Finally Getting Somewhere!

The stonework is now all finished! They had such a good idea how to work some into the back yard.

And put some under the pots.

And under the Free Radical that has come home and has the perfect hairdo.

The bamboo is all in place out front and we (the yard man and me) like how it gives a separation in the long lead up to the door.

Now to get the new screen door put on so it looks less fussy there and lets a breeze come through. The remaining bamboo piece was cut to wedge in with the other on the porch to hold the shade from blowing in and toppling whatever was it in its way.

The walks to and from the gym are always interesting to see what is coming up on the walk.

This morning I met the usuals from the coffee place at a breakfast outing to a place Lee and I used to go to every Sunday morning. I forgot how good the food was there. It might become a regular outing since the closer breakfast places are limited in their menus. I had a fresh spinach omelette with cheese and the best biscuit I have had in a long time.

Yesterday I baked cookies and savoury scones. It has been hot, but I needed to bake for the corner people and get more scones in the freezer. Those scones make such a good meal with a salad and/or fruit.

For the past several days I have been putting together another book of my short stories. Today the proof came and the only change I will make is the cover image. It seems to fade away into the grey at the edges. Not a good contrast.

There are ten stories inside and it is the same size as the other two books, so will be priced the same…$9.99 on Amazon. Next will be my novella written a while back. That has taken some effort in editing but is close to being ready to print.

Then I am back to writing and working on the color images for Burke and Wills.

It is quite warm here…90 degrees. So I will get a walk in later just before bedtime.

The internet was out for a bit this afternoon, but finally okay. So, I will make adjustments to the cover of the short stories book and send my approval for publication.

The family call is tonight so I can catch up on their news.  Marla will miss it because she is in Canada at Stratford watching King Lear. So glad I can hear all about it without having to attend in person.

There is little other news. Too hot to work on much.

Til later…


Another Four Days Gone!

For some reason I kept this little drink mixing pitcher whose glass is turned upside down to create a lid and save space.  I never used it but didn’t want to leave it behind. It seemed perfect for one person. And it is especially good for mixing my Australian Turbo that is equal parts gin and coffee, then tonic and lime with ice. I am convinced that the Turbos taste a bit better served this way. Company (Marla and Patrick) arrive tomorrow evening for several days and I will get another opinion.

Speaking of Australia, I knew the basket makers of Tasmania were gathering this past weekend, so I pulled out the Gathering Book to work along with them. When they are not making baskets, preparing the materials for baskets, teaching anything to anybody, they are stitching. So I stitched.

First dig out the bits and pieces and pin them together in some abstract but pleasing manner. Use some paper pieces if there are some waiting to go into something.

I like this kind of stitching…just holding things together. It is soothing. I am not very good at it but I like it. It is not a worry that the stitches are not evenly spaced. Nor does it matter if the pieces are lined up well. What matters is getting the eyes to adjust to the tedious part of threading the needle and plowing ahead. I no longer bother to knot one end because my finger and thumb no longer make that quick movement that rolls the end up in a ball near where it needs to be making a messy knot in the end.

But it does put me in touch with my mother and her mother before her. By the time I was paying that much attention to their sewing, they were pretty much past the stage of neatness. It was just about the doing. Mostly they were trying to make something – some embroidery on an apron. a bit of smocking on a dress, stitching on quilts. Everything had to be of some use. They would be confused by scraps of mixed fibers being hung together by threads that resulted in something useless. In a way I am glad not having to explain the shear pleasure in the motions of hand sewing to either one of them.

Sewing like this is like taking a walk. Your mind is free to go anywhere. Problems are solved. Attitudes are changed.

I like figuring out where they will go on the page.  I like knowing where the scraps came from. On the left patch is a piece of mulberry paper left from the recently stitched animals wearing clothes. Then some of my contact printing from leaves. A scrap of purple linen from a vest I made. A piece of the cloth that famous textile designer of Japanese dyeing techniques, John Marshall, traded me for a pin I had made. And finally the little square of paper made in Claudia Lee’s class where I took gauze-like fabric and dipped it into fine pulp and made resists with wax and dyed with walnuts.

On the right is a scrap of a small woodblock print I made on more plant dyed linen sewn to another strip of mulberry paper with more linen from my sewing. The delicate green and cream cloth is from curtains I made the wife of an old friend in  Brasstown. They lived in a trailer across the road from his shop and she said she would like curtains on the bedroom window. So I made them for her as a surprise. The dark patterned scraps are from a table runner that a friend, now deceased, gave me because he spent so much time sharing meals and wonderful conversations at our table.

Good memories in both scraps. I am quite sure that my mother and grandmother did not have such an abundance of good times returning with the stitching that they did.

All stitched and stuck down, I do a drawing that relates to baskets or basket materials while switching my thoughts to the friends weaving baskets and stitching away down in Tasmania. A very nice couple of days.

And the gym trips through the meadow continue. Just this morning….

Til later

PS Tomorrow before company arrives I am having lunch with three other women. This will be the second time in two weeks that I have been asked to join others for lunch. It is such a novel experience for me. My new neighborhood and town are quite kind.



Happy Days – The Books are Available!

I woke up early to catch the moon before heading off to the gym. The news on my Iphone was that my books have been approved and are now available on Amazon for $9.99 each under the name S. Webster. One with poetry is titled Inner Navigations and the other of essays on art, teaching, travel, etc. is titled Essays. Nice to have that behind me now so I can work on other book projects.

The night of the fourth my neighbor across the road celebrated with endless fireworks. I have never been that close to them. Quite a show I can share. I just had to stand in my pjs out of sight by the front door to get these pictures.

And a couple of days to work on the Sticks and Stones Book.

And on my way back from the gym, the meadow was filled with purple clover.

That is it for today but one other thing…remember the photo of the strange plants in the meadow?

The movie I was reminded of was a 1962 film starring Howard Keel and titled, The Day of the Triffids.  Just had to follow up on that.

Til later….

I have ordered my books to see how they turned out. Should get them this Saturday.

A Good Catch Up Post

Still walking to the gym when it is not raining.

The absence of the bleachers is filling in, and a sunny bit of lichen on the post outside the gym.

A bit of baking while the stone work was being done.

They make a nice quick meal.

The flag stone is all in place where I planned in the front.

And in the back.

And the back from the opposite direction.

In two weeks my yardman will return to put as many of these extra stones between the mulch and gravel out back and lay some outside the back porch door to step on. Plus put them down under the pots and where the big rusted sculpture goes between living room and bedroom windows. Still plenty to use up.

And I finally got back to my Meadow sketchbook. Mockingbird and swallows.

And to be delivered tomorrow are the proofs for the two books finished this past week.

I am such a visual and hands on person that I need to see them in person to see where corrections are needed before giving the go ahead. I had to learn so much about the process of getting them this far. They are about the size of a Billy Collins or Mary Oliver paperback and are priced at $9.99 USD from Amazon when they are ready. I might take the proofs to the poetry meeting this week. And that reminds me that one of the poets who writes with children in mind is coming over after the meeting to look over Burke and Wills illustrations

I think that might be my next project.

Anyway, I did love doing these books and reading the words of my life again.

And that reminds me that in a conversation with one of the men at the coffee mornings, he said he wouldn’t mind finding someone to share his life with. I asked if he really thought it was a necessity. His answer was yes. He said it would give him a “witness to his life.” He said I, on the other hand, did not need one because I witness my own life through writing and drawing. I found it beautiful that having a witness to your life matters to this man.

I am touched by his words and will pay closer attention to my witnessing.

Til later….