With Lunar New Year (the second new moon after the northern winter/southern summer solstice) coming up on February 10th, much of January has been taken up with designing, carving and printing a Year of the Wood Dragon block. It's a simple single colour design, informed by heritage and Y Ddraig Goch - the winged red dragon which appears on the Welsh flag.
Cards have all been mailed. Some international ones have even found their destination. Sadly, cards are no longer being mailed to South Africa. They have not been reliable about finding home in that country.
The new design will be offered at this week's farmer's market in all colours on dishtowels.
For the first time there will be cotton canvas library book bags or market totes featuring the dragon and other popular designs.
I'm not sure at all how these bags will do out in the world. I found what seems like a sturdy canvas bag, with a little internal pocket (for your library card, of course), in turmeric, olive green and purple. They offer a good area for decoration and, in a process involving waiting for wet ink to dry enough not to smudge, have been printed on both sides. I'm partial to the olive green bags printed with black ink but photographed the red and gold for Chinese style new year good luck.
I have been up way past my bedtime tonight hemming a rainbow array of 45 inch square tablecloths for tomorrow's dragon debut in the marketplace. Weather forecast has temperatures just on freezing at sunrise. I'm going to need the dragon's fiery breath to warm me while I set up the booth.
Cymru am byth!*
* Wales forever or Longlive Wales . You will certainly have heard this rallying cry if you have ever witnessed a Welsh Rugby team win a game. And seen them raise Y Ddraig Goch - the red dragon. I grew up saying grace in Welsh/Gaelic language before meals with my maternal grandmother. That's how Welsh my mother's side of the family is.
The generations of Pembroke Corgi dogs who earned their keep herding the cattle on Seafield farm in the old country all had Welsh names. A touring Welsh Rugby team visited the farm once. From a four year old's perspective they had unbelievably enormous thighs but earned their keep by singing beautifully and carrying said four year old around on their shoulders.