Fast Week

Beautiful morning walks to the gym. The other day all of the grasses in the field I walk through had been mowed down.

Then quickly rolled into hay bales that were taken away. All I could do was draw and paint the memory in the Meadow Book of what occurred there.

Couldn’t help adding those pesky Trifids in the background.

Then when not reworking the last of the small books for Amazon, I was busy watering over-heated plants out back. Just had to take some detail shots out there to remind me what flourishes and what wishes for more shade.

And today the first of two separate author proofs came in the mail. I can already see another adjustment I need to make before giving approval for publication. This book is thicker and gave room for a spine title/author. It costs a bit more to produce so price slightly higher than the other three. All can be found on Amazon under S. Webster.

Now I am working on the story of Burke and Wills. Writing in rhyme is fun so far, but several more drawings will be needed.

The monthly poetry meeting is this week and I have done more writing for that.

I am getting the hang of being alone and managing my time effectively. I miss doing artwork but with no place to put it, have gone back to writing.

Back in undergraduate school I remember having a hard discussion with my advisor. I told him as an artist, I am accountable for whatever the artwork is. Whether sculpture or works on paper/canvas. The artist is the work and vise versa.

BUT being a writer, the doors are wide open to be whoever I want to be through the characters in the story. There is such freedom in that way of creating. It is a good place to occupy right now.

These four small books by S. Webster will be enough for awhile. Burke and Wills will be using Sandy Webster as the author. (I actually still have a Sandy Webster artist page on Amazon because of my Earth Pigments book from years ago.)

That is about all I have for now. The novella, Kind Gestures should be available next week and slightly modified from how it appeared on my website.

Til later….



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…


Company Come and Gone

My books arrived and I like the feel of them. Just right for poetry and essays. Thank you to so many who have also bought them and are appreciating the words. Now I just need to figure out how to do the author’s page so I can add news, etc.

I hope to get stuck into the Burke and Wills story for children and older readers.  A writer for children and social worker came for a visit to take a look at what I have so far. She was very encouraging about me getting back to it.

Patrick and Marla arrived on this past Tuesday. I had my walk to the gym that foggy morning.

And a walk around the neighborhood waiting for them to arrive.

We were eaten up by mosquitos on a walk along the Riverwalk trail. The air was stifling even at 7:30 in the morning but we managed to get some interesting views from a very swollen river.

We treated ourselves to several meals out and a trip to Crane Creek Winery.

This was one of the few meals at home…a ham and cheese with veggies on a multigrain croissant served with a bottled margarita. Very good!

Marla took almost a third of my clothes home with her. There comes a time when you know you just are picking out the same old things to wear. Luckily she is the same size in shoes.

Patrick loaded up my loveseat, heavy fold out work table, spare vacuum, fan and other odd bits we could fit into his truck. They left this morning with a heavy load, and I think that is the last of it. Both of them are so much help when they come down. Every box in my closet and garage was looked into to see if I needed the contents.

Now I am waiting for Lowes building supply to get in the garage storage cupboards so I can properly put what is left away.

They are both good company and brought back the large rusted sculpture for behind my house. It already sports a pot full of red fountain grass to look like hair.

It was too hot (and still is) to work outside, so my yardman is maybe coming this week. I am sure he will want it to be early in the morning.

My friend and paper maker, Claudia Lee and her helper came over for dinner one night. They were in town teaching a class. I am so happy she has some classes scheduled in Australia this fall. It is her first time down under and I am hoping she has lots of students. Claudia is a brilliant instructor.

Not much else new. The humidity and heat can just wear you out. Sadie and Dilly are wondering where the other people went. All laundry done and put away. So there is no sign they were even here. Just got a message they have crossed into Ohio seven hours after they left here. Four more hours and they should both be back in their homes with their own cats.

So, 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.