More Time Spent Drawing/Painting/Walking

I love how the light shines through the grasses when Lee and I walk down to the mailbox on sunny summer mornings.

Things sparkle.

I went back to the six way book of wildflower paintings. It is a good thing my expectations are fairly low for this work.

The good part about it is how many I have managed to put in here and it still seems endless just to get to the end of this one section. The other thing I like is how the pages rustle together when I flip through the images.

I have kept up with the drawings a day and haiku.

Black, grey, taupe and red

are the colors of Guttermann

linen unwaxed threads.


My one last purchase

from the Australian button

lady of notions.

Covered chalk marker

and white vinyl eraser

are in the tool bag.


I wish these glasses

could let me see how to draw

them so much better.

I particularly like the single large spool of thread above. It was the button lady’s last time to come to the conferences in Australia and I had purchased these big spools of beige linen from her in the past. I would never use all the thread on this spool let alone the others. But once I hold this spool in my hand, I need to have it. I am sure that all those who attend the fibre conferences will miss the button lady. I am sure she has a name but “button lady” was what we all called her. You never knew what treasures she would have among all her buttons and sewing notions.

Today I drew the pair of scissors in the tool bag. Tomorrow I will draw the tool bag itself and then be through with that source for interesting drawing things. Maybe I will go back outside and pick up more bits of nature….we’ll see.

Better go.

Til later.

Something Special – Avocado Ink

A friend in Australia posted how to make an avocado paint/ink. Thank you Trace Willans. I thought I would give it a go and see if I could get that lovely red/brown that she got.

Here are my steps with just two avocado skins and pits.

We ate the good part and then set the pits and skins on the porch for about three days to dry out.

Then chopped it all up.

Not a fine chop and then put them in a quart jar and added about three cups of water and let it sit in the sun.

After two days.

I left the jar in the sun for two more days. Then brought it in to cook it all up on the stove by bringing to a boil, then down to simmer for an hour. I did not have a tsp of washing soda so used oxyclean instead. Somewhere I read that oxyclean could be used for a substitute.

Oxyclean going in and then the boiling.

Then the solids were strained out and put back into the jar for another go in the sun.

A nice 1/2 cup clean jar has one clove added to prevent mold.

I strained the solids with a flimsy cloth so there was hardly any residue when I returned the ink to a cleaned pot to cook down to the thickness I wanted….actually I just wanted it to fit in the jar! It did not take long at a slow boil to get it to reduce. Keep an eye on it.

And here it is: My very own caput mortuum ink!

I also finished off the Bush Books and they are ready to mail out. When I send them out, I will put in the contact names of the two charities. ..National Forest Foundation in this country and a suitable one for the restoration of Kangaroo Island in Australia. Whatever you can donate to these causes would be greatly appreciated.

That’s it for now…just a little bit of something useful…an ink recipe.

Til later.


My Birthday! A Good Day to Catch Up.

I will add the six days of drawings a day…or maybe it is eight.

A mechanical

pencil and another with

disappearing ink.


All things Australian

are some of my most treasured

and loved possessions.

Sixty inch measures

that very few of us are

are interested in.


This beautiful tool’s

sole responsibility

is ripping out seams.

Magnifying glass

is attached to some tweezers-

how very handy!


Beautiful needle

of bone keeping company

with William Shakespeare.

I need some practice

with drawing more spools of thread

but not pincushions.


Practice is needed.

And the results are showing.

Two more spools of thread.


Okay I am now caught up on those. I also had time to cover all ten Bush Books and make the collars that hold them together.

I have contacted a different printer about putting the Stoat Book all together for me. Then I will need to make the covers for those. Since several of those books will be going to Australia I will wait until the Stoat Book is finished before mailing them off.

Thank you to those who have asked for a copy and when they are sent out, I will let you know which environmental charity to donate to.

Thee are still some unspoken for, if interested. Just message me.

Today the rest of the mulch will be spread and maybe a weed puller will appear as well. Not too many people want to bend over anymore.

I will leave you with Lee’s latest place to put rocks. He is happy doing this.

And one more thing. I have not drawn anything into the latest Responsibility Hand because it is just more of the same ….. more of the same jobs he no longer does. Now it is keeping him from sadness and worry and wondering when I will take him home. I simply tell him he is home and does not need to go anywhere right now. His tears take a bit longer to bring him back. Some funny story helps with a good back rub.

I better go and check on him.

Til later.

A Necessary Post

This has been a while coming and the arrival of a “gift” this past week was the tipping point. It came in a mailing tube….a large poster-size copy of a fancily calligraph-lettered poem on an Old Woman’s Survival advice.

The line that absolutely set me off was, “Put earrings in every day.” Followed further down by, “…don’t feel guilty because you are not saving the world.”  Then, “keep trying, keep trying, keep trying.”

“Put my earrings in”. Really!!! I don’t even comb my hair!

I forget what else was in there. I was in a hurry to cut into the poster that I am sure was intended for me to keep pinned to a place where I would see it every day. Cut it into folios and make a book with all the strings that I do have to keep tied up or follow to the next connection or knot of daily responsibilities.

Just what is it that makes people think they have the right to advise, give spiritual encouragement to those they don’t even know at all?!

What gives the one who sends these words to people the hubris to assume we need their “thoughtfulness” in a letter full of their own importance?

This is not thoughtful. This is not kind. This is a royal pain in the rear end.

Once women reach a certain age, who gives other women the right to assume we need spiritual guidance? A while back I remember it was the guidance for women to “just visualize a better life and it would happen”. I asked the source of that advice how that would work out for the savaged women of Darfur?

We did not ask for someone to write these words. We have our own. And we didn’t ask someone to carefully craft those words into a perfectly graphed layout and then have the gall to send it to us with a form letter enclosed.

A form letter!!! Just a hand-written “Sandy” after the word, Dear_____! And then sign it in her own name. I am convinced she is expecting a “thank you” for her thoughtfulness.

For the record I don’t get up and put on my earrings! I get up, prepare Lee’s toothbrush and make the bed while Lee puts on his pants and shoes. I have turned on the coffee that I remembered to prepare the night before. He will have his coffee while I quickly take a shower and dress. Next I have a coffee with him and open my computer telling him we have friends in the box we can check on.

Then I do some of the simple chores he used to do. Next prepare his shower and help him find clothes. Next I fix breakfast and my day proceeds from there.

Most of the time I am saying things repeatedly. He can’t hang on to what he hears and he can’t find the words to talk about what he is thinking.

My day continues——without earrings. Without guilt that I am not saving the world! Without taking a walk! Without doing one damn thing this poem advises me to do.

And the hubris of it all pisses me off. It is like those commercials with older models selling me some product because I am “one of them.”… older wise crone.


Let me ask these two, the one who wrote the poem and the one who sent it.

Would you tell Madeleine Albright to put on her earrings and take a walk?

Would you make sure Ruth Ginsberg received a copy of a calligraphed poster because she needs to be reminded every day to “keep try, keep trying”.

You have no idea what our life is and what we need to keep going. But I can give you an idea or two.

People who care enough to know me – care enough to notice my life do this:

They send funny, newsy letters and cards, not pages of patronizing platitudes.

They keep in touch on social media.

And some, notably not many, actually ask what they can help out with.

Some of us “old woman” that you want to advise on how to live are just grateful to be alive. Try to keep that in mind.

So the only thing I am grateful to the poet and calligrapher for is the opportunity to get this off my chest.

And I got to make another book form that was content driven….endless picking up and folding in what keeps Lee and me going.

Til later with no anger, no frustration and more pictures and drawings….I promise.