Sorry I Am So Late…But!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  Patrick and Marla came down for the holiday and are taking the last U Haul trailer load home. The guest room has been turned into a studio! Amazing transformation that I will feature in the next blog. So far Marla has hung fifty-seven more things on the walls. There is little left to hang!

We celebrated….

When they first arrived just five days ago, they set the tree up.

We put the little tree I have used the past few years with a slightly larger one and the glass pears with dried Japanese maple leaves were hung.

There was time for a very cold walk to the river.

And this morning Marla and I hung all fourteen tai chi figures in the entry area to the front door.

One of the boys from the coffee group invited us over to pick through his brush pile.  It feels like home more and more. This afternoon after loading the trailer the three of us are going to hang the wine bottle fish with rocks in a school on the porch. I will put pictures of those, the new studio and more of Marla’s amazing hangings in the next blog.

It is time to get into those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Til later….

Staying In/Staying Busy

Last Saturday the shades for the porch were installed. Now that western sun can be held in check.

But the weather has changed to much cooler and the cats and I are appreciating the fireplace.

Still getting out for the walk to the river and keeping an eye out for the bear and interesting changes in the landscape.

Friday night I had a lovely dinner and visit with a neighbor here in Riverwalk. The food was very good and we had her favorite Chardonnay – Yellow Tail from Australia. Such a dependable and tasty wine to just have on hand to remember old friends and make new ones. Seeing the inside of another house here was so interesting. Our layouts are very similar and it was fun to see the difference in how we filled our spaces.

And last night I actually did go to the wine tasting night. I sat at the builder’s table with three of his workers, two young girls from the bank he does business with and a neighbor I met on a walk. It was a very enjoyable evening and I would gladly do it again. I will need to have some neighbors in to help drink the six bottles of wine I ordered. The sommelier made good choices for the hors d’oeurves served with each of the wines. It was a good place to get back into being social.

I redrew the bear on a stitchable paper. And just started right in with my scraps.

Finished….or so I think. But a walking stick seems a good idea.

Then I had to do another…..

I think he is almost there….

I draw and stitch while listening to books on tape from the library. British mysteries read by Timothy Dalton are especially good.

Not sure what the next animal will be. Rabbit? Raccoon? Something…maybe that owl…

Anyway I will think of something while I listen to another convoluted Victorian mystery before meeting the men for a movie this evening. We are each bringing our own dinner and drink. I might do a takeout and an old short bottle of wine I found in the cupboard of my former house and just had to bring along. Only one way to see if it is any good and I am likely the only one of the four of us tonight who drinks wine. We all agreed that the original Grumpy Old Men was a good choice.

Til later….

Very Good Few Days!

I woke at three to be ready at five for the lunar eclipse….another blood moon but with the fog preventing the warm glow of the previous moon trapped in the Earth’s shadow. I don’t know why I think it is so important that I watch this phenomenon. Maybe because it will not be til 2025 when this happens again.

A nice walk to the river a few days ago.

Five minute walk from my house and I am in the thick of it.

And yesterday the road past my house was paved.

Two days ago I had finished up my crow wood block. It was less than anticipated. So I have put carving aside for a bit until I get the studio set up.

But I needed to get caught up in something…SOMETHING! So settled down to drawing assorted animal heads to clothe in stitched cloth. I liked the bear best and decided to start with him.  Also a bear has been seen not far from my house coming down from the hills beyond.  I couldn’t resist a couple of paws coming out and a worried look on his face. He might not like that winter is coming and bundled up. The bits that are drawn cloth (shirt and scarf) will be finely stitched cloth to finish clothing him. He makes me smile and I am anxious to see what a fox might be worrying about. And on and on….

The drawing is on a six inch square of paper. Years ago I did a series of small owl heads with a partial moon in a deep blue sky behind. I am now thinking that I need to get those old wood blocks back out, print them and then clothe them from the neck down in finely stitched patchwork robes. A loosely tied cord around some fat middles. Anyway I am ready for some good fun and silliness coming off my pencils.

This morning I went to the big home supply store to get base cupboards for the studio that are counter height for the table top Patrick is making and will bring down at Thanksgiving. They are unfinished solid oak and I bought the side panels to cover that ugly board on the ends. One of the cupboards is 18″ wide and holds three drawers 24″ to the back. The other is 24″ wide and the same 24″ deep with one long drawer and a cupboard door down below. A great space for fitting the sewing machine and the XCut XPress die cut/etching press and beds. Marla will hang the pictures on the walls in the studio and we might add a shelf for artwork.

When I arrived home this morning a delivery person came shortly after. She had to hand deliver my package of a book shipped from Germany. It is the original woodcut images of Olesya Dzhurayeva in the Ukraine. She is a printmaker living in Kyiv. The images of her work through the printmaking groups I belong to on Facebook spoke to me like no others. These are from scraps of wood from her war torn surroundings inked with the black soil of her home.

When I saw there was going to be a small edition of this book, I contacted her to see if I could purchase one to not only help support her, but more importantly to have and hold these images.

It is hand bound in a clam shell box about 10″ by 13″. The colors of the Ukrainian flag are on the inside covers of the clam shell box and the book is covered in a “bitter chocolate” brown cover material from England. Three languages are opposite each of the six prints. The whole thing simply takes my breath away. I will say that Olesya has been in several printmaking exhibits in Europe since her work has become more public.

Here are some of the images of the book. The box.

The book cover with the image that first caught my eye.

And the English text between Ukrainian and German.

And how fitting that her words come today. The day Russians are routed from Kherson and the beleaguered Ukrainian soldiers are greeted so joyously.

Now I need to drop her a line to say that her inspirational work and words have arrived.

Til later….

More Socializing

I see this Mockingbird guarding the gate to Riverwalk whenever I am walking back from coffee on the corner. Usually he is singing his heart out but as soon as I try to record him, he goes silent. He imitates all the bird sounds he hears and can do quite the musical. Someday I will catch him on a video.

I am continuing to sort the necessary bits for the studio. The other day it occurred to me to use the heavy iron rack I was using to dry prints as a paper holder for in the closet of the studio.

By placing it on its back side and putting its legs toward the back wall of the closet, I created six open spaces of 34″ by 2.5″ and 24″ high. It managed to organize six large portfolios packed with papers.

Now I can see what I have at a glance…and close the bifold doors when I don’t want to look at it. The two cartons of rolled papers fit perfectly beside it. In looking for the felts to my etching press I emptied eight more cartons from the garage this morning and put all their contents where they need to be.

I decided that the green bedspread set did not go as well with the newer rug moved to the bedroom, so dug out the grey one again. Then added some pillows lying around to pick up the natural wood tones. The felted throw from Bridgette in Tasmania was just what the cats needed….especially Sadie who has taken it over.

Today I took a walk on the dam…

Last Thursday I was taken to the college near here to see a student show…all graphics, which I find problematic to find the mark of the individual artist…

BUT it was so nice to meet the department head and printmaking instructor. And being around all that earnest energy of art majors was very inspiring. Our conversations will continue in the near future as I will be returning to visit classrooms and see more exhibitions.

Tomorrow it is back to movie night with a couple of the morning men, Wine, pizza and a movie in good company. A good way to take our minds off the election that closes voting about the same time. Fingers crossed that common sense prevails.

Til later…..