to 42 pounds on my check-in bag.  the limit is 50, and when i reached that the very first time i was worried.  last time, when i was 12 pounds overweight they charged me $80.  and that was in ’08.  now it’s worse.

my luggage, 2nd draft

thanks to my sister and her shoeboxes, i’m packing very organizedly this time.  everything is in a plastic bag in a box.  you can see the rolled-up linen lining the outer part of the suitcase to the right, a pair of too-long stretchers in the middle, and a watercolor palette and an embroidery hoop on the left.  the colorful box on the bottom to the left is full of sewing notions, and the box on the bottom right has fabric.  see the blue plastic washbasin on the right?  that’s for dyeing in.

i’ve even got stickies on the boxes – fabric work, painting, paper.  and there’ll be an inventory list on top when they security guys open it up.  the box you can see with its lid on to the right has got one of those clear plastic egg cartons in it, for holding mixed dyes. the stickies are really for the security guys, because you can bet they’ll be opening my bag to check on its contents.

i don’t have a normal bag.  there are metal bits, dangerous ones.  there’s a pair of fabric shears, there are razor blades, palette knives, pins and needles, jars of liquids and baggies of powders with funny names (urea, sodium alginate, acrylic medium).  there are no clothes in my bag, only art supplies.

i’m not done packing, because i’m still working up my materials.  all my oil painting brushes are downstairs still being used, and i haven’t cut the luan into panels yet so they’re not in there either.  and i have to go to binders for the stretchers i need because utrecht sold us ones incompatible  with the stretchers i already have.   and i’m  still uncertain as to exactly how i’m going to handle my encaustic supports (will luan work, because i just bought it and haven’t tested it, what kind of priming should i do and should i do it before i leave, should i try to use watercolor paper as a support on top of the luan, etc.)

i’m quite pleased with the luan.  we went to home depot today and got a 4’x8′ sheet for $20.  that sheet will cut into 16×20 panels – 14 of them, and i’m going to cut some of them in half for 8x10s.  i’ll take maybe half – 7 large panels, and maybe cut down 2 into smaller ones, so that’d be 5 16×20 boards and 4 8x10s.  enough to use in three weeks, you ask?  we’ll have to see how much i use.

i have no idea what my productivity will be.  i’m expecting a couple of friends to come by, which will mean wandering around the back of beyond and going to the pub, but most of my time will be spent working.  i’m thinking i’ll do a quick painting a day, and work on several larger, more complex paintings for several days at a time.  i could easily complete 20 paintings in three weeks.  or only half a dozen…

but the luan, that’s a real bargain.  i have to cut and sand my boards, of course, but the whole thing’s costing me $1.42 a panel.  and that’s a hell of a lot cheaper than at the art supply store – 10 times cheaper.  i feel rich already.

of course, i won’t be selling any of the resultant work, so i don’t know why i feel rich.  it’s just that i’ve learned that the secret of being rich is not to spend anything, and in that i couldn’t be wealthier.

oh yeah, the luggage weight?  it may be at 42 pounds right now, but it’s going up.  my sister just sent a request for 2 lb of cranberries and a pound of raisins.  we’ll see how much i can fit into my carry-on.


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