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.

More Wildflowers, More Drawings a Day and More

Silly wrens build these fragile nests inside the garage and then have no way of tending their young if they get locked out in the evening. So I got this one in time and moved it outside to a safe place but still close to the house as that seems to be what the little lady wanted.

It is amazing how light and loosely put together these nests are. Wrens must be in such a hurry to start laying eggs. I hope she or another bird finds it and puts it to good use.

I did have some spare time to go back to those wildflowers in the six way book. Still no improvements on this front. Dragging a brush across the gesso makes it muddy and less intense in color. But I do like doing them.

Some day this book will seem like quite a find in the documentation of the natural world. I hope to get it finished before I can’t even remember what I was doing with the book. What in the world possessed me to make the pages out of such thin paper and then having to gesso each page to make it usable. Why couldn’t I just use decent watercolor paper pages in the first place and a lot less of them to make the same size book. Always making things more difficult than they need to be. Well no one else would have a book like this. No one else would think nothing of filling their studio with thin papers gessoed on both sides and waiting days for them to dry to be folded into folios so they could stitch endlessly putting it all together only to be faced with having to use it! Maybe dementia is catching.

And here are the latest drawings a day.

Yellow succulent

with pale green leaves meanders

along the sidewalks.


Some interesting

grasses along the driveway

are now being drawn.

Very graceful grass

with spaced out bamboo-like leaves.

Good for tickling!


Late forsythia

blooming among dark green leaves

left from early blooms.


I worked out how the Stoat Book will be put together. Getting the fore edges to all match up with no white spaced in between images required rethinking how the text was to be laid out. Now I have all eleven pages saved in the computer just waiting for me to figure out which Epson printer to use. I also need to design a cover for it….graphite on an old contact print that has the same dull colors, a stoat tucked in somewhere. And “The Stoat Story” sounds a bit daft but after all that is the best I can come up with…because without him the old woman would still be in bed!

But I am not going to even start to print those pages for a very limited book edition without first finishing the Bush Book. I got tired of cutting all those 160 pages precisely so just quit for awhile. Well that does not get them finished so started back on them the other day when the caretaker was here. Now only forty more to go and I can start gluing them all together in order. Only ten of those books thank heavens! The problem is finding a long enough clean space in the studio to lay them out as I glue down the line.

Then it is perfect scoring and folding, adding the identification papers to the back of each page before making the covers and sleeves.

I really do need to get things finished and stop being distracted.

After both of these books are finished I would like to do a bit of writing….not much….to go with a layered concertina. Another book in black and white with a bit of red maybe. It would go with the other ones I am trying to do to keep up with my friends in Australia who are all making different bindings to go with different stories.

God forbid I get caught lagging behind!

That said I am off to cut up those forty pages.

BUT just before I go, here was my day today….clean up for the cleaning lady, do the drawing a day, make sure Lee and I had breakfast, hide down in the office with Lee doing a workout and watching the last of a cop series on Roku, then lunch, then facing the recall letter on my garage refrigerator, pulling it away from the wall to find the model and serial numbers, and then relocating everything in its freezer and frig sections to other places, making a call that puts one on hold til someone gets to you, scheduling an appointment to have it repaired rather than accept a measly rebate toward a new one, agreeing to wait til the part is mailed, getting the repair people’s call and make a tentative appointment to fix it, but being told that I have to give them all road names to get here because they do not trust GPS in the country.

Cutting forty papers on four sides each seems like a nice soothing thing to do. But sometimes I sure as hell wish there was someone else here who could lend a hand when needed.

Enough! The board shear waits.

More Pictures of What’s New

I took this picture just the other morning. The deer that was supposed to be here with the turkey, birds, squirrels and rabbit had just exited stage right when I positioned my iphone. These animals have not got the word on social distancing. When I can catch them all in the yard again I will take another picture.

And here are the very clean fish in the very clear water in the clean pond.

And a close up of Jay, the large mottled fish named after an old friend who we bought it for. Jay moved on in more ways than one, so Lee and I rescued the fish and brought them into our pond. He is quite old….maybe ten years by now. His tail is very long.

And inside the house I redid my office/gym a little bit because I noticed that I was putting off working out like I promised myself I would.

Now I am getting up and putting on the gym clothes, doing twelve laps around the driveway to get at least 2,000 steps in, then coming downstairs to work out with weights. I can get Lee situated in a chair to watch an episode of Bosch while I lift weights and/or get on the recumbent bike. The only time I can enjoy the Migun bed in the background is when the caregivers are here. It has set timed programs that take up to thirty-five minutes to complete. Heaven!

I am sitting in front of that monitor now.

And I did get back into the wildflower sketches/watercolors…

It is going to take forever to just finish this one sixth of the book, but I do enjoy doing it…simple and just a cut above childlike.

Speaking of which.

I resisted making that center fold into a goat or donkey. I put a door there for the stoat to take his guests through. And I am staying with the subtle reference to the letters of the alphabet in order….something on each page that begins with the next letter….sometimes more than one thing. There is no reason for it other than it gives me some type of disciplined thinking….some anyway.

And remember the cow in the cart. I was wondering how it was being pulled along. Then realized that my thinking was not broad enough.

How wonderfully strange that is.

And because the internet went off while I was trying to place this last picture in, I decided to start to write the story. And it begins not only with “Once upon a time,” but with a memory of me being not more than five years old. This is going to be fun to do and will keep me amused for some time.

Here is the beginning so far…..

Once upon a time a fox interrupted a little girl’s sleep with a gentle nudge. When she opened her eyes, she saw him smiling into her face and she smiled back. He was so beautiful with his red coat and flashing white-tipped tail. He said he wanted to show her something but she must be quick.  She asked if he could wait for just a few moments while she got ready.  And when she returned all she saw was the fox disappearing into the woods without her. He never came back and she never forgot him.

She was five years old. Now seventy more years have passed. And this morning, very early, another animal came for her. This time it was a sleek-coated stoat. His face was close to hers on the pillow and she woke to his gentle breathing. Felt the moisture of it against her cheek. She opened her eyes slowly and smiled so as not to frighten him away. When the stoat knew she was fully awake he said, “The fox has sent me.”

Won’t this be fun!

I need to keep the writing tight enough to fit into the space between the front and back pages so it can only be on one side on a three and one half by 4 and three quarter page. The adjoining page will have its part of the story on the other side of this sheet. It is the type of story and format that make me wish I was not so adverse to calligraphy…then I could have written it by hand in perfect little letters in a pale graphite. But my computer can write in pale grey and I do have choices of fonts.

Til later.

A Long Catch Up

Yesterday the pond man came, took out all the fish, removed all the sludge, plugged back in a UV light, fixed the leak, power washed after pumping all the old water, and put some very happy fish back in. Plus he moved one of the lotus to a better location. It is a great relief that he will be here to take care of any problems. Pond looks terrific….never seen it look so good.

I am going to be all over the place here so if you haven’t got a drink, get one, or read this all later when you do have the time and the drink.

Do you ever have a piece of clothing that you just can’t let go? This shirt is it for me. I have made two from the pattern my seamstress friend in Hobart made for me but the original that is getting so thin just needed one more set of patches and stitch. Maybe the next time the front gets covered with grease spatters that don’t come out, I will consider the rag bag, but not now. It is waiting in the closet for a special occasion of leaving the house and sitting opposite someone else sipping a drink. Could be quite a while.

I did not have any more of the grey worn out pants to cover the front again (that fabric went into covering journals). So I found bits of the very first Flax clothing line pants I ever bought.

I did a bit of stitching around the patches so they did not looked so marooned on the surface.

And I completely finished the Social Distance book.

It closes up like a portfolio and I used small red buttons with a black waxed linen thread wrapping it closed.

Each of them was given a red heart.

I might stay with this cut out idea a bit longer…just need the right bit of writing.

And speaking of writing, I am going to write a story to go with the Stoat Land pages. I think that there are few phrases that carry as much magic as, “Once upon a time.”

So because the two concertina sets of pages are tied together in their valleys on each side, I have an opening between them. I think that opening would be perfect to have removable pages of text. So reading all the front section along in order left to right by pulling pages and reinserting them when you go to the back side to continue the story left to right, the text for that side is on the back of the page of the previous side. I may tie a string to each page so it gets back where it belongs. And I love the idea that the ending is on the back of the beginning.

I was just going to have it pictures but when I drew the cow in the cart, I thought it needed to be a story about leaving home and going off with a stoat. And I still like the idea of having pictures that are loosely arranged in the order of the alphabet. I have no idea why the cow is in the cart…both “c” words that I couldn’t shake is my best guess.

I have to admit that this book is reminding me a bit of those books and/or illustrations of people trapped in mental institutions. Many years from now this one may find its way into the same archives, but for now it is giving me as much diversion as I am sure their’s did them.

My drawings a day continue…six whole days finished since my last post of them.

Pairs of tiny deep

purple trumpet blossoms peek

out from heart-shaped leaves.


A coreopsis

stunted by the sad practice

of poor gardening.

Invasive mint plants

are especially welcome

to the mint julip.


Tip of the grape vine

reaching out to hold on til

the grapes start forming.


I picked off a small

branch of our corkscrew willows

from along the drive.


This is called crown vetch

a rambling wild welcome weed

growing all over.

And I did make some more Anzac cookies and took the suggestion from the Montsalvent page to use a glass dipped in water to flatten them a bit before baking. They are delicious!

I need to start thinking about lunch. It will be the last chicken noodle soup from the freezer.

More cooking days ahead.

Til later.